I Messed Up, How do I Recover

 by Chuck Snyder
 co-chaplain for the Seattle Mariners


Dear Chuck
I felt I had a big calling on my life, was involved in ministry and was trying to give to everyone. Then I moved overseas (because I felt that God wanted me to) and everything went wrong. I lived alone in a dump, I cannot express how stressful my work was (except to say, I'm the only one there who didn't have a nervous breakdown), I couldn't find a church that was a home and I got cancer.

Then a friend came along -- a non-Christian. We started a relationship, and I fell in love with him big time. I slept with him. I'm still in love with him. He's been through a lot with me. But I'm so hurt and down about this. I used to preach against it. I prayed all the time that my future husband would fall in love with my holiness and my heart for God. But now will He call someone else to do my job? How can I ever offer purity again? Should I never marry now I have married myself with this man?

My other problem is that I looked for God. I tried churches. I called help lines. I asked my friends to pray for me. I sat alone and stared at the walls every night and prayed for hours. I fasted. Why is it that friends who haven't sought God like this remain happy and blessed -- while I'm in a living hell? Help me, please,

Chuck's Response
God has asked you to carry some heavy burdens but there is payday coming one of these times, and you'll have a treasure house of wonderful blessings from God for all your pain down here on earth. I know it doesn't feel like it, but pain really is a blessing in disguise. I would not be writing to you if Barb and I had had a perfect marriage. It is only through my MISTAKES that I can be of help to someone else. Sure, you made a mistake with your non-Christian friend, but I want to make sure you know what God does with our sins when we ask His forgiveness with a broken heart. HE FORGETS THEM. Here are some scriptures that talk about this.

"He has removed our sins as far away from us as the east is from the west." Psalm 103:12 (Living)

North and south meet at some point. If you go north for awhile, eventually you will begin to go south because of our round earth. However, if you go east you'll ALWAYS be going east. Or if you go west, you'll ALWAYS be going west. The two will never meet.

"Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord." Acts 3:19 (KJV)

" and blotted out the charges proved against you, the list of his commandments which you had not obeyed. He took this list of sins and destroyed it by nailing it to Christ's cross." Colossians 2:14 (Living)

"For God was in Christ, restoring the world to himself, no longer counting men's sins against them but blotting them out. This is the wonderful message he has given us to tell others." 2 Corinthians 5:19 (Living)

You're probably too young to remember blotters, but we used to use pen and ink in school. We would blot the ink to keep it from smearing, because it dried slowly. However if you blotted it TOO quickly, you took all the ink away. God's "blotter" erased all of our sins.

"I will never again remember their sins and lawless deeds when sins have once been forever forgiven and forgotten, there is no need to offer more sacrifices to get rid of them." Hebrews 10:17-18 (Living)

"And I will be merciful to them in their wrongdoing, and I will remember their sins no more." Hebrews 8:12 (Living)

I take God at His Word when the Bible says He will never remember our sins anymore. They are forever out of His memory. What a gift that is.

"It was good for me to go through all of this bitterness. You have delivered me from death, and have put all of my sins behind Your back." Isaiah 38:17

I love the picture of God reaching around and putting my sins behind His back where He can't get at them. There are many other scriptures that imply that our sins have been covered by Christ's blood and thrown in the deepest sea. God forgives our mistakes, so we can forgive others for their mistakes as well, and help them go on.

Now you are as pure as the purest snow in God's eyes. He has nailed your past, present and future sins to the cross forever. You are free to marry a Christian man anytime God brings him along. The reason your friends are "happy and blessed" is because they probably are not as open as you are to learning. There are all sorts of women in your situation who need someone to come along and say, "I know how you feel."

See if there are any women's Bible studies around that you could join. I recommend Kay Arthur's Precept upon Precept. I don't know if there are groups in your country or not, but you could get information at info@precept.org. I'm afraid that most churches don't know how to comfort. You now can hold your head up high and watch for other women who are hurting, and minister to them as you have time. I'll also be asking God to bring Mr. Right along soon. Thanks for writing.

Chuck Snyder



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Contact Chuck: chuck@chucksnyder.org
Updated 05/24/2005