Choosing to Forgive

Just tuning in? Please start at post 1 of this Series “Surviving Infidelity”: Shattered Hearts, Broken Promises.

October 16th, 2011 

The Lord has been speaking to me about Forgiveness for months now, telling me the day will come when I will have to actually say the words to Dale, not just show him by my actions that I am forgiving him.

  It all started to come to a head at Woman’s Encounter.  EVERYONE needs to go to one of these weekends, E-V-E-R-Y-O-N-E!  Encounter is not your typical church retreat, it is a “tear down the walls, cry it out at the foot of the cross, build you back up before we send you home, I am free in Christ” kind of weekend with INCREDIBLE surprises at every twist and turn.  It truly changed my life!

  Over this Encounter Weekend, I traded beauty for ashes, peace for my despair, and gladness was given in exchange for my mourning. 

Praise be to my Heavenly Father, who so lavishly poured out His love on His daughter this weekend.

  Yesterday, I stood up in church to share what Christ had done in my heart and life this weekend and here is what I said:

  “I encountered Christ at the cross this weekend and cried buckets of tears.  Buckets.   The 2 ton weights I wore on each shoulder are gone, the chains of brokeness and unforgiveness no longer hold me captive. They were nailed to the cross and left there.   I have been set free!”  

BIG PAUSE here as I said battled with the Lord: 

No Lord please don’t make me say it publicly.”  Yes, Tonya, share for my glory.  “No Lord, I can’t!” YES TONYA! “Ok, here goes……”


“And to my husband…….{sobbing} I want you to know that I love you, and I FORGIVE YOU. 

  You are my soul mate, and what God has put together, Satan will NEVER separate because……..

 I. choose. us.

     It was so silent in that church, you could’ve heard a pin drop!  Most sat with mouths agape, letting tears flow unchecked, some turned to see where Dale was…..

  Next thing I know, he is running up to the stage bawling and embraces me. As we kissed and cried, I looked him in the eyes and told him over and over, “I forgive you, I DO!  I feel so great! So light! So FREE!”

   It was the most beautiful moment in my life!  I am so free, I am so light, I am a NEW woman in Christ.  I am loving Dale fully with my whole, restored, new heart.  I learned this weekend that my forgiveness is so I can see Dale through God’s eyes.

That forgiveness is not a sign of weakness, or acceptance of the offence as Ok or right.

Forgiveness isn’t denying something bad happened to me, it just prevents further damage of me.

Time will not heal my broken heart, GOD WILL.

Forgiveness is not immediate trust restored, that will come with time.

Forgiveness is required of me, Christ instructs it.  It is the very foundation on which we stand, saved by grace!

Forgiveness is NON negotiable, when I forgive I am given the gift of FREEDOM!

Me not forgiving Dale is like saying what Jesus did on the cross was not enough. 

I need Christ to simply flow HIS forgiveness through me to Dale. My job is to merely be open to this, I don’t have to be healed, or “in a good place emotionally” for this to occur.

  What is visible before is now forgotten, what was scarlet before is white as snow. Forgiveness is a choice, and I choose it, but I need Christ’s help to accomplish this daily.  It is impossible without Him in me.  My forgiveness of Dale may be a lifelong journey and choice for me, but it is important to the Lord, and I choose forgiveness!  There is nothing like the tears of joy and the release we experience, when we come to that place of complete forgiveness before the Lord.  It’s life-giving because it renews our entire being.


I am FREE from the chains that have held me captive since July!

I am FREE,  thank you Jesus!



27 thoughts on “Choosing to Forgive

  1. I can barely see these words through my tears, but oh how I rejoice with you, Precious One. What beauty in forgiveness! You are a prime example of that. How freeing it is. One of my favorite quotes is..FORGIVENESS IS TO SET A PRISONER FREE, AND DISCOVER THE PRISONER WAS YOU. Praise God! Praise God! For His grace, mercy and forgiveness that makes us whole again. Sweet Sweet Blessings on your marriage and family. Smooches for your cheek too.:-* God bless you Sweet Friend. XO

  2. Thank you so much. You don’t know how these posts are helping me. I will continue to pray for you and Dale. God bless you both.

  3. Oh dear Tonya, I was going to say….I love that picture….and then I came into your website and saw the words on your hands….now I really, really love that picture. When we allow the Holy Spirit to help us to forgive that freedom is like nothing else that we will ever experience… and Dale both know that, but the joy is so evident on your face…..and in your life. Loving you so much….hugs from Michigan.

  4. Tonya- We have so much in common. As I read through your series I am seeing a reflection to my own life. I too have been in a similar situation and I too have chosen to fight for my family and to forgive. There was no question of my walking away. Not that I felt that there was a pressure to stay or that I wasn’t strong enough to go on my own. (Some people thought that.) But I knew deep down in my heart that standing by my husband’s side was exactly where God wanted me to be. I was going to fight for our marriage and for our daughter. We both were totally broken. But together with the healing arms from above have push through the hurt and are healing. It was through the Lord himself that saved us and walked us through hell. If it weren’t for Him, I don’t know how either of us would have survived. We both believe that even though we had to endure the pain, we are 100 times better for it. One year after ‘our drama’ (so I call it) we were blessed with the pregnancy of our second daughter. And she truly was a blessing from God.

    Be proud of the choices you have made to fight for your marriage and for your family. What an amazing example you are showing to others. I am thankful everyday for the blessings in my life. I couldn’t have done it alone and I thank God everyday for being by our side through it all. Blessing to you and your family.

  5. Not only are you free….but from setting yourself free, you have made yourself BEAUTIFUL!! You truly proved how God can bring beauty from the ashes. Blessings!

  6. I just wanted to say that you are amazing. This series of your sharing has been so personal and so wonderful to read. God Bless You! Most women would not have to courage yet you give those living in darkness hope and let them know they’re not alone. You’re helping touch their hearts through the Lord. Thank you!

  7. I remember this weekend after you came back you were a different Tonya, there was a sparkle back in your eye I had not seen for quite a while there was a glint, a glimmer of the joy of a possible return to “Tonya Land” that made me so Happy to see!!

    I am so glad that you made it to the point you were this weekend and I am so glad you went to this weekend instead of taking the photography class with me it was SO good for you!!!

    You are leaps and bounds past even where you were this weekend the Full Fledged Tonya Land can be seen through the Fog and I am so Happy to have my Happy friend be in her Happy life again!!!

  8. Tonya,

    Thank you for your response back! I will definatly check out those books!! Thank you for the encouragement!! I will keep you posted! Now where can I get info about the Encounter weekend! I know of 8 women that need this kind of weekend to Rock thier worlds!! I looked online but there are tons which one did you go to??? Thank you so much for sharing your life!!! I just love you!!! 🙂

  9. There is nothing our God cannot put back together !!…. Jesus tells us that we must forgive, just as our Father in Heaven forgives us… May God continue to shower you and Dale with many blessings, according to His riches and GLORY…. AMEN…

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  13. I have a question from the perspective of a wife who has been forgiven by her husband for adultery. How to do begin to forgive yourself? It has been over 5 years now and I struggle with guilt. Not just of what I did but that I allowed myself to believe. The lies that were being not just told to me by the other man but that were being whispered to me by satan. Everyday I thank God for my wonderful husband and that he not only has forgiven me but he still loves me.

    • Satan would love to keep you in a cycle of un-forgiveness of self. He would LOVE for you to roll in the ashes of your indiscretion. But here is the beauty of God’s promises to us…….He died for all those sins. You are free! You are white as snow, you don’t have to wear ashes anymore.
      There are no “levels” of sin, none worse than another. When you accept Jesus as your personal Savior, you allow HIS precious blood, to cover those, from the teeniest lie to the greatest of betrayals. They are all the same to Him, and they are all covered. Check out this article that says:
      “God desires for you to be free from guilt, free from depression, free from the past. The scripture declares, “old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new” (2 Corinthians 5:17).
      No matter what you’ve done (big or small), know that when Jesus died on the cross for you- your sins, mistakes, weaknesses and addictions went on the cross too. God already knew before the foundations of the world what your mistakes and downfalls would be, so He took it to the cross with Him 2,000 years ago.
      Once we repent, God forgives all our sins. God doesn’t hold it against us, He doesn’t bring it up when we make mistakes, He doesn’t condemn us, He doesn’t even remember them no more. God forgives us completely. Our sins are cast into the sea of forgiveness.
      No matter what your story is: rape, murder, theft, lying, cheating, adultery, addictions, etc; when you repented and asked for forgiveness the first time, God forgave you. He now wants you to start forgiving yourself.” Read more here:
      God bless you on your journey to healing! YOU ARE FREE!!!! Hugs, T

  14. Your pain, your nightmare, and your brokenness are helping so many; no doubt. You’ve made me see infidelity through another’s perspective. I’ve been on both sides of the spectrum, and I never thought it would happen to me. Though I divorced my first husband for infidelity (I was young and couldn’t see another way to deal), I need to still forgive him after all these years. Your story, so normal, so raw, resonates within me. I know it’s not been easy, but thank you for sharing.

  15. Hi Tonya-

    I am somewhat new to the infidelity world and am still in the process of learning and reading everything I can get my hands on. I am so glad I stumbled onto your blog through pinterest.

    Our stories have some similarities. My husbands affair was very public. The other womans betrayed spouse revealed the affair on facebook. We have five kids. Three of them are teenagers. Everyone we know knew.

    I am wondering if when you chose to forgive Dale publicly, did everyone know, or was that the moment they found out? I am deep in my struggle with forgiveness.



    • In that moment, they got a hint of what must be happening, because from the stage of our church I told him that Satan couldn’t have our marriage, that I forgave him, and that I. Chose. US.
      I know the Infidelity Series is long, but I encourage you to dig in and read. My entire journey to forgiveness is outlined there. Its a long road, and once your choose forgiveness it gets better…..BUT, the part that surprised me, was that I would have to forgive him again moment by moment, then day by day, then week by week, then month by month. It doesn’t come up as much now, but there are still dates, locations and situations that trigger bad memories and emotions on my part, and I have to forgive him again.
      Bless you on your journey to healing, fall on Jesus, He will carry you through! GO look up Exodus 14:14, it will warm your heart.
      Hugs, T

  16. I was just introduced to your blog by a recommendation from a friend. I am struggling right now from my husbands 3 month long affair. We have 4 children, & have been married 15 years. I have not been able to forgive and move on as easily as you seem to have been able. We are both Christ followers, yet I am very resentful and can’t seem to find a way to trust him again. It’s been 16 months since I discovered his secret. My heart is still broken. We have gone to a wonderful Christian counselor, & that helped. But I am so bitter. I just can’t seem to move past the pain of his betrayal. Divorce is not an option, & I want to be like you… A forgiving wife who loves unconditionally…. But I don’t feel like I can. Does anyone have any advice on where to start?

  17. This is just what I needed! Your blogs/posts have helped me stand more bold for my own marriage resurrection and restoration! Your stories are helping boost my faith! It had to been Gods will to let me come across your website! Thank you Jesus!

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