It's Never Too Late

by Emily Hoshko


The silence surrounded the three of us as Ben & I sat in Pastor’s office. Pastor Greg had just gently told me, “Emily, I care about you.” We sat there in silence for one hour as I angrily stewed & contemplated over what he had just said. I couldn’t look around. My eyes were fixed on the ground as I began my cycle of thinking.

Earlier that week, I had unwillingly talked with Pastor about my marriage with Ben & my own personal problems. I painfully told him parts of my story while simultaneously a pattern of thoughts raced through my mind. The thoughts started with, “There is no way this is going to end well for me. I can’t puke out all my problems & expect this guy to know how to handle them,” which lead me to think, “It’s too late for me to be fixed. God can’t use me anymore.” Before the close of our session, Pastor had me ask Jesus, “Jesus, do you love me?” I thought this guy is crazy. I never talk to Jesus this way. However, through all the darkness encircling my mind & heart, Jesus broke through and showed me a picture. It was simply the cross. It spoke volumes: Jesus forgives. Jesus then gently told me, “Return to me, child.” That one picture & those words were the start of something beautiful; it was the first crack in my heart of stone.

Later that week, as I sat in Pastor’s office contemplating in silence, the negative thoughts raced through my head again. I wanted to do my own thing because my relationship with God was over. There was no way God could really want me back! I was a Christian & that meant I couldn’t make big mistakes; ever! But Pastor Greg said he cared. How could this guy really care about me? And my husband, Ben? There is not enough forgiveness for the things said & done between us. We were destined for a miserable marriage and life. But this guy said he cared and he can help us. Finally, an hour later, Pastor spoke again, “Emily, did you hear what I said?” Of course I heard, but I didn’t want to answer. I wanted everyone to go away & not care so I could just run away. I was a mess. Then I remembered that picture of the cross, “Trust me,” Jesus said.

It’s been 4 years since Ben & I were miraculously healed & forgiven through marriage counseling with Pastor Greg & Brooke. Yesterday during Sunday School, a verse spoke to my heart & reminded me of my story of healing & forgiveness. In 1 Samuel 12:20 (NASB) "Samuel said to the people, ‘Do not fear. You have committed all this evil, yet do not turn aside from following the Lord, but serve the Lord with all your heart.’” Samuel urged the people of Israel that it’s never too late to return to God. "We are all sinners, but God keeps His promises based on who He is, not on man," Pastor Greg stated. God promises forgiveness, healing, love, care, acceptance, & hope. Romans 8:1 states, “Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” Jesus loves us & shows grace. We don’t deserve His forgiveness, but He loved us so much that He died for us on the cross so we could have a relationship with Him. As you read these next verses, let its truth reach your heart.

Psalm 36:5-7 (NASB)

Your lovingkindness, O Lord, extends to the heavens,
Your faithfulness reaches to the skies.
Your righteousness is like the mountains of God;
Your judgments are like a great deep.
O Lord, You preserve man and beast.
How precious is Your lovingkindness, O God!
And the children of men take refuge in the shadow of Your wings.

Jesus loves you so much & wants a relationship with you! Let me encourage you to ask Jesus, “Jesus, do you love me?” “How much?” “Is there anything you can’t forgive?” Just wait & listen.

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