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Divine Forgiveness



Part 1: Fallen


My husband and I got married in 1995 when I was 16 years old. We struggled with infertility for 5 years until we had our first living baby in 2000 and later had 2 additional healthy children. I did everything I could to be the wife, daughter-in-law, mother, and servant of God that I was taught to be. In each professional position I held, I prioritized flexibility to accommodate the care for my family. I breastfed all my babies which was additional time and work to feed, pump, and store milk for them. It wasn’t easy and there were many sleepless nights and groggy mornings, but nonetheless, it was all worth the sentimental moments with my children. My husband and I attended numerous marriage conferences, mentored young couples, led disciple-making groups, and completed the Hmong District’s CMA leadership training, TEE. We appeared to be the perfect couple. 

 

After we had completed TEE, my husband decided to go back to school to finish his degree. This change put more responsibilities on my shoulders: packing lunches for the family, helping with homework, and caring for their needs each night to allow my husband to focus on school. It was hard but I clung to Deuteronomy 28:2 “ All these blessings will come on you and accompany you if you obey the Lord your God.” After a few years, my husband graduated but the daily routine we had implemented during that time continued, causing me to grow weary. I had gotten pregnant and had a miscarriage, which led to postpartum depression that lasted for 12 months. I never had a long-lasting depression before, and my husband didn’t know how to help me. I needed his attention and love and vocalized my needs, but he ignored me, further trapping me in my depression.

 

I worked as a business banker at that time and my job required me to serve our company employees with their businesses and personal accounts. Exchanging emails and phone calls with colleagues and customers were necessary to complete the tasks of the campaign. Some of them would compliment me on my appearance or work ethic, but it didn’t mean much to me even though I desired affirmation so much from my husband. It was as if the compliments were only true if it were coming from him. Eventually, there was one particular person with whom I developed a connection with. For the sake of privacy, we’ll call this man, Shawn. Naturally, as co-workers, Shawn and I started our interactions with small talk each day, and eventually our relationship deepened and we started feeling more comfortable talking about our feelings or complaints about our families and even our spouses. I started to believe Shawn when complimented me on the work I accomplished, my appearance, or my character traits. (Psalm 10:9, “Like a lion in cover he lies in wait. He lies in wait to catch the helpless; he catches the helpless and drags them off in his net.”) Months passed by and our innocent lunches and communications became more than just co-workers or friends. We caved in and began an intimate relationship and took every opportunity to spend time together.

 

Meanwhile, at home, I began to resent my husband for his neglect of our relationship and the daily caring of our children. I withdrew from him emotionally and physically as I invested more into my relationship with Shawn. Sin had turned me into a selfish, prideful, unsympathetic, and ruthless person. I started to believe that I had spent my entire life serving others and became an exceptional wife, daughter, mother, daughter-in-law, and namtsev to make everyone happy but myself. The lie I repeated was that it was my turn to be happy and it was time to give me what I wanted. At that moment, I forgot every precious moment that I shared with my family and was willing to throw it all away. Looking back, it was as if I was possessed and overcome with lust, selfishness and sin. Any normal person would feel pain, hurt, brokenness, and regret but I didn’t feel any of that. Heartlessly, I told my husband I no longer loved him and was in love with someone else. My husband was so hurt when I confessed but he attempted to win my heart back, even though it was too late. (James 1:14-15, “ but each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed. Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.”) 


Soon after, I became pregnant with Shawn’s baby. When I broke the news to Shawn, he suggested I abort my baby. Exasperated and betrayed, I left that relationship. I spent sleepless nights strategizing how to care for my baby as a single mother, while minimizing the effect on my husband’s reputation. I found the courage to tell my husband about my pregnancy and plan to leave to give birth alone. If my baby was his, I would return; but it was Shawn's, I would not. My husband begged me to stay, refused to agree with my plan, and promised me that he would love the child even if it wasn’t his. I stayed with this hope but for the rest of the pregnancy, I continued to ask my husband if he would keep his promise to me. I was doubtful since it was such a difficult promise to fulfill. He confirmed that he would each time which convinced me to stay.

 

In the 4th month of my pregnancy, the doctor diagnosed my unborn baby boy with Edward’s syndrome. The doctor gave me an option to abort the child and even though I was deeply distressed by the news, I refused. I prayed and asked others to pray for my unborn son, and after several ultrasounds, my baby no longer showed any signs of Edward syndrome. It was a miracle that even the doctor’s could not explain. (Job 9:10, “He performs wonders that cannot be fathomed, miracles that cannot be counted.”)

 

When I went into labor, anxiousness filled my mind and I prayed that my baby would look more Asian than Caucasian. When my baby arrived, the doctor placed my son on my chest and I turned to my husband. Disappointment was painted all over his face and my hope in him was gone. Everyone seemed to be moving in slow motion as the sounds of the room became background noise, the cries of my baby, nurses talking to me, peeping of the machines, and the doctor’s questions to my husband. I focused on counting all the baby’s fingers and toes but kept checking on my husband, who stood further and further from me. I was immediately overcome by sadness and my tears trailed down my face. My husband eventually left to pick up food and the kids, and when they arrived, they were all so excited to see their baby brother. Each older sibling held him, sniffed him, and fought to hold their baby brother, while my husband stood in the corner of the room, lifeless. Before my husband left for the evening, he let me know that he had told my mom, mother-in-law, and the elders of the church that my baby was not his. He could not keep his promise to me because this was too much for him to bear. I wept, apologizing again and again to my husband. 


The following day, my room was full of church members and friends. Some of them were there to witness what my husband said was true and others unknowingly realized the truth upon seeing my baby. It was there that my despicable sin was revealed to the world, to my mentors, the church elders, my friends, and family, and I had to face it all. (Luke 12:2, “ There is nothing concealed that will not be disclosed or hidden that will not be made known.”) Disappointment, confusion, and sadness ran across every face in the hospital room as I lay apologetic, shameful, and disgusted at my sin. My spirit, soul, mind, and body were completely broken into a million pieces. The only ones that continued to be excited about my baby’s life were my 3 kids who saw no color and no separation, only their brother. (1 John 4:18, “There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.”)

  

Part 2: Death


The evening I was discharged, my entire family and my husband’s sister came over. Everyone sat in a circle as I knelt on the ground, in the middle of the living room, begging for forgiveness. I crawled over to my older brother who was closest in age to me and begged for his help. He slowly opened his arms and held me as we wept. He spoke softly, “Sis I want to help you but, didn’t know how.” I knew he wanted to save and protect me, as a big brother should, but we both knew that he didn’t have a solution to this situation. Apprehension, anger, disappointment, sadness, and disgust filled the room. We had family members who were too angry to speak, some who wanted to strategize to fix the situation, and others who lectured to help release their emotions. In that moment of agony, the whisper of death entered my mind and I wanted to die. I was lightheaded, my eyes were swollen, my face was numb, and my body was paralyzed from all the crying. Physically, emotionally and spiritually weakened by all the events, I passed out.

 

These daily meetings occurred and a few days later, a “solution” was put on the table for discussion. My husband and family members suggested that I put my baby up for adoption. I was filled with so much guilt and was so desperate for acceptance that I agreed in order to make it right with everyone. They pressured me to act quickly before I grew attached to my baby, and within a day, there was a potential Christian couple who wanted to adopt my son. I couldn’t sleep for several nights and instead prayed constantly. 


A week and a half went by before I was able to regain my strength and my mind became more stable. I realized that I needed to take full responsibility and accept the consequences of my wrongdoing. I realized that there were 3 opportunities where others wanted to extinguish my baby in hopes of fixing my sin, situation, or relationship:

First when Shawn asked me to abort the baby; second when the doctor’s diagnosed my baby with Edward’s syndrome; and third when my husband asked me to give up my child. During these obstacles, I chose life for my baby and trusted that God could be the only one to restore the impossible. I concluded that I had done an awful sin of betraying all the people I loved and going against my commitments to my husband and God. However, I wasn’t making it any better by relinquishing my rights for my baby to anyone. 

 

After telling the family about my decision to keep my baby and after further discussions with the church elders, my husband and I decided to separate. During our separation, it was a dark and challenging period for both of us. We each experienced depression and had no one else to truly understand or lean on but God. The emotional and spiritual brokenness we felt was like a slow death. My husband later shared with me that he didn’t understand how to live until he had learned how to die. In that time of separation, we both died to ourselves to grow into our life in Christ. (Romans 6:5-7, “For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we will certainly also be united with him in a resurrection like his. For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body ruled by sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin— because anyone who has died has been set free from sin.”)


Part 3: Restoration


Two years passed and our emotions grew weary. My husband asked me about returning home and reconciling but by this time, I was content with what I had, living on my own, having my own space for the kids and for myself. I read scripture daily and listened to worship songs to keep me sane, but my relationship with God wasn’t flourishing. I knew deep down that God never left me but I had difficulty sensing His Spirit. My trauma numbed my emotions and I felt it difficult to connect with God. It hardened me and I was unable to cry or feel sympathy towards myself or others.

 

Then one day, my 8 year old daughter came over to my house for the weekend. When I took her back to her dad’s house, she had left something she needed for school at my place. She panicked and emptied all her things on the floor from her backpack. I watched her shoulders and chest lower and rise rapidly, her eyes swell up with tears before streaming down her face, and her breathing getting heavier and heavier as she continued to find her lost item. It was as though the exhaustion and irritation from packing and unpacking, and traveling back and forth from Mom and Dad's house each week was finally catching up to her. For the first time in a long time, I shed a tear and stared at my daughter as she crouched down on her knees, covering her face and weeping profusely. I bent down and wrapped my arms around her, pulled her onto my lap, and cradled her. My heart ached, wanting so much to take away her pain and suffering.


For the last two years, my daughter did not show her emotions, mostly because she didn’t understand what was happening. At that moment, I realized that my kids were stressed and did not know how to deal with what they were feeling. It didn’t register to me how bad it was affecting my daughter, let alone my other children. I then understood that my kids were always on their best behavior to please Mom and Dad, never showing their emotions to us, and my heart broke again. I then understood that I was too occupied and concerned about the betrayal from my friends, family, and church that I neglected to notice my kids were suffering, too.

 

That night, God spoke to me and told me to go home. I wrestled with God for several nights because I felt that my husband could not love my son, and if he couldn’t accept him the first time then he wouldn’t be able to this time either. I told God that I couldn’t return to broken promises and that I knew my husband would make many promises that he couldn’t keep. Then the Holy Spirit spoke, “Men may break promises to you. But I am your God, I cannot break my promises. Obey me and return home and I will restore all you had and more.” (Jeremiah 7:23, “but I gave them this command: Obey me, and I will be your God and you will be my people. Walk in obedience to all I command you, that it may go well with you.”) I recognized then that my journey was a test of faith, not just between my husband and I, but it was a test of faith for everyone around us. Would everyone believe that God could restore such a shattered marriage? Was our family and church willing to accept and forgive as God had accepted and forgiven me?

 

I was always taught to forgive others by saying, “I forgive you”, but I realized that our ability to forgive wasn’t enough. My husband and I both needed God’s divine forgiveness because we couldn’t produce on our own. We both had to have the willingness to give up our pride, surrender to Him, and die to oneself. The reward is great in Him and He graciously granted us with His divine forgiveness. I know this sounds cliché, but God truly carried me the entire time, as I wouldn’t have been able to make it through on my own strength. Not only did He carry me when I was dead, but He brought me back to life again. (2 Corinthians 12:9, “But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.”)‬‬


Having two people and a marriage brought back to life is an unexplainable joy and has given me a deeper gratitude of God’s love. I praise God for the challenges in my life, as it has allowed me to share with others what His grace and mercy look like in the darkest times. My lips and voice give praise to Him alone, forever to God who gives me breath.

I returned home, God restored my marriage, my relationships with our families, and my church. I know my journey continues and God is not done yet. 


 

N. Vaam Qhaas Vaaj (Tia Vang)


Tia Vang (N Vaam Qhaas Vaaj) is a follower of Jesus Christ. Tia loves to talk about the fingerprints of God working in each person's daily life. Tia is committed to small groups for women and is currently mentoring several enthusiastic women and young single ladies in studying the Word of God. She enjoys hosting Bible studies in the comfort of her home or online. In her free time, she enjoys nail salons or spa treatments and playing volleyball. Professionally, Tia is a Regional Treasury Management Consultant in the banking industry.


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What a beautiful testimony sis. Thank you for telling your story and the trail you have been through. I am truly grateful to have met you and be a part of your circle of friends. Love you sister ❤️❤️❤️

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Thank you❤️ Glory to God for His mercy and grace🙌 to be given this opportunity to share. May others be blessed and encouraged. 🙏 there is hope in Him.

❤️N. Vaam Qhaas

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