When You Feel You’ve Fallen Too Far


I wish you could sit with me for one day and read the emails that come to my inbox. Some rip my heart out. Such was the case with the one I’m going to share with you today. This dear sister has graciously granted me permission to share it. This blog is a bit long, but I really want you to to get it. I want to get it.

Dear Sharon

I just read one of your devotions on receiving grace and forgiveness. You mentioned a woman who had an affair and destroyed her marriage. You mentioned how she refused to forgive herself. That really touched me because, you see, eight years ago I had an affair, got pregnant, and had an abortion. That is the first time I ever actually put those words in writing. I can barely look at what I just typed on the screen.

My marriage was terrible. My husband never paid any attention to me and we argued all the time. And then a man at work began telling me how pretty I was and how good I smelled. It felt good to be noticed. I knew it was wrong, but I slept with him, and not just once.

Somehow, I managed to hide it from my kids and my husband. I even went to church on Sundays, but this sin was eating me alive. No one knew. One day, the stick turned blue. I was pregnant. In order to hide the sin, I had an abortion. I didn’t even tell the baby’s father. Sin upon sin. I was sin sick and hated myself.

Not too long after that horrible day, I did turn back to God. I confessed my sin, truly repented, but I’ve never felt clean. That was eight years ago and I still can’t let go. I wish I could go back and change things. I would willingly give my life to bring this child back. And while I know what the Bible says, that God will forgive us if we confess our sins, I just have a hard time believing it. How could I have done this? How could He forgive me?

 I was a Christian when I had the affair and abortion. I was far from Him at the time, but I did know what I was doing was wrong. My eyes were wide open. I think this is why it is so hard for me to accept God’s forgiveness. Sometimes, grace just doesn’t make sense. The enemy tells me I’m no good. I think the Holy Spirit is trying to speak to me, but I am having a hard time believing.

How can I forgive myself?

This email comes to me hundreds of times every year. The names are different, the situations are varied, but the underlying theme is the same…I can’t forgive myself. Grace just doesn’t make sense. I don’t deserve to be forgiven.

And these women are right…grace doesn’t make earthly sense. We don’t deserve it. We keep reliving the Garden story, believing Satan’s lie, and then grace shows up with an outstretched hand. “I don’t deserve it,” we cry. And we’re right.

Grace, by its very definition, is unmerited favor from God or a gift we don’t deserve. But until we accept God’s grace and forgiveness, Satan will hold us in the vise grip of guilt, and we’ll miss moments of sudden glory as we hide in Eden’s bushes of shame.

God calls out, “Where are you?”

No matter what you have done, God has made a way for you to be set free – a very costly toll has been paid for the road to your restoration. Jesus gave His life that you might have not only eternal life after physical death, but life filled with moments of sudden glory beginning at your spiritual birth.

I in no way want to diminish the seriousness of sin. Neither do I want to lessen the truth of grace. Refusal of the Christian to repent and dogged determination to continue a lifestyle of sin, spits in the face of what Christ did on the cross. Unconfessed sin draws the shade on God’s glory gifts. Confession and repentance raises the curtain once again for God’s glory to shine through.

When we say, “but I don’t feel forgiven,” that is like saying that what Jesus did on the cross is not enough. Why should we require more from ourselves than our Creator requires of us?

“Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus….” (Romans 8:1). None. God’s grace river washes away the devil dams of shame and condemnation that block the glory life flow.

If you are feeling condemnation for past sins that you have already asked God to forgive, that condemnation is not coming from God. Once you have repented and asked God to forgive you, it is finished, over and done with, wiped away.

If feelings of condemnation persist, they are a result of listening to the accusations of the enemy as he tries to keep you behind those bushes and away from union and communion with God. Believe the truth. Walk in the truth and it will lead you to moments of sudden glory all around.

[tweetherder]Satan knows that the slightest whisper of guilt is easily received by a fragile heart plundered by life.[/tweetherder] Do not let him convince you to remain in hiding. If you have been crouching in Eden’s bushes of shame, listen closely. That sound you hear is God walking your way. Whispering your name. Do you hear it? Singing love songs of grace. Inviting you to stroll with Him in the garden of your heart where He has taken up permanent residence.

Where are you? I want to commune with you? I want to show you glimpses of glory. 

I hope you will say with me…Here I am Lord.

Leave a comment and let’s answer God’s invitation to intimacy together.

34 Responses to When You Feel You’ve Fallen Too Far

  1. aisha June 19, 2015 at 5:14 am #

    I feel so far from God because I keep falling and repenting.I want to truly believe I have been completely forgiven as I have run back once more and I don’t want to ever go back to the life of sin. I get so scared God has given up on me.

    • Kathie June 24, 2015 at 10:42 am #

      Oh sweet sister…God can NOT give up on you! He has PROMISED to never leave or abandon us and here’s why. Once we receive Jesus Christ, His Spirit comes to live within us. God tells us we are actually “sealed” with the Spirit:

      “And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.” (Ephesians 4:30 NIV)

      I like the way New Living Translation says it:

      “And do not bring sorrow to God’s Holy Spirit by the way you live. Remember, He has identified you as His own, guaranteeing that you will be saved on the day of redemption.”

      When we are given the “truths” of Scripture and then reject them by how we live, that grieves God’s Spirit. It brings sorrow to Him. Why? Because once we know God’s truth on something He wants us to believe it. :o) Not continue to live as though it isn’t true. If we do that we’re saying we don’t trust Him. Wouldn’t that grieve you if someone said they don’t trust you and yet you’ve been completely honest?

      If God were to give up on us, He’d have to abandon Himself since His Spirit is within us! He will never do that. Instead, He offers us His grace in our times of need (which is always if you’re like me!)

      “Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.” (Hebrews 4:16 NIV)

      That’s what makes His mercy so jaw dropping and His grace so amazing. So tender. So wonderful. And once we know that He is here to stay with us – no matter how many mistakes we make – we begin to worship Him more, adore Him more, and love Him more…and…THAT very grace that He lavishes down upon us is what causes our hearts to be deeply grateful to the point that we want Him to change us because we don’t want that particular sin in our lives any more. Look at His truth to us:

      “For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people. It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, while we wait for the blessed hope—the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good. These, then, are the things you should teach. Encourage and rebuke with all authority. Do not let anyone despise you. (Titus 2:11-15 NIV)

      If we really understood how powerful and wonderful God’s grace is, we’d live differently. We would stop living by “rules” and religious “doings” and instead live out of a heart so full of gratitude and love towards Jesus that it would alter our actions. We’d say “No” to sin not as a”duty” but out of deep reverence and passion and gratitude that gushes forth every moment because of our intimate relationship with Jesus and the miraculous gift He’s given us of being able to walk with Him every moment of the day. We won’t be “perfect” as the world calls perfect meaning without flaw, but we’ll perfect as God calls us to be, meaning mature, and we’ll do it all with His great help…one baby step at a time.

      So, kick out the lies from the enemy…and replace them with God’s wonderful truths. You’ll see things so differently and out of His truths you’ll begin to live differently as well.

      Much love,

  2. Susan Graham June 19, 2015 at 5:46 am #

    Thank you so very much for sharing that. I battle satan every day telling myself that God has forgiven me and I love Him and humbly accept His forgiveness. However the battle never seems to end and the slighteset thing can bring everything up again and I find myself wallowing in guilt. I’m not going to give up though because ” I can do all things through Christ who strenghtens me”.
    I really needed that boost this morning.
    God Bless you Sharon
    Thank you for sharing that story

  3. Sherri Sharron June 19, 2015 at 5:56 am #

    I wonder if the condemnation sometimes comes from fearing what others would say if they knew our stories. I know in my life I have found myself paralyzed not by feeling I’m not forgiven by God but knowing that others would condemn if they knew. So fear of people can be a huge influence too. Just a thought.

  4. Pearl June 19, 2015 at 7:40 am #

    What do you do with a Father (God) that would send His only SON to die for all of your sins including murder, adultery, lying, stealing, and just plain disobedience. You embrace Him with humility and pray with a grateful heart that He will continue to keep us (you) from falling into the snares of the devil who desires to keep our minds on the sins we have committed so that we will not experience His joy, peace, and most of all Love. You are right we don’t deserve it. But God commended His love toward us in that while we were yet SINNERS, Christ died for us. Romans 5:8. God loves you and if you have accepted Him into your heart ALL of your sins have already been forgiven. Now we can by God’s grace live with the truth we have been set free forever. John 8: 32.

  5. Sandy June 19, 2015 at 7:48 am #

    This is what I need to hear today. Although I did not physically have an affair I left my controlling abusive husband after reconnecting with an old friend. I was tired of being my husbands emotional punching bag and filed for divorce. While I am glad to be away from him my guilt comes from growing up in a family where divorce was considered a sin and I hate that I ripped apart my step childrens lives for a second time. I was their step mother for 17 years as their dad and mom also had an ugly divorce. I am working through forgiving myself but it is not always easy. Thank you for your words of wisdom! May God bless you. Sandy

  6. Karen June 19, 2015 at 8:05 am #

    Just beautiful, Sharon. Thank you for your truthful words and reminder of God’s great grace. If God can forgive us, who are we to not forgive ourselves? I have lived in those bushes of shame, but not any more. I don’t want to miss any more glory moments…they are too precious!!

  7. Amy June 19, 2015 at 8:16 am #

    I was Nudged this morning that one of the devotionals in my email would be significant. I am considering a change of vocation and I was certain the one that would jump out at me would be along those lines. I read the first one. No dice. It didn’t speak to me. The second one was ok, but I deleted it, believing the third one held the message *I* was supposed to get today. It was, but it had nothing to do with my vocational focus.

    I am almost to a T the woman who blogged you. I realized I had never asked God for forgiveness. I knew he forgave me, and wasn’t that enough? No, no it isn’t/ If someone brings you a birthday gift and hands it to you but you don’t open it, how can your life (or the lives of others) be changed by it, and so it is with Grace. I discovered this morning that in the asking, I am a better recipient.

    Please thank the woman whose letter is above. Her transparency with others is a Gift.

  8. M from Maine June 19, 2015 at 8:21 am #

    Such a powerful piece, really spoke to me as I can identify with some of her past. Over the past few years it seems my past is coming back to haunt me more and more every day. Some days I try to push the guilt and memories down and other days it seems I can’t get away from it. My sins are so huge in my mind, I can’t speak of them much less write them down. And like her I cannot begin to fathom how God can forgive me. I’ve asked God to forgive me, but never had the broken down on my knees consumed with tears, etc. experience. So does this mean I haven’t really truly asked for forgiveness? I am so consumed with guilt, fear that I haven’t done it properly and that He has not forgiven me. Yet through all that I did and still fall short, God has blessed me tremendously. Then I look at people who in my opinion are such awesome God loving people and yet they are struck down with bad things, such as a past Pastor who had cancer, believed to be free from and then to find out it’s back and at same time his wife found out she had cancer and had a double masectomy. How can those two people who have never done anything to hurt anyone, lived as God asked and loved Him with all their heart be subjected to such things and yet I who have done unspeakable things, have been blessed all my life? I truly am in such turmoil which keeps me down and from believing that He could possibly forgive me. I can’t seem to let it go and believe! Your post “I can’t forgive myself. Grace just doesn’t make sense. I don’t deserve to be forgiven.” is my motto, every moment of my life. I feel like the only way I will ever know that He has truly forgiven me is to be hit up side the head by a two by four. Thank you so much for this post, I think I need to keep reading it over and over. It’s awful not knowing within if you have been forgiven, truly. And all the blessings in my life are they from Him (which I choose to try to believe) or is it just that I’m one of the fortunate ones?

  9. Shelley June 19, 2015 at 8:25 am #

    Thank you Sharon.

  10. Connie Sue Low June 19, 2015 at 8:31 am #

    THANK YOU!! AMEN!! You message so needs to be accepted by Christians. So many do not understand God’s grace

  11. RHONDA STEWART June 19, 2015 at 8:35 am #

    I was abused when I was a child, it goes back to when I was a infant. Don’t remember much but what I do remember, I wish it would go away but thank God that I can call on Him and I’m am overwhelmed with His peace and mercy. What happened to me as a child and a adult has made me the person I am today. I don’t look toward the past like satan wants me to, I look toward the future like God wants me to and all the wonderful gifts and treasures that God has in store for me in eternity. Thank God for all the blessings and mercy He has bestowed on me. Thank Him for giving His one and only Son for a person like me. Thank Him for his forgiveness. Love you God! Your daughter rhonda

  12. Debbie Robertson June 19, 2015 at 8:56 am #

    This is beautiful and so well put with love in the writing. Thank you for sharing. God’s grace is overwhelming. His love unending. God bless you and yours.

  13. Cindy M. June 19, 2015 at 10:55 am #

    Thank you for that reminder. Although I don’t think as often of my sin of abortion as I used to, the enemy still brings it to mind sometimes to tell me I am not good enough and not deserving. The enemy is strong in his attacks and knows right where our weakness lies. God often leads us back to truth through the words of others. If God doesn’t condemn me, then who am I to keep condemning myself!!

  14. Elaine Tomasello June 19, 2015 at 11:09 am #

    I AM HERE LORD! I am trying Lord! Trying to figure out how to REST and to BELIEVE and leave everything to You. I consciously know that You do have everything in my life under Your control. And that is comforting. But the devil keeps yelling in my ears, “You are not worthy!” And something inside of me says, “you are right. I am not worthy.” Help me to also say, “but I am the righteousness of God by faith in Christ Jesus and His GRACE makes me worthy!!” Praise the Lord for he is good; his mercy & grace endures forever more!!! Amen! Amen!

  15. Taylor June 19, 2015 at 11:16 am #

    I’ve battled and am currently battling depression. My life is immensely blessed but something is missing. I blame my husband’s lack of attention; that doesn’t work. I blame my kids growing up and leaving; that doesn’t work either. I blame my work environment; that doesn’t work.

    I realized this morning its my lacking relationship with God. My joy is gone; I am missing intimacy with Him. I feel so weak, timid and ashamed for I have allowed me and my family to drift away from God.

    I hear Satans lies telling me I’m not good enough, not smart enough, why does my family even love me I don’t deserve it.

    Frankly I am scared to get back into a relationship with him due to past and current transgressions. I know he has forgiven me…cant tell you how many times I have read and heard that in bible studies, church services, and from current family members. Never internalized it though; Grace is for more deserving people.

    I need courage and this mornings email has shown me that I need to grab hold of his Grace and never let go…

    Thank you!

  16. Carol Mundy June 19, 2015 at 12:00 pm #

    I am blown away by this e-mail. Just what I needed to hear! Isn’t that just like God? Trusting Him more for everything, not just the big things, realizing that He cares about everything in my life. No need for me to “try harder”! Just rest in Him and be still and know that He is God!

  17. Nancy Dal Pian June 19, 2015 at 1:40 pm #

    I kept thinking of Psalm 103 as I read this devotional. It is a powerful reminder of what God does for us in His mercy. Some of the highlights follow:

    Praise the Lord, O my soul … who forgives all your sins … who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion … He does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities. For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear him; as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us. Psalm 103:1, 3, 4,10-12

    I feel swept clean just reading it!

  18. Emma June 19, 2015 at 2:27 pm #

    Thank you so much. I have been feeling pretty much the same way.

  19. maricella June 19, 2015 at 4:10 pm #

    This story is just what I needed to hear. I often have doubts of God’s love for me, since I’ve become a Christian. And question my salvation, I feel like I made more mistakes after knowing him, and feel like I’m never going to be good enough. I realize I haven’t been listening to God but the enemy. I know that God hasn’t left me but I have felt such shame that I walked away from him. Thank you for this ministry, I really thought that there was no hope for me. Jesus does love me and want me.

  20. Carol June 19, 2015 at 5:36 pm #

    I too felt like God would not forgive me after having an affair. In my case he divorced his wife and we married as I was a widow. I’ve asked forgiveness many times but always felt I had to do more. I have thought about telling his kids or mine or even his ex wife. Now that I have read this I no longer feel that way. Thank you

  21. Edie June 19, 2015 at 10:28 pm #

    This story is very familiar to mine but I did not become pregnant by the grace of God. I knew all these scriptures about forgiveness and knew God had forgiven me but could not forgive myself. One day though He, God, spoke to me and asked me if I thought I was better than Him. This really brought me to my knees. I said no Lord no way. He said if I would not forgive myself that is exactly what I was doing. If we don’t forgive ourselves we are putting ourselves above God and making an idol out of this. I pray that this will also help others to forgive theirselves as well.

  22. Melba June 19, 2015 at 11:46 pm #

    Hello Sharon, commenting on

    When you feel you’ve fallen to far.

    I too had an abortion at the age of 17, I was in HS. I felt guilty, dirty, unworthy until I confessed (at the age of 36) and was given absolution. That being said, I’m not certain it’s that we wonder if the aborted baby was a girl or boy. Every year I remember that dreadful moment and think my baby would be 35. I use to cry when I remembered, I have finally come to accept what I did and how wrong it was. I am now 52, I remember and I pray for my baby, and I tell him what a coward I was and how sorry I am, to please forgive me. Could that be it Sharon, we want forgiveness from our baby?
    YSIC & Warm Regards

  23. Mel June 19, 2015 at 11:54 pm #

    Here I am, Lord!

  24. Tania Newman June 20, 2015 at 10:54 am #

    Thank you, with a smililar story, I concur that although I didn’t always understand Grace, I received His forgiveness, It required supernatural changes within me because He who created me is Supernatural.
    I am Thine O Lord
    I have heard They voice
    And it told They love to me

    And every word from His mouth and His Word to my heart I believe, and I need Him daily……

  25. Kathryn June 20, 2015 at 12:39 pm #

    Thank you dear Sharon. You are truly God’s gift to us Christian girlfriends. 🙂
    Love and God’s blessings to you,

  26. Bree June 20, 2015 at 2:58 pm #

    Thank you for your words of inspiration. ‘For I know the plans I have for you says the Lord. Plans to prosper you and not to harm you. Plans to give you hope and a future.’ …I am reminded of this, as I look at my past and feel I am not worthy because of what I’ve done. God already knew everything we are going to do before we were born. Thank you for reminding me that he forgives us. Always. I am like the girl in the email. I too went through an abortion and struggle daily with the mental repercussions of my actions, but slowly and surely through messages like yours and devotional so like yours, I am redeemed and feel set free from my past. Thank you! God Bless You!

  27. Crystal June 21, 2015 at 4:11 am #

    I was a saved, born-again Christian for many years, but got trapped in sexual sin that I could not seem to break free from until a Godly woman reached down and pulled me out of the miry pit. I was a prisoner of my life of sin for 12 years. I had never really felt loved and was seeking to feel love through having intimate relationships with men. I believe part of my problem is that I was sexually abused and it was like I let men continue to sexually abuse me, doing things I didn’t even really want to do, and thinking that was love. But, then there was another element to it that I was addicted in some way to it. I confessed my sin to God, wept, and repented…meaning I turned around and walked the other way. God’s Holy Spirit came rushing in to fill me at that moment and I knew God forgave me. Don’t let the devil steal that joy from you. I can’t say that my life is all peaches and roses since I gave up my sin, and I can’t say that I am never tempted to go back to it. But I think about when I die I will see Him face to face and that is all that will matter in that moment. His amazing grace and love covers a multitude of sins. We cannot comprehend the love of the Father for us. At least I know that I cannot comprehend it. After my repentance I lived in a lot of regret over lost time with my son during my years of sin, and loss of having meaningful friendships and everything that the devil had stolen from me. But you know what? God has a way of making things beautiful. And I see that even though I was not mother of the year, I truly love my son, and he has learned to become an independent leader perhaps as a result of me not being truly present with him during my years of sin. I cannot get those lost years back, but I CAN choose to live to walk with Jesus day by day, moment by moment. I want to tell the woman who aborted her baby this: you will see your baby in heaven and you will realize that Jesus has been holding and caring for your baby all the time you were on earth regretting your abortion. So, don’t look back anymore with regret. Look forward with anticipation that on that great day you will be with your baby in heaven. Choose to walk this life hand in hand with our Savior and be ever mindful of his
    presence in your life. Commune with Him moment by moment and accept the grace and forgiveness that makes you “whiter than snow”.

  28. Betty Lou June 23, 2015 at 10:10 pm #

    Dear Sharon I must say you girls must have creeped into my mind because your devotionals are always some of my thoughts. But your messages really help me get through my days.
    I always think my prayers are so child- like even though I know God’s listening. But I keep moving on to make them more meaningful. Thank you so much for your devotions, they are really important to me and I’m sure for others as well.

  29. Kathie June 24, 2015 at 9:57 am #

    My heart goes out to every precious one who has responded and can not “feel” forgiven. I so understand and was once there myself. I encourage you dear sisters to remember two things.

    1. Forgiveness is a fact, not a feeling. Feelings come because of how we “think”. Once we choose to think on the truth of Scripture (and that is where we need to set our minds every day), then our feelings will actually align themselves accordingly. Dear sisters, our feelings must never be permitted to “control” us, especially to the point that we’re useless for God because of the enemy’s miserable tauntings.

    2. Needing to forgive ourselves is not biblical. It’s simply a tactic that the enemy uses to KEEP US DOWN. In fact, if we journal that thought through to its very conclusion we’ll see that when we say “I know God has forgiven me, but I can’t forgive myself” we are in effect placing more importance on our forgiveness of ourselves than on Almighty God’s! Now do you see what a lie it is? :o)

    Oh dear sisters, we have an enemy that knows our weaknesses and our woundedness and we must too because that’s where he’s going to attack. Reject that lie! You and I ARE completely, refreshingly, amazingly, forgiven. Fully and completely. Jesus paid dearly for our forgiveness. Let Him and His forgiveness be all you need, then thank Him and be set free to abide in Him, heartbeat by heartbeat.

    With tender love to each of you,

  30. Alexandria June 26, 2015 at 9:50 am #

    This post made me cry….so much and so many difficult situations that I have had to go through in my life. I have been seeking God so much in the last few years, trying to find Him, no stone left unturned. To know and experience His grace and forgiveness is beyond anything I can imagine, and when I think of grace and what it means, “unmerited favor from God” it melts my heart, for such love and kindness is so hard to imagine. Sometimes I think of what it would be like if Jesus were to appear to me, even for a moment, and just touch me and how that would instantly heal all the wounds and fears and I would be set free once and for all. The struggle makes me weary.

  31. Sharon July 17, 2015 at 10:21 am #

    Dear Sharon, I really want to get close to God. I started by reading my Bible more. But each time I open my Bible to read I don’t know which passage to go to. I don’t know what to read to get me close to God. And then I get angry and close the Bible and I feel so empty. I feel I’m not the Christian he wants me to be. Please how do I get close to him. How do I know when he is speaking to me.

    • Sharon Jaynes July 23, 2015 at 2:54 pm #

      Hi Sharon: I would start by reading the book of John. I think my book A Sudden Glory might be a great help to you. You can read a free chapter on my website. Click on the book cover in the bookstore and it will take you to the page where the free chapter lives.

  32. kimberly September 29, 2015 at 1:22 am #

    It seems lately I am constantly begging God to love me, to hold me, to not forsake me. Because i know I deserve judgement and not mercy. I live with self condemnation, depression, and that in turn erupts into just plain anger. I feel worthless. I pray and tell God, I don’t care if im the black sheep, or the red-headed stepchild as long as you love me. I’ll gladly sit at your feet and eat the crumbs that fall from your table, just see me. I know God’s word says im supposed to be the head and not the tail, but I am plagued by doubt. There is not one specific incident or sin that has resulted in this, it’s a lifetime of mistakes, failures, sins, all combined to make me feel unworthy, yet to be held in my father’s arms is my deepest desire. Please pray that I can finally feel His arms around me. And know that I know that I know, that I am His.

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