Faith, Hope, and Family (Part 3)

Hanna says that this is what she and John live by. “Forgiveness and grace. That you have to have in a marriage, in any relationship or community. People can’t change unless they receive grace from the Lord and from other people. That’s my two key words. That’s what we are all about, John and I; teaching and showing grace to other people. And I’ll be honest, we have a long way to go. Even after everything we have been through and how much we longed for forgiveness and grace ourselves, I’m still very judgmental and want to put people in a box, or check them off because they have made bad decisions.

“But we are can’t allow ourselves to do that, to judge others, because of what we have gone through. And it seems like, if I start to forget,the Lord will check me and John; will remind us of the grace we have been given. So, when the old headlines come up in the media, what it does for me is make me stop and think about whether I’ve started to let that judgmental spirit take hold again. God just brings it right back around, for me especially, that you cannot judge people based on what they have done or what you have heard. Judging is part of our evil nature, but God comes in and gives us grace. What John and I wanted in our lives when all of that was going on, what we needed the most, was exactly that.

“And that is what our message is about; what we want to share with people. It’s only by grace that John is where he is at. In different ways, we both received and gave grace. We received and gave forgiveness. That that is what life is about. That is how we are going to change our world, if we can extend grace and forgiveness to other people. Because it doesn’t matter, no matter how bad the situation you have been in or what you have done, there is always room for that to take place in your life too.

“That’s what I love about what John is doing now at the Rescue Mission. That’s what the Mission is all about. It is quite amazing that the very thing that he has gone through, he able to now be a part of. It’s pretty awesome that God can take such a situation and be able to find the opportunity for our story to be used again. What amazes me in this is that even though this was all six years ago, the Devil still tries to turn it around and break us down, but I love it, because God can’t help but be glorified in this, not matter what, how, and when.”

So, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience; bearing with one another, and forgiving each other, whoever has a complaint against anyone; just as the Lord forgave you, so also should you. –Colossians 3:12-13