It’s time to address publicly what has happened privately within my precious family. With a heavy sigh I write the following…
In 2008 I found out from 1995 to 2008 Ernie was having an affair. I chose to forgive him, we entered counseling and with ferocious intent, I fought through years of mixed emotions to keep my family together. However, to no avail, he cheated on me again with a different woman in 2017. I knew then as I knew in 2008, I was biblically released and this time I’ve acted accordingly.
In the effort of trying to protect my children from broken hearts, they didn’t know about his sin from the first betrayal. However this time, my faith was stretched to the extreme and I surrendered my fear. I told the kids about both episodes of infidelity and that I was divorcing their father. It’s awfully humbling, humiliating, and embarrassing to admit that 22 of the 26 years of our marriage was composed of deceit and littered with unfaithfulness.
But it is what it is.
This isn’t heaven yet and we serve a faithful Lord. Through this trial I leaned hard into the promise of Philippians 1:6 and found encouragement by the words of author Debbie Alsdorf that “God’s plans for me are not thwarted because of other people’s bad decisions.” And honestly, I’m embracing the truth in Genesis 50:20 “As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good in order to bring about this present result…” I’ve prayed and resolved to be better not bitter.
As I look forward, entering my tomorrows, it’s by the provisional grace of the Lord I have literally “found the one whom my soul loves,” who has identically experienced a broken heart due to the sin of betrayal. Instead of a living a life made up of suspect, lies, doubt and unfaithfulness, the Lord has answered my prayers by placing Simon in my life. He is an example of a Christ following man who’s shown me what genuine agape love is. I’m now experiencing that incomparable love, uninhibited honesty, sold out support and everything else that goes along with a Christ centered relationship described in Ephesians 5.
I must say, I do wholeheartedly hope the best for Ernie and of course, words cannot express how ever so grateful I am for our three precious children.
To all my friends who are silent or public victims of a life storm, who grieve what you once had, and grieve what you thought your future held…I commend you. I’m impressed by how bravely you’ve carried your story with the utmost courage being careful not to divulge the humiliating occurrence you’ve suffered. It’s a lonely place isn’t it? There were a few choice people and mentors in whom I respected and felt comfortable sharing my shame with and I knew they’d pray and intercede for me. If I may encourage you, pray for a seasoned Saint to confide in. The enemy rather have you wallow alone in isolation, so don’t give him an environment to thrive in. There’s victory in prayer and biblical wisdom. Push through the feelings of despair and reach out. THIS ISN’T YOUR FAULT. God already has someone in mind to come along side you and help you through your journey of healing.
There were numerous passages in God’s Word that helped me the past couple of decades but the one I can share for now is in Joseph’s story in Genesis. Reading about Joseph and in particular, noticing his response to his trials, was medicine to my soul. The very acts intended to destroy Joseph turned out to strengthen him. That’s what I can say about my life. My heart was “rubbed raw against the rocks of disloyalty” but time after time again God redeemed my pain.
I realize there’s a blessing in pain. Pain gets our attention. Pain causes us to adjust so we have relief from what is bothering us. Like a shoe or belt that’s too tight. Pain lets us know something needs to change. Pain forced me to make a much needed decision that would effect my future until heaven fills my eyes. I’ve read that “Everything in your life is a reflection of a choice you once made. If you want a different outcome, make a different choices.” Suffering helped me redirect my focus. I’m ashamed that I kept a secret from family and cherished friends and I regret wearing an “I’m okay” mask for years. My dearest friends Randy and Nikki told me recently, “I don’t know how you kept it together” and my reply was simply “It was Jesus.” I was able to face each morning by accepting my circumstances were orchestrated by God. In Isaiah 48:10 we read, “Behold, I have refined you, but not as silver; I have tested you in the furnace of affliction.” Daily deciding to live above my circumstances, not under them is how I learned about the sovereignty and greatness of my God.
Max Lucado writes a lot of wisdom filled sayings and he said it best… “Satan weaves, God reweaves.” I know right this second, there are some of you reading this who are dealing with the sting of betrayal and fear has gripped the very inside of your soul. You are either in the middle of discovery, coming out and now at the end of the long road of healing after discovery or even worse… just discovered the infidelity. No matter what stage you find yourself in, my prayer is that you can experience God’s comfort and cling to the hope only He can give you at this time. May you hear the voice of Christ above all others and know that this storm as tragic as it seems….it is survivable. “We can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”