Words of truth, you never believe speaking the truth could cause such damage. As a child when I was told to tell the truth it’s always because the truth is best choice, what others want to hear. But this!? This is not the kind of truth I ever wanted to hear.
No matter how the truth came out, it did. My husband admitted to having an affair. And this truth SUCKED! It was so hard to hear and caused such a storm I had to get away and seek shelter from this storm at a friends home.
Tears and confusion. Every emotion in the book And praying I did lots and lots of praying. I prayed constantly. I prayed silently, talked quietly, yelled, other prayers were guttural moans and begging for God to make it all untrue. Then there were those in between prayers where I felt almost level headed asking for guidance. I called on Holy Spirit to go before any more of my thoughts, feelings, reactions. I remember at one point being on the floor of my dear friends’ guest room, on my knees, facedown, palms up, terrified to crawl into a bed alone, for fear my dreams would be nightmares worse than I was already living. I could only muster a feeble and weak “Jesus, please Jesus” Praying helped. I was reminded that I wasn’t alone in this. And that God is bigger than even this betrayal and hurt.
That first night my thoughts were all over the map. (I can’t even say what I was thinking were complete thoughts at times) Should I ever even talk to him again? Should I give him a chance to explain? What else do I want to know? My reactions went from one extreme to the other. I went from trying to figure out how to be a single mother to wanting to offering forgiveness just to make this all go away. And lots of others in-between. But the reality was, I knew I could not hide from this, this wasn’t going away and I had to face it. I had to take even the smallest of steps toward moving forward. And that first step meant just talking to him.
From my friends home we talked on the phone for a few minutes. And he asked to talk to me some more. Without getting lost in the details of what was said, I want to share what was behind my choice to continue to talk to him. The simplest answer-is this- undeserved mercy.
Who among us can say they have never caused a hurt or crossed a line they wish they could take back? Who among us has the right to say someone doesn’t deserve mercy and grace? I chose to talk to my husband again because I refused and still refuse to believe that God can’t take, even something as horrible as this and get us to the other side in a better place.
How could I call myself my husbands best friend and not show my marriage and our friendship enough respect to even just talk. I was terrified. I will admit that. I didn’t want to be manipulated or made to feel like any of this was my fault. I had made my own mistakes in our marriage but this??? THIS???? It was all on him.
But I had a moment where I realized, how heavily I rely on God’s grace daily in my life. I try and live each day with a grateful heart that He loves me and wants me to be a light in this world. And I made a covenant commitment, not just a flippant decision to be married to this man. Did that mean I felt we were going to make it through this, no, I truly didn’t. I wasn’t sure of anything. But I owed it to my marriage, my friendship with him, to our kids and our family and the life we had built together so far to even just talk to him. And I owed it to myself. Deep down, even despite the vile taste of betrayal and hurt that seemed to over power everything else I felt this tiny light of hope inside that said, “Don’t give up.”
I prayed some more before we met face to face to talk. At one point I remember thinking. “God, what the hell? I know I’ve said I’d walk through dark valleys with [my husband]. I promised to face tough times with him as long as we faced them together and he was walking it along with me but….I don’t know if I can do this?” But that was just it-I said I would. And I needed for my own faith and self respect, to be able to say, even if our marriage was beyond repair from this, that I was Christ in the moment and showed mercy, even just a small amount of mercy, to talk to him again.
So I chose to talk to him.
I stand behind my choice to talk to him again.
I stand behind my choice to believe God would outshine the darkness of this valley.