Facing and rebuilding after an affair is like no other grief I’ve faced before. This grief, I will admit has been debilitating at times.
There are days where it takes all I can to push down the triggers and flashbacks and not let the tears overwhelm the smiles I know God wants for me. But I know there is a grieving process that I need to journey through. As the song by Christina Perri says, “I’m only human. And I crash and I break down”. Funny enough it wasn’t until months later that I had more trouble still allowing myself to have “bad days”.
When those bad days would creep up months later and the tears were hard to hold back, my appetite was not so good, or my concentration was all for nothing, it did not mean I was losing the battle of moving forward. I was okay with letting myself feel this way in the first few months or so, but it was when life kept moving on and months had passed that I found it harder to be ok with having a bad day. As I prayed and begged God to spare me from the moments where it all felt like I was feeling it all again for the first time, Ecclesiastes reminded me that even God knows there is a time to weep and mourn. In John 11:35 I was reminded that even, “…Jesus wept” Does that give me the excuse to wallow away in this pain absolutely not but it allowed me to offer myself some grace. It allowed me, and still allows me, to not ignore the bad days but embrace them for what they are….bad days.
Reality is I am going to have them. The anger, sadness, frustration, and angst (to mention only a few) will show themselves time and again. They will not always have the helm but they are real and I need to journey through them when they do. Knowing God even watched his son weep at the burden he carried has given me comfort to let my tears flow. This is painful and this is a process not an about-face one step quick-fix.
I mean come on lets face it we’ve all had things just ruin our day. You know the ones I’m talking about. It’s the traffic jam on your way to work the day of the big meeting when you can’t be late. It’s the four day weekend you finally have off all summer and it rains the entire time. It’s the call from a family member or friend with bad news as you are about to head out the door to something fun. We get slammed with bad news and emotionally draining situations all the time that change the tone for our day. And yet we don’t curse ourselves for being upset or mad when those things happen to us. We feel justified, well at least I do, to feel upset, angry, sad or (pardon me but…) pissed off. Once we validate them we hopefully don’t stay there, but truth be told they effect us and our mood. I have had to remind myself that this situation was not waiting to get passed a traffic jam, or just make other plans despite the rain or offer compassion for the friend’s bad news. This was a game changer. This was a hard hit to the most precious relationship I have on this earth. So when I had a bad day why was I being so hard on myself? I had every right to own my emotion of the moment.
This sucked! This sucks! It will always suck.
But there was more to Ecclesiastes 3:4-6 than just permission to feel the sadness and pain and to mourn what I lost. It was also a hope and a promise that the bad days wouldn’t last. In those verses God reminds us there is…
“A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; a time to seek, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away”
So I stand behind my choice to have those bad days and cry, scream, catch my breath in frustration if I need to but I hold tight to the promises that those will not be the only days I have and I don’t have to stand victim to them. I am a child of God created with emotions and a spirit that can feel pain. I have to honor who I am by not ignoring what I feel.
The time will come where even the worst trigger or bad day will be just a passing thought. I have true faith that God won’t leave me in this time of mourning forever. But He does need to me face this, to be vulnerable and feel what I am feeling. I owe that much to my marriage, to the foundation of Christian friendship that I have with my husband, but most of all I owe it to myself to heal completely.
Behind my choice to let myself have bad days, allows me to journey through the grieving process, to heal, to let God get me to the times of laughter, dancing, seeking and keeping by facing the ugly stuff too.
I can’t think of a better way to truly heal than to be real!