Real life is non-stop and sometimes you don’t get a break from the emotional hard stuff; but when you finally deal with it and start working toward solutions things in life give you a break. I believe that. Even if that break is internal peace, a chance to laugh, or a moment of tear filled pride. Facing infidelity is hard. It’s real work. At times the healing feels like a path of non-stop hard emotional stress.
I had a friend remind me this morning I have a choice not to dwell on the hurt and give it over to God. …a choice to be thankful my husband and I aren’t in the same place we were, even just a short bit ago, let alone where we were at the worst of all this. It is hard not to let it take over and have all those thoughts take charge of all the good I know is there.
Living in the past can be a dangerous place. We aren’t meant to stay there. God didn’t stay there. He didn’t let His son stay there. His focus to me, always seems to be where our hearts and lives are going. The here and now and the promises of later.
I was reminded of what He does promise and wants us to focus on in the following devotional the other day:
Jesus calls us to calmness with this challenge from Matthew 6:32-33. “Your heavenly Father already knows all your needs. Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.”
Seek first the kingdom of wealth, and you’ll worry over every dollar. Seek first the kingdom of health, and you’ll sweat every blemish and bump. Seek first the kingdom of popularity, and you’ll relive every conflict. Seek first the kingdom of safety, and you’ll jump at every crack of a twig.
But seek first his kingdom, and you will find it! God meets daily needs daily. Not weekly or annually. He will give you what you need when it is needed. Hebrews 4:16 says, “Let us boldly approach the throne of our gracious God, where we may receive mercy and in his grace find timely help.”
Let God be enough!
Where we place our focus is the only place God can meet us. And what we want from the here and now changes everything about how we live our daily lives. The reminder that quick simple devotion gave me as I fought back anger and anxiety that morning was nothing less that divine.
When we start our day and keep the focus throughout the day on what God is giving us right now, it’s almost overwhelming how your perspective on the day’s events change. When I catch myself falling down that path to the past I actively find a way to stop. I reach out to a trusted friend and say, “stop me”, “distract me”, or I spend some time in prayer (I’ll be it even begging God) seeking a change in my perspective. I have turned on music with lyrics to remind me of the promises of God. (A select few I call “my sanity songs list”). I have exercised a little longer hoping to leave the nasty stuff on the workout floor. I have written lists of positive changes, signs of our new marriage and his actions that when given the weight they deserve out shine the work still let ahead. I read and re-read them to make it sink it at times.
There are still moments of angst, but I can see where my husband and I have traveled to on this journey of rebuilding and recovery. I need to live in the here and now, not the past. Does that mean not holding him accountable to bad habits or hurtful choice not at all. Thinking this way doesn’t mean I don’t have a voice and will not address issues and concerns. But it changes how I present them to him, and the reasons why. I am a child of God, so is my husband, beloved creations of our heavenly Father.
To dwell on all the negative and destruction this storm of infidelity brought into our lives doesn’t allow for growth and change and God to do His thing. Letting myself relive all the bad stuff that happened isn’t going to get us anywhere. It’s not going to honor what God is trying to heal and fix and rebuild if I do. I am still married-that is huge. He chose to stay-that’s huge. He apologized- thats huge. He has asked what he can do to make me feel loved and attended to-that’s huge. I know many can not say the same things after being brought to this awful reality. But reliving it all, playing things over and over in my head-that allows evil to enter back in to what God is proving to over come. My present is good. There are smiles and blessings in each and every one of my days.
Behind my choice-not to dwell is an honest attempt to move forward while facing the battle and consequences. It’s a healthy balance I think. I am no Polly-Anna, trust me, I don’t handle it with grace every day but I do want to. And even if life throws me into the path of another tornado I will hold fast to the promise that I am “…fearfully and wonderfully made…” and that
“The LORD is good, a stronghold in the day of trouble; and He knows those who trust in Him.”
He doesn’t want me to face pain. And has given me the tools to defend myself, stand strong and hold fast if I have to face pain and troubles in this life. I may end up,
“… hard-pressed on every side, yet not crushed;… perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed.”
2 Corinthians 4:8-9
There is still work to be done but I will not allow evil and dark mistakes and situations of my past determine the futures and plans my God has for me. So today, and every day if I need to I will wake up and make the purposeful choice, not to dwell.