affair recovery · marriage

Outtakes of a Crisis

Over the last 12 weeks, David and I have been on a journey, and because we had our situation announced to the large ministry I was a part of, we decided that we would not hide what was happening in our lives from the people who were interested and invested in walking this journey with us. We’ve posted pictures of us at the Grand Canyon, scriptures that have touched us deeply, moments with our granddaughter, and other updates. This morning, as I lay awake in the too-dark-to-get-up-hours, I began to scroll through pictures that haven’t made the cut. These outtakes made me smile and reminded me of some simple things I’ve come to learn.

my family

I didn’t lose everything.

Initially, the enemy wanted me to believe that I had lost everything.  “You’ve lost your job… you’ve lost your reputation…you’ve lost friendships…you’ve lost your platform…you’ve lost your voice!” he laughed at me.

 But, really…I did not lose the most important thing. My husband and my children stood close to me on the day I disclosed my affair. It was not easy for them to do, but in their anger…they did not sin. They chose to forgive me over focusing on their pain. We’ve had hard moments. Ugly, tense, tear-filled moments. But we’ve had them together.

boys will be boys

There are young men watching it all. 

My husband did not sign up for this. He wouldn’t have chose it, and given the chance to redo it all, I wouldn’t have chose it for him either. But, here he is. An example to younger men. We have an all male college/young adult Lifegroup that meets in our home weekly, and these young men were told in the first week what was happening in our marriage. They have continued to gather in our home, and they are like family to us. As they come and go from our home, they have seen my husband talking and praying with me on our front porch on many occasions. The way he has treated me is penetrating them in ways they aren’t even fully aware. Seeds are being planted without them having a foreknowledge of their future trials. How will they respond if their wife should fail them in this way, or another? Will they ask her to leave? Will they punish her and treat her badly? Or will they walk with her through the mess she created? 

beach family

We get to share what we are learning. 

That’s such a great privilege. It’s one I don’t feel I deserve, but God has already begun to redeem this sin in this way. In the same way that young men are watching my husband and how he responds to me, we are watching our adult children differently. We are open and honest about the ways we neglected small issues early in marriage.They are asking questions and we are willing to share honestly–with a broadened perspective.  We are blessed to have this time with people who want to learn from our mistakes, so that they can make different choices…better choices.

us at the parkIsla at the park

We are going to be okay.

Sometimes it’s scary. Last week when the leaders of the church decided that there was no longer a job for my husband at the church, we were heartbroken. It felt like it would be the final blow when we were already down for the count. But, that’s not the truth. God is still on His throne. He wasn’t surprised by the affair, and He wasn’t surprised by the reaction of others. He has had a plan for us that included the responses of everyone involved. God is the redeemer of all.

isla selfie

God’s timing is perfect. 

When our daughter died in 1995, our younger son was an infant. Days after we buried her, I remember glancing over at our messy little nine-month-old boy in his high chair and saying, “well, hello.”

God had given me an infant to love at the darkest time in my life. My baby was completely dependent on me and he didn’t have a clue as to the depth of my pain. He just knew that he wanted his Momma. And here I am, nearly 20 years beyond those dark days,  and I have found myself revisiting some terrible days filled with terrible fears. And then there is Isla. God has given me this precious little granddaughter to love at one of the darker times in my life.

How can I doubt a God who took these things into consideration? He knew these wonderful hearts–the way they would be burdened by my sin, and He still showed mercy on me. I did not deserve the mercy I have found, and I will never be the same after experiencing it.



spiritual growth

Overcoming Insecurities at IHOP

My husband is graduating today from Van Guard University with his Master’s Degree in Leadership/Spiritual Formation. As I dressed for the occasion, I felt insecure in my wardrobe choices. I have a smaller income than I did a few months ago, thus I have been much more diligent with how I use my expendable cash. I was going to have to put together an outfit with the items on hand. This isn’t a hard task, but it is an adjustment to the way I had been living just a few months ago.

ihopBefore we left for the commencement ceremony, we made a stop at the local IHOP for some bacon and eggs. After finishing our meal, I stood from the table and made my way across the room. With each step I was second guessing my outfit choice for the day. I was wondering if I should have chose something that was more fashionable, or foregone the boots and went with sandals. I lifted my head and saw a group of women across the room–five beautiful, stylish African American women sitting in a booth–laughing and talking. At that precise moment I saw one of the women was looking at me, and I could read her lips as she mouthed a comment to her friend, “That’s cute…” she said. Her friend turned her face towards me and looked at me. I caught her look and smiled at her. She returned a lovely smile.

I walked on, but stopped at the cash register alongside my husband. As I stood there, I heard it.  A voice seemed to whisper, “Be her.”

Feelings came over me: courage, fear, truth, goodness, change. Love.

Could I be a woman that lives in the moment of desire? Not sinful desires, but desires that are pleasing and passionate for the kind of world in which I want to exist. Could I master strength inside of me that produces goodness in the world, not ugliness?

I walked back to the table and stood before the five beautiful women. They stopped talking and looked up at me. Clearly, this was a socially awkward moment. My voice seemed as if it may betray me, but I pushed through and spoke. I told them that I had been feeling very insecure about my outfit, and I relayed to them that I had seen the exchange between the two ladies. As I retold the moment from my perspective, I shared with them that I was feeling insecure about myself, and I told them how they, while being strangers had affirmed me and made me feel better. My voice cracked, and tears began to well up, as I went on to tell them, “I have just been through some of the darkest months of my life, and your small act just blessed me so much that I had to tell you thank you.” The group began to exude sweetness and enthusiasm. I don’t mean this in any way that is disrespectful, but certain cultures are less reserved in shouting praises to the Lord, and in this moment–in the corner booth at the local IHOP–these ladies sounded like a Southern Baptist church in the midst of celebration. “Praise the Lord!” “God bless you, sweetie!” “What a blessing you are!”

And, with that, I turned and walked away. I don’t know these ladies, and I will most likely never see them again, but today they touched me and encouraged me. I can only hope that because I was a little weird in my response, they remember this morning at IHOP and will continue to bless strangers. Perhaps with blessing upon blessing insecurities will fade.