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.



24 thoughts on “Outtakes of a Crisis

  1. Love…love…love this! I also love seeing you and David walk through this tigether.our God is amazing isn’t He!


    1. Yes He is! Chris, I am incredibly blessed by your friendship. I learn from you and I laugh with you. Love you 🙂


  2. It saddens me that Pastor David won’t be at CCV but in the same time happy for you and your husband are healing and becoming stronger in your marriage. I will always be your friend Jackie and most of all your sister in Christ. If you still have room for one more young man in Pastor David bible study group it would be a honor to have my son Nathan be part of your husband loving teaches though God’s heart. Love you Sill Family


  3. Please know that Barbara and I rejoice at how you and David have allowed God to use this crisis to grow you. You two serve as a marvelous example of Godly response when we enter a dark valley of life. Barb and I love and pray for you guys each day. We believe God has a marvelous work waiting for you. How all this must really tic Satan off. Good job.


  4. Jackie-
    Once again I want to tell you how good it is to hear your heart as you write. It reminds me of King David who ran to the temple to sit before God as he repented and asked God for forgiveness of his sin. What a beautiful thing that is.
    God’s grace and mercy is far beyond anything the human mind or heart can comprehend. I am so thankful that he gave you David to be your husband so that you could have a real, true taste of that kind of love.
    Thank you for your openness. Thank you for not hiding and being real. Thank you for being willing to lay it all out before our Maker and the world. I will continue to pray for both you and David. I know beautiful moments are still to come for both of you. Lessons that will grow you beyond what you ever thought was possible. Lessons that will help others of us grow and think. I look forward to hearing about them as you continue in this journey.
    I love you both—but more importantly, our Heavenly Father adores you and your humble heart.


  5. Thanks for sharing from your heart, Jackie. And thank you for the reminder of God’s grace for me and how that grace needs to be displayed to my loved ones from me (and vice versa!). Prayers for you, David, and your family.


  6. Hi Jackie your dissertation on what happened in your family melted my heart. We all make mistakes we all make the wrong choices and the price we pay for that can be amazingly awful. But it really surprised me that CCV is letting David Sill go as one of their pastors. Through this ordeal he has shown many of us what a loving forgiving husband is supposed to look like. I’m very proud of David he should hold his head up high and Christ has already forgiven you so who are we to judge. But I see this as a gift from God. you and David go find another church and move on with your lives .hopefully stronger and better for this lesson learned. You’re in our thoughts and prayers go forth and make God proud Love you Pat and Glenn Lynes


  7. Oh Jackie this brought tears to my eyes, they are happy tears because God is still working through you and David on touching many lives. God continues to use you even in your darkest moments! We love you guys!


  8. Jackie,
    My husband and I continue to pray for you and David. We all have those mistakes in life we wish we could do over. By God’s grace he can always redeem a situation. That’s the beauty of God’s love. “Better days have yet to come…” as the song goes. We may not always understand some of the things we do but with God we can learn and grow. We are told in God’s word the life we live in Christ isn’t an easy road. We all have faced challenges and praise God for those that help us through the difficult valleys in our lives.

    I emailed some information to David. I know God has something great for the two of you.
    You are Loved,


  9. I love you Aunt Jackie. Denae and I pray for you and Uncle David often. I have watched you both endure some amazingly difficult things and you have both been a lifelong inspiration to me. I long to be the kind of man my uncle is and I long to have the kind of openness and sincerity in my “darker times” that I have seen in you. Love you!


  10. My heart is heavy, not because of the sin, but that sin has made you feel unworthy. You are not worthy because David and those who care about you forgave you, but the One and Only One..The Alpha and Omega the Beginning and The End the Great I Am, stood before you and died for your sins and mine as well. I believe no one in the Kingdom of God, gets a “free pass”, to skip the trials and hard aches of sin. So that through sin He is Glorified and you are made Righteous, as white as snow. I am sure your Church (the body, the family of God), just did not know what to do or how to respond appropriately to this situation because man is fearful of what to do with sin. The verse “when we walk through the darkest valley, we do not need to fear.” For I am sure in your despair you were desperate for God, but there will come a day when you are constant in God and nothing in this world will shake you; for He is your Rod and your Staff; therefore you ARE restored.


  11. You both have been an inspiration to me since I was in high school and continue to be from afar. Thank you for your transparency and the beautiful reminder of God’s Grace and Redemption in our lives. I’m praying for you guys and am excited to see how God is going to use this to lead others to Him. 🙂 He uses all things for the good and for His glory. Hugs to you and your family. Love ya!


  12. Where would we be without people like you and David opening your life to the world to expose the dark times and the grace, mercy, and redemption that Christ provides for his beloved humans. You didn’t wait for life to get good before opening up your story to the world. You are doing it in the midst of the pain. This is exactly how it should be done, because your experiences draw people to Christ. They realize that Christ deeply loves them in the midst of the crisis and not when it’s over and their life is on track again. Your story is how people see Christ’s incredible love for us. Thank you for continuing to share.We all love you guys.


  13. Jackie I have never had the pleasure to meet you but I have heard Daves sermons. I am so proud of you and your commitment to serving your maker. We all have been tempted and have given into it. Regardlees of the sin none of us fall short of it. The difference with you you have humbled yourself and have kept it real and by doing this you have a great support of many. I pray that this does not haunt you but will continue to polish you for Gods bigger plan. You know there is no justification for the sin but you ar stepping out in faith to move forward in great stride and providing great wittness and a profound testimony on Gods Grace. I pray for continued rexovery on you marriage and for this to only to stand stronger against the enemy. God Blees you both! With kind respect and love Debbie Hughes


  14. Thank you, Jackie and Dave, for being so utterly open and honest. You both are amazing people, and God is continuing to work through you. Keith and I have always loved and admired you. We thank you for the ministry you had at Central, and Jessie loved Dave as his pastor. We continue to keep you in our prayers. God bless you. Love, Laury Bullock


  15. Thank you for sharing Jackie. I know that’s not an easy thing to share. I think so many people nowadays automatically think, that’s it, it’s over, divorce. It’s so important to see examples of forgiveness and working it out. I’m sorry to hear about David losing his job. You guys will be in my prayers. God Bless you.


  16. I love you and your family so much Jackie. You guys will be in my prayers and I thank you for your transparency and honesty with those around you. God Bless.


  17. Thank you Jackie for sharing this painful, yet inspiring chapter in your lives. The deeper the pain, the deeper Christ’s forgiveness & grace. And remember that He can forgive you, even though you may not be quite ready to forgive yourself. You will both be missed at CCV.


  18. I hadn’t heard of any of this, since Michelle and I just came back to CCV recently. My heart and prayers go out to both of you and I applaud the strength that you both are displaying. God is an awesome God and you two are amazing people and more importantly, you are His children. I love you both and I can’t wait to hear the amazing things that God does through this “desert” in your life. Many blessings to you and your family!


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