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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.