Over the last two years, my life has become an open book… the good, the bad and the ugly. I never expected to spill out my heart onto a blog for the world to read, yet here I am.
I am on a journey. I know where I have been but I have no idea where I am going. I will share a few personal things so you will know where my thoughts expressed come from… deep within… the personal tragedy, heartache and pain… the healing that is resulting, the joy, the peace. I still have a very long way to go, but this is where I am today. I will not share too many details as to protect those whom I love the most. There are still too many open wounds within myself and my children, too many prayers still being prayed, too many miracles still to come.
On July 4, 2009, my world collapsed. It was truly the darkest day of my life… I discovered my husband’s affair. I was completely devastated; completely shocked. I have to admit, my marriage had been rocky for a few years. I had become a very selfish person who poured her heart into everything except her husband and marriage… everything else was given priority. Our lives were spinning out of control… between three children, school activities, competitive soccer, a photography job, a huge fundraising project I was leading, being the soccer registrar, acting, husband working two jobs, helping to coordinate social activities and party planning… who had time to fit in a marriage? I was determined to find my self worth and to be somebody outside of a wife and mother… after all, I had done that for so long now. As everything around us started falling apart, I became a very bitter and angry person. I was mad at my husband and mad at God… they were supposed to take care of me, right? I felt no security from either one and blamed both of them for everything! We were a mess and I was trying to hold it all together… by a single thread. I can remember in the spring of 2009, standing in the shower just screaming at God, “Is this it? Is this all there is to this life?”. I tried to hold everything together on the outside so no one would notice, but they all did. The cracks became crevices which became gaping holes… finally, the thread that was holding it all together… snapped!
That was the day I waved my white flag before God…. no more! I was done fighting Him! That was the day He truly reached down from Heaven, picked me up from the floor, took me in His arms… and He is still holding me there today. I always knew that He loved me; I had been singing the song “Jesus loves me” since I was a little girl and even sang it with my own children… but I never truly “let” Him love me. When I finally did, everything changed!
In the course of the last two years, we have experienced God’s blessings beyond measure. We have also experienced more pain as my husband returned for a short period of time only to leave again. Through it all, God has remained faithful and has answered so many prayers!! I believe He is who He says He is and I believe He will do what He says He will do… so I continue to stand firm believing that one day God will completely reconcile my marriage and heal my family.
I am so blessed with four amazing children. Oh, how they have struggled to each find their place with God, to understand this confusion, to deal with the anger and bitterness… their hearts have become so broken and they will be forever scarred. And our sweet new baby… what can I say… a joy, a miracle and a true promised gift from God (that is a story for a another day). I am so thankful to have them by my side!
There are sooo many more elements and layers to this story… maybe to be shared in small bits over time. This has become much more than just another broken marriage and family… It has become a walk of faith for every destroyed part of my life. For now, just know that the smile on my face and the laughter behind my voice are real. I do not hide behind a facade… when people ask me how I am doing, I always say, “We are hanging in there”… and that is exactly where we are. Some days are great… some days are very difficult. Some days we laugh… some days we cry. Some days we finally seem to be healing… some days we fall apart as wounds are reopened. However, through it all… God is giving me His joy, His strength and His peace…. and that is why I am still smiling. That is why I am still laughing. That is why I am still finding the beauty all around me.
Last year at a special Southeast Christian Church event, Kyle Idleman used a “book” as an analogy of life. We might be in the middle of our story… where the plot thickens… where the main character is at a crossroad or a point where it seems there is no way out. If we close the book now, we will never know how it ends. So his challenge to the audience was “Just Keep Reading”… turn the page, begin the next chapter… but just keep reading! There is a happy ending for those who trust in Christ… just keep reading. That is what I will continue to do in my own life… just keep reading… I know God has an awesome ending to this story… it is really just the beginning!
There is a song by David Crowder that has truly touched the depths of my soul. Within this song are the following lyrics: “And all of a sudden, I am unaware of these afflictions eclipsed by Glory, and I realize just how beautiful You are and how great your affections are for me. Oh how He loves us…” Wow, how true those words are! Little do we know at the time, when we are faced with such horrible afflictions that they are truly allowed by God… to be eclipsed by His Glory… He loves us enough to allow us to go through the difficulties in our lives so that we can rely on Him, feel His love… to ultimately draw close to Him.
My prayer in writing this blog is that somewhere, someone will be encouraged through the hope and healing I have found… that my pain will not be wasted but rather turned around for something awesome! Everyone has a story and everyone has experienced their fair share of pain… I just want people to remember that God can turn any mistake, any heartache, any deep wound into something beautiful!!
May we all “Just Keep Reading”,
“He has made everything beautiful in its time” (Ecclesiastes 3:11)