I told you yesterday about fighting my fears with God’s word and how I have a friend that encouraged me so much with her words after I posted about my fear of Aaron cheating on me. I talked her into sharing her story with us today. I pray that this will meet you right where you are in your marriage.
I’ll never forget the moment I heard the words: “I need you to sit down. I quit the band. Ive been unfaithful to you. More than once and for a long time.” It’s almost like a physical illness overcame my body. I began shaking and my knees hit the floor in my kitchen as I felt a wave of nausea hit me like a ton of bricks. I was being handed the death sentence for my marriage. I thought.
Over the next couple of years, my marriage was taken to the cleaners and thrown onto an emotional roller coaster that I never paid to get on and frankly, just sucked. I dealt with anger, resentment, depression, heavy sadness, insecurity, acts of revenge (which are equally as devastating) and a complete loss of trust. I frantically wondered where he was at all times. Who he was talking to. I didn’t even like pretty girls hanging out at my house. Because pretty=evil. Right? Because if I could control who he saw, where he went, who he talked to, I could somehow change his heart. The thing is, God had already started changing his heart and I was actually getting in the way.
I had made my marriage my functional savior. It was all I thought about. It was all I cared about. I was putting all of my hope in my husband and my marriage. I loved the idea that my marriage was safe, more than I loved Jesus. But here’s the deal…no marriage and no person can carry that weight. And it was ultimately failing me. I went to bed fearful and I woke up fearful.
During these times of desperation, I honestly had no where to turn but to God. I began praying for my marriage. I began praying for my husband. I began praying that God would change my heart and woo me to love him more than I loved my husband and more than I loved my marriage. I started experiencing an intimacy with God that I hadn’t ever had before. I could feel the anxiety and paralyzing fear of infidelity being lifted. I had Jesus who, when I felt scared, insecure and doubtful, gave me strength and hope. I had a perfect God that would never leave me, forsake me or betray me.
When I really began to grasp that, I began to release the tight grip I had on my marriage. It allowed my marriage to flourish because my husband was in his rightful place in my life…second. My hope was not in him. He could fail me, but he couldn’t take away my hope in Jesus Christ. God was allowed to grow my marriage with Jesus at the center of it. And my marriage has never been better. It’s far from perfect. But it’s such a picture of God’s good and unfailing grace.
I am well aware that infidelity could crash in again. It just could. It most likely won’t, because we have many things in place to remain wise about decisions we make. But it’s not impossible. And still, God is enough to take care of that fear and that worry.
8 years later, it is so easy for me to talk about what happened in my kitchen that day. And what happened the following years. It’s not painful. It doesn’t sting. It’s my story and it’s not ugly to me anymore. Because God, in his goodness, heals hearts, restores marriages and turns ashes into beauty.