It is fertile ground for the enemy, and I can see how many can be complety broken when it rears its ugly head...
First, one begins to wonder..."how many other lies have I been told?"
Then comes the worry and the fear.
How many other women that I didn't know about?
Then comes the gut wrenching disection of time. You begin to look at the past and wonder...was he cheating on me during our anniversary?
For me, one of the most humbling question that I was forced to ask myself: Did, during the course of our marriage, he infect me with a disease?
Adultery is ugly. It is humiliating. It is gross.
Last week I had a test administered. I wanted to find out if I had an ugly nasty disease. A disease that I'm too afraid to even mention. The unmentionable disease.
I had no reason to think I had anything. But that is what adultery does. It causes one to question.
The test came back fine..
But during the course of the waiting, my stomach hurt.
I felt a gut wrenching pain that made me realize that I had always taken my health for granted.
I cried out to God to spare me.
I wept for the people who are facing disease. I wept for people with cancer. I wept for people with Aids. I wept for children orphaned by Aids.
I wept for people suffering from disease.
I vowed to do what I could to help them because for the first time in my life, I completely understood thier vulnerability.
As a Christian, I understand that death is not the end of life. God has shown me more of Heaven than most people realize. He has become the reality. Sometimes, I tell myself that I am not afraid of Death..
But when faced with the possibility of disease, I suddenly became afraid. Deathly afraid.
perhaps not of dying..but of the unknown.
I feared my own blood.
It was humbling to say the least.
When I found out the test was fine, I felt as if a weight was lifted from my shoulders.
But what if?
What if the test results had been different?
Could I still go on, confident, assured?
I am humbled.
I was forced to look back at the course of my life and look at the mistakes I have made. I took a cold, hard look at my past and remembered all of the times that I played russian roulette with my body.
Why do we do that? We weren't made for sin.
I look back at my past and I cringe.
But I take immense comfort in the assurance that I have been forgiven.
I felt anger for the fact that someone could have put my life in jeopardy by potentially exposing me to disease. Adultery is not love. Love always protects.
The other day I stepped on a thorn. I was walking barefoot through my grandfather's kitchen. It must have been from a rose leftover from my grandmother's funeral.
There is so much meaning in a simple thorn.
These past few weeks, I have felt the thorns of my situation....
I drove through the desert a few months ago. I noticed how life thrived, even in the most dire circumstances. Beauty grew amonst the thorns. Flowers bloomed, often solitary, in the desert.
Amidst the cacti, and the thorns...every now and then, there would be a single, solitary flower, blossoming and blooming in the desert.
A symbol of how there is beauty in ashes. There is life where chaos abounds.
I think about Eden. That beautiful garden, a perfect existence. And then I think about our sin and how it brings forth the thorns.
Some people think that God is not good. But I have come to know Him and I know that He is....
He loved us so much that He gave us a choice. He gave us a choice to live our lives in thorns or to become the single, solitary flower that gives hope and love to others.
I want to be the flower.
Does anyone know how I found out that my husband was cheating?
The story speaks volumes.
I got off the phone with my husband one night. I could sense that something was wrong. Deeply and dreadfully wrong. So I prayed. God, show me. I am tired of worrying, Lord. I just want to know. Will you please show me? Dear God, I am tired of living in the shadow of lies, please just show me.
That night, I felt a very real tempation to drive by his house...( we have lived apart but were trying to work things out. He assured me that he was faithful.)
That still small voice bid me not to go. So I didn't.
The next morning when I awoke, I had a very gut wrenching feeling that something was definitely wrong. I felt like I needed to go to his house. I knew he wasn't at home so I decided to go over. It was a feeling. A very strong feeling.
When I got there, there was a woman sitting on his couch. I introduced myself and asked her what was going on. She told me and then we parted ways. She was angry and felt victimized also. She had been lied to, as well.
I learned from speaking with her that she didn't have a car. If I had followed my instincts and not listened to God, I would have driven by his house and been none the wiser. I would have pilfered my time in worry and questioning.
There really is no beauty in that story. Except for the fact that God hears our prayers. God is faithful to answer. I asked Him to show me and He answered. For that, I am grateful.
Adultery is a nasty, ugly business...It is thorns..
But, through my Christian walk, I have learned that beauty can grow even despite the fact that people are hurt.
God loves sinners.
He hates sin, but even now...I am forced to put away my anger and recognize that God loves and does not judge my husband.
God does not condemn us. God gives us a choice.
As humans, we condemn ourselves by our actions.
We condemn ourselves by our lack of action.
The beauty is in the choice.
We can choose to love our Father. We can choose to take care of our families. We can choose to love even when it is hard. Or, we can walk our own path. The wide path, that feels right, but leads to Death.
We can walk as a flower, brightening the lives of those around us...basking in the very light of God..
Or we can choose to be a thorn, piercing people with our lies, our deception, our greed.
This post isn't meant to judge my husband. We aren't meant to judge. This blog is an outlet to show the things that God is teaching me. Every day is a learning experience.
Put down your stones. We are all guilty in some way, shape, or form. Self righteousness is as dangerous as adultery.
Maybe even more so..because it is disguised as good. It wears a mask, whereas adultery is the bold flaunting of a weakness.
I'm sad for families these days. If we look at the moral makeup of our country, we get a very real picture of a desperate and hurting society. Not too many people seem to be getting it right. Many of us give up at the drop of a hat. many quit when "our" needs aren't met or we are left unfilled. Too many people quit too easily and the result is broken people and fatherless children.
But then there are those who diligently work and work and love anyways.
I know a girl who recently confided in me about her marital situation.
She told me that her husband cheated on her. She had endured so much. They have several kids together.
She told me how she had thought of ending the marriage, but she looked at her children...and she chose to fight. She fought. She became a warrior and she took her marriage back. She loved when it was hard. She gave her husband a choice..to stay or to leave...she was firm. she was courageous. she let go of anger and fear and hatred and she loved. Today, they are thriving. They are a happily married couple serving God together.
I admire this woman.
My thing is...I feel as if I have fought for well over a year.
I told my husband what needed to be done to save our marriage. He turned his head. He walked away.
He made the choice...
It's all about the choice.
Some people cast stones of condemnation at those who have divorced. Put them down. Love the broken and hurting people that you are called to love.
One more thing about adultery:
It causes one to question his worth.....
I was reading a blog today by my favorite blogger, Stephanie Cherry..
and I read a post that left me in tears.
The message was so simple, and yet so beautiful and powerful. She spoke of how she had watched a Veggie Tale movie with her young daughter. There was a character called a snoodle..
Everyone laughed at the snoodle. People ridiculed. They drew mean pictures of what they thought the snoodle looked like.
But the snoodle went to a quiet place and called upon God.
God answered the snoodle. He showed the snoodle a picture of how He saw him. He held up a picture of a beautiful and courageous person to the little snoodle.
I cried when I read that story. I felt like that ugly little snoodle who only needed God to remind her how beautiful she was..
The other day at church was amazing. Complete strangers told me things about my life and situation that only God could have known. One of the things they told me was that there was someone in my life that made me feel like a snoodle, (yes, I'm paraphrasing there) but that God saw me as something different.
They reminded me that we are called to be doers of His Word and not hearers only. One thing I have found is that it can be tempting to fall into the trap of self misery and pity. This week I have suffered from severe vertigo. Rooms have been spinning. I've been nauseous. I have felt beaten down. I have felt like I want to go in a corner and just die.I have wondered, "what is wrong with me?" What is physically wrong with me?
The strangers in church told me that I am called to live a victorious life. They also confirmed something that God had already shown me. So, I will trust Him. I will walk with Him. And He will get me through this. All of it. The death. The infidelity. The vertigo. The fear. I give it all. I could choose to fester in it....but I won't
Jesus, it's yours. I love you and I thank you for showing me, even now, that I am still beautiful to you.