Never stop…

As you walk through the days after the confession of an affair do not forget this truth. Say it 100 times each day if need be. When the enemy attacks, and he will then say this. Say it out loud if you have to. In those moments when you want to run away read this aloud to your self. Let this be your very breath in each moment. Each line of this is stated in the Bible many times. Let this truth and the person of Jesus Christ that is behind it truly be your strength today!

You are more loved than you can imagine. You don’t feel it right now but let the Lord come in and show His amazing love to you.

If you are recovering from an affair in your marriage and would like us to be praying for you please send us a message or leave a comment. We would be honored to fight this spiritual battle with you!

The first year of firsts…

I have read that it takes at least a year to heal from the betrayal of an affair.  If the affair lasted longer than a year, it may take longer, and also depending on if the betrayer was caught or confessed to the affair, the timeline may look different as well.  During the first year, events and dates will trigger more pain. Be aware that this pain is normal and part of the process. Don’t stuff your emotions down, but be willing to honestly share your pain.

I am very time oriented person, so this has made the first nine and a half months of healing very difficult.  I look back at events we were at together and wonder what was he thinking, how was he just going through the motions with his family.  It makes sense why he wasn’t very engaged at this event or why he was so protective of his phone.  It hurts.  I see pictures from the year during the affair and wonder if he was thinking about someone else or waiting for a text from them.  It makes me sad. I remember things I went to alone when he was out of town, feeling stressed and overwhelmed with all of the children, and I wonder if these were times when he was seeing “her.” It would bring up anger and pain from feeling alone and abandoned.  Then I remember God loves me unconditionally, that I am blessed, I am victorious, I am never forsaken and I am a Masterpiece!

Please don’t look back at phone records during the affair times. I did this, and it caused even more pain during those “special” times of the year like, Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, Fourth of July, anniversaries and birthdays.  I would see texts on OUR days, and be crushed all over again.  I would have to give my heart back to God again and again and ask Him to start the process.  So I beg of you, please don’t do this, and if you have already, don’t keep looking back. Ask your phone company to get rid of them if you need to. It just brings back the pain that you are trying to work through, and Satan will use this to tell you lies again.

You will have difficult emotions come up, it is normal to feel pain, but how you choose to respond to that pain will determine how your healing will occur.  Do you hold onto the painful moments and later throw them at your spouse as retaliation? Or do you take the thoughts to the Lord and ask Him to give you new grace and mercy? Sometimes you’ll need to talk through those moments with your spouse, but sometimes you just need to talk to the Lord about the hurt you are feeling.

We just celebrated our anniversary this weekend, it was a great time being together and celebrating the healing that has occurred.  We focused on the great memories we have had together and made new special ones.  We went to a bed and breakfast, that I hope will become an annual visit some time each year.  It was relaxing and wonderful because we have allowed God to work on our hearts.  Our healing is still a work in progress, and our marriage will never be perfect, but by God’s grace we will continue to make progress.

I cannot say this enough, but if both of you are willing to work towards the healing process and do whatever it takes to repair your marriage, the healing will come.  It will take different lengths of time for each individual, but don’t give up on the process, it is a journey. For some it may take a year, others two, or maybe five, still for others it may take a lifetime of earning that trust back, but if you are committed to your spouse then you should be willing to keep going ’till death do you part.

The Fog

I didn’t even realize until a couple weeks after the confession of the affairs that I had been in a fog. Over the course of the last year I had become completely deceived, I had become a different person. I couldn’t think clearly and the things that were important to me had been forgotten.

Gollum from Lord of the Rings was the one character I began to identify with. I had been a guy who was “normal” and sought after the Lord. Then the ring got a hold of me and I slipped away to live in the deep dark places. The ring for me was comfort, that comfort was found in seeking out women and pornography. This deception and acceptance of lies in my life turned me into a thing that was no longer recognizable.  My wife would even say that before I confessed she didn’t know who I was anymore. The crazy thing is that I thought I was still the same guy. I was so blinded I didn’t realize that I had become someone else.

By the grace of God I now see that I was actually blessed to be Frodo. The Lord brought conviction and confession in my life and has graciously allowed healing in my life. God is so good. When the Bible talks about the deceptive nature of sin and that the devil is crafty and seeking to destroy it is completely true. The devil is great at taking half truths to convince us that our sinful behavior is acceptable. We become so deceived and begin to think that crazy things are okay. For a while I had come to believe that I could talk to all these women, make-out with some and that it was okay. That I really didn’t have to confess. That is insane! That is just one of the lies I had used to convince myself that my behavior was acceptable.

If you recently confessed to major sin in your life you may be feeling the same way. Here are a few of the things that I remember from those initial weeks:

• You are in a fog of sin and it will take some time to come back to normal.

• Don’t trust your thoughts, desires and emotions. They are all messed up because of the effects of sin in your life.

• Be honest with your spouse and others that you are in a fog and that you don’t even trust yourself. Don’t worry, you will be able to trust yourself again. I remember being so scared that I couldn’t trust myself.

• As you heal you will eventually look back and be blown away by the crazy things you did and came to believe. Be thankful that God in His love pulled you back to reality.

The night I confessed I probably did one of the craziest things. My job (I would be terminated later that week) required that I travel a significant amount. On Wednesday of that week I was supposed to go to Alanta for work. My wife and I were in our room talking that night and she said something about doing something later in the week. I don’t even remember what she said. I replied and said I couldn’t because I would be out of town for work. She got pissed (rightly so) and stormed out of the room. She went outside into the cold all alone and I sat there wondering what I did. Insane… I know! Not only was it insane because I just confessed to affairs while traveling, but I also worked at an institution that would immediately terminate me once they knew. (The institution treated me with such grace, love and truth. I will always love that place.) Sin had such a hold on me that I lost all grasp on reality.

Getting through the fog was a hard journey and took a number of days to get through. My heart also remained hard and calloused for a while. Over the course of a couple weeks the hardness and callouses were taken away.

When you are in this fog trust your spouse and a couple close friends to help you remember who you are!

Psalms

Where do you turn when you feel scared and alone? Unfortunately, I would often turn to my husband first before God when I was scared or felt alone. (Another post in the future) But when you are so mad at your husband, where do you go? Thankfully, I turned to God and the Bible.  Some people in my life that knew what happened cautioned me about seeking comfort in other male friends.  There are many people who will have an affair after their spouse confesses because they think it will make them feel better. Some people turn to alcohol, drugs or food for comfort, which will all end up disappointing and leave you with a whole other set of problems.  The best place to turn is to God for comfort. I know it is easier said than done when you are mad that God allowed this sin?  

I remembered David’s situation and knew the Psalms fairly well, so that is where I turned. I immersed myself into the book of Psalms. I read at least a chapter a day, and I read it over and over throughout the day. Whenever a bad thought or image came to my mind I would read it. I wasn’t always perfect at this, sometimes I would believe the lies of the devil and that would take me to a very bad place. Those hard places were always difficult to get out of. I prayed and read verses in Psalms that I had written down on index cards or stored in my phone. This would go on and on, until I released the lies and hurt and found comfort in the Lord.

There are too many verses to list that encouraged me and brought me up out of the pit, but I want to give you some of my favorites and hopefully they will encourage you as well. Psalms 9:9, 56:11, 55:22, 119:71, 30:2, 31:24, 16:8, 100:5, 103:2-4, 46:10, 106:1, 107:19-21, 46:1-3, 118:14-16, 119:114-115, 119:25, 119:28, 119:50, 120:1, 3:2-6, 22:19, 28:7-8, 147:3.

God, used these words to bring me to a place of smiling, laughter and enjoying a few days in a row. That increased my hope in the restoration of our marriage.  The visions and images still came, but having somewhere to turn helped them to go away quicker. I prayed and read Psalms for months to combat the enemy throwing things in my face. It has been almost eight months since the confession, and random things will trigger thoughts and I go to Psalms. I have actually had a rough few days and haven’t been able to sleep, Satan has just been throwing arrows of doubt all over the place.

Satan wants to steal, kill and destroy. He wants you to quit because it is too hard. He wants your family torn apart with a divorce, but you have to decide that your marriage IS worth fighting for and fight for it. Trust me, it will be a battle for your mind and your spouses mind. Satan loves when people give up the fight. So often couples just quit when an affair enters the situation believing it is the un-healable pain. The world says divorce, find someone who won’t cheat, and unfortunately so many people in the church divorce after an affair because the Bible permits it for this one reason, or they give up the fight because it is too hard. Make the choice that you and your spouse won’t be another marriage casualty.

Whenever a negative thought or vision comes to your mind, I challenge you to take it to God and immerse yourself in the book of Psalms.  You will find comfort, strength and HOPE!

“When doubts filled my mind, Your comfort gave me renewed hope and cheer.” Psalm 94:19

“Whenever I am afraid, I will trust in you.” Psalm 56:3

“We wait in hope for the Lord; He is our help and our shield. In Him our hearts rejoice, for we trust in his holy name.” Psalm 33:20-21

A Growing Light 

He is the light of the world. -John 8:12

I never use to see the light. I thought I trusted Christ. I taught a lot of people a boat Christ. I did a lot of activities that were about Christ. However I don’t know if the light could ever be seen in my heart. Looking into my heart was like looking into a cave. The cave was pitch black. I was told there was light in there but I never saw it. I learned to talk like there was a light. I would celebrate with others that we could see the flicker of light in our own caves but because of my pride I learned to say I saw the light.

Through self-righteousness I became really good at living like I saw the light. I was so good that I didn’t even realize that I didn’t see the light. When I saw the warning signs that there may be no light I blamed it on God. If He wanted the sin gone he’d do more. I’d pray and when I fell I’d blame it on God and believe He didn’t really love me.

All the while unforgiven ess, hurt, anger, disappoint and sin pulled me farther from the cave and even helped me build a wall into the cave so I couldn’t see in. Fortunately before the wall was completed Love broke through the wall. God reached down and touched me through my bride e Her love broke the walls down and I finally admitted that I couldn’t see the light in my cave.

My Bride saw the light in her cave like a roaring fire and she told me to keep looking for the light in my care. She said it was there. Other friends told me it was there and they started holding my hand and pointing me in the direction to see the light.

I started longing to see the light so I spent a lot of time looking for it. As though I was a hunter waiting for the prey long before sunset. This time I didn’t accept the opportunities to pretend to see the light.

In the waiting I started cleaning away the rubble from the wall that had been broken down. I removed the hurt from the past and I understood that on my own I would only build walls. Through Christ all the rubble could be removed. I could be forgiven and forgive myselfee

Slowly I began to know the light was there and I’d see glimpses. The more I let go and actually let Christ clear the rubble the more often I’d catch a glimpse. After a time I kept being fearful the light would disappear. I was also fearful because I only saw it every once in a while. I was blessed my bride kept pointing me to the light and she kept loving me, friends also kept telling me they saw the light in my care.

A couple weeks ago I noticed the light was bigger and I saw it constantly. I was thrilled but not satisfied. I want the light to be bigger and stronger. I want it to be a roaring bonfire that I feel the heat of Joy through. Not only that I want the light in me to be a light for others. I want it to give them the heat of joy and comfort so that they will look for the flicker of light in their cave.

I do have to tend my cave entrance though but Jesus now helps. Hurt and temptation want to begin closing it off again. I have to bring others into my cave to help me keep the rubble away. I’m finding as the fire and light grow bigger and brighter that it becomes easier to clear the rubble away. I am so thankful. I am confident my fire will spread to others. I wait in expectation for how that will look.

Friends be honest if you can’t see the light. It’s okay because if you keep looking you will eventually see the flicker of light in your cave. God will also bring others along to help you see it!

I hope this encourages you. Now I’m off to enjoy the fire in my cave. 

The day that will live in infamy?

The day my husband confessed to the affairs changed my life forever…

It was a Sunday afternoon, I remember he seemed down so I was trying to goof around with him, and he got serious and said he needed to tell me something. As I sat and listened, I went from holding his hand to wanting to throw up. I went into shock.  I was crying, I was asking why, and I went in the bathroom and threw up. It didn’t help, I would have this nauseous feeling for the next few weeks.  I came out and I was scared, (whenever I am afraid I will trust in You).  I began to ask him some questions and as he answered, the pain increased inside my body. I literally felt like my heart fell out of my body and crashed onto the floor.  But I started praying…”God, help me. I don’t know what to do.” Then I asked him to call a couple of important men in his life because I needed help, and he did. Unfortunately, I knew a couple of friends who had gone through a similar situation in their past, and I texted them to get some prayers as well.  We met with our pastor and wife that day, and I felt a whole gamet of emotions. I would go from hurt, to sad, to angry, to scared, and even one time the Holy Spirit came upon me and I felt peace, and I actually reached out and laid my hand on my husband. It was seriously an outer body experience; I watched myself go from one side of a couch to another as my husband started crying. I was so mad at him in that moment, I couldn’t have done that, it was the Holy Spirit in me. Despite the enormous and horrific pain, God was working inside of me. 
When your spouse confesses to having an affair, you need to ask for help immediately. Even pausing in the bathroom between throwing up and crying, stop and ask Your Daddy, Jesus to help. He heals the broken-hearted and binds up their wounds. Then you need to ask for some godly help through pastors, mentors and friends that you trust to walk through this moment with you. Don’t wait until the next day to call, call immediately.  I cannot imagine how the first week would have played out if I had waited. Get another couple involved, a husband and wife, that you can both talk to at the same time. You cannot do this on your own.

So the title, “The day that will live in infamy” ends in a question mark for a reason. The word infamy means being well known for something bad, but I often question myself as to if the day should be remembered for something bad or something very, very good. The day of confession…the Holy Spirit bringing him to the point where he confessed. God had planned for this particular day to be when his redemption began.  So even though my heart was broken on this day, my husband returned to God.  “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us from all unrighteousness.” I John 1:9  Because Christ has forgiven me through His death on the cross, I will forgive even the unthinkable.

Remember to ask for help immediately!