This is a continuation of a series every Friday where I will be highlighting the growth and healing of one of my readers, a new reader each week. These, my sweet ones, are their brave and vulnerable stories. Take heart…you are not alone. -Elisabeth
I remember driving down the road one day listening to the Christian radio station talking about betrayal and thinking to myself how fortunate I was to have never experienced that. That changed a few months later.
I noticed strange things: my husband started changing the way he dressed , he would turn the laptop away from me when I approached to speak to him, he kept running into a woman from his office when we went out as a family, I found him online chatting or emailing that same woman. The pieces were all falling into place to tell me that my husband was cheating on me.
He said they were just friends. But he did want to end our marriage and it was my fault. I wasn’t supportive, I didn’t meet his needs, as a stay at home mom I could never understand the pressures he faced each day.
My marriage was over. I couldn’t fathom it. We are Christians. Christians don’t divorce. We prayed together every day. We worshipped together, served together, taught our 2 children to follow God. He denied being unfaithful but told me God wanted him to be happy in his marriage and that couldn’t happen as long as he was with me. We went to three counseling sessions before he told me he was done.
As we began the painful divorce process I learned more about the situation. The woman I was concerned about had ended her marriage as well. Pictures started appearing of the two of them online. He finally admitted they were dating. They were engaged before our divorce was final and married almost as soon as it was done.
I now knew how it felt to be betrayed. I wish I didn’t.
Five years have passed. As I look back on those early days I don’t know how I functioned. It was only by the grace of God. My church family was amazing. The pastors embraced me. The church members cared for us practically and emotionally. They helped furnish my new home. One day, as I was preparing to move into my new home I realized that I didn’t have a bed for my daughter and no money to buy one. I prayed. The next day I got an email from a member of our congregation offering me two beds. It felt like God was saying, “Not only do I have what you need, I have more than you need.”
But I couldn’t shake the thoughts of my husband with another woman. I thought about them all the time. It was destroying me. I got to a place where I knew I needed to give that up before I lost myself in the process. Instead of praying for God to punish them, I prayed for God to help me forgive them. Two of my best friends took me out for the day and told me they were worried about bitterness destroying me. It was the truth, spoken in love. We cried and prayed together and that was a turning point for me.
Early on in my separation I read a devotion about the Israelites on the shores of the Red Sea. They felt God had brought them out of one horrible situation to a worse one. But God made a way out that they couldn’t have imagined. That day I claimed the promise that He would do the same for me. And He has. In the past 5 years I have grown so much through the pain. I still feel pain, but God is here with me. He has never left.
If this sweet woman’s post resonated with your heart, please know that you are not alone. Here are a few resources for you:
If you would like to join one my private Facebook groups (difficult marriage, separated/divorced, single moms, remarried), please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If in a difficult marriage: Surviving in a Difficult Christian Marriage is available as a PDF/e-book: www.elisabethklein.com/books
If separated/divorced: Unraveling: Hanging onto Faith through the End of a Christian Marriage is available in paperback/e-book: http://tinyurl.com/phowp95
If a single mom: Moving on as a Christian Single Mom is available in paperback/e-book: www.elisabethklein.com/books
If you need a nudge in your healing, I would love to work with you! Join me for one of my mentoring courses.
If you’d like to receive my free resource “Is Your Healing Halted?”, sign up here.