Me7First – I am overwhelmed with gratitude for the response I received from my first blog post.  What an encouragement so many are!  So humbled and so grateful.  In addition, the Lord has already used those words for His glory.  And to that I say:  Praise Him – mission accomplished.

After such a huge story of what we have been through, I thought I’d follow up with how life is today as it has been 9 months since all came crashing down.

I received many text messages and emails after my previous post saying, “oh I’m so sad for you”  or “oh my heart hurts for you.”  I understand that completely and appreciate the compassion.  However, my response to all of that is; don’t be sad.  Rejoice with me.  Be sad for what I did, how it hurt people and the hurt that I brought to myself and my family, but rejoice with where life is taking us now and how the Lord is already using Jeremy and I through our testimony.  Rejoice with me at how the Lord takes these awful horrible things that Satan tries to destroy with and instead creates something NEW and something BEAUTIFUL from them.  Don’t get me wrong: some days life just flat out stinks.  Anxiety and sorrow overwhelm me and I don’t want to get out of bed.  It’s a fight.  Some days Jeremy is sad, or has a question pop in his head or longs for a friendship he no longer has.  BUT and that is a BIG “but” (whoops that sounds funny doesn’t it)…. BUT, in those moments is when we remember grace, we remember that the Lord has even better days ahead.  We stand boldly and firmly in our faith.  We continue to move confidently forward living out our testimony.  It is then that you see God work.  When you sit and stir in sorrow, anger, bitterness, jealousy, secrets – whatever it is – nothing will change.  You will not see His blessings, you will not see Him honored.  That is why daily Jeremy and I both choose to put one foot in front of the other, we choose to glorify Him by each morning asking Him – “how can you use ME today?”

We have been asked or rather questioned on how we could possibly be where we are today.  We have heard:  “there is no way they could be ‘happy’ just 9 months after all this has happened.” Let me be very transparent here for a minute and tell you that this was one of those things that I did myself.  Going back to that “judging” thing I talked about last time.  I too would say – “how can that woman hold that mans hand after what he did to her?”  “how could they possibly have ‘healed’ so quickly.”  “They are definitely faking it!”  and so on…..    Well I found out a little secret:  there is no timeline for these things.  There is no ‘manual’ on what happens when you are in these situations.  Not one person has ever handed us a book that says “on Day 52 you will be angry with each other.  On Day 77 you will cry and wonder.  On day 173 everything will be better!”    The one manual that has led us every step of the way is the Word of God.  {And by the way:  this manual isn’t a “pick and choose” thing.  It’s not whatever verse applies.  It is a “live by every single word it says” thing!  We don’t just choose what we feel is “easiest” or what “we think applies to us.”  Nope…it is an “all or nothing” kind of thing!}  Through seeking His word it has reminded us that God’s timing is NOT ours.  A lot of times we struggle with not seeing things happen in the timing we want to see it happen.  However, on the flip side – when something seems like it is going to take FOREVER to get through sometimes He surprises us and carries us through WAY quicker than we ever anticipated.  I believe the very reason this has happened with Jeremy and I is because of our faithfulness and obedience.  I wouldn’t have believed we would be here.  {Side note – we aren’t perfect, we do still have hurdles to jump and I am still living out some consequences for my actions} Every person, every couple is different.  However, no matter who you are, should you follow every bit of what scripture tells you – healing will come.  One of the things I was told at the very beginning of this was to be completely honest and empty myself of every single thing.  The person said, “It is better to be honest now than to stay in ‘self preservation mode’.  The entire truth will come out.  Better for him to hear it from you than someone else because he WILL hear it!”  So for three days after the fall out we laid awake at night for hours upon hours with me just telling Jeremy every single thing that was said, that was done, anything and everything.  While it was obviously VERY hard for him to hear – it broke down a wall.  It began the healing process.  He saw me broken, he saw me emptying myself.  The fact that truth was spoken from the very beginning – healing could begin.  And it did.  I surrendered everything.  You know who else surrendered?  Jeremy.  Jeremy surrendered his hurt, he surrendered his anger, he surrendered his questions.  That my friends, was amazing.  Can I just brag on my incredible husband for a minute?  To do what he did was a total and complete picture of the love and grace that our Father in heaven has for us.  This man looked past my betrayal, expressed his love for me and told me “I forgive you because The Lord forgave me”.  It wasn’t just words.  He did just that.  He forgave me and hasn’t ever thrown it back in my face.  He is the absolute picture of a Godly man.  I cannot even begin to express to you how incredibly blessed I am by this man.  Don’t get me wrong…..we have tough days.  We have struggles.  The Enemy still creeps in.  But, we are moving forward.  The Lord is daily healing us and has renewed the love and passion we have for each other.  It is all from surrender and obedience…no question.  We are a living testimony!

The other thing we have heard is “I’m sorry you lost friends. That is so sad.”  Yes, it is sad.  Our hearts mourn the loss of friends we had.  But, I also want to quickly say – we have incredible friends that have loved us through this.  They have encouraged us as a couple and stood wholeheartedly not moving beside us!  Even those we knew as acquaintances have become very dear precious friends that I believe we will have for a lifetime.  I also have several girlfriends that have overwhelmed me with love.  It is truly heart-warming to hear someone say to you, “I love you in spite of what you did.  My love for you as a friend has not wavered. We ALL make mistakes and yours is no different than mine.”  AGH!  Amazing isn’t it?  I am so grateful for the unwavering, nonjudgmental and encouraging friendships the Lord has so graciously put in my life!  In addition to all of this, we have an incredible church family that has completely wrapped their arms around us and loved us unconditionally through this.  We could not ask for a more beautiful group of people to share life with.

So, while life and our choices sometimes brings loss, hurt and heartache, the Lord renews and fills that in other ways.  Ways we don’t even deserve.

While this all is more or less a followup, I felt it necessary to share where we are today to not only “fill in the gap” but also to show that beauty does come from ashes.  Our bad choices can turn into great lessons.   Through truth, obedience and hard work – the Lord can and will restore.  He redeems and restores the broken chapters in our lives in ways we cannot even grasp or dare to imagine!

I am truly excited about what our Great King has in store in the next chapters.  Being free in Him and void of secrets, life knows no bounds.  Bumps in the road will come, heartache and sadness still take hold sometimes but He will prevail.  He has already won the victory and for that I cheer, shout and sing praise!  I am putting my seatbelt on, holding on tight to the Almighty and saying “what’s next?”    Join me on the journey…..

More later…..

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