Yesterday morning I was sitting on my back porch praying over, resting in and reflecting on all that the Lord has and is doing. The birds were chirping, the wind was blowing through the trees and I just sat there with tears in my eyes overwhelmed by all that has happened and is happening. This past weekend was another step in ‘healing’ for me. Words cannot describe what a phenomenal weekend I had. So yesterday morning I just sat, taking it all in – marveling at the wondrous God we serve.
Last summer, I was in the darkest place of my life. I had a central goal: when can I see ‘him’ next, when I can I talk to ‘him’ next. Unfortunately ‘him’ wasn’t my husband or even more importantly our God……it was who I had replaced God with in my heart (if you have no idea what I am talking about go back to my very first blog and read all blogs prior to reading this one). My entire focus was ‘him’ – which included: keeping secrets, hiding things, swaying peoples focus, putting on a good front, trying to be a mom, trying to be a wife, trying to maintain friendships under false pretenses, more secrets, lying and so on. To be really transparent: I can honestly and sadly say I don’t remember much of anything having to do with my two sweet boys from last summer. I look back on it now and wonder who that person was…I feel like I am looking at someone else’s life. But I am not. I am looking at mine. I did it. Evil had set up camp in my heart and I had allowed it to run rampant.
This summer, I am in the brightest most hopeful place of my life. I have a central goal: Jesus Christ. When can I share about Him, what more can I know about Him, what can I do to honor Him. My entire focus is my relationship with a God that loves me more than I can fathom. This focus has no secrets, no “trying to’s”, no persuasions, no lies. This focus has freedom and hope and peace and joy! This focus is clear and has a future.
This past weekend I had the honor and privilege to be Kay Arthurs “shadow.” She came to our church for a Womens conference and I was asked to be her shadow and pick her and her assistant up from the airport and take her to and from the hotel and be by her side the entire time she was here. Oh what a blessing this was! What fun it was but what a blessing that was perfectly orchestrated by our God in heaven! While the experience was ‘neat’…..it was SO much more than that. I believe the Lord strategically placed me in that position this weekend. I obviously knew who Kay Arthur was, I had seen her stuff and even read a few of her materials. However, I had never heard her testimony. It came as a shock as she spoke and I heard the similarity of some things in our lives. Sitting in my car one night, I was able to share with her a small bit of my story. I never planned on telling her but the opportunity presented itself and I shared. After sharing with her, she looked at me, put her hand on my face and said “oh my precious Dawn, I love you dear. You know our Lord has forgiven you and you now have to walk in that and live like you believe it!” She went on to quote some beautiful passages of scripture to me and hugged me. She is right – I have to live like I believe it! I can say until I am blue in the face – “the Lord has forgiven me”, but I have to drop those chains and live out faith that I believe He has forgiven me!
Following the Kay Arthur conference, we had a concert at our church. Big Daddy Weave came and did a concert to raise money for our missions ministry. The energy and joy at our church this weekend was palpable. I am SO grateful to be part of this church family. Walking in on Sunday morning to worship, you could just sense the excitement still in the air. My hearts prayer is we will carry on that same palpable joy for the Lord throughout the months and years to come. I am excited about what the Lord is doing in our church!
Our weekend ended on a very positive note with an unexpected visit with some dear friends. Just a few hours spent sitting on their back porch relaxing and chatting. These are friends that we have been through struggles and heartache with but I am confident the Lord has purpose for them being in our lives and us being in theirs. My hearts prayer is that we will mend and heal completely and grow closer, building an even stronger bond than before as friends. They hold a dear and precious place in Jeremy and I’s heart.
All this to say friends that this weekend I took a giant step in healing. How did I do that? I am glad you asked. Here is how: This was the very first time, since last August when my world came crashing down and the affair came out, that I have had an entire day, and even more, two whole days where I did not think about my “situation” one time. Two ENTIRE DAYS! That may seem silly but it is honestly a HUGE victory for me. It may seem hard to understand…..some think I should just be able to “put it out of my mind” or “just move on.” Oh, if only it were that easy……even through healing and restoration we still have to live out the consequences of our actions. Anyway, throughout the entire conference and concert I didn’t think about “who knew” “what people were thinking” or anything like that and everything just felt somewhat “normal” again. While life has been moving on and I am truly healing I haven’t had a day where I didn’t think about what happened or think about the people involved at at least some point in the day. I have not had a day go by where some thought didn’t cross my mind and make me sad for a moment or make me ponder etc. This is one of those “consequences” I still work through. Yet this weekend – it was a victory! And in every victory, I acknowledge, He is Lord and He gave me that victory. Because He already won the ultimate victory.
So, as I sat, reflecting on such a beautiful weekend, I was reminded of His faithfulness once again. We are children of God, walking in His light, renewed, redeemed, restored. This summer I am excited to walk in, not darkness, but in light. Leaving the past behind me, walking forward in the freedom of His Truth – void of all hopelessness, lies, manipulations and secrets. I will take this time to focus on the blessings HE has poured out. Namely two precious boys that will be entering middle school next year. We are going to spend lazy summer days together, doing lots of fun activities and relishing in those sweet moments that will be gone all to fast.
I am reminded of a quote from CS Lewis: “There are far better things ahead, than any we leave behind.” I concur.