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Sometimes I wonder how I even made it through that week. I knew for a week’s time that I was going to have to confess to Jeremy. I just had to wait for him to get home from a trip to tell him. One night that week found me laying on the bathroom floor trying to get even a minutes sleep in between waiting for the heaves over the toilet to subside. My entire being was distraught thinking about the fact that I may be days away from losing my husband, my children, basically my life as I knew it because of my choices. Sin destroys you spiritually, mentally and sometimes even physically. Confession and surrender redeems you entirely.
Today marks two years. Two years of a journey that has gone from the greatest depths of heartache, betrayal and brokenness one could imagine to victory and hope. You might wonder why I even ‘remember’ these specific days. Maybe you are saying, “why don’t you just forget it and move on.” Well, I’ve definitely moved on but let me tell you this: trauma changes you – whether it be trauma you brought on yourself or trauma from a tragic accident, whatever trauma it is, it changes you. That is why I remember. I never want to sweep it under the rug, not talk about it or pretend it didn’t happen. It’s my story, it changed me and I don’t ever want to forget it.
I remember it for Grace: I never quite understood what grace truly was until that is all that I could truly accept. Grace upon grace upon grace. My heart didn’t extend grace to others because I didn’t understand how much I needed it myself. Yet, when it was extended to me from my God, my husband and many of those around me – it became clear what it was. And so I remember this day so that I won’t forget how to truly extend grace to those around me.
I remember it for Hope: Outside of grace the word I have clung to for these last two years is hope. Hoping for different things at different times but always hope. About a year before my world crumbled, I had bought a brand new devotional book by Beth Moore called Whispers of Hope. It was a devotional on prayer. Yet, I never opened it. You see, my heart was somewhere else, and I had a hard time praying. How was I supposed to ‘pray’ when I was doing something so awful? I felt like I couldn’t. If I prayed, I would have to confess this thing and I just couldn’t do that. So in those moments, because of myself, my lifeline to the Lord was quiet and that book remained unopened. That is until everything was exposed; I was exposed and nothing was left to hide. It was then that I came upon this book on my shelf and dared to open it. When I bought that book, the Lord knew exactly when I’d open it. This book guided me on the days I was so lost for words, I didn’t know what to pray. This book, which is also a journal, has written in it some of my most desperate heart cries and gut-wrenching thoughts from those first days and months. Friend, I haven’t been able to open this book since I finished it. I can’t bring myself to read the words I wrote. I’m not sure I ever will. But, what I know is that even in the midst of writing the agonizing thoughts and brokenness, I would still write out words of hope. Just little bits of hope. “You are faithful Lord.” “I trust you God.” Those words weren’t hard to write but at times they were hard to believe. Yet, He was faithful. And so, as I continue to walk this journey, I remain hopeful yet for many things. But, I can say without any hesitation that the Lord has truly healed me, my husband and our marriage. For that, I am eternally grateful. There are things I have hoped for over the last two years that I have yet to see happen. When they don’t happen, I simply trust. I trust that the Lord is working and in His time, I will see those things materialize. I will not give up hope.
Through this journey I have learned to rely wholly on the Lord. I have learned to extend grace where before I would have rolled my eyes, judged in my heart and turned away. I have learned that being obedient means completely surrendering yourself and doing what the Lord asks without doubt, hesitation or half-hearted effort. So because of all I learned, I remember, I reflect and I continue to hope.
One final reason that I remember: When I find myself hearing about someone in those same shoes, I can walk beside them in the depths of their darkness and say, “I understand.” I can help them to know the hope of a Savior and the healing of surrender. And before I start to judge, instead will be grace. Always grace.
Two years and Hope later, I will continue.