I’ve written this thing over and over again. I can never get it right, I leave it hanging in the middle, never satisfied, never finished. Talking about something so personal is scary. Except for my belief in God, I rarely get much judgment on my parenting of Lily. But this is different. I think I’d rather say I’m an alcoholic than to share our story. But I believe in our story and I believe in change. I believe in grace and I believe in mercy. I believe in a God greater than anything and I believe he lets life happen so we can find these life truths.
I know some will wonder why I am willing to share this “out loud” in fact I can name those people off who will be mad at me for sharing this. So I weigh this very heavily. I go back and forth. I have wanted to hit publish post for awhile now. Why do I have this inner battle? Because it is not my desire to hurt anyone. It is my desire to heal and my desire to help others. AND to put our story out there in my own words. Straight from the horses mouths as so they say.
We renewed our vows on May 21st 2011. It was a beautiful occasion filled with lots of emotion and love. Our guest list was limited and that was hard to do, but due to money, space and what exactly what we were doing, it wasn’t a big party, it was a ceremony solely for us to make a covenant with God to go forward in our marriage. A covenant we never made before and because of it we just about failed. Well we did fail, just thankful for extra credit.
On September 5th 2010 we were done. I was ready to say good bye to my husband and change the locks. And I told him so. I saw red, I hit, I cried, I threw things. “I hate you” “I hate you” “I hate you”. I wanted him gone. And in my heart I believe that day we were done. The old us was over. The husband who lied and the wife who withdrew, the couple who functioned on a superficial level who had no idea what the other wanted or needed, the man who had an affair. They were over. Betrayal happened at it’s deepest root and in the black and white world I had wished I lived in, it was over. I didn’t want to hear him out. I didn’t want to see his tears. I didn’t care about his shame. I was done. And so he left. Figuring out how I would do this alone I was scared. But I was so angry. So bitter. I lashed out in very hurtful ways. I went after her, I went after him. I honestly don’t remember much of anything that happened at that time. I know I had 3 kids I still had to get up and care for and days in bed crying were not an option. But auto-pilot was set and we just survived. I compare those days to those blank pages in New Moon (from the Twilight series) where it just states the month and blank pages. Everything was blank.
In those dark days I posted a verse on facebook, Psalm 34:18 “The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.” and I got a PM from a pastor from our previous church, who had since became an Anglican Priest, asking me if I was ok. I basically said no and could he reach out to my husband. He did and that is where our path took a different direction.
The next few weeks were life changing and my husband would call me to tell me what they had been talking about. On September 20th he called to tell me he accepted Christ in his life. Wow. I had never thought the day would happen. He was so raw. So different. So humble. Awhile later he asked me on a date and I went. It was a lovely dinner and we had a lot to talk about. A lot to cry about, a lot to discuss. My heart had really softened towards him and I thought this could maybe work.
It’s taken marriage counseling, His continued meetings with the man (Bob) who took him under his wing. He didn’t just lead him to the Lord and said goodbye and good luck, he has continued to stay and disciple him, support him, love him. Show him who God truly is. He even gets to a 6am bible study every Saturday morning at church. I started going to a support group, met up with Bob myself, read lots and lots of books, I pray, constantly sometimes it seems, devotions, journals and there are lots of triggers we had/have to work through. Lots of damage we had to repair. This was not swept under the rug, this was a large gaping wound that we had to stare at, examine and treat appropriately.
He took responsibility. He changed his life. And I mean true radical changes. His life had to change. His truths had to change. His thinking had to change and it did. It hasn’t been easy, but he has done it. He has become a leader. A leader this family needed. And has become a man I truly respect, adore and love now more than ever before. Our love has matured by tenfold.
He has done the work of a man who truly was remorseful. Who truly wanted to save his family. A man who knows what it is to walk in shame and I can guarantee a man who will never walk that walk again.
For me this has been hard. Devastating to say the least. In this society I know there are black and white opinions on this issue. You cheat you go. If not you’re weak. Those are the things that kept me hesitating in sharing. I know I even said that exact thing. But we all know our world is not black and white, it is all shades of grey. And it is filled with bright pinks and deep blues in the rainbows that will shine along the way, but only as long as you are willing to search for them. I myself had to find out who I really am. Where is my self worth and what issues are life and death for my soul. I have gone on my own journey with God and feel like after living my entire life as a Christian, I have finally at 32 found Jesus. Was this one of the most difficult trials we have ever been through, yes. Definitely. But has it been the most life changing for the best? Yes! Without truly digging inside of ourselves and coring out what needed to go, made the best parts of us shine brighter and we will move forward differently. Better.
So yes Saturday May 21st 2011 we celebrated the changes we have made and made a commitment that will be valued by our kids, and their kids, and their kids. We have built our house on the rock finally after our original house washed away on the sand. And maybe even the coolest part of this story is that on May 22nd 2011 he was baptized! He was baptized as a baby, but this was a proclamation of his faith now as an adult. He made a public commitment to live his life for God.
I share this story as a story of hope. A story of redemption. A story that says good can come of bad. A story that says God’s love is full of grace and mercy. His love NEVER fails and his will is always for our best interest. I pray judgments are not placed against my husband, yes he made mistakes. Ones he has to live with the rest of his life. But he chose the honorable path. He choose his family instead of running and hiding. And it was easy for me to choose him when I knew what all he was willing to give up in order to make us survive this.
**there is more I’d like to share about moving on and so forth for others who have been there or are there, if anyone would like to reach me personally on this issue please contact me at knothdurft at gmail dot com. I will take time occasionally to share my heart, but I really first just wanted to share our story and the rest can if needed follow**