As many of you may know, I left my husband in September and traveled back to Washington…broken hearted. I had lost my dream, my life, as I knew it. I was shattered and broken by what was suppose to be the blending of two lives, but became two lost souls searching for something they couldn’t find.
I can’t cast all the blame on my husband, no, that would not be right. However, I want to say that I didn’t see it coming…his heart grew in hardness, and my walls continued to grow higher and thicker in resentment, sadness and loneliness. I could no longer reach him with kindness, softness or even God’s words.
Was our life a daily struggle, no, it was fine generally speaking, especially the first year…but eventually, as one might expect, the heartache, unpleasantness, and his anger drove me away from the man I truly love. I had no other choice but to leave in order to survive. I let the wall I built to protect myself be the tool that would load that trailer hitched to my car, and fill my vehicle to the brim, then allowed the wall to lead me down the road to the only place I felt safe…with my family.
As I decompressed from my leaving, and readied for this new trial I was facing, I spent a lot of time in prayer. Whether you are a Christian or not, whether you even believe in God, I hope you will continue to read this blog…because it is about our humanness, our weaknesses and our strengths…because God is my fortress, I hope you will indulge me this time and stay with me through this blog.
Weeks went by and as I settled into this new chapter of my life, I continued to pray for God to let the hardness and hurt become a turning point of forgiveness to my husband and to myself. I had to recognize the Enemy had taken the most beautiful heart I had witnessed in a man and chewed it up. I had also become someone I didn’t like, or could even love. My personal shame became a wound I would fight to heal. I needed to forgive. I had to drop to my knees and ask God to forgive Dan, and forgive me. Then I had to forgive myself…one of the harder tasks I might add, and to help me become whole again in His eyes and in mine. Let me sideline for a moment and let you in on something we learned during my attempt to save our marriage through counseling. I am a “distancer”, and he is a “pursuer”…(to be detailed later in another blog)…this discovered combination has the ability to rain havoc. Because I knew this about my husband, I requested he not contact me under any circumstances…ever again. My goal was simply to protect myself.
A couple months later, I received a book in the mail, titled “The Storm Inside” – my daughter text me a picture of the handwriting on the envelope – and even though my husband tried to disguise the addressing, I knew who had sent it. I remember the day I started reading the book…remember the tears I shed feeling the continued need for healing as each word penetrated my soul. I realized I was filling up with forgiveness toward my husband, and toward myself. After weeks of no communication with my husband, and upon receiving this book, I knew it was important to acknowledge the person who had suggested he send it to me. So, I took the first step and text him, asking him who had advised him to send me the book, and to thank that person. I soon received my answer when my phone began to ring. I looked at the caller id to see my husband’s name, then I heard the words…”answer this call”…and so I did. Almost as if in slow motion, I reached for my phone and said hello…and for the next two hours I cried with my husband over our pain and struggles. I listened with the loving ears only our Lord could provide, at the request for forgiveness, understanding and pain my husband was expressing. That day marked, for both of us, a new beginning…a second chance. I felt the weight of our past fade away in the raw pain he felt, that we shared. I felt God’s arms of comfort take over and I knew with nothing more than by faith that we would get through the storm within, and become whole again in God’s eyes. I heard my husband tell of how it took him the shock of my leaving to fall to his knees and let God take over his heart, what God did to work through him to find the man I always knew was there, because that was who I fell in love with…but had lost through this dark time in his life that consumed us both. Even though at this time I didn’t know what our future held, I knew he had been transformed, and even if we didn’t reconcile, his life and mine were both richer in God’s love than ever before.
As each day unfolded, we talked and shared, cried and laughed…and loved. We didn’t have a say in any of this, we were being led by God to heal and to reconcile our lives together. And so the story goes, Dan flew out to Washington and as I drove to the airport with the hint of fear he may decide not to be there, or that he may change his mind about me, I found faith was the driver of my car that day. I pulled up to the curb at the Arrival post to find my husband standing with a sign that said “I love my wife”…and all my fears melted away…leaving faith that God would step forward and open my door. I stepped out of my vehicle and moved as quickly as I could into his arms. We cried and held each other as the world around us faded away…as each tear cleansed our souls and hearts and filled us with strength through our love for each other.
For the next three weeks, we continued to talk, cry, share and rebuild our love, but only through our Lord’s help. We know full well, this is God’s story and we are both sincerely blessed to be speakers for God and his beautiful Grace…that we, as humans, are to be ground in His Word and follow His heart to be whole within ourselves and with Him. Yes, trials will be there, but patience, kindness and love will be provided by God to guide us along the way. God gives us the tools to fill our lives, our hearts, and our souls with Him as our foremost thoughts and desire…and He shall bless us in our lives forever.