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Proof There’s Life After Death

{You can read the beginning here} Post Divider Proof there's life after death

Only minutes after my mother-in-law arrived, there was a knock at the door.   She returned, “there’s an officer here to serve you your divorce papers”.

The words were the final nail in the coffin.   It was over.  My marriage was dead.

There was nothing left for me to do, but let go, so I did.  I began to sob and my mother-in-law just held me.  Since I couldn’t pull myself together and the officer wanted to jet all the awkwardness, he served the papers to my mother-in-law.

For the first time in my life, I fought for something, and I lost.  Exhausted and depleted, I slipped the papers into my top drawer and took off my ring.  I would deal with that tomorrow.

I felt betrayed even by God.  Didn’t he see how hard I had fought for the right thing?  Now I had lost everything and didn’t see how he could ever turn something like this into good.  I see and know what divorces do to families with children.

In a brief moment, in my mind’s eye, it was like the shroud that hides my future was lifted and I could see down the tunnel of my life.  An inaudible voice spoke to my heart, “Your good and perfect gift is eternal and I have it waiting for you, but until then you must walk this broken road”.   Just like that, my dependence switched from Matt to Christ.  Just like that, I gave up the fight to control.

So, three days later when the shell of my husband showed up at the door and said he wanted to come back and give us a try, he met a different person.   I was done fighting.  It was over.

He looked at me and said, “I’m sorry I never fought for us.  I’m sorry I made you do it alone.  You don’t need to fight anymore.  I will”.

The next several months he did fight, and we began to inch our ways back into the same room of life.  I was determined not to put a Jesus Band-aid on the wounds, and Matt gave me permission to hurt.

Standing across from Matt I lowered my shield and let him see my bleeding heart.  Then, Matt lowered his shield and I was shocked to discover I wasn’t the only one in the room with a mortally wounded heart.

 

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Suddenly, “you need to pay for what you did” lost its punch.

Over the next year, we’ve learned to take more risks with our own hearts, but be more tender with each other’s.  We’ve practiced saying, “I forgive you” and “I love you” to each other and ourselves.

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This past weekend we celebrated our 10-year anniversary.  We stayed in the nicest suite one night could buy here in town, and after enjoying free food and drinks in the concierge lounge we wandered down to the lobby lounge where Tom was singing classic songs.  Matt gave a request and as Tom began to sing, Georgia on My Mind, Matt did the one thing he knew I’ve always longed to do; Matt pulled me up and danced with me while no one else danced.

As Matt held me close, my heart was full.

Tom finished his tune, thanked us for dancing, and then he said, “Let’s applaud this couple.  That’s a couple in love”.

Suddenly, everyone was applauding and looking at us.   But what no one in that lounge realized, they were really applauding proof that there’s life after death.

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Does it seem like your marriage is dead?  Or maybe it’s already dead and there’s nothing left to do, but bury the relationship and mourn your loss.  Does every day feel like another nail in your coffin?

Maybe your marriage will be restored back to life, or maybe it won’t.  I can’t promise that, but I can promise that you personally can experience life and love again. Walk the journey, experience the freedom, and let Love in and ravish your heart.

48 thoughts on “Proof There’s Life After Death

  1. OneMommy says:

    Haven’t gotten to read the previous posts, yet, but have to say it is beautifully written and so full of emotion!
    And, I’m glad there is a happy ending, or really, a new beginning.

  2. Sarah says:

    Charity, I had heard through some grape-vine, “in the name of prayer” briefly about your struggle last year. Something prompted me to your blog today and to read the entire story. Thank you for being so painfully honest and sharing your journey with the world. Your journey is beautiful even though reality can so ugly. Thank you for giving women and moms everywhere the invitation to look inside and explore what’s really in there and to allow the Lord to re-arrange it all; to correct the lies we’ve believed for so long, to bring renewed hope to their lives…….and most of all, the invitation to experience and embrace overwhelming joy. You are amazing!

    • Charity says:

      Sarah, thank you for your beautiful words! I have cried so many times while sharing our story, because it’s not an easy story to share, but if I’ve learned anything along my journey is that shamed wants to stay hidden, but that’s exactly what it needs to kill my fullness of life. 🙂

  3. Nicole Nenninger says:

    I am so glad your marriage has worked out! I am so impressed by you two–by your husband’s vulnerability in saying sorry and taking responsibility, and by your ability to accept the reality of what was–even though it wasn’t what you wanted it to be at the time. It reminds me of the Serenity Prayer–to accept the things the way they are. Thank you for such an honest post…visiting from TheSitsGirls website!

  4. Seana Turner says:

    Well that is just one of the most encouraging posts I’ve read all week (or more!) So happy for you and for God’s restorative touch to your lives and your marriage- proof that anything and anyone can be redeemed. Enjoy your SITS day:)

  5. Tove Stakkestad says:

    WOW – I applaud you for having the courage to open both your hearts and work it out. I love that – and I love your honestly and raw emotions. I have chills from reading your post and seeing your pictures. Congratulations on being one brave and strong woman.

  6. Clotilde/Craftybegonia says:

    Visiting you today, via the SITS girls. So glad that the Lord healed your life, I hope you become a bright and shining light for him in the darkness of other people’s discouragements! Bless you and I wish you well with your blog.

  7. Renee says:

    Charity, it take s a lot of courage to stay in a difficult place and trust God for the outcome. I’ve enjoyed what I have read so far today and look forward to reading more….bless you

    • Charity says:

      It’s not easy to stay in a difficult place for what I thought was to save my marriage, but Jesus saved me instead, and my marriage was just a bonus. 🙂

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  9. Travis Simpson says:

    Charity, wow I’m so late to the game on checking out your blog, however I wasn’t late getting to your hair dryer! Hehe!!! I’ve passed over your blog many times, intending to read it, then recently I noticed, your Chai with Charity, and said, I need to check out your blog! So glad I did! You are an incredible writer/storyteller! You two, have a powerful story! Thank you for opening and sharing! I’ve always been a fan of Matt’s music, and as of today I’m a fan of your work! Miss you both! Love you guys!!

  10. Michelle says:

    Isn’t it often that way? (or not very often since I have a hard time doing it ) The moment we surrender, our prayers are answered.

  11. Carolyn Eden says:

    Charity,
    You don’t know me. I came your way by way of Sara Tolbert. I am so touched by your wonderful posts. Thank you for your honesty and for your willingness to stay and fight when so many others don’t. Surrender and trust are a hard battle at times, but the rewards can be great! I applaud you and Matt and have enjoyed reading your posts.

    • Charity says:

      Thank you so much for taking the time to read my story. It’s not always an easy one to share, but I’m glad that I’m able to help and encourage others while they weather their journey.

  12. christa sterken says:

    Charity, I just want you to know I read this again today. As before, it touched me so deeply. I thank you for sharing your story so others can have hope. I am proud of you and Matt for using the ugly parts to create a bigger, breathtaking picture

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  14. Jessica White says:

    Your story hit me to the very core! 2.5 weeks ago I sat there looking at the phone bill, and the months previous, seeing thousands upon thousands of text between my husband and another cell phone. I had just asked him 3 days earlier about a text…”hello handsome”… he had received. He answered that he had been texting with a customer of his, but realized what he was doing was wrong and that he had started to pull back.

    It wasn’t until I sat there with those bills and asked him again that I found out the truth. I was devastated. I never in a million years thought that he would ever actually have an affair…he was too busy, worked too hard, etc etc. I had had my suspicions during the summer, had almost stopped into the customer’s store just to make myself a presence, but thought I was just being ridiculous…so I didn’t. I wish I had.

    No one in our life knows {which in someways makes it easier, but in others so much harder}. We were the couple that has always been desperately in love with one another, no one would ever think we could be that couple. But lies crept into my husband’s head and heart about our marriage, my love for him. It can happen to anyone.

    We’re both still here. Working at this marriage thing. Determined to stay together, for us, for our kids, for God.

    Thank you so much for being brave enough to share your story.

    • Charity says:

      Wow. The similarities are so uncanny. I’m so happy to hear you both being so brave to stay and make your marriage work. I know it’s going to be tough for some time, but in the end it will be so very worth it.

      My one word of advice, don’t let things go unsaid. It will be easy not to talk about the hard things, and let it be water under the bridge, but if you don’t deal with them now and resolve them, they will resurface over and over for years to come. Talk about the hard stuff now. Hugs on your journey to greater intimacy!

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