I’m gonna share a deeply personal piece of my story, but something I want you to keep in mind is that even though I’m sharing my experience, this isn’t my story I’m sharing. This is a much bigger story. It’s the universal story of heartbreak, shattered dreams, and a wounded heart. But it’s also about the strength of a human spirit, the power of love and the freedom that comes through healing and forgiveness. This isn’t my story. This is our story.
So over six years ago now I discovered that my husband, Matt was having an affair. It was the most devastating day of my life, and I pretty much thought my life was over. But what I didn’t realize at that moment as I was kicked into hell was that my life had only just begun. It’s kind of strange actually thinking about talking about it out loud because up to this point I’ve only written about it.
People tell me all the time how brave I am for sharing. And will ask me, “How is Matt okay with you sharing this”? Even though I do see it as an act of bravery, it’s really much more than that. Matt’s affair was the hammer that shattered my world, and even though I felt like I had been left for dead, I was desperate to do the right thing. So I spent eight months trying to save my marriage, but only to discover that I was the one who needed saving.
I underwent the most radical personal transformation. I discovered the good Christian girl that I had been was simply a mask to cover up my deep wounds of self-hate, fear, and insecurities. And as I begin to expose my darkness to the light of love, the world around me shifted from Grey to Technicolor. I felt truly alive for the first time in my life. But something very unexpected happened as Matt watched me navigate my own darkness. It gave Matt the courage to open up the doors and face his own darkness. And together we healed from the inside out.
So this is more than an act of bravery. This is me opening up the doors to my darkness so you’ll have the courage to open up the doors to yours. Matt and I have been given the most beautiful gift of a second chance on life, and everything inside of us wants to share it. This is our gift to the world. This is my active service to everyone I meet.
I want to be a beacon of light shining into the blackness of hell, giving hope to those who are sinking deeper into the darkness.
I want you to hear my voice to the pain, shouting “Don’t give up! There’s hope! You will live again”.
All of us have or will experience some sort of a trail in their life and betrayal actually comes in a lot of different ways.
You know, you can experience betrayal from others you know, they promise you their love and promise to protect you, and then they don’t. And it could be your spouse having an affair or abuse from a parent or a friend, or your body can betray you.
You expect your body to support you. But then you experience disease and illness or disability, or it can calm in the form of infertility.
You can even be betrayed by life. It’s those unexpected tragedies like the unexpected death of someone you love or miscarriage, a car accident, house fire and probably the one that is least talked about is the betrayal from yourself. You swear you’ll never do such a thing. And then you’re the one who has the affair. You’re the one who, physically and emotionally abused your children. You’re the one that snorts another line.
And ultimately all of this feels like a betrayal from God who promised to love and protect us from evil.
But here you are holding this bag of shattered pieces called your life. Where do you go from here? Like, how can you possibly know what to do with all these broken pieces? When every time you take a breath they sliced deeper into your heart.
The day I was served, My divorce papers from Matt were the final nail in my coffin. I collapsed on the floor, sobbing. I couldn’t pull myself together to even go to the door. So thankfully, my mother in law was there and she finally went and asked the poor policemen if she could be the one to receive them. Since I was unable to pull it together, I just laid there and cried and cried and cried. Everything I had hoped for in my married life and for my children died that day. My fight to save my marriage was over. Once I was exhausted and not able to cry another tear. I picked myself up and stood there empty and lost.
I turned around at that moment, and I had this encounter, which is kind of difficult to explain because it wasn’t something that, like, physically happened or audibly happened, but it was more in my mind’s eye. I saw this dark curtain hanging in front of me, and I immediately knew it was the curtain that divided me from my present moment to the future, and I saw this hand reach across that curtain and pull it back. And I couldn’t see anything but darkness.
But I knew I was looking down the tunnel into my future and I heard a voice say inside of me, “I have your good and perfect gifts waiting for you. But until then, you must walk this broken road”
In a split second. I knew everything, I mean, everything was gonna be okay and it was OK. Matt and I eventually did restore our marriage, were able to work things out. But even if we never were able to come back together, it was still my journey to walk.
And so I’m not gonna tell you the same thing that was spoken to me six years ago.
Your good and perfect gifts are waiting for you, but until then, you must walk this broken road.
This is your journey, and no one can walk it for you. This trauma happened and it sucks a lot. But you can’t change what has happened to you. You can only change how you live with it. This is now your broken path. And as it turns out, there is no escape hatch.
Healing isn’t an easy road, but nothing worthwhile is. It’s gonna be painful because recovery always is. You’re gonna feel like you’re dying. But you know what it makes me wonder if that’s what the butterfly feels when it’s breaking free from its chrysalis.
I know it feels unfair when you’re the one who has to clean up the mess someone else left you in, but let me just say no one walks away from an explosion undamaged. That person has their own shattered pieces and pain to live with. It’s up to you to heal, please choose to help. Chose to be free from the pain.
And I’m not talking about giving it to Jesus kind of healing. I’m talking about true and deep healing. Healing doesn’t come from just “letting it go” or “it’s water under the bridge”. It’s not about burying your pain under a scripture and a Jesus Band-Aid pretending it never happened because it will haunt you every moment of your life.
It will pop up in your dreams. It will release itself in your unleashed anger on your children. It will be triggered by one word from your spouse. Your body will convulse when you think you see that person in the grocery store. If you’re experiencing any triggers, you don’t need to pray more about it or ask God to take your pain away. It’s time for you to heal emotionally.
Just like if you had some work gash on your arm, you would never just take that gaping wound into Jesus. You would never wrap it up and say, “God heal me”. You would seek out professional help and begin the healing process. And just like the physical body needs attention and care when it’s wounded, so does your emotional wounds.
Just like the body will heal and the pain will be gone so too emotions will heal and the pain will subside. If you’re experiencing any pain manifesting itself in anger, frustration, rage, depression or anxiety, please seek professional help, especially if you’ve experienced childhood trauma or sexual abuse. I promise you therapy saved my life.
You will heal. You will be set free from the pain and the haunting of your past. You’ve just got to be brave and face the darkness inside. Your good and perfect gifts are waiting for you on the other side.
So here’s my challenge to you: If you have experienced any sort of betrayal in your past, give yourself new life and allow yourself to heal from the pain. It won’t be easy, but as I said, nothing of worth ever is. If you know someone who’s gone through this kind of trauma, will you share this episode with, um, let him know you’re thinking about them, and then get some professional help from a therapist for a safe place to navigate through the painful wounds that you live with?
Now here’s the recap: Matt’s affair is a deeply personal story that I share, but this isn’t my story I’m sharing. This is a much bigger story. It’s the universal story of heartbreak, shattered dreams, and a wounded heart. But it’s also about the strength of the human spirit, the power of love and the freedom that comes through healing and forgiveness. All of us have or will experience some form of betrayal in our lives, and it happens in many different ways, whether it’s from others yourself, your body or simply from life. No matter how it comes, you can’t change what has happened to you, but you can change how you live with it. Your good and perfect gifts are waiting for you. But until then, you must walk this broken road, Seek professional help and don’t be afraid to face the pain and the darkness choose to heal from the inside out.