She references two books in the letter; one by Sam Laing called Friends and Lovers and the other by Gloria Baird called God’s Pitcher.
Dear friends and family,
It is sometimes hard to imagine how your life can change from one minute to the next, but this is exactly what happened to me. Today, almost 2 months later, I would like to share with you my journey of faith, strength, fear, friendship and forgiveness as I have experienced it up to this time in my life.
I would like to take an excerpt from Mona Shriver who wrote: That day, my life took on a new timetable: before the affair, during the affair, and after the affair. Everything was distorted now through the lens of revealed betrayal; while (my husband’s) burden had just begun to lift, mine was just starting to bear down its crushing weight on me.
It is like you suffer a living death because the one you love is lost to you not by fate, but by his own choice. (Sam Laing)
I had to decide right then how to handle my pain, anger, and my sudden miserable life. Being a Christian for many years I knew I was still responsible for my own actions no matter how I was mistreated and hurt. I knew I could draw near to God or pull away from God. I could put the blame on God or question him for letting all this happen to me.
"It is always God’s will to pull us closer to him; it is always Satan’s will to pull us away from God! It is our choice which way we go." (Gloria Baird)
I believe with all of my heart, mind and soul the scripture: Nothing in all creation is hidden in God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account. (Hebrews 4:13)
Because I have to stand before God one day to give account for my own sin I could not turn from him; instead I cried out to God. I gave him all my pain, suffering and feelings. I surrendered it all to him. I wanted to do His will not mine. I asked for guidance, strength, faith and deep love in my heart. In return I could feel God taking my pain and suffering. He was comforting me, drying my tears, and giving me strength everyday.
I experienced the reality of several scriptures in particular:
I can do everything through him who gives me strength (Philippians 4: 13)
What does it really mean to trust in God? It means that even though I hurt and I don’t know what tomorrow brings I can be sure of his presence and his love for me.
God is love. Whoever lives in love, lives in God, and God in him. (1 John 4:16)
My husband has been the love of my life since I was 19 years old, over 31 years. You can not erase 32 years of love from one day to another. I had to ask myself what it means to love somebody for better or for worse.
What is love?
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.
(1 Corinthians 13: 4-8)
It is easy to love somebody when everything seems great but very hard to put all this into action when your heart was ripped into pieces. This is when your true self will appear. How will you handle it? I am not saying that I don’t have days where I am unrighteous and wanting to hurt back, where I fall into my own sinful nature and let my emotions reign, but I am quickly turning back to my God asking him for help.
I am a child of God. His spirit who lives within me will bring me quietness, contentment, serenity, security, and fearlessness. In Me you may have peace... (John 16:33)
"I have heard it said, 'You can waste your time, your energy, your money, but don’t waste your suffering!' Surrender brings comfort and peace and it reinforces our trust in God." (Gloria Baird)
It seems like the deepest lessons and character changes are learned through difficult times. I know I could leave my husband but I also know that would not make my pain disappear; I have to go through the healing process with or without him and since I still love him and he still loves me we can try do it together. There is nothing else to lose; only to gain.
For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sin.
(Matthew 6: 14-15)
Am I afraid of the future? Yes, those thoughts come into my mind but the verse that helps me and I recall often says:
When I am afraid, I will trust in you. In God, whose word I praise, in God I trust. I will not be afraid. What can mortal man do to me? (Psalm 56: 3-4)
"Where fear comes in, faith goes out! But where faith comes in, fear goes out." (Gloria Baird)
Since I trust in my God I will try with every bone in my body not be fearful for the future and I will continue to give my heart even when it hurts.
I have learned that I have a deep faith for which I am so thankful. I am grateful that I have not turned from God. Instead, my walk with God has deeply intensified and has become stronger than ever. I pray that I will never turn from my God. I am so thankful for our children and to know that we have true friends who are all helping us go through this hard time with lots of hope, encouragement and love. Thank you so much for that. We could not do it without God and you. Thank you for all your prayers for us. We feel them in our lives everyday. We all need each other and I hope our friendships will become stronger, closer and more real then ever so we can help each other in every day’s struggle of life.
I can testify that God is real. He carried me and he is still carrying me. Without him I would have gone insane and become depressed, angry, bitter and wanting to cause pain.
Instead I feel the fruit of the spirit. (most of the time)
But the fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. (Galatians 5: 22-23)
Nothing is impossible with God
(I truly believe this)
Thank you for your love and friendship. Please keep praying for us as we have a long journey ahead of us.
I admire this sister’s faith and her desire to sincerely search her heart and seek God’s comfort, support and will in her life. Her husband has publicly repented and is now in a sexual addiction ministry where he is confronting this pattern of sin in his life. This sister biblically has the right to divorce but is choosing grace in the light of her personal convictions. Please pray for them.
I am alarmed by how the world has influenced many in the Kingdom regarding how they are living their lives. Carnal thinking is insidiously eating away at our faith and unity in the church and our families. These destructive influences have eroded away many of the following standards: commitment to absolute purity before marriage, adherence to biblical teachings regarding divorce and remarriage, husband and wife roles in marriage and family priorities to name a few. I Peter 2 refers to us as strangers and aliens in this world and he warns us to abstain from sinful desires, which war against our souls. I encourage you to examine yourself to be sure that you are choosing God’s way over the world’s ways.
May we all be as full of grace to others as God is towards us.