A few things I know about myself…1)I like to have a plan and 2)I’m a bit naive. These two small bits of information played heavily into how I handled “the day after I found out.” My naivety can also be thought of as blind optimism. So, after a horrible night I woke up with all the determination in the world. I would fix my marriage. This bump in the road would be my testimony. God would use this horrible situation and make something beautiful out of it. I wouldn’t let God down. I would do my part. So, in true type A fashion, I made a list. I made a list of things that my husband and I would need to talk about/work on/change in order to take the first steps to saving our marriage.
But I didn’t stop there. I called in Christian reinforcements. I spoke to a few select people who I knew could advise me spiritually on how to navigate my way through this mess. I chose not to feel, but to act. Feeling was harder. Feeling hurt too much to function. But a plan, a plan was something I could handle. Oddly enough, I didn’t really hear from my husband during this time. A smarter woman would have seen the writing on the wall, but not me. He needed his time and I needed mine. I imagined him sad and depressed at work…trying to figure out how to win me back. Planning some gesture that would assure me this was a one time thing, that it meant nothing, that he could change and things would be better than ever before. Hopeful. Optimistic. Naive.
During this time of planning I also realized I wanted to be in my own home again. After I had collected my thoughts and made my lists, I called my husband to let him know I was coming home. We needed to talk. He needed to give me some space for a few days (aka…find a couch to crash on). His voice sounded distant on the phone. He wasn’t saying the things I assumed he would say. This was not going as planned. Still, I marched on. I could ride this out. It was all going to be ok. God would save my marriage.
Then the second morning of my new life arrived and I returned home to start the “fixing” of my marriage. I had so many questions. Questions about her. How it happened. How they met. How long it had been going on. Normal questions, I suppose. But he wouldn’t answer them. He wanted to protect her. HER! Not me, not my feelings, not my heart….but her. He packed a bag and left. He walked out as I was crumpled on our living room floor. I couldn’t breathe. I couldn’t move. I couldn’t think. This wasn’t real life. It physically hurt too much to be real. I don’t know how long I laid there. I don’t think I much cared. I wanted to lay there forever…but eventually, I got up.
In telling my story I know that not every post will be easy or fun or even have a lovely life lesson attached. A lot of my story is the journey, the darkness. Remembering those times is awful. I don’t even recognize the woman who endured that pain anymore. It almost feels like a lifetime ago. But the important thing, that first step to becoming who I am now instead of who I was then, is that I got up. Even then, I had an inner strength, because it took a strong woman to get up. Getting up was hard. It seems like such a small act, but it wasn’t. It was huge. And it took the power of a God greater than I could ever imagine to help me stand again.
Exodus 15:2 “The Lord is my strength and my song, and he has become my salvation; this is my God, and I will praise him, my father’s God, and I will exalt him.”