What’s funny is that I remember the day I found out so very clearly, but the entire year after that is like one giant rain cloud over my head that suffocated me. I stayed with my friend, Cheyenne, for a few days to help get over the initial shock. The reality of what was truly happening to me began to sink in and infest every pore of my being. I remember sleeping on her couch and wishing that I had never found out. That this truth could reinvent itself into a different feeling. I wanted the night to never end. To never have to wake up and face a day as this new person. This new person who used to live in a world where she was loved and safe and secure. She seemed so far away now. Could I ever be her again? Dear God, please let this be a nightmare. Please let me wake up.
The first 48 hours were more of a blessing than I realized at the time. I was with a friend who loved me. Who made me eat when I didn’t want to. Who let me sleep or cry or vent or pretend things could be fixed. Who helped me make the practical arrangements that needed to be made at a time like this. I had to call my boss and take a personal day. I eventually realized I could go back to my home, that I wasn’t the one who should have to uproot her life and leave. My friends took turns “babysitting” me. When one had to work another would show up to watch over me. Looking back, it was a beautiful example of friendship and love.
And the big thing I learned about myself during this time is that I am a hopeful human. My heart has hope. I believed God could fix my marriage. I believed my husband could learn to love me again. I believed I would live through this and wake up stronger on the other side. This is the gift that God gave me. A hopeful heart. A heart that wouldn’t quit even in the worst of times. A heart that, maybe foolishly, was determined to live it’s vows.
My poor little broken unwanted heart was still working. It was in pieces, and even now is bruised and bandaged and isn’t sure from day-to-day if it will ever be wanted again, but it still works. I know this to be true because now I can feel it. And in an odd and somewhat comical way that is a gift. So many people go through life not knowing the love they are capable of giving. I know. I know that my heart will continue to love. I know I have that capability and that it is a gift and that even if it wasn’t the love I had looked for, I received love when I needed it the most. And, for that, my heart is grateful.
Romans 15:13 “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”