Renaming Our Story "Good" If someone had asked me to describe my life during the latter part of 2009, I would have undoubtedly described it as bad. The first six months following the discovery of my husband Wayne’s secret life was certainly the hardest six months of my life. I remember thinking that the depth of grief I was experiencing went much deeper than I had realized humans were capable of feeling. The sounds I heard coming out of my own mouth were sounds I had only heard a few times before. They were like the heart-wrenching sounds I had heard working in the hospital, like those of a momma as she held her sick child. Though I had witnessed several women’s deep level of grief on such an occasion, I had never felt it myself. The darkness that surrounded me felt foreign and frightening. I found myself wondering if I was trapped in an eternal pit of sadness, and if it was possible to ever find a way out. You see, at that point in my life I didn’t know anyone who had experienced the pain of discovering their spouse’s unfaithfulness, so all I had to fall back on was what I had seen while working in a hospital. I had seen the initial shock that a momma experiences when she learns just how sick her child is, and I had heard her cries of agony. But after a few hours she would leave the hospital and I never saw her again. I never knew how she coped with a loss that a mother should never have to loose. Because I had never witnessed the healing process that we go through after emotionally traumatic events, I had no concrete evidence that it was even possible. I fully understood that the pain of losing a child did not compare to losing the faithfulness of my spouse, but it was the only pain I knew, so it was what I thought about when I heard the deep guttural cries coming from my heart and mouth. The image of having lost something so precious and sacred left me feeling hopeless and empty. Thankfully, I was not left hopeless and alone. Hope found me right where I was in my pit of despair. As it began to shine its warm light into my heart I found strength to begin the long climb out of that pit. Three years later, I now have the advantage of a fresh perspective. I still remember the deep pain, but I see so much more than that when I look back. I see beauty in the transformation that we experience when we choose to put our masks down and be truly transparent with each other. I see the miracle of two divided hearts broken to the point that we were finally able to come together as one. I see that by being real we discovered a deeper level of intimacy than we had ever dreamed possible. I remember discovering the freedom that comes with both confession and forgiveness. I remember the excitement of leaving behind an OK life and trading it in for an adventurous one. I remember the overwhelming joy that came with discovering that my God is so much bigger than I ever gave Him credit for. I remember the unexplainable fearlessness I had knowing that no matter what my future held, He was big enough to handle it. Having said all this, I might be tempted to say that 2009 ‘was the best of times and it was the worst of times’, but I think instead I will just say that it was a good time. It was a time of loss, and a time of pain, but who am I to call that bad? Think about the momma who has just pushed through the last pain of labor and is holding her darlin’ in her arms. She would never call labor the best and worst of times. The beauty that was born through her pain eclipses all else, and she calls it good. Wounded heart, what you are going through may very well be the deepest pain you have ever felt. You may be wondering if there is hope for healing in your life. You may be going through each day the way I did three years ago telling yourself that this is “a bad day, and bad year, and that everything in your life is just bad, bad, bad.” Well, I hear you. That is exactly how it feels when the one we love the most betrays us on such a deep level. But please hear and receive this truth that I am now speaking over you: Good can be born from your pain. Embrace it. Push through it. And wait in hopeful expectation for the good things that will be released in your life.