A Crack in the Concrete

Today, I came across a picture that was posted on our group's GroupMe wall a while back. A depiction of hope, a moment captured by a camera, a view of grace, healing, and growth, revealing a glimmer of rescue and new life. You've probably seen something like it, or the one I'm referring to, where determined little white flowers are growing out of a crack in an otherwise lifeless slab of concrete sidewalk.

At the time this was shared with me, and when I wrote this journal entry, feelings of hope finally started to emerge, much like the ray of light and the new life, emerging with these little flowers through the slab. Where my heart was once in a place consumed with hopelessness, absent of joy, with no healing in sight (to the human eye), time and faith now uncovered proof that change and healing were not only possible, but certain.

May this writing be a reminder to you, that a season of hope is emerging. Just a drop or a hint of hope can bring great faith and thus, change.

I pray a spirit of hope and comfort overwhelms you today.

Sept 2020 (4 years post D-Day)

It's been such a long journey of uncertainty and fear and trying to right all the wrongs. For several years I feel like I've walked on a dark broken road, with very little hope, to a destination I'm not sure where. I have been carrying the burden of shame on my shoulders, holding the blame for someone else's pain, and limping along suffering from my own unattended wounds.

At about the 3-year mark, I had already begun to let go of saving our marriage. Things were the same kind of awful for so long that I knew we had to make a change for any smidgen of hope left for reconciling. But that took a long time to figure out what that change was going to be. We dreaded making any drastic decisions, but we were miserable just the same. At this point, I just wanted peace. I was tired. Tired of wanting things to be different. And I just wanted our kids to have two parents that could execute a civil conversation about regular things, even if that meant we were no longer married.

At the beginning of our separation, for about eight months, my husband did not do anything we had agreed upon prior to the separation. Looking back, it was absurd to think he would. He was not reasonable, he was still in so much pain and had so much anger, and he had to go deal with all of it. By himself, without me. I also had to let him go. I had to separate my progress from his, and his from mine.

I had to let go of the idea that my worth and value was somehow tied to the resolution, the reconciliation, the forgiveness (by him) of what I had done.

I had to set a lot of hard boundaries. By hard, I mean hard to enforce and hard not to feel awful by doing something as uncomfortable as that is. As suggested by my counselor, I also had to set a boundary about how we talked about my affair. This didn't give me permission to dismiss his need to bring it up, or excuse myself from conversations, but it gave us a platform to discuss without looping back to destruction and transmitting pain. It gave us an "in" to begin healthy conversations. We had to do things differently. And we had to heal.

This took time. It took many prayers and intentional work to change my heart. It took faith that something good was coming. (Isaiah 40:31)

I am not dismissing the pain I caused or the price tag on my choices. There are certainly (no less than) 100 things I would have done differently. Knowing now just how badly I acted toward my husband, then the shame that had wrapped itself around me once it all unraveled, it was a perfect formula of destruction and prolonged misery. The way I did things stunted my surrender and repentance, and only prolonged pain for my husband. Living in this reality for all these years nearly destroyed us.

I had so much peace when I could let it all go. There was room for God to work and for my heart (and my husband's) to heal. (Matthew 11:28)

Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.

(Matthew 11:28-30)

It took 10 months being separated for us to be able to sit and start having conversations. But we did it. I fought back my need for him to ease my pain. I fought back my need to be heard or known by him. I left that to God, and God alone.

We began to hear one another, and I found the ability to keep my mouth shut without FEELING bound to do so but listening from a loving and understanding place. BUT I absolutely could not have gotten here if there had not been that time away, that rearranging, that intentional time apart from each other, and time reserved with God.

I lived peacefully for over a year, though I have cried and had many sleepless nights, healing is happening. My husband and I have had meaningful conversations and even took a family trip together at the end of June. We spent so much time together as a family over the summer and my husband started making some huge leaps, putting effort into our relationship, versus just with the kids. We do not argue, we discuss. We have changed a lot (not all) of our old patterns. The space is the BEST thing that could have happened for us. It allowed us fewer opportunities to hurt each other further; it allowed us to heal wounds apart from each other and seek God alone for that, and allowed opportunities (after a while) for us to start showing up for each other in ways we hadn't seen in a long time, or ever.

The Lord has a plan for you and already knows how He will use your own story.

The seeds of healing and new life have already been planted, even if you cannot see it now.

The good news is that God loves to sustain those who are fainting and give life to those who feel completely depleted. Wait for the Lord and he will give you life. He has promised to renew your strength even though you don't feel it now. He has good things in store for you.

...but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.

(Isaiah 40:31)

Trust the process. Your heart will be restored and your story will be redeemed.

You are His beloved, gifted in so many ways, worthy, and forgiven. Continue to be repentant and steadfast in renewing your heart, mind and soul. I pray He will give you a nudge to keep your hope alive and to keep putting one foot in front of the other.

~Nicole

Add New Comment

What type of affair was it?

Our free Affair Analyzer provides you with insights about your unique situation and gives you a personalized plan of action.
Take the Affair Analyzer

Free Surviving Infidelity Bootcamp

Our experts designed this step-by-step guide to help you survive infidelity. Be intentional with your healing with this free 7-day bootcamp.
head-silhouette
 
I would highly recommend giving this a try.
 
-D, Texas