Time heals all wounds.
I heard that so many times during the thick of my situation. I always questioned this, however. Time heals all wounds? Does it really? Does time really heal all wounds? I'm not so sure.
Let's think about it for a minute. Sure, time CAN heal wounds, if the ultimate goal is healing and restoration. BUT if you are holding on to resentment, bitterness, revenge and the like, then you will harbor those things over time, not the healing you keep talking about. So it's not necessarily the TIME that heals the wound, but what you do with the time that you have. Time takes time, use it wisely.
Use the time to dive into God's word so He can speak to you and you can grow in your relationship with Him. Use the time to pray so you have a powerful, strong life. Use the time to worship so you are full of praise. Use the time to seek counseling. Use the time to read books by Christian authors that will help your marriage and mindset. Use the time to work through the trauma and truly heal.
One thing is for sure, and you can take this one to the bank, there will be nothing quick about the healing. It will take months and possibly years to reach an emotional, physical, spiritual, and mental place that feels anything close to normal. Things will never be your old normal. They can't go back to the way they used to be.
But there's good news.
We found this to be a good thing. Things not going back to the way they used to be was the best thing that ever happened to our marriage. Before the affair, our marriage was barely surviving, now it is thriving. Before we tolerated each other, now we look forward to date nights. Before we fought in front of our kids, now we are a team and the kids know it. Before we didn't pray together, now we do. Before we didn't serve each other, now we do. God has made our marriage BETTER because of what has happened in our life. I wouldn't go back to "normal" if I could. What we have right now? THIS is what marriage is supposed to look like. This is what God intended marriage to look like. I do wish it didn't take infidelity to get us here, but today I'm thankful for it because it brought us to where we are now.
You may be picking your jaw up off the ground after reading that last paragraph, or maybe you had to reread it. But it's TRULY how I feel, and as you've seen over these last 7 days, I'm pretty real and authentic. James tells us that when we face trials of many kinds we are to praise Him. Believe me, I wasn't praising Him in the middle of it, but now I can look and say THANK YOU for the trial, for the mess, because if it wasn't for that, I wouldn't be where I am today.
I feel like Joseph in Genesis 50:20 where he's talking to his brothers who sold him into slavery, saying "You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives." The enemy meant to harm me, to destroy my ministry, my family, but God intended for the very thing the enemy wanted to use to harm me, for my good, for the saving of many lives.
That's why I am writing this email. That's why I share on social media. That's why I write blog posts. Because I will make the enemy regret he ever laid a hand on me. I will be sharing my story of how God turned a mess into something beautiful and used a test to become my testimony, and today is saving many lives.
This kind of restoration doesn’t come cheap. In fact, it’s quite costly. It requires sacrificing every day, crying many tears, biting one’s tongue, choosing to place another’s needs ahead of your own, and enduring a lot of pain.
But it is possible.
John and I are living proof. We've gone through hell and back since that day in May 2014, and although we’ve had some setbacks and disappointments along the way, we have come out on the other side and now are experiencing a marriage that I never saw coming! A marriage I didn't think was possible! We are truly better than new!
We continue to walk. First, we walk closer to the Lord, because He HAS to be the solid foundation to all we do. Then, we just take one foot in front of the other. Taking each other by the hand as we go. Pressing into God and allowing Him to comfort us when we need comforting. Asking Him to change us in areas where we need changing. And begging Him to free us from things that hold us in bondage.
You can join us, too. God can restore and redeem your marriage. If you aren't married, He can redeem any situation you may be facing, He's that kind of God. You just have to turn it over to Him and start living according to His standards! And believe me, His standards are the best standards!
Genesis 50:20 says,
You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.
Don't allow the enemy to keep you down. He may have intended to harm you, but it's up to you if you STAY down or GET UP! Get up and go tell your story of redemption, of how God turned a bad story into good! Go tell your God-story! I promise you, He WILL use it for His glory! That's what my God does!
Father, THANK YOU for the cross, for the forgiveness that comes with it. Thank you for the power of my testimony and the trials I had to endure to receive it. Give me the boldness to share my story with others so that their lives can be saved. Amen.