Sunday, September 16, 2012


I would love to tell you that the night I went home to Kris, I also went home to God.

But the truth is, I did not.

The wall I had built up to keep God out was solid.  Set in stone.  Not going to budge.

But I will tell you this.

That night with Kris was one of the best nights of my that point in time.  We talked.  I'm sure I cried.  A lot.  He loved me.  He really, really loved me.  I can't even express in words how happy he looked that entire night.

Outwardly, I was thrilled.  It just felt right to be home.

Home with my husband.

Home with this changed man.

Seeing that look in his eyes.  That look that I just couldn't quite understand.

The longer I stayed, the more hopeful I became.  Maybe he really was done with pornography once and for all.

Kris and I were getting along great.  While I had been at Jennifer's "thinking", Kris had started calling around, trying to find a Christian counselor.  While we were willing to fight for our marriage, we knew we needed help.

There was so much hurt.  So much pain.  And while we forgave one another, we knew that in order to really heal and move past all the pain, we needed to involve a professional.

And yet, no one would call him back.  I will share the significance of this in a future post.

That first week home, while easy in some ways, was difficult for me emotionally.

How could I see myself as anything worthy of Kris' love?  I hated myself.  I hated what I had done.  I hated that it had left me broken and feeling hopeless. How could I dig myself out of the pile of guilt and shame I had buried myself under?

My husband was nothing short of amazing during that time.  We talked.  We laughed.  We felt and acted like newlyweds in many ways.  In those first two weeks our relationship was not only restored, but so much better than it had ever been before.

We both forgave.

We both chose to fight for our marriage.

We chose to love.

But something was still missing.  And while I have not seen this other man again since February 19, 2012, during that first week home we still communicated; primarily via text,  and some email.  I was still hiding in some ways.  I didn't tell Kris about it.  But I was just too scared to be without this man. I still felt like I needed him to survive this huge change in my life.  We remained friends that first week I was home.

I needed to feel like someone loved me.

And what the mind knows and the heart feels are two different things.

Yes, I was home.

Yes, Kris forgave me.

Yes, we were fighting for our marriage.

But I was still broken.

We all are, without God.

My heart was wounded, and this prodigal daughter was too scared to go Home.  I just knew that even if God would forgive me, there would be punishment.  I am not unfamiliar with the Bible.

For he wounds, but he also binds up; he injures, but his hands also heal.
Job 5:18

All I could take from these words was that in order to heal and bind up my wounds, he would have to wound.

He would have to injure.

He would have to PUNISH me.

After all, I was a sinner.  I had gone against the Bible, I had thrown aside my wedding vows, and I had wandered away.  Too far away.

If someone had pointed out the story of the prodigal son (Luke 15:11-32) at this point, I would not have heard.  All I could manage was that I had sinned, grievously, and there was a debt owed.

To God.

To Kris.

To the woman I had stolen 7 1/2 years from.

To friends who were hurt along the way.

The debt was too big.  It was too much for me to bear.  But bear it I must.  It was my burden.  It was the result of my sin.  The result of my stupid choices and careless living.  It was mine to shoulder and mine alone.

And it was a very, VERY heavy burden.  I don't think that people fully comprehend the control that shame and guilt can have in a person's life.  I was in bondage to them.  Because my burden was heavy and it was all I could do to trudge forward and work on my marriage, I feared that God's punishment for my sin would be too great.  That it would be too painful.  That it would destroy me.  This shows you how little I really knew of God at this point.

Because of my lack of understanding, I kept that wall up.  In fact, I very likely just fortified it.  I didn't think my heart could handle it, if God got a hold of it.  I doubted His love.  I doubted His mercy.  I doubted His grace.

There is a song I heard a few months ago that left me in tears.  I kept the title written down, intending to use it in a blog post at some point in time.  But I never felt like it was "time".  Sometimes I just know when I am supposed to write something.  Or when I need to write something.  When the time is right.  I feel a pull and I just instinctively know.  So, I had this song in waiting.  For the right time.  For the moment that I felt like it was time to write about it.

When I started this post late last night, I had no idea that this song would make it's way into this post.  It happened like this:

I've been trying to write this post and I keep hitting wall after wall.  And not the writer's block wall.  There was tension in the house, between me and Kris, me and the kids, Kris and the kids, the kids and the kids...


I can feel Satan attacking my mind and trying to keep me focused on the distractions instead of doing what I know is right.  But as God so often does, He stepped in and declared the victory.  He kicked Satan out and ultimately said "Satan, you are NOT going to keep her from doing my work!"

This was confirmed when I drove to the grocery store tonight.  A song came on.  This happens quite frequently, so if you are new to my writing, just know that music speaks to me on a regular basis, thus it regularly makes its way into my writing.

The song that came on was, in fact, this same song that I have been "hoarding" for several months.  As soon as I heard it, the tears came.  Again.  (We're going to talk about all the tears soon...)

It spoke to my heart so deeply tonight and it spoke of where I was at in the first weeks that I was back home.  The end of the song was something I couldn't embrace yet.  I was still asking the questions posed in the song.  I was still feeling alone and unloved.  Because I was unable to receive love.  I was unable to receive forgiveness from God.

Who will love me for me?

He cries in the corner where nobody sees
He's the kid with the story no one would believe
He prays every night, "Dear God won't you please...
Could you send someone here who will love me?"
The first verse struck me, and reminded me of how I felt growing up.  I always had this embedded fear in my heart of not being loved.  I spent my entire life listening to Satan's lies.  Lies that told me I was not worthy of love.

Her office is shrinking a little each day
She's the woman whose husband has run away
She'll go to the gym after working today
Maybe if she was thinner
Then he would've stayed

The second verse is a bit more obvious.  My husband left me (yes, I left him too...), in the sense that pornography addiction forced him to choose between me and the images.  I listened to the enemy's lies telling me that I weighed too much.  If I were prettier, or if I lost weight, he would choose me.

He's waiting to die as he sits all alone
He's a man in a cell who regrets what he's done
He utters a cry from the depths of his soul
"Oh Lord, forgive me, I want to go home"

Then he heard a voice somewhere deep inside
And it said
"I know you've murdered and I know you've lied
I have watched you suffer all of your life
And now that you'll listen, I'll tell you that I,

I will love you for you
Not for what you have done or what you will become
I will love you for you
I will give you the love
The love that you never knew

The last verse/section is where I really struggled.  It was in those first few weeks back home that I felt this pull.  This tension between me and God.  I could tell that God wanted to do something.  I assumed that it was to punish me.  That's what I deserved.  That is what my future held if I let my walls down.  I did not understand that if I cried out to Him, he *might* love me. But in those weeks that followed, God would begin to show me in some significant ways that He wasn't finished with me.  I knew, deep down, that eventually, I would surrender.  Eventually I would subject myself to the pain that God would give me, to punish me for wandering so far from him.  But it wasn't going to be just yet...


  1. Jamie, I have been following your other blogs for years now. I can honestly say, (and please don't take offense) I never related and just thought that's a good story. But Jamie, this blog is real. Messy. Honest. Life. I can relate to this! So thankful for a loving, redeeming God. You have shown so much vulnerability in this and I am thankful you have shared your story. Thankful God is still writing yours and Kris's story! Just like my tattoo I have, "life is a beautiful struggle" we all struggle and we all have ugly moments. But when we allow God back in control that is when the beauty comes into our ugly situation. Beautiful story.

    1. I was real in my other blog, with the exception of this big huge hidden part! The list six months of that blog have been very real as I documented all that God had been teaching me now that I'm listening. Thanks for reading!

  2. Jamie, I came to your blog for the first time yesterday through a link from a post on facebook. I read your ugly truth posts yesterday. Today, during lunch, I thought I'd come back and starts reading all you posts in order.

    I just want to say thank you for this blog and thank you for being so open and honest here. I have been separated from my husband almost 2 years now. He was/is in adultery. About a month after he left I heard God speak to me loud and clear not to give up on him and not to give up on our marriage. So, that is what I am doing, by God’s grace and guidance. For the past two years I’ve been on a long, hard road. But He has been with me every step of the way. I have learned things about myself and, most importantly, about God that I would not give up for anything.
    I’ve felt God speak to me that when my husband comes home he will still have feelings for the other woman. As hard as it was to read your honest posts yesterday on your feelings for the other man in your life, I feel it was just what I needed to hear. Again, thank you. I look forward to reading the rest of your posts.