Thursday, February 19, 2015

The Day I Chose To Leave

An amazing thing happened the day that I chose to leave.

I had spent so many years trying to make it work.

Trying to heal what was broken in my own heart.

Time and time again I would fall on my face, wondering why I just couldn't get it right.  Why couldn't I just be happy?  Why couldn't I fight off the constant anxiety?  What was wrong with me?  And how could I fix it?

I was unhappy.


That's not quite right.

I was miserable.

I was just barely trudging through life, not caring what happened from moment to moment.  I wanted something more.  The more alive I tried to make myself feel, the closer to death I came.

Three years ago, as I sat pondering all of this and tried to find a way out, I realized that I was at the end of my rope.  It was as if I had been standing on the hypothetical chair, with a noose tied around my neck.  The only thing standing in the way of myself and sure death, a way out of my misery, was to knock the chair over.  I was closed off in a room of solitude, just willing myself to end it all.

Every single moment in life comes down to a choice.

Would I stay on the chair, teetering between death and life?

Would I saying "to hell with it all" and finally end my pathetic existence?

Or, would I take the noose from around my neck, step down from the chair, and walk out the door?

Three years ago, I stepped off the chair.  I walked out the door of my prison, a prison I had held myself in for nearly eight years, though all the while I could have walked away at any time.  I chose to leave.  My days of running blindly into another man's arms was over.  My adultery would be put to death, once and for all.  No more half-hearted attempts at ending the relationship that remains one of the worst decisions I have ever made in my life.  No more accepting mediocrity from myself when it came to how I treated my kids and husband, my friends, and my own body.

The accumulated sorrows of your exile will dissipate.
I, your God, will get rid of them for you.
You've carried those burdens long enough.
At the same time, I'll get rid of all those who've made your life miserable.
I'll heal the maimed; I'll bring home the homeless.
In the very countries where they were hated they will be venerated.
On Judgement Day I'll bring you back home--a great family gathering!
You'll be famous and honored all over the world.
You'll see it with your own eyes--all those painful partings turned into reunions! God's Promise.
Zephaniah 3:18-20 The Message

At that time, I wasn't wholeheartedly on board with falling back in love with my husband.  But I have learned over the years that the reason I walked out on my adulterous relationship wasn't important.  What mattered is that I walked away from it.  What mattered is that I decided my husband and my kids, and my own life were more important than the so called life I was currently participating in.

Today marks three years since I walked out on the "other man" and went home to my husband and kids.  It's that time of year that I spend reflecting, more than usual, on all that God has done in and through me since that day.

I will never be able to get through the month of February without stopping to consider God's miracle in my heart and my marriage.  And honestly, I wouldn't have it any other way.  I am a better person because of the sin that held me captive for so long.  Do I wish I hadn't caused the devastation and pain to family and friends along the way?  Of course.  Would I change the path that led me here?  No.  I wouldn't.  And I don't say that because I want to revel in my sin or because it brings back good memories.  The fact remains that I am haunted (some days worse than others) by all that happened in my life when I so readily gave in to the desires of my flesh.  It has profoundly changed the way that I experience life and the choices that I make today.  My  heart has been revived, and I have been made new.  And even still, three years later, I still marvel.  I still find myself in awe of this great God who loved me so much that He took my sin and shame and died in a very brutal way.  He did that for me.  The weight of the cross is never far from my mind.  In remembering my sin, I keep the cross close to my heart.  Because it is through this remembrance that I am strengthened.  I am aware of just how broken I am.  Just how sinful and how undeserving I am.

But God!

There is no doubt in my mind that a miracle has taken place in my life, and in my marriage.  I could probably sit here for hours more and detail all that I have learned and still never scratch the surface.

Tonight, Kris and I will celebrate this special day, the day I left my life of sin and went home to the husband of my youth.  In preparation for going to see Plumb tonight, I have been listening to a lot of her music lately.  While nearly all of her songs move me to tears and fill me with reminders of the good God has worked through this awful tragedy of my own making, one in particular sticks with me.  It is a song that I hear and I know my husband's heart, so I know that his heart sings this song for me.
Kris, thank you for loving me.  Thank you for pursuing me when I thought it impossible for anyone to want me.  Thank you for seeing me as beautiful, even though most days I don't put on makeup or get all dolled up.  Thank you for seeing past the extra weight and all the imperfections that scream at me in the mirror and for accepting me as I am.

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