Welcome to Tonya-land, Won’t You Let the Son Shine In?

Just tuning in? Please start at the Original post of this Series on “Surviving Infidelity”: Shattered Hearts, Broken Promises. 

Written in both April & May 2012

 We are now in month 9 of this path to healing.  And like the gestation of new life, this 9 month point, marks tremendous growth and healing in our lives.  We have joy, laughter, love and the butterflies of newlyweds.  Day by day, we overcome the attacks of satan and find Victory.  Praise Jesus! 

I have leapt once again into the arms of love.
I no longer hold back in fear of the “What If’s”. 

I choose Dale. 

I choose love. 

 I choose joy.

 I choose forgiveness. 

I choose to stand on my truth, rather than cower behind it. 

  The Lord speaks SO clearly in the midst of tragedy, doesn’t He?  He just gave us this verse the other night:

“I raised you up for this VERY purpose, that I might display my power to all the earth.” Romans 9:17


Do you remember “Tonya-land”?


Where the weather is mostly sunny, the birds are always singing, lemons most often come in the form of lemonade and we all throw our arms around each others shoulders and sing “Kumbaya” at that end of each day.

003   I told you back then, when I first posted this, that Tonya-land does have it’s bumpy roads, however, when you try to keep your glass half full, you usually can just keep on trucking, despite a pot-hole or two.

  Obviously, for OBVIOUS reasons if you have been reading my latest posts, you noticed that my journey through Life in Tonya-land had come to a screeching halt, as my glass Happily Ever After Cinderella Castle came crashing to the ground around me.  But, because this blog is supposed to be a peek into my world;  the good, the bad AND the ugly…….I let you in. 

No, I let the SON shine in………

Through me. 

Through the shards of my broken castle.

Through my tears. 

Through my tragedy, then my Triumph.

  My job on this earth is to shine for Jesus. To be the best wife I know to be to Dale; to uplift him, to love him with no strings attached, to be his cheerleader. To love my kids and teach them about Jesus. My job is to teach them that they need to obey me, not because I say so, but because God says so….that their obedience to me is directly connected to their obedience to God. My job is to seek to honor God in ALL I say and do, blogging and Facebook included. My job is to be His hands and feet, EVEN when I don’t understand my circumstances.  Even when I plead with Him to take this cup from me.

I have to choose this, because it is what HE chose for me……Period.

  I have a folder in my email account, jam-packed full of lovely, beautiful, uplifting things written by you who have been following this recent blog series on Surviving Infidelity. Thank you all so much for your loving support! Thank you for encouraging and not casting judgement, thank you for taking the time to comment and read the things I put out there, thank you for not faulting me for my choice to stand by my man, even when it might have seemed easier to walk away from him.

This blog is me. Tonya.

  Put out there for all to see, the good, the bad and the ugly. I chose this glass house when I said “Yes” to the Lord’s prompting to start this blog over a year ago.  I just never knew quite how ugly things were going to get, you know? 

   Do you know that the posts in this Infidelity series, were written totally out-of-order, in a jumbled mess? Did you know that just last month, like a puzzle, they all fell into place? Amazing. I never knew just how scary it would be to push “publish” that first day, yet what a rush of relief and peace came as I did. 

  We are wrapping up our Infidelity series. Phew, what an exhausting road we have traveled!  I know there are those of you reading right now, that shake your heads and scold me for “airing my dirty laundry” in the first place, deaming it innappropriate.  Do me a favor, go read II Samuel, go read about David’s dirty laundry, a man after God’s own heart. 

Let me say this……

You may not approve of my actions, but remember, I don’t answer to you.

I answer to Jesus Christ, my Lord and Savior.  And so do you.   The End.

  I KNOW as sure as I know my name, that I have acted in obedience to a loving Heavenly Father, who prompted me to share this story. 

  Do you think this was fun for me?  Do you think I jumped up and down and clapped my hands, “YAY, I get to share the deepest darkest hurt I have ever experienced in my whole life.”   No, I begged God to just heal me and let me move on.  But you know when God is speaking, He makes Himself known.  So, I’ve been writing this series from just a few months after the truth came out until now, bit by tragic bit, piece by victorious piece, BEGGING Him to prepare your hearts for my truth. 

Revelation 12:11 says “They overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony….” 

Do you know what happened these past 16 posts? 

Do you know what happened, April 30th at 7 am, when I pushed publish?

  We overcame satan by our testimony.  We WON.

 I KNOW the Lord had me start this blog for such a time as this, so that He might be glorified in the midst of difficult circumstances.  So that others out there who quietly mourning the loss of their marriage as they knew it, may be encouraged that you CAN fight, you WILL win. 

Romans 8:35 & 37 says, “Can anything ever separate us from Christ’s love? Does it mean he no longer loves us if we have trouble or calamity, or are persecuted, or hungry, or destitute, or in danger, or threatened with death? No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us.”

  Don’t you see?!  The VICTORY has already been won for us, we just have to keep walking in HIS ways, in HIS light, and in HIS strength when we are too weary to stand. But don’t be scared when you are too weak to stand, let your knees buckle and just FALL, because when we fall……… 

We fall on JESUS.

Sometimes you run towards Christ,
Sometimes you can’t run, so you walk towards Him.
If you can’t walk, you stand, facing the right direction.
If you can’t stand, lean.
Lean on Him, for He IS the right direction.
And if you fall?
Fall on Jesus.
In Him there is hope, life, and the promise of a bright future.


Praise be to the God of restoration; TOTAL restoration. 

037Praise be to the God of new beginnings with the one whom my soul loves

Praise be to the God who makes BEAUTY from the midst of Ashes. JOY that is made from mourning, and PEACE that He traded me for my despair….

The story I share with you is no longer a tragedy, but it is a VICTORY!

It is no longer my story, IT IS HIS!

 And I’d chose REAL with Dale, rather than “Happily Ever After” with anyone else…..EVERY. SINGLE. TIME.

  Next weekend, I will join my WHOLE heart; healed and brand new by the blood of Jesus, to the heart of my best friend….again, 10 years later.  Next weekend we close a book on one of the darkest, hardest times of our lives and put it on the shelf.  The past will no longer be written into the book of our future.  I will leave it there, on the shelf, because I chose Joy. Healing. Peace.  I choose to move forward, not looking over my shoulder, not running back to drag along the baggage we’ve been freed of.   

 I get to marry the love of my life all over again next weekend.  A brand new start.  Praise Jesus!

I have found the one whom my soul loves…….and I am not EVER letting him go.



44 thoughts on “Welcome to Tonya-land, Won’t You Let the Son Shine In?

  1. Amen and Amen!!!! I kept reading this series not to see your pain and shame, but to see what God was going to do. Praise him for healing, forgiveness and restoration. May your vow renewal be a blessed occasion. I hope a honeymoon follows!! =)

  2. Blessings to you both on your upcoming renewal wedding.
    I truly believe that you have only seen the tip of the iceberg in the way that God is going to use the two of you for His ministry. In working with young families at the preschool, we see into families lives and there are SO many hurting, hiding behind whatever they can, in hopes no one sees. Often the marriages are just hanging on, the children being the glue, instead of Christ. Continue to be open to what God is calling you to……..you are being used by Him & “greater things are yet to come, greater things are still to be done in this city”!

  3. Thank you Tonya for being real and sharing your deepest woes. I am blessed to tears…and beyond words (hard to believe huh?) because you have allowed me in to be a part of this glorious God-story! May His blessings overflow you both and your home as you continue to seek His face. Can’t help but love you like crazy….all because of Jesus! XO

  4. I get goosebumps every time I have read each of these posts from you and Dale. Just goes to show that God is working His will in all of us. I wish I could be there to celebrate the renewal and re-birth of your marriage vows. I know it will be a beautiful day. Thank you for sharing all this with us. I know this has been so tough and exhausting to have to go through and then to share it with the world is even more difficult. But you have show such grace and made beauty out of dust. Lots of hugs and love to you my friend!

  5. Your obedience is beautiful and it is unmistakably apparent that this blog series is what God wanted you to do; His fingerprints are all over it! I will be rejoicing with you all in spirit for your upcoming vow renewal! Hearing you talk about it brings tears to my eyes, and joy to my soul to comprehend that what satan meant to kill, steal, and destroy, you have pieced back together and allowed God to strengthen! When Satan thought he had destroyed you, he just prepared you for fortification! You are fortified in Christ!!!

    for·ti·fy   [fawr-tuh-fahy] Show IPA verb, for·ti·fied, for·ti·fy·ing.
    verb (used with object)
    1.to protect or strengthen against attack; surround or provide with defensive military works.
    2.to furnish with a means of resisting force or standing strain or wear: to fortify cotton with nylon.
    3.to make strong; impart strength or vigor to.
    4. to strengthen mentally or morally: to be fortified by religious faith.

  6. I just feel like shouting!! Shouting praises to God. Shouting for the pure joy of victory over Satan. As tough as this has been on you, Tonya, what a blessing, too! Because now you will have the life that God intended for you all along! A REAL, happy place where you can live and love. I am so excited for your new life!

  7. Dear sweet Tonya and Dale,

    I have kept quiet and read….through your story. You know when I write this comment to you……we have felt all of the emotions that go with this kind of story…….we stayed on our face as a Momma and Daddy….begging Him to love our children and bring them to a place of restoration. Prayer…….repentance……forgiveness….freedom. That is what it is ALL about in the CHRISTian walk. We are still letting the Lord write our story and when we let Him write it, He will make us into His own image. Sometimes very painful as you know. He loves it when we give Him full reign of our Homes……even when we make wrong decisions, He knows how to bring us back if we say it is okay. I love your story….in the truth of it all. You never know who you all have touched until you get on the other side of Heaven and someone will come up to you and say, “because of your faithfulness to Jesus and each other, we obeyed and walked our story out in obedience”, you wait and see! Thank you sweet ones for being that example to all and giving so many the HOPE they needed to get on the other side. I have wanted to write this verse to you both. It is one of many that God gave us to have the courage to keep looking to Him, not our circumstances. “I WILL give you the TREASURES of DARKNESS, RICHES STORED in SECRET PLACES, so that YOU may KNOW that I AM the LORD, the GOD of israel, who SUMMONS YOU by NAME. Isn’t that the most amazing verse? Treasures in darkness…….our family has experienced that as you know. It is so worth it to share your story……..He gave it to you for one purpose as you know…….so that many will join you on the other side set free in CHRIST!!!!!!!
    Our girls read your story also……they felt the pain again as they and we read……we never ever want to forget……it makes you walk more careful.
    Love you both and we will be in prayer on your special day……enjoy!
    Linda for the Phil Stubbs family
    P.S. thank you for being brave!

    • Oh Linda – what a gorgeously beautiful post – it stirred my heart deeply and I know it must have ministered to Tonya & Dale in a gigantic way too. Thanks for sharing. I am hanging onto that scripture verse. WHAT A MIGHTY GOD WE SERVE! Sweet Blessings on you and your family.

  8. Have to say I enjoyed both your writings in this series. Looking forward to reading more. Hope it is a happier subject for the future! God bless you both. Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil, but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Corinthians 13. You are great examples! The very best to both of you, as you renew your vows.

  9. I was at your wedding years ago. I want to wish you and Dale peace and happyness in your lives.

  10. Tonya, when I read day 1, I was bawling for you and petrified for myself. If TONYA’s marriage experienced this, if someone would cheat on TONYA then my marriage could definitely fall, and someone would definitely cheat on me. I was so scared that maybe I had been blind, or that my husband had been lying. As a result of your blog, he and I were able to have a really good conversation about it all. And I’m so glad that if God ever sees it fit to take us through this same trial that I have a really good script in your example to refer back to. I don’t see how you could have been any more godly in how you handled this. I hope if, heaven forbid, I’m ever there, that I will be able to react the same way. THANK YOU for obeying God’s voice when he asked you to do a very hard thing. It benefited me, and, I’m sure many many more.

  11. Dear Tonya and Dale-Thank you so much for sharing your story with everyone so that others who might benefit from your words can read them! They do not apply to me, but I know that I am never immune from the wiles of Satan, even after 34 (as of Sunday!) wonderful years with my best friend. But even though I cannot put your story to direct use in my life, I can use your strength and courage as an example to go through the problems we do face daily in our lives.
    And you see, you still get to be Cinderella all this coming week, as you get to experience the giddy thrills of being a bride about to marry her true love. And next week when you renew those vows with your Prince, you will embark on a newer, better “happily ever after.” You are so blessed!!!
    I do hope we get to share your wonderful day through the blog-and I agree with Carla-hope there is a honeymoon following-you deserve it!!

  12. I am so glad that I “happened” across your blog at the beginning of this series. I think there are things in my life I have chosen to ignore in an attempt at “peace” instead of seeking healing. I know your journey was a hard one, but you have done a beautiful job in glorifying God here. Your obedience in the face of such reality is refreshing. Usually those who air such dirty laundry do it to get revenge, but your story shines grace at every angle. Blessing to you and Dale as you renew your vows and continue your story.

  13. I’m so glad you followed the promptings of the Spirit be open even though it seemed so hard and scary at first. Through your story you’ve put the gospel out there for all to see, and you know what? It’s beautiful.

  14. So beautiful! Thank you for sharing. I realized today that God is using you to speak to me about another relationship I have in my life with an in-law. He is reminding me to let the past be the past and to choose love. To choose joy. Thanks again! Can’t wait to see pictures from next weekend!

  15. Tonya & Dale thank you so much for being so brave and for sharing your story. I read every single bit of it and am glad I stumbled upon Tonya’s blog over a year ago. All the very best to both of you as you say your vows again to each other and continue to live and grow through God.

  16. I found your blog on the first day of these posts and have followed them each day. I went back and read many of your older posts as well and just wanted to drop a little note to say how blessed I’ve been by reading them. You are real and that is a rare thing these days. Most people try so hard to be “perfect” in everyone else’s eyes, when we all know we are far from it. When you give God the glory, He will bless you every time and that is precisely what I have seen in these posts. Thank you for sharing your heart and for choosing to obey the Lord in your commitment to love your husband. I have 4 daughters and we have chosen to teach courtship, as we believe dating is practice for divorce. You date, breakup, date, breakup, and on and on. Therefore when you get married and things don’t “go-your-way”, you leave…and that is why divorce is so common, but so destructive to families. I don’t know you personally, but from one wife who loves her husband unconditionally to another; I’m proud of you!!! Congratulations on your upcoming vow renewal, may it be everything you have dreamed about.

  17. Tonya,I just wanted to thank you so much for “airing your dirty laundry” for all to read.I know that is was soo hard for you. I know that it was not what you wanted to do. But,as Christians we need to see that other Christians go thru this too. It is not only the unsaved that have troubles.The unsaved that go thru trials. We all do in some way.The only difference is that we have GOD on our side. He is there to guide us thru if we only let him and I am sooo happy to be able to say that God is on MY side! He is waiting with open arms to carry me thru the “bumps in my road”.
    I am just so excited for you to be able to close this book in your life and start new next week! Praise God for the work he did in your heart! It is only thru him that you are fighting for your marriage!:) Keep fighting! Stay strong! It is all worth fighting for!
    Sending hugs and love your way today.

  18. Thank you Tonya, for being so bold and courageous! May God pour out His blessings on your marriage and family! As hard as this all was to share, I feel it has been huge in helping you and Dale and countless other couples dealing with things like this. Thank you for taking a stand for Christ and against Satan!
    In His Grip,

  19. Praise to God! I was you 3 years ago, and God let me and my husband back together. We have been back, faithful, since 2009; we just celebrated our 10 year anniversary in April.
    It is truly great news to hear y’all are renewing your vows. I pray great blessings over you and your family.
    You are an inspiration to all. Never lost faith. “let the Son shine” I love it! 🙂

  20. Go Tonya and Dale!!!….I don’t even know you…ran across your cute blog via Tasty Kitchen a year or so ago…..I was so sad after the first post of this series….but today I sing HIS praises…..Glory to God…..your story is beautiful!!!

  21. Congratulations! And Best Wishes to both of you as you enter your new covenant with God! Your children are very blessed to have you for parents! Praise God!

  22. Hi, a friend just sent me the link to your blog via facebook…your story is my own…Dale’s story is that of my husband’s………we too have chosen to fight……..porn is of the devil and audultery is its’ byproduct………….i appreciate how you chose to forgive the other woman……a year later, i still must sometime daily make that choice……to live as Chrsit-even when it doesn’t feel fair………….love you!

    You can find four blogs that I have written at usemetransparently (wordpress)

    • I read your heartfelt words, I felt your pain, as it is my own. Proud of your choice to forgive, daily, minute by minute sometimes….but the key to our healing! The key to our JOY! Hugs, T

  23. I’m so glad to read how you and Dale have healed over the last several months! This post and your choice to fight for your marriage remind me very strongly of Deuteronomy 30:19

    “I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: THEREFORE CHOOSE LIFE, that both thou and thy seed may live”

  24. I admire your strength and open heart! You are an inspiration to us all to trust our faith, our heart and the Lord! Blessings to you, Dale and your family ❤

  25. WOOO HOOOO SO SO SO SO Glad that Tonya Land is back for GOOD!!!! I missed my sparkly Happy Tonya that was gone for a while but, is back more and more every day!!!

    I am so Happy that you did this series Tonya it was very touching and I know by following Gods will for your life involving and around this particular time you will be greatly rewarded in some ways you will see, in some ways you will not see, and in some ways you will see many steps/years/season’s of life down the road in Tonya Land!!!

    Love you my Dear Friend!!!!

    CAN NOT WAIT for FRIDAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  26. I haven’t been keeping up with your posts the last week or so–life has been kinda crazy here–but now I’m catching up, and WHOA….God is amazing!! I am speechless at what He has done/is doing in your and Dale’s lives! What a testimony to His faithfulness. Your humility and obedience are just, wow…I know it’s all through Jesus, but still! You STILL have one AMAZING love story, Tonya!!!

  27. Pingback: How to Survive Infidelity: The Betrayed «

  28. Thank you, Tonya. I have been struggling with my husband’s affair and the emotional / vocational / financial fallout for 5 1/2 months on top of the birth of our 4th baby, and have been drowning in depression. This week I finally sought medical help, and I can see rays of sunshine again, praise God! Today I read your entire series on Surviving Infidelity, and received so much encouragement to HOPE and find it in myself to trust God again.

  29. Thank you so much for sharing your story. I’ve been married for 19 years to my soul mate and on Sept 28, 2012 my happily ever after was destroyed. I am mourning so deeply. My husband is so remorseful. I have been pushing him away and thinking about leaving because it would be easier than the torturous thoughts that take over my mind and dealing with my broken life I thought was so perfect. A relationship I was able to brag about and had so much pride in. Something you said on your 2nd blog in this series that flicked a light on in my head. I don’t know how to be me without him. He is all I know and I am too entwined in him to remove myself. There’d always be jagged edges from where I unwound my life from his. I love him too much to give up on us. Those words rang so loud and true in my head. I know where to go from here, it’s not going to be easy but I know God has a plan and I want to let him do his work … we are broken and we will lay our broken heart before God to help us heal. We haven’t been to church in years … this Sunday we are going back. Thank you so much for letting God work through you to share your story with others. I know I needed it. Much love, Michelle.

  30. Pingback: Dear 21 Year Old Me, |

  31. Funny thing, I too have been going through “surviving infidelity. The funny thing is, I was ready to give up until I read your blog. The funny thing is, I have been researching this topic for months, and never found much encouragement. The funny thing is, I pinned your blog, and the following day my entire pintrest pins were wiped out. Like over a 1,000. Ready to cry and collapse because I lost everything that I had pinned in a years worth of time. I figured, all was lost, which it was, and just created a new account. The only pin I have now is yours. The devil thought that I would just give up because he thought I valued my pins more than my marriage. I will rebuild, and eventually re pin what was lost. I know that something that you want bad enough will never come easily, nor without cost. Thank you for being so REAL and vulnerable. Tears rolled down my checks because I could completely get your pain. Tonya, best wishes to you and your entire family. I have to believe that if one person can DO IT, so can I.

    • GOOD FOR YOU! You’ve got this, victory is yours…bought and paid for by the blood of Jesus!!!!!! One painful step at a time, until total healing occurs, falling on Jesus when you can stand no more. God bless you on your journey to Freedom, Healing and a new happily ever after. Hugs, T

  32. Tonya,

    I just found your Surviving Infidelity series of your blog through Pinterest a few days ago. I have been attempting to “survive” my husband’s infidelity for over a year and a half now. When I first got the call from his mistress’ husband on 4/9/12 (holding our fourth child that was just 5 weeks old), I thought my marriage and life were OVER. It was after the cloud lifted the next day that I could clearly hear God speaking. He wanted me to forgive as I have been forgiven and to fight for my husband. I made the decision that day that I would wait on The Lord and His timing.

    Fast forward to today, 20 months after my husband packed his bags and left. After several half-hearted attempts by him to get rid of his mistress and choose us, he still isn’t truly repenting. Yes he is going to counseling for a few months now. And yes he has agreed to go to counseling together (next week is our first appt). And yes supposedly the mistress has been fired from the company he owns (four weeks ago). But I still hear him making excuses for his behavior– he didn’t have anyone else, nobody understands him, I don’t know how to love him, I don’t love him enough. Surely these are lies straight from the mouth of Satan.

    When you talked about the other woman into your blog and getting her feeling of importance from being able to get one of the good guys to sleep with her, my heart just sank. I don’t hate the other woman, on the contrary I feel for her that she doesn’t feel worthy enough, that she felt she had to go after a broken married man with his 4th child on the way. I forgive this woman everyday just as I forgive my husband. I have to. I’ve been commanded to.

    Over the past several weeks my husband and I have had some very sweet times and there have been some downright ugly times. I have been lied to and deceived for the past 20 months. The affair that he swore was over a year ago continued for much longer, I’m not even sure exactly when it ended, just that it’s done now. I’m angry at my husband and frankly angry at God for allowing this pain to continue for so long. I know it will all come together in His timing, that I have to let go of my plan. I’m just really struggling with that right now.

    Holding onto Romans 8:28 “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.”

    Thank you for sharing your story, Tonya. So many friends in this world just want us to be happy, for the pain to go away. They don’t get that only by His grace do we find Joy.

    • Your last two lines gave me chills. You nailed it. No one will ever understand the choices we make daily to love and forgive, the peace that comes from doing so, nor will they understand the gut wrenching stab of betrayal.
      I am so thankful you found me here. I am SO thankful you have your own Beauty from Ashes story in progress. It is my hope and prayer you find encouragement here. Thank you so much for sharing your heart and your story! God IS bigger and He so badly wants to make beauty from the ashes of our lives, if only we are open to letting Him do so.
      Victory is yours, bought and paid for by the blood of Jesus, so walk on brave warrior, the road is long, but the pay off is sweet!
      Hugs, T

  33. Hey there Thankyou for your stories they have helped me.
    I’m ashamed to say that I haven’t been as successful as you have, yet, in fully obeying the Lord.
    I have chosen my husband after betrayal
    I do love him
    We had had a beautiful marriage before … and we do have a beautiful new even better relationship in many ways..
    But after 18 months I still struggle, I still cry nearly every other day. I’m still grieving the purity we had for 23 years – (we had only ever been with each other… and so I bring up questions, insecurities and make them known to my husband.
    I know it hurts him – and I don’t want to hurt him, but I’m scared and I’m not yet trusting of him fully.
    I still struggle with my own self worth and liveability as the other woman was 18 years younger than me.
    He has asked me to forgive him. And I have (I don’t know if In my head or my heart-but it doesn’t feel like both)
    But the sadness is overwhelming. I used to be happy fun and bubbly and now I struggle to have 2 days in a row before I crash.
    I hope I can fully forgive and just be truly happy for what I have now – let go of what I’ve lost – and be able to love my husband fully – find something else to call pure and special between us – when it feels like there is nothing sacred left sometimes.
    But I love my husband with all my heart snd want to be as Jesus to him. But feel like I’ve failed so far.

I adore hearing from you, comment away! :)

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s