The Death of Something Beautiful: July 10th, 2011

  Today marks the one year Anniversary of “The Truth”. 

That’s hard to believe isn’t it?  Most likely because you guys were only told a few short months ago.  Dale and I, on the other hand, have spent every moment of all 365 days, fighting the devil for our marriage.  We won, but it did not occur without battle wounds, bruises and sheer exhaustion.  I am still surprised at how emotionally bruised and weary I feel at times.

  Today, I sit in silent pondering of the “Could-have-been’s” and “Praise the Lords”. 

  Today, I look back over the past year and weep.  I weep at the happy memories of a Beauty from Ashes ceremony, that was the biggest turning point in our healing yet.  I weep when I look further back than that, to a Tonya who couldn’t even stand on her own two feet, because she was so broken.  So she just lay there, amongst the rubble of her broken life, her whole world shattered around her, bleeding freely from a broken heart.

  Today, I remember the Tonya who died on this very day, at 6 pm this evening out in the laundry room, a yellow note clutched in her hand.  She died alongside her childhood hopes and dreams, and a new, stronger, less innocent Tonya writes you this day. 

   I am glad to be that stronger Tonya, thankful to tell you……




A new life, in Christ.

But, I’d be lying if I didn’t tell you, that I miss my innocent trust of a world I found wonderful, and the life I found to be a dream come true.

  There are very few things that occur, that are SO BIG, that they forever more change the way we refer to the timeline of our lives:

  For Dale and I, there will always be a “Before The Truth” and an “After The Truth” part of our timeline, our life story. 

  Our entire lives being pivoted around this ONE moment in time, not being defined by it, but being changed BECAUSE of it. 

  That one solitary moment, when one bad choice lead to another.  One moment that forever shifted our reality.

One moment.

   So I sit today, in silent wondering of all the Lord has done.  I sit today, with tears in my eyes, and a sob silenced in my throat, as I think of how long the road has been.  How far we have come, how at the times we couldn’t even stand on our own two feet, we were carried by our Savior.

A Year ago today changed everything.

Nothing will ever be as it was……

And I am still not quite sure how I feel about it.  I think that’s ok.  A normal step on the road to total healing.

  What I will say is this…..

We would not be where we are today, without Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior.


Without faith, and the arms of Jesus, we’d have fallen and never gotten back up.

  We are where we are today, because of the blood of Jesus, who makes all things new.  And a loving God, who desires to make a beautiful mosaic from the shards of our lives, if only we will trust Him with all the pieces.

July 10th, 2011 will forever more be burned in my mind, but I don’t have to live by it…….

For I already DIED from it.

And I sure don’t have to be defined by it…..

  It is simply a shifting axis, a reference point, in a life-long road to healing.

1 year after death, together we stand: 

Dale and Tonya Ferguson. 

  Forgiven by grace, strengthened by the fiery trials, and VICTORIOUS by the blood of Jesus, July 10th, 2012, 1 Year After The Truth that set us free. 

Beauty from ashes, baby.  Beauty from ashes.




36 thoughts on “The Death of Something Beautiful: July 10th, 2011

  1. Hallelujah! PRAISE HIS HOLY NAME!…for the GREAT things HE has done in both of you as He brought you out of the PIT. PSALM 40:2 Perfect song to share. JOB 23:10 – BUT HE KNOWS THE WAY THAT I TAKE; WHEN HE HAS TRIED ME, I WILL COME FORTH AS GOLD. Praising Him with you for His Faithfulness to be with us in the fire…to bring us closer to His Likeness.

  2. Be careful, remember once a cheater always a cheater. You can’t put sour milk back in the fridge and expect it to get fresh again.

  3. Praise Jesus!!! This is beautiful. You fixed something that was broken while SOOOO many people choose the easy way out. I admire you guys so much! Your entire store has inspired me like nothing else. No, my marriage has never been through a storm like that but your story has most def helped strengthen our marriage. Thank you for letting God work through you to inspire us who daily read your blog. You’re a strong & courageous woman!!! *HUGS* God bless you & your family sooooo much!!!!!!!!

  4. Words do not come for you and Dale in all you have been through. Praise God He forgives!!
    Love you two so much. Grandma

  5. does your husband mind you posting all of this? for “forgiving” him you seem to bash him a lot…..

    • Talking about how we are healing a year later, still married by the grace of God, doesn’t mean “bashing”, does it? Were there any hurtful words directed at my husband? No, because we are healing TOGETHER, joint effort. Being made better than before, because what doesn’t break you, DOES make you stronger! We are speaking publicly about what we went through, both on the blog, in church and at Men and Women’s Encounter, in hopes of preventing other couples from having to walk this road alone. Anything I write or speak on, is written with Dale’s help, or at very least, stamp of approval. Same with when he speaks, we work on it together.
      If you find this story annoying, then I suggest you head elsewhere. I’m not going to stop anytime soon, for what doesn’t break us, makes us stronger, and what isn’t kept in the dark, is brought into the light, HIS light, for all to see.
      Thanks for your time,

      • Here is the thing, I turned to God to help me through! I was already a believer. I will never be happy he was unfaithful, but I am happy for a God who restores what the locusts have eaten. I’d make me very happy if you’d stop putting “This story is annoying” as your name, that is just hurtful. Stand by your statements with your real name….

    • As someone who has followed this story from the very beginning and been blessed by the raw honesty shared from this couple (or did you not noticed that Dale posted sometimes too??), I am thankful that Tonya and Dale are outspoken in their pain and progress. Many families will be forever changed by their ministry here in the blogosphere. For those who are not encouraged by their story, I recommend more time spent on shallow, less realistic blogs where life is a painted picture of sunshine and poppies and real life is not a problem.

  6. praying for continued healing and continual focus on the cross , hard as it is not to look back, the pain will always be there, but when we look toward the cross, we become strong in Him.

  7. Dearest Tonya–I have great faith that the beauty that is arising from the ashes, made and crafted by our Lord himself, will far outshine the young girl’s dream!!! Don’t let those who doubt God’s work in both of you concern you. Keep your eyes on Christ!

  8. I’ve been so blessed by your series lately. Our marriage has had its rocky times and thro it, we’ve drawn closer to God and each other. I can relate to so much of the pain you describe…your description touches a chord in me…the tears fall! I commend you for not giving up as so many do today,may many more couples be encouraged to fight for their marriages. BTW, we also just celebrated our 10th anniversary,and our 5th child:)

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  10. I am so glad that you two are able to share your story! It is so good for others to hear that this stuff does happen and that we have an AWSOME GOD to walk us thru these dark paths of life! To often it is just swept under the rug and kept a secret and I think that is so bad. We need to give all our praises to the one who deserves them!
    Thanks for being so open and honest about your marriage! It has really helped a lot of people and myself also!
    Sending hugs your way!!!

  11. We’re coming up on our 2nd year anniversary of “The Truth” and your blog puts into words the power of God we, too, have seen in our marriage. God is so faithful. Our story is similar, but there are differences that have made it almost impossible to share more publicly, though I know someday it will be necessary. We were missionaries overseas and my husband’s 20-month affair ushered a new life into the world and nearly took the life of our son born in the middle of his affair. While our home is ever-changing into the likeness of Christ, we still face major acting out from our 4 year-old, who endured a lot of trauma as a result of living without the covering of the Holy Spirit for the first 20 months of her life. Someday, I hope that the Lord will prepare her heart and my son’s, too, to hear of their half sister, born between them. Thank you for sharing your journey. I hope to, one day, have the freedom to share ours….as it is truly miraculous.
    For His Glory. Be blessed, Tonya!

  12. Thank you for your blog…your story gives me new perspective and new things to discuss with my husband as we try to heal not from infidelity with another person but with his infidelity in our marriage…hard to explain but suffice it say your blog has helped me — do not ever listen to the naysayers they are the devil’s spawn

  13. I just came upon your posts only now finding the strength to see if this marriage is worth saving. I understand that you felt you had died that day, understanding the betrayal I felt when I discovered what my husband was doing.
    It has been about 9 months since I found out the real truth from my husband, only a few weeks after the death of our 19 yr old son to suicide. I suffered the absolute worst pain, anyone should ever have to deal with, then discovering my husband was unfaithful, how do I even begin to want to repair my life.

  14. I am a Ferguson to and my story is similar only mine has just happen..Honestly without your blog, the bible, and my counselor…I would be going crazy..your blog gives me strenght to go on..I just wish my husband was trying harder..It makes me feel like there is hope for us..

  15. Tonya, Thank you for sharing your story and I thank God for bringing me to it. It has been 6 months and 2 days since my world crumbled. I read your story and at times sob. The emotions that you are sharing are mine. I feel like I died that day. I am no longer the woman that I was. Truthfully, it’s not such a bad thing. I’m becoming the woman the Lord wants me to be but there are days that I miss that “before” life. We have chosen to rebuild our life. I too heard the Lord say, divorce is not an option. Which is strange because when my husband met me I was divorced but this time I couldn’t make that decision. I’m saying, I COULDN’T and there were times and times still that I want to. It would be easier. I could push that pain to the back and move on but I can’t. I can’t because it’s not an option. The only explanation I have come up with is to say that it’s God’s work. It’s been hard and it would be so much easier to end our marriage but the Lord knows better. The Lord is good. He is! He knows what our heart desires and he knows how to get us there. We were both broken and he is making us whole. Rebuilding us and our life together. I understand this better after reading your story. The Lord knew I needed something to make sense, a little extra help, and so he carried me to your story. I hope to one day have the strength to share my story and help others survive infidelity. I hope to be “transparent” one day. Thank you for sharing your story….Thank you. God bless you, your husband, and your beautiful children.

    • Proud of you for doing the hard “Right thing”. Never ever forget, the Lord will restore your marriage, not to just ok, or so-so, but to BETTER than EVER before!!!! Bless you on your journey to healing, I am always thankful when the Lord allows our story to point to His glory, for someone walking a similar path. Hugs, T

      • Wow, thank you Tonya this is exactly the encouragement I needed. I have been praying for my marriage and family to be restored for 3.5 years – it has been a long and weary journey but one I can’t give up on and believe me I have tried. My world has been shattered all over again when my husband filed my divorce and few weeks ago I was served with no warning and although I won’t sign it automatically goes through and in the eyes of the world we will no longer be married. I keep standing for him by the road I wait for my prodigal to return. Please pray for us. I stand with all others praying for restoration. What God has joined together let no man separate.

  16. Tonya, I just found your website and it has blessed me greatly. My world as I knew it was completely destroyed on 9/11/09. I found ‘love notes’ to my middle-aged husband from a 21 year old female coworker. He had hidden a 4 month emotional affair from me, even though I had been suspicious of them. I will never forget the sickening shock that hit me and paralyzed me emotionally for months. I went to God immediately and He met me in my pain. I can relate to almost everything you did, felt and said. My husband was crushed with guilt and sobbed over how he had hurt me. I saw true repentance taking place in him. It has been a tough road to forgiveness. I walk with an emotional limp; you never forget. But we are still together and still healing. I hate that this happened to you my sweet sister. Keep being real and transparent. I desperately needed someone like you during my hellish pain. I often felt judged by fellow believers and our counselor for my anger and pain. What I needed was grace. God bless you and your beautiful family!

  17. Tonya, I have such admiration for your honesty and strength in sharing this very personal tragedy. My husband left 10 weeks ago. I am the only one willing to work at the marriage. He has filed for a divorce. We have been married 10 years. Yes, there is an affair. I am a believer and so is my husband. I have found a new life and relationship with Jesus that I never had. I am so grateful for His grace and faithfulness. I ask that you and your followers pray for my husband. Not for him to get “fixed”, but for him to be open to receive God and His word. That satan will flee my husband and family.

  18. It’s been less than a year from our date of truth & every day I pray to make it past that one year mark. My story has the twists of a child resulting from the affair, complicating the healing process. Thank you for sharing your story & reminding me to just keep my focus & never lose faith.

    • Hi Rhonda…I, too, am still healing from an affair my husband had that resulted in a child. We were missionaries at the time. By Gods grace, we have reconciled and my husband is a different man. We financially provide for my husband’s child and have contact with her. I just hit 7 years post-affair on Thursday. I can tell you, it does get easier….one of the things God impressed on me during the most painful times is that it is His kindness that brings about repentance, not his judgement. If you need encouragement or just want to know someone else has been there, too, please reply and I’ll send you my email address. Praying for you!

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