A Walk in My Shoes

  I am still sorting through the rubble.


The ruined pieces of our marriage.

Pictures, dates, someone’s careless words, a joke about cheating….

All can take my breath away. Can make tears roll down my face in an INSTANT, despite my best efforts to stop them.

I live in a world that wants me to move on

Get over it.  Stop talking about it.

    I say to you,

Please, just let me catch my breath.

Let me work through the rubble piece by piece.

Let me do whatever it takes to heal in a complete, whole and healthy way, even if you don’t think it’s fast enough.

Let me go on 2 overnight trips with my husband in one summer, without judgement, because we are desperate for US time. Because the hardest part about this road we are on, is maintaining normal life with 4 kids.

 I need to be allowed to work through the layers of my hurt and healing. Stuffing down tears and hurts, only means I will have to deal with them later.

  I said to our counselors from our very first session on. I have a gaping, open wound. It is a pain I have never experienced before. I want it healed, but I want EVERY single corner cleaned out.

  I want NOTHING remaining in it, so that when it heals over completely, and it will, that I NEVER, EVER have to re-open this wound because a speck of dirt remained.  A speck of dirt, that over time, turns into a festering puss pocket of hurt or anger or fear that didn’t get scraped out.

  Scraping out all corners of the wound has been a slow and painful process, but a necessary step for the health of our relationship.

  I have pleaded with the Lord from the beginning, “Father, Don’t waste this hurt. Don’t let it be in vain. Let our tragedy be used for your glory.”

Don’t EVER mistake me talking about what we went through, our struggles as a couple trying to rebuild, as me not forgiving.

“Forgiving means forgetting” is the biggest lie out there.

  Forgiving doesn’t mean you have to forget, it doesn’t mean we are to live as people without a history. No. God USES those hurts to then help others get through. When I talk about what happened between Dale and I, it is not to “throw him under the bus”.  It is not to roll around in the muck and mire, or live it all over again.

No. I love Dale. We are ONE.

To “throw him under the bus” is to lie under there MYSELF.

   I share our story, in story form, because I am a story-teller by nature. It’s my passion. We are being asked to share with a hurting world, and we said YES, Father. We are being asked to help shine light on the secret, dark places, so satan can rule no more.

Here me loud and clear:

I WILL keep sharing our story turned HIS.

  Because, to be broken is to be made WHOLE.

 And as my mentor said, “We never know when a ‘Doubting Thomas’ will believe by touching our scars. {John 20:24-29}  Never regret or curse the very things that God will use to show His love through us. Bruised, proven and precious.”

You have not walked one step in my shoes. Not one.

Don’t judge me, please. You don’t have the right.

 Please understand, I have Dale’s full support to speak of what we went through.

   We wrote the blog series on Surviving Infidelity, together. Every time one of us is asked to speak or share at Encounter, we write those teachings and testimonies TOGETHER.

  In fact, we are speaking at a Marriage Matters night at a local church this weekend, together. Telling of our journey to healing, together.  I am terrified. I don’t like to speak in public, I’d rather hide behind my computer screen and blog, but I guess that is the whole “God’s power is made perfect in weakness” thing.

 Doing the “right” hard thing, is just that….

Hard. 

 

   Please don’t mistake the fact that I am again speaking about this moment that changed our marriage, as sign that I am a man-hater, or against Dale in any way.  We are a team. We are in this together.  We fought for our marriage, because we love each other enough to work HARD to stay together.  God is asking us to share in all kinds of ways, including taking us out of our comfort zones.

  You may sit in your cushy office chair and judge me for sharing our story, turned His. 

Maybe you roll your eyes because I am talking about this, again. 

  Try to understand, my life radically changed last summer…… I am not the same Tonya I used to be.  I am trying to figure it all out, this new life of mine.  In some ways, I am stronger.  I am braver.  I have faced my WORST NIGHTMARE and survived.  I am proud of that fact.  Empowered by it.  But I am also more exhausted, more sad, more weary than I have ever been in my life.  I work hard each day to choose forgiveness.  I work even harder, to choose joy.  A joy that used to pour out on its own, with no effort…I miss that. 

  I’d be lying if I told you I didn’t miss the sunshiny life I found wonderful.   My self-worth in my marriage.  A Tonya that oozed happy, that bubbled joy. 

And although weeping may endure the night, joy WILL come in the morning……..Psalms 30:5

Don’t you see?  

 I chose this. Willingly. Because obedience brings blessing.  I chose this when I told Dale I’d stay and fight for our marriage, rather than divorce him.
Because sometimes the right “hard thing”, is the hardest “right thing” to do.
I chose this because I am lost without him.  I don’t know how to be ME, without him by my side.
Because I pledged my life to his, for better or worse.
Because we are one.
Because this is what the Lord asked me to do.

Don’t judge my actions.

Please.

I don’t answer to you.

 I am taking direction from a God, who heard my plea to not waste this hurt.
A Father who is in the process of making a beautiful mosaic from the shattered pieces of my broken marriage.
A Holy Spirit who moves me to write and share from the heart with words that I sometimes can’t even believe I typed.

Let Him work.
Let Him use Dale and I how HE sees fit.

I answer to one, THE One.

The healer of my soul……

Jesus Christ, my Lord and Savior.

~T

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