For the entire past year of healing, hurting, laughing, loving, crying and learning to be “us” again, we have stated over and over, that we wish we could get away from it all for a while. To just focus on the Dale and Tonya part of the equation. The Lord heard our pleas, and through a good friend at our Vow Renewal, provided the funds for us to get away this weekend. Praise HIS name!
I decided to keep it as a surprise for Dale. So, for the past THREE weeks, I have had to guard my tongue and filter every sentence when we were talking about our upcoming “counseling session” that mom was coming to babysit for.
I had our bags packed and hidden away in the back of the Tahoe as of nap time on Thursday. This was going to be awesome!
Dale comes home from work Thursday night, with a bouquet of flowers and announces he has booked me a massage for Friday morning.
Okaaaaaay. Cool way to start the weekend, but does he know what is to come?
Now, how to get Dale to drive to the hotel instead of the counselors office…… Both, 45 minutes away.
So, my BFF, Kasey and I come up with a plan…
Monty, Kasey’s husband, is the proprietor of Red Robin, which is in the same area as the hotel…The Waterfront. So, we make this plan that Kasey is going to call me and BEG us to swing by Red Robin and pick up their paycheck for them to save a trip. Dale agrees and off we go.
When we get to Red Robin, Monty is there. This seems to perplex Dale a bit, “Why do we need to get the paycheck if Monty is here?”
I have no idea what I said, but I do know I suggested we have a snack while we were there anyhow. Monty always treats us right, and in no time flat, we had some fun snacks in front of us.
When its time for the bill, or “the paycheck” we came to pick up, Monty brings an envelope to our table and leaves again.
I had Dale open it, no bill to be found, but there WAS this hotel card.
He was so excited!
Waterfront Hotel is our FAAAAAVORITE. It’s elegant, they treat you like royalty, they have a den full of books and videos for you to borrow, a pool, hot tub, sun deck, mini golf course, and an amazing breakfast!
When we get to our room, there are more surprises….
Monty and Kasey had arranged for us to have some amazing snacks, drinks and flowers when we arrived. AND, the hotel manager got in on it, and threw in a room with a view and a beautiful rose petal trail that greeted us when we came in.
Kasey and Monty stocked the fridge, too! Such sweet, precious friends we have!
If you can’t tell from the above pics, the rooms are just beautiful!
We so badly needed some R & R and veg out time! It was wonderful.
I even got myself a new outfit for our special date.
The second evening we had a light supper on purpose, so we could come back and have a bed picnic and movie! YUM. These beds had like 9 extra fluffy pillows on them, so we nestled up with the tray of goodies and felt like royalty! 🙂
Then, like it always does after an amazing high, a low time comes. I never know what will trigger it, and can’t put my finger on it this time, but during our movie, I felt myself pull away from Dale. The thoughts started to come about what he had done, what had happened in this very town we were staying in.
Dale sensed it immediately and begged me with sad eyes to “stay here”, to not pull away emotionally on our amazing weekend away from real life .
It was too late.
The walls were up, the door to my heart, locked up tight. I hate that. I don’t want to be that way anymore. Sometimes, I fight and win those battles, but this time….it slipped up so quietly, it had overtaken me before I knew what happened.
But God is faithful. As I lay there, my back to Dale, hugging a pillow, I knew.
Despite the late hour, we were going to the office.
The one that forever changed my life. The one that robbed me of my beautiful marriage.
Dale had driven by it before, as he works all over our state in various towns. It made him sick the first time he drove back by it, but I had never been back.
Well, that’s not entirely true. I had been to the office when Dale first took it over. It was a lovely visit, we were excited for this next phase in our lives as Dale took on a management position, a step up.
If only we had known.
I may have only visited that office once or twice, but I have since been there many, many, many, many times……..
In my nightmares.
Over and over the movie reel plays. Dale pulling into the parking lot, one hand on the steering wheel, his ring twinkling, almost mocking me as I watch…..the other hand on the keys, deciding whether to come home to me, or go inside after a day of inappropriate talk with HER. In my nightmares I scream, no…..I try to scream, but no words come out.
Silently I mouth:
NOOOOO. DON’T DO IT. Please.
Please, choose ME this time.
In my nightmare, he shuts his car off every time, gets out and goes to the front office door. Again, my nightmare pauses as I beg and plead for him to go back to his car and come home to me.
Instead, he follows her inside…….“The Other Woman”, wins again.
I feel sick as I write you this, shaken, as I let you see into the ugly. You just got a glimpse into the hell that haunts me at times. I know better than to entertain this nightmare. I know that the victory is mine and I can shut the movie reel off. Most times, I do and I win, feeling victorious.
Other times, I feel trapped, powerless to shut this nightmare off and flee. Waking up sobbing, with a damp pillow from the tears that have been flowing for who knows how long before I awake. In those moments, I find comfort in Dale’s arms, his warm, bare chest, as I lay with my ear to his heart. I tell myself it beats for me, that he loves me. That despite his actions, he always has.
It’s time to do this. I am ready.
Dale and I chatter on as we drive to the office, but the closer we get, the quieter it gets in the car. The tighter Dale grips my hand. He keeps glancing over at me, to make sure I am ok. By the time we cross the railroad tracks, I fear I will wretch in the car. The office is now in sight.
He pulls up and parks, but doesn’t shut the car off.
“Now what?” he asks.
I can’t speak, tears running down my face in rapid rivers, dripping down on to my shirt. I say nothing, but pull the car handle to get out.
I was ready to face my demons.
I stood there on the sidewalk, finding his office window instantly. My whole life changed because of that room. I turn to look at the door handle that haunts my nightmares. Sobs wrack my body as I stand there; remembering, hating, wishing I could leave, yet knowing I needed to do this to move on.
I’ve been talking about doing this very thing for 10 months now.
Strong arms wrap around me from behind, as my soul mate meets me in my hell, nuzzling his face close to mine. I stood there, crying, arms down at my sides…..and then, eruption.
It was not premeditated, it literally burst out of me….
A loud, long yell that came from deep down in my shattered soul.
It was haunting, echoing in the dark, damp night. At the same instant, I turned and hit Dale. HARD. I took him by his broad shoulders and shook him, yelling no words, but yelling loudly just the same.
In a rage, I kick rocks at the building, wishing I could throw them through that window. I wonder to myself if I have cracked, if this is the breaking point from a year long battle to stay afloat emotionally.
But as the anger subsides, and the quiet sobs come back, I sink to the ground feeling relieved. Feeling victorious. I had faced my demons and I am still alive. Dale pulled me close, asking me to lay hands on the very building that housed his sinful actions.
I couldn’t, I wouldn’t. Still he pleaded, “Just touch it so I can pray.”
And pray he did, crying out to Jesus to bring me healing and freedom from this place. Peace that surpasses understanding washed me from my very soul outward, stretching into shaking legs and arms. Quieting the tears that had yet to cease flowing.
My camera was in the car, so I told Dale to get it. I wanted proof that this moment occurred. A visual of my freedom from this place. Dale’s freedom from this place, washed away by the precious blood of Jesus.
In the glow of the headlights of our car…….our hands, our rings, on the very building that the devil used as he planned to ruin us.
United we stand.
What satan planned for harm, our Heavenly Father used for good…….
IS using for good, each and every day.
I faced my demons and won this weekend. I found my peace once again. This office building will no longer haunt me. It has no power over me because I faced it HEAD ON. I love that the Lord used a much needed weekend of healing, to get out some more yuck. I don’t want it in there, festering under the surface.
We received a very large wound last summer, and before it heals up, I want it thoroughly cleaned. So much so, that we NEVER have to reopen this wound again to deal with “infection”.
Unforgiveness. Roots of bitterness. Negative thoughts.
I want them all gone, so that we can move into new and total healing.
We’ve just taken another large step in the right direction.
Praise you, Jesus.