But just because I’m not ready doesn’t mean God isn’t ready.
As God continued to write our story, adding new chapters daily, He showed us a couple we needed to share with.
Once you have been through something like this you can spot the same patterns in other marriages. Probably like if you have lost a child you can see that same hurt in another persons life without that person telling you. Once you see the pain in your life you can identify it in the lives of others.
I did not want to share, we were still healing. But I knew I couldn’t sit by and see another marriage destroyed if we could help in some way.
So for the first time, only two months to the day of the last time I saw the man, we shared our story.
The couple was astonished to learn everything just happened months, not years, ago because of the strength we displayed. Not our strength but the strength of God.
The other cool thing that took place was the love. Once again, undeserved, but lavished on me. The couple still loved me.
Also, the healing. When I shared I felt a little more whole, a little more healed.
Because of our sharing they sought counseling and their marriage is going strong. Their eyes were open to things they had been neglecting.
I went back to work in September. Honestly, I wondered if I would tumble back into my old patterns. I could easily contact the man while at work.
Shannon Ethridge said in her book Every Women’s Battle, something that stuck with me. I am paraphrasing but she said something along the lines of: don’t think I am never going to talk to that man again, I will never see him again, because that can seem overwhelming. Instead think, today I will not contact him, today I will not allow myself to think about what happened. And you do that everyday. Before you know it you don’t have to think that way because the desire is gone.
It worked. I had no desire to get in touch with the other man. No fear that I would try to reach out to him. My chains dropped and freedom found me.
I had the best teaching year of my life. I believe it was because of the my relationship with God and my husband. I wish every year could be so good.
During that school year, 2009-2010, we didn’t share our story with anyone else and I was good with that.
We joined a life group in 2010 and we knew one of the other couples had gone through the same thing. They shared in church but we didn’t feel like we could talk to them, or I didn’t because of my position in the church. Once we joined their group we knew eventually we would tell them, but I never thought I would tell the whole group. Ha!
In July of 2010 I went on an Emmaus Walk. If you don’t know what that is, I can tell you it is life changing. I can’t tell you a bunch about it because that is part of the wonder, all the surprises. But I encourage you to go if you never have. If you are someone who knows me personally and would like to go let me know. I will sponsor you. Seriously.
While there I met woman. When I talked to her we had an instant connection. Our first day getting to know each other I wanted to tell her everything. I thought how weird, I just met her. But I didn’t tell her.
The next day she came to me after an emotional time and told me she had an affair. I began to cry and confessed to her as well. God is amazing isn’t He? I have no doubt He put us together that weekend.
Her affair happened many years before mine, yet I seemed more healed.
She also shared that she had been sexually abused as well. She never received help for any of it.
I am telling you all right now, if you have been through something traumatic you need help. You cannot fix it on your own. You can try and you might even have a day or two that you feel good, but apart from God you can never truly heal. I believe He has placed good Christian counselors in this world to led us to that healing.
My affair was a year ago yet I was comforting her, her affair was five years ago and she was still carrying the weight of her shame.
I told my new friend I wouldn’t share my story with anyone else on The Walk.
I should learn to stop saying never.
I did. I told my table group everything. I was sure the little old lady that was in my group would hate me and think I was a horrible person.
Another shocker. She told me before we went home that she just wanted to hug me when I told my story and she said, “You are beautiful.”
What a sweet spirit she possessed.
One final thing to share that happened on my Emmaus Walk. During an emotional prayer time our last night, I sat in the quiet of the sanctuary and just listened for God.
I heard: You will tell your story to Pastor Gayle and to your life group.
I literally gasped out loud. No doubt in my mind God gave me a command. One I was not ready for but one I knew had no choice but to follow.
I went home and told Patrick the time had come. He looked surprised but agreed that if God told me I needed to be obedient.
Next week I will share what happened.
If you have a few more minutes click here. I woke up with this song in my head.
Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results. James 5:16 NLT
Patrick and I are very excited to share something with you. As we draw to the close of our story we would love to hear your stories. We have created an email account just for that. Do you have a Genesis 5020 that needs to be told? It doesn’t have to be marriage or abuse, it could be anything. Don’t think your story is too small. Nothing God does is small. If you prefer to be anonymous that is no problem, just tell us that in your email. We would prefer you paste your story in the body of the email, do not send an attachment. You can start sending your stories at anytime, we will contact you when and if we use your story on the blog.
We would also like to use that email to help you. If you are going through something and you need to talk to one of us don’t hesitate to email us and let us know. We are not counselors and don’t pretend to be but we know the joy that is found on the other side of pain. We can’t drag you to the other side but we can encourage you along the way.
email us at: 5020genesisstories(at)gmail(dot)com
We can’t wait to get your Genesis 5020’s out for the world to see God’s glory.