It’s the end of the series, but not the end of the story. The series was ‘hope for a messed up marriage’ and you have seen that there has been hope in abundance. Pressed down, yet still overflowing. Appearing when I needed it most. Lifting me back on my feet and holding me as I walked.
I told the truth to the elders in my church. To those who I felt needed to know. They were loving, and kind, and understanding and non-judgemental and accepting. I was released from shame.
I am still with my husband and I do love him again. It took me months to say those words. I don’t find things easy. I don’t feel emotionally connected often, but I do want his good. I want to support him. I want to see him grow. I want to be there for him. I value him, his character, his judgement, his humour. I love how we parent together. I adore our children. We are making plans for the future.
I am not yet free of the past. I still struggle daily. I keep wrestling. I keep leaning in to God. That’s all I can do.
I love God more than I ever have before. Why ? I told Him that He had to become everything to me. I told Him that I needed tangible confirmations. I told Him I would do total honesty and I’d see if He could take it. He’s met my challenges. My arrogant demands. My need to be loved. My need to be understood. My need to be known. He’s got them all. His words to me in the bible are life, and strength and hope.
I will continue to write this blog. So if you want to keep walking with me I would be honoured to have your company.
Just in case this is the last time you come here I want to share some really important things I’ve learned through this very painful season.
God is enough. More than enough.
But this is really easy to forget and you will need to be reminded of it frequently.
Tell people in your life, who you can trust, what the hard things are.
I have not had anything but love, acceptance and support from those I’ve told. I didn’t expect that, especially from those who knew everyone involved. Why did they respond like that? I think it’s because we are all flawed, broken people. I am like you; you are like me. We don’t need to hide our flaws from each other. You will still be loved even if the cracks show. And showing the cracks is the way to stop them from becoming larger.
Be honest. With yourself, with other people.
This is hard, but so important. If I accept my weaknesses I can better protect myself against them. By way of example, over these past few days there is something I’ve wanted to do but I’ve known it was not right. It would have been an action born from hurt and would have caused hurt. I told a few well chosen friends what I was thinking about doing. I knew that in telling them I would protect myself from carrying out the behaviour. Not because they tell me I am horrible, or bad, or they will ‘like me less’ if I do it, but because once they knew, they were standing with me, arm in arm, helping me to resist. I don’t actually want to be someone who behaves badly, and hurts others. But I’m human and hurting. My friends know this, and so they just take my hands and help me to stand firm. They couldn’t do that if I wasn’t honest with them.
Set shame aside.
It’s not something we should carry. We are redeemed and loved, and that is our status. This is another hard thing to believe and an even harder thing to live, but it’s true.
Marriage is bloody hard work.
It takes so much effort and so much commitment. You are not failing if this is how it feels to you. I think this is pretty normal. Talking about this with other people helps, as it can normalise our difficulties and stop us feeling like we are the worst person in the world for feeling like this.
Failing and sinning and messing up does not stop God from using you to increase his Kingdom.
It is ok to let friends who aren’t followers of Jesus know that you, as a follower of Jesus, are a total or sometimes, mess. My weaknesses will not stop God from being God. I have a friend who has been through a very similar situation to me. She would not have called herself in any way a person of faith. We have met and talked, and cried together. We message each other on bad days. We keep reminding each other why we are working to restore our marriages. She thinks God is working in all of it. She’s seen Him. despite my mess.
Hope is not wishful thinking or crossing your fingers.
Hope is not putting a positive spin on things and pretending that life is all ok. Hope is Jesus, who died in my place, who rose to life, and in doing so proved that there is something stronger than the darkness which can threaten to overwhelm us. Hope means I can overcome. I will find joy. I know the truth and the truth has set me free.
So if you carry on with me I will be glad to have you here. If you want to get future posts then you can sign up to receive emails, or ‘like’ The Hope Diaries Facebook page, and you will know when I post.
If this is where we part company then thank you for being here, but for now, goodbye, and go well.