How come nobody tells you when you first start looking at porn that it has the potential to drag you into a life of hiddenness, addiction, lies, and affairs?
How come no one warns you that one day your wife may tell you she no longer loves you because she doesn’t think she can ever trust you again? In fact, she doesn’t even know who you are anymore.
How come nobody tells you that someday, you will find out your wife’s relationship status on Facebook has been changed to “In a relationship.” You will see a picture of her standing with her arm around her new man at his graduation, almost exactly like the picture taken of the two of you ten years earlier. You will see the look of affection in her eyes and the smile you have missed for so long.
But it won’t be for you, it will be for him. And it will feel like you’ve been punched in the stomach by the Incredible Hulk.
In case you haven’t figured it out yet, that just happened to me two days ago. And to say it hurts would be an understatement.
If you’ve read my story, you already know that I’ve committed to wait for her for as long as it takes. The majority of my friends have told me I should move on, but I know God has called me to keep loving her and honoring her as if she were still my wife. I know it sounds crazy, but because the love of Christ dwells in me now, I love her even more today then when we were married. The more you love though, the more you risk getting hurt.
I guess that’s why this hurts so much.
I know myself well enough to recognize how this type of emotional pain has the potential to lead me back into hiding, which could lead me towards other addictive behaviors as well. So instead of isolating myself, I reached out to my friends and shared my hurt with them. Luckily, God has blessed me with some amazing friends. Every one of them gave me the support I needed in that moment.
They also gave me some great advice:
God is bigger than her boyfriend. Don’t forget, He’s still in control.
Yes, God is in control of this situation. He can use this for good. I preach that here all the time. I guess it’s time for me to drink my own Kool-Aid.
Your job is to just relax, trust God, and love her. God’s got this. That’s why they pay Him the big bucks.
I can try to control the situation, but where will that get me? All I can focus on is what God has called me to do. And right now, that’s to love her and trust Him.
God used Balaam’s donkey to speak to Him. Maybe He’s going to use this Jack-ass to speak to her?
Truer words have never been spoken.
Later that night, as I was praying for my wife (and her new boyfriend—fake it till you make it, right?), the Spirit of God laid this prayer on my heart:
Lord, please help her to surrender her dreams to You so that You can bring life to her heart’s deepest dreams. Help her to surrender her plans to You so that she can recognize Your plan for her. If this guy is part of your plan, then please make Him a man after your heart so that he can love her in the way she deserves to be loved. I trust your plan, Lord, and your timing.
I am slowly starting to reach a point where I have peace with this new situation. I survived the last boyfriend so I can survive this one. I still don’t like the idea of a potential step-father for my daughter, but again, I recognize God is in control. None-the-less, the pain is still there. And, because God is always looking for teaching opportunities, He told me this last night:
The way you love her is the way I love you. Which means this pain you feel when she chooses someone else and rejects your love is the same pain I feel when my children do the same to me. It breaks my heart when you choose to pursue sin rather than my perfect love. But don’t forget, her rejection won’t cause you to abandon your love for her, and your rejection will never cause me to abandon my love for you. I love you with all my love, no matter what, and that will never change—no matter how many times you reject me.
And with that gentle reminder, God brought me from tears of pain to tears of joy.
Once again, God has brought beauty from ashes.