Sorry I have not been available the past few weeks, we received a much needed holiday and rest. I came back feeling re-energized, re-focused and refreshed. However, from past experience, I know the pain of betrayal does not take a holiday. Thus, the next two weeks before Christmas, I will depict a before and after scenario...the pain I felt that first Christmas, and the healing that has taken place since that day.
This before and after picture will be told in the form of two letters I wrote. Today's blog is a letter I never mailed out. For years I wrote a Christmas letter to send to family and friends. Christmas 2007 was different. I wrote the letter but never mailed it. I will share this sad letter with the world because it aptly depicts the pain. Sadly, there will be those of you who relate. Next week I will share this years Christmas letter which I did mail. The reason for this exercise is to note the vast difference in mindset, and for you the reader to believe that healing is possible.
I know that some people get stuck in the pain and never again rise above the misery, but that does not need to be your story. God wants to heal the deepest of pain.
Here is that first letter I wrote in a journal entry... ( told with the permission of my family.)
November 5, 2007
Ally (my daughter) called today and wanted to go to Costco to look at the new Christmas music, beautiful wreaths, and the array of decorations just in. I could not muster up a good excuse, so I picked her up and went through the motions. She was disappointed when I bought nothing but groceries. I couldn’t tell her I had no interest in any of it. I don’t know how I will face this season. I know I won’t have the strength to send out a Christmas letter. It would break my heart to pretend that this great family exists, when in my mind it’s shattered. Not sending out that letter in and of itself will be a strange message because friends and family expect it. They will know something is wrong…but what would I write? The truth is tragic and depressing…
Dear Family and Friends.
It is with great sorrow I face this Christmas season. As you know I usually highlight each member of my family so I will begin with David. So much about my marriage has been a lie. I’ve received an early Christmas gift from my husband, the gift of truth. It was necessary for his soul issues, but I find myself reeling in the wake of grief. My heart is tied in sorrow instead of brightly colored bows. My house is decorated with the darkness of sin rather than fragrant boughs of evergreen. Speaking of evergreen, I will forever be just that—ever green with envy when I look upon those married people that have the most treasured gift of all, faithfulness. My husband has been cheating on me and I’m struggling to give him the gift of forgiveness, when all I feel like doing is kicking him to the moon. I do not know if we have anything left in this marriage. He wants to try and rebuild, but I have real trust issues, as well you can imagine.
He has also embarked upon a new career in commercial real estate. He hates it. He is perpetually depressed. All his past anger, lack of sleep, and tormented lifestyle that I so effectively covered up in past Christmas letters, now makes sense. That about sums up David—the man who I thought was my best friend and as it turns out, is a person I barely know.
I do not want gifts this Christmas. I do not want to put up a tree with joyful colors of white, gold, and red. For gifts represent love, a love I do not have. The white represents purity, and our marriage is blackened by sin. The gold reminds me of my wedding band and all the broken promises. The red depicts my bleeding heart. I don’t want to hear songs of sleigh bells, silver bells, or any other kind of bells when all I can think about is a word that rhymes with bell… my living hell.
Now let’s talk about our daughter Ally. She almost died this spring from alcohol poisoning. We spent a terrible night in the hospital watching her come in and out of consciousness. As it started to wear off, she kept saying how sorry she was and how I deserved so much more in a daughter. (She sounds a lot like her father.) To top off this joyous year, my daughter moved in with her boyfriend...the marriage covenant considered useless. (Again, like her father.)
God told me two things concerning my daughter: love her unconditionally and do not carry her sins on my shoulders. This approach has kept the door open. She visits lots and she knows I love her. I guess I could adopt that same principle with my husband, but quite frankly am not sure I care to.
My son took up smoking regularly, and though he is struggling with his Christian walk, at least he is trying. He is at college, taking photojournalism. I hope and pray he works his way through and does not quit again, as he did when he started engineering. He is affectionate and loving to me. We are close and for that I am grateful, but I shudder to think how the truth about his father would affect him if he knew.
David and I are empty-nesters in a home that feels like a perch (me ready for flight) rather than a comfortable warm nest. All that made it sacred has been ripped apart. A hurricane ripped through the tree branches of our life and our nest has big gaping holes. Now if only God would give me wings to fly, but He does not.
Alas, I must be strong and find that Christmas cheer or become a great actress and fake it...the latter being the most likely. So dear friends and family, may you have a blessed Christmas Season and a wonderful New Year, while I try to find the will to breathe.
Sincerely yours, Blossom
I will not sign it “The Turner family,” because I no longer feel I belong.
Now that I have thoroughly depressed myself with the writing of this years Christmas letter, I will pray. God help me through this upcoming season, because I don’t know how I’ll do it. I feel deflated and flat-lined. My kids will know something is terribly wrong when they see no decorations, hear no Christmas tunes, and experience no life in a season that previously brought so much joy. I must find the strength to pretend for their sake. It makes me weep anew that I have lost the Christmas spirit.
I’ll sign off now and try to sleep but am left wondering if I’ll ever sleep again. I’m no longer me. That trusting, naive soul is dead. Overnight I’m a different person and I hate the new one.
If you relate to this kind of pain, be sure and read next week...FOR THE REST OF THE STORY.
Also keep this Bible verse close to your heart, for there is power in these words. Isaiah 61:1-3 ...He (Jesus) has been sent to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners...to comfort all who mourn...and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair.
I suggest you read these verses in their entirety in a couple different translations and claim the promises as your own.