Last week I started a journal entry on how challenging communication is after betrayal...If you are just joining my blog please read last week first.
The minute we got home, we both went our separate ways. Sleep evaded me so I opted to pray instead. It was one of those times the Spirit of God felt close.
“What God? I cried into the darkness. "Can’t I just go to sleep and never wake up?" Self pity oozed from my being.
“I want out of this marriage...I'm exhausted from trying. This last disrespect of adultery feels like the lid on the coffin of our marriage. Every ugly piece of their sordid affair is another nail hammered in. Our marriage feels dead to me—as if every time he was with her, dirt was piled upon the casket. I’m six feet under God, and suffocating from being buried alive. Will you please put me out of my misery?
“I’m too weak. I’m spent. I can’t do this.”
I waited for an answer, an impression, anything that would speak to my spirit. Then one by one, Bible verses began to filter through my mind; snippets pasted in scrapbook fashion.
“Do not throw away your confidence (Hebrews 10:35). You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what has been promised (Hebrews 10:36). But my righteous one will live by faith and if she shrinks back I will not be pleased with her, but you do not belong to those who shrink back and are destroyed, but to those who have faith and are saved (Hebrews 10:38-39). And now, dear lady, I am not giving you a new command, but one you have had from the beginning. I ask that you walk in love (2 John 5-6). Watch out that you do not lose what you have worked for, but that you may be rewarded fully (2 John 8).”
The verses flooded in with clarity and direction. Each verse brought fresh air and light into that darkened place. It was as if God physically reached down and pulled me into His protective arms. He made me believe in His strength, rather than my own.
“What does healing in our marriage look like?” I asked God. “Cause I can’t and won’t fake emotion.”
Three words filtered through in gentle eloquence … “grace, mercy and love.”
“God, what does this mean?”
“Grace means to extend favor not earned.
“Mercy means to give undeserved forgiveness.
“Love—puts those two into action. Show David he is redeemable and has value in your eyes. Remember hope. Give unmerited grace. Pour out forgiveness. Love him like I love him.”
How startling to realize our marriage remained far from over but at the same time understand how incapable I was of moving forward without God’s power. It was humbling.
~ ~ ~
To say that communication was challenged is putting it mildly. I was either, angry enough to spit and clammed up for fear of what I would unleash, or weepy and emotional, incapable of rational thinking. Often, I had incessant questions and badgered David for information that invariably sent him into a tailspin, especially if he believed we had already discussed that issue. Rarely did conversation flow in easy comfort as it had before.
I included this entry for two reasons. Firstly to show you the drastic change in our relationship, how so much of what had come naturally was now tormented; secondly to provide hope, and not leave you there. Yes, the immense pain of disclosure brings consequences, but God is an amazing rebuilder when hearts are soft. You can see how God spoke Scripture into my life, how His Spirit spoke wisdom for my circumstance. He will do the same for you.
Does this mean I always applied the fullness of grace and mercy? No, I made many mistakes. But this truth was the foundation I needed to initiate healthy communication, the beginning of restoration.
No matter what your betrayal...
Whether your marriage survives or not, whether your business partnership stays intact, whether your sister ever chooses to befriend you again, when you extend grace and mercy in these circumstances God imparts the gift of healing back to you. Even if that person never acknowledges the extent of pain he/she caused, you will be free. When you are free from the effects of betrayal that Satan would love you to embrace like bitterness, brokenness and the need for revenge, then constructive communication will naturally follow.