I’m afraid this is going to be one of those weeks that I end up dreading every year.
I’m not even sure that I’ve really accepted that this is not something that will go away. This is my life from here on out. This week will loom over me no matter what kind of day I’m having. It will always be a reminder.
I’m afraid it’s the thorn in my side.
I can still remember the way it felt. I remember exactly what I was doing. I remember who I was talking to. I remember thinking it was all a joke before I realized that it wasn’t.
I was completely caught off guard. I never thought it would happen to me.
It was like the wind had been knocked out of me. I fell to the ground. Like for real, actually fell to my knees. I couldn’t breathe. I couldn’t move. I just sat there on the floor sobbing unsure of what to do next.
It was sometime during that moment that I realized everything was different now. Everything. That’s the really awful thing about cheating, it affects absolutely everything.
Even the things you thought were off limits. You thought cheating couldn’t touch, it does.
It. Affects. Everything.
I have to catch myself still. Sometimes I start thinking about it, especially in the days leading up to the day everything changed. I start thinking about it and I think about how I missed it. How there must have been a sign or something. Or I think about what I could have done differently. If I had just done this. Or if I was this. Or that.
I could play that game forever.
I replay the events over in my mind more than I probably should. It’s been a year and while I’ve made progress in that I don’t cry every single day, I’m still a mess.
I can remember the feeling of absolute defeat. I had lost it all. Everything that I was working so hard at protecting and fixing and nourishing. I lost it all. And I had no say in it.
It was just taken from me.
I felt so dumb. I still do sometimes. It’s a constant battle between stupidity and paranoia. A struggle to find the perfect balance.
The fact of the matter is I will never actually know if he’s going to cheat on me again. He says he won’t. I want to believe him, but then there’s that part that says ‘you did that once and look what happened.’
I remember thinking that by this time next year I’d be fine. I just needed time. Everything would be fine. And for the most part I guess it is fine. I don’t regret my decision to stay, but there are days when I’m just so exhausted from fighting for this marriage that I wonder if it would have been easier if I did leave.
Sometimes the reminder is okay though.
Remembering how I so desperately needed Him to get through it. How I knew I wouldn’t be able to do it on my own. And how He was there, no matter if I were crying or if I were comparing or if I were scared. He was always there for me. Feeling the exact same things I was feeling.
You see, when you’ve been cheated on, you isolate yourself. People who have never experienced it cannot even begin to understand what you feel.
You don’t want to talk to anyone, but you want to talk. You feel different. Like people can just tell. So you hide. I think both from yourself and the rest of the world.
But you can’t hide from Him. He knows exactly how you’re feeling. He knows exactly what you’re feeling. And the best part is that He lets you feel all those things. He doesn’t judge you. He doesn’t tell you to stop. He doesn’t tell you to move on. Or suck it up. He just lets you be.
The truth is it hasn’t been an easy year. It’s been one of the hardest years of my life. I don’t know what August 16th is going to look like. I don’t know if I’m going to spend the entire day in bed or if I’m going to take the day by the you-know-what’s and just go for it.
But what I know is it’s been a year of growth. Even if most people, including myself, can’t see the progress with our own eyes, it’s there. And that’s cause for celebration in my book.
Even as I remember the pain in the pit of my stomach and the loss of breath, I can’t help but think it was so worth it.
He made it worth it.
He took the most devastating moment of my life and He made it beautiful.
Don’t get me wrong there are days where I still struggle. Where I let the enemy trick me. Where I believe every lie that’s thrown my way, but those are the days where I try to do it on my own. And I can’t.
None of us can.
But on the days when I find Him, when I seek Him out and I take those lies and I give them to Him, on those days, without hesitation, without even a change of scenery. With everything looking the same as it did before. It’s on those days that He makes my mess into His masterpiece.
And that’s what makes all of it, every tear, every exhausted breath, every headache, everything. That’s what makes all of it worth it.
See, I don’t have to be defined by my husband’s poor choices. I don’t have to be the pathetic wife who stayed. Or the woman who didn’t make her husband happy. Nope, I don’t have to be any of those things.
But I do get to be His masterpiece.