some names have been omitted or changed
this post contains language
I sat at the computer opening my message inbox.
There staring back at me…
a few simple words yet words that were capable of inflicting so much.
You do people the biggest disservice when you don't open up.
Pain seared my chest like a knife. Never in all my life's previous harrowing moments up to that point had I had such heartache inflicted on me until that moment. Maybe because it was merely a reminder of the pain I had been inflicting upon myself for years on end. Now that single sentence was in my face, inescapable and the pain I had been inflicting upon myself for my past weakness was confirmed that it could only be assumed it had indeed been painful for him too.
The pain in that moment amplified times a thousand. That sentence reverberated in my head for years. Amplified and grew to enormous proportions. I cursed myself, I cursed God, I cried, I screamed and I wanted to run...to run anywhere to escape that pain that I was consumed by.
I cursed myself and my past weakness in a blur of tears.
I had already experienced years of regret that I had been weak and not opened up to him, not shared my feelings. But now.... was there meaning behind that sentence he'd sent? Pain? Anger? Regret? Sadness? Disappointment? Unhappiness?
My heart ached for that man... ached for him and any emotions he was enduring. Ached for myself. And for what could have been. Yet I also felt he was placing blame solely on me which wasn't right. I felt tied to him yet felt so incredibly alone, so isolated on this island of despair, this aching pain that wouldn't cease. It plagued me night and day and I mercilessly berated myself. I had known I had screwed up. I hadn't opened up and he had walked away. It took a long time to finally admit to myself that ultimately we were both at fault. He was guilty as I was at the end of the day. The end of the relationship was unfortunate and unnecessary. And most of all it was heartbreaking. But at the end of the day I needed to give myself some much needed grace. Him too. At the end of the day I needed some peace.
I had known I'd made a mistake years before in not opening up when we'd dated but once the relationship abruptly ended, I later married and I had committed myself to my marriage. I knew I had made a covenant before God and that I was to take it seriously. Although I loved and cared for my husband my regret and unresolved feelings over that lost relationship with Jeremy had overshadowed my marriage… I couldn't seem to make it stop. At first I kept it hidden… then later admitting I needed help. I sought counseling. I knew I would never step outside my marriage and I wouldn't ever want a man who would step outside his. In fact, knowing that Jeremy had not sought anything from me outside his marriage made me admire him more. The truth was, he may not have had any interest at that point even if he had been single. The other truth was this:
I knew I had to buckle down and do everything I needed to do to make my marriage successful despite how I felt. I had continually told myself "my feelings don't matter" and I had to "suck it up."
We may think to ourselves "This is such a mess" but at the end of the day we can tell ourselves this... the answer is simple: I had made marriage vows and I would uphold them. I wasn't happy in my marriage but that didn't matter: I had children and I wanted my marriage to succeed. I would make the best of it and I truly believed with my husband we could overcome anything that either of us faced. Because at the end of day, I naively believed at that time whatever we individually faced we also faced as a couple and together we could overcome.
Fast forward years down the road I was so very wrong.
But in the mean time I began actively praying to God for help. Help with coming to peace with my choice. I finally embraced the pain instead of trying to squash it. Peace with my feelings would eventually come. We can drive ourselves crazy with the internal "What if's?" and "What if I'd done this differently?"
But we must remind ourselves that these thoughts are not based on truths, merely hypotheticals or fantasy. Reality is... we are where we are. I began praying not only for Jeremy's well being, safety, health, but his marriage as well. I prayed for my own. I found peace and was finally able to let go but it wasn't without complications. My husband was hurt and nothing I could say or do seemed to improve that. I had needed compassion, support, and insight but he eventually pulled away. That was his choice. Drowning in his own hurt and insecurities he had himself .... he then for years had lashed out at me, regularly inflicting further hurt upon me and our bond, driving a bigger wedge between us.
“Jeremy was an asshole. When are you going to wake up and realize that he made the decision to not see you again? He made his choice.” my husband told me darkly, gripping the steering wheel with clenched fists.
“Don’t you DARE talk about him like that!” I told him, “Don’t call him that!”
He turned to look at me from the driver's seat,
his face turning crimson red and with sheer fury that I was defending him.
“DAMN YOU!!!!" the words came hurling at me "If he'd loved you, if he had really LOVED you, had wanted to be with you, he wouldn’t have RUN AWAY!!! HE GAVE UP!!!! HE GAVE UP ON YOU!!!!! HE GAVE UP ON BOTH OF YOU!!!” he screamed at me, lashing his unbridled anger at me, unable to keep his true thoughts contained any longer, releasing them like a burst balloon when popped, sending them flying like tiny darts.
"No! Stop it!!!!" I yelled back with tears forming in my eyes, "JUST STOP!!" I wanted to run away from his verbal assault but I was trapped in the moving vehicle and the meanness of his words engulfed the gray interior.
When the one we married runs away and gives up on us, we don't have to live in despair.
I wasn't a sinless wife because I'm not a perfect person.
I married an imperfect man like all other men.
But thank goodness I'm loved by a perfect God.
He's looked out for me no matter how many bad choices I've made,
no matter how much grace, peace and healing I need.
I don't have all the answers but God does.
When life doesn't happen how
you thought it would that is perfectly OKAY.
God will always listen to you when you cry out for help in the throes of regret. I know this pain. This has been by far one of the biggest struggles of my life. I know the pain of past regret that you swear at times will eat you alive… you ruminate and try to come to terms with it. You think... I shouldn't have married this person. Or you question.... should I have married this one instead? We have to come to the realization that what's done is done. And focus on God. Focus on you. Yes, you will always care for them but love should be sacrificial and selfless and that means it doesn't always have a happy ending.
AT SOME POINT YOU HAVE TO LET GO.
YOU can have a happy ending. We have to choose to wish the other person well. Friendship may be all that's on the table. Or maybe the door is shut indefinitely. We have to eventually find that place of peace. More than any fleshly desire to be with them. Jesus paid the price for those who have sinned, those who have stumbled and those who have made the wrong decisions. The best thing you can do to take that first step of healing is give yourself some grace. Beating yourself up does zero good. You may have made the wrong choice, but we all stumble at some point in our lives. God has a plan for your life and no matter what that plan is, we can trust in Him. Peace is a must, because Satan will only delight in keeping you stuck and enjoy watching you beat yourself up and question everything. Peace can be found through God. The best part?
He never runs away and never gives up.
© gps-gracepowerstrength.blogspot.com ~ 2013
image “Hand Press Enter Button On Keyboard Computer” by blackzheep via FreeDigitalPhotos.net
If you are struggling with a similar situation,
please take heart and know that God is there for you.
You don't have to walk this alone.
Other's have been there and we know the difficulties you face.
Dear Lord, please give me the guidance, comfort and strength needed during this time. Help me receive peace and healing and though I may struggle please keep my walk in line with you and keep me grounded in truths not empty fiction. I know you have great plans for me and you will use this for my good and to reflect more of what you embody, including love for others not selfish expectation. Please forgive me for my sins, stumbles and misguided choices. Bless and bring peace and healing to myself and those whom I have inflicted any pain upon. Amen.
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