Contributing Writer: Emily Weatherby
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At the age of 23, when I said my vows and repeated the words, “. . . to love and to cherish . . . in sickness and in health . . . ’til death do us part . . .” we shared a heart for the Lord and wanted to use our gifts to serve in youth ministry. I was excited to share my life with this man and was hopeful we could learn how to be helpmates, one for another. I had no idea what the words in our vows would truly mean and require of me in our future.
About four years ago, our life took an unexpected turn for the worse, starting with discovering he had an addiction. Things quickly got out of hand and I decided I needed to set boundaries for myself and for our son. I felt like I was drowning and he was grabbing on to me to stay afloat, but in doing so he kept dunking me under. After a series of events, I ended up asking him to move out of our home with the desire to work on ourselves individually, as well as on our marriage as a couple.
Things were so damaged and broken I knew that in order to rebuild, we needed some physical space to heal and get the help we both needed at that point. We were both working diligently at restoring our marriage. After living in separate homes for 5 months (what originally was going to be 2-4 weeks) I saw signs of his healing and I was excited to rebuild our marriage and family. One month after he moved back in with us, I found out that he had been having an affair on me for most of 2010. Life for me, from that day on, has been much of a blur; like a nightmare you want to forget.
My flesh wanted to be done with him and my marriage, so when my pastor asked me to seek God and to put things on hold for six months before making the decision to divorce or not, I wanted to scream, “Are you kidding me? No! ” Even though I had biblical grounds to divorce, I chose to obey God in what he was telling me to do. In faith, I chose to believe in what I couldn’t feel or fathom! I decided to take a baby step towards reconciliation with him by going to an intensive weekend seminar for couples trying to heal from adultery. We never made it to the seminar because in August of 2011, I found out that he had entered back into a relationship with “the other woman.”
For the first year after, I survived one day at a time. “The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.” (Psalm 34:18) God has given me verses, people and several other “tiny miracles,” as I like to call them, in my life that have given me the hope and strength I have needed.
Even though my marriage is ending, my hope is to encourage you to hold on to God, do not buy Satan’s lies. God WILL give you what you need as long as you seek Him and take it one day at a time. I couldn’t change my husband, but I did everything I could to seek God and allow him to change me and for that, I have no regrets and a peace that surpasses all understanding. I know that God is not through writing my story; I believe that He can “bring beauty from ashes.” (Isaiah 61:3) While my heart has been shattered, God is binding up my wounds. If you would like to read more of my story, stop by my blog here.
Emily is a stay-at-home-mom who works from home as a short-term trip coordinator for a non-profit missions organization, Empart USA. She lives with her 3 year old son on the Central Coast of California.
images via flickr-sean venn, kaibara87