adultery, affair, Bible, Christianity, divorce, God, infidelity, marriage, moving, Spirituality

It is all for My Good!

Initially, in the aftermath of discovering my husband’s affair, I had periods of joyous jubilation.  Somewhere over the past 2 years, I lost that.

In the first month after the affair, I knew I would never be with my ex again because of his choices and his decisions.  When I found out he had also been contacting an ex girlfriend regularly for a period of 4 years and when I began to find his emails and Facebook conversations and read how inappropriately his conversations and contacts with other women had been during our marriage, I knew I wanted nothing to do with this man ever again. All trust was broken beyond repair.

I was confident that God revealed to me the truth about my ex’s behaviour because God would not allow my ex to make a mockery of our marriage and because he knew I deserved way better. God is slow to anger and I suspect that over the last 4 years and probably longer he gave my ex a lot of opportunities to repent. As devastating and painful as the realization of my ex’s behaviour and lack of love and respect for me and our children was to me, I trusted in God’s plan for my life.  God gave me my husband and now he was removing him from my life.  I held on to one of my favourite scriptures:

Jeremiah 29:11 New International Version (NIV)
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

I had loved my life and always considered my life up until this point completely blessed.  I was content with everything I had and every situation in my life.  Even in difficult and challenging situations I trusted God’s wisdom and the direction of my life. I had confidence in everything that happened.  So even with, what to me seemed like the worst thing that could happen in my life, I was excited with what God had in store for me next. It had been so good up until this point I had fun imagining what God had planned for me next–maybe I’ll move (Australia was calling me at the time), maybe I’ll do this or that, maybe I’ll meet this person, etc. and etc.  It was very exciting to imagine all that I could and would do now that I was no longer attached to one person and their career path. I could finally do the things I had dreamed. The things my husband knew I wanted to do but that he never encouraged or supported .

I wrote in a journal all the blessings that God continued to give me post affair.  When my ex made decision after decision to financial crush me and to turn away from his relationship with our children, I held on to all of the new relationships, opportunities and financial gifts that seemed to just land in my lap and that benefited both me and my kids.

However, over the past year and a half, had difficulty seeing God’s promise.  I was feeling harmed and I had difficulty imagining a prosperous and hopeful future. The endless divorce process, my financial situation, our living situation, the needs of my children, the demands of everyday responsibilities that I have to carry alone, the nastiness of my ex; the weight of these challenges buried me. Fear for me and my children sometimes consumed me.

The worst thing I can do is focus on my loss.  It is a struggle to not be bitter against my ex for leading our family into financial ruin.  The loss of security and stability for me and my kids by selling our family home is one decision that haunts me as well as the decision to sign our mediation agreement when I knew the numbers didn’t make sense. If I had just taken a day and asked to see Dave’s lawyer’s calculations, the $100,000 error against me would have been obvious.  Trusting that Dave would even follow through on a mediation agreement was a mistake.   It was a huge mistake to enter into an agreement with someone who has consistently been proven to be dishonest and untrustworthy.  The same character that allowed him to pursue an affair and treat me and our kids with distain is the same character that made it okay with him to cheat me and his children out of responsibilities he legally owed as well as actions he ethically and in good-conscience should have manned up and handled.  I had a lot of thoughts of, “God, how could this be your plan for prospering me and giving me hope and a future?”

There have been very valuable life and spiritual lessons over the last 2 years.  Being this uncomfortable has had life-changing benefits that I wouldn’t want to give up but I also no longer want to keep enduring. I kept telling myself and others that I just need to hang on until my youngest is finished high school–“Just 4 more years, just 3 more years…” That was when I felt we would have the freedom to leave and do whatever we wanted.   But I am ready to claim everything good that the universe and God have in store for me now, I don’t want to wait. I can’t wait.  It may be my plan to have my daughter finish high school here for her benefit but I choose to have the mindset that making that decision is a good choice for me as well. I decided to start claiming all that is good and available for me now.

On my way to the hospital yesterday morning I decided that I was not going to pay for parking. I think it is $2.50 for 2 hours.  I said out loud, “Someone is going to give me their parking ticket that hasn’t expired yet because I am not paying for parking today.”  I turned into the hospital driveway and I made contact with every vehicle driver on their way out.  No one offered me a ticket. So I parked and headed over to the parking meter.   This is the sign that was taped to the meter:

20171103_125305

I smiled so wide. I laughed all the way into the hospital and of course I thanked God.

Then today when I picked my daughter up from dance we went to Starbucks.  I had received one of those star challenges that said I would receive 50 bonus stars if I bought the 3 things I buy most: my latte, breakfast sandwich and my daughter’s Frappuccino.  We ordered but they were all out of the breakfast sandwich that was specified in the challenge.  The barista apologized and asked if I wanted something different or did I just want a refund.  I told the barista that I wasn’t really hungry but was just ordering it to get my bonus stars.  The barista said that instead of refunding me the four dollars and a bit of change that she would keep my order so I would get my bonus points and then she gave me two gift cards for $4/each.  I proceeded to tell my daughter about the gift I received yesterday with the parking and now this unexpected gift today. Thank you again, God.

These may seem like tiny rewards but asking for these, acknowledging receiving them, and being grateful for these gifts puts it in my consciousness that I am ready and open to be lifted from my current position and placed in a better situation right now.  I know I have been so focused on “just staying here until my youngest is finished high school” that I have literally been “just staying here.” This awareness affirms what I know in my heart and has brought that joyful, excited feeling back into my thinking.

When I reassess, I am happier with my current living situation much more so than I was at the last place I rented. The last place was better than the place before that.  I definitely had thankfulness and gratitude for each place but when circumstances outside of my control forced me to move I became fearful and uncertain that we would find some place new to live. I longed for stability.  I am now reminded that although my constant moving doesn’t feel like stability the biggest life lesson I learned during these 4 years is that worldly stability is false.  My stability and security comes from God and his love, his promises, his truth.  That is my solid foundation, not a house.   So although it may cause some initial discomfort, I am back trusting and remembering that every move, every shift, every gift is all for my good moving me to a better place in life!

 

 

 

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adultery, affair, Betrayal, Bible, Christianity, Christmas, divorce, faith, God, infidelity, Janice Andrews, Love, lying, marriage, promises, Spirituality

The Ghosts of Christmas

The Ghost of Christmas Past:

Spent my 4th Christmas post-affair. I honestly don’t look back and long for the Christmas’ with my ex. We always had great celebrations whether it was commuting to the three sets of parents’ homes all in different cities and sometimes my birth father’s side of the family as well or whether it was just the 4 of us after our move to British Columbia. All good memories (except our last Christmas together when my ex was already involved with Janice and ignored me at his company Xmas party and over-drank and was obnoxious at my sister’s place during our family celebration and then was rude and impatient with me the next morning).

The Ghost of Christmas Present:

This was the first year my ex purchased a gift for the girls to give to Janice. He gave it to my younger daughter to bring home and wrap. I have no idea what it was–something from The Body Shop I think based on one of the bags she left at our front entrance. When she told me she had to wrap a gift for Janice I asked if her dad bought her paper. No, she was expected to use my wrapping paper. No idea what paper she chose or what it looked it–bows, ribbons, tag, etc. I wonder if Janice really opened it up and thought how nice that the girls shopped for her and chose something for her. Something as special as soap. Guess it is Dave’s way to pretend it is a family Xmas where everyone exchanges gifts and niceties out of love for each other.

The girls and I had a very fun Christmas Eve. I gave them their traditional Xmas pajamas gift to open and they immediately put them on. We took selfies on my bed with all the pets and stayed up very late.

Christmas morning was relaxed and fun. I went on a walk with the dog in the afternoon and we went to our friends’ farm for dinner.  Our friends said that it made their Christmas table much more lively having us there. We played a game afterwards with presents and came home with a new disco snowman and a disco tree decoration.

The Ghost of Christmas Future:

As I celebrated the birth of Christ, I was visited by the Ghost of Christmas Future. It came in the form of scripture.

I was reminded that for me to know Jesus requires that I share in his sufferings (Romans 8:17). Betrayal was the biggest part of his suffering and now I know what it feels like to be betrayed by the one who knew me the best and who I loved the most and who should have loved me back the most in this world.

NIV Galatians 6:17 “Let no one cause me trouble, for I bear on my body the marks of Jesus.” That is a warning for Janice and Dave. For me Jesus says in NIV John 16:33: “In this world you will have trouble.” Jesus tells me though to take heart because he overcame the world and I will, too!  In this same scripture Jesus says to have peace despite the trouble because I am not alone; God is always with me.

I may have suffered the loss of my marriage due to an affair because of evil, greedy, lustful and selfish people but Isaiah 61:1 -7 lists all the promises I can claim because God “love(s) justice; (and he) hate(s) robbery and iniquity.” Janice robbed me of my husband. She took what wasn’t hers to take. Like a thief, she will always know she obtained what she has dishonestly at great cost to others and at a loss to her reputation, trust and integrity.  It is a lie and will be a constant reminder for herself and others of who she is at the core of her being. She shouldn’t be sad when the next thief steals it from her especially because she puts it on display; it never belonged to her in the first place. The same holds true for Dave. What a waste of time and effort and money trying to hold on to something that is just a lie and false security.

Regardless of my husband’s broken promises, God promises to me in this scripture that he will always be faithful and will reward me with his everlasting covenant that no one can steal from me.   Jesus is in me and will lead me where he wants me to go. I trust that! My husband left me, Jesus did not.

I know there will be battles in my future but I will get up and get in the ring and fight to knock Satan out so I can claim my victory! God works everything out for the good of those who love him (NIV Romans 8:28).

 

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adultery, affair, Betrayal, Cancer, cheating, Christianity, divorce, faith, God, melanoma, separatiion, Spirituality, the other woman

A Spreading Cancer and a beautiful Crater

I met with the doctor on Friday afternoon, last week.  She was held up in the operating room at the hospital so she was late getting back to her office. There were two patients for her to see before me so it was close to 3:30 when I finally got to meet with her.

The melanoma in my right arm has spread beyond the 5 mm perimeter on one side.  Therefore, I require more surgery. My doctor wanted me to come in on Sunday.  I told her I was leaving in the morning for March break. I was leaving with a girlfriend and her two daughters along with my daughter for a road trip. We had reservations at the Running Y Ranch Resort in Klamath Falls, Oregon for Saturday.  We booked to stay for the week (an amazing deal of only $150/week for a 2 bedroom, 2 bathroom condo) but we planned on leaving Thursday to go to Portland as our girls are in a dance competition.  It would be a 1 1/2 hour ferry ride from Victoria to Port Angeles and then another 10 hour drive to our destination so I really couldn’t delay the trip for 2 days without disappointing 4 other people.

We discussed the risks of waiting.  My doctor said if it was a basal cell carcinoma she would say it was okay to wait but she reminded me we are dealing with melanoma and “ideally” it should come out today.  She said there were two benefits of waiting.  Firstly, the scar on my arm is very tight.  The longer it has to heal the more chance there is skin for her to pull back over my wound.  She also said waiting until I get back would give her time to try and see if she could order a small batch of skin bond glue.  It is very expensive and I will have to pay for it.  She said she would see if she could order just enough for my procedure.  It will cost about $50.

So I made the decision to carry on with my trip. I booked my surgery for the first available appointment my doctor had after Easter which is the end of March break.

I do not regret my decision, at this point anyway. We are having an amazing time.  The resort was beautiful.  We made a lot of use out of the huge pool that we had to ourselves a lot of the time.  We enjoyed the Shriner circus, shopped, explored the lava beds in California, the Wildlife Refuge, climbed mountains, descended into caves, went on self-guided nature walks, visited Petroglyphs and learned a lot about the Madoc and Klamath Indian battles with the white settlers.

The highlight was being able to experience the awe of Crater Lake. We had wanted to go early in the week but due to snow storms there was no visibility even if we could make the drive up there.  We were able to view the webcams around the lake from our resort lobby. There was no visibility. It was fogged in.  The road was completely snow packed. The road had been closed the entire time we were in Klamath Falls but we heard that you could snow shoe from the Visitor Station to the rim in about 30 minutes. We decided to chance it on our way back towards Portland. It was a clear, sunny and warm day. It turns out that the road reopened just two hours before we arrived so we were able to drive up to the rim.

It was a very spiritual experience for me. The half million years it took for Mount Mazama to form.  Then the battle that was brewing inside it until it’s final eruption 7,700 years ago. So violent was that eruption that the foundation cracked in a complete circle and the entire mountain collapsed in destruction. When all that was left was the empty, scarred caldera it became filled with melted snow to form the deepest lake in the United States and possibly the purest source of water in the world. It was a real reminder to me of how the most difficult and traumatic experiences in our life that completely leave us depleted can be filled with everything good and pure and turn our lives into the most beautiful, unimaginable creations.

20160317_15313120160317_153119

 

 

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abuse of power, adultery, affair, Betrayal, cheating, Christianity, deceit, divorce, Frank Elsner, God, infidelity, lying, Police, shame, sin, Spirituality, unfaithfulness

Victoria Police Chief Steps Aside

The police union demanded the resignation of Victoria Police Chief, Frank Elsner, two weeks ago as a result of his admission that he was exchanging inappropriate Twitter messages with the wife of a subordinate police officer.

Now, as reported by CHEK news tonight, Frank Elsner has voluntarily stepped aside, with pay, now that the Office of Police Complaints Commissioner has ordered two different public trust investigations into the police chief.

He is being investigated by RCMP (Royal Canadian Mounted Police) and two retired judges. Not only is there an issue with his exchange of flirtatious social media messages but he also allegedly misled investigators, lied to the officer in question about the messages he sent to his wife so that the officer would not file a complaint against him, talked to witnesses after being told not to talk to witnesses, and four employees have made workplace harassment complaints against him since 2014.

The investigation is expected to take six months.

Based on my conversation with people who work for Victoria Police, all of their emails and the Police Department social media accounts are internally monitored.  How could the police chief be so stupid to not only do what every cheater does and risk his marriage, reputation, relationship with his children and family,  ruin his finances, ruin his dreams but also do something that could destroy his career? Did he just think he wouldn’t be caught? Is it spiritual blindness because of his sinful thinking?  Maybe when Romans 6:23 talks about the wages of sin being death it is talking about everything good in your life is now dead and gone.

I think of people like Bill Cosby who spent a lifetime building an image that is respected and admired only to have it crumble apart and turn to ash because of his apparent repeated abuse of women for his own sexual pleasure and whatever other gain he received from that behaviour. Now that will be his legacy. I think of scripture like “your sin will find you out” (Numbers 32:23) and “What good is it for a man to gain the whole world just to forfeit his own soul?”(Matthew 16:26) It makes me feel like I felt with my own husband that he was a fraud, liar and that everything he pretended that he stood for was false.

I suspect that there will be a new Victoria Police Chief in 2016.

 

 

 

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divorce, God, Intuition, Spirituality

Crossroads

There have been very specific times in my life where there were 2 different roads I could chose to take just as in Robert Frost’s famous poem.

When I finished university I was living in the same city where I had lived for 21 years.  I had a very good paying job, lots of friends, but I was ready for change. I sobbed when I left my job but knew it was time. I applied for 4 other jobs and even worked at 2 of them on a temporary basis.  I was offered all 4 jobs but I declined because there was no excitement in my soul at those offers.

I realized that I needed to move to a different city. I started to explore being a flight attendant and going to Teacher’s College at Laurentian University where I would take all my classes in French. Then an opportunity presented itself.  The Senior Vice-President of Crawford & Company Insurance Adjusters, whose parents lived beside my parents, approached me and asked if I would like to go to Atlanta, Georgia, USA for a 4-week training program and then move to Toronto, Ontario.  I asked if one of my best friends could come, too. He interviewed her and we were both off to become insurance adjusters.  We had no idea what that even meant.

After working at Crawford for 3 1/2 years I was again at crossroads.   The company was laying people off. My best friend had moved back to London, Ontario. I wasn’t enjoying my work environment or my job any longer. I had dated my husband, who also worked there, but that wasn’t working out. I remember how lost I felt and unsure where I wanted to live or what I wanted to do. I decided to go to Europe for 6 weeks on a tour by myself. When I returned I started dating my husband again, we bought a condo together and moved in 2 months later, and I quit my job on the spot with no new job to go to. My employer was sure it was just my reaction in the heat of the moment. He asked me to reconsider when I officially handed him my resignation giving him 2 weeks notice the next day. I remember pulling my husband into a stairwell to tell him what I just did. We had just bought a condo together but my heart said I couldn’t work there a second longer, even for the needed paycheck. I applied for a new job and before my 2 weeks was up I landed a position at a company that began my very successful career in accident benefits.

While living together in our condo, I happened upon a book, Principles on a Course in Miracles, by Marianne Williamson. I had always been spiritual and believed in God’s love for me and plan for my life but this opened up my mind further. I was excited about what I was reading and shared these ideas with my now fiancé. He was not only completely closed to what I was sharing but he was angry. When he witnessed the immediate results of what even to me seemed like a far-fetched prayer he seemed unmoved. I also read M. Scott Peck’s The Road Less Travelled around this time.  So when a girl I had never met before, in the change room of the YWCA, invited me to church, I gave her my number.  I started going to church, studying the bible, making new friendships, and as a result my fiancé became more angry. He decided he didn’t want to marry me anymore. I trusted God and I was at peace with calling off the wedding. When he changed his mind and decided he did still want to marry me,  I prayed very specifically that God would not allow the wedding to take place if we were not going to have a marriage that glorified God.  One and a half months after our wedding, I was baptized. Three months later my husband was baptized. We lived our lives sharing our faith, leading bible groups in the church, running kids’ programs and putting God and his kingdom first. We were blessed incredibly for 18 years.

Nine months after having our first child, I returned to work. My company had been bought out. Many of my coworkers had been fired, moved to other branches or had been displaced to departments that didn’t suit their skills or desires. I was promoted to Claims Unit Manager. My husband also received a promotion with his company that involved moving to a city 45 minutes from our current home. He worked a minute drive from our new home. I wanted to have another child. I didn’t want to be spending my days commuting back and forth losing 1 1/2 hours of time with my family. I applied instead to work in a different line of insurance, in a different city (a 20 minute commute) that offered 4 weeks vacation to start, flexible work hours, great benefits, and a good salary. I did really well there and earned bonuses. I got pregnant again and was happy focusing on the needs of my family and our church instead of my own career development.

In 2008, I was off work on disability, my husband was in a dead-end job, my mom was dying and although I didn’t know it at the time, my husband was having an ex girlfriend call him at the house when I was away looking after my mom. The year before my husband accused me of having an affair with an ex boyfriend. This was not true but his reaction and subsequent actions put a huge strain on our marriage. I did everything I could to build my husband’s ego back up and assure him I only loved him. When the job opportunity came up for him in Victoria, I was the one who suggested he apply and we move our family across the country. Less than 3 months after my mom passed we were living in our brand new home in Victoria, BC, in a city where we knew no one.

Two years ago, after discovering my husband’s affair, my heart and soul said to end the marriage. I knew I would never trust him again and I knew it went against every fibre of my being to be aligned with someone who had turned into the selfish, deceitful man he had become. The past 2 years proved that following my intuition was correct.

Now here I am again.  I have to be out of my home on June 26. I am not receiving any spousal or child support and suspect my ex will continue to fail to provide or do what is right in this regard. I need to find a 2 bedroom suite that will take a dog and 2 cats. The search has been discouraging but I am confident in the process. I am experiencing the same shift deep within me as at times of crossroads in the past. My soul is beckoning me in a new direction and it has never lead me astray. Whoever and whatever I have needed has always been provided to me by God.

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