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:
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!