It feels like a whole other lifetime since then — the hour my husband confessed his moment of infidelity.
A split second can change your life forever, but what you ultimately uncover can change your future for the better.
NOTHING HELPS US BECOME MORE LIKE A CHILD QUITE LIKE THE CHILD WHO BECAME A MAN
Six years after marrying, I fell in love with Jesus.
Fifteen years I prayed and complained, waited and caved, succeeded and failed at being the 1 Peter 3 wife: trustworthy, tongue-controlled, God-fearing — so my husband would turn and receive, bow, and believe.
Then one day the phone rang, “Jo! I was blind, and now I see! I can see!”
The 40-year-old booming entrepreneur went door to door seeking clemency for his laundry list of wrongs he’d committed since boyhood.
I sat, watching in awe, as the one who once walked over everyone, humbled himself to the Holy One — healing his broken heart one apology at a time.
Nothing helps us become more like a child quite like The Child who became a man.
THE SUFFERING TRUTH
I never saw my husband coming. Never imagined my name on his long list of wrongs. Here we were 21 years into marriage — finally praising God together — facing our cheating hearts for the first time.
But I couldn’t see mine before forgiving his.
The morning he crumbled to the floor — tears came down his face like razors. The boy I married, full of fight and hellfire, wept against the wall a full-blown man of God.
F O R G I V E was written across my stunned skull, big and bold like a billboard from heaven. Against everything I knew to be just, “I forgive you,” flowed off my blistering tongue.
It surprises me, even today, remembering it this way, but it’s true; I felt relief.
Because confession unhitches us from a future none of us can carry.
That day, somewhere in my acuity, a fuse was blown. What comes next? Do we hold hands? Hug?
Wires leading to feeling, anything, were crossed.
Gathering ourselves together, we brushed each other off like we’d just tunneled an escape from Alcatraz — just left the only people we’ve known for the last twenty years.
His faced completely healed, like he just beheld a burning bush. I was still squinting, unable to find my feet.
The suffering truth? Sometimes you serve time for someone else’s crime. Sometimes the whip of betrayal lashes all your happy memories and you’re left begging the One who bore it all, O Lord — how long?
Some time…we have our heart torn out to make room for God’s whole heart for us.
Concealing the bleeding, I ran for the woods and fell to pieces, “God when will You end the visions inside my head?” — because this side of heaven can look like hell.
The God of sharp, shearing questions spoke softly in my soul, How long have you known Me?
Sobbing stopped at the fear of His inquiry. “Fifteen years, Lord. I’ve known You 15 years,” I answered out loud.
That’s when I heard the rooster crow…
And how many times have you been unfaithful to Me? Questioned He who formed my inward parts.
My husbands’ need to come clean uncovered my 15-year history of adultery. The One who forgave to the brutal end — now extending forgiveness for all the lovers I’d crawled into bed with in the shadows of my own heart.
Like a cruel spouse, I left Him for friends, family, food, dogs, clothes, tennis, fitness.
Only in the darkness of our own heart will we see the star of His coming.
THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD FOR THE LIES OF THE WORLD
When Jesus came everything changed. When the Holy Spirit comes, you’re never the same.
God with us.
Jesus…for us. That’s the deal. The Light of the world for the lies of the world. Not only the lies we use to cover up in front of others, but more deceptively, the ones we hiss to ourselves: God understands I’m busy. I’ll break for Him on Sunday. I know everything the Bible has to say — but realistically — life doesn’t work that way.
“I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will remove your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.” Ezekiel 36:26
The one way to a whole heart is a broken one. God came to take broken and sincere hearts and graft in His heart of goodness, of righteousness, of truth — of wholeness.
Because people and families don’t survive this weary world without the Savior’s birth.
His merciful incarceration and resurrection for our long awaited liberation.
Jesus replaces the heart of misery and saves from Satan’s tyranny. The whole heart of Christmas is deliverance! The singing and ringing, wrapping and clapping, the joy of our hearts feasting on Jesus!
A helpless babe born in Bethlehem for this uncontrollable humanity that cannot stop the goodness of God.
O come, O come, Emmanuel,
and ransom captive Israel,
that morns in lonely exile here,
Until the Son of God appear.