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Topic: Betrayal (02/16/04)
TITLE: Blessings in Betrayl
By Jerry Lyn Luckie
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I had known for a few months that things were not right, not the same and I felt our world crumbling apart. He didn’t have the courage at the time to tell me he had met someone at work who was also unhappy in her marriage. They began an affair and he began to question if someone else could make him happy.
When I finally got him to admit that there was someone else, I still struggled knowing that I was committed to this man and would do everything to keep our marriage. I wanted to show him that our love could conquer anything and that we could work this through. Unfortunately, in his pain he began drinking heavily, became deeply depressed and acted out in unhealthy ways.
It was a difficult road to walk, knowing how I deeply I loved this person, how we had built a life together, how we made God the center and how we both loved our two boys, then 6 and 3. The feeling of betrayal hung heavily in the air. It was like a weight I carried around my neck. It was so difficult to accept that this man I loved, honored and cherished could betray me and the family he loved.
But it was at that turning point in my faith that I realized my life has been about blessings in the storms. I experienced God-given strength, because I never thought of myself as someone with courage. But immediately after he left, I felt a new strength and a new heart. I know I made the choice early on that I wouldn’t allow circumstances to make me a bitter woman. I knew I would take a higher road, but that wasn’t the road I wanted to take at the time! I wanted him to hurt in the same way he had hurt me. How dare he walk away from our family and the love we shared! But, I think, God had a different plan.
In all of this, God was speaking clearly. I felt God wanted me to make the best choices for my children, that he allowed me to make the best choices for myself. I learned that the person God created me to be is loving and forgiving. But I struggled with the forgiveness until I realized that, for me, it was a process. It wasn’t as if I could snap my fingers and, bam, I would forgive my ex-husband. It took a lot of soul-searching, of praying, of crying out to God and constantly discerning what was the best road to take.
Would I have chosen that path—no way! But, sometimes the choices others make have nothing to do with you, yet you’re left trying to put a life back together as the result of choices and betrayals and broken trust. But there is a greater way when, in the midst of your pain, you reach for the hand of your Savior. I have known that God’s all-encompassing love was with me always. And it is the only thing that allowed me to survive, but more importantly, gave me new life, new courage, new perspective and a deeper faith than I had imagined.
During that time in my life as I persevered and struggled with the calling to forgiveness, Ephesians 4 became my mantra: “Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as Christ God forgave you.” I am reminded over and over that there are so many times I fall short of the glory of God. It was a long process but an enriching one for my life, because I learned how to forgive. My ex-husband and I came to a new understanding, so we could partner together to make the best choices for our children, in the midst of the new way of life we found ourselves in.
And now when I look at my children, even though my heart still breaks for what they have been through, I know taking the road God called me to, down the road of forgiveness, was a much better choice. And through God’s grace, I am released from the pain of living in resentment and with a bitter heart. And I am a new creation for having walked the path—God’s choice for me—of forgiveness to find peace even in betrayal.