My Story

Infidelity and restoration typically aren’t usually used in the same sentence, are they? Because isn’t it impossible to be restored after infidelity strikes a marriage?  I mean, that’s what the world says, isn’t it?

Well, my story is different.

Mine is a story of fear, betrayal, heartbreak, and Jesus. And the latter is the most important part.

Let me warn you…it’s l o n g. I’m sorry, not really sorry  but it’s so hard to condense it. I originally wrote my story when I relaunched this blog back in February 2016. I wrote it in 4 different sections on 4 different days.

Afterward, I felt I needed a landing page where my readers/visitors could read my story in one spot so here it is! If you don’t have time, it’s all good! Maybe you could come back later…or if you’d like to see places where I’ve written a VERY condensed version, you can check out these sites:

iBelieve.com

Life of Scoop

Kristi Woods | Your Story

My head was in his lap and I was looking up at the ceiling, wondering how I had gotten here. My little girl hopes and dreams were flashing right before my very eyes. My heart felt like it was literally being torn apart.  My husband’s soft hands were brushing away the hairs surrounding my face. “Shannon, do you really think that this is Gods will?” In that moment, that very tiny moment in time, it was like a lightbulb that had been flickering for days finally flashed all the way on and shined bright. “No,” I said. “No, it can’t be.”

How my marriage survived when it had every reason to fail.

Infidelity and restoration: How my marriage survived when it had every reason to fail.

John and I celebrated 25 years of marriage in June.  This man I love with all of my heart, soul, and mind. He is my everything second only to Jesus.

But after 15 years of marriage, I betrayed him in such a way that nearly wrecked and destroyed both of us. Nevertheless, what Satan meant for pure evil, God has turned in to something very beautiful.

Young and in love.

I was 19 and he was 20 when we married.

We were young and in love.

6 years later we were blessed by a beautiful big lipped baby girl that we named Alex Elizabeth.  2 1/2 years later Averee Grace was born with eyes blue as the sky.

About a year after Averee was born, John’s best friend suddenly died and it completely rocked our world. He and John had plans. They were going to open a business together and had already done most of the research to get started. Our families were close. We spent vacations and holidays together. It was a very traumatic time not only for us, but of course their family as well. He had left a wife and 3 small children behind.

Fast forward 2 years and John had another best friend that suddenly died. Same situation. We were close and spent vacations together. He left a wife and two small children behind.

Fear of death.

As crazy as this sounds, after this happened I knew that I would be next. I mean, why wouldn’t I be? John has a pretty extensive family history of heart disease. Surely he will die soon, and I too will be left to take care of two small children.

How in the world was I going to do this? How will I get through it?

Watching my two young friends go through the loss of the loves of their husbands just about did me in. It was extremely painful.  I don’t know how they did it.

Seriously- I have no idea, because we grew apart.

Sadly I am no longer close with these two ladies for really no other reason than we just grew apart. But maybe if I peeled the banana back a little more,  I intentionally pulled myself away from them. Distancing myself in order to try and save myself.

Very selfish I know, but sometimes in life you do things that necessarily may not be the right things in order to survive.

So, “knowing” that John would be next I started preparing myself and my heart.

I started living out of fear and I just had to figure out a way to become independent. I needed to learn how to take care of myself and my two girls without leaning on John. This was a gradual process and it was something that just happened over time. I didn’t “set out” to become independent, it just happened.

And it was wrong.  

Aside from that, I had completely left my heavenly Father out.  I had forgotten to put my trust in Him. There were parts of me that I just hadn’t given over to Him.

This was the beginning of my failure.

Fear.

I let fear in and allowed it to control my mind and thoughts.

If you let fear in, it will control you. Click To Tweet

New adventures.

Over the next several years we had our normal ups and downs as a couple. We loved each other and were doing fine.

We were “coasting.”

When Alex was about 7 and Averee 5, John received a promotion at work which caused us to move to Dallas, Texas. We were excited and ready for this new adventure for our family.

Little did we realize that the bricks were slowly starting to break apart. They were on the verge of crumbling down around us suffocating and crushing both of us almost to the point of death.

We were excited to move. Yeah, it was gonna be hard. All of our friends and family were in Oklahoma. Every thing we knew was in Oklahoma. We were tight with everyone- our family, our friends, our church.

Even so we were ready.

We felt it was God’s will and we were ready and prepared (or so I thought) for the adventure.

John had received a pretty significant promotion so he was in a season of proving himself at work. He has always been good at balancing work and home.  He’s always made family a priority and he does it so beautifully- it’s one of the things that I admire and love about him so much. So, during this season in his career it wasn’t that he really worked a lot, but he was under a lot of pressure. He was stressed out. He was on their radar and they were watching him. He just had a lot to prove.

The house we bought was an older home and so it needed some work. The master bathroom was a mess so we had to have it updated. It sounds like a simple task but honestly it was a lot of stress for me because I was the one over-seeing the project. Aside from that, I had to find new doctors, new dentists, new hair stylists – things you really don’t think about when you move, and it was just hard.

Do you remember how I let fear creep in?

Fear had crept in to such a degree after the death of our friends that there was a part of me that I kept away from John…the most vulnerable part.  Be vulnerable in marriage. It's one of its most beautiful aspects. Click To Tweet

I needed to be strong.

Devastation.

I needed to be able to take care of myself. That fear flourished inside of me and taught me how to not need my husband.  That fear caused there to be a crack in the door of our marriage. And Satan slivered his way through.

Not too long after our move I opened the door of my heart to another man. This led to an emotional affair and then a physical affair that literally almost destroyed me and my husband and our two girls.

I’m going to stop right here and say to you- if you are flirting with this temptation STOP RIGHT NOW.

It’s not worth it. I’m telling you, it’s NOT worth it! 

Furthermore, it’s NEVER God’s will to break up a family. NEVER. If you’re involved in a relationship like this than STOP. It is NEVER God’s will for you to leave your spouse to be with someone else.

NEVER.

I betrayed my husband. The one who my soul has always loved.

The one who I promised to cherish and love all the days of my life.

The one who makes up half of my beautiful girls’ heart.

This beautiful man, I betrayed. When the affair came to light, my husband did not kick me out. He should have…but he didn’t. Instead he opened his arms to me. He showed me the love of Jesus. Don’t get me wrong…he didn’t just roll over. He’s a smart guy. He had no idea what I would do, and he had to be prepared. The morning after it came to light he got up (he was sleeping upstairs in the guest room), came downstairs and got in the shower as if he was going to work.

I knew he wasn’t going to work.

He was going to see an attorney. So, he left that morning. The girls were with my in-laws so I was alone. I remember just laying in my bed in the fetal position not knowing what was going to happen. I called my dad and I told him everything. I felt like I was a teenager again as I listened. “Shannon, you cut it off! Cut it off RIGHT NOW.” He had a conviction in his voice that I had never heard. He scolded me and told me what a mistake I had made. He spoke truth to me and talked sense to me. Yes, I felt like a teenager again…but it was exactly what I needed, because I certainly hadn’t been behaving like a responsible adult. Gosh- thank you so much Dad…for speaking truth to me. Thank you for not being afraid of the ramifications of how I would react. Thank you for being brave. You have showed me how to be brave. Oh how I love you Dad.

Can I just tell something?? Speak TRUTH to your loved ones! Speak truth to them even when it will hurt them. And on the flip side- YOU ALLOW OTHERS TO SPEAK TRUTH TO YOU.  Speaking truth to others can literally save them! They may not take it well at first, but THEY WILL GET OVER IT.

Speak truth to your loved ones even if it hurts them! Click To Tweet

The beginning of restoration.

Later that day I saw Johns car drive in front of our house and pull into the driveway. I walked over to the garage door. I just wanted a hug. I wanted to be in his arms. See, we have this special hug thing that we do. We’ve done it our whole marriage. I walk into his chest and he envelopes his arms all the way around me as if he is shielding me. So, he walks in and I’m standing there. I walk right into his arms and he pulls me close. I whispered, “I love you John.”

“I love you too honey.” And at that moment we both knew that we were going to try.

Little did we know that this was one of the hardest decisions that we would ever make in our marriage.

When fidelity wrecks a marriage 1 of the hardest choices you will make is to stay together &… Click To Tweet

Infidelity and restoration: How my marriage survived when it had every reason to fail.

Here’s the cool part. On the way home John was praying and crying out to God. He asked God to help him know what to do. He asked God for a sign….and when he walks in the door there I am. Our hug was his sign. Seems small and insignificant when looking at the scope, doesn’t it?

Only God.

So the girls were staying with my in-laws and we had about 4 days just to really talk things out and try and move past the initial trauma.  Let me say- it would have been SO much easier for both of us just to give up. Infidelity is extremely painful and honestly sometimes it’s just too hard to come back from.

The world says it can’t be done.

But Jesus..He says I can do ALL things! 

Giving up and getting a divorce would have been the easy part for us.

Instead of kicking me out John welcomed me in. He showed me love. I had mocked him and spit in his face. I caused him to bleed and I shamed him.  Sound familiar? Matthew 26:67 “Then they spit in his face and struck him with their fists. Others slapped him..”

Jesus.

He showed me who Jesus was and for the first time in my life I realized what Jesus Christ did for me on that cross. I’ve been a christian and loved Jesus ever since I was a little girl and at the age of 36 I finally understood. 1 Peter 3:18 – Christ suffered for our sins once for all time. He never sinned, but he died for sinners to bring us safely home to God. He suffered physical death, but he was raised to life in the spirit.

That cross though.

The hard work.

My head was in his lap and I was looking up at the ceiling, wondering how I had gotten here. My little girl hopes and dreams were flashing right before my very eyes. My heart felt like it was literally being torn apart.  My husband’s soft hands were brushing away the hairs surrounding my face. “Shannon, do you really think that this is Gods will?” In that moment, that very tiny moment in time, it was like a lightbulb that had been flickering for days finally flashed all the way on and shined bright. “No,” I said. “No, it can’t be.” I was so messed up. I had lost my mind..literally. I actually thought that it was God’s will for me to be with this other man.

I sat up and I asked him, “Why? Why are you treating me this way? Why haven’t you kicked me out?” He got up and started to walk around the sofa and stopped. He bowed over sobbing as if he was in deep pain and agony. He looked up at me, “Because I love you!- I love you Shannon?!”

I love you Shannon.

John, I love you too.

The days following didn’t get better. In fact, they got worse.

I’ll never forget the day we picked up our girls. I remember them piling out of the car; Alex’s mousey brown hair was just a mess and she had that crinkled up nose smile that she always gives me.  Averee’s sweet blue eyes just twinkled when she saw me. (Her eyes are now a warm chocolate brown but they were blue for the longest time.) They both ran up to me and hugged me so tight. We hugged for what seemed like the longest time. They had no clue. They had absolutely no clue what their momma and daddy was going through. Those sweet babies didn’t have a care in the world.

They had no idea that the next couple of years would be the hardest…that it would be an emotional roller coaster. They had no idea their parents were literally fighting the powers of darkness and hell.

So, we decided to make it work, but we were very, very broken. There was SO much to be repaired and so much work to be done. I had broken the heart of my husband and completely severed the relationship I had with many of my friends. How could I do such a thing? How could I? It wasn’t my character to do this. I was in such a state of depression for what I had done. There were many days that I didn’t know if I would make it. I just didn’t want to live in the shame and regret. It was too hard.

But Jesus..

Can I tell you something else? Never, EVER make this statement: “I would never do that.” You know, that saying… “Well, I would neeever…”   Oh Please. (Honestly that saying makes me want to throw up now.) I said it and look what happened. This thing….thing that I did was the NEVER of all never’s for me. It was my un-doing.

Click To Tweet

I know what you’re thinking. You’re wondering why in the hell world I would disclose something like this online or in public. It’s something that’s supposed to be kept a secret, right? It’s private. Yeah, I know. And Satan would love nothing more than for me to keep quiet.  God spoke very clearly to me and told me exactly what to do so I’m doing it. What we went through and how God restored us is just too much of a miracle to keep to myself. Honestly it’s His story, not mine.

JESUS.

Only Jesus.

 

Restoration:

Infidelity and restoration: How my marriage survived when it had every reason to fail.

The next 3-4 years was the most difficult season for us. While we were fighting for our marriage we also each had our own, very personal things to work out.

John had to deal with trust issues and the hurt, anger and bitterness. I can’t really go in to what he went through because that is his story…but I will tell you, there were so many layers of deceit and hurt that it is purely a miracle he survived. He is a walking miracle. WE are a walking miracle. OUR KIDS- they are walking miracles.

Thank you Jesus.

And me? Well, I didn’t even know who I was anymore. I didn’t know how to read my bible. I remember picking it up and not even understanding the words. Sin does that to you- it twists you around and turns you into something that you are not.

Sin twists you and turns you into something that you are not. #MyInfidelityStory #marriage Click To Tweet

Jesus was just foreign to me. It was as if I had never heard of Him or even read the bible. It was weird. The root issue was that I felt unworthy. I felt so unworthy and unlovable. I felt dirty and full of shame. There was absolutely no grace for me and no way back.  I would be forever marked as “that woman.”

The healing process for us was extremely crucial and important. Each step had to be taken very carefully. There were so many different layers to our situation. John was completely heartbroken at what I had done. I was heartbroken at what I had done. As I said before, our marriage needed healing, and we each needed individual healing. I don’t know how we would have done it without Jesus and counseling. We had an amazing marriage counselor.

Let’s go back and talk about sin for a moment. It makes you want to run. So you have two choices: either run away from God or run to God and let Him see you. And if I were to be honest, I would tell you that it’s easier to run because when you run you can avoid what you’ve done.  You can run but it won’t get you anywhere. In fact, it will make you miserable.

Run to Him!

When we run to God it’s excruciating at first. Running to Him makes us see what we’ve done and causes us to face it. But letting him see us is crucial! My friend Suzie describes it perfectly.

“He peels away the superficial to find the source of the infection. Like a skilled surgeon, He cracks open the chest to find out which artery is leaking, or which primary muscle needs to be revived. The key to change is letting God see you completely, no holds barred, and offering your thoughts, your relationships, your life and your heart for His skilled touch. ..God sees beyond the obvious sin to heart of the issue -and then reveals that truth to us”
When I ran to God, that is when restoration started taking place.

“You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all of your heart.” Jeremiah 29:13  The key here is seeking Him with all of your heart. This goes a long with EVERY area of our lives my sweet friends. Every.Single.Area.

 

Click To Tweet

Show Him your heart….he sees it anyway. So if He sees it anyway, than why do we need to show Him? Here’s why- it’s the act…and in the act of showing you will find Him and you will find freedom. And it will be worth it.

It’s so worth it.

If you will allow Him to see every part of you….every part…the good and the bad, than you will find him. And that’s just what I did. I found Him. The Him I never knew. Now hear me- I’ve been a Christ follower as long as I can remember. I have loved Him for as long as I remember, but after my infidelity and being stripped bare of everything I ever knew I was finally able to see who He really was and what He really did for me that agonizing day on the Cross.

That cross though.

Jesus paid the price for me that day on the cross. He carried the burden so that I would not have to. HE DID THE SAME FOR YOU. When I realized that I could stop carrying my sin around it was huge for me. He carried my sin to the cross!

Jesus loved me so much that he saw past my sin. John loved me so much that he eventually was able to see past my betrayal. It was Jesus in Him….otherwise he wouldn’t have been able to get past it. If you’re the victim in your marriage because of infidelity the ONLY way you will get through it is JESUS. He is the God of the impossible! SHOW him your heart! Cry out to Him! He will heal it– I PROMISE he will heal it if you let Him.

I have learned that with God I am capable of anything. He is my source! He is my strength! I am not only worthy of God’s love…I am worthy of my own love. I have had to learn how to love myself.  Please hear me- until you can fully love yourself, AND forgive yourself, you can not live in the fullness of what Christ offers. You are worthy and you are enough!

Until you can forgive yourself you can not live in the fullness of Christ. Click To Tweet

It took me a long time to love myself. I know that there were some who judged me and shamed me…and that’s fine (actually..it’s NOT fine, not according to the bible anyway..)…but no one judged me or shamed me more than myself. Believe me- I judged and shamed myself enough for everyone. I didn’t understand why John treated me the way he treated me. He was extremely protective of me. When others shamed me, he fought for me. The one I betrayed fought for me. Anyone see a resemblance to Jesus here?

Jesus.

This is kind of a bold statement and please believe me when I say that I am speaking this in love and truth. You have absolutely no right to judge or shame me or another human being. No right. Other than Jesus Christ, my husband was the ultimate victim here. If ANYONE has the right, it’s him. There’s no grey area here. It’s black or white.

Someone once said to me, “Shannon, do you realize how lucky you are?” We had been talking about how far we (me and John) had come. This didn’t sit well with my spirit. It was as if this person was shaming me and they didn’t even realize it.  Honestly I don’t think this person had any clue as to what they were saying and I love this person with my whole heart and do not find fault with them..but it spoke volumes to me. I was looking down at the time and I slowly lifted my head with conviction and said, “Yes, I know how lucky I am….but you know what? John- he’s lucky too.” It made me feel so small and it made me mad. It was like this person was reminding me of what I had done, reminding me of the burden that I needed to carry around and that I should feel lucky that my husband didn’t kick me out. It was honestly a defining moment for me.

Because of Him I am worthy. And I am loved.

Learning to love myself was hard. Thankfully during the process of restoration I didn’t look to human beings to find love…I looked to Jesus. If I had looked to people I would have never found it, because no one can give us the love we need like Jesus Christ. John couldn’t give me the love I so desperately desired. Only Jesus could do that. I am confident in the love of my Savior. I am confident that I am HIS daughter. Daughter of the King. I can walk in to a public place and hold my head up high and know that I am worthy and that I am not dirty or worthless. I am loved.

Ya know, Christians are funny little humans. When one of our own sins we tend to just kind of freak out, don’t we? <insert total sarcasm here> I’m talking about BIG sins (infidelity, murder, stealing, etc)…because small sins (lying, judging, over-eating, pride, etc)  aren’t the same are they? When one of our own commits a BIG <inserted sarcasm still there> sin and then genuinely repents we find it hard to move past it. It’s like they don’t deserve to be happy and confident in Jesus. It’s like we expect them to carry around what they did. Why is that? I mean, whats up with that??

Can we as christians vow to not be that way anymore? Please? I used to be that way until I was the one, then when I was the one I stopped being that one.  (Say that real fast three times) Christians- (I say this in love) stop walking around like you have arrived. You have not. You will arrive when you walk through those majestic gates of Heaven. You will never reach this generation until you drop the pride. This generation won’t put up with it..they just won’t.Christians will never reach this generation until they drop the pride. Click To Tweet

John 8:7– When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, “Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.”

Jesus was on my side, and He’s on your side too.

Luke 6:37– “Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven.

Romans 2:1- “You, therefore, have no excuse, you who pass judgment on someone else, for at whatever point you judge another, you are condemning yourself, because you who pass judgment do the same things.”

Can we all learn something from this? Don’t judge. Love. I am SO thankful to the ones that loved me through it!

I learned the true love of a savior. He knew what I would do. He let me fall and it broke His heart, but He was right there to pick me up. He was always there. Through every single tear he was there. I swear I cried for 3 years straight. I was so weak, but I became strong because of Him! Everything I am today is because of Jesus Christ.

I want you to listen to me

If you who have suffered a broken heart for what ever reason,  offer that heart up to the one who died for you. Face your pain. Face your struggles. Strip yourself bear and offer everything you have up to your Savior who literally DIED for you. He died for you. He died the most hideous of all deaths. OFFER YOUR HEART IT UP TO HIM. Offer your broken heart up to the One who died for you. #Jesus Click To Tweet

Maybe you’ve had a dream that has never came to fruition and you want to let go of it. Don’t let go!

Never let go.

Maybe you have sin in your heart right now or your like I was and you are carrying a past sin around…. you feel isolated, alone… Jesus isn’t afraid to talk about our sin!!! Talk to him about it! Give it to him! Give him your whole heart! Satan WANTS you to feel isolated and that’s a whole ‘nother blog post…but if he can get you to feel isolated than he’s got you!

So many people tell me that I am brave and courageous. Listen- Jesus made me brave! 

No matter what we’ve been through or what we face, we all have within ourselves to be BRAVE – to be the person that God designed us to be! Its your decision! Step out of your comfort zone! With HIS courage and HIS strength we CAN make the choices that can CHANGE our circumstances!!!

Where we are now:

 

So, has it been worth it? Naturally I guess it seems my answer would be yes. Our family is so happy today. There is pure, genuine and fierce love. We know what it feels like to almost lose love and we’ve both tasted death. We are thankful and we live each and every day out of gratefulness, and hopefully that has been passed down to our girls.  So to get to where we are today I would say yes it has been worth it…but if I could go back and change what I had done than I would. Because even though today we are happy I wish I hadn’t done it. I wish I could take it back and go to the place I was before I broke my husband’s heart into tiny little pieces.

Several months ago I got a call from a good friend.

“I would love for you to speak at our Women’s Conference this year.”

Those 13 little words caused my heart to hit the floor because I knew at some point that it would be coming and I was extremely nervous. Yet, God had been preparing my heart for this for the last year. I don’t know why I was anxious I just was. When I hung up the phone I inched down to the floor and stared straight ahead for what seemed the longest time. Ya know that one emoji with the big eyes and straight mouth? Yeah that was me.  “God…, this is it, isn’t it?”

Then I remembered; everything that I had gone though and everything that our family had gone through had brought us to that day. The day that I would share my story publicly. The day that would cause countless lives to be touched by my heavenly Father.

When my beautiful friend Jen asked me to speak she had no idea what was really going on in my mind. The self-doubt, the fear, the anguish. Would my family be okay? Why would I tell thousands of people about such a dirty secret? God? God! Is this really you??

I knew I had to do two things before I told her a definite yes. #1- It was critical that my husband be 100% on board and at peace with this. #2- I would need to have a conversation with my daughters.

My sweet daughters.

Their hearts.

This was almost too much to bear. After everything John and I had gone through; the utter heart-break, the depression, the isolation…nothing to me was worse than possibly causing my daughters’ heart to break in two for them knowing about what I had done. This is where FAITH comes in. It took an enormous amount of faith for me to move forward with what I believe God had called me to do. I had to believe that if he had called me to share my testimony publicly that he would put everything in to place perfectly.  This included taking care of my daughters’ hearts. Let me just tell you, he had their hearts in His enormous hands the whole time.

Before I go on, let’s backup just a little.

It took about 5 years for both of us to become completely whole. 5 years of blood and sweat. It was hard work. Marriage is hard work y’all. But if you push through the hard times it can be so rewarding.

When you push through the hard times, marriage can be so rewarding. #marriage #myinfidelitystory… Click To Tweet

We only lived in Dallas for roughly 2- 2 1/2 years. John’s company was bought by a bigger, larger company so some things changed and it allowed us to move back to Oklahoma. Back home. It was a miracle. God knew what we needed- to be back home surrounded by family and loved ones. As I told you yesterday, the next couple of years proved to be the hardest. When we go through hard things in life we have two choices. Either we sweep it under the rug; because sweeping it under the rug will cause it to go away, or we do the hard part and face it. Remember Jeremiah 29:13?
You will seek me and find me when you seek me with ALL of your heart.

We could have swept it under the rug…acted like it was fine, but ultimately that probably would’ve been our downfall, and we would’ve chosen to live an average life, mediocre, okay, ordinary life. But we didn’t do that. We chose to face it. We had to face it. We longed for wholeness. We longed for genuine happiness. So we chose to face it. We had so much junk to work through. If you’re marriage has been rocked by infidelity than you know exactly what I’m talking about. In order for us to survive we had no choice.

We had to seek Him with ALL of our hearts, so that we would find Him, and in finding Him we would find our ultimate healing.

When you seek Him with all of your heart, your healing will begin. #MyInfidelityStory #marriage Click To Tweet

We fought and we fought hard. And it made us strong. Jesus made is strong.

How our marriage survived when it had every reason to fail.

So after Jen called and asked me to speak I talked to my husband and he was 100% at peace. He had no second thoughts. I kinda thought he might have second thoughts but he had none. Ok God? Wow! Well that was easy..so that was checked off my list.

Next. My girls. Oh dear God, my sweet girls…

When I talked to Alex it was the most beautiful moment and something I will forever treasure in our relationship. We went and got take out from Chipotle (her favorite place) and went to the park for a picnic. It is her senior year so I wanted to just talk to her about being an adult and tell her about the mistakes I had made in my early adulthood days that hopefully she could avoid. I knew this would also be a perfect time to tell her about what her dad and I had gone through. So after we talked about some of those things, I knew it was time to talk to her about the other.  “Honey, also….your momma made a mistake….” The moment I said the word mistake she bowed her head and put her face in her hands and started sobbing. I freaked out thinking OH MY GOD what have I done?? Was this a mistake??!!!

She looks up at me. “Mom, I already knew. I’ve known all along.

Wait. What? “I didn’t know if you were ever going to tell me. I’ve kept it inside for so long.”

how our marriage survived when it had every reason to fail

Wow.  I immediately started telling her how much I loved her daddy and what an amazing man he was and I started talking about love and forgiveness and I  asked her to forgive me. I mean I was grasping at straws here…

“Mom, I forgave you a long time ago.”

Those words. 8 words. Who knew 8 small words could change a life.

This little girl had kept that secret to herself for 7 years. She never spoke a word of it to anyone. Never asked me about it. Never asked John about it. Never talked to her sissy about it. Wow. What a girl. What a strong, courageous little girl.

We underestimate our children sometimes.

How did she know? Honestly I’m not sure. The only way she could’ve known is by hearing me and her dad talk. We had A LOT to talk about- especially after the initial trauma of the infidelity. We talked every night when they went to bed and any time we had a chance when we thought they weren’t listening. Alex is also very intuitive and picks up on things very quickly. She’s a smart one, that girl.

Galatians 6:7- …a man reaps what he sows.

I have reaped what I have sown in my precious oldest daughter. She carried that around for 7 years. If you know my Alex, than you know that she is very hard to get to know. She is sort of closed-off and it takes a lot for her to trust someone. She keeps her emotions bottled up and sometimes she finds it hard to express herself and how she is feeling. I believe this is because she had to learn to keep things in and keep her emotions at bay. My Alex is the most caring person you will ever meet. She truly cares about people even if her actions paint a different picture. Most won’t take the time to get to know her- but those that do find a loyal and caring friend.

We’ve always had a strong bond. I’ve had that with both of my girls. My love for them comes with a certain kind of fierceness. Since that conversation we have had an even stronger bond. It broke so many chains in her life as it did mine. She has a different kind of peace about her now…and I don’t know if she knows it, actually I take that back- I’m certain she does know..it’s the peace of the Father. A peace that ONLY comes from above. Her senior year isn’t what I had hoped it to be for her. In fact, it has been extremely hard for various other reasons. Yet, even so, she has peace. And she is happy. She’s always been happy…but she is a different kind of happy now.

how our marriage failed when it had every reason to fail

And here comes the miracle:

My sweet Alex- she knows how to fight. You see, we didn’t know that she knew. Over the last several years Alex has known what her parents went through…and she has seen us genuinely fight for one another. She was watching. I don’t know what she thought initially. Did she think we were going to make it? I don’t know? Did she wonder if one day she would come home from school only to find out her parents were getting a divorce? I don’t know? Each day though…she saw us fight for each other. She literally was witness to her parents putting the pieces of their marriage back together. She saw us love; the genuine, authentic kind of love. And she saw Him. She saw Jesus.

Only Jesus.

Can we just take a moment and give Him the honor he so deserves?? Thank you Lord!! Thank you so much!

And Averee Grace?

how our marriage survived when it had every reason to fail.

Look at that sweet girl. Oh that little bundle of joy, what can I say about her? When I had my conversation with Averee she formed big crocodile tears in her eyes. She had questions. I answered. I was honest and real. Then 15 minutes later she was asking what we were having for dinner. Seriously if it were normal I would take a bite out of those cheeks of hers. If I could just fold her up and carry her in my pocket… Oh how I love that sweet baby of mine. She brings joy to everyone she touches. She has truly been a gift to me.

Can I tell you something? Be honest with your kids. Have honest conversations with them. Be real and authentic. Our world is full of fake, let it be different at home.

Let your home be a place of authenticity. #marriage #mystory #infidelity Click To Tweet

Today our family is a living, breathing miracle. When I think of the grave possibilities that could have taken place had we not surrendered to Jesus I shutter. There is fierce love in our home. What you see is what you get with us. People joke and kid with me all the time about the way we love each other. “You and John are so sappy and mushy!” Yep. We sure are. I would always think to myself- if you only knew what we have gone through to get here. We hold on to each other and we hold on tight.

how our marriage survived when it had every reason to fail

We live.

We laugh.

We love.

John and I have learned the gift of God in marriage. We are a team. We love and we love hard. We don’t hide it. Love is a decision and we have decided to love on purpose. When I am weak, he is strong. When he is weak, I am strong.

Love is a decision and we have decided to love on purpose. #marriage #MyStory #infidelity Click To Tweet

Because of Jesus.

We are John and Shannon. And we always will be.

true love

We have had so much favor in our life. John has had so much favor in his career. Since this happened he has received three promotions. I don’t tell you this to brag. He has had favor at work that you would not believe. I believe God has honored him for his decision to fight through the pain and work on our marriage. John has developed such a strength and tenacity that only comes from God. Oh how God has honored Him.

God will honor you when you do the hard things. #marriage #MyStoryofInfidelity Click To Tweet

Proverbs 3: 3-4  Never let loyalty and kindness leave you! Tie them around your neck as a reminder. Write them deep within your heart. Then you will find favor with both God and people, and you will earn a good reputation.

And me? Well if you knew me before and you know me now you probably will say I am a completely different Shannon, in a good way. I’ve come a long way. I am bold. I am strong. I will speak truth in love to you. I will support you and I will fight for you. I do all of this because of Jesus inside of me. It isn’t me, it’s Him. He is my reason!

I realized something yesterday as I was driving down the road and it made me giggle..so I changed my blog name to ShannonGeurin.com right? I think that’s been Gods plan ever since I started my blog, because.. well,..I am Shannon Geurin. That’s who I am. There is nothing for me to be ashamed of. I am the daughter of the the most high King and because of this my chin is up.  I am His.

Fiercely His. 


Thank you for taking the time to read our story. Stay in the loop with what’s going on here and subscribe today to get updates delivered directly to your inbox!

You might also enjoy:

Fight for your Marriage + FREE download

These four little words from my Dad were some of the most life-altering words for me several years ago. Shannon, ...
Read More
Overcoming in Marriage

Overcoming in Marriage

Last week me, my husband and daughter went to our favorite local Mexican restaurant. He had just arrived home after ...
Read More

How to Stay Confident in a Difficult Marriage {Fierce Friday}

Hello friends! Today's #fierceFriday writer is Leah Grey. If you are in a difficult marriage, I encourage you to sit ...
Read More

How I Fight to Keep my Marriage Strong|{Fiercely His #7)

I'm honored to bring Valerie to you today, talking about one of my dearest and nearest topics. Marriage. I met ...
Read More
The Testimony Tour | The Story of Why I Believe

The Testimony Tour | Why I Believe

The Testimony Tour | Why I Believe I'm so very excited you're here today because you're in for a treat! I'm ...
Read More

To the girl struggling to see her self-worth {FREE DOWNLOAD}

I was voluntarily trapped inside the shame box, hiding and hoping that no one would find me. Self-worth was something ...
Read More
From Pain to Promise- God will never waste our pain!

From Pain to Promise {Fierce Friday}

I'm thrilled to have my friend Regan Frizzelle share her powerful story with us today, and how God did not ...
Read More
What if loving yourself had nothing to do with you and everything to do with loving others? Start a revolution of loving yourself. When we love ourselves we can love others better!

Loving Yourself: A Revolution

My youngest daughter, Averee is an absolute joy. Anyone that knows her is completely shaking their heads in agreement right ...
Read More
Share Your Story

Be Bold – Share Your Story

It felt as though I was convulsing on the inside. The anxiety was crippling as it twisted back and forth ...
Read More
When life is awkward

When Life is Awkward

Awkward. It's the only word I can think of to describe my life right now. A lot of my days ...
Read More

On Instagram