Hitting that publish button for Part Two of my story was an extremely scary moment for me. Your response and outpouring of love has meant SO MUCH to me. Ya know, even when you know you’re walking in the will of God, it doesn’t mean it’s not scary. My story is now out there. My failure is out there for anyone to read. I know that it is going to invite a lot of criticism. It’s okay and I’m ready for that. I’m not going to hide, and I’m going to be very authentic. I know there are those of you that think I am crazy to share this and I’m sorry you feel that way. This life is crazy. I don’t have all the answers. I’m not a theologian or bible scholar and I certainly haven’t arrived. I am just telling you my story in its rawest form and my experience I’ve had with my first love, Jesus Christ. My prayer is that others will find hope and encouragement in my story and ultimately JESUS. Honestly Jesus is the bottom line here. It’s not about the infidelity, please take your focus off of that and put your focus on what this is really about – Jesus. And if just ONE person finds Him through this, than I’ve done my part.
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.
For John, he had to deal with trust issues and the hurt and 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.
I didn’t even know who I was anymore. I didn’t know how to read my bible. I remember picking up my bible and not even understanding the words. Sin does that to you- it twists you around and turns you into something that you are not.
Jesus was just foreign to me. It was as if I had never heard of Him or read the bible. It was weird. The root issue was that I felt unworthy. I felt so unworthy and unlovable. I felt dirty. There was 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.
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.
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! You are enough!
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…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?
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.
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 though 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 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.
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!!!
Be sure and read Part Four!
Don’t forget to enter my giveaway for some gorgeous Kendra Scott earrings. Just click here and scroll all the way down.
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