Several days ago, I blogged about a memorial service I attended for a man that had changed hundreds of men’s lives. Thus, also the lives of their wives and families when they chose to put God first. The service had been especially poignant for me after a recent bible study on marriage.
Having experienced marital betrayal after four plus decades of marriage, my sorrowful reminders of unfaithfulness following the memorial service and bible study are what we understand as emotional triggers. Whether it be a traumatic accident or experience, death or divorce as a result of infidelity, the “flash backs” from these occurrences can cause a significant sense of rejection or depression if we don’t maintain our focus on God.
When I learned of my then husband’s love for another, I wanted desperately for God to remove my incredible anguish. By the time I learned of my then husband’s affair, the divorce was long past, and he had been with his lover for years. Like many harrowing situations in our lives, I found myself maniacal. The “how” and “why” were not answered.
Sometimes we understand immediately the rationale behind the action or experience; natural disasters, extreme accidents, often deaths have an explanation. Seldom does marital infidelity have a motivation for the one who has been betrayed. Only the unfaithful spouse can justify his or her actions.
A recent article I read by Clint and Peggy Bragg brought both smiles and tears. Even though their article discussed the “aftermath” of marital betrayal, their encouragements can be applied to countless other situations in our lives. During trauma, it is difficult to understand why we must endure the happening. The Braggs noted, “you must choose to believe that you’ve been entrusted with a high calling that few hear or even fewer obey: Pursue God and wait for Him, not for your circumstances.”
In many such situations we desire to do what we can to “make the pain go away.” I was akin to the example they gave of “leaving something for our spouse or sending a loving text”, but as they noted, “more often than not, these actions only backfire.” I recall so vividly when I initially learned of my husband’s affair, I thought if only I reminded him of my love for him, the heartache of losing a child, the financial struggles we had endured, etc. that he would want to save our marriage and our family. When a spouse has decided to leave you for another, your tears and pleas are of no value to them. If anything, your agony offers satisfaction to the offending spouse. They had never loved you or they would not have betrayed you.
The Braggs words can be applied to any anguish. “Instead of viewing this present situation in the landscape of your entire faith journey, you focus…on the pain this crisis has created. Like your view when sitting in the front row of a movie theater, the drama seems so massive you can’t see the entire picture. As a result, your faith becomes distorted and ineffective. Healing is a process that requires both time and faith. God’s time. Your faith.” Hebrews 11:1 NKJV “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”