We were finally settling into our new home here in Denver after two major cross-country moves earlier that year. I was halfway through my pregnancy with our third child and chasing after two other littles who were 2 and 1. We wiped butts, went on date nights, and laughed (a little) when looking back on how difficult that time truly was. As close friends would, we gave each other a high five and looked forward to a slow down.
Slowing down to enjoy life sounded dreamy, but in reality it came to a dead stop. I was going along business-as-usual on a sunny Thursday afternoon when turning on my husband’s computer revealed a betrayal I didn’t see coming. He was cheating on me with another woman.
I did everything I could not to vomit. My body began to tremble and shock was having its perfect work. Text messages began to pour in as the Mac was syncing to my husbands phone. A photo came up on the screen. Provocative messages were making ping sounds that felt like gunshots to my soul. It was as if God turned on the light to our bedroom and it revealed destruction of the utmost kind.
I picked up the phone to call my husband. No answer. I called again. No answer. I called again. No. Answer. Finally the phone rings and it is him;
“Who is (Jane Doe) and why is there a picture of you for her?” I asked.
“What? Babe, what are you talking about?”
“Who is (Jane Doe) and why is there a picture of you for her!” I exclaimed.
“Babe, whoa, calm down. Who are you talking about?” He gently replied.
I began to scream, “I am looking at your computer screen and I see your picture and your note for her! Who is she and what are you doing sending photos like this?”
He sighed. “Oh, Les. I am so sorry. Oh God. I am so, so sorry.”
A couple pseudo confessions later, it was worse than originally told. She was an old coworker and it had been going on for over eighteen months. My pregnant self packed up our small children and drove all the way to Michigan. The darkness was so opaque I didn’t know what was up or what was down. The grieving process in the discovery was the most alive I have ever been.
I was feeling everything…
As believers, the only Good News my husband and I have is Jesus Christ and Him crucified. While I want to curse my husband and crucify him for what he has done to me, the Spirit of God leads me to hold his hand instead, to think on the truth that Jesus had already paid for this sin.
I can barely fathom this. Jesus already paid for my husband’s sin against me. He knew it was going to happen. He allowed this to go on for eighteen months before revealing it to me (and let’s not overlook the fact that my husband was caught – not willing to confess first). Yet, not even this scandal is as scandalous as God’s grace and mercy toward us in Christ. Something I wrestle with God on a daily basis.
It has been 215 days since I was knocked to the bottom; it’s been 215 days since my biggest fear as a spouse came true, but never before had I known the depth of what God has done through His Son on our behalf. This betrayal by my husband is not an event that I will be healed from (completely) this side of eternity, but perhaps it will be the very thing that allows me to catch glimpses of God’s plan of redemption for sinners like us.
The gospel is true. Jesus is alive. And the Spirit will sit with us in our mess of a marriage. God is completely unafraid of our sin and we are free to cling to Him, trusting that he can handle any mess that we bring to Him. He will walk with us in our grief, sit with us in the hundreds of hours with our therapist, and be faithful to herald to us the Good News of His forever promises found in His word. This darkness? Not too dark for the King of light.
No darkness is too dark that the light of the Gospel cannot redeem. Have a story, comment, or suggestion? Please email us at NoDarkness2Dark@gmail.com
For further reading about Leslie’s journey through the encounter of God’s grace in this darkness, we encourage you to visit: www.leslieburris.com