After only knowing each other about a year, my wife and I started our lives together under the covenant of marriage. Our journey started out great. The newness of marriage in our lives kept us both believing we were in something great and it was what was missing from our lives.
As the days passed by, we encountered life changing events together. New places, new careers and new homes. Surrounding ourselves with new friendships and new outlooks on the lives we were leading.
With that also came new challenges. The challenge of a job loss and the challenge of a miscarriage brought about a new pain in our relationship. On top of the pain we both had buried deep inside us from the past relationships we had been through, we would place our feelings and needs that weren’t being addressed.
I felt that I didn’t need to meet the needs of my wife since my own needs were being abandoned. I kept quiet with my own thoughts and feelings. I thought it would eventually pass. Instead the things I kept inside just began to build up to the point where they started to overflow and unravel the life I had built.
Eventually letting my flesh taking over and giving into meeting my needs outside of God’s plan. The affairs happened. I began seeking to cover my pain with the company of other women. Placing my marriage on a path that would eventually lead to an end.
This became a cycle inside my life. When things were not easy at home, I would just schedule my escape with someone other than my spouse to relieve my stress and that eventually tore me apart, tore my family apart. The things I wanted to do I didn’t, and the things I shouldn’t do, I did. I was an addict, not just to sex, but also to the thrill, the attention, and the power of what the affairs gave me. I would then come home and act as though nothing was wrong. I would go on living inside my family bubble and do what was expected of me.
I would also attend church and act as though I was all in and that God was in the center of my life. Till one day, after nearly 16 years of leading a double life, my reach for fulfillment became more than physical. It became emotional, too. Things began to unravel even faster than I expected. I felt that I had gone so far that I couldn’t turn back. I was stuck. I then made the decision to continue down that path.
After I had my mind made up that I was going to turn away from the will of God, I felt God tug at my heart and show me flashes of what could happen if I kept this up. I ignored those flashes and kept on choosing me over my family. I chose to cover up God’s light. As a result, the darkness crept in and took over who I was and casted a shadow over any good thing in my life.
God would send messages through people around me and through my dreams. It’s clear now it was due to those close to my situation were not giving up and had continued praying for a miracle.
I ignored them for a while until I saw glimpses of my own life fading away. I had become the person I resented most. The person I said I would never be. Though I thought I was where I was to be God said “No”. Suddenly the atmosphere around me changed. I became uncomfortable in my own skin. I said, “What is going on? Why now? What if I’m not accepted back?” I was reminded of the story of prodigal son. I knew there was a chance it could be too late. Then I heard God’s crystal clear voice of direction. “Get out of there and go home! Trust in me, I am working on the heart of more than just you?
I felt as though I was dreaming it at first, but then I woke and saw the darkness all around me. I left the place I was without packing up my things and headed to where God had said to go. “Home!” and He gave me a number. I thought it was days to reach the top of my journey. No it was the number of wrongs I needed to right. On the way there were decisions I had to make inside myself. I had to stop living for myself and realized I needed to repent and beg for forgiveness from God and those I had hurt and follow God in His plan for my life.
I decided then, as I was driving home, in my car to begin again. I cut all ties with the affair and asked God for strength to endure the road ahead.
It was an uphill climb with no end in immediate sight, but I had to have the faith that God would not abandon me along the way. That God would restore me to the man I was intended to be. The uphill climb was often met with daily struggles. But I was ready to endure them.
When my wife and I decided to jump in the river of life together, we both got in the boat. Even though we were in the same boat, I still had a different idea from my wife on how to navigate the pathway of our lives.
We were both busy feeding our own needs with outside influences. Inside our hearts and minds we longed to jump ship yet, when others around us did, we frowned upon their own decisions. The weight from the outside influences and our own thoughts and feelings started to build a boulder in our canoe that would eventually the our canoe and the canoes of the lives around us would be affected by the ripples we made when our canoe overturned and destroyed.
We no longer had any part of canoe left to hold onto to keep us afloat. There was nothing left but the two of us bruised and broken, drowning and expecting those around us to pick up the pieces.
Even though everything was now at the mercy of the river, I still wouldn’t admit to my own guilt. I kept deflecting the blame to everyone else around me. I kept desiring that my needs be met and sought out ways in which to fulfill those wants and desires. And when those who were filling those wants and desires left too, I felt all alone on the shore. I had nothing but the rocky shore I was sitting on.
When I thought, all hope was lost and my only way out was death, my guide showed up with my canoe. He had picked up the pieces. He had put our canoe back together. He grabbed my wife and I and reminded us that He was on this journey too. But that there was a destination and it was different than what we both were seeing. All we could see was the rushing water of our circumstance. The downfall from our mistakes.
Our guide however, had an overview of the pathway and knew where we had to dig deep from within, hold on, and trust His direction. But our guide didn’t just give my wife and I the directions, He got in the boat. He took told of the oars and led us through the treacherous waters. He vowed to stay with us till we reached our destination.
As the days, weeks, months, and years have passed since my wife and I have let God take control of our lives our journey has been met with blessing upon blessing. The struggles we face are met with a unified effort to maintain our course. This doesn’t mean that there is nothing but bliss. There are times when things don’t go our way or we may not see eye to eye. In spite of those times we are doing more than surviving, We are thriving. It’s not about us, it’s about what God has done and is doing through us.