Monday, October 24


"All of my days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be." Psalm 139:16

O.K. So, last week I had a rocky start. I had a couple of setbacks, and Scotty left for Tupelo on Monday after being home with us for a full week. But, God was so very faithful, and I ended up having the best week I've had in a long time.

From the beginning, I have been trying, sometimes frantically, to piece together the infidelity like a puzzle or a timeline. Let me tell you... That has not been a productive past time. Last week, though, God began to weave a puzzle together for me. But, it had nothing to do with Scotty's sin and captivity. It had everything to do with how God had prepared me for it.

First of all, He brought to mind every Bible study that I have recently done. Obviously, every Bible study that I have participated in has been preparation for this journey. But the most recent ones could not have been better preparation. "Esther" was the first study I led at FBC. 'And who knows but that you have come to (this) position for such a time as this,' Esther 4:14. I think that's all that needs to be said about that one.

I then led 'When Godly People Do Ungodly Things' and 'Breaking Free'. Those two are unbelievably relevant to my current situation. Finally, this past January, I was able to participate in 'A Woman's Heart, God's Dwelling Place with a few friends. No other study has ever been as life changing as that one was for me. God began to show Himself to me in a way that I had NEVER experienced before. I came out of that study realizing that God went to GREAT LENGTHS to have a relationship with me, and I wanted to enjoy the fullness of that relationship no
matter the cost. (Yes. I actually said no matter the cost!) He also showed me how great a price the Israelites had to pay for sin. In seeing that, it became even clearer that Christ came and fulfilled all requirements for sin payment, because we were never going to be able to take care of it for ourselves. I enjoyed the study so much that I led it again with the group at FBC this past summer, and God continued to teach me about His grace and provision concerning sin. He is after RELATIONSHIP with His children. No matter the cost!

Then, early in the summer, I heard the song 'Hosanna' by Hillsong. The first few times, I heard the song, I was in tears from start to finish. I know songs hit different people in different ways. But, for me, this song really brought about a true spirit of worship within me. And, right in the middle if the song are words that absolutely became the CRY of my heart and prayer for my life...

'Heal my heart and make it clean.
Open up my eyes to the things unseen.
Show me how to love like you have loved me.

Break my heart for what breaks yours.
Everything I am for your kingdom cause, as I walk from nothing to eternity.'

I literally prayed these words to God EVERY time I heard them for MONTHS!!!! I have cried over and over as I have realized that God placed it on my heart to pray for the very things that I would need when the news of August 26th hit. Please read those words again if you have not yet seen their relevance in my life today...

Through 'A Woman's Heart', God healed MY heart and showed me that HE alone has made us clean. And, through that, He gave me a desire that all would gain that understanding. Sinc August 26th, my prayer for everyone involved has been that they would pursue Christ and that HIS cause would be accomplished in individual hearts and then on a broader scale to follow. My heart has been broken for myself... Sure. But even more, my heart has been broken that so many people doing life so closely with me were living life unaware of how precious they are to their Father and acting out of that insecurity. God has been able to open my eyes to so many unseen things and in doing so
GROWN my faith tremendously. But here's the kicker... The #1 thing so many people have said to me is that they are amazed at my ability to love Scotty as Christ loves us. I told Scotty the other day that I honestly don't think I could love him any more than I do right now. In spite of the pain that his sin has caused, my love for him has grown infinitely.

"Show me how to love like YOU have loved me."

That was my prayer, and did God ever deliver! I'm terrified that you will read this post and think great things of me. Please don't. I have the same sinful nature that led Scotty down a path of destruction. And, my God loves me anyway. I didn't know back in late spring that I would
be called to demonstrate that same love. But God did! And He led me to pray for it.

At the risk of sounding like an over the top Christian (and it's quite possible that's what I'm becoming), I think we should all hit our knees right now and praise God for His sovreignty. He knows every second of every minute of every day that we live. And, not only is He walking us through the present, He is preparing us for what's not yet known to us. He is weaving our days together like a puzzle. Please take my word for it... You DO NOT need to fear! If He's calling you to walk a difficult road, He WILL prepare you for it. Truly in the midst of mine, I'm compelled to "rejoice in the sufferings, so that I may be overjoyed when His glory (who He is) is revealed," 1 Peter 4:13.

Thursday, October 20

A Great, Big Much

At least once every day, I'll say to Claire, "Claire Bear, I love you.". When I don't hear much in return from her, I'll say, "How much does Mama love you? Just a little bit?" Her response is always the same...

"No! (Giggles). You love me a BIG much!" (and her arms are stretched as wide as they can go).

Over the past week, so many of you have contacted me to say that you HAVE wanted to fight this battle for me. Several of you have even stated that by talking to those who have hurt me, you have felt you were betraying me. And most of you confessed these things to me with eyes full of tears. I just want to say that I have not felt as if you love me a little bit! I have felt that you love me BIG much! Actually, it feels like a GREAT, BIG much. And I thank you!

While my last post urged you NOT to fight but to forgive (and I DO still feel that way), I must say the desire from so many to WANT to take up for me has been a huge comfort! Not only that, it's been a reminder that I have many allies... Many friends whom I can call on when/if I lose heart. If my resolve to do the right thing for everyone involved should waver, I know I have friends who will stand with me. I can't tell you how much that means to me.

I am suddenly reminded of Moses leading God's people through the desert. There was a battle in which God called on him to stand with arms lifted. As long as his arms were lifted, the Israelites were winning. But when his arms dropped, the army experienced loss. Aaron and Hur literally came in beside Moses and held his arms up so that victory could be experienced. Moses was God's chosen warrior, but there is
no doubt that Aaron and Hur were key to the victory.

For whatever reason, I was chosen by God for THIS battle. But, I am keenly aware that victories have been experienced because so many of you have been willing to support me. You may not realize it, but figuratively speaking, many of you are holding my arms up HIGH, and we
are enjoying very literal victories.

I'm so grateful we weren't called to do life alone. I can't imagine walking this road without each of you. Thank you for being faithful, uplifting, and precious friends. I love you a GREAT, BIG much! :)

Friday, October 14

A Call to Celebrate...

"But, while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and felt compassion for him, ran and kissed him... But, the older son became angry..." Luke 15: 20, 28

Well... Last week was a difficult week for me. Every time I decided it was time to blog, I would convince myself that my blogging "tone" would be too negative. I was VERY afraid that I would sit down to blog with the best intentions and end up saying things that I would later regret.

It was probably best that I DID NOT blog last week. But, now that I have some perspective, I've decided that I must write about the bad days as well as the good days. It is certainly not my intent that anyone reading assume that I never experience difficult days. I can honestly say that the number of joy filled days that I have had since August 26th AMAZES me. But... there are still dark, dark days.

A couple of weeks ago, God began to speak to me VERY CLEARLY about my response to the women involved in our story. Hmmm... Let me tell you,that's not fun. His message to me was clear. "I MUST begin to move towards forgiveness in EVERY situation in order to experience complete healing for MYSELF and MY family." That message sounded both liberating and impossible to me.

The process began at the beginning of the week and by Wednesday night, I had met with, emailed or written each of the women involved. I believe my situation is different than "most" spouses who deal with infidelity, because I was friends with each of the partners. There wasn't the same level of friendship with each of them, but there was still friendship. So... the betrayal was two sided. I wish I could list every detail of every conversation. I would love to be able to tell everyone how God worked in every interaction. That would not be appropriate in the least. But, I just want to say that I heard from each person EXACTLY what I had expressed to God that I needed to hear. EXACTLY!!!!

Now, I know it's not all about me. But, in a situation this huge, why would God be so good as to allow me to hear insignificant things that I had determined I needed to hear? Because He loves me! Because He is SWEET! And, I believe that He was blessing my attempt to be obedient in forgiveness EVEN THOUGH my flesh wanted to say, "It's still early! Surely I get to be angry for a little longer!"

A parable that has been important to Scotty and me during this whole process is the parable of the Prodigal Son. Let me assure you that Scotty is very much that prodigal. He squandered the inheritance on reckless living. And, like the prodigal, once he realized what he was giving up so much and that he was meant for much more, he began his journey home. And, I believe that his Father is celebrating over his return.

What God showed me, though, is that I COULD react just as the brother in the parable did. I had the opportunity to resist Scotty's return. Just like the brother, I had the opportunity to pout over our Father's celebration for his return. In doing so, I truly could have hindered his journey home. How could I have lived with myself if my selfishness KEPT a prodigal from returning to his FATHER?

And, then it hit me. It's possible that I COULD be that brother in the story of other prodigals by refusing to forgive. I don't know the journey that is being taken for all that are involved, but I know this... My heart's desire is that everyone know the love of our Father. And, I know that I DO NOT want to be the reason someone misses out on experiencing that love to the fullest.

So, I needed to forgive. I needed to forgive so that I could let go of bitterness. I needed to forgive because I'm tired of my focus drifting on occasion to people that are not important to the COMPLETE healing and restoration of my family. And, I needed to forgive to free others up to run with ALL that is in them to their Heavenly Father where true forgiveness is experienced.

So God brought it all together... in a WEEK! His blessings in our situation are too many to count. I am so grateful! In fact, I came to the point where I decided, "How can I hold on to bitterness over the very thing that has brought about healing and wholeness in my husband, myself and our marriage. So, I CHOOSE to forgive. I wish it was just a one time decision and it was done. I'm human and it's not. It's a process, but it's worth it!!!!

Here's my question... Are any of you acting as the brother towards anyone involved in this story on my account? I wouldn't presume that you have taken that on for me. But, I do know that I have been shown such GREAT love by so many. Therefore, I feel the need to say (just in case you're angry FOR me), let's celebrate over the return of the prodigals! I'm not the judge of any heart. God is responsible for that. But, I can tell you, honestly, that I prayed for discernment and I detected TRUE repentance from each person involved. So, let's get out of the way. Let's allow the prodigal to see the smile of the Heavenly Father that is REJOICING over his/her return. And, instead of pouting in the corner, let's join the party!

Tuesday, October 4

More Good News...

"For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God." 1 Corinthians 1:18

I wonder if any of you are growing tired of my posts. In this present situation, God is teaching me so much about Himself, my self and others using life's circumstances as my visual aid. Each day is fresh and new with a different lesson on the horizon. BUT, the basis for the lesson is still the same. Some of you may be ready to scream, "Let's just move on, please." And, I am sure that one day I will. But for now...

The very first day that Scotty shared his unfaithfulness, there was no doubt in my mind what I was going to do. Love him, forgive him, and let God redeem. There are several reasons why THAT part came easy for me. But, the main reason was that Scotty already demonstrated the fruit of TRUE repentance (no blame shifting, full responsibility, complete brokenness, etc.) in his brokenness, I could see the lies he had been believing about WHO he is. And, I could tell that he was READY to believe what God says about who he is. And, THAT made my choice so easy. Because THE BEST thing for me is to have SCOTTY whole and well in Christ.

BUT, not long after that day, I began to really worry about what OTHERS were thinking about my choice to stay in my marriage. I found the need to explain to anyone who would listen how significant the changes in Scotty were. I didn't want anyone 'feeling sorry' for me. I wanted everyone to know that Scotty was still God's best for me. I guess really I DID NOT want to look foolish to people looking in on parts of our story.

Then 1 Corinthians 1:18 came to my mind. The message of the cross IS unconditional love. It is grace and mercy. It is forgiveness. It is FREEDOM. Yet, it is foolishness to a world that is perishing.

And here's what I began to realize... The way in which a believer relates IN this world SHOULD look different, maybe even foolish, TO this world. As believers, we ARE NOT called to be door mats! We most definitely are not called to forgive and remain in dangerous or tempting
circumstances. But, I believe that we are wise followers of Christ when we choose to forgive those we love and help restore them to healing.

So, are you facing a situation in which you are being called to do something that the world does not understand? Do the opinions of others in any way hinder your obedient walk with Christ? Let me encourage you with this thought... The blessings of doing what God wants me to do
for myself, my husband and my family FAR outweigh ANY negative I have faced so far. I am learning that God truly does desire to bless obedience. In my case blessing has come in the form of true joy, overwhelming love, and indescribable peace.

So, step out in faith! Don't be afraid of looking foolish to a worl that is dying. We KNOW that what some would describe as foolishness is truly
the power of God. The same power that accomplished Christ's finished work on the cross is actively working in our world today. THAT is
great news!