Monday, September 23, 2013

Reclaiming Lost Ground

                 I am a coward by nature. I acknowledge this.

     For so long, I wanted to flee from the sight of any reminder that would hearken back to my failures.  It seemed only natural to avoid those painful parts of town, to move on (whatever that means) and to just not bring it up. Under this policy, the healing process stagnated. Needless to say, this strategy of avoidance and aversion was utterly useless.  We have lost ground to this terrible incident, and I have come to realize that we must aggressively attempt to take it back.

    Music and ministry is one area where strife has arisen after my affair.  After all, my actions caused Hannah to rightfully question my character and my ability to stand upright in the face of temptation. It would be natural to consider leaving it all behind in the light of our experiences.  It has been painful, but Hannah has been enormously gracious with me and she accepts my desires and callings despite what I've done.  In this part of our lives,we have decided to stand our ground, and this point of contention has now become a major mechanism for our healing.

     Similarly, Valentine's Day is a particularly difficult time of the year for us.  This is the season when my affair took place, and any mention of that holiday comes with a certain darkness.  Heading into the first Valentine's Day after my unfaithfulness, I can honestly say I was terrified. Should we just write off this occasion and try to bury it in our memory?  Somehow, I knew that this would not suffice.

     Instead, we celebrated our love in a special way last February. We escaped this town, where all of my indiscretions took place, and we reclaimed that holiday as a time for us.  At certain moments, the sting of the past was tangible, but we stood strong against the quiet voice of accusation all around us. 

    I could unravel so many specifics about our journey, but this is the point:

   I refuse to forfeit entire segments of my marriage up to my own mistakes. I will not offer up anything I love as a sacrifice. When you surrender in this way, you build a memorial to the trauma of the past. My former self does not have ownership of anything.

    When offense comes into a marriage, there may be a time when you need to insulate your spouse from painful reminders and emotionally compromising situations.  But there is also a time to stand, forging ahead in hopes of a better future.  If your marriage is facing any kind of turmoil, whether it's infidelity or anything else, I implore you to aggressively defend your territory.  Do not forsake parts of your life, large or small, for the sake of a coward's sense of "peace".  Be specific, make a plan, and see it through. There must be more to life than being a victim.

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