Once I wrapped my mind around what had happened, it was time to make a choice.
In the first days after learning about Dave’s secret life, I had spoken to my pastor on the phone and he had told me, “Elaine, you have to do what God is calling you to do.”
A couple weeks into February my parents were going to take the girls for a sleepover and let me have some time to myself. I was surviving moment by moment with them and desperately needed that time to think and process all I had learned over the past couple of weeks.
God had already been dealing with my heart about what I needed to do – regardless of what Dave did. I needed time to think about that.
To think about forgiveness…because I knew that was what God was calling me to do.
If I called myself a Christian – a believer in Christ – how could I deny my husband the very thing God Himself had extended to me, a sinner saved by grace?
This whole experience had changed the very way I looked at humanity and even though I knew the Word of God clearly tells us that all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God, it was in these moments that I deeply saw that I am no less a sinner than my husband.
We are all sinners. As an 8-year-old girl, with my mother and father on either side of me, I knew I needed Christ in my life. I knew I was separated from God because of sin and the only way for Jesus to enter my life and be my Lord and Savior was for me to surrender myself to Him and choose to live in the forgiveness He had already extended to me. He had paid the price on the cross so that I could be forgiven and have a relationship with Him – a relationship that grew, matured and deepened through the years.
Once again, God had brought me to a place in my life where I was at a cross road. Was I going to choose forgiveness? Or choose bitterness and resentment?
Because I had been extended forgiveness by God, I knew the correct choice was to extend the same forgiveness to Dave.
This did not mean that I was going to forget all the wrongs that had been done to me. It just meant that I was going to choose to not let those wrongs define me…or my marriage.
Regardless of whether Dave was repentant or not, my role was forgiveness. That realization was the beginning of the process of forgiveness for me.
What I could not see at this time was that Dave’s heart was truly repentant. He had come to the lowest time of his life; fearful that he was loosing his family all while realizing he needed to make things right with God before he could do anything else.
When Dave left our house after I asked him to, I had no idea where he was going to go. I figured, if he wanted to be with those women from work, this would be a great opportunity to go to them and I could have the opportunity to see if he would choose them or go somewhere safe.
You might find this strange, but Dave ended up at my parents’ house for the first three or so days after January 22nd. They extended the invitation to him and he showed up on their doorstep.
I am not sure I could extend the same mercy to my daughter’s husband, but this shows the kind of people my parents’ are and the kind of example I grew up under.
I have asked my mother to write a post about what those days were like for her…and what she witnessed. When we gets me her post, I will publish that next.