It’s time to tell him. Right now.
I stopped walking and nearly dropped my mug of freshly brewed coffee.
It’s time. Now.
“No, Lord. Please, no.” The panic started to rise from my toes, buckling my legs with weakness. I set my coffee on the kitchen table next to me. “Everything is good, now. You made it that way. Please don’t make me tell him. ”
You must. Now is the time.
I slowly headed toward the stairs leading up to my bedroom. It was 5:30 a.m. and the house was dark except for one light shining behind me from the living room. I put one foot on the bottom stair and looked up the darkened path to the top… terrified and ashamed at what I was about to do to my poor husband who was sleeping peacefully.
Quiet tears began to slide down my face as I began the slow climb up those stairs. Every step felt heavy as if cinder blocks were tied to my ankles. “Lord, whatever happens I trust you. If he gets angry and leaves, I understand it’s my consequence. I deserve it. If he kicks me out, you’ll tell me where to go.”
I approached the top step and took a deep breath. Gently pushing open our door, I stepped into our darkened bedroom. Even though the room was cool, I felt sweaty and clammy; my mouth as dry as if I’d been in the desert. I sat on the edge of the bed next to my sweet husband and ran my shaky hand along his face. I didn’t need the light to see my husband; I know every inch of him by feel. I leaned in and gave him a kiss on his forehead.
“Heyhon,” came his groggy voice.
My heart pounded in my ears.
“Hey, Love. Um… I have something I need to confess to you.”
“Oh yeah? What?” his voice was a little more awake now.
“Um… so, remember two years ago when we were having trouble and you asked me several times if there was someone else and I said no?”
“Well. I lied. There was. I was having an affair. I am so sorry, hon. I am so so sorry.” I began to weep while still trying to hold myself together for what I was sure to be an angry yet well deserved outburst toward me, complete with a request for the dissolution of our marriage.
Andrew was quiet for only a moment before he tenderly replied, “You know, I wasn’t there for you the way you needed me back then. You found someone who could support you emotionally. I get that. And if you would have confessed this back when we were in counseling two years ago, I wasn’t mature enough to handle it. You probably weren’t mature enough to deal with it either. Neither of us were. This whole thing would have been different. It’s okay. I forgive you.”
Shock and awe do not even begin to describe my feelings. What followed was a deep and tender conversation about everything that happened regarding my unfaithfulness; I answered all his questions honestly; and we ended the conversation in laughter (of all things) and a deeper intimacy that has yet to wear off.
If karma were a thing, I’d have a broken marriage today. Karma would dictate that I should have experienced the devastation I feared as I trudged up that stairway. I don’t believe in karma because karma is self-inflated with the permission to expect and appreciate revenge upon others yet never accept it as something we deserve ourselves. There is zero room for grace or humility.
I believe in something equally inexplicable yet far more powerful in producing love and restoration. God. God offers grace–an unlimited supply–to those of us who don’t deserve even a drop. It’s the opposite of karma. Grace requires me to offer love and understanding to others when it doesn’t make sense–when it seems impossible, inconvenient, and sacrificial. Revenge would be so much easier. But when I look at myself in the mirror, it doesn’t make any sense for my husband to love me either–an adulteress. When I sit down and pray, confessing my multitude of sins after asking for a bunch of selfish things, I imagine how hard and frustrating it must be for God to love me, and to give me yet another chance to get things right when He’s already given me a million opportunities. It doesn’t make sense for Him love me.
But He does. Every single day.
If karma were a thing I would be dead. I spent the last 13 years starving my body–abusing the temple in which I’ve been given to live and breathe and bear children. Yet, God is in the midst of restoring my body and breathing new life into me, the same way He restored and breathed new life into my marriage. I simply cannot wrap my mind around this Love, this Grace, because it is so BIG. All I can do is cry in my marvel and humility.
I tremble in fear at how I will take this gift of grace for granted again today. I hate that I do it. I don’t mean to. My humanness makes me weak. I spend my days asking God to help me be better. And He does. And when I mess up, He pours out his grace again. Over and over.
If karma exists, then I may as well just give up on life because I deserve revenge every day–karma doesn’t tolerate humanness. God does exist because I have experienced His grace in mighty big ways–God’s grace not only tolerates my humanness, but loves me, protects me, strengthens me.
*Note: This confession happened in the summer of 2014, so we’ve had much time to process and heal. The lesson I’ve learned about grace is as recent as the date of this post, so it’s a new idea that I’m still getting used to. 🙂