Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Blessed... and residue

Things happen in life to remind myself of how blessed I am. I am blessed to have three amazing kids. I am blessed to have an amazing wife who supports me in all I do. I am blessed to have a good job that provides for our family. Even when things get tough in the money department, I am reminded that God has always taken care of us. I am blessed to serve a God who understands me and loves me without condition. I am blessed to have a place that I can go and worship and get fed the word of God. I am blessed that I had that moment in life that changed my life and brought me back from the brink of destruction. I know those today who are facing something that I faced long ago with my mom. My heart and prayers go to their family.

With all of that said... there are many instances of residue from my old life. I fully trust that God is going to take care of them. How God will handle them is yet to be seen. So this is noted to those out there who will read this in the future. Having an affair will cause a person many hardships down the road that you don't even think about. If you have been as blessed as I have, then with God's help and the love of an amazing wife you will get through it. But there are certain realities that I have had to come to terms with.

If you are involved in a ministry at church and you have an affair, plan a very long time before you make an appearance back in that ministry or not at all. You have lost all credibility with the people that you were ministering with and or too. Some people may know your story and some will not. But the honest thing to do is to admit to your pastoral staff what you did and voluntarily remove yourself from that ministry and any other ministry you are involved in. Then leave it at their discretion to allow you back should that be their desire. At this point you have no choice in the matter.

Speaking of the church... There are those who have gotten wind of what has happened. Some will show genuine concern. Some will be nosey. Some have their own problems and really don't care about yours. As a couple you have to decide what is best for you, and your marriage. Do you stay at your church or do you get a fresh start of sorts at another. That is a question that my wife and I faced. We stayed at our church. We still struggle with the feeling of having a huge target or big orange dot on our backs. But at some point you have to ask why do you go to church? Here is our answer. Don't worry about what other people think. It is not them that you will have to answer to when it is all said and done. Go to church to get fed. Go to church to seek God out and what he wants for your life. Church is God's house and it takes all kinds of people to make the body of Christ work. Even those who have scars. Scars are a sign of healing. So don't let the other stuff be a distraction in your walk with God through this time.

In having an affair you have obviously lied to a lot of people. You have lied to your friends and family. You have lost credibility with them as well. Add into this as well as the trust factor. So time to admit your lies and come clean and ask for forgiveness. Then understand that it will take a while to gain that trust and belief that you had with them. It will also take time for them to get over the hurt they feel. Some friendships will never be the same. Some friendships will not exist and others will only get better. Family should always love you, but tread lightly and be understanding. I have a great family who love me without condition. All of them spent time praying for me and still do.

Then there are your kids. Your kids pick up on a lot more than you think. My oldest son made the comment that he was looking forward to spending more time with me this year because I didn't have a girlfriend. Can I get mad about that comment? ABSOLUTELY NOT. These comments are going to come out and kids will express their feelings. Sometimes those feelings are very blunt and to the point. Don't get mad at your kids..  rather be loving and understanding of them.  Having an affair and trying to live a double life is not possible. Trying to be a good parent is not possible. Your kids will pick up on this as mine did. All of our kids have expressed in one way or the other how glad they are that Jesus lives in me now. With our kids, they developed insecurities and anxieties that we are still sorting through. God has taken many of those away, but still there are few left and that is why I have asked you to keep praying for them.

It is important that you find a good counselor who is a Christian. My wife and I see our counselor together and separately. There are reasons affairs happen and in order to put that back together, you have to address those issues together and personally. I cannot say enough about our counselor. She has been a big part of the difference in our marriage and personal lives. God has used her more than she knows.

The road to recovery as I first named this blog is a long one. You don't heal from this over night and no one around you does either. I got a second chance... some won't. I am thankful I am not writing about divorce or the struggles I face with my kids and them coping with not having two parents in one house. God worked only because we allowed him too. If I can say anything at all, God has to be the center of all of this and if you don't allow him too, then nothing will change.

So what to pray for... We have some decisions still  that we need to make about our future. Pray for our kids. Pray that my wife will find a good job closer to home. Pray that when the time comes for us to act on God's will that we follow his lead. Pray for the court date on May 9th.

Father thank you for blessing me. Father thank you for healing.