Part VI: Mission Possible
The chasm between us was never as wide as the evening he confessed to having an affair. That night for the first time in our 18-year marriage, my husband and I slept in separate rooms, but sleep eluded me. I prayed continually until the sun faithfully arose in the East. My job is to counsel couples and families in crisis, now I was in crisis. I could not function properly so I cancelled every appointment on my calendar for the day. I went back to my war room where I formulated a strategy for keeping my family together and prayed until I lost my voice. My three chief requests from God were (1) Protection from the enemy (the one responsible for this debacle), (2) My husband to break off the affair, and (3) One morsel of encouragement…quickly.
My darkest moments on earth were those immediately following the initial disclosure of the betrayal. By the time the kids came home from school Thursday afternoon, I had not slept or eaten since Tuesday. They found me curled in the fetal position in bed, crying hysterically with the blinds drawn. The three of us prayed together for God to save our family and then I made a strategic first move, I asked the kids to write letters to their father explaining how they felt about him moving out and deserting his family. When kids are involved the entire family gets a divorce. He wasn’t just leaving me, he was leaving his children too and he needed to know how his selfish actions were impacting them.
That night God answered the first of a landslide of prayers. I asked for “one morsel” of encouragement and he gave me three. The first sign that the tide was changing came when Todd said he wouldn’t move out “just yet.” A while later, as he read the letters from Teagan and Noah, he broke into a sob. I was doing the dishes pretending not to notice, but I have to admit, at this point I knew God was working and I had to smile from my view in the kitchen. The final morsel came when he slept in our bed. He was stiff as a board and slept as close to the edge as possible, but it spoke volumes. God was fighting for me and God was winning!
I relentlessly pursued God in prayer, devoting hours each day to the task of spiritual warfare. I was determined to give God no rest until my family was secure from the enemy’s clutches. At the time of the affair, I calculated that Todd and I had spent 995 weeks or 230 months together and I was not about to lose my man to a woman he had known for 12 weeks! I wasn’t playing to lose. Everything I loved was on the line and I was going to give this battle every ounce of my energy. I was like Rocky Balboa fighting Apollo Creed, only I wasn’t fighting for a title I was fighting for my family. I was in hand-to-hand combat with an invisible enemy brawling for the man I loved more than life.
I threw the winning jab on Friday morning (two days after learning about the affair). I awoke with renewed fervor. After my husband left to take the kids to school, I entered the battle zone like a victorious warrior determined not to leave my space until I heard from God. For Ninety minutes I prayed with zeal that my husband would end the affair and work on our marriage, and then I heard God speak, “She cannot stand against your prayers.” That was all I needed to hear. I left for the office with a spring in my step. We reconciled later that night!
After committing to reconciliation, my beloved knew that I would want answers soon. Out of respect for me, he made the decision not to withhold anything I needed in order to heal. I knew the answers I sought would be devastating, but I was committed to forgiving him no matter what I heard. I did have moments (especially after Relapse Day- November 2nd) when I wasn’t sure I could go on knowing that he had given away the most intimate and precious part of our marriage, then God reminded me, what seems impossible in my strength is a mission possible for Him (Luke 18:27, NIV)!