The following is an edited post from the archives. In light of recent events and the subsequent fall-out I thought it would be a good idea to revisit these thoughts regarding infidelity. If this is part of your journey, know that you are not alone...
Vows spoken before God, cast aside and broken. Hearts bleeding, ravaged by deception. Broken pieces. Scattered. Remnants of what was once a lifetime together. So long ago, yet felt so strongly still. Those broken pieces fashioned into a life, only a shadow of what was meant to be. The hearts left behind almost unrecognizable beneath the scars.
Scars that push trust just out of reach, feeding jealousy and selfishness. Scars that distort the present, questioning motives, causing fear and anger to flourish. Scars that twist words, turning promises into lies that continue the destruction began a lifetime ago. Scars that always doubt the love that's here and now.
The scars of infidelity are the scars I bear. Betrayed or betrayer, it doesn't really matter. Both carry their own set of hurts and feelings of failure. Those are the wounds that left their mark all those years ago.
Maybe you bear some of those same scars.
Maybe you were the one betrayed by someone you loved and trusted. Someone you promised your heart to. Maybe you never saw it coming or perhaps you watched the slow spiral into the abyss and felt powerless to stop it. And now, in the eyes you loved, lies and deception stare back at you.
Maybe you were the one who betrayed the love and trust given to you. You were the one to make those devastating choices. You're the one who's had to live with the hurt and disappointment reflected back at you in the eyes of the one who loves you. Or possibly, even more destructive, the shame that stares back at you every time you look in the mirror.
We all know too well the things that have marked us.
This is the moment that grace can quietly step in. Grace that will take all of the ugliness and broken pieces and make them beautiful again. This doesn't necessarily mean that relationships will be healed and restored. If you are in the midst of having things fall apart around you, know that love wins in the end. There is redemption and restoration available for you. For your heart. Grace waits patiently with arms open wide. Grace is always ready to gently gather the shattered pieces of your heart and make something new.
And in these days of indiscretion, we all have the unique opportunity to extend grace and compassion to someone who is bleeding out. Betrayed or betrayer.
Don't view their situation through the lens of self righteousness. Don't be so quick to jump on the bandwagon of blame. Don't revel in throwing your stones of condemnation. It doesn't benefit anyone in the aftermath of this storm.
The person betrayed is not a failure; is not less than because of another's choices. The betrayer doesn't need to be reminded of their failings. The shame they carry is a crushing weight all its own. We shouldn't be the ones to tip the scales.
This is our moment to be their safe place. To simply be there for them. If you have walked this road, share your story with them. Let them know they aren't alone. That they will survive. That it's okay to feel all the things. Anger. Grief. Shame. Sorrow. Shock. Disbelief. They will feel all of this and more. They will feel as if their entire life has become one cruel joke after another. They won't know who or what to believe. They will have lost all trust in themselves.
When the tears won't stop, cry with them. Don't let them down. Don't allow them to give up. Hold them up when they can no longer stand on their own. Take those first difficult steps out of the wilderness with them. This is where we find holy ground. This is where we find healing; balm for our wounds. There is a sacredness in knowing we aren't alone.
Let's be the ones who walk with the wounded.