Help us welcome one of our own Imperfect Wives, Victoria Jenkins, as our guest post today!
I thought I would die. At any given moment, I expected my heart would simply give up or my sleep would refuse to end. At times I was so desperately afraid that it would happen by my own hand and at others I prayed fervently that I would simply disappear–erased completely from the world that lay shattered around me. I never truly contemplated suicide, it was more like I wanted to merely cease existing, I suppose.
My recollection of that day, its moments, the unveiling of my eyes–all a blur, yet somehow so crisp that I fight tears with each revisit. Once the infidelity and lies began to unravel it didn’t stop for days. It wouldn’t stop. It must have been that time slowed so that I could experience each hurt as it came. I’d swear the days were months if asked back then. As my husband revealed one affair after another in an effort to come clean, I was crushed beneath the weight of this double world he had created.
After all secrets were out in the open, I shut down. I can still feel the eerie calm that took over; it was as if I had some sort of survival generator running things in my absence. It held me together while my husband was at work, at least enough to keep the kids fed and happy. Then, like clockwork, the moment he came home everything fell apart again. I’d pass the baton of parenthood and cry and smoke and write for hours.
From out of the chain smoking and brokenhearted poetry sessions, I emerged with an unsettling realization. God had allowed each and every betrayal and I wanted to know why. If I’m being honest, the question was a loaded one–loaded with anger, accusation, and self-entitlement. It was filled with sadness and longing, too, but mostly I screamed at God to tell me where He was during it all.
Then I laughed at the notion that God cared at all and I cried at the idea that He didn’t. I was so terribly devoid of hope that I couldn’t find my way back to believing. in what can only be from the mercy of God, I opened my dust-covered Bible and there was his reply.
For a brief moment I abandoned you,
but with great compassion I will gather you.
In overflowing wrath for a moment
I hid my face from you,
but with everlasting love I will
have compassion on you,
says the Lord, your Redeemer.
This is like the days of Noah to me;
just as I swore that the waters of Noah
would never again go over the earth,
so I have sworn that I will not be angry with you
and will not rebuke you.
For the mountains may depart
and the hills be removed,
but my steadfast love shall not
depart from you,
and my covenant of peace shall
not be removed,
says the Lord, who has
compassion on you.
(Isaiah 54:7-10, NRSV)
The following days–weeks–months were spent in the Word or books about it. Eventually, the crying jags grew fewer and my spirit, stronger. The countless poems of anguish were replaced with something entirely new to me. God had tapped into the talents He planted within me, and soon devotionals became my main writing style. It is still so surreal to see the Lord us for His glory what I had always used for release.
During that time in Scripture, getting to know the God I’d always claimed to love, I was given the second most precious gift–next to salvation. I was given a new kind of love for my husband that stems from who God says he is rather than resting solely on what he has or hasn’t done. Being able to love him again was only because I finally saw how my Heavenly Father loves me. When He gave me that, He gave me back my husband, myself, my children–my life.
God’s deliverance of this family from that unfathomable brokenness is nothing short of a miracle. Today I’m celebrating the fact that I was nearly destroyed. Had my world not fallen to pieces, I might still think I alone held it all together.
About the Author: Victoria says of herself: “I’m a closet extrovert trusting God to mend the wounds He’s allowed into my life, with all its friendship ups and downs. Over the past four years, that life has taken one new turn after another, and I believe it’s all been leading me here. Of course, I believe all life’s moments are leading to the next, so that’s not a stretch. The real faith stretcher has been believing God each time He assures me. Our Father is faithful and continues to blow self-doubt out of the way as we walk with Him.” You can find her at her blog: BiblicalFriendship.com. We highly recommend that you check her out there…you will be blessed!
Victoria is currently working to start a TIW club in her town in North Carolina. We are excited to partner with her to bring the hope and encouragement of God’s Word to women who need to see God’s power at work in their lives and marriages.
If you are interested in starting a TIW club in your area, please contact us through the TIW Club link at the top of this page and we’ll get the ball rolling!