Listen to God's voice at the foot of the crucifix." ~St. Gaspar del Bufaro~

Sunday, June 18, 2017

It Is Finished.

It is finished.
I will be taking a little blog break to heal.

A marriage has ended and a family is broken.
My heart feels like a gaping wound.
Yet it is surreal. I pinch myself here in this little blog window. 
Is it really true?
Sadly, it is.
I never dreamed such sorrow could consume me once again.  I remember similar feelings after my late husband was tragically killed.
Here I am losing a beloved spouse in a different way. 
The price of love is almost too great to bear.

It's been almost 3 years working through this tragedy and my heart still hurts all the time.  My brain hurts too.  Both my heart and my head still struggle to process all that has happened.  Especially because things were good and happy in my house until the lies rolled out.  It's still so hard to believe that such an incredible charade took place right before my eyes.   

Like a bomb going off, I discovered that betrayal and pathological lies staggered through the 17 years of our marriage and suddenly came to light in shocking ways, including sexual addiction. In fact, I've heard stories like mine on television talk shows and now one of them showed up in my house. Uninvited.  I am that person who had no clue. It was honestly like the father of lies suddenly appeared and shattered our family in one fell swoop.  It has truly been Unbelievable.

Love still held out hope that maybe a miracle could occur with humility and true reconciliation. I hoped and prayed, for my children's sake, that a miracle recovery and conversion would take place.  It was my biggest prayer to have my husband and family back, the way it was 'before.' 

No miracle came.  This was another tragedy for all of us.  With every bone in my body, I feel the broken bonds of our marriage in the hearts of my children.  Marriage is clearly not just about the husband and wife.  Our bond created more life and love through our children and they are crushed a long with us.  We should never underestimate the damage that an earthquake causes to a house... Everyone who lives there is affected. I suppose that's why the word divorce sounds bad.  It sounds like walls dividing and crumbling down.

So the question is how do you put your house and heart back together after such an earthquake of the heart rumbles through your life?  How does someone rebuild a house of love?  Now there's a happy word!  Rebuild.  It's possible, as we all know.  We've seen it happen all around us.  Even the horrific 9/11 brought rebuilding and restoration. This is where I am now. I'm struggling with rebuilding and restoration in the midst of human damage. I'm learning that it takes a real and honest look at the carnage
...resentment and other broken pieces of my heart...
to see how it's affecting spiritual and physical progress. 

Maybe by putting myself out there in all of my weakness, others might find hope and healing a long with me. At times, I have never felt so alone.  What breaks people out of this is loneliness is getting it out, talking, writing, etc.  If you have ever experienced betrayal trauma, (or any other trauma) you know this.  You cannot remain silent. You must be able to talk about it.  Even if it reaches one person who needs to know that someone else walks with them, I am here.

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and God of all encouragement, who encourages us in our every affliction, so that we may be able to encourage those who are in any affliction with the encouragement with which we ourselves are encouraged by God. For as Christ's sufferings overflow to us, so through Christ does our encouragement also overflow.

~2 Corinthians 1:3-5~

It is finished
These were also the last word's of Christ on the Cross.
I'm sitting with this for now.
As Christians, we know the death of Jesus, those last words he spoke, brought hope.
This is what I cling to.
I carry this cross in the name of hope.
Please pray for my family's healing.

"I will restore you to health; of your wounds I will heal you, says the Lord." ~Jer. 30:17

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Finding Easter In The Bloody Mess...

As Christians enter this week reflecting on the brutal murder of our Savior, we often wince at the thought of it.  Yet, we know what happens at the end of the story...The bloody mess is what saves us.

Only during Lent do Catholics have the opportunity to attend Friday Stations of the Cross.  During each of the 7 Lenten Fridays, we can choose to listen to the agony as we enter the scene that Jesus suffered. We bow our heads and drop to our knees in prayer as we mediate upon the different stages of the death march.  Inevitably, I find myself weeping at some point during the 30 minutes as we reflect on what occurred that Good Friday long ago.  Not only does it help us remember what happened but it reminds us of the direction we should be heading.

This Lent, I made a commitment to our parish Stations of the Cross.  I only missed one week.  We have typically made an effort each year but this year was different.  This year, I felt drawn, almost invited, to truly live Good Friday each week.  It was difficult to keep our calendar clear on Friday nights at 6:00 but it was worth it.  Entering the Passion of Christ is truly one of the most amazing spiritual exercises. 

I have learned the hard way that it is there, in the bloody mess of Calvary, that we are not alone.  No matter the size of my cross, your cross, our family's cross, we are not alone.  In fact, we are never closer to Christ than when we climb that road to Golgotha by His side. 

As I continue to suffer the after shock of trauma in my own life, it really helps me to visualize the blood on Christ's face, and the wounds on his human body.  He knew that we would suffer too and we'd need a lot of help to get through it! This year, having my family broken by impending divorce, feels like trauma on the inside.  My cross is heavy but I find consolation knowing that He knows. After all, Calvary was the ultimate trauma. 

I take one day at a time right now.  The memories of countless lies and betrayal threaten my sanity.  Mixed with the confusion of happy memories, I still find it troubling how all of this has transpired in my marriage without me knowing. How in the world did this happen?  Why did this happen? This Lent, I have felt particularly tortured as my brain randomly rolls from memory to memory in an inescapable attempt to process what has occurred. "Letting go" is simply not possible and I have been certain that my head might explode.  Yet for 30 minutes each Friday I thought about the crown of thorns that pierced God's precious head and saw my reflection in the blood dripping down his face.  Those are my wounds, your wounds, the world's wounds, that he bleeds.   He knows our heads are suffering from many wounds. He takes them on so that we might heal, one step at a time.

Even then, healing is a process and we still need to keep moving forward with our crosses. Things don't get better overnight. Lest we forget, He shows us how to do this too.  Last week, I was having a "bad day" carrying my cross. I was cleaning out the garage and having a pity party about all the burden of the work and junk that was left for me to bear alone.  Suddenly my neighbor appeared to say hello.  She just felt that she was supposed to tell me that I won't be buried by the burdens I was carrying. Suddenly, I recalled Good Friday.  Jesus' friends left him and even betrayed him during his suffering.  He found himself unexpectedly accepting help from strangers like Simon of Cyrene who helped Jesus pick up the Cross...And Veronica who wiped His face.  Once again, I was not alone.  Little did my neighbor know that she just wiped my bloody face.  She was my Veronica. He knows what we need and when we need it.  His trail of blood leads us home.

As Good Friday arrives, I know it's time for me to accept the challenge of my own Good Fridays...again.  Sometimes we get multiple Good Fridays to help us stay with Him.  Sometimes we're carrying a cross and sometimes we are called to be Simon or Veronica.  Either way, if we stay the course, we are never alone.

He took on our bloody mess.
He walked the walk.
He stumbled and fell and got back up.
He never quit.
He suffered a piercing death.
He sacrificed that we might live.
He saves us from ourselves.
He is unconditional love.
His resurrection is Easter~the dawn of eternal life.

We find Easter in our bloody mess...Our mess is His mess. The bloody mess saves us. 

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