The day started out so well and I was feeling really great. I had reached out to an old friend with whom I hadn’t spoken for a while and I was looking forward to reconnecting. I was just about to go work out in my basement when I decided to check my e-mail to see if she had written back. In that instant, my whole world changed.
I hoped I had misunderstood. I hoped she was lying. I wished I hadn’t opened my e-mail. But I hadn’t misunderstood, she wasn’t lying and I HAD opened my e-mail. My “friend” told me that she and my husband had betrayed her husband and me. The e-mail was full of reasons and excuses with blame pointed more on my husband than on her. It was everything I didn’t need or want to hear. I was crushed and it was like an out-of-body experience. I was in a fog and I had gone numb.
My husband was on his way back from being out-of-town over the weekend and he said his phone was dying, so we couldn’t talk until he got home at 1:00 am. We went for an hour-long walk and I heard the same kind of message she had given me but in reverse. He had also had some issues in his life that he tried to throw in as a reason as well. I couldn’t listen anymore. We went back home and he slept on the couch.
The next day, after I woke from a fitful sleep, I remember going into the kitchen and putting together medicines and vitamins for my children when I was assaulted with the crushing thought that I couldn’t face this nightmare. It was more than I could bear. I turned to the cabinet and made a quick perusal of the medicines. I realized there were enough drugs right there to end it all very quickly.
I became light-headed and I laid my arm and head on the counter to steady myself and tried to breathe. I cried out to God. I told Him I was at a breaking point, I didn’t know how I was going to survive and didn’t know if I even wanted to live.
In an instant, I got a very clear picture of Jesus coming up beside me and enveloping me in His arms. I could almost feel Him holding me. I felt so safe and loved. I felt the burden that was crushing me ease. God showed me that day that He was with me and He loved me. I knew I wasn’t alone. He gave me hope when I had reached a point of hopelessness.
Unfortunately, life only got worse after the encounter with God. My husband ended his life four days after I found out about his betrayal. In the months and years that followed, I discovered an entirely different life he had lived. I slipped into clinical depression and I couldn’t think straight for 2.5 years. There was just too much. I sought counseling for my children and myself and I went on several medicines to help clear my brain. Living life in a fog was hard, especially when trying to be the only parent to two children, but I kept trying to move forward even though there were days that I literally had to remind myself to breathe.
Now, it has been over five years since I opened that e-mail. It’s been anything but easy, but I have seen God intervene and felt Him guide me so many times. I never had the feeling of utter hopelessness again. He was and is my Hope. When times came where I felt like I was trapped and didn’t know what to do, I remembered those Arms that held me tight. I am, slowly but surely, beginning my life again. I know God has a future for me and I cling to the knowledge that He is still holding me tightly in His arms.