Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Trust Broken, Trust Restored

February 13, 2011 by  
Filed under Monthly Articles

I always knew my husband could spin a tall tale. Plagued with the self esteem of a microbe, he would embellish the truth in little ways to make him appear better, smarter or more amazingly unique. Yet, I lived in a cocoon of marital confidence wrapped in the assumption I was immune to this behavior. After all, we were united in a bond of trust.

Then, little by little the evidence emerged. The steel in his back from war injuries he told me he had suffered “disappeared” on an x-ray to screen for lung cancer.

I found a letter from a past colleague of his who hoped my mental health was better—the reason my husband gave for quitting his job and moving back to my home state rather than say he’d gotten a better offer. At social gatherings, his fabrications became more blatant and at times I’d step away from the conversation, embarrassed by his behavior. Then came the proof of pornography, which of course he lied about when confronted.

Like peeling away layers of an onion, God revealed over much of my married life I’d been duped by lies from the one person I thought I could always trust. The hurt was immense. Whatever my spouse said I took with a full shaker of salt, not just a grain. As my love and respect for my “better half” morphed into disgust and wounded anger, I became obsessed with uncovering his lies. I questioned whether he really went to work an hour earlier, or worked so many weekends.

I’d find ways to drive by or phone him to see if he’d pick up the call. I couldn’t lift up a prayer for him. I felt all of the ones I breathed over the years had crashed down on my head, useless and shattered.

If you are waiting for the miraculous turn-around where he confessed all and God healed our marriage, it didn’t happen the way you might think. My husband died before such an earthly event could transpire. Yet, in a way both did happen.

First, God did heal my marriage from my perspective. Instead of changing my husband, He began to change me. He taught me to see my husband for who he was, not what I hoped he was. All my prayers had been for him to be a better, Christian husband, not for me to be a better wife.

More than that, God showed me I had sins of my own to confess. I’d let bitterness cloud my heart and hurt fuel my anger. I pushed him away. That did more damage to my marriage, and my soul, than his lies ever could. My gentle Lord showed me that we all have sinned and fallen short of being His glory to the world, and that forgiveness is the higher road. I had no reasons to cast a stone.

When family and friends were screaming for me to divorce, the conviction to stay with him grew stronger, though at
first I couldn’t explain why. At the point in which I thought I could endure no more, God healed my heart by letting me see this man for who he really was —scared, ill and broken, in other words human. My anger turned to pity, and a new peace swept over my life. In the last month of my husband’s life, I could almost love him again and prayed daily for him.

My trust in my husband was never restored, but my heart was. I don’t need to be hurt anymore by dishonesty because I see it for what it is —simply human nature. I was the one who let my husband’s lies hurt me. I internalized his actions as a personal assault, just as I had all my life when someone said a cruel thing, or laughed at me or spurned me. God revealed that flaw in my personality so the wounds could begin to heal. His balm of mercy eased the pain.

The second? Since God had healed and restored me, my renewed faith taught me to trust in that same for my husband. When it came time to let my husband go, I could, knowing this wounded man would finally receive healing. I trust in my husband’s final breath the God he’d received in childhood as Lord led him into confession and back to eternal grace. That matters more than the confession he never made to me.

I’ve learned there is only One Person in whom I should place my trust—My LORD. That will not stop me from loving, praying or helping others. In fact, without the rose-colored glasses that once blinded me with hurt, I can now look sin in the face and see beyond it because God showed me how to see past my own. I have seen through the mirror darkly, but now face to face, as Paul told the Corinthians. I am more understanding because I can view people for who they are yet can still love them as God teaches I should. My own gut reaction to internalize hurts which once blocked His light from shining through me are dissipating. Because my trust is securely in the One that matters, I can more freely forgive, and love.

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding . . .” Proverbs 5:3

A freelance writer and speaker, Julie has published hundreds of web content and articles with secular and Christian themes, led retreats, workshops, and Bible studies and writes regularly for several Christian websites and publications. She has also authored three nonfiction works, P.R.A.Y.I.N.G.: Bringing Power and Purpose to Your Prayers, Song Notes: Devotionals from the Book of Psalms and What Can She Tell Us? available through Amazon.com. Focused, a contemporary Christian novel set in the Texas Hill Country, which follows a woman’s journey to find God in her empty nest, is to be released in 2011. Contact her at juliebcosgrove.com.

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