grace like rain - part two

i remember those minutes after scott got the call.
i remember spilling out my words like i had been holding onto them for eternity.
and with every word, i became more and more broken.
broken that i had devastated my husband.
broken that this would deeply hurt my family and friends.
broken that the church back home and the church in oregon would be forever changed because of this.
and most of all, broken because i had turned my back on my one true love, the Lord.

IMG_9456 copy

i remember when i finished confessing, i turned and looked at scott.
i was scared of asking the question, but i had to know.
i knew he was free to leave me. free to walk away from our marriage.
no one would blame him. some would encourage him to do so.
so with so much fear in my voice, i said, "scott, are you going to leave me?"
and he looked at me for a long time. silence was all that filled the car for several minutes.
and with tears in his eyes and a broken soul, he said, 
"no. God is telling me to stay, so i am going to stay."

we didn't sleep that night. we stayed up staring at the ceiling.
i'm not even sure many words were spoken.
the next day we flew back to california and i never returned to oregon.
i confessed to my family and my friends and our old church.
i was filled with so much shame and so afraid of rejection and disappointment.
i remember my neck hurt so bad from walking around with my head down for months at a time.
and scott never left my side. even when it destroyed him.
even when the hurt caused him to be physically sick.
even when he had no clue how he would forgive me.
he stuck by me no matter what.

IMG_9497 copy

something happened to my heart after that first day.
i was so afraid the Lord would not take me back because i had sinned so horribly and so disgustingly.
but it wasn't like that at all.
in fact, the Lord embraced me. he drew close to me. he loved me deeply. he forgave me.
he captivated my entire heart in ways he never had before. 
i knew the road to restoration with the Lord and with Scott would be hard.
i knew that trust would take time to rebuild.
but i had never seen such a clear example of grace and mercy like i did in those days after the truth came out.

for months, i clung to the Lord more than i ever had.
i was literally on my knees, broken down to nothing.
i needed to experience his closeness and his forgiveness in ways i hadn't before.
i could not get enough of him, of his word, of his presence.
there were some days where i felt like i would not make it through this mess i had created.
and i just kept telling myself, "i'll do whatever it takes - whatever i need to do ...
as long as God gets all the glory for this."

IMG_9549 copy

the fact of the matter is that my slate has been wiped clean.
and because Jesus died for me, my sins were instantly forgiven.
and because Jesus died for Scotty, he was able to forgive me too.
maybe not instantly, but with time, his heart was healed
and the broken pieces of our marriage were put back together.
in a fresh and new way.

there has not been one day that i've walked around with my head hung in shame with Jesus.
He accepts me and loves me just the way i am.
and i've faced consequences that were no where near worth my sin. 
there are still people who have not forgiven me and there are still people who cannot look me in the eye.
but Jesus has restored my heart. He has put me back together again.
He has made me new all over.

IMG_9473 copy

for one whole year scott and i worked to restore our marriage.
for a whole year we went to counseling. for a whole year we depended solely on the Lord.
we clung to each other. we grew in ways we didn't know were possible.
and we celebrated our redemption and our restoration.
and exactly a year later - to the very day - we found out we were pregnant with our first child.
he is truly a miracle.

our marriage is not perfect. 
we are a big mess. we argue. we are selfish. we are prideful.
we do not have it all together by any means. we fail all the time.
but we have seen the goodness of the Lord.
we have a new-found joy in Jesus.
we have experienced God's grace, mercy, and forgiveness in new and fresh ways.

my story has taught me so much about the Lord.
it has taught me that there is nothing that surprises Him. there is no sin that catches Him off guard. 
it grieves Him. grieves His spirit. breaks His heart.
but you know what else?
there is no sin that is too much for Him to bear. 
He already bore it all. He already forgave it.
He is just waiting for us to draw near to Him and He will draw near to us.

IMG_9504 copy

hosea 6:1-2 says,
"come, let us return to the Lord.
He has torn us to pieces but He will heal us;
He has injured us but He will bind up our wounds.
He will revive us;
He will restore us,
that we may live in His presence."

my prayer is that we always draw near to Him. He is waiting to draw near to us.

email me if you'd like! i've turned off the comments on this post but i'd love to hear from you.