I’m holding a colander underneath the cool running water in the sink.
The water is running through and down and around, but I can’t figure out why.
Someone who is involved in sexual sin thinks that the colander won’t leak. Even though I knew in my brain I was holding a bowl designed to leak I saw it as intact. I thought I could hold all the water in, but instead it just ran out all over the place. And I’d made a horrible, devastating mess.
Everything I was doing was beginning to fall apart.
I was trying to hold together two relationships: one given to me by God and one that I had taken. I didn’t want to lose my husband and my daughter, but I didn’t want to end my affair. I didn’t know HOW to end my affair.
But it all began to break down. I lied so much sometimes I didn’t even know if I was telling the truth or not. I began to become overly obsessed with my weight including exercising and eating habits. I thought this other man loved me in a way that was different than my husband loved me and I thought I needed both in order to be whole. During this time I would try to hold it all together, like water in a sieve, but it all just ran out.
Alcohol in unhealthy quantities was also a regular part of our weekends. My husband and I would go “out” in groups (after getting overnight babysitting) dancing and drinking and doing things married people, God’s people, should not be doing. He would be there too, along with my husband. This was one of the ways I saw him and fulfilled my own twisted desires to steal (someone’s husband), kill (my love from my own husband), and destroy (both relationships). My husband and I hated being alone together during this period of time because it was “no fun”. The truth was, we were too scared to see what would happen if the dust settled and we were forced to really look hard at each other.
So we filled up our emptiness with other things, people, trips…
And through this whole time, we’d show up to church the next day after a night of excessive drinking and act like nothing had happened. Sometimes I’d still be drunk on Sunday mornings. But I was great at hiding it.
I became wildly polar in my emotions. One afternoon I’d be uncontrollably crying and that same night, I might be basking in the attention of being the life of the party. I was depressed and I loathed myself and what I was doing.
One night, when I was out with a girlfriend and we were both very drunk, she asked me directly if I was having an affair.
I denied it, but I knew she’d seen it in my face, in my demeanor and in my actions.
She asked me again and I caved easily. I told her just enough to satisfy her incessant vodka-motivated questioning. She told me to end it and tell my husband.
Of course I will…
But I didn’t. And a month passed and she asked me again if I’d told. And I hadn’t. Because, namely, I didn’t know how. I didn’t know how to tell the truth anymore.
I’d begun to know myself best as
The train crash that happened next was both the worst and best thing that ever happened to me.
It maimed me. But it also healed me.