Thursday, May 5, 2011

My Fears

During the time Jesse was having the affair, I had a lot of lonely nights to collect the bricks that were slowly surrounding my heart. For each disappointment, heartbreak, and rejection that knocked me off my feet there was one more brick added to the walls around my heart; slowly embracing it. By the time the affair came to light, my wall was almost impenetrable.

It has taken a long time for that wall of fear to come down. Even now, I have thoughts that still linger in the back of my mind - many of them include the dreaded question, “What If?” I know without a shadow of a doubt that Jesse loves me and that we are stronger in our marriage than ever before, but what happens if we do see tough times again?

Right now, that is where my heart is. Though the walls are down, the bricks are far from gone... I still haven't completely let go of the fear and the constant reminder of what once was. I'm not sure why I haven't cleaned up all the bricks laying beside my heart. I don't know what I'm waiting for. I think there is a piece of me that leaves them there, just in case I need to start rebuilding again.

For me even after three years, fear can still creep up on me in a matter of seconds. At first it was constant (which is normal), but you must at some point learn to start trusting again. I still have issues with certain dates - dates that bring me back to feeling a certain way (like Mother's Day) and fear will physically take hold and I will withdrawal. There are places my husband and I pass where we live (also knowing it was a place he took her sometimes) and as he causally looks over in that direction (NOT EVEN thinking about her) and fear will rise up in me that maybe he was thinking about Lauren.

Crazy? I know!

One of the things that I thought I would never get over was meeting people with the name Lauren (of course this is not her real name but we are going to go with this, let’s just say it’s a common name). Up until last year it was difficult for me to even meet or smile at a girl named Lauren.

I know how horrible that sounds.  How Christian like, right?!

But it was a HUGE trigger in my life. HUGE!!! God knew that this was something I wanted to overcome. I really prayed hard, I hated this about myself; I hated that I judged every Lauren out there without even knowing them. God knew exactly what I needed. It wasn’t going to take an intervention, or intercessory prayer meeting that would leave me slain in the spirit for hours, it wouldn't even take for all the Lauren's in the world to go extinct. None of that would have made a difference.

He knew I needed someone to enter my life that happened to share that same name. He knew that I needed this person to show me that I could feel safe again with a girl named Lauren. I needed to feel that all the Lauren's in the world weren’t all out to steal my husband and that I could have a true friendship with someone that (mentally for me) had so much pain behind it. I know this sounds stupid. I know it does! I feel stupid even admitting it to everyone, but this was a big struggle for me. Petty, eh?

God knew what I needed and He did just that. About a year ago, my husband and I had the privilege of meeting this amazing couple at our church, and get this… the wife’s name is “Lauren.” Go figure, right? Well, she has been a Godsend! She is an amazing lady who loves the Lord. We all get a long wonderfully. I’m so glad that God brought her into my life and I thank God for helping me get over the fear of all Laurens or else I wouldn’t have such a wonderful friendship today.

The other fear that I had to get over was being pregnant with Ian.

Don’t get me wrong… Ian is such a gift and God had a perfect timing for his arrival into our family. But for just a moment see where I was coming from. Remember my post the other week on being a “single mom?” Remember how my first experience of being a mom is doing it all on my own and having my husband abandon me?

Again, I know this sounds stupid, but this was my fear! I believed that I was going to get my heart broken all over again. In my mind, it was just a matter of months before my postpartum depression set in and my husband would get tired of me, this time leaving me with two kids. I was terrified! The devil sure did have a heyday with that fear, but thankfully I also had a lot of people praying for me and my husband reassuring me EVERY DAY that he was there and loved me very much.

Though my fear was strong, God still came through for me. Half way through the pregnancy He gave me such peace. The pregnancy brought more healing than I could ever imagine. I also believe that God was also speaking to Jesse’s heart and always reminding him to encourage me and us as a couple. I prayed over our family daily and just rebuked satan’s lies. Then beautiful Ian Bray arrived, and there was even more peace. That doesn’t mean that I still didn’t struggle, but it was better than I thought.  I mean come on... who could not love this little guy?!?!

Our family life is what blesses me the most when looking back at what we once almost lost. If we hadn’t fought to save it, we wouldn’t have Ian Bray here today. Thank you JESUS!

Fear…. I hate that it rules so much of my life at times. But I’m a work in progress and God is always teaching me new things. Now that I have made myself look like the Hitler for all Lauren’s out there and the most terrible mother for being so fearful through my pregnancy and almost speaking death into our family by saying that Jesse was going to do this again, I think I’m going to stop talking about all my fears.

The bottom line is that it takes time, it takes healing, but mostly it takes prayer and trusting God to take those fears from you. I will tell you that it is a battle, but it’s worth it when you are finally free.

Deuteronomy 31:6 
Be strong and of good courage, do not fear nor be afraid of them; for the LORD your God, He is the One who goes with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you.

Laura Story


Rachel said...

Have you sat down and figured out exactly what you would do if it were to happen again? I mean, I know it's going backwards in a way, but that helped me with a lot. I had a plan for myself and knew that if something did happen again, I would be OK on my own. I knew exactly what I would do. Once I got over that fear and wonder, it was easier to focus on the now.

I didn't want to think about it happening again, but like Dr. Phil says(haha), past behavior predicts present behavior, so it made me feel better to have a plan. And I don't think there was anything wrong with that. It was necessary.

morgan823 said...

I think all your fears sound normal to me. I've never been in your situation but they don't sound crazy. I wouldn't beat yourself up over them at all. :) This has been a great series yall are doing and I know you are helping other couples out there.

Unknown said...

I have another question! :) It's actually kind of unrelated to this specific post though. You actually may have already answered it and I've forgotten-if so, I'm sorry!
Once the two of you chose to fight for your marriage, did you attend marriage therapy? Why or why not? If you did, did it help?

Anonymous said...

Oh Lyryn! You just made me feel 100% better by letting me know that I am not insane. The "Lauren" that my husband had an affair with has a very common name. Even 5 months after the affair was revealed to me, I still find it very hard to say the name at all...and we have several friends with that name. I literally feel a little sick when I say the name. Thanks for letting me know that there is hope.

Anonymous said...

I'm with you and the previous Anonymous poster. Hearing his name, whether in reference to him directly or just someone that shares the same name, literally makes my stomach turn ... even now 2 years after it all. And as you said, it all boils down to fear. For a long time I thought my reaction was simply because I hadn't come to the point of fully forgiving him yet, but praise God, I've been able to do that now. That doesn't mean I want him to have any part in my life or that of my wife. That simply CANNOT be the case if our marriage is to thrive or even survive, but I have forgiven him ... and yet the reaction persists. I don't experience the same flashes of anger I did say a year ago, but I still get that same nauseated feeling and that same fear that history will repeat itself. Thanks for sharing this seemingly petty and ridiculous reaction and if you get a chance, I'd certainly appreciate a prayer.

Megan Ashley said...

I know the feeling all too well. The one where if I let my mind race a little I get the what if's?!?!? I hate those feelings, and lately I have been doing my best to knowck them right out of the park. Scott went on a out of town business trip and I thought for sure I might lose it, but you know what? I didn't! For the first time in a long time, the trust was there, the anger wasn't and the devil's delusions were far from my mind. I think that through this series, and through our church and faith that Scott and I have come a LONG way! Thank you so very much!!!!!

Anonymous said...

I can completely relate to the judgement of the name. I still sneer in my mind every time I hear the name of the woman that my husband kissed while we were still dating and the ex girlfriend that he flirted with after we were married. I've been lucky that I've met beautiful wonderful women with these same names, but my heart still goes there sometimes before I remember...oh yeah...God's in charge of that now. Thank you again for stepping out into this very vulnerable spot. We have some mutual friends and I'm so glad I came across your blog through them.

Trina said...

I can totally see where all these fears would be legit. And not one of us can sit here and say we wouldn't fear the same if it happened to us. So thankful you allowed the Lord to heal you!

Hailey @ Me and My Boys said...

While I haven't been through this kind of situation, I can only imagine that everything you've said is totally normal. You won't believe this, but since I started reading your blog, we have heard of at least three couples that are dealing with affairs. Two are related to me, all have been the woman cheating (and two of the women had just had babies!). Thank you for sharing this. You're helping so many people.

Anonymous said...

how about having the same name as her!?!?!??!?! yep! it happened.

Melanee said...

please stop calling yourself crazy! all of your fears are more than valid and you are amazing for being brave enough to stand in it and face those fears. you rock lyryn!

Karissa Patterson said...

OMG! I totally relate and the hardest part for me is that I have TWO AMAZING friends with the same name and I can't ever talk to my husband about them right now because I don't want to say that name to him... HUGS!

Moments and Impressions said...

I am glad God brought that lovely friend into your life. I am sure that makes things a lot easier to have a positive reference for that name. I am sure being pregnant was scary... hormones, changes, and "I have been here before" feelings and didn't go well. You shouldn't be down on yourself for keeping those bricks around... your have done an amazing job.

Katie @ Loves of Life said...

I agree with Melanee. I counted at least 5x you negative-self-talked in this post, calling yourself either crazy, petty, or stupid. None of which you are. If you felt that way, you felt that way. Be confident in what you were feeling and that its legitimate. You were/are allowed to feel all of those things without being ridiculous/petty/stupid/or (gasp, I still can't believe you said this), Hitler'esque.

I'd love to see this post re-written in a fashion that was slightly less bashing of yourself. I'm saying this with absolute love. Hear me, please ;) Many of these commenters above can relate to you. So are they all crazy too? I don't think so :)

I say normal for the situation.


More Than Words said...

You are an amazing woman, Lyr!!!!!

susie q said...

This message and the comments greatly encouraged my heart, I have fearful moments and doubts that try to overwhelm me at times. It seems to be common for all of us who have been through an affair. May the Lord help us to encourage one another, our husbands, our family of the reality of His truth, His love, His faithfulness. Praying together daily is the best thing that my husband and I do for our marriage! Blessings!