The Well Magazine Winter 2012 - Page 22

Restoration Wrong choices led to divorce, but forgiveness led to restoration and remarriage By Zoe Seed rong choices damaged our family when my husband and another woman became involved in a relationship. Pain, loss, and turmoil impacted me and our children. The vacated chair at the kitchen table, the empty side of the bed, and thoughts of my husband in the arms of another woman all defined pain. Loss escalated in loneliness and turmoil brought confusion and countless questions. Twenty-nine years of marriage did not provide sufficient protection or a guarantee against infidelity. In our case, longevity did not ensure we would grow old together. Family dynamics changed and the impact affected our adult children as well as grandchildren. Grandpa’s absence was most noticeable to our seven-year-old grandson, Blake, when he came for a visit. The next morning, when grandpa showed up, Blake purposefully greeted him. He placed his little hands on grandpa’s cheeks as if to command his full attention, then looked him square in the eyes and slowly, said, “I love you!” The message came through loud and clear. Please grandpa, wake up, can’t you see what you are doing? Don’t you unRestoration requires total derstand the damage your choices have honesty, transparency, and caused? W especially when my husband came back and then left again to be with the other woman. This scenario repeated itself all too often. We hoped for the best, but because there was no heart change, his empty words vanished like vapors in the wind. Sorrow filled my days as if grieving a death. In faith I prayed, drew close to the Lord, and searched the Bible for hope. God ministered to me in ways beyond my understanding. He carried me. I began to journal as a way to express my feelings and the difficult experiences of this new normal. The pages developed into a manuscript, and were later published as Choices Not Chosen. Words became tools to describe the oppressiveness of a mess I did not choose. Ending a marriage can often take many appearances in court. Mike and I went to divorce court one time, however, and stood in front of a judge we did not know. It took less than fifteen minutes to end our marriage that took years to build. The quick process was not painless; the brokenness scarred deep within my heart. Divorce is the legal termination of the union between a husband and wife. However, it did not define the end of the story for us, because God was still in control. No matter how final things appeared, the Lord continued to work out His perfect plan and purpose. Mike’s story: Everything I held dear was gone – my purpose, my identity, my children, and even my wife. Life Choices Not Chosen crashed down all around me and thoughts of suicide danced in my mind. The battle that raged within me During the two-year separation, my reMike and Zoe Seed at their first wedding. became a showdown of good and evil. I knew sursolve held strong for reconciliation. From render to God was the only valid solution. the onset, I chose to forgive. Mike did not ask me to forgive him In a moment of total despair, I found myself curled in a fetal position, on and certainly my forgiveness did not excuse his actions. The dethe cold, kitchen floor of my upstairs, garage apartment. cision to forgive was not possible in my own strength — it was God reached down, took hold of me, and totally transformed my life! This through God’s love. Forgiveness is a gift. God displayed His gift was a miracle in the making. to us through the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross. Following God’s intervention, Zoe and I reconciled and the long restorative Everyone in our family rode the emotional roller coaster ride, process began. Areas of trauma, pain, and sorrow met the healing hand of a determination to stay the course. The Well Magazine / Winter 2012 22