General Conference was incredible for us! At one point near the end of the morning session, my husband and I turned to each other and said, "I think they must have had us in mind when they wrote these talks." Almost every one of them spoke to what we are currently going through as a couple and as a family. I have started doing something different when I am taking notes. I write down what is being said in the talks, but when a thought pops in to my mind, I write it down, no matter what it is. I had a few of those "revelatory" experiences today.
The first one needs some background. If you read my first post, The war begins with a revelation
you can see that I found out about my husband's addiction and subsequent affairs in a relatively peaceful way. Sure, it was devastating, but surprisingly, there are parts to that day that I am starting to cherish. So, why is it that I OBSESS about finding out about my husband's affair in another way? I imagine following him in his car as he goes to "her" house and confronting him there. I imagine walking in on the two of them as they are doing whatever it is they did. Whenever I imagine that make believe moment, my heart starts to race and I get so anxious that I feel like bursting into tears. Why do I torture myself?
I think it is because I feel like a fool. How did this all happen under my nose? How did I not see it? Was he really that clever in keeping it from me or was I just stupid? I think my imaginations of catching him "in the act" speaks to my need to not feel like an idiot...the wife who is dutifully fulfilling her obligations at home, totally unaware. But unfortunately, those thoughts are TORTURE! Am I going mad?
During conference yesterday (during Elder Nelson's talk), I had this bit of personal revelation. It was coming so fast that I could barely write it down. Here is what the Lord was whispering to me:
"Had I wanted you to find out about the affairs in the ways that you imagine, I would have led you to it. I didn't. I revealed it to you in the kindest and most peaceful way that I could. That was my gift to you. Don't throw that gift away by imagining a much more horrific discovery. That is not what I wanted for you. Look to me in EVERY thought...even those. I can take them from you if you are willing to give them up. Just ask and it shall be done."
Wow! Since then I have been diligently trying to not dream up ways in which my "DDay" could have been different. Perhaps he knew that if I had any hope of making things work with my husband, I needed it to be peaceful. (Or as peaceful as that kind of an event can be) Those images are bad enough in my imagination...seeing them first hand may have scarred me for life. I need to be grateful that my story of discovery is what it was and not something far worse.
The second little piece of revelation came in Elder Scott's talk. He said that we need to find a way to trust others. Here is what he said that was profound to me. "Children of our Heavenly father can do amazing things when they feel trusted."
This concept has been hard for me because my husband so badly violated my trust. I talk to him often about my "trust bucket." When he calls me and tells me when his plans change...where he will be and what he will be doing, he is dropping a drop into my trust bucket. When he studies his scriptures and reads his addiction recovery books, he is adding to that trust bucket. When he spends more time at home with our children and me than he has EVER done in the past, that adds to that bucket. Very slowly, that bucket is getting filled but it is slow.
Just the other night he announced that he needed to go do a last minute delivery that couldn't wait. Ordinarily, that would not have been an issue but after what we have been through, it set me off. I started to panic. The problem is, in those two months that he was involved with someone else, he would proclaim his need to go make this delivery, or fix that problem immediately. He would leave and go be with her instead. So, even though he really did need to make a delivery the other night, I started to have severe anxiety. He immediately came into our bedroom and apologized, having not realized that what he was doing was a mirror of what he did to me during those "dark months." He quickly invited me along so that I could be assured that he was indeed, just making a delivery. That added to the trust bucket.
So, I need to trust more. Even just a little bit more trust than I have been giving him can go a long way. It is hard because I don't want to get hurt again but I really don't have a choice. A marriage without trust isn't really a viable marriage. So, thank you Elder Scott for that reminder. It is going to be hard, but I know I can do it.
The last little bit of inspiration came as Sister Jean A Stevens spoke of David and Goliath. This thought came, "We are slaying a Goliath. (sexual addiction) It is big and scary but the Lord is mindful of the battle. He is on the front lines with us, fighting just as hard." What comfort this image brings to me.
I love the Lord. I love that He is carrying me through this and making my burden seem lighter than it should. I feel Him near everyday. If you don't have a "revelation journal" yet, get one! It has helped me so much!