Greetings friends! Jason and our family just returned from our epic "distraction" trip to California and Mexico. For the most part, it worked as we'd hoped. Painful "anniversaries" were quickly passed with little pain as we were so distracted playing and having fun that the dates just sped by without our paying attention. This was GREAT! I could have been home rehearsing in my mind the horrors that were happening day to day last December. I could be stewing in my painful memories as last year at this time I was gradually realizing that my husband's behavior might just point to something far more sinister then I could have imagined. It was all crashing down last December for the both of us and I was not anxious to relive that in any way. Instead, we spent those painful days riding rides at Disneyland, eating lots of good food, watching shows and boarding a giant cruise ship to Mexico. It was heavenly and now that we are home, I find myself marvelling that we are so close to our first "anti-versary" and a church court that will hopefully result in a rebaptism. Has it really been a full year?
Despite being in the "happiest place on Earth," I did have a full meltdown on our third night there. It was a doozy and I feel kind of ashamed that it went so far. (We're talking a rolling around on the ground, screaming, crying, begging for death kind of relapse.) What triggered it? It is surprising to me how sensitive I have become to being in public amidst other beautiful women...women that far surpass me in beauty. Let's face it, Southern California is full of them. For four days I was walking around a theme park filled with skinny, busty, beautiful young moms with no hair out of place, no fat on their hips and perfect nails and makeup. It was torture for me! I came home each night with thoughts like these: "It's no wonder my husband had an affair or two. He is married to such an unattractive person. It's only a matter of time before he realizes it and starts searching for a younger, skinnier, prettier model." Or, "I wonder if his affair partners looked like these women? Why on earth would he want to stay with me when he has already proven to himself that he can attract much better looking women?" Friends, it was torturous. I won't mention the other thoughts that popped into my head but those weren't pleasant either.
So, it all came to a gruesome, painful embarrassing head on our third night. Jason got angry with me, I got angry with me but I just couldn't pull myself from the pain. Good heavens, will this pain ever go away? After a few hours of tense words, we both calmed down and apologized and then restlessly slept. Thankfully, I didn't have another "episode" for the rest of the trip but I had to really watch myself. There was a show on our cruise that had some dancers with very revealing costumes. I forced myself to look away and think of something else. I hope Jason did the same. I tried not to "people watch." (a pasttime that I have always enjoyed but I have found lately to not be able to do without having bad, bad thoughts.)
I did have a revelatory experience while on the ship. We were in a room filled with people and I was feeling small and inadequate. The thought came to me very clearly, "If you were in this same room full of people and you could strip away these mortal bodies to simply reveal everyone's spirit, the entire room would look to you and marvel at the beauty that is your spirit. You would stand out as the most beautiful in the room." I am not sure if this was the Lord talking to me or just me trying to make myself feel better but it worked. I carried that image around with me for the remainder of the trip. I think that is true of all of us that are facing immense challenges with faith and testimony. We are powerful, beautiful souls that are to be admired for what we are enduring and for our grace, courage and strength.