Currently, I’m sitting in the passenger seat, on a road trip. Taking the exact same roads I was traveling, to the exact same destination I was headed to this time last year.
Last year, we were supposed to be going to the beach as a family.
But our family had been broken.
I was exhausted, confused, lonely, sad, and terrified. I had no idea what my future held. Jeff was persistent in his pursuit of me, in his pursuit of forgiveness, and of a fresh start. But honestly, up to that point, I wanted no part of that. Yet I couldn’t pull the trigger and file for divorce. It was around this time that I started to believe he might be telling the truth. That this complete change in him might actually be real? Could it be? But still I had so many questions. So many doubts.
The rest of my family were going to the beach for a week, and not wanting me home alone, knowing that I needed time away, they insisted that Kate and I come with them.
So I did. And it was what I needed. I needed that space and that distance. It was fun to spend that time with them and yet it was hard. Hard because things were not what they were supposed to have been.
Jeff was supposed to be there. But he wasn’t. Our family vacation was missing a very important ingredient… our family.
It was during that week that I found a little clarity. I didn’t know if I could do it. I didn’t know if I could live with him. With what he had done. I had come to a place where I couldn’t envision my life with him, but I couldn’t envision it without him either. Neither felt right.
But still, he was different. So decidedly and undeniably different. This new Jeff, I saw things in him. Things that you want in a husband. But I was still in so much pain. It was nearly impossible to reconcile, the new Jeff and the old Jeff. If I took him back , I might possibly be getting an amazing husband. The kind I had always wanted. But I was also risking my heart on someone who had obviously not valued it. On the other hand, if I decided to move on, I might find someone new. Someone that would treasure my heart. But there were no guarantees that I wouldn’t give my heart away to someone new and they wouldn’t break it too.
And I could possibly be giving up a potentially great husband in this new Jeff. I had put 24 years into this marriage. Did I really want to walk away and let someone else reap the benefits of this new, improved version? That didn’t seem fair.
So many questions. What was real? What could I believe in?
And then the answer.
“You can go. And I’ll honor that. I have goodness for you. Or you can stay. And I will honor that. I have goodness for you.”
So, all of that indecision, all of that inner turmoil, all of that fear, it was a burden I didn’t have to carry.
The pressure was off. There were no wrong decisions. It didn’t matter what I chose. God had goodness for me.
All I had to do was seek Him, trust him, and follow my heart.
So then, what to do?
I knew deep down , I couldn’t live with not at least trying to give our marriage a chance. I knew the only way I would know if I could live with him, was to try and live with him. It was hard. It was scary. It was probably the most vulnerable I’ve ever been.
But I knew that no matter what happened, God promised me goodness.
So here I am, exactly one year later, in the passenger seat, riding down the same road, to the same beach.
But this time is different. This year, Jeff sits beside me. He sits beside me a changed man. A better man. A new man.
I’m looking forward to this week ahead. Thankful that this year, for this family vacation, we are a family.
(Only thing missing is my sweet Em, she had to stay home for school.🙁)
In the turmoil, in the darkness, in the confusion, and in the pain, you just have to get quiet. You just have to be still. That’s when you’ll hear Him.
“You can stay. Or you can go. I’ll always have goodness for you.”
Thank you Lord, for your promise. Thank you that your promises are good. Thank you that when we don’t know what we can trust, or what we can believe in, we can always trust in you. Because you always, always have goodness for us.
Amy Thurston Gordy