November 19th, 2012. 10am. Anthony and I met with my counselor. She started the session by explaining to him how hard it was for me to share this with him, and she told him that I was worried about his response. She gave him examples of what responses were helpful and which were harmful.
I told him.
He didn’t say a lot when I was talking, and I could tell he was processing it all. I was so very worked up about how explosive this moment would be and it wasn’t at all. Something in his eyes made me think we were going to be okay. He took my hand as we were leaving and I knew we were both changed. The gulf of darkness was gone. I was no longer afraid of being exposed or found out by him. The light was shining and the lie was exposed. It wasn’t easy, but it was worth it.
The truth set us free.
I tried to explain “green” to Anthony. He thought it was how I felt, like my emotions. I assured him it was way more complicated than that – I told him it was really like an entire belief system that was based on a huge secret that no one else knew or would believe. In those secrets, the green paint of Shame, Guilt and Worthlessness had painted me from head to toe. My goal in life was for no one to see it or find out – even though I saw it in every mirror. He still kept seeing it as emotions and feelings and finally I said, “Here is a picture of me as a little girl with bows in my hair. Now, paint me green and let me grow up that way. It is bigger than an emotion or feeling.”
“I didn’t just feel green. I was green.”
He left for his hiking trip, and I went to church with the kids. On the way there a conversation played in my head that I was not going to get through this with him and I wasn’t even sure why I told him. I felt so sad, isolated and alone. I sat through Sunday School with the chatter continued in my head telling me I shouldn’t have burdened him with it in the first place. He really couldn’t help me. Why did I tell him?
I went into the sanctuary and sat filled with anxiety. We sang Hungry – Falling on my Knees, and I could barely move my lips. The tears spilled over as I sang, “Broken, I run to you for I know your arms are open wide, I am weary but I know your touch restores my life.”
I sat in the pew and opened my Bible as if I were the only person in the sanctuary. I kept reading these four verses over and over. Isaiah 54:4-8 Do not be afraid. You will not be put to shame. Do not fear disgrace. You will not be humiliated. YOU WILL FORGET THE SHAME OF YOUR YOUTH and remember no more the reproach of your widowhood. (5) For your MAKER IS YOUR HUSBAND – The LORD ALMIGHTY is his name – The HOLY ONE of ISRAEL is your REDEEMER. He is called the GOD of all the earth. (6) The Lord will call you back AS IF you were a WIFE DESERTED AND DISTRESSED in spirit. A WIFE who married YOUNG only to be REJECTED, says your GOD. (7) For a BRIEF moment I abandoned you BUT WITH DEEP COMPASSION, I WILL BRING YOU BACK. (8) IN A SURGE OF ANGER, I HID MY FACE FROM YOU FOR A MOMENT – BUT WITH EVERLASTING KINDNESS I WILL HAVE COMPASSION ON YOU says the Lord YOUR REDEEMER.
No one could take this away. Not Anthony, and not even my counselor. THE HUSBAND who was going to redeem me was Christ. While it was helpful for Anthony to know the truth, he was not going to know how or have the power to heal me or make me feel better.
I just needed to keep putting one foot in front of the other expecting my redeemer to carry me and protect me. I felt like God was speaking directly into my spirit and my life, and I had to believe it was because I was learning to truly trust Him.