I want to share a song. It's one of my favorite recovery songs. I can't watch the video without crying (I'm emotionally high-strung these days), but that's okay. It's a peaceful, grateful cry. I hope you watch it because the video is powerful and amazing.
Beautiful Heartbreak--by Hilary Weeks
The first time I really listened to these lyrics, I was wowed. I already owned this song because I loved it when it first came out, and my dad got me the CD for Christmas. But, when I really listened, it put my whole life, all my trials in perspective for me.
When I got married, I had a plan. I had a map of my life, and I knew exactly where I wanted to go (I think we all got married with a life envisioned that was not quite God's plan). The plan was changed when I found a mountain (addiction, infertility, depression) in the middle of my road. I thought there was no way to get over it, so I tried to find a way around it. Alas, I had to make the terrible climb. When I got to the top, my breath was taken away. The view was beautiful! Actually, I know I haven't made it to the top, but my pit-stops along the way are beautiful. I can't wait to get to the top where I will find that "every fear, every doubt, all the pain I went through was the price that I paid to see this view. And now that I'm here I would never trade the grace that I feel and the faith that I find through the bitter-sweet tears and the sleepless nights. I used to pray He'd take it all away, but instead it became a beautiful heartbreak."
That's how I feel today. I've experienced so much. We all have. Even with this same addiction, each of us has different experiences, and I imagine that I'm not the only one whose plan went a little crazy. I've made friends through this blog who experience similar emotions, but their trial is a little different. The one thing we all have in common is a Savior who loves us, and we are on a journey to find Him.
When I first learned about the addiction, my heart was torn in pieces. There went my plan! I didn't know what to do, and I certainly wasn't sure how I could forgive him for ruining my life. As I've drawn closer to the Savior, I've found forgiveness coming more naturally. Actually, last night was a perfect example.
Last night, we went out to dinner to celebrate Jack's birthday (he feels old, and he is a little stressed about the fact that he is a geezer and doesn't have kids yet. Really, though? He's only 27. It's going to be okay :D). This week has pretty much been all about me: my pain, my sadness, my lashing out at him because he is my punching bag sometimes (I know--not nice of me). I wanted to talk about him. I felt like I should ask him how the addiction stuff was this week while I was emotionally unstable. Annnnnd...there was a little slip-up one night. I could tell by the way he was cautiously telling me what happened that he was afraid of the anger that had the potential to come up and possibly be embarrassing at the restaurant. However, I was not angry. Not even a little bit. In fact, I was grateful that he didn't tell me on Tuesday when it happened because I probably could not have handled that along with my hormones this week (remember what my PMS stands for?). Lately, when he has told me about his slip-ups, I've felt almost immediate forgiveness. Granted, there are times when I hold a little grudge. That doesn't happen very often, though, and I know I need to forgive. I really try hard to be forgiving. After all, he is working so hard (I think). He is trying to rid himself of this addiction, and I know there will be mess-ups. My realistic expectations are that he tells me when he messes up, he tells me about his temptations, and that I can see growth (usually through remorse and dedication to Christ).
I've been very protected and strengthened by peace this week. Last night when he told me about his slip-up, I felt immediate forgiveness. I felt peace, and I felt free of the emotions that I would have experienced two years ago. I could tell Jack was remorseful. He also expressed his concern with not telling me right away and how he didn't know which would be worse: to tell me while I was struggling with the pregnancy thing or not to tell me until I was more in control. He made the right choice in this scenario.
I've been thinking a lot about forgiveness today because of what I read in the Love Dare: Love Forgives.
I'll admit, I was a little tempted to skip this one. The chapters lately have been things that either don't apply or I'm already doing. I'm already forgiving, so skip it, right? Not really. I learned a lot about forgiveness today. Really, I can see the progress I'm making, and it makes me so happy!
The author relates unforgiveness to a prison. When we don't forgive, we imprison and torture ourselves. My freedom--my emotional freedom and freedom from co-dependence--is dependent on my ability to forgive. That totally makes sense to me, and I hadn't really thought of it in quite that way before.
The other thing I learned about forgiveness is that ultimately, forgiveness clears us from worrying about how to punish the person who wronged us (and that is kind of a prison too). When we forgive, we aren't turning them loose, necessarily, we are just turning the situation over to God. Isn't that amazing? Forgiveness allows me to have peace and be free of the prison. It allows me to turn it over to God. And it takes away my responsibility to do anything other than love.
So many things are clicking for me right now. I'm still struggling with my trials, but I'm finding peace and strength, and it's balancing out the pain. I'm grateful I can look back over the mountain and see the glory and beauty of what I have traveled. I'm grateful for my Savior who stands by my side. I'm grateful for the ability I have to forgive and cope in healthy ways. I've come a really long way. I'm excited for what life will continue to bring me!