I had an epiphany this morning.
For the three years that I was in India, I felt closer to God than ever before. I felt that God was talking to me and I was hearing His voice. I felt that many promises that God had given to me in earlier years (both that He had whispered to my heart and that others had spoken prophetically over me) came true in those three years!
And there were times during those three years when I felt God spoke to me about something He was going to do – not an audible voice, but a clear impression, a whispering in my heart – and then those things did come to pass! This was confirmation that I was indeed hearing from the Lord.
So, when I discovered my husband’s double life, I wondered, “Why didn’t God tell me about the most important thing?”
“Why did He speak to me about other things (that seem trivial in comparison), but not about this?”
“Was He really even speaking to me at all or was it just my imagination?”
“Why is it that when I prayed about my marriage during those years, I did see improvement, but yet the real problem – an entire double life – remained hidden?”
“Was I really as close to God as I thought I was?”
“Why did He allow me to go to India and serve Him, knowing, as God of course did, about my husband’s double life? – And not just that He allowed me to go, but that He seemed to be leading, confirming, and blessing it at every step.”
“Why did He make all those prophesies come true? Why did He give me all this confirmation about so many things in my life, but not tell me about the elephant in the room?”
At the same time, I did feel God’s presence and hear His voice even more than ever AFTER THE DISCOVERY. And I clung to my faith more than ever, in spite of not understanding everything – after all, that’s what faith is.
But I doubted the spiritual growth I had thought I experienced during my time in India – maybe the whole thing was my imagination – because surely if I had been growing as much as I thought I had, God wouldn’t have kept me in the dark about this.
I just couldn’t reconcile the closeness I had with God, with God not telling me something this big.
It didn’t make sense to me that He would have revealed less important things than this to me, but not revealed this to me.
Today came the epiphany:
Maybe that rapid spiritual growth I experienced during my time in India PREPARED me for this discovery. The spiritual growth was not my imagination at all. It was real. And it PREPARED me for the day when I would discover my husband’s double life.
God, in His goodness, gave me a time of great growth right before the most traumatic, challenging time of my life.
God, in His goodness, taught me to walk closer to Him than ever before during the years leading up to this time – when I would need Him more than ever.
God, in His goodness, gave me confirmation – more than ever before – that He was walking with me and leading me – right before the time I would most need to know that.
God, in His goodness, taught me to hear His voice with smaller things, so that when this discovery came, I was able to hear Him LOUD AND CLEAR – and trust that I was hearing from Him – even when it was the opposite of what other people were saying.
And I also realized something else:
If I had found out about my husband’s activities at the very beginning before certain lines had been crossed, there would have been a lot of plausible deniability on his part. As an addict, he would have taken full advantage of that. I would have been sympathetic and ready to trust. So, there would have been the danger of a “quick fix” without “getting to the bottom of things.”
In fact, though I didn’t have any idea about the affairs or any sexual sin before “the discovery,” there had been some behaviors that I had noticed and confronted him about along the way, and that’s precisely what had happened.
I did not know anything about sex addiction before “the discovery.” I did not know about the tactics addicts use to minimize, deflect, and manipulate so they can get on with their sin.
But by the time I made my discovery, the sin had come to the point that I could see clearly the seriousness, despite my naivete, and despite his attempts to minimize and deflect.
God Works All Things Together for Good:
It is sad that my husband was following Satan more and more during those years while I was walking with God more and more, but I now think I understand how God was working all things together for the good of those who trust in Him.
On the one hand, He was preparing me spiritually for this discovery, so that when it happened, I would be prepared to walk the road ahead of me well.
Sadly during that same time, my husband, of his own free will, got deeper and deeper into his sin. One result of this was that by the time I found out, it was beyond the point that I would fall for any denying or minimizing – I would be able to see clearly the depth of the problem and respond Biblically.
One of the first things I learned in Recovery is that God did not want this to happen to me, but God will not interfere with my husband’s (or anyone’s) free will.
Similarly, God did not collaborate with my husband to hide this from me. Nor do I believe God “hid it from me until I was ready.”
No, God did not hide anything from me.
My husband hid this from me. That was also his free will.
There were clues that I might have caught onto had I been educated about sex addiction – that is not a point of condemnation for me, but merely an area where I can grow and learn and help others to do the same.
But God knew when I would find out. He helped me to find out. And God, in His goodness, prepared me thoroughly for the day when I would make this traumatic discovery.
God has been walking beside me all along – both before and after the discovery – and He still is.
And God is working all things together for the good of those who trust in Him. My life is a testimony to that. And I know with all my heart that it is true in so many ways I can’t even see.