“…forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” ~ Philippians 3:13,16 NKJV
Betina (not her real name) was wallowing in self-pity, dealing with raging anger and in crippling anxiety. The voices in her mind have been tormenting her keeping her awake for many nights. She has been suffering from all these because of one reason.
Her husband cheated on her.
The betrayal was like an intense stab. She felt so wronged for having to experience this even when she has been faithfully serving the Lord for many years. How could a good God let this happen?
In the next months, her sleeping condition got worse. She jumped at every chance to peep into her husband’s mobile phone and check on his email correspondences to quench her suspicions. She became addicted to stalking him. And this angered her husband. His temper would flare whenever he catches her peeping. His verbal attacks later turned to physical assaults, to the point that she had to check in a hotel for a week for her safety.
It was in that moment in the hotel that she finally pleaded God to intervene. Betina cried out to God. She felt wretched in her situation and realized that it is God who alone can fix her. After hours of desperate and earnest prayer, she felt peace and the gentle prompting of God to forgive her husband.
How can one overcome the pain of infidelity and abuse? How can one completely forgive and restore a broken relationship?
But she did. She obeyed the voice of God and willingly released forgiveness to her husband even if he did not ask for it. It was the mercy of the Holy Spirit that enabled Betina to forgive. And in that moment, there was a divine exchange taking place. She felt her heavy-laden heart lifted and was filled with a sense of peace that she had not felt for a long while.
As she continually entrusted her marriage into the hands of God day by day, Betina saw her situation improve. The tormenting voices ceased, and slowly she was beginning to sleep better again. Her biggest struggle was how to resist stalking her husband, as it has become a habit for her before. But by God’s grace, she was able to overcome and it liberated her from unnecessary mental and relational tensions. This change of focus made her a better person.
Because of the change in her attitude, her husband started to notice it. And gradually their marriage began to improve. Her relationship with her husband is being restored as she continually surrendered to God.
Healing from the hurt was not easy. Yet, she prevailed.
She saturated her weak soul with prayers. She drowned the condemning inner voice with the Word of God. Little by little, she was strengthened with His unconditional love, peace and joy that the world cannot give.
Betina’s experience allowed her to relate to others compassionately. Her overflowing gratitude to God led her to guide and mentor other women who also struggle with marital challenges. She understood why she had to go through all that pain—it was for her to be changed by God and to give her a ministry that will lead women back to the Lord.
Ms. TM says:
No woman would want to be in Betina’s shoes. Betina is a sister in the Lord and a good friend, so hearing her story over a cup of coffee, truly crushed my heart. The pain of an extra-marital affair cuts deep, and even years after can still feel fresh. I know this too well because I felt the same pain as a daughter, when I discovered my father having an affair with another woman who was younger than me, during the time my mother was suffering from cancer.
Betina’s story has allowed me to see through my mother’s eyes, my past, and understand their pain of being cheated on. There is no justification to any affair committed by either a husband or a wife cheating on their spouses. Adultery is bondage—it is a sin that is hard to break if God is not the center of your marriage. It is hard to defeat temptation if we don’t surrender to God. It is difficult to overcome pain and experience God’s power if we don’t decide to choose life.
I only see life with GOD. God can deliver us amazingly and erase the extreme pain adultery has caused us. Her husband may have been unfaithful to her, but God has always been faithful to Betina. And even during the time she was crying out, God was there crying for her too. I am so blessed by the courage and determination of Betina to surrender everything to God and allow Him to heal her, rather than taking revenge or getting even. I admire her for not succumbing to vices or temporary pleasures to overcome her pain and instead focused on God alone and held on to His promises. There is really no other way to heal from any kind of hurt apart from the healing love and mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ. And Betina is a living testimony to that.
Heavenly Father, help us and our spouses to know and love you more. Let us make Jesus the foundation of our marriage and to always yield to Him in all aspects of our relationship. May our marriage grow stronger and more meaningful each day. Protect us from all temptations, and strengthen us to be faithful to you and to one another. Let us be selfless in our love for one another, and focus only in obeying you moment by moment.
God, help me to be forgiving for whatever pain others have caused me. Help me to understand that my freedom from the pain begins the moment I choose to forgive. May I also extend the same mercy you have shown to a sinner like me, towards the people who wronged us in our marriage. I pray that as I show them mercy, they will be led to repent and come to the saving grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. This I ask, in the mighty name of Jesus. Amen.