Originally posted April 2019
Today’s Wednesday story is written by my dear friend Jen. She is one of the strongest, most loving women I know. She was faced with a trial that no wife ever wants. I know many women have gone and will go through a spouse being unfaithful. I truly hope and pray that Jen’s story will help anyone who has or is currently going through a similar situation to feel that you are not walking that path alone.
““Sometimes God calms the storm. Sometimes he lets the storm rage and calms his child.” This describes my life when my world collapsed back in early 2014. It seemed everything lay in a crumbled heap, I wanted to crawl under it. I fell to my knees, I stayed there a long time. I begged my Heavenly Father for help. I knew He was the only one who could direct me with certainty to the best outcome of my situation. He prompted me to open my scriptures.
I dug in like I not done before, I feasted on them. I carried them with me every where I went. Work, shopping, to the gas station, park with my kids, church. I needed them desperately. I opened them every spare minute I had searching for answers and peace. Sometimes I would open them randomly and read exactly what I needed. Mostly my experiences were going through page by page. I began entering dates and my thoughts into the margins, flagging the pages as I went. Over a period of 4 years following my divorce, I had filled nearly every page with some kind of note. I did not always get direct answers off the page. I found that just having them open reading, my thoughts would wonder and think of things I needed to know.
I discovered my Heavenly Father was very aware of me. He knew what I needed, He directed me when I asked. He reassured me when I doubted. I knew the decision I had to make about my marriage was the most critical choice I would make so far in my life. How would my decision impact my 5 children, my job, my health, my finances, my testimony, other family members, my home. I plead to get an answer that I could not doubt. I had to know with certainty what I should do. I told my family about what was happening. I felt their love as they offered their support. They understood me 100% when I told them I needed their prayers, I did not need their opinion while I weighed my options. I needed to be able to own my choice, knowing I was only influenced by my Heavenly Father. I wanted to save my marriage, I wanted him to forget about her, I wanted my children to grow up with 2 parents in the home……But if not….what if those things were not the outcome my Heavenly Father wanted for me? When I changed from sending up my daily lists of desires, frequently reminding Him that I knew he could do all things, it happened. That is when the spirit was able to help me change to “not my will, but thine be done”. That is when the spirit was able to flood my heart and mind with what my Heavenly Father wanted. That is when I felt peace, on my knees in my room, divorce was my answer. I opened my scriptures and flipped to 5 different pages, each one had a verse that reinforced that answer.
Getting a clear answer was a relief, but now acting, That is where faith came in. This is where my scriptures were even more of a daily survival tool. The next chain of events tested my faith, each one brought more clarity to my answer. I told my then husband of my choice to file for divorce, he was excommunicated from our church the following week, I contacted an attorney to begin the process that would end my nearly 17 year marriage. After several weeks I sat outside of his building, scared to walk in. I opened my scriptures and read “Did I not speak peace to your mind concerning the matter, what greater witness can you have than from God?” I was able to walk through the door. Within 2 months papers were filed, within 5 months it was final.
I was in very unfamiliar territory. I was sure my situation had been a topic of conversation of everyone that knew me. Some understood, some did not. I felt release come when I continued to re-read a quote, “what everyone thinks about you is none of your business”. No one knew what I knew, or could fully understand why I chose what I did. Prayer and my scriptures allowed me to re-calibrate everyday. Hard conversations with my ex about our children or other matters would often leave me crying out for peace. My scripture’s were how I found that, I would often read until I could fall asleep.
I continued to receive support from friends, family, neighbors, co-workers and church leaders. I continued to focus heavily on prayer, and scripture study. This sustained me through the days I would pull into my driveway after work, exhausted, telling my Heavenly Father I just couldn’t walk though my front door. I would open my scriptures to find the strength…
Entering the world of online dating was an enlightening experience. My first date was several months post divorce, It was awkward. When asking for answers about this path, I saw my Heavenly Father sense of humor when I read verses like, “therefore, it is expedient that you should form acquaintance with men in this city…” I know right??? It felt strange, I averaged 1 date every 5-6 months. I tried to muster up enough nerve to go to singles events only to slip out as soon as I suspected someone might be crossing the room to talk to me. I collected screen shots of the almost daily “no one will ever believe what this guy said” posts. I had all but given up in late 2017, nearly 20 months since my last date. I got a message alert from an online dating app. “Hello Jennifer…..”
My Heavenly Father knew I was stubborn about allowing someone into my life for more than dinner. I met Adam for an impromptu, “hey I don’t have my kids tonight, are you open?” dinner. The next night we had a date at a shooting range. The next day we met at Home Depot so he could give me “advice” on a bathroom remodel. We spent 2 hours walking around the store. Every night I dug into my scriptures and prayed to have insight if this was someone I should get to know. Peace came easily. We were engaged within 6 weeks, and married in just over 90 days. We have 11 children combined and are working to build eternal relationships.
I appreciated times when the spirit told me to drop what I was doing and pray, talk to my Heavenly Father or to read my scriptures. I would get confirmation or redirection on important next steps. I know that there is power in the scriptures, I know that there are answers to prayers. I know that when we make and keep covenants with our Heavenly Father he always returns more blessings than we can possibly hold. I know that there are many angels seen and unseen that aide in our lives. I am grateful to my mom on this side and my dad on the other side of the veil.
I have started with a new set of scriptures for the next chapter in my life. I am grateful for the confidence our Heavenly Father places in us to follow up and I am mostly grateful for the Atonement of his Son Jesus Christ.”
As you can tell, Jen has great faith. Her example of listening to promptings, diligently studying the scriptures, and holding fast to her covenants is a template for each one of us no matter the trial we are facing. I know that if we follow those steps the answers to our questions will come and we can know that our inspiration is from our Heavenly Father. Then we move forward in faith.
May you be strengthened to face what is before you with courage and peace. Know that you are loved deeply and completely by Heavenly Father. I know that as I have gone through all my miscarriages and felt so alone and not able to talk to about what was going on- because I would bawl my eyes out-I came to realize that I wasn’t actually alone. And the best person in the Universe to talk to was ALWAYS available to talk. Prayer became the staple in my life. He is always there.