Seven Years Without Normal

Although we share our story often, I (Trish) don’t think about the details that took place seven years ago because I live in who we are now and not who we were then. But every year I see October 9th on the calendar, it brings it all back a fresh my desperate desire to go back to “normal” the way life was before that day.

To wake up without feeling like I was going to throw-up.

To be able to drive to the store without searing panic coming over me that I might run into someone from our church.

To pick-up my cell phone without dreading all the numbers I needed to delete.

To not have to look into the eyes of my boys and see that they too are hurting, longing and wishing for “normal” to return too.

But normal would never return, because God’s desire for my life and your life isn’t to live in the normal but rather in the extraordinary.

But be warned…extraordinary will cost you.

As our ministry, blog and book gain more influence it has come with a cost. Those close and not so close to us caution us to make sure as our “platform” grows pride doesn’t grow along with it. I totally get it and appreciate their willingness to be honest with us because this is usually the normal progression.

Success + Pride = Fall

In 2 Corinthians 12:6-10 Paul writes:  If I wanted to boast, I would be no fool in doing so, because I would be telling the truth. But I won’t do it, because I don’t want anyone to give me credit beyond what they can see in my life or hear in my message, even though I have received such wonderful revelations from God. So to keep me from becoming proud, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger from Satan to torment me and keep me from becoming proud.

Three different times I begged the Lord to take it away. Each time he said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me. 10 That’s why I take pleasure in my weaknesses, and in the insults, hardships, persecutions, and troubles that I suffer for Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

October 9th is our thorn. It’s a painful reminder of what was lost. We are reminded of weeks gone by where we didn’t know if our marriage would make it. It’s a reminder that we lost everything but our marriage. A reminder of how pride kept us bound for years in a good marriage…turned normal…turned tragic.

I get how people would assume pride would be a struggle I really do. But if I’m honest, a part of me wants to be defensive. I want to shout back, “Do you not remember Justin coming home to tell me he didn’t love me anymore and wanted out?” “Do you not remember the pain in my children’s eyes as I told them daddy wasn’t coming home?” “Do you realize that no matter how many people listen to my story or read our book it could never replace the pain and loss my family endured?” But at the heart of my defensiveness is, well…Pride.

This is life in the extraordinary. It’s not arriving to a place of perfection but rather exposing your imperfections. Living in the extraordinary is daily asking God to lead us out of the ordinary we are tempted to settle for. An extraordinary life chooses to recognize that Jesus’ grace is all you need and in your weakness He is made strong. When you strive to live for Him and not for anyone or anything else you are free to live life in the extraordinary.

I am eternally grateful to our Heavenly Father, who loves us so much that he gave us the extraordinary gift of Son so that we could have an extraordinary life through him.

7 Responses to Seven Years Without Normal

  1. Debbie

    Thanks for this post. It has only been 4 months since I learned of my husband’s affair. We are in counseling and working to restore our relationship. I trust that God has the power to heal our pain but most days I wonder if I will ever feel happy again. Your story gives me hope.

  2. Chris

    Thank you for sharing this. This is the month my husband left and I experienced pain I could have never imagined. I think even though it was 6 years ago I still want to pretend it did not happen. I know how silly that is. He came back and it has not and is not easy. Please pray that I can be honest with him and it is not to make him feel bad. I love my husband and fought for our marriage and grew closer to God. He gave me my husband back but yes, it is not normal, and you make me see that can be good.

  3. Michelle

    I have spent at least an hour searching your blog and it is very encouraging. I came across your blog while looking for ways to be the supportive friend. She just found out her husband has been having an affair for a few years, since I have not been through this I am at a loss of what to do and what to say. Trisha can you share with me what was most helpful for you in the first few weeks and months? I am so heart broken for her. I will be emailing her this blog sight.

  4. I’m sorry for your pain, but I’m glad it serves as a reminder to keep God first and center.

    Your message about the cost of following Christ, of being extraordinary, goes nicely with my Monday series on “The Cost of Discipleship” by Dietrich Bonhoeffer. I encourage you both to read this amazing book. I’ve read it a few times and it continues to speak to me and show me area’s I need to surrender.

    Thank you for this honest post.