After the revelation, with pretenses stripped away, we had to look at our own sin. I continued on in my first semester of seminary barely hanging on. I could do classes like geography that only required memorizing facts and parroting them out. Other classes like New Testament I couldn't hang with because they required research and bringing together a multitude of ideas into one coherent stream of thought. I could barely tie my shoes.
Since part of staying together and working on our marriage was Ann giving up her 'sweet' medical sales job, I took a job with FedEx at the airport. The physical exercise of stacking boxes and loading the large 'cans' on trucks and planes was an excellent steam valve for my anxiety and pain. After a while I got to know a woman named Phyllis.
Phyllis was a tender soul who had been through and was living in hard times. She'd been married to a man whose middle name was Philanderer. A weighty addition to that was her daughter dying in an icy car wreck with her other daughter behind the wheel. I hurt just typing it.
Phyllis and I were on the 'line' one night loading a can. I told her my story and told her I dealt with sincere alcoholic suicidal thoughts just before I called to God. With his grace I slogged through pain and confusion out of the darkness to sobriety and into a newer more reflective life. With regards to the lying and the affair I said to Phyllis, "I thought we were past all that." Totally ignoring my own emotional affair, of course.
She looked at me and shared wisdom that only a streetwise person broken on the wheels of living can share
'Ben, yo time ain't her time.'
Yo time ain't her time. I have a journey. We have a journey together. Ann has a journey. Phyllis sounded like Aslan in A Horse and His Boy, "Child, I am telling you your story, not hers. I tell no one any story but his own."
I also began to grieve how I had wounded Ann. I started getting drunk at 13. Ann and I started dating when I was 19. I was well into being an alcoholic at that point. I had been with three other women while we dated. We never talked it through. Even if we had talked it through, if my lips were moving I was lying to quote an AA line about addicts.
I began to see how my emotional affair set Ann up. My eyes were opened to the damage I did to my wife's soul by giving my heart to another woman. I left Ann lonely with a sense of rejection.
The veils slid loose, rustling in the breeze, revealing the truth of what was going on all along. We saw our souls as they really were. Our relationship(s) with God began to deepen. And in more powerful ways, we began to understand...
2 Corinthians 3:16-18 But whenever anyone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. Now the Lord is Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord's glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Sprit.