We hit our first rest stop back here. It seems like such a long time ago. Remember, we used the metaphor of a bicycle century ride for this journey. We didn't need to think about going a hundred miles just going 10 miles 10 times because there was a rest stop every 10 miles. The other rest stops are at posts 88 133 177 221 267 307 357.
During the final rest stop of our ride we came across a sign that said, "Sorry your butt hurts." My friends, Bruce and Brian demonstrate below.
My overwhelming thought as I pull into the final rest stop is, "My ass is tired." It has been a long journey. My legs are tired, my arms are tired, my brain is tired, my butt is tired and I'm really ready to be done with it.
In affair recovery I was tired of hurting and hating. I was tired of ambivalence reigning. I had strong doubts of whether I was actually ever going to be able to genuinely forgive and I also had a deep connection with Ann and a sincere desire to spend the rest of my life with her. In one sense we were closer than ever and in another a deep canyon still separated us.
400 days in I wanted to keep going; 400 days in I wanted to give up.
Last night I shared my story at our recovery group, Delta. It wasn't the story of Ann's affair. It was my story of drunkenness starting at age 13, finding my identity in my golf score, lying to Ann and cheating on her in college, hitting massive depression and wanting to kill myself a few years into our marriage, being rescued by God, ending the drunkenness, having an emotional affair, dealing with Ann's affair, waking up as a man and giving back to others.
I always hate telling the women in the group how I used to think it was ok to lie to a woman, but I say it because it is the truth. It's also the truth that I wouldn't have made it through the suicidal undertow to tell my story if God hadn't heard my DESPERATE plea to, "TAKE ME BACK OR SHOW ME THE WAY!"
As Ann leads us through these posts on God's grace with Zephaniah 3:17, I'm reminded that's really all I have to lean on. Ultimately, I was able to forgive her because I remembered (or He deeply impressed it upon my soul) God's goodness, his grace, his favor, in rescuing me and showing me The Way (the early term for Christianity).
But you know what, I didn't get there until #444. At this point I was tired and frustrated and wondering how long this would go on. I didn't know I only had a little over a month or so til I could genuinely forgive. But if I hadn't kept going from here I wouldn't be able to tell my story like I did last night.
So, get nourished. Take in more energy gel or pb and j or bananas. Get your tired ass back up on the saddle and let's ride. I know you aren't sure if you can go on. It will be ok. I've learned that God's grace will carry us where our own energy can't take us.