Operation Restoration: Life Edition Part 11

If you missed this story you can begin here and read all the way through.  It is amazing story of forgiveness, redemption and rebuilding.  Here is our last installment.

The-Game-of-Life

 

One of my favorite passages of Scripture is Micah 7:8…Do not gloat over me, my enemy! Though I have fallen, I will rise. Though I sit in darkness, the LORD will be my light.

 

For several weeks you have been introduced to my wife. You’ve followed along with her as she has shared our story and many of you have encouraged her through your comments and prayers. And because of that, I say, “thank you.”

I would like to introduce myself to you. I would love to give you some grand introduction, but I can’t.

My name is Patrick. I’m full of tattoos, I like micro brews, and yes, I was unfaithful to my beautiful wife. Yep that’s me! How’s that for an introduction? I will forever carry the scarlet “A” on my chest for the rest of my life (tats as well).

I would have never imagined in a bazillion years that I would tell people that I have been unfaithful, but I was. I allowed the enemy to have his way with my life. And that’s really where it all began. The addiction to porn, the selfishness, the lack of respect for anything, led to me making some very bad decisions. Decisions that would change the course of my family. How could this happen to me? I had been in the ministry for over 18 years. Starting from being a Youth Minister all the way to being one of three people who had planted a church in Arizona. How could this happen? I have an amazing wife and 2 children that I adore. I believe that one word can describe why…pride! I was invincible, or I thought. I could do anything and get away with it, or I thought. Little did I know that all that was a lie. The enemy had me right where he wanted me.

I’m not proud of what I did. I’m not proud of what my decisions did to my wife and to my children. But what I am thankful for is grace. I taught it, preached it and even studied it. I thought I knew just what it was. I truly understand what grace looks like now and what it is! I am a changed man. I have owned my sins, faults and have taken full responsibility for my actions. and sought the forgiveness of many, including the husband of the other family that I almost destroyed. Through counseling, patience and a ton of grace not only by my wife, but also the grace that the LORD gives, I can write this and tell you that I am a changed person.

I have learned through this ordeal what a marriage should look like. What a husband should be. What a dad looks like. Yes, there are days that we struggle, but thank God I have a wife who loves me and cares for me. This hasn’t been easy to say the least. I lost everything I had. My career, many, many friends. But thankfully I didn’t lose my wife and our loveys.

What about you? As you read this and the many posts that Denise has written, where are you? Do you know of people that have or are going through the similar situation that we went through. Are you going through this yourself? If you are, I want to encourage you to seek help. Be honest with yourself and with others. No sin goes unhidden. The best thing you or the person you know is to be painfully honest. No matter how hard it is to hear, honestly has to take place. From there, healing can once again begin.

Denise and I are the best we have ever been. We are learning to communicate better, understand each other better and live life with zest and honesty. I have no idea what the LORD has in store for us in the future. I have no clue if I’ll ever get back into full-time ministry. I can tell you though that when Denise and I get wind of couples who are experiencing the same things in which we went through, we will be there with open arms and a listening spirit. Too many couples are hurting out there with no one to talk to. Too many “believers” turn their head and let them walk alone. That is NOT what we will do. Your are a child of the Most High. You are still loved and still His. You are His beloved! You too will rise from the ashes and once again pronounce from the mountain tops what God has done in you life and the what He’s about to do through you.

Denise and I hope and pray that you’ve been encouraged, moved and challenged through our story. It is our prayer that you along with us can say with confidence…. Though I have fallen, I will rise. Though I sit in darkness, the LORD will be my light.

 

May God bless you as you travel this road of life. Keep your head held high…His Joy comes in the morning!

I want to thank Patrick and Denise from the bottom of my heart for sharing their story.  It takes great courage to do so.  This is the first time (of many I am sure) that they got to share their story in a somewhat public way.  Thank you for those that have encouraged them and followed along.  It has been a blessing to be in their life for the last couple of years.  We (Tim and I) are excited to see how God will use this in their life and we are beyond blessed that our lives intertwined on this road of life. To God be the glory!





  • Tez

    The hell you put your family through is unspeakable. Your wife is a classy lady and I haven’t yet decided if I think she is amazingly tough, resilient, with depths of forgiveness previously unheard of…OR if she is nuts, lacking in self esteem and desperate to hold her family together by keeping your lying, cheating ass around, addicted to your presence in the family and unwilling to kick you to the curb for the sake of the children and too willing to sacrifice her dignity for the ideal of a family.

    I’m of two minds. I waffle with each post I read.

    • m

      Hi Tez,

      I understand the feelings that you have. The grief that he put his family through is truly unspeakable. But I do have to say this – it is through grace and mercy (that has been shown to us all by Jesus) that she was able to forgive her husband. It is not a matter of desparity or lack of self esteem, but rather a full understanding of this grace. God is bigger than all things. He is who He says He is. And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him.

  • Deidre

    Your willingness to open yourself to criticism by sharing your story demonstrates how far God has brought you and your wife. Praise God for His love and grace that not one of us deserves, yet we all receive so freely. I pray that God continues to draw you and your wife closer to Him and each other. May your family be a shining example that “He who began a good work in you, is faithful to complete it” and that “He works all things for good for those who love Him and are called according to His purposes.” Thanks to you and your wife for sharing with all of us. :)

  • Liz

    I thank you for sharing your story. It’s hard to do, and I know from experience. I am thankful for a God that forgives and a close group if friends who supported us as we went through our darkest hours. I believe that adultery happens more often than people would like to believe. I thought I was all alone (especially as a Christian), but as I have opened up I have been made aware of so many other hurting couples in the same situation as I found my marriage. It breaks my heart. I think Patrick said it best-Pride. I never thought I was capable of doing such a thing. I hope if you are going through the same or similar thing you get help and surround yourself with people who want to see your marriage succeed. It is possible to overcome! Christ loves you!

  • fabi/fabu

    As I begin writing, really I have no idea what to say. At this very moment I`m asking God for guidance. And at the same time I have to congratulate you for the courage to open your heart, as your wife did, and tell whats in your heart. What ever happened is not important, whats really important is that all of you are together as a family. Lets pray that God keep this family together, and in Love. God bless you all.

  • eb

    I hope your story will help other men before they have affairs. maybe they can learn from you.Maybe that will be your new minstry.

  • brenda

    I am very curious to know if there were “emotional infidelities” that were swept under the rug, dismissed as one party’s being jealous or imagining things leading up to the affair. ??? emotionally immersing one’s self in another of the same or opposite sex at the expense of one’s spouse is at least as painful but closes the doors to any sort of resolution or closure.

    Did any of this occur in your earlier years of marriage.???

  • http://paulasplace-paula.blogspot.com Paula

    I have to say that I agree with Tez in the comment above. I have followed along with this story and I would not be so quick to forgive you. And in reading this final entry I cannot get a feel for your true understanding of what you did to your wife and to your family. You seem to glib to me. Too quick to brush it all aside. To quick to give advice to others how not to be like you. This is not the first story like this that I have read this year on a ‘mommy blog’. What is the deal. It is lots of men out there being unfaithful to their wives? Or is it a good thing to write about to draw more readers to a blog. I think there are just some things that are better left out of the eye of the public. I am glad that you feel that God has forgiven you. I think your wife should watch your every move and be ready to fun like hell should she ever suspect you are doing this again. It is just a good thing I am not the one who needs to forgive you.

    • http://infarrantlycreative.net Beckie

      Paula, actually you would probably be surprised to know that 60% of couples cheat. So the reason why you have probably heard alot about it is due to the fact that it is a very real topic that more couples than not face. The reason I asked Patrick and Denise to share their story is because they are on the other side and have experienced true restoration. I know in a marriage everything is based on trust. When that is broken to walk through the path of forgiveness, in my opinion, is harder than just to quit. I think their story is admirable. I know this couple well and I can tell you when I sit across a room from Patrick he is anything but glib. He is a broken man who is very aware of his shortcomings and all he did to his family.

      To hit on what you said about the possibility of getting new readers, etc., through posting this – that was the furthest thing from my mind. I also disagree wholeheartedly that it should be better left out of the eye of the public. I think the more we talk about it the more we can avoid pitfalls and help others who have gone through similar situations. I pray you never have to go through that situation. But we all hurt people and make mistakes of grandeur. I am so grateful for a God that sees through all that and still reaches down to broken people like you and me and offer his amazing grace. Blessings to you this holiday season.

      Beckie

      • http://paulasplace-paula.blogspot.com Paula

        Actually Becki I did not know that those percentages were that high but I did go check and my sources said closer to 42%. Not that that is much better. Still pretty horrible. And even though I don’t know that I could ever trust again, I do agree with you that it is easier to quit. Sometimes though I wonder if ending the marriage is better for all concerned. To rehash these stories on the many blogs that I have read have usually left me feeling that this is the wife still punishing the husband for his betrayal. She wants to tell the world how she was betrayed. If these stories are truly being told to help others who have experienced similar situations then that is probably what God wants them to do. I have the greatest respect for the women who can stay and accept a man who has betrayed her so openly. My original post was just me airing my feelings about how I would feel about this man were he my husband. Nothing more! Nothing less! And I am so thankful that God accepts me the way that I am. Merry Christmas to you and yours Becki during this season of his glorious birth.

  • http://www.mybeautifulmessblog.com Heidi

    I praise God that his love is not dependent on our worthiness and that his grace can stretch beyond our deepest and most painful sins {that we all have, by the way…let’s not forget that “take the plank out of your own eye” thing}. What a blessing that he is slow to anger and abounding in love and that he makes all things new…even our wretched and unfaithful hearts. His forgiveness and his healing is foolish in it’s free availability, and that is what keeps me kneeling at his feet. I need his forgiveness for my pride and selfishness and arrogance just like Patrick, not because I have been unfaithful to my husband but because every single day, in so many ways, I am unfaithful to my God.
    Patrick and Denise, the hell you have both been through is heartbreaking. But I sing praises that we have a God that mends hearts and heals relationships. When we allow God to reign He takes our messes and makes beauty. And your story of God’s redemption is beautiful.

  • http://vintagerover.com Jalet

    My husband and I know first hand the pain, embarrassment, social stigma and healing that can occur when this happens. We have experienced the pain and the healing. Now we council others and teach marriage strengthening courses, never sharing our story until the last class. People are often very amazed. Our classes are real, and we present a story of redemption through forgiveness and grace. IF more people understood the devastation to oneself, family and extended friends and family, we would have less extra marital affairs. It is never something that only effects the person involved. It is important to share the hurt not the tv glamour of an affair. It is even more important to offer forgiveness or grace to those who have truly turned away from this painful action, (forgiveness is not accepting the action, but not repeatedly throwing salt into the wound of someone who has wronged us) and to help move toward health. I commend the bravery of this man, the deeper act of bravery to his wife for working through it, and the commitment they have to their faith, marriage and family. Addiction isn’t uglier when it isn’t your addiction, it just seems that way. Don’t be quick to judge. We all have hurts, habits and hang ups. It is choosing differently that creates character in a person. Grace is seeing the character, not the flaw.

  • M

    Wow. I’m sorry that you all had to go through this. I, too, am less sympathetic to Patrick. My brother cheated on his former wife, and let’s just say I am in disbelief that my own brother could do something so devastating to his completely innocent wife. We all have our own struggles, but I don’t understand how you can let your unhappiness or whatever get so far that you do something so devastating to your family and children. I have two children of my own and I can’t imagine how something like that would affect them.

    Thank you for sharing your story.