"Love One Another!" 17/2010 → Family Life
I am twenty-four years old, have been married for four years, and have two wonderful little sons. Until March 20 of this year I had no place for God in my life.
Yes, I was a Christian, but only the kind that went to church so as to “get it over with.” Going to Mass was like going to the movies: I’d listen to the priest’s words and that was it. After every confession I would make a sacrilegious holy communion. During the sacrament of reconciliation I would take God for a ride. I’d confess only what suited me. After all, you wouldn’t expect me to tell the priest — a stranger — my real sins? I’d walk out of church relieved that I’d done my duty.
But then — thanks to God’s grace! — on March 20th of this year, I went for a spiritual retreat and experienced a conversion. I made my confession and for the first time in my life owned up honestly to a terrible sin: I had cheated on my husband.
At first we seemed to get along fine. We understood each other’s thoughts. Then I became pregnant, which of course forced us into a hurried wedding. Three years later: another child. We worked, raised our children, and lived a relatively trouble-free married life.
But last Christmas everything changed. My husband stopped talking to me and treated me as if I wasn’t there. I couldn’t understand why. We hadn’t quarreled. There was no reason. Then I found out there was another woman in his life. She entered like a thief in the night and stole our happiness and mutual trust. It hurt terribly. I cried for days and became a living wreck. Since I hadn’t yet turned to God, I did not lift my eyes to Him and cry out, “Lord, save our love!” Instead, I turned to the net where I got to know someone — a wise man who understood me and made me laugh. After three weeks of being together in a virtual world, we decided to meet. And so it happened: I betrayed the man with whom I was joined in the bond of holy matrimony. I naively believed that I would feel better for doing this. But it wasn’t better at all; in fact, it was much worse. Something within me died. It wasn’t until the priest explained it to me that I understood I had committed suicide of the soul.
That was the first confession in which I felt sincere sorrow for my sins. It was a consoling confession. After silently hearing me out, the priest said, “You don’t need a guy. You need God. God is always there to take you into His bosom and wipe away your tears — if you will only allow Him.”
“You don’t need a guy. You need God.” A few simple words, and yet along with those words God’s love poured into my heart. Ever since the confession, I pray for that priest. I pray the Merciful God will give him the grace to help others as he helped me. It was through him that God opened my eyes. I know now that adultery is a terrible sin — a miry swamp from which it is very difficult to extract oneself. But I also know that if I allow Him God will take me firmly by the hand and pull me out. For Jesus I am a unique and special person — important and precious. He will never reject me. Though I have no desire to fall into sin again, I know now that even if I should stray from His path, He will always be near, waiting for me.
Satan has great power. Through my selfish sin I have wounded not only my own family, but also the family of my partner in adultery. They also suffer because of me. To think that one sin could wound and deceive the trust of so many!
Since my conversion, I feel God’s power and love. A great and difficult step now lies before me. I have to confess my heinous betrayal to my husband. I know it will not be easy, but I trust in God’s mercy and believe that with His help I will manage. I will not judge or condemn my husband. God has granted me a great grace: I have forgiven my husband. Yes, he betrayed me first, but I realize my own fault in this as well. I never even tried to save our love. I took the easier path by paying him back in his own coin.
I see now that I am a great sinner, but I am slowly returning to my Master. Yes, I want Christ to be my personal Master and lead me through life. I know the way is long and fraught with Satan’s snares, but with God’s help I know I will succeed. I want Jesus to be always there to warn me against future sin. With a clear conscience I can say that I love Christ. I want Him to be near me and I am constantly seeking Him out anew. At last I have opened the door of my heart to God; and I do not intend to have Him stay there merely as a guest.
Please publish my letter as a warning to your readers. How easy it is to fall into the snares of evil! How easily we judge our loved ones, forgetting that we must first build the Kingdom of God within ourselves.
God loves us all with the most powerful love in the world. For such a love life is worth living!
A new convert
The article was published with the permission from "Love One Another!" in August 2016.
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