My Story… The Journey Behind the Voice

Over the last two years, my life has become an open book… the good, the bad and the ugly. I never expected to spill out my heart onto a blog for the world to read, yet here I am.

I am on a journey. I know where I have been but I have no idea where I am going. I will share a few personal things so you will know where my thoughts expressed come from… deep within… the personal tragedy, heartache and pain… the healing that is resulting, the joy, the peace. I still have a very long way to go, but this is where I am today. I will not share too many details as to protect those whom I love the most. There are still too many open wounds within myself and my children, too many prayers still being prayed, too many miracles still to come.

On July 4, 2009, my world collapsed. It was truly the darkest day of my life… I discovered my husband’s affair. I was completely devastated; completely shocked. I have to admit, my marriage had been rocky for a few years. I had become a very selfish person who poured her heart into everything except her husband and marriage… everything else was given priority. Our lives were spinning out of control… between three children,  school activities, competitive soccer, a photography job, a huge fundraising project I was leading, being the soccer registrar, acting, husband working two jobs, helping to coordinate social activities and party planning… who had time to fit in a marriage? I was determined to find my self worth and to be somebody outside of a wife and mother… after all, I had done that for so long now. As everything around us started falling apart, I became a very bitter and angry person. I was mad at my husband and mad at God… they were supposed to take care of me, right? I felt no security from either one and blamed both of them for everything! We were a mess and I was trying to hold it all together… by a single thread. I can remember in the spring of 2009, standing in the shower just screaming at God, “Is this it? Is this all there is to this life?”. I tried to hold everything together on the outside so no one would notice, but they all did. The cracks became crevices which became gaping holes… finally, the thread that was holding it all together… snapped!

That was the day I waved my white flag before God…. no more! I was done fighting Him! That was the day He truly reached down from Heaven, picked me up from the floor, took me in His arms… and He is still holding me there today. I always knew that He loved me; I had been singing the song “Jesus loves me” since I was a little girl and even sang it with my own children… but I never truly “let” Him love me. When I finally did, everything changed!

In the course of the last two years, we have experienced God’s blessings beyond measure. We have also experienced more pain as my husband returned for a short period of time only to leave again. Through it all, God has remained faithful and has answered so many prayers!! I believe He is who He says He is and I believe He will do what He says He will do… so I continue to stand firm believing that one day God will completely reconcile my marriage and heal my family.

I am so blessed with four amazing children. Oh, how they have struggled to each find their place with God, to understand this confusion, to deal with the anger and bitterness… their hearts have become so broken and they will be forever scarred. And our sweet new baby… what can I say… a joy, a miracle and a true promised gift from God (that is a story for a another day).  I am so thankful to have them by my side!

There are sooo many more elements and layers to this story… maybe to be shared in small bits over time. This has become much more than just another broken marriage and family… It has become a walk of faith for every destroyed part of my life. For now, just know that the smile on my face and the laughter behind my voice are real. I do not hide behind a facade… when people ask me how I am doing, I always say, “We are hanging in there”… and that is exactly where we are. Some days are great… some days are very difficult. Some days we laugh… some days we cry. Some days we finally seem to be healing… some days we fall apart as wounds are reopened. However, through it all… God is giving me His joy, His strength and His peace…. and that is why I am still smiling. That is why I am still laughing. That is why I am still finding the beauty all around me.

Last year at a special Southeast Christian Church event, Kyle Idleman used a “book” as an analogy of life. We might be in the middle of our story… where the plot thickens… where the main character is at a crossroad or a point where it seems there is no way out. If we close the book now, we will never know how it ends. So his challenge to the audience was “Just Keep Reading”… turn the page, begin the next chapter… but just keep reading! There is a happy ending for those who trust in Christ… just keep reading. That is what I will continue to do in my own life… just keep reading… I know God has an awesome ending to this story… it is really just the beginning!

There is a song by David Crowder that has truly touched the depths of my soul. Within this song are the following lyrics: “And all of a sudden, I am unaware of these afflictions eclipsed by Glory, and I realize just how beautiful You are and how great your affections are for me. Oh how He loves us…” Wow, how true those words are! Little do we know at the time, when we are faced with such horrible afflictions that they are truly allowed by God… to be eclipsed by His Glory… He loves us enough to allow us to go through the difficulties in our lives so that we can rely on Him, feel His love… to ultimately draw close to Him.

My prayer in writing this blog is that somewhere, someone will be encouraged through the hope and healing I have found… that my pain will not be wasted but rather turned around for something awesome! Everyone has a story and everyone has experienced their fair share of pain… I just want people to remember that God can turn any mistake, any heartache, any deep wound into something beautiful!!

May we all “Just Keep Reading”,

Tara ♥

“He has made everything beautiful in its time” (Ecclesiastes 3:11)


19 Responses to My Story… The Journey Behind the Voice

  1. Anonymous says:

    Wow, Tara. I really enjoyed reading your message. I know you’ve been through a lot and God’s wonderful grace is sufficient to see each of us through this journey of life. I’m also blessed by the fact that your mom — a wonderful friend and spiritual big sister to me — has prayed for you and the whole family, of course. How encouraging to me to see what a beautiful woman of God you have become in every way, since I am also praying for all of my sons, wives, and now — grandchildren– to serve the Lord with all of there hearts. I’m glad I saw this on facebook today<3 Love in Jesus, Joan Guelda

  2. rachturner says:

    Tara – It seems strange to say this because we rarely see pain as beautiful, but what a beautiful story you are living and writing. You have a gift with words and I believe that God is using that gift and your pain to create something that will bless many people!

    • Thank you so much, Rachel… I can assure you, I never thought I would write out my life story for the world to hear! I just pray that God uses these words expressed through such pain and healing to help encourage someone who might need it. I appreciate you stopping by and reading! 🙂

  3. Thanks for your openness and for your transparency! The themes of your story resonates with ours. Melody and I love connecting with others like yourself who have been through their own “beautiful undoing” and come out on the other side wide-eyed with wonder at God’s amazing, scandalous grace in the middle of the pain.

    You can read our story here…
    http://www.ragamuffinreflections.com/story/

    • Actually, I read your story a few weeks ago as I stumbled upon your website… it was such a “God thing”! Your story is incredible and I love how God has filled my life with such amazing people, testimonies and hope for the future. I look so forward to the day when I can close this chapter of my life and move on to the next… to the day when my marriage is reconciled and healed. However, as I have been reminded numerous times, there are no shortcuts… so today, I am content in where I am. I have to trust that God knows what He is doing and just enjoy each day of life He chooses to give me. Thank you for your amazing, resourceful website! I love the comment, “Our divorce didn’t work out”. It rarely does… it seems divorce only trades one set of problems for a different set and the implications can last for generations! I would love to hear you and your wife speak in person sometime in the future! Thanks again! 🙂

  4. Anonymous says:

    Hi, thanks for sharing your story… I have been going through a LOT my self.. am not yet married but desperately waiting or God to send the right person to my life and I have been waiting on God for many things (like healing for a skin disease(es) for 20 yrs and the list goes on).. just when I think things can’t get any worse in my life they always do… 🙂
    there were times when I was so mad at God I was screaming my lungs out at Him saying ‘Why can’t u do anything for me? if u say U love me so much (unconditionally) why just why can’t you do anything you who created me who created the whole universe?’ I know God can but I didn’t know If He wold do it for me & my family.. I have received so many promises on what and what He is planning to do in my life and how he is going to bless me but year after year passes me by and nothing happens…but now I’m beginning to realize why He was doing that, why he kept silent during all those times…He wanted my attention, my full attention and He is teaching me many things.. am still in the storm but I know God is with me and He is helping me… I know He loves me so much and no devil in hell is gonna tell me otherwise! I know that He will come through for me… and one day He will use that pain, that suffering the ocean of tears i cried to bring glory to Him self!
    Thanks for sharing your story cause it helped me to realize that i’m not in this thing alone, there are other people who are hurting and waiting on God and who are going through similar experiences like me. I know God is faithful and He will do all that he promised in all of us!
    Love- Jev from Sri Lanka.

    • Thanks so much for reading and sharing your story. I have come to realize that everyone has a “story” and it seems that everyone is “waiting on God” for something in their life. Hang in there… never give up on Him! That has been the most difficult part for me to grasp about God… “His Timing”. I know it is always perfect as God is never a day early and never a day late. But sometimes the waiting is just so difficult for us understand. When my husband walked out and left me with three teenagers, I didn’t think I would make it through the week. I would cry out to God, “Let today be the day”… that was over 2 years ago. While I am still crying out to God, it is different today. God has allowed me to feel such peace and joy that I would not have found if I didn’t have to wait. God allowed my journey and difficulties to get so much worse so I could offer encouragement to others by saying “I understand… I have been there”… and truly be able to mean it! God has brought me to a place of contentment in all my difficult circumstances… even though many of my prayers are not yet answered. I would not be the trusting person of faith that I am today, if I didn’t have to wait. I admire you for still trusting God for your prayers to be answered even after years of waiting… just never, ever give up on your God! He is faithful… just enjoy the journey with Him along the way and thank Him for each day of life he chooses to give you. Keeping you in my prayers! 🙂

  5. nolette says:

    Tara, thank you for sharing your story and thoughts. I appreciate you being “real” w/o facade. Your pain and healing brings encoragement and ensight for those who walk in the same or similiar path. I am thankful to run across your blog, and now included you under my favorites.

    I enjoy reading your writing, you’re a gifted writer. Continue to spread His love and truth.<3.

    • Thank you so much… reading your comment has truly touched my heart! I love hearing about how God is using my pain and simple words to impact others! I look forward to hearing more from you! God Bless! 🙂

  6. Carol L. Scott "Cielle" says:

    Tara,
    Ditto from me…thank you for sharing. You are indeed a gifted writer, and your story and transparency are so amazingly inspiring. (And what a beautiful family you all are.) God is faithful beyond our comprehension, and I know that His grace, mercy and provision is sustaining you through the rough and painful patches of your life. He sure is for me!

    I stumbled across your blog through a comment on Pastor Derwin Gray’s blog…about turning 40. Like yourself, I turned 39 this year, and I’ve been searching for inspiring stories to feature in my upcoming book about hitting the Big 4-0. After reading through your blog, I knew I had to ask you to share! It’d be a matter of sharing your bio along with 40 things you’d like to accomplish by the time you turn 40, and a few of your favorite pictures of yourself and your family. (Each chapter/profile will have a glossy page in the middle of the story that includes pictures.) It’s gonna be a fun book – though serious and transparent, one that will include a great deal of inspiration to others – of all ages – to live life ‘on purpose’ and with passion!

    Please email me if you’re interested. You just have such a powerful story! In the meantime, keep the faith and stay in the cradle of His arms. Sometimes our persecutions become the pillar for someone else’s pain.

    In Christ,
    Cielle
    cielle72@yahoo.com

  7. RubberChickenGirl says:

    Check out the original author’s version of Oh How He Loves:

    RCG

  8. Tara~

    Really, I feel like I can call you friend…because You. Speak. My. Language. You really do.
    I am always drawn to others who choose to be vulnerable with their journey…you friend, are courageously vulnerable.

    Thankful you found me on my blog, so I could find you on yours. I’m following you for sure. 🙂

    Laura

  9. Anonymous says:

    After having known you for 30 (yikes!) or so years now, I am reading this for the first time (ashamed to admit it has taken me so long)…..and can’t get over the divine “timing” of God! Acknowledging what others have already mentioned…..your writing is a beautiful and God has placed this gift within you. I needed to read THIS, right NOW. Thank you 🙂
    love you!, Shay

    • I love you Shay!!! You are my oldest friend, (not “old”est, haha, but my friend whom I have known the longest!!!) Thank you for your sweet words! It is amazing to see how God has used this blog not only for my own healing, but to reach others… He is so awesome! And you are so right, the divine “timing” of God is amazing! He is always perfect and His timing is always perfect!! Hope to see you soon!!! 🙂

  10. Dear Tara — stumbled upon your blog and just want to say thanks for sharing so openly. And I can so relate to what you are going through. Years ago, when my youngest of three sons was 1, my husband left. I stood for the marriage in faith for four years. Then he remarried and later returned to me saying he wished he had never left. But, he already had a new child.

    It broke my heart a million times over through the years that my sons grew up without their dad in the home. And while I am immensely blessed and happy now in a new marriage (you can read our story on our About page of how God orchestrated a fairy tale meeting) there are still times when both I and my husband feel sadness that the original marriages did not last. Divorce is a very bad thing.

    I pray with all my heart that you and your husband completely surrender your hearts and keep doing so and one day soon find your way back to each other. You have a beautiful family.

    Until then, beautiful lady, keep standing strong in Him! God bless you,
    sheila

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