Free shipping on all orders over $75🎄

We sat at the dusty, worn picnic table while our two daughters, who were six and eight at the time, swam at the crowded wave pool nearby. It was our annual summer family vacation, and while we were supposed to be having fun in the sun as a family, no one knew about the baggage that I had smuggled in because for the last three months I had been fully engaged in an extramarital affair.

Humidity mingled with unwelcome tension was in the air, and I knew what
my husband was about to ask me. In fact, I’d been waiting for him to ask the question for several weeks.

This was it. The moment I would tell my husband of almost 15 years that I didn’t love him any more and I had found my soulmate in another man.

Sweat was sliding down the bridge of his nose as he struggled to get the words out. “Are you having an affair?”

“Yes,” I answered.

There was much more I wanted to say, but I couldn’t seem to find the words. His face turned ghostly white, his eyes moist and shiny. Looking down at his fingernails, he pulled at one of his cuticles.

It was done. The baggage unpacked. I was free, or so I thought.

What happened next still grieves my soul to this day, now ten years later.

With brash resolve, I swung my bag over my shoulders, tucked my frazzled hair behind my ear, and walked away, not even taking a minute to say goodbye to my beautiful, spirited, unsuspecting daughters.

Sin had crept its way into my heart, twisting and turning me into someone unrecognizable, even to myself.

The year had been a busy, stressful season of change. It was exciting but tough. John received a promotion that prompted a move to a different state. Our new home was older and in need of repair. While he settled into his new assignment, I played the part of home contractor.

Little did we realize that the bricks were slowly starting to crumble and threatened to suffocate us to the point of death.

The day I walked away from my husband and girls at the water park, I called for a taxi and just a couple hours later was flying home, where I would get my car and drive to meet the other man. However, he told me it wasn’t a good time, and so I stayed home. I’m forever grateful for that timing.

I had no idea that while I was flying home, John had scooped up our girls and started driving home as well (we had driven to our destination for vacation, which is why I flew home). He called his parents and asked if they could meet him and take the girls for a couple of days while we sorted things out.

The sleep deprived days after we sat motionless, dazed and confused as to what to do next.

My head was in his lap, and I was looking up at the ceiling, wondering how in the world we had gotten here. All of my little girl hopes and dreams flashed before my eyes as the wreckage surrounding us threatened to obliterate them.

Just days before, I had dreamt a different dream. A grown-up dream of leaving my family to live happily ever after with the other man. Sin had me believe this dream was better, sweeter, truer.

How completely deceived I was.

“Shannon, do you really feel like it’s God’s will for you to be with him? Do you really think God will bless it?” John has always been the voice of wisdom, and his statement impacted me significantly.

A lightbulb that had slowly been flickering off and on for days suddenly shined

“No…no, it can’t be.”

My mind felt like a battle zone as opposing thoughts waged war within, and light struggled to overcome darkness. I began to see all the hurt I would cause, all the pain. No, this couldn’t come from God. 

This couldn’t be God.

In the light of this revelation, I turned to John, “I don’t understand why you are letting me stay here. I don’t understand why you are treating me this way.”

It just seemed so illogical. I had just broken my husband’s heart into a million, tiny pieces, yet he was tender and reasonable. It wasn’t his personality. I expected him to kick me out, in fact, it’s what I hoped for because I was too much of a coward to leave on my own. He did have divorce papers drawn up, but thankfully they were never executed.

He fell silent, and after a couple of minutes he got up and slowly walked around the sofa where I remained. He stopped and suddenly and doubled over as if in pain. Tears started streaming down his face and between silent sobs he spoke the words that are forever engraved on my heart, “because I love you, Shannon.”

In those five simple yet costly words, I found grace, and my life radically changed.

My husband, who I betrayed, lived the grace of God right in front of me. I shamed him. I smeared his name in the dirt. Yet, he loved me.

Just like Jesus.

I finally understood the love behind the cross and the price that He paid.

“I love you too, John.”

And I meant it. At that moment I determined to restore not only our home but our marriage. There was much work to be done, and honestly, agreeing to do that work proved to be the wisest, but the hardest decision we’ve ever made.

This work was excruciating. I had to offer every single part of my heart up to my Savior (and John), and it required deep vulnerability. I had to face the pain and truth of what I had done, while simultaneously accepting the forgiveness and grace of both John and Jesus. I also had to learn how to accept God’s grace.

Sometimes, a heart has to break completely in two before it can become whole again.

Today, ten years later, we are a restored miracle. God did not waste one ounce of our pain. We are whole, happy and free because of Jesus Christ.

*This post was originally published on the author’s blog. 

So God Made a Mother book by Leslie Means

If you liked this, you'll love our new book, SO GOD MADE A MOTHER available now!

Order Now

Shannon Geurin

Shannon Geurin lives near the Rocky Mountains of Colorado, but is an Oklahoma girl at heart, where she was born and raised. She's married to the love of life, John and has two daughters, Alex (19) and Averee (16). She has a passion to see women fight for their marriage, family, and calling. Shannon writes regularly at her blog, and during her free time you will more than likely find a coffee cup in one hand a book in the other.

The Proverbs 31 Woman for Teens

In: Faith, Teen, Tween
Teen girl smiling outside

A girl with a noble character is hard to find. Her family can trust her. She sees things to be done and does them without being told. She has a good attitude when asked to do something. She makes wise decisions about her friends. She tries to put others first even when she doesn’t want to. She stands up for herself and the underdog who is being bullied. RELATED: A Prayer For Daughters She tells the truth—even if she is going to get in trouble. She is strong physically and not lazy. She is a problem solver in all situations. She...

Keep Reading

Some Mothers Never Get Their Rainbow Baby

In: Faith, Grief, Loss, Motherhood
Sad woman with head in hands sitting on bed

Not everyone gets a rainbow baby—that’s a truth not many of us talk about. There are many women who long to have a rainbow baby but because of health or age, they never get one. We never talk about it. We don’t want to bring rain on someone’s otherwise happy day. “Oh, I’m so excited for you. Congratulations on your rainbow baby.” Meanwhile, I’m still waiting for mine. The clock is ticking and there is no sign of a rainbow baby. My body is wearing down and the chances of getting pregnant dwindle. I don’t mean to sound bitter. I’m...

Keep Reading

God Had Different Plans

In: Faith, Motherhood
Silhouette of family swinging child between two parents

As I sip my twice-reheated coffee holding one baby and watching another run laps around the messy living room, I catch bits and pieces of the Good Morning America news broadcast. My mind drifts off for a second to the dreams I once had of being the one on the screen. Live from New York City with hair and makeup fixed before 6 a.m. I really believed that would be me. I just knew I’d be the one telling the mama with unwashed hair and tired eyes about the world events that happened overnight while she rocked babies and pumped milk....

Keep Reading

This Will Not Last Forever

In: Faith, Motherhood
Woman looking at sunset

“This will not last forever,” I wrote those words on the unfinished walls above my daughter’s changing table. For some reason, it got very tiring to change her diapers. Nearly three years later, the words are still there though the changing table no longer is under them. While my house is still unfinished so I occasionally see those words, that stage of changing diapers for her has moved on. She did grow up, and I got a break. Now I do it for her baby brother. I have been reminding myself of the seasons of life again. Everything comes and...

Keep Reading

God Calls Me Flawless

In: Faith, Living
Note hanging on door, color photo

When I look in the mirror, I don’t always like what I see. I tend to focus on every imperfection, every flaw. As I age, more wrinkles naturally appear. And I’ve never been high maintenance, so the gray hairs are becoming more frequent, too. Growing up a lot of negative words were spoken about me: my body, my weight, my hair, my build. Words I’ve somehow carried my whole life. The people who proclaimed them as my truth don’t even remember what they said, I’m sure. But that’s the power of negative words. Sticks and stones may break our bones,...

Keep Reading

Your Husband Needs Friendship Too

In: Faith, Friendship, Marriage
3 men smiling outside

As the clock inches closer to 7:00 on a Monday evening, I pull out whatever dessert I had prepared that week and set it out on the kitchen counter. This particular week it’s a trifle, but other weeks it may be brownies, pound cake, or cookies of some kind. My eyes do one last sweep to make sure there isn’t a tripping hazard disguised as a dog toy on the floor and that the leftover dinner is put away. Then, my kids and I make ourselves scarce. Sometimes that involves library runs or gym visits, but it mostly looks like...

Keep Reading

This Is Why Moms Ask for Experience Gifts

In: Faith, Living, Motherhood
Mother and young daughter under Christmas lights wearing red sweaters

When a mama asks for experience gifts for her kids for Christmas, please don’t take it as she’s ungrateful or a Scrooge. She appreciates the love her children get, she really does. But she’s tired. She’s tired of the endless number of toys that sit in the bottom of a toy bin and never see the light of day. She’s tired of tripping over the hundreds of LEGOs and reminding her son to pick them up so the baby doesn’t find them and choke. She’s tired of having four Elsa dolls (we have baby Elsa, Barbie Elsa, a mini Elsa,...

Keep Reading

When You Just Don’t Feel Like Christmas

In: Faith, Living
Woman sad looking out a winter window

It’s hard to admit, but some years I have to force myself to decorate for Christmas. Some years the lights look a little dimmer. The garlands feel a bit heavier. And the circumstances of life just aren’t wrapped in a big red bow like I so wish they were. Then comparison creeps in like a fake Facebook friend and I just feel like hiding under the covers and skipping it all. Because I know there’s no way to measure up to the perfect life “out there.” And it all just feels heavier than it used to. Though I feel alone,...

Keep Reading

When Your Kids Ask, “Where Is God?”

In: Faith, Kids
Child looking at sunset

How do I know if the voice I’m hearing is God’s voice? When I was in high school, I found myself asking this question. My dad was a pastor, and I was feeling called to ministry. I didn’t know if I was just hearing my dad’s wish or the call of God. I was worried I was confusing the two. It turns out, I did know. I knew because I was raised to recognize the presence of God all around me. Once I knew what God’s presence felt like, I also knew what God’s voice sounded like. There is a...

Keep Reading

To the Woman Longing to Become a Mother

In: Faith, Grief, Motherhood
Woman looking at pregnancy test with hand on her head and sad expression

To the woman who is struggling with infertility. To the woman who is staring at another pregnancy test with your flashlight or holding it up in the light, praying so hard that there will be even the faintest line. To the woman whose period showed up right on time. To the woman who is just ready to quit. I don’t know the details of your story. I don’t know what doctors have told you. I don’t know how long you have been trying. I don’t know how many tears you have shed. I don’t know if you have lost a...

Keep Reading