Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Our Memorial Stone

With May 15th drawing near, I have been thinking a lot about our memorial stone. (You can read our story here, but I will warn you-it is long). It means a lot to the Other Nut and me, because of what it represents. It represents restoration, a deeper love, a stronger marriage, and it reminds us of a God who is faithful even in the hard times.
After we started down our road to restoration, we knew we wanted to find a stone that we could put at our house as a memorial for what God was doing...even though the pain was deep, we never wanted to forget.
One thing the Other Nut would say during this time was "I want to grow old with you. I truly believe the best is yet to be." He wanted so badly for me to know that, despite what he did, he did love me.
One day, I was walking through HEB in their garden section and as I looked down, I saw it-our memorial stone. Now it wasn't a solid stone. In fact, it was made out of clay; but I knew it was meant to be ours. On the front of it, it said, "Grow old along with me, the best is yet to be." I was so excited at what God had provided for us as our memorial stone. When the Other Nut saw it, he was just as excited.

Until he broke it.

 He was cleaning up outside, and it fell off a table and broke into about 5 pieces. At first, we were both devastated. Somewhere inside we both felt fear; fear that somehow this meant we weren't going to make it, that our marriage was not going to recover. It was a scary few minutes, but then it made so much sense.
Our memorial stone was even more perfect now. It was broken just like we were. And as I watched the Other Nut slowly piece it back together with glue, it reminded me of how Jesus was slowly piecing us back together.

But the pain of betrayal through pornography ran deep in my soul, sometimes coming out unexpectedly. Days would come where all my fears, insecurities, lack of trust, and unknowns would boil to the surface and build up until I thought I would burst. I found myself not always knowing what to do with it all. My head knew I needed to lay everything at the feet of Jesus, but my heart sometimes wouldn't let me. The pain, fears, and insecurities were so anchored to my soul, I didn't know how to lay them down.
And something would happen that would bring back a flood of feelings as I all too clearly remembered-a certain name, a certain reaction, a certain time and place.

Being in public was extra hard as my mind and heart were assaulted with lies as I looked around at all of the women. "Does he wish I looked like her?" "Does he want her?"

And so was a day as our stone sat there drying, cracks visible and yet whole. The Other Nut had done a great job at piecing it back together.

But the pain welled up and exploded like a volcano. The hammer in my hand swung harder with each new swing. The stone was destroyed in my attempt to numb my pain. And this time, it wasn't fixable. I threw every piece, some just dust, in the trash, wondering all along if my marriage was even fixable.

But God wasn't finished, and He can piece together anything, no matter how shattered it is.

The Other Nut very patiently dug every piece he could out of the trash can, and he patiently and slowly pieced it back together. And at the same time, God continued to patiently and slowly piece us back together in only a way that He can. 

Our stone now sits in our bedroom where I see it everyday. It is cracked with holes that speak of a hard journey-a good representation of 2 lives that have been affected by the pain of pornography. And I like our stone better this way. It stands as a great reminder to me. When I see those holes, I am reminded that, while our marriage has been restored and forgiveness is present, we will carry our scars until we meet Jesus face to face. Sin does that-leaves scars-just look at the hands' of Jesus. It reminds me that I have places, holes, in my heart that only Jesus can fill-the Other Nut can't fill them or fix them.

Father, may I never forget the depths of the pain and the brokenness we felt; for it was out of that pain and brokenness that You did a mighty work and restored our marriage.


Lisa Maria said...

Oh Tami, I empathize wholeheartedly with you on this as you know. What a wonderful idea of the stone.. a great visual. I've always used a shattered clay or ceramic vessel in my mind. I imagine that God used those pieces to make a beautiful mosaic with the broken pieces. Praise God for the mighty works He does in our lives... even in our brokenness there is beauty because He put it there.

Love & Blessings

Jen said...

I realized as I read your story and your post that you linked up today that I know of no one who has shared my same struggle. I've been open about it to my Bible study, friends, even my blog readers, but no one has admitted that they have been affected by it as well. It is a hard thing to admit, yes?

so, I have to say, from the very depths of my being...thank you. Thank you for not making me feel alone. Although my husband is recovered, it is an addiction, and there is always the fear of relapse, as you know.

I'm so glad that you linked up at Soli Deo Gloria. I TRULY hope that you will come back. If you would like to be on the email list, please let me know. Also, I have a feeling you may live somewhere near me (at least in the same state) because of the grocery store. Anyway, my email is

"Ima" said...

Lisa-Thanks for your sweet comment. I love the visual of the clay vessel, and I love that our stone is clay-it fits so well. I continue to enjoy our journeying together.

Jen-yes, it is so nice to realize that you are not alone so I am so happy to share my story with you and others. That is the lie of the enemy-"You are alone in your pain and struggles." Yuck! And the fear of relaspe is real. Some days it is greater than others, but it is something that stays somewhere in my mind.

I am glad I found your blog as well. You will be seeing more of me :) I will email you soon.

Cheryl said...

This was really well written, Tami! Thank for sharing. And yes, you are absolutely right, God loves to redeem the broken pieces of our lives.
Love you!

"Ima" said...

Thanks Cheryl. It was great seeing you and your cute kids Easter. Loved seeing the pictures.

Shari said...

Found you at 'Walk With Him Wednesdays'. Beautiful post. I believe that not only will you find great joy and satisfaction in your memorial stone, but that the garden where you place it, will be a haven of beauty, solace, and new beginnings. Beauty from ashes!

Grow well, beautiful lady!

"Ima" said...

Thank you Shari. I have always loved the saying "beauty from ashes". God is so good at doing that.

Karen said...

Thanks Tami for this post. Although our marriage hasn't been touched by pornography, we have had other challenges in 33 years! And yes, sometimes a hammer seems like a good idea. oh, btw, do you know the song, "Grow old with me" by Mary Chapin Carpenter? You might like it. I am going to send a link to this to a friend whose marriage has been scarred by the husband's pornography habit. I think she'll appreciate it. blessings, k

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