And then I felt Ted reach for me.
My heart broke in that instant. I knew the importance of physical touch in a marriage. I knew its power to bring comfort, healing, and validation. And I knew the damage rejection could cause. Broken people need to be touched, and by reaching out, Ted was pleading for my help. I wanted to help him; I didn't want to reject him???but what was I supposed to do with the anger, revulsion, and pain that were warring in my heart?
I had coached other women through this. Now it was my turn. I would have to press through my feelings and not lose this important opportunity, because it might not come again.
And so that night I began my journey of choosing . . . choosing to love. I chose to press through my feelings of anger. I pressed through my feelings of revulsion and took the hand I had held so many times, the hand that had brought me such comfort in the past. And in that moment, I realized how much I still loved my husband.
I turned and slid into his arms, but a fresh wave of sorrow overwhelmed me. I sobbed so loudly that I was sure the children could hear me. Waves of anger and sadness swept through me, and within seconds I felt Ted's shuddering sobs as well. I didn't stop to comfort him; I let my tears flow. I needed to cry, because I was terrified. I didn't know what Ted's confession meant, and I didn't know what I was going to discover about him now that he'd opened the door to the sealed-off place in his life. I didn't know what the impact of any of this was going to be on our future or our children. I was afraid of losing everything we loved at the church. I knew Ted had lost his position, but what would that look like? How would we relate to the people of New Life now?
And what effect would Ted's sin have on the body of Christ at large? So many Christian brothers and sisters were scattered throughout the world; how many would be mocked and scorned because of Ted's sin?