The Path of Freedom (part 5)
To describe in a few words all the emotions we experienced the night I confessed would be difficult. But one word that comes to mind as I look back is hopelessness. Our marriage was at a breaking point. I didn’t know what was going to happen. Maty could have kicked me out of the house, told me she never wanted to see me again, or refused to communicate. But she didn’t do any of those things. Now I don’t want you to think it was easy. It was anything but simple. We’d been married for almost 10 years, and Maty was five months pregnant. We had friends all over the world who had no clue what we were going through. We’d served in numerous churches; some in leadership roles. And after all this, I came to the end of myself and confessed to Maty who I really was and what I’d been struggling with in secret for years. Hopelessness, betrayal, brokenness, shame, fear, anxiety and depression are a few of the words that were circling around our home for weeks after that night. It was tuff, but we were still talking. Mostly it was me answering questions and sharing more painful details. But like I explained earlier, I wanted her to know everything and as long as she was still talking, I was responding.
At the same time, we were preparing to become new parents. Despite our situation, we still discussed names for our son. Although painful, this was a part of the process that helped us heal. Before January 15th, we talked a lot about what name we wanted. We believed his name should have a strong meaning that would speak blessing over his life. Searching through all the databases and presenting them to each other, we were excited and felt closer as a couple. But after the 15th, any intimacy we had was shattered. It was just survival. Hopelessness in the process seemed to rule. But for all our sadness, we somehow managed to settle on a name for our son: Jude Joseph. I was shocked that we could do so, but I believe it was one of the first words that Holy Spirit spoke to both of our hearts and it was prophetic.
In the following days, without really understanding the deeper meaning of his name, I researched more on the internet and confirmed two things I knew: Jude is short for Judah and it means “praise” and Joseph means “Jehovah shall add/increase”. Leaning back in my chair and thinking about these two definitions, I asked God for more clarification. I continued searching and discovered that in the Catholic faith, Jude is the Patron Saint of Hopeless Causes. Wow, I thought. This is amazing! I ran to talk with Maty and explained that without really knowing what we were doing when we settled on his name, we chose praise in the middle of our hopeless situation. She was encouraged too! Our hopeless situation started to change at that moment. Why? Because we fought against despair with praise. We praised God for His faithfulness and love. We focused on who we were as His children. We bowed our lives and our marriage in worship to Him and as we did that, as we worshipped in His presence, He added and increased our hope. What seemed to be hopeless became hopeful. What looked impossible was now possible!
Walking forward we held onto this encouragement. It wasn’t always easy. Somedays were worse than others. But, at least we chose praise and then trusted God for the increase and the restoration we so desperately needed. It was, and still is, a daily decision.