Recently, something really unnerving and upsetting happened.
All along, I have kept my distance from my husband’s affair partner in terms of not making any contact with her. I hate what she has done, I hate that she has no boundaries but at the end of the day, she didn’t make vows to me, my husband did. It’s this fact that has made it possible for me to distance myself from her, to not seek any revenge and to maintain my dignity.
But this week, out of the blue, she made contact with me.
I can only guess that her expectation that a reprisal was looming became too great and she thought she would provoke me, to get it over with. The reality is, I have no desire to seek revenge or even speak to her. Someone has a guilty conscious maybe?
Or maybe she believed she could use the exchange to tarnish my character to my husband. I still don’t really understand her motive for the contact.
Either way, it was incredibly unsettling and unnerving. She called me unpleasant names and was generally hateful but I didn’t bite back. I sensed there was a narrative that she was trying to create that, bizarrely, I was somehow morally the lesser of us both. I asked her to leave me alone and she snapped trying desperately (and failing) to paint me as the “crazy ex.”
I contacted my husband/ex husband (not sure what to call him at this stage) and told him about her unwanted contact and for him to tell her not to approach me again. He said something that nearly knocked me off my feet. He said, “Don’t involve me.”
He has brought this person into our marriage, into our lives. This was his affair partner bothering and intimidating me and there he was saying that he wasn’t going to get involved. It was like another knife being shoved into my heart.
Throughout these months, I can only describe what I have been through as an ongoing nightmare. That hate I have experienced from my husband, the one I trusted most, has at times physically brought me to my knees. The words he has said have been piercing. They are words that I will never ever forget and will be etched into my memory always.
I have felt as though I have been in an actual battle and have found myself constantly praying to God for protection against the hate, the manipulation and the calculating schemes of two people who are on a desperate bid for self-preservation and self-interest.
I have experienced hurt after hurt and layer after layer of betrayal. I have swallowed down so much toxicity and lately it just feels like it just sits malignant in my stomach. I have reached a point of saying, no more.
Ephesians 6: 13-17 (NIV) says:
“Therefore put on the full armour of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.”
What is Armour? Armour is a protective layer and covering that is used to prevent damage to a person. It is worn when danger is present, to protect the person wearing it from the destruction of any weapons that may be used against them.
This passage is a promise of victory if we put on the full armour of God. It carefully sets out each individual piece of defense that we must cloak ourself in, as if it is dressing us one piece at a time in preparation for battle.
It first encourages us to do everything we can to simply stand in the face of hostility. This isn’t easy. I have had times when I have struggled to find the strength to even find my feet again after some of the blows that have been dealt. It has taken prayer, asking for God’s strength and a great deal of support from loved ones, to help me back to my feet. Once we find our feet, it tells us to stand firm. This is an act of defiance, that we will not be shaken, it requires us to dig deep and hold the line.
It describes the belt of truth, buckled around our waist. This implies that the very core of us will be wrapped in His truth. This truth exposes the lies of those that plot against us or set out to deceive. His truth covers us, like a blanket that will not allow hurtful lies to penetrate. His truth is within us, that we are victorious and safe in Him.
The next part is hugely significant. We are to put the breastplate of righteousness on. The place where this will lie will be across our chest, covering our hearts and within our hearts we will maintain righteousness. Some may say righteousness sounds sanctimonious but its anything but. It means we stand justified, upright and worthy. We are worthy! It’s these very qualities that we hold that give us the indignation to even stand again in the first place! This is what fuels us to say, NO MORE!
Our feet will be secured with readiness from the gospel of peace. Our feet are not bare and naked, they are wearing shoes of peace! There is a journey that we are bound for in those shoes, to walk alongside Jesus, to find His peace amidst the storms and our battles, a peace which only He can provide.
It encourages us to take up the shield of faith. The shield is an exterior item from our other armour but never the less forms a very central element of protection, possibly the most important! It is a double layer of protection which we can raise when an arrow of hate, hurt and spite is aimed directly at us. It is the piece of armour we will rely upon when we are in that moment of battle. When the arrows are flying, when we come under fire. It is the protection that will foil the attack of our enemy. Our faith in God is such a crucial piece of the puzzle, a piece of armour that we can rely upon to cover us and help us survive the attack.
Finally, we are to take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the spirit. This represents our preservation, that we will be protected from harm and danger and that the sword will ultimately be a defence as the Holy Spirit aids us in combatting what lies ahead.
How does this passage change things for me? It changes everything.
I no longer lay weak, exposed and vulnerable to further attack. I have found my feet, I have strapped on my armour and have raised my shield of faith because I stand firm in God’s truth and promise that I will not be overcome.
Are you in a battle and needing reinforcements and protection? Are you under fire? Put on the armour of God and stand firm. He will be beside you, cloaking you in His protection, His love, His peace; equipping you with everything you need to be a mighty warrior in your own battles.