Behind the Scenes of A Fierce Love: Walking my Friend Through An Affair
Last October, I had days of advance warning that Hurricane Matthew was heading right for me. Being one mile from the shores of South Carolina, I had plenty of time to prepare…extra water, food, batteries, etc. Our schools let the kids out a full 3 days before expected landfall so that those who wanted to evacuate would have plenty of time. The storm, as most are, was unpredictable, but the fine people at The Weather Channel were pretty sure it would make landfall somewhere near my home. Matthew was hovering around a weak Category 2 so I felt prepared enough to ride the storm out and not be in serious danger. It was my first hurricane and being the weather geek that I am, excited was an understatement!
But would I have been so excited if there was not time to prepare? If I did not have suitable shelter and enough supplies to last? What would my excitement level be if there was no forewarning and if hurricanes simply fell unannounced out of the blue sky?
That is the very thing that happened to my friend, Shauna. Her storm arrived unannounced, with no warning, no fanfare, no indication that the course of life as she knew it was about to be rocked in a huge way. If you’ve been following Shauna’s blog (and why wouldn't you?), you already know that her husband had an affair and she’s written a book about it. But I am writing today to tell you that her book, A Fierce Love is about so much more than the story of a marriage surviving an affair!
You see, I got to watch her story play out in real life well before it was pretty, polished, and published by Zondervan.
One of my favorite worship songs of all time is "Oceans" by Hillsong United, and it’s fitting because I am a beach bum and Shauna aspires to be one. As I listened to the song lyrics in church recently, I was reminded of how these lyrics applied to Shauna’s story.
“You call me out upon the waters
The great unknown where feet may fail”
Are you kidding me? Shauna was for sure called out into the great unknown. She had never experienced these unchartered territories before and this particular storm was brutal. God had called her out in a big way and she had 2 choices…rely on her own feet to make a feeble attempt to carry herself through or rely on the one who could cause her to walk on water.
"So I will call upon Your name”
And call upon God’s name she did in the form of prayer, worship, and devotion. In a society where marital failure is “normal” and even expected in a case like this, it was amazing to watch Shauna operate in her “God Bubble”… the place where God kept her safe from the crazy weather that was surrounding her at the time, a place where worship and devotion to her Father caused her to see clearly and act definitively, despite the circumstance.
“And keep my eyes above the waves”
Despite being in God’s care, Shauna’s situation wasn’t always pretty. She would call asking for reassurance that she was not crazy for reacting the way she was, the way God was calling her to. I would remind her that she was not, although looking back on it now, it’s funny to visualize little Shauna attempting to walk on water in the midst of a crushing storm.
“When oceans rise, my soul will rest in Your embrace
For I am Yours and You are mine”
When she first found out that her storm had arrived, the tide came rolling in fast threatening to overtake her. But those first few days Shauna made the choice to be obedient and to rest. Isn’t it crazy to think that we can rest in the middle of a storm?!? I surely didn’t rest when Hurricane Matthew was rolling through and he only hung around for a day. Imagine having to endure a longer period of chaos where waiting is the name of the game.
How would it even be possible to rest? Shauna rekindled her love for God and recognized that her relationship to God is more powerful and deep than any relationship she could experience here on earth, even ones with those most dear to her. When we truly experience a relationship with God, he wholly gives us his strength and peace to weather any storm.
To me, “affair” is just a term to label Shauna’s particular storm. Just like a meteorologist labels a tornado, or a hurricane, or a thunderstorm. In all likelihood, you too will face a storm or maybe you’re in the middle of one. Maybe yours will be labeled “Death of a Loved One” or “Illness” or “Financial Ruin.” You CAN be prepared for these storms or even learn how to endure when you’re in the midst of peril.
So here is my shameless plug for A Fierce Love….
although God does not need my help in accomplishing His purpose for this book. I’ve believed since the beginning that Shauna’s book has a God-inspired purpose, even when it was still just a smattering of journal entries. Her story is living proof of what can happen when God’s love draws you in and you respond. It’s not a book with 5 bullet points on how to save your marriage, and it’s not just a sordid tale about an affair.
It’s Shauna’s awe-inspiring story of how she was tossed into a raging sea and came out unscathed and more than that, she came out BETTER FOR IT! It’s about how choosing God and seeing others through his eyes enables us to change ourselves and the hearts of men. It’s about a supernatural forgiveness and the refusal to give up on seemingly broken and hopeless situations.
We face a real enemy who loves to watch us squirm with fear over an impending storm and delights in our unrest and worry when trials come. I’m throwing the bullcrap card and saying that YOU CAN make it through the storms that come your way! I’ve seen it happen with my own two eyes! I am tired of watching the liar steal what doesn’t belong to him…God’s peace & strength are OURS for the taking. We are not always promised an easy life with no hardships but regardless of what your storm is, press on and rest in God’s FIERCE love for you.