Ridiculous Redemption




"O happy fault that earned so great, so glorious a Redeemer!”

It was just a few weeks ago that the Church proclaimed these ridiculous words. It is in these words and within that prayer we proclaim what sounds like madness. Thank you, God, that we messed up. Thank you that everything was ruined. In the Easter Vigil Exsultet we rejoice for the Fall because it is in that depth of shame and despair which we could never get out of on our own that we can know the infinitely greater power and love and mercy of a Savior. It is an idea I would have balked at years ago. It has now become one of my favorite prayers.

My husband and I lived (and still are living) a microcosm of these words. There was a time when my world fell. There was a time when I thought my marriage was over, or at least that it would never be something good ever again. Trust was shattered. Relationship broken. The shame was suffocating. I hid. Being blindsided by his sexual addiction can do that to a girl. There was a time when the only thing that stayed my fingers from dialing the lawyer was the thought of my children crippled in the same way I had been years before, a cross of their parents now thrust upon them. There were many days I prayed that God would take both my children and me rather than live another moment in the pain. The loneliness at times was overwhelming. It feels like a lifetime ago now. Exactly the lifetime of my second born son, in fact. God came in a powerful way and brought healing and he has been free of that addiction for thirteen years now. I don't know when I will share more of the story in a public way. The internet can be a brutal place. If God calls me to I will and I often have privately, I owe that much to Him. But I know I can - I must - at least share that we serve a God who can not only heal but can redeem all things.

All things.

I don't know your circumstance. I don't know what has broken you. I can't give you advice or tell you what is going to happen. But I can tell you that God is here. I can tell you that if He can pull us out of the hell we lived through, that He can do the same for you. I can tell you that if you cling to Him there can come a time when not only will He pull you out but you will look back and praise God for that fall because it brought you to a love and hope and plan you never thought possible.

Ridiculous?

It sounds that way to many of you right now. I get that. It feels impossible. It feels dangerous to even think it, let alone say it. It's for other people, you say.

But we have a God who is absolutely outlandish in the love and mercy He pours out over us. A God with enough power over evil that He can bring a greater good out of it than what was even there before. One who calls us to something better than even Eden. And maybe? Maybe He is just a bit ridiculous in how far He will go into the depths of shame, sin, and evil to bring us back to Him and redeem what has been broken. 

We are an Easter people and we are invited to believe in the ridiculous, to place our hope in what seems absurd. A Man (God!) was beaten, tortured, stabbed, bled, suffocated, and was placed deader than dead in a tomb. He came back to life. We have a God who can take the worst evil in history and through it bring about the greatest of goods. A God who brings truth out of scandal, beauty out of horror, and who can not only fix what has been broken but make it even more glorious than before. 

And I believe that if He can do that, then He can come into whatever is broken in you or your life right now and do it for you. Don’t give up.

10 comments

  1. Well, now I understand your devotion to St. Raphael. Raphael means "God heals" and he's the patron saint of marriage. It's good to know your marriage healed and to see you giving hope to others who might be struggling.

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    1. Yes, he was a very powerful intercessor for our marriage at that time. <3

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  2. Thanks so much for sharing! I have a similar experience, after an infidelity very early on in my marriage, I thought it was over but the Lord has made everything new, He has redeemed our marriage and here we are 12 years later, 7 children here and 1 in heaven, and I know that without that suffering, without that happy fault, we wouldn’t know how strong God is, we wouldn’t have experienced so clearly that He is truly victorious over death and sin. I also come from a broken family and I’m so grateful my children won’t have to have that experience by the grace of God
    -Gabriela

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    1. Praise God! Thank you for sharing your story, Gabriela. I pray that by both of us being willing to share, that others in a current similar situation might find hope and fortitude in their struggle.

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  3. Thank you so much!

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  4. Oh wow this hit me deep. I’ve followed your blog since before I had children. I bought your book when I was pregnant with my second child and trying for a vbac (it was successful I think hugely thanks to you). When I was pregnant with my third I found out about my husbands sexual addiction. One that had been going on during our entire marriage and much longer, I had no idea. I never dreamt that would be in the cards for me.
    Like you, I probably wouldve been out that door so quickly if we didn’t have children.
    I scoured the Internet for any catholic mamas with large families looking for someone who had been through this. For someone who came out the other side with a happy marriage still intact. You see, I “follow” a few catholic moms and they all seem to have it together, especially in marriage.
    It’s only been seven months now and sometimes it’s scary to know that we have a whole lifetime left to go for him to fight the temptations that are EVERYWHERE.
    If one day you do feel called to share your story, know you won’t be alone. I’ll be praying for you. You’ve been such an inspiration to me.

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    1. I'm so so sorry for what you've been through and are going through. My heart can feel it. There is so much reason to hope. It's understandable why this isn't something that many people share publicly but it is tragically a huge problem. So many friends and others have confided in me that their husbands have struggled the same way. Everyone reading this has someone they know struggling, even if they aren't aware. You are definitely not alone. I pray you can find someone to talk this through and that God will pour out His healing on your marriage and family. Please email me if you ever want to share more.

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  5. Your post was very moving for me. We’ve had a different struggle in our marriage (infertility) that has often left me feeling like an outsider in the Catholic community. Thank you for being so brave - because I have experienced the most important part of your post, the tender mercy of God, the explosion of transforming grace that comes from uniting yourself to His cross - and more women need to understand that Jesus weeps with you, He is rushing to you, and wants nothing more than to heal you completely. These wounds are so deep, but our Lord came to heal us not someday in Heaven - here, now, and to truly give us life abundantly. Shame still tries to isolate and separate me from Him and the people around me, but I know when I share what I’ve been through, if I can give a little hope to a heart that is broken like mine was, it’s worth the judgement of the rest.

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    1. Amen. Thank you so much for sharing that, Erin. I'm so sorry for what you've gone through but praise God for the way He redeems and invites us to share in that work with Him.

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