The process of letting go of pain can seem like a daunting, if not insurmountable, task. This can be especially true for those of us who are struggling with profound emotional and psychological trauma from a partner’s compulsive sexual behavior. Yet, recently I have discovered my own secret weapon for letting go – the God box.
For more than 14 years of my marriage, the pain would not go away. I struggled to confront the stubborn unwillingness of my pain to leave my heart’s premises. Time after time, trauma after trauma, I wrestled – sometimes in an almost desperate form of mortal combat – with my pain - in the hopes that it would leave, and that my trauma would be gone forever. While I have experienced some degree of healing through the years, my journey has been excruciatingly slow, because I could not fully let go – until now.
Last week, a shift occurred in my healing journey. I placed my glossy workbook down on the couch next to me after reading my support group assignment. In accordance with my usual post workbook reading routine, I contemplated for the hundredth time how unfair it was that while my husband was the one struggling with compulsive sexual behavior, I was the one reeling from the pain of his actions – unable to free myself of it. On what should have been a nice, relaxing Friday night alone, here I was - stuck – sitting on my pumpkin-colored couch completing a workbook on healing from partner sexual addiction trauma. As I thought about my memories and triggers, I began to feel soft, little tears penetrate my stoic face. Oh, how I longed to be brave – or even not to feel anything. I thought of how nice it would be to just be numb for a while. By now my cheeks were wet. Despite my desperate attempts to stay strong, the bravery was fading, and my heart became completely undone.
To subdue the overwhelming sadness, I took one deep, slow breath, but I still couldn’t quite get relief. It was almost as if my breath was cut off by a barrage of emotions that squeezed the life-giving air back out of my lungs. I was hurting, and the pain of a thousand emotions cut deep into my heart. And then I remembered. I had just read about the God box.
Suddenly, through my tears, I felt compelled to create one. I rushed into my bedroom, searched high and low, and found a beautiful jewelry box decorated with gold, green, and lavender butterflies. It spoke to me of the metamorphosis of my soul through the healing journey and seemed appropriate for the occasion. I frantically grabbed a pen and began to write what I thought and felt. “Broken dreams”…”sadness”…”anger”…”betrayal”…these were just a few of the many words and phrases that poured out of my heart, and as I wrote each one down, I let it go. I placed the tiny pieces of paper in my God box, and, to my surprise, a sense of calm embraced me. I felt peace. It was a tangible, life-giving way to surrender my pain, my fears, and my trauma to a God who never intended for me to keep them.
It was a long time coming, but I did it. I let go of everything in my God box, and every day since, I have used my God box as my tool of surrender. Finally, I am moving into a place of freedom and peace in my healing journey. Like the butterfly, I am transforming into the beautiful, free, and graceful masterpiece of God’s hands – full of purpose and hope for the future.