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Hope after Wife’s Confession of Affair

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“I don't think I had a real hug for three years,” John Beeson recalled. “I don't think I had a real kiss. Like, I don' the way she spoke to me was like, ‘you're my roommate now.’” 

Before John and Angel married, Angel knew exactly what kind of man she wanted to spend her life with, a pastor. She says, “I knew that if I found a man who would love Jesus, he would know how to love me. Like somehow along the line, like I just had it in my core that if he loved God, he could love me.”

The two married and started a family while he was in seminary. John became a pastor and gladly took on every role church leadership assigned him. He said, “And I was just so eager to finally do what I felt like I had been made to do, what I've been called to do. My identity really had become rooted in that place of being a pastor. Things were great in my marriage. I'd invested a lot there already. We can push pause there, right? I can now try to tend this new wife, right? This new partner that I had. One of those wives that I had was much more demanding than the other. Let's guess who it was, right? It was the church and so Angel, our kids really kind of got the leftovers.”

“The one who was supposed to be my protector and the one who brought me comfort and, joy, right? And security just, I just felt was leaving me,” shared Angel. “If this is what ministry is, God, like I want nothing to do with it because this is too much for me. And that was the moment then that I just, I would say is when I just shut the door on Jesus and opened a beautiful French door to the enemy into my heart.”

“I knew the day that she went dark spiritually, she went ice cold toward God,” John recalled. “She went ice cold toward me.” Angel confirmed, “I just said, 'okay, I'm done. Like, I'm gonna do me when I wanna do me.'" 

Angel turned her back on God and pulled away from John emotionally. She found the attention she longed for at the gym. She began having an affair with her personal trainer. She remembered, “Not only do I feel bad for what I have done, like I now hate myself. I am completely worthless. I'm, that there's no value in here. Like I am the biggest hypocrite. What's the point? Why try? And so I just gave myself to whoever wanted me.”
Overwhelmed with guilt, Angel eventually confessed the affair to John, but her heart remained hard. John kept the affair private. He admitted, “If I share this, if I force this to the table, what happens then to who I am, a pastor, right? Does that just all go away? And so that definitely fed into my fears and my cowardice.”

It wasn’t long before Angel had another affair. The spiritual turmoil she lived with consumed her life. She said, “I can't keep living this lie because I am dying inside and this is not who You created me to be. And so I am just praying for brokenness.”

While on a Christian retreat, in the middle of worship she began to shake uncontrollably. Angel said, “And John looked at me and he was like, ‘Are you okay?’ And I said, ‘No, I'm not okay. I have something I have to confess.’ And I just confessed at that point that I had been having affair.”

John remembered, “I just felt sick. And yet at the same time, I felt hopeful for the first time, like as Angel shared then and continued to share throughout that night, I was like, my wife is finally back. Like those dead eyes were finally alive. What held me there was actually the spirit of God granting in me deep compassion and love for my wife. Like a renewed love, a restored love. In some ways, I would say kind of a clearer, Godlier love for her than I'd ever experienced before.”

Together they began a two-year process of reconciliation and forgiveness with counseling: confessing every sin and misplaced priority. Angel said, “This was the prayer of my heart, 'If there's anything in the dark, Lord, bring it to the light. No matter the cost, bring it to the light. I want nothing, nothing to get in the way of You getting glory in my life and of me stepping in Your will. Have mercy on me. Don't forsake me, don't leave me, don't leave us. Restore this. You can do it. It's in your power. I'm giving you my all Jesus. I don't wanna die rejecting you.'”

With their marriage restored and their priorities in order, John continues to pastor with Angel by his side, thankful for God’s love and forgiveness. “We celebrated 23 years together yesterday,” John said. “I know what a treasure I have in Angel. I know what a treasure I have and I would give up pastoring in a heartbeat for her if that's what I needed to do.”

“Jesus sings and dances over me and He delights in me, and my sin, my guilt, my shame is covered by the blood of Christ,” said Angel. “And so, you have freedom to think whatever you want about me. But I'm not gonna let that define me because Jesus does. And He's happy with me and that's good enough for me.”

John said, “Yes, I am ambitious for God's kingdom. I'm ambitious for His church. I'm ambitious for...for the things of the Lord. But that ambition has to be greatest for my wife. She's the first, most important thing I've been given to steward and then my kids and then the church.”

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