I wish we were sitting face to face, over a cup of coffee so you could hear the sorrow and grief in my voice as I share this news with you.
As many of you know, I experienced great loss in 2010 when my dad passed away and then 5 months later, my younger sister Melissa passed away. In 2014 I experienced another loss….I had a miscarriage. On May 5, 2014 my mom passed away.
Today, as I look at my childhood family vacation photos, I am the only one left living, this side of Heaven.
Another recent loss was the Red Caboose, our coffee + frozen yogurt shop, which was purchased and shut down in May 2018.
Great grief, heartache and loss has brought me to my knees more in these past 8 years. When I find myself thinking “its not supposed to be this way. Haven’t I been through enough already?”….I am reminded that this journey is not my own. And pain truly is our microphone.
The evening of November 16, 2017, when I was blindsided, has truly become the worst day of my life.
Seven months ago, I learned that my husband, life partner, business partner, father of my children, Reed Trontel, has been repeatedly unfaithful to me with a 27 year year old realtor in our small town, bringing an end to our marriage of almost 13 years. My heart in sharing this information is not to harm or shame Reed, but to help explain the absence of his presence in my social media feed and blog posts. And if you’re local…..this is why you haven’t seen us out as a family. Private messages and emails have been sent to me almost daily since Christmas and rightfully so, as I have been a blogger/ influencer for over 12 years and have openly shared my life online.
I made the decision not to divorce Reed when I found out about his infidelity. I was committed to doing everything possible for our story to be one of restoration and a great come back story, even in the midst of the worst kind of betrayal in a marriage. This decision was not easy, but built on prayer and wise counsel from pastors, family and friends who have loved and believed in us from the very beginning. Deep down in my heart, I also knew this would be the way my own parents would have guided me.
When I found his burner phone in December I immediately contacted our counselor and we prayed……and I replied to his mistress as if I were addressing my own daughter, who was playing with fire. All the words that would normally come to mind in regards to a mistress, believe it or not- would not be found in this text. I simply asked her to leave my husband alone.
When the mistress aggressively continued to deceitfully pursue my husband, I decided to contact her mother, as she still lives at home and is employed by her parents. It was actually her mother’s response that truly made me question where I live. I know this world is not our home, but it was in her response “so, what do you expect me to do about it?” I was shocked……and I knew right then and there that I was dealing with pure evil.
We clocked hours and hours of counseling between November 16th and December 21st. Reed even booked flights for us to escape to San Diego for Christmas…..to invest in our relationship, but 48 hours before we were to depart, Reed told me that he didn’t want our marriage to work out and that the kids and I should just head to Boise to spend Christmas with my family.
In January, Reed filed for divorce. I was served divorce papers, while drinking coffee at the Caboose. Even still…….I was committed to fighting for our marriage.
I believe I have the capacity to love and forgive Reed, our marriage verse was 1 John 4:19, which I had engraved in his wedding band: We Love Because He First Loved Us.
How can I not forgive?
I am a forgiven and loved child of God, who doesn’t deserve a seat at the table…..but I do. Not just a seat, but my name is on it. So, how do I not extend that same offering? It’s hard as hell. But as my soul is heavy with sorrow, God’s Word has been my strength, my saving grace……because tucked inside the pages are testimonies that help us through our own battles.
The Gospel has become so tangible to me these past 7 months. It’s in my face. So loud and clear. It’s scandalous. It’s messy. It’s black and white. It’s about laying down our lives and our preference. It’s a true story of betrayal, forgiveness, death and love…..and in the end……the ultimate come back story in all of history. Even in my own nightmare, God is still good. He sits on the thrown. His eye is on me. This was not a surprise to Him. No persons rejection of me can ever exempt me from the love of God.
Additional losses are in the very near future for my children and I, including our home and our car. In the midst of being forced to make these kinds of financial decisions the betrayal continues to run so deep. I was made aware that my mother-in-law [who just so happens to be a counselor] recently listed her home with Reeds mistress. The additional loss of family members has added to the hurt. This is the kind of crap you see on tv. Behaviors get excused in the name of wanting people “to be happy” in the end…..not thinking about the devastation the act of infidelity and divorce really has on the spouse and children. It’s unbelievable. The heart is meant to be led, not to be followed.
Sadly, I have repeatedly forgiven and accepted Reed back, but he continues to betray, be unfaithful and dishonest with me.
After much prayer and counsel from wise, biblically-minded mentors, I have decided that Reed has truly abandoned our marriage. I have handed this over. This is in the Lords hands. I need to step out of the way. I will continue to seek counsel towards my own healing, while praying and believing for the Lord’s will and way in all of this.
I will not lose heart. Giving up in life has never been an option for me….and will not be an option now. As my pastor spoke over me 7 months ago…..”this will not take you down.” I believe in the power of prayer. I believe in miracles. The Lord has been so so good to me and I believe He will do it again. Whatever that may be. Whatever that looks like.
This season has been heavy and burdensome, yet I have peace. I am grateful for the mentors in my life who are committed to helping me heal and move forward.
Never did I see D-I-V-O-R-C-E or single motherhood being part of my story. I have avoided sharing this with you as I wanted so badly to skip over the broken and ugly part of this nightmare and jump straight to a celebration. Everyone loves a great comeback story. But it’s in the raging storms that we grow so much in wisdom and understanding. And it’s in the brokenness that God meets us where we are, restoring us and makes things new. He is in all the seasons. He is in all the details.
“I would have lost heart, unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.” Psalm 27:13 This is one of many verses that I am clinging to in this deep grief my children and I are now walking through.
Please pray for me. Please pray for Ezra and Imogene. And yes, please pray for Reed.