As Luck Would Have It
There was something curious about it: Her name was her maiden name. My divorce from my second marriage had finalized a few months prior, and suddenly, there were no chains holding me anywhere.
My curiosity wouldn't let me go. After a little research, I discovered her divorce finalized one day before mine.
That night, I reached out and asked if she wanted to go out and get some burgers. Nothing ventured, nothing gained.
While we didn't get those burgers that night, we did start talking again. Soon after, I started preaching again. It's funny, because when I was in the hospital with COVID-19, I prayed that if God got me out of there, I would go back to working in the church. It didn't even have to be as a minister. If He wanted me to scrub bathrooms, I'd do it gladly.
So, there I was, back in ministry after more than seven years away, and right after the first service, I got a text from her: "You know, I'm only 20 minutes from you."
My son and I arrived right to the place where she was camping. "I better be getting a hug," she said. To paraphrase Eminem, I had "traveled back to the arms of my rightful owner."
We were set in stone that day and have been ever since. At the beginning, there were moments where I thought maybe we had been cheated out of 28 years together, but no longer. After all of the mistakes, sins and bad decisions of my life, I realized that she deserves better than the way I was at 19, 27, 38. I want to be the best version of myself for her, because she deserves nothing less. I can never say about anyone else what I can say about her: that she truly makes me a better man.
"How Can I Forgive My Cheating Partner?" is out now! Annie Lane's second anthology -- featuring favorite columns on marriage, infidelity, communication and reconciliation -- is available as a paperback and e-book. Visit http://www.creatorspublishing.com for more information. Send your questions for Annie Lane to email@example.com.