July 21st will always be a special day. It was an evening years ago that I discovered an awful truth of betrayal that broke me to my core. My husband was having an affair with someone I barely knew but trusted. In the weeks that followed they sustained their relationship and I remember at one point realizing I was never going to be the same again.

I was so broken and lost. It was an awful moment, but my friend Allison said, “You’re right you won’t ever be the same you, but you will be someone better and stronger and you will just have to get to know the new you in time.”

July 21st used to bring feelings of sickness and pain but over time and through a beautiful journey of discovering a renewed me and finding love within forgiveness, I’m a better me, a stronger me. That was five years ago and things are much different now. My daughter is older, the two of them are now married, and she is my friend. We have a unique but amazing family and I thank God everyday that I do not have to raise my daughter alone. Not everyone understands the special relationship my daughter’s stepmom and I have but that is ok. It may not be perceived as “normal” but if “normal” is to hold on to feelings of bitterness and pain, I don’t want “normal.” I would much rather have love.

July 21st now feels more like a day to reflect and be grateful for God’s hand rather than a day that spawns painful memories. Truth is, the pain never goes away, it just feels different. Everything starts with a choice, a choice to want to get better and then letting God take you on that journey which begins with forgiveness and letting go. The journey is long, never ending, and hard. But it’s completely worth it.

Make the choice, and then pray. You are never alone.