This spring, Proverbs 31 Ministries leader Lysa TerKeurst shocked the Christian community with news that she had filed for divorce from her husband, Art, after nearly 25 years of marriage, due to his infidelity. She shared how they had been in counseling for nearly two years, but that he refused to repent and give up his affair, so she was finally seeking divorce. The shock in the Christian community was huge, but can you imagine how fierce and devastating the shock must have been to the TerKeurst’s own children when they found out about their dad’s affair? Lysa and Art’s daughter, Ashley TerKeurst Hodges, revealed just how devastating it was this week on a guest blog post for Sadie Robertson’s blog, Live Original.
In the article, entitled, When Good Goes Bad, Hodges details her past relationship with both her parents. Though she was close with both, she says, she and her dad Art “had a special bond. We are like twins. Everyone always told me I was the girl vision of my dad.” When she found out about his affair, she herself had been married only 4 months, and her happy world was rocked. She says her reaction was:
“There’s no way this is true.”
“No, like you don’t understand… I know that’s not true… my dad would NEVER do that.”
When she came to terms with the fact that this nightmare was indeed, actually, happening, Ashley said her dad’s infidelity immediately caused problems in her own young marriage. She says, “Imagine this – the father you trusted your life with for 20 years breaks your trust in the worst way possible. How the heck was I supposed to now trust David?” She goes on to say that she and her husband David got “great counseling” where she “learned that he is not my dad” and “has never given me a reason not to trust him.” She goes on to say something OH so true: in this life, we WILL suffer the consequences of other people’s sins, and it will be HARD and heartbreaking. “…my Dad’s choices didn’t just bring consequences into his life…. he brought very hard realities into all of our lives,” she admits.
After revealing how her dad’s affair had devastated her personally, Hodges dives into how her faith in Christ is keeping her afloat during this devastating time. She says she wrote the article to encourage others who are going through the unthinkable, saying”
“I want to share how I am dealing with and surviving the pain in hopes that it helps you too…I know your heart is so heavy, and it’s a constant fight just to keep it together, but I PROMISE you’re going to be okay. You’re so much stronger than you think you are…
When we have no more strength, we must rely on God and His strength to handle it on our behalf – and he delights in this. Now, I don’t believe God brings pain and chaos in our world, but I do think He allows it for multiple reasons.
One of the reasons being to bring him glory and shame Satan back to Hell where he belongs.”
Hodges’ words were such an encouragement to me today! I haven’t gone through what she’s going through, but I KNOW this life will not be without pain! Christ doesn’t promise us a life free of hardship, but he DOES promise to be with us in the MIDDLE of it, and that is the beautiful thing that Hodges, her mom, and siblings are discovering now. In her article, Ashley talks about the sufferings of Job, and what she’s learned through studying the Bible and walking with God through her own experience:
“Where there is impossible pain, God always offers incredible power.”
I hope her words during this incredibly painful time gives you strength as well, and I hope you’ll read her beautiful, hope-filled article at Live Original. Thank you Ashley, for sharing something so personal and painful with all of us!