About the Author

Angie is the proud wife of Todd Smith of Selah, and the blessed mommy to Abby, Ellie, Kate, Charlotte, and Audrey Caroline, who passed away the day she was born, April 7th, 2008. Angie was inspired to write Audrey's story, and began the blog www.audreycaroline.blogspot.com in honor of her. You...

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  1. Thank you! This was the exact perspective I needed to be reminded of. Like you, it’s not an affair, but priorities that become misaligned; it’s wanting to follow God’s will so closely that I “miss the race” of the day He has set before me. What a blessed post! But for grace we could all be in the same situation as your sweet friend.

  2. We’re all broken, imperfect beings, and sometimes I think it’s a miracle if any of us can get along with each other for any length of time. Thank you for reminding me that we must cultivate the things that matter in this life and resist letting the small things cloud our vision and deceive us into focusing on things that don’t last.

  3. This. Yes.

    I am amazed by how timely our God is, and how much more I notice it when I am walking with Him. Just this week He made it clear to me that there are things I need to let go so that I can focus on the things that matter. So, among other things, I am taking a blogging break. I need my priorities in line before I can return with a heart that is completely His.

    Thanks for even more confirmation. 🙂

  4. Sad story, with very real circumstances. Thanks for sitting with your friend, sharing this with us, putting into perspective the decisions we make.
    There is a wall in our home with wedding photos on it; ours, our 2 daughters with their hubbies, and 2 word art mattes. One says “true love is a friendship set on fire” and the other says “a happy marriage is the union of 2 good forgivers”.
    We are imperfect, every one of us, but we learn to forgive because He has forgiven us much.
    Praying for you, your friends, us here, and the choices we make. His love covers all…

  5. I am uplifted in these early minutes of a new day, by your example. So many truths are contained within your words: Truth #1–Sometimes the Spirit calls us to minister by just being, and listening. Not talking, but listening–praying the whole time we are listening. Truth #2–Marriages pulse in waves of strength and mess, but despite our faultedness in our private lives, we can still be instruments of encouragement and by God’s grace, hearts and hands of His Son to others. Truth #3–Wrestling with priorities is a life work. I struggle with this so much now (always have!). My biggest struggle at the moment?…When my school principal says the district expects more of me as a contributor to the district as a whole, and I sit there, knowing that most of the time I’ll still say “no.” I have spent 12 years trying to balance work with family and any daily ministries God calls me to, and have deliberately drawn lines that prevent me from giving 150 percent to my job–because that 50 percent is God’s, and because of Him, it’s my family’s– my children’s, my husband’s, my mom’s and dad’s. But sometimes, the pressure makes me doubt. Thank you for your encouragement to keep drawing the lines and investing myself in the eternal.

  6. Thank you for this reminder! I definitely needed to hear it. It’s, funny just the other day I wrote a very similar story called girlfriends. Please take a look if you’d like. Blessings and love – natalie

  7. You have a gift of listening. To be still and listen is so hard. Thank you for sharing this. You speak truth here. Marriage is full of good and just as full of the ugly. We’re sinful people, so it will always be a struggle. It’s so worth it, though.

  8. beautiful post Angie ~ very honest ~ love that

    i think we go through different stages in our marriages as we grown and change, each in our own way ~ our struggles are always going to be there, but our fighting through is what makes the relationship stronger and stronger ~ our minds are a battlefield but in the end Love does win ~ there’s no use thinking about the future and what could be, because the greatest gifts are in the journey and the day to day happenings

  9. we walk through life thinking “it” won’t happen to us. whatever “it” is. and then when it’s so close, it’s a wake-up call. taking time to pray right now for my marriage and my friends’ and family’s marraiges….thank you for this post.

  10. I came out of an abusive marriage through divorce. When I married again it was to a great guy. The only thing was, in my mind I knew I was not worthy of him and that he would leave me eventually. Once I got my mind-set figured out, we were able to make our marriage last. A large part of it was due to his commitment to our covenant. I did have to realize where I was headed though so that I didn’t sabotage our marriage. We each have to decide what is important and then select a course that shows our decision.

    • Sorry if this posts twice, I hit a wrong button. But thank you for sharing this, especially the part about sabotaging yourself. I’m not struggling in my marriage, but I’m starting to realize that certain mindsets I have may be sabotaging some of my greatest hopes, and taking me further away from the Lord’s plans for me. Thank you!

  11. Thank you giving voice to this pain and the healing – and eye-opening– that can come through the hurt.

    This –>
    ” I just want to feel like my priorities are right. I want to believe I’m putting the weight of my life where God most desires it. I don’t want to neglect what’s important because there was something else that demanded my attention.
    I don’t want to run after something and then realize I was missing the entire race.”

    Puts words to exactly where I’ve felt very convicted by God as I look at my life lately.
    Thank you, Angie.

  12. I’ve thought of this so many times. Our marriage has never been stronger or sweeter, but it’s not invincible. Every day is a constant effort of giving him my heart, and making sure I have his. Even now, someone close to us is dealing with the situation of infidelity (which came out on Valentine’s Day of all days!) and it is truly heart-breaking. I pray that God will water our marriage, and I believe that He has. It’s so important that we keep our priorities in order. Thanks for the reminder!!

  13. Respectfully, kindly, never say never. It can happen to you. That kind of “he would never do it to me” overconfidence gets people in trouble. It also feels like a slap in the face to those of us who have thought “not me, never” and the affair happened. Refine us.org is probably the best resource I have seen out there for recovery. What about porn? Same “not us, never” attitude? 1Cor 10:12 whoever thinks he is standing securely should watch out so he doesn’t fall. While it is true that not every single husband (or wife) will fail morally, we live with broken people and denial is not helpful. Lots of pain out there…..

    • Thanks for saying this because I was going to say it too. I just don’t believe it anymore, that certain people “would never” do this or that because they just aren’t that kind of person. I’ve seen things happen I never dreamed of and I myself have done things no one, including myself, would ever think possible. Every time I hear someone say “I would never cheat” or “my husband would never…” I wince and pray that the Spirit truly does protect them from those circumstances that would cause them to stumble. RefineUs.org is truly a God ordained resource and there are others.

      Thanks for this, Angie, because we all need to be reminded of our roles as wives and also as a friend of the hurting. Even as we work to make sure our priorities are right, let’s also pray for the Lord’s protection over our husbands.

  14. Thank you, Angie. This is now the 3rd thing I’ve seen or read in the last 24 hours and the I-don’t-know-what-number in the last week that God has put this issue in my path.

    The things I wrestle with…

    Is blogging and all that comes with it edifying? Sure, there are absolutely good things, but am I missing the best things for the good? Is the jealousy, envy, comparing and coveting I face on a seemingly daily basis, a sin to overcome with Christ’s strength or a sin to flee from entirely? Is this hobby/job/opportunity enhancing my life or taking from it? Does it draw me closer to the One that matters or do I have a quiet time so I can “check Him off my list” (and hope that He’ll bless me for it) but anxiously move on to the computer which is what I really want anyway? Am I addicted to the accolades, the lovely comments, the pats on the back measured in pageviews and follower numbers? How long will I talk about wanting to be present with my children instead of actually taking real steps to make that happen? Do I love money? Is my husband someone that I give to selflessly or do I just want him to make it all “work” for me?

    Is my soul well?

  15. We have walked a tough road and there were times…there are times I wake up not feeling a whole lotta love…but we are committed to the committment…and boy that is not easy. I have hurt, I have been hurt….sin infects our marriages as it infects us….thank you for this post, your honesty. We have used our tough road as an almost ministry…I am a bit of an open book and as soon as you say to just about anyone this marriage thing is hard and full of hurt sometimes ,you get a lot of Amens…….
    Oh should say there is no one in this world whom I love so intensely, who makes me laugh ,who shares my values ,who I would rather share life with..even when it hurts!!!

  16. Keeping things real and keeping perspective is what we can do for each other and I so appreciate you sharing this story and helping us keep priorities in line. Even if we think we have it all lined up right, often times God can show us differently. What is important to Him, is not always how we are living or what we think is important. A constant struggle to keep my role in the home one with glorifies God and keeps my attention where it needs to be. It is a daily struggle….

  17. Sweet Angie… thanks for this reminder! One little fight, leads to another, and more hurt and………….. none of us are exempt and we all need to cultivate healing in our marriages. If we don’t, who knows what is next. Thanks girl!

    Love, Traci @ Ordinary Inspirations

  18. It’s been over 3 years since I sat where your friend sat. I am thankful for the women who listened, prayed for and walked along side me during the most difficult and heart wrenching time of my life. Praying for restoration if possible and he is willing and for God’s healing of this family. Praying for her heart and the grief of the loss she is suffering through. It’s cataclysmic.

  19. so powerful angie …i too have had a conversation similar with a friend and wondered how on earth & why this friend had to go through such a trial…
    beautifulu reminder of how to live each day

  20. Infidelity became a part of my story – or at least I became aware that it was – almost exactly two years ago. The pain was raw and gripping (still is in rare moments – especially when my children are hurting), but I was blessed with friends who prayed with and for me and reminded me, frequently, to crawl up in the lap of my Abba Father and let him heal my hurts…and He has. He has brought me to a place where I am stronger because of what He has taught me in the midst of life’s struggles, where I spend more time focusing on what is important rather than what is demanding, and where my first desire – at least most of the time – is for my life to beautiful because it is more His than mine. Thank you for being so transparent in sharing your life with us and encouraging us along the way.

  21. Beautiful post, Angie – what a wonderful friend you are. And yes, how difficult as we navigate each day to wonder who or what we’re really serving – when in all cases it should be our God. Prayers and blessings to you and all your readers this day – asking God and His heavenly angels to protect us and guide us – and praying that His Holy Spirit will fill us so that we might know His holy will. God bless you.

  22. Thank you for so many wonderful affirmations! The power of presence and listening is quite simply transformative. And this:” I realized that it was more than a conversation. It was an awakening.” ability to open your heart through the words to look within and apply the wisdom internally, is wonderful! And this:” I don’t want to run after something and then realize I was missing the entire race.”..is exactly how I feel when I allow deadlines and work appointments (just this once) to cut into my precious quality time with my children and my own silent time in nature.
    Thank you for reminding me of what is truly important!

  23. “What am I cultivating?
    My marriage, or my platform?
    My children, or my blog?
    My home, or my credentials?
    My heart, or my God’s?”

    May I write these words on paper & hang them in my “me” spaces?

    These words are from God to me through your post.

    Thank you, Angie.

  24. This was such an encouragement to me today. I feel very safe in my marriage and I know I take a lot for granted. But it can happen to anyone. I feel very motivated now to work harder at it, pray more for it, and show the gratefulness I feel. Thank you for this post.

  25. I am thinking your story would sound quite different if you had been sitting in her chair (if you say your husband would chop off a limb and you wouldn’t think of it you may still be in a holier-than-thou/your-friend place and hope you did not say that to her) so I am happy that you say you did not judge her or her husband and pray you never have to walk in her shoes. Hopefully they will grow so much past the hurt they will forget and will instead look at their renewal as a place where they’ve grown and never need be reminded of any past hurts, whatever they may be, in their marriage… They will have both humbleness along with faith and fidelity in their relationship.

    • honestly, the point is that we all think it could never happen to us, and of course it can. that’s what i was trying to say 🙂 i just wanted to make it clear that i wasn’t accusing todd of anything!

      and, yes, i believe that one of satan’s greatest tricks is convincing us that we are immune-i certainly don’t feel that way. thank you for your thoughts and for the opportunity to allow me to clarify…

      angie

  26. Thanks for sharing this post with us today, Angie!
    It inspiires me to take time to listen to a friend – let the coffee get cold – have compassion for another!
    Blessings today to you,
    Emily

  27. Never say never….I thought that there was once thing I could say he would never do/say and my worst nightmare came true, but not in a way I thought it would. It has been a hard difficult road since then. So many times I said, “Now what?” I still don’t have answers.

    Thank you for being honest.

    It really comes down to: marriage is REALLY hard and how will I bring honor and glory to the Lord today?

  28. Sometimes life can get in the way of our marriage and family priorities. We have job stress, life struggles, etc.

    I would truly recommend watching the movie “Courageous” with a special someone. It is a great Christian movie–made by same people that made Fireproof. The focus becomes family, Christian virtues & how to balance that with everyday life.
    My hubby and I cried throughout the movie.

    Praying for you all out there! May God restore & bless you & your marriages!

  29. Angie,
    I have been the one sitting across from you and I was so very very grateful for the person across from me who just listened. Not once, but many times over the course of the last 4 years! She has been the one to listen, to respond, to encourage, to pray for, to correct and rebuke me if needed, and the list could go on! God orchestrated my first meeting with her and gave me courage to speak openly and honestly with her because he knew the friendship that would grow between us. Thank you for being someone your friend trusted with her frail heart that morning. Being able to trust someone with such deep hurt is sometimes so incredibly hard. Luckily like your friend, I too have a friend I can trust with my deepest hurts.

  30. so true for those who said “never say never”. Timely post for those of us in the trenches. Praying His glory shines through all of this!

  31. I know your friend’s hurt so very personally and I can honestly say that I think about my friend’s marriages a lot. I am burdened to keep them from being unaware of the lurking dangers.
    I, too, never thought it would happen. Even up until the day I found out, I thought we had a rock solid marriage. We even prayed together daily. Followed all the rules. But the enemy is crafty and NO marriage is safe.
    I’m thankful for your post. Praying along side you that many will cling to God as the only answer to the inevitable trials of marriage.

  32. Thank you for sharing. Like others who have commented, it is not my marriage that is being tested, but my priorities. Somewhere I heard that “the good things in life are the enemies of the best things in life,” and I have been wrestling, seeking God’s plan for me and mine. Your words will become my prayer as I ask God to show me where he desires me to put my weight down. Oh, that our egos don’t get in the way of hearing His perfect will.

  33. Wow…. you’re writing has touched me deeply. Thank you so much for expressing such heartfelt sentiment with such beautiful words. I too have experienced many a cold coffee as I’ve sat LISTENING to a friend sharing something that was heavy on her heart, and likewise, it has made me realize time and again that I do not want to be the running after something and realize that I missed the entire race. So often I dance back n forth across the line of having to achieve big goals by yesterday versus embracing the everyday joys of laundry, dish washing, meal preparation, and insignificant comments exchanged with my teenage son regarding what’s new on Sports Center. It’s such a fine line that we can miss completely if we’re not conscious of it, so thanks for refocusing my intentions to the small, but hugely important, things that constitute the real race. Blessings to you over your cup of cold coffee.

  34. Sad reminder to tend the fire of our marriages! Trouble catches us when we are least expecting it (even in marriage). I feel confident in the relationship between my hubby & I but I know….ANYTHING can happen to ANYONE!!
    Over our 23 years of marriage, we’ve managed to be as foolish as we possibly could get in some of the silliest of ways–dumb arguments, power struggles, financial disasters, parenting disagreements, ADHD filled decisions, selfish thinking and many other immature behaviors. Thankfully, for us….God was always our center. He & I both knew, we were incapable of ever making it work without Christ as our Head!
    I owe God every bit of the honor for my happy home and marriage.

    It hurts to see other families torn apart by sin. There isn’t anything to big for God to handle. He is the ultimate heart healer! <3

  35. Your statement, “putting the weight of my life where God wants it” jumped out at me. I began to think about the last three months when I have become a care-giver for my husband. We have been to many Doctors and have been told he will have to have a hip replacement because his right hip has disintegrated.
    He is sleepy a lot of the time because of pain meds. Without use, the muscles in his legs have gone to absolutely nothing and he has dwindled down to 142 pounds. We have given up much of our life for the time being even to going to church. It has taken some time now for us to prepare for this operation and it seems the Doctors are taking their time also.
    As we wait I wonder, “What if I can’t get back to what I was doing when we finish this time period”? We have prayer together and I keep in touch with my church friends. I try to read the bible and I continue to have friends bring bulletins to the house so I can mail them to shut-ins. I am now one of those shut-ins.
    Perhaps God is preparing me for a ministry with shut-ins beyond just sending bulletins, but I feel I am losing ground. It is as if I am losing the muscle in my spiritual body.

  36. My marriage has been rocked by infidelity, and up until the day my husband confessed to me, I would have said the same thing. “He would chop off a limb before he’d have an affair, ” and I would have believed that with every single fiber of my being. The only reason I write this is to emphasize that Satan would love nothing more than to mess up a good, Christian marriage. I believe that is one of his chief goals. It messes people up, it messes up their witness, it messes up their lineage, and on and on.
    Ladies, please hear me on this one, make your marriage your first ministry. Not your only ministry, many of us are called to minister to others in many and varied ways, but the way you can do that best is to make your marriage your first ministry.
    My husband and I have walked through infidelity to the other side by the strength and grace of God. It is beautiful on the other side, but the walk was the most painful thing I’ve ever experienced.

  37. oh angie…what a real and truth filled post. i JUST had this conversation with a friend the other day….I love my husband…I love our marriage…I trust him and he trusts me, but we are fools to believe we are immune. We need to be on guard and praying every day for our marriages ESPECIALLY when I see soooo many falling around me.

  38. I went through the “It could never happen to me” a year ago. In the words of everyone we knew, we were the “perfect couple”. I thought so too…if it can happen to me it can happen to anyone. My story ended in divorce and I have struggled hard to rebuild not only for myself but for my four beautiful children. I LOVE this website and the blogs…you ladies are such an encouragement!! It has helped to heal my aching heart.

  39. Angie,
    I first of all want to say thank you for listening to your friend. I secondly want to thank you for how you open your heart to God. Praise and Glory is His, for how you reach out and touch our hearts and stir our souls with His word. Thirdly, I want to encourage you to press on. Continue to be vunerable for Him.

    We serve a risen Saviour. Peace.

  40. Having been on the other side of the table from someone like you, I can say that I will be eternally grateful to the person who was listening to me. We are almost 2 years out from hubs affair and some days it is still hard. We are working together and determined to make it work (for me there is no other option I meant every word when I said till death do us part). Sometimes a listening ear, a hug, and an “I’ll be praying for you” are just what we need. I know for me personally the affair is what brought me to Jesus.

  41. I am your friend. And you listened. You prayed with me and encouraged me.

    But then when things didn’t dramatically improve and my husband stayed but won’t reconnect and I struggled with doubting God and my faith and I could barely make it… You no longer were interested. God didn’t make everything better quickly and you can’t handle that I’m still in pain. Not only have I lost hope, you have too. I’m so sorry that God didn’t answer our prayers for my marriage the way we wanted, but please don’t drop me as your friend. I’m so alone – my husband won’t talk to me about anything and now you won’t either.

    We all love a story of answered prayer and victory over sin and brokenness. But we can’t handle it when God doesn’t heal right away… when there isn’t a glorious reconciliation… when life continues to be hurtful and messy…

    Even when I found out – I couldn’t believe my husband had done it. Absolutely no way. I could believe the Pope or Billy Graham or John Piper or whoever… I couldn’t believe my husband. It was romantic and sweet and mindblowingly physical and “soul mate” and “it should have been you I was married to all these years” and “I’ll love your children and care for them” and romantic hotel weekends and everything you can think of kind of affair. And I didn’t have a clue except that he was going through a very stressful, busy time in his work and ministry and I was so supportive and sympathetic so he could work the late hours and be on the phone and computer at night and have meetings out of town… I covered for him with the children who missed him and people who were offended by his lack of time for them… I was the ideal wife and he used that to cover his affair. And now he can only say it was “stupid” and a “mistake” and “what’s your problem” and “why can’t you get over it”… His body is home but not his heart. And there is no communication beyond how the kids are doing with schoolwork and if the repairman came today. I’m dying dying dying inside and seeking God with every fiber of my being and praying and devouring the Word and my marriage is hanging by a thread… and you don’t want to talk to me unless I have a positive word of victory. I tell you the verses that encourage me but I can no longer tell you that in my secret heart I believe God has abandoned me. Because you can’t handle failure and pain.

    I know you secretly believe your husband would never do this. I see in your eyes that you believe I somehow caused this to happen. You don’t like my husband anymore (well, I don’t either) and I wonder if you weren’t jealous of our rock-solid marriage and my husband’s success in his secular job and his Christian ministry on the side. I never bragged about it but was so thankful for God’s goodness to us. And now my life is the nightmare no woman believes can happen to her. I love you and understand. I miss you.

    • My heart breaks because I understand your story very well. It is hard to pray and keep looking for faith in the situation when you are alone in your desire for complete restoration in the marriage. I am three years out from the affair and beginning to wonder is this all there is. I lost a lot of friends because they did not get “the scoop” and the full story. I lost even more when I did not have a happy ending within six months. I lost another when my husband turned to drugs to escape the realities of his sin . . .

  42. I was just journaling about this today. I am striving and racing after perfection in every other “temporary” area in my life-being perfectly fit, healthy, perfect clean home, perfect healthy food, perfect in my teaching at the gym. Yet, I am “missing the race”, not living for Christ, for others, my husband, my baby boy, I am living for myself and it is so draining. I want life to the full that Jesus offers us when I gave my life to him, I am not taking hold of it but letting go daily, wasting the days he gives me, the precious moments. Oh Abba, draw me near to you! Thank you Angie for this reminder. Have a blessed day!