Hope, Encouragement, Love, and Direction for Women and marriages wounded by sexual sin.

I am your God. I will strengthen you; I will help you;
I will uphold you with My victorious right hand.~ Isaiah 41:10

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Our Story

It is with great humility, and in attempt to honor my God and my husband, that I relay to you the story of the greatest transformation that I have seen with my own eyes; The transformation of not only a man and a woman, but of a marriage, a family, a story, and a ministry in the making. It is a transformation that can only be attributed to the Lord Jesus and it is one that I believe he wants to use for his glory, to help transform the lives of those who hear of his great love, gentleness, healing, and power. I hope the account of this transformation encourages you and gives you hope. 
This blog is dedicated to ministering to all those who have faced, or are facing pain in their marriage due to sexual sin. There is Healing, Encouragement, Love, and Direction to be found. It is found when you are HELD in the loving and capable hands of Jesus. 
Dear Lord, I pray for all who read this blog, that you would begin the process of healing the wounds in their hearts and marriages.  I thank you that your love for us is endless, that you know every tear that we have shed, you know every secret that we try to keep locked away, and you know our greatest fears.  I thank you that not only do you know them, but you desire to draw near to us and hold us when we are unable to stand anymore. You desire to show us how to move forward into wholeness. I pray for blessing and protection to cover every marriage. I pray you give us the courage to change when we have to, and to trust you in all things. I pray for eyes to be opened to the things that wound you and wound our spouse. Give us humility to admit that we cannot do anything in our own strength. You took every sin upon yourself when you sacrificed your life on the cross for us. You do not wring your hands and worry when we choose sin or when the ones we love wound us with their sin. Your love protects, hopes, and sets our feet on a solid rock. God thank you for loving us, for choosing us, and calling us your children, we are yours and we know you will never hesitate to come to our rescue when we call to you. We need you and we trust in your power to transform our lives, our marriages, and our families. Give us wisdom and strength as we move forward toward healing. 
God is so good to his children. That he can transform the heart of a man and bring him from the deepest darkest pits of sexual addiction to a life of freedom and spiritual maturity amazes me. But even more than the journey that God has brought my husband through, I am in awe of the transformation in my own life. 
When Ray first told me about his infidelity and sexual addiction 7 years ago, I remember feeling ill. It is funny how our memory works. I can barely remember the things that happened last month, but that day is so cemented in my memory that I remember every detail. I even remember the blob of makeup on my finger as Ray told me what had happened to the 300$ that I had found missing from our bank accounts. I still remember wondering what to do with my make-up filled hand as I fled from the room “paying for sex” ringing in my ears. I felt lost, nowhere to turn, completely confused. Where did this come from!?? We were high school sweethearts, dated 5 years before we got married. We were good little Christian kids, And guess what?? We stayed sexually pure in our relationship! I thought that was kind of a guarantee that my husband would be able to stay pure within the marriage relationship. And what about God!? I did everything he commanded, why was he punishing me? 
The girl who I was that day, and the woman I am now are so different that I can hardly remember that Lauren. I was so sure that this was all Ray’s responsibility, I was perfect, and he screwed it all up. I was convinced I had no role what-so-ever in the rebuilding of our marriage. In the words many women have said to me since “He broke it- he can fix it”.  I not only refused to see the role God wanted me to play in the freedom journey for my husband and marriage, but I also refused to pursue healing for myself at first.  I had NO self esteem left, I listened to lie after lie from the enemy that it was my fault, that if I were skinnier or prettier, this wouldn’t have happened. Ray only reinforced it by believing the same lies. It was a great cop out, he could excuse his behavior by blaming me.  Satan even inspired my own pastor to counsel me to get help being more “appealing” to Ray. Understand, I was not a woman who walked around in my Pj’s or anything like that. Looking back now, I can see; because I didn’t believe I was worth what God says I am worth, I didn’t present myself as a woman who truly values herself, but I was a professional and always looked the part. I think the real lack of luster was in my eyes. They were lifeless, hollow, and void of the love that I longed to feel directed at me.  I lashed out at Ray on a frequent basis. I almost resented that I had heard God clearly tell me to stay and fight for my marriage. I made sure to play the role of a martyr at times. I rubbed his mistakes in his face for months. Every time I felt pain, I made sure he knew it and knew it was his fault. I demanded every soiled detail of his lust and then lashed out in pain when he obliged. He tried to tell me it was useless for me to know, but I couldn’t help it, I had to know what my “competition” was. As the details of the years of lust and sin unfolded in counseling, I felt like I didn’t even know Ray. Before that incident, I totally believed that Ray was pure and upstanding- just like every other Christian man, right? The statistics shock me to this day:  over 80% of men in the church struggle with sexual sin on some level.  And the worst part for me was that I truly believed that now that it was out in the open, it would just stop. Ray would change, and we could move on. OH MY, I was so naive. YEARS followed of pain, Ray continuing to fall to sexual sin, and me begging God to make it stop. But Today in 2013 as I look back at those years, I don’t only see the pain and hardship. I see a slow, steady process. I see a woman who surrendered to her savior, admitted her inability to do this on her own. I see Ray, who truly wanted to serve the Lord and be a man of God, even though he didn’t know how to change;  A man who wanted freedom desperately and began to peruse it as hard as he could. I see a Lauren who began to pursue healing instead of just expecting God to open up the heavens and make it all go away in an instant, I started fighting for the healing I so desperately needed. I began to ask GOD what he wanted from me as a Godly wife, I asked him to teach me how to respect a man that I felt like didn’t deserve an ounce of my respect. I began to TRUST GOD even when I couldn’t trust Ray. I began to surrender to a point where I was willing to experience pain, if it meant God would move Ray to maturity in Christ. I began to understand Grace and Agape love, that wants what is best for others, more than what we believe is best for ourselves. (because often what we think is best, is not what God knows is best for us) I began to believe in Ray before Ray ever believed in himself, and it was through the power of God in my heart. He didn’t deserve for me to lift him up, encourage him, believe in him….but then I didn’t deserve Jesus dying for me, so how could I not put myself to death for my brother in Christ, the man God choose to be my mate? I know this will sound like pure craziness to some. Let me clarify that God never called me to be a door mat, he just called me to be like Jesus. And if you think this is impossible or crazy, keep following this story. I think the transformation of my husband, my marriage, and my life will speak for themselves. There is no doubt in my mind that God can heal ANY marriage, and it is because he bought mine from the deepest, darkest pit imaginable and set it up in the light, made it something beautiful and even something that he wants to use in his kingdom. It doesn’t get any better than that, and I can’t wait to share all that he has done…with you!

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