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

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Our Rescuer

Do you ever just need to be rescued?? I know I have had those days many many times. I have had to CLING to the cross, begging God to simply rescue me. 

Are you in that season right now? Do you need to know how God feels about you even when those around you tell you that you aren't worth it?? Do you need to remember that there is someone who is for you? That there is someone who not only loves to rescue his children, but has all power and authority to actually pull us out of our deepest darkest places and make a beautiful masterpiece out of our most broken pieces?! 
I think, the hardest faith journey is when the next moves are completely out of our control, when we have to have faith that God can change someone else, like our spouse. We don't get to surrender for them, or turn to the Lord for them, or repent, or recognize the truth FOR THEM!!! Isn't it so frustrating!!!??? My most fervent prayers to be rescued have usually come from a place of needing God to move in my husband as much as I need him to move in me. 
If you are in that place today, where you are having to have GREAT faith for God to do a work in someone that you love, take comfort in what the Lord says in Psalm 91. This message isn't just for that person that you are praying for....it is for YOU! He wants you to know that he is on your side, and he is fighting for you!
Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High
    will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.[a]
I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress,
    my God, in whom I trust.”.........
If you say, “The Lord is my refuge,”
    and you make the Most High your dwelling,
10 no harm will overtake you,
    no disaster will come near your tent.
11 For he will command his angels concerning you
    to guard you in all your ways;
12 they will lift you up in their hands,
    so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.
13 You will tread on the lion and the cobra;
    you will trample the great lion and the serpent.
14 “Because he[b] loves me,” says the Lord, “I will rescue him;
    I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name.
15 He will call on me, and I will answer him;
    I will be with him in trouble,
    I will deliver him and honor him.
16 With long life I will reward him
    and show him my salvation.

Take comfort in this!! God hears your prayers! He loves to rescue his children. There is NOTHING that he can't protect you from. There is NOTHING he can't fix, NOTHING he doesn't see, and he LACKS NOTHING! All power is his and He always moves on your behalf with HONOR, LOVE, and A GENTLE HEART that is for your marriage, your family, and your great future that is full of his great purposes!!!

Monday, October 21, 2013

Digging Ditches of Faith

 God is ready to use your pain. God is not shocked by the things going on around you.  The things that your husband has done in secret have never been a secret to God. The anger and hurt you feel is not a secret to God.  And because he can see all and can heal all, he is excited to do a work in your life that will give glory to him alone.  Do you believe that God wants to get glory out of every situation in your life, even the difficult ones? Do you believe God has a plan for YOU; his daughter whom he loves? And do you believe it is God’s plan to raise your husband up out of the muck to be a mighty man of God?
He can use every moment of pain, rejection, and loss to grow you into the woman he created you to be. He can use all the sorrow, remorse, and failed attempts to gain control on his own, to grow your husband into a man of great faith and victory. In Romans 5:3-5 we see a picture of how God wants to use suffering in our lives. “We also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.”  Do you feel the same sense of Hope I do when you read that? He has a plan for your pain, not only to grow you as a person, but to let that hope pass on to others. Look at the world around you. There are so many women in your shoes who are in pain because of their husband’s sexual sins. What if YOUR story could help someone else? What if the chains that fall off of your husband can bring generational healing for your children? What if your example of forgiveness can inspire others to forgive? Jeremiah 29:11 says “I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future.”  The first time your husband let you down, God did not wring his hands and yell “OH NO, how am I gonna fix this? How am I gonna protect my daughter?” NO! He began at that moment to fill you with the strength that you needed to get through this. And he began to unfold a future for you that brought glory to him through your healing.  God has a beautiful future for you, but it requires surrender and action steps from you. YOU have to pursue your healing with God. Don’t expect it to come through your husband and don’t expect God to just reach out and do it for you, he gave you free will so that you will call out and ASK for his help. He wants you to seek him and then you will find the healing he has for you. “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.” (Luke 11:9-10)
The steps of faith you take toward healing will not go unanswered. In 2nd Kings 3 we read about Elisha being called upon by the kings of Israel, Judah, and Edom during a time of war against Moab. The kings and their armies found themselves in a place with no water and looked to Elisha to ask God for help. He told the kings, (v. 17) “This is what the Lord says: Make this valley full of ditches. For this is what the Lord says: You will see neither wind nor rain, yet this valley will be filled with water and you, your cattle and your other animals will drink. (v. 18) This is an easy thing in the eyes of the Lord; he will also hand Moab over to you.” Now the thing that has been pointed out to me by a beloved pastor, Steven Furtick, is that our God does not need the labor of men to build ditches. If he can make water with no rain, he can certainly make some ditches appear in the ground. But there was a point to God’s command. He was looking for an act of faith, a moment of surrender, an acknowledgement of complete trust and dependence on God. Action steps. That is what he looks for from us. He knows your heart is broken and he desperately wants to fix it, but you need to take some steps of surrender and give it to God. What are the steps of faith God is calling you to?  For me, the hugest ditch I had to dig, was forgiving my husband even when he didn’t deserve it. (because God tells us that when we don’t forgive, we can’t be forgiven.) There were some more ditches dug along the way, forgiving the prostitutes and other women who sell their bodies and trap so many men in lust, seeking counseling, studying the word to find out if God thought I was valuable, and admitting I couldn’t heal without God. In verse 20 we see that God answered so quickly, as soon as he saw the act of obedience. It says “The next morning…there it was-water flowing from the direction of Edom and all the land was filled with water.” None of these things come automatically, but once you start to dig that ditch you will be amazed at how quickly God rains his healing down on you.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Healing is between you and God....Period.

 I honestly believed that when Ray turned from his sin and had true brokenness about what he had done to me, then I would know that I could move on and be safe. I smile as I know many of you reading this are saying “EXACTLY!!” Well, I hate to break it to you, but not only is that NOT how it works, it isn’t even close to God’s design for healing your wounded heart.  I can promise you that if you wait for your husband to mend your broken heart, you are going to have a long and miserable wait. There is a story of a couple we know that comes to mind. The wife is lovely, always well groomed and smiling when you see her. And her husband of 8+ years is a man who loves the Lord with all his heart and has a passion for helping young men stand against temptation and feels a call to help men with pornography addictions. When this couple was younger, Nikki’s world came crashing down around her when she found out her husband had been deep into the realm of pornography and she NEVER knew! She was angry and so hurt. In time her husband began to pursue the Lord and his hurting wife. He was completely freed from his addiction and even began ministering to others. I remember thinking, “wow, I would give anything to see Ray doing that, she is so lucky.” Well, unfortunately Nikki didn’t see it that way. She had waited for years to see her husband become her dream man, but even when he did, she was too bitter to see it. It breaks my heart to say that to this day, she still lives in a state of depression, illness, and emotional chaos. She harbors resentment and hurt so deeply. You wouldn’t know it if you ran into her on the street, but it is there. All you need is to spend 20 minutes with her and her husband to see the yelling, degrading, and deep rooted bitterness that Nikki spews at her husband. And it all stems from that deep hurt that she has kept locked away, untouched by the Savior’s hands, as she waits for her husband to fix her. 
This story breaks my heart, because this story is the norm. Women sit and wait for years for their husband to change, and even when he does, they have spent so much time in bitterness, unforgivness, and pain, that they are stuck. They can’t see a way out and they are miserable. I can’t stress this enough ladies, THIS IS NOT HOW IT IS SUPPOSED TO BE. There are some hard truths that you need to start praying about as you pursue your healing with God. 
There is only one person who has the power to heal your heart. If all power on heaven and earth belong to God, than how can we believe anyone else has the power to heal our emotions? I don’t care who your husband is or how good his intentions are, he does not have the power to heal you. Nothing he does can heal the wounds that are in your heart. Whether you have low self esteem, have felt like you are not enough to satisfy your husband, or you are so angry at him that you can’t even think of one reason that you love him anymore, there is someone who has the power to heal EVERY hurt. God wants you to come to the throne of grace humbly and ask him to help you. 
After I realized that Ray was never going to be able to heal me, I noticed that wasn’t my only problem. I also had the false belief that I could fix myself or at least do a really good job fooling myself and everyone else into believing I was ok. I sucked it up and even continued as the worship leader at our church, even though I desperately wanted to quit. I was so emotionally exhausted; I didn’t want to lead others into worship. But I couldn’t let anyone see that! God made our bodies to only bear so much fake healing. I was stuffing all my emotions and pretending that I forgave Ray. Pretending I had moved past it. Because none of it was true, and I was stuffing so much pain, I began to get physically sick. 
Statistically there are an extremely high number of people who have physical illness that is caused solely by stress and stuffing their emotions. I became one of those people. I was literally throwing up multiple times a day, but could find no medical reason. I even began eating only fruits and vegetables thinking that there was some horrible food allergy that I couldn’t find. There was still no relief; until Ray moved to Ohio for 8 weeks to find counseling. The whole time he was gone, I was fine! This is when I realized that this was nothing physical. I sought out Godly counseling myself and was able to fully surrender my darkest fears, my issues with rejection and abandonment, and my anger at Ray. This was only the tip of the iceberg in my journey toward healing, but it was like a salve that seemed to flow through my body, and I stopped getting sick. I tell you this story so that you see that not only is it impossible for our husbands to make it better, we can’t make it better either. We will only mess it up terribly, and even if we buy it in our minds, our bodies and spirit won’t fall for it.  It is only through the power of God at work in our hearts that we can truly find healing. 
Don't let that bring you down. It is not as impossible as it seems. You see we delight the heart of our father when we throw our hands out in surrender and tell him "I need you, I can't do this on my own." As you surrender and begin to pray through all of the things in your heart that are keeping you in pain, HE will do all the legwork and begin to heal your heart. There is NOTHING that he will withhold from his children when we come to him and align our prayers with his will. And his will is for you, his daughter, to be whole. He has a calling for your story, every part of it. The pain and more importantly, the restoration and transformation that he can and will accomplish when you let him.