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, January 23, 2014

edit

The last entry seemed to cut off the ending, so if you read it and wondered why it abruptly ended in a weird place, be sure to read the end...it all comes together!! Lauren

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Rescued


13 Now listen, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.”  15 Instead, you ought to say, “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that. (James 4:13&15)

4 years into my marriage, I experienced such an upheaval of my plans. It was the beginning of 2008 and Ray had recently come home from an 8 week trip to Ohio to get counseling and to seek the Lord for freedom from addiction, and healing for our marriage. When he came home, it was very clear that God had done an amazing thing in his life while out in Ohio, and it was also very clear that we were not going to get healthy staying where we were at. So, I reluctantly opened my heart to the idea of moving out to Wooster, Ohio where Ray had found so much help from a life-giving church, good counseling, and amazing new friends. God began to open up every door and short of hanging a glowing arrow pointing east, he made it very obvious that Ohio was where we needed to go. But I have to tell you...I was ANGRY!! And almost talked myself out of going on a daily basis. Why would God take me away from the only support system I had to give RAY a support system that I had no part of...yet:)

Why would he take me from the safety of my family to go be alone with a man who had torn my heart in half and stomped on it??!!
I think that this move was probably the biggest leap of faith I had ever had to take. I will never forget the day we pulled out of my parents driveway to move to the basement of a friend's home in Ohio. My brand new house, which I had finally finished decorating and landscaping was now in the hands of people I barely knew, my amazing job was a thing of the past, and we had no idea if we would even be able to get jobs when we got there. My mom stood in the door sobbing as I moved away for the first time in my whole life, and I lost it... Why was God punishing me for what Ray had done?? Why did God keep telling me to trust...God was clearly ruining my life. 
Haha if I only knew the things he had in store...
Have you heard the story of the man whose house was sinking in a flood and he prayed for God to save him?? A boat came and offered a ride, but the man declined stating that he was waiting for God to come save him. Then a helicopter came and offered a rescue, but he was waiting for God and declined their help as well. Well needless to say, the man drowned and when he got to heaven, he furiously asked God why he didn't come!! God's response was "I sent you a boat and a helicopter!! Why didn't you take the way out!!??"
I think that this scenario plays out in real life more often than we realize. And for me, our move to Ohio was the rescue I had been begging for. I can't imagine what my life would be like if I had decided I didn't like the format in which God chose to rescue me. I clearly remember 3 months to the date after moving to Wooster, I was at the altar at church, crying my eyes out in pure gratitude. "Thank you God, I was so angry at you, but you knew all along, that this was the BEST for me. You rescued me, I will remember next time to trust you more." 
So, if you are waiting for a rescue, have hope, and keep your eyes open. Your rescue is close, sometimes we are already in the middle of it. I see so many women who were like me, they are angry at God because their life isn't going as they planned, but what they can't see from their perspective, is that he is rescuing them from the very things they have been praying about! I would move for more times after that move to Ohio, each move holding more blessing than the last. And through it I have learned that God is so faithful and to hold to my plans loosely, because like the verse says, I want my response to God to be that "I will go where you want me to go, and do what you want me to do". When people ask me about our future plans, I laugh. Because I have learned to expect the unexpected. Because God's plans are wild, and fun, and take us out of our comfort zone, but EVERY leap of faith is worth it. So, learn to hold loosely to life, Jesus reminds us that when we lose our life, that is when we actually find it. (Matthew 10:39) Expect the unexpected in your life and be watching, it may be God rescuing you

Thursday, January 2, 2014

How will your wounds define you?

Every woman  has experienced the battlefield that is called…Life. 
We all have wounds that we have gotten along that path…
What has happened to us doesn't necessarily make us unique, so often I walked around grasping onto my wounds thinking that I was the only one who had experienced that kind of pain, I would actually scoff at others who would express pain that they were experiencing….I considered them weak because their wounds were nothing compared to mine. 
Your TYPE of wound doesn't define you. It is what you do with that wound that defines you. 
Some of you have wounds that have had a bandaid applied, You have almost forgotten it is even there, until someone or something bumps up against it too hard. 
A few of you have experienced the loving hand of the Father as he has healed your wound and all you have left is a scar to remind you of his perfect love and healing power in your life. 
While others of you have gaping seeping wounds….They are bleeding, they are painful all the time, and no matter what you do, that wound haunts you every day. This was me for so many years and to you I say, I am sorry...And I promise that it can get better. There is a really GOOD father who happens to be a wonderful spiritual surgeon. He has a track record that is filled with success story after success story. Mine is one of them. 
And what do we do with these wounds??? How do they define who we are??
Some of us hunch over and keep everyone at arms length because we don't want them to even know we have a wound, after all,  then they would know that we don't have the perfect life that we portray so well…
Some of us build up walls to the sky to keep anyone from hurting us further…Oh how often I see this one. We forget that we have a father who really does want to protect us, so we walk around trying to protect ourselves. I did this for years, I shut my own husband out because I was not gonna be vulnerable and experience pain induced by his sin ever again!
Some of us show off our wounds and use our constant victim status to bring scorn to the ones who have hurt us…How many times have you made sure people know WHO hurt you and how wrong they were for doing it? I feel like for a while this was a daily ritual in my life.
Lastly there are a very few that wear their wound openly but humbly wanting the one who healed them to get credit for his incredible surgical skills. 
I want to be the last one on that list…Oh I haven't always been sucessful, I have been in every stage of this list at one point or another, but I realized that what I wanted more than anything was to be whole, to be free, and I didn't want my wounds to hold me back anymore…I didn't want my wounds to chain up the ones who had wounded me either, because real love needs to drive us to want freedom and healing for the ones who have hurt us. Just look at Jesus when he hung on that cross...He forgave those people as he died for all the beating and torture that they had just acted out minutes before. I  want God to use my wounds to make me stronger, to push me forward, and to help those around me who have been wounded too. How about you?? How will you let your wounds define the kind of person you will become?
He heals the brokenhearted, And binds up their wounds. Psalm 147:3

Let him heal your wounds....