12 Days of Christmas… Finding Your Christmas Joy in the Midst of Recovery.

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Joy

12 Days of Christmas my true love gave to me…stop right there.  As I walked through my mall during the Christmas Holidays of 2012, the last thing I wanted to hear was what my true love gave to me. That Christmas I received gifts of post traumatic stress disorder, panic attacks, anxiety, thoughts of suicide, mis-trust, doubt, fear, and endless statements scrolling through my head all starting with “what if”.  Christmas time is not supposed to be like that!

Christmas–the happiest time of year.  Christmas is when all about the world, in the world should be right.  Christmas, the time of year when all about our lives, in our lives should be right, right?  We want the Norman Rockwell picture of life.  Unfortunately, we know we live in a fallen and sin filled world where all is not right and our lives are far from perfect.

So…at Christmas, if all is not right, if your life is not perfect, where do you find your joy?

What if it’s even more than not having the perfect life?  What if you are in the midst of a storm with waves of doubt, anxiety, fear and panic toppling over you?  How do you even begin to keep your head above the water and find joy at Christmastime?

I know where you are.  For the woman or man looking for their missing joy and are reading my simple words, know that you are not alone, I have been there and you can find joy!

Dear friend in the remaining words here I’m gong to try to give you my best tips in finding your Christmas joy in the midst of recovery. Here are 12 tips that are my “12 Days of Christmas” gifts to you.  I hope they will help you find joy in the midst of your storm and find true never ending joy through relationship with Jesus Christ!

1.  A Partridge in a Pear Tree:

Remember that your true love should be the Lord first. Jesus does not fail you.

Deuteronomy 31:8 says,

“The Lord is the one who will go before you.  He will be with you;  he will not leave you or forsake you.  Do not be afraid or discouraged.

2.  Two Turtle Doves:

Find comfort in the word of God, seek his word for guidance and direction.

Psalm 119:105

“Your word is a lamp for my feet and a light on my path.”

3.  Three French Hens:

Faith, Hope & Love.  Have faith your heavenly father will see you through the storm.  Have hope that with each day you will discover more and more joy.  Love like you have never loved before and not the outer man but the inner soul, the very part of you that your heavenly father looks at.  We have to love like Jesus.

1 Corinthians 13:13

“Now these three remain:  faith, hope, and love, but the greatest of these is love”.

4.  Four Calling Birds:

Try not to question the past, although this seems about near impossible at times!  I found even pulling out old Christmas ornaments could quickly send me into a tearful fit as I questioned was any of our previous years of marriage real? Were these memories really what I thought they were? Was it all fake?  Focus on what God has given you right now.  Cling to this verse… we did!  Thank him that he has brought you this far and believe that he can make all things NEW!

Isaiah 43:18-19

18 “Forget the former things;
    do not dwell on the past.
19 See, I am doing a new thing!
    Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?
I am making a way in the wilderness
    and streams in the wasteland.

5.  Five Golden Rings:

Remember that we all have sinned.  Begin forgiving.  Try to forgive the best you can and ask Jesus to help you the rest of the way.  You have to start somewhere and besides Jesus will not forgive your sins if you can’t forgive.  Sister, brother, I don’t want to take that risk!

Psalm 32:1 says, “Blessed is the one whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered.”

6.  Six geese a laying:

Layout plans.  Make plans to make new memories this year.  Seize the moment, it is the Holiday’s so we might as well take part!  If you have family or children close by take new pictures in new places and maybe even start some new Christmas traditions.

7.  Seven Swans a Swimming:

Don’t just swim.  Dive in deep.  Really submerge yourself with the distractions of the season and allow the Holiday to take your mind off other things even if for a minute it could be just the escape you need.

Take time to remember why we celebrate Christmas.  We celebrate Christmas to remember that our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ came to earth, to walk this earth, to struggle and go through every temptation we could ever imagine and then travel a grueling road to the cross where he died for you and me forgiving us of all our sins–a gift of redemption.  Remember why we celebrate.

8.  Eight Maids of Milking:

Stop and think, remember your calls as a daughter and son of Christ.  Matthew 5:3-4 says, ““Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.  Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.

Remember our goal as a Christian Daughter or Son is to show Christ’s love, even for the sorry excuse of a sailor that threw us out in the middle of our storm.  Verse 7 of Matthew 5 says, “The merciful are blessed for they will be shown mercy”.

9.  Nine Ladies Dancing:

Claim your joy.  Speak it.  Proclaim it.  Expect it! Why? Expect it because your God is Able!

Ephesians 3:20-21New International Version (NIV)

20 Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.

10.  Ten Lord’s a Leaping:

It is Christmas time and you have to know you are not the only one hurting.  Find the hurting, leap into someone else’s hurt and see if you can be a blessing in the middle of their storm.  Nothing brings joy like being used by the father, your Lord and Savior. The word says that what you do for the least you have done for him!

11.  Eleven Pipers Piping:

Think about his faithfulness!   Ask Jesus to provide.  Ask him to comfort you, lean in and press into your heavenly father like never before.  Psalm 94:19 says, “When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought me joy.”

12.  Twelve Drummer’s Drumming:

There is not just one beat of a drum there are multiple, repeated, continuous beats going on and on and on.  Know and remember, rest in that there will be more Christmas times, more Holidays and although this one might feel like the hardest one and most hurtful one in your entire life, you get a re-do, you get another, God loves you and that it will be different next time!

Additionally, as each of us get this opportunity every year to celebrate this time of year, let’s remember the storm and struggle that Jesus went though on earth.  He came to earth and we celebrate this, but his life was not easy.  Jesus came here and experienced every temptation that we have yet was perfect.  He achieved perfection yet the plan for his life was to eventually die on the cross for your and my sins so that we could have eternal life beyond this old stormy world.  There is joy in the Lord my friend, find your joy in him.

James 1:2-4

Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters,[a] whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.

Trust ultimately in God. Find your joy in him.  Trust that he has a plan and purpose during this hard “Christmas season” of life.  Find true joy in him.

Wishing you a very Merry Christmas.

 

“Your Seat — Where do you sit?”

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Bench Seat

Remember in elementary, middle school, high-school or college even?  Where you sat was a big deal! Life began for us with lots of assigned seating, however as we became older we were allowed to choose our seat more often than not. Where we sat would often determine how our day would go, how fun lunch would be, sometimes how included we felt, or even what we thought of ourselves.

I recently as an adult realized that where I’ve chosen to sit right now in life has been inferior and is inferior to where others would have chosen for me to sit — to the point I found myself defending it.

You know even the disciples wanted to choose seats. In Mathew 20 James and John were doing anything they could to both sit on his right and left. They even got their mom to ask!   Mathew 23 shows us that the scribes and the Pharisees loved their seats – their front seats in the synagogues.

Seats are impactful. The front row seats at the movies, plays, and concerts are all sometimes chosen to be favorites. The seat at the end of a board room table often is the power seat, and the seat to the right of that one, is often another power play for the one that chooses that seat. You can even make a statement by choosing a back seat.

We learn about how to choose our seats early in life. Somewhere down the road, our chosen seats take on much more meaning than a friendly gesture. Our chosen seats in life distinguish us from others, can show differences in opinion, or display who or what we believe in.

Recently, I tried to share with someone that my seat was different than theirs, that it was a brand new seat and that my seat was coming from a different place in life.  I shared that my seat was where it was because of my personal struggles and because I had been rescued. Don’t we all have different seats?

We all have different seats, all walking different walks, all have different hurts and struggles. All traveling a different road, in a different seat, on a different bus however; all having the chance to be driven by one GREAT GOD if we allow him too.

It’s hard. It’s hard to have enough Faith and Trust in the one true God and to not worry about your seat any more–giving ourselves totally to the Lord.  It is hard to give the past up, take the new seat that he has for us, living life unencumbered by what others think and with all our focus on our heavenly father.  I want a new seat with pure abandonment of the world, diving in and fully submerged in Him for his kingdom.

 Jeremiah 29: 11-13
“11 For I know the plans I have for you”—this is the LORD’s declaration—“plans for your welfare, not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. 12 You will call to Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. 13 You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart.”

My seat has to be one of hope, faith, trust, belief… it has too. I have to have that seat in my marriage, family and in my church. I have to take that seat. It’s the only way. It’s the only survivor mechanism that will work for me and my walk. It’s the only way I’ll continue to experience true healing. It’s what my God wants for me.

Mercy me sings a song, “You are I am”:
You’re the One who conquers giants.
You’re the One who calls out kings.
You shut the mouth of lions.
You tell the dead to breathe.
You’re the one who walks through fire.
You take the orphan’s hand.
You are the One Messiah.
You are I Am.
I’ve been the one, Held down in chains.
Beneath the weight, Of all my shame.
I’ve been the one, To believe,
That where I am, You cannot reach.
And now I live, with the Spirit inside.
The same one, The very same one,
Who brought the Son, Back to life.
Hallelujah, He lives in me.
Hallelujah, He lives in me
You’re the One who conquers giants.
You’re the One who calls out kings.
You shut the mouth of lions.
You tell the dead to breathe.
You’re the one who walks through fire.
You take the orphan’s hand.
You are the One Messiah.
You are I Am.

I don’t know about you but this is where I want to sit.
• I want to sit knowing that I serve a God that can conquer the giant of a failing marriage.
• I want to sit in a seat serving the God that can shut the mouth of a lion ridden by lies.
• I want to serve a God that tells those dead to sexual addictions, drug addictions, or any other addictions to rise up my child and breathe life through him.
• I want a God that can work with our denial, apathy and so much more, yet still love us like no one else can and then use us.
• I want a seat that believes that he can bring life to a dead church.
• I want the seat that is closest to my God because he rescued me from a dead walk, a dead marriage and from physically wanting die.
• I want a seat, of real forgiveness, letting go and letting God.

How do I–how do you find a seat like this? Through true relationship with him every day. Through rising in the morning (no matter what) and clothing in the full armor, getting in his word, being in prayer and unashamedly proclaiming his glory. This is everything I want… to be seated with him now and in eternity.

Where are you sitting? Where do you want to sit? Do you want to stay where you are or do you want a new seat?  Even in the hardest most hurtful, frustrating, circumstances when there seams to be no light at the end of the tunnel, he has a new seat for you!

Dear heavenly father,
I lift my hands to you for who you are and for loving us no matter where are seat has been or is. I thank you that you want us seated with you in eternity and love us so much that you died on a cross so many thousands of years ago so that we could be forgiven.  Father, help us to unashamedly choose the new seat and improved seat that you have for us. Father, help us share your love and proclaim your name so that others will see your glory.
Lord, help us not look back on past seats but only to the future and hope that you have in store for us. Thank you for our new seats that you have made ready for us.
I love you Jesus, thank you for being my hope and stay, thank you for loving me. Amen.

“I am New” by Jason Gray
Now I won’t deny
The worst you could say about me
But I’m not defined by mistakes that I’ve made
Because God says of me
I am not who I was
I’m being remade
I am new
I am chosen and holy and I’m dearly loved
I am new
Who I thought I was
And who I thought I had to be
I had to give them both up
Cause neither were willing
To ever believe
I am not who I was
I’m being remade
I am new
I am chosen and holy and I’m dearly loved
I am new
I am new
Too long have I lived in the shadow of shame
Believing that there was no way I could change
But the one who is making everything new
Doesn’t see me the way that I do
He doesn’t see me the way that I do
I am not who I was
I’m being remade
I am new
I am chosen and holy and I’m dearly loved
I am new
I am new
I am not who I was
I’m being remade
I am new
Dead to the old man, I’m coming alive
I am new
I am new
(Repeat 2)
Forgiven, beloved
Hidden in Christ
Made in the image of the Giver of Life
Righteous and holy, reborn and remade
Accepted and worthy
This is our new name
This is who we are now…

“Rising from the PIT”

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Rising From the Pit – Easter forever.

  • A Dad dying and leaving this earth for a better place called Heaven.  This earth sure is a pit compared to the promises we have in Glory.
  • A wife who discovers her husband’s addiction, a double life, a husband in love with self.
  • A couple who fights together against a horrible disease.
  • A spouse that finds their husband saying they are in love with someone else.

Everyone has pits, what is yours?  Do you feel like you’re still there or do you feel like you are rising from the PIT?

What I have realized in my own life is that I thought I was in a pit but I wasn’t in a pit at all!  I thought I had been pushed into a pit on August 12th of 2012, instead I really had been extended a hand, a hand that was willing to pull me out of the pit. During the last 20 months of my life I have felt as if I had been pushed into a pit.  Discovering my husband’s other life of sex addiction, addiction to pornography, prostitution, habitual lying in all parts of his life, and truly leading a double life was a blow.  I certainly felt as if I had just been cast into a pit, much like Joseph had I’m sure.

Had I? Had I really?

Had I been cast into a pit or had I just been extended a hand out of the PIT? Had my husband just been extended a hand out of his PIT?  Were we being given a second chance at life, marriage, relationships with God?

What I realize now is that the pit hasn’t been the last 20 months, the pit was our entire life prior to August 12th.  That was the pit. The pit was when we were not making efforts to put God at the center of our marriage.  The pit was when we had chosen being religious over having a real, I mean a real relationship with Jesus Christ.  The pit was when work successes was more fulfilling than if we had had our quiet time in the word and in prayer with our savior that day.  The pit was when we weren’t investing any time in each other or in our marriage. The pit was when we could be with our very best friends in the world and talking about the Lord wouldn’t even come up…The pit was before. It became evident, we were not living for the Lord, we were lost living for ourselves, relying on ourselves.

The pit was before we woke up on August 12th, realizing how lost we were and that we needed Jesus in a big way.  Thank God for his hand that extends and rescues us from our pits in life, the pits we sometimes have put our own selves in!  Praise God that we can rise from a pit because he rose.  He rose on the third day after dying on the cross rescuing us from our pit inflicting sins.

 

Romans 6, verses 4-5:

“Therefore we were buried with Him by baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father so we too may walk in a new way of life.  For if we have been joined with Him in the likeness of his death then we will certainly also be in the likeness of his resurrection.”

 

I love these verses!!! We too can rise from our dead selves, our own dead sinful natures, in the likeness of his resurrection!  He took the death we should have died.  There would have been no rising from any pits if that hadn’t happened.  We can rise from our former life, that life without God in the Center, that marriage without God in the center!  Today I now call Easter, Rescue day.  My Jesus died on an old rugged cross an extremely horrible death.  That day he extended us all his hand into our pits and stands by ready to rescue us; however, we have to grab his hand!

Are you facing a time in your life where you felt thrown into a pit, left, afraid, full or worry and anxiety, or are you, have you instead been given a chance to rise up out of your pit and finally faced with needing to allow God into all of your life.

Jesus died on that cross and rose again on the third day so that we could rise out of our pits, seek him first and have real authentic relationship with him.

Dear Heavenly father, allow me even when hard times still arise to acknowledge that I no longer am in a pit—no matter what I come to face in life.  Father, do not allow my heart to be swayed by things of this earth, gossip, materialism, what our society says is important, things that just don’t matter when it comes to eternity.  Please don’t let those things derail me or misguide me.  Remind me that you are my first love, my first priority.  Remind me that I answer to you and no other, no friends, not family, not this world, only you.  Remind me to look to you in all things.  Please lead me, direct me, and continue to show me how to Love as you have called me to do.  Please continue to show me how to be the wife you have planned for me to be for such a time as this.  Thank you that I have a relationship with you and you with me and that you are here with me forever. 

Thank you for rescuing us so that we could “Rise from the Pit”. I love you Lord.

 

 

 

 

Merry “Happy 500 Days” Christmas

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Merry “Happy 500 Days” Christmas!

Well, Christmas day was 500 days for my husband and me.  500 days of what?  500 days of learning what it means to start surrendering your life and marriage to your heavenly father.  500 days of learning what it means to be SECOND.  The hardest 500 days of my life.  For 500 days we’ve consistently been in God’s word and prayed together and I can guarantee you without a shadow of a doubt that is why our marriage is still intact. It was through Him not us. It was because of Him not us and it will always be that way.

As Christmas day approached I couldn’t help but think about the gift that came to earth for me and for you, the gift that was sent from God his Son.  His Son came just so he could be our rescue from this world.   It was overwhelming to say the least, to think that my 500 days actually started with Christmas!  Christmas was the day that Christ made the huge sacrifice, descending to this horrible ole crummy earth to walk and live just so that he could eventually hang on a cross and die for our sins. 

We Made it…

we made it to another Christmas, but unfortunately even though my mind knows who to trust in, it didn’t take long before the anxiety of starting a new and another year sets in.  2012 was the worst year of my life, 2013 we were still learning how to come out of 2012 and it certainly brought its own hurts and loss.  2014 scares me to death, my little earthly mind wonders what hurt is around the corner and what the New Year holds for us and if it’s survivable.

Then I heard of an idea, “Looking at the New Year with eyes of FAITH.”  Could be a possibility, but can I do it?

I think that instead of looking at 2014 with and through eyes of fear I need to be determined to look through eyes of FAITH. 

I need to trump the thoughts of what now, with WHAT does GOD have for me?  As day 500 passed, and the Holidays are almost over, I’m easily swarmed with feelings of how and why, fears of how to stretch the dollars of a single income while my husband looks for work and fears of if sexual addictions are really gone.  On the other hand I can rest in assurance that God has this, has had this and will have it!  I can rest in him and trust that every step is according to God’s plan and that my only job every minute of the day is to submit to the authority of the word and my heavenly father’s shaping hands.

I’ll be honest, part of me fears is that my God will let go or that he’ll take a break and that he’s not going to be standing there in 2014 waiting for us, however according to the word– that’s not so.  I know that he tells me through his word that he has never thrown away something in which he began his work.  We are his workmanship and in Ephesians it tells us that.  He doesn’t discard his children, he doesn’t discard me, and I shouldn’t fear 2014.

“For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”  Ephesians 2:10

So bring it on 2014, because with my Lord, myself, my husband and my marriage has already weathered revelations and acknowledgments of sex addictions, adultery, habitual lying, financial problems, work related ethical issues that lead to more financial problems and loss of work, multiple reasons to have trust issues and so much more yet we still stand– the three of us, my Husband, my savior and myself. 

Dear Lord,

Please give me the strength to enter 2014 with instead of fear, FAITH—with a focus on YOU and mot me or my circumstances.  May I be a daughter of yours that is continually shaped and used by you this year.  It’s your year; I’m just here to live out your will not mine.  Give me the strength to continually seek you in everything that I do every day of the week.  Please help me be the wife that you want me to be, the mom that you want me to be, the friend and co-worker that you want me to be.  Fulfill in me what you have planned.  Dear Lord, please protect my husband. Please deliver and heal him from head to toe, inside and out.  Please protect his eyes, his mind, his heart. Please guide his thoughts, his hands and his feet.  Dear father, please protect my daughter from the things of this world and what has been brought into our marriage.  Please help her to not feel the sting of her parent’s wrong choices but help her see the commitment to you and each other that now resides.  Thank you, I love you and I need you. 

All NEW-He wants all NEW! (Day 448)

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Last Fall, I find out my husband battled sexual addiction his entire life.  Over the last 15 months I’ve realized the full impact of the addiction and how it’s affected his and my life.  My husband began cheating on me just 12 weeks into my marriage.  Never knew, never.  This continued for 14 years with his mind and body, and there I was loving him through it all. Eyes wide shut, so naive.

Last fall brought the secret into the light, but not every secret came into the light that day.  God has little by little continued to expose my husband’s sins.  I feel compassion for him.  Don’t get me wrong, I don’t feel sorry at all for making his own bad choices—not at all, but I hate, no I detest that Satan has had such a hold on his life for so long that it’s like undergoing painful brain surgery removing the trash.  I truly believe my God is saying, “clean up on Isle three, Clean up”!  God’s not letting go, he wants ALL NEW or nothing at all!

Romans 6:1-2

“What should we say then?”  Should we continue to sin so that grace my multiply? Absolutely not!  How can we who died to sin still live in it?

Recently, my husband said he’s realized he’s been taking advantage of God’s grace his entire life.  That really made me think, I thought  how sad, how sad that we all have an opportunity to have a fully engaged, active, & talkative, relationship with our Heavenly Father but we keep our distance at times so we can feed our self… an addiction, engage in that emotional affair, or hold onto a favorite old sin that we don’t want to give up.  Grace covers all sin right?  Yes!  Grace covers all sin for those that truly want a relationship with Christ, for those that desire to yield to his ways and truly want a relationship with their Heavenly Father.  You eventually have to surrender; you eventually have to also want ALL NEW!  How can we who died to sin still live in it?  Ya’ll we know this answer… if we are living in it, we have not died to it. 

Romans 6:4

“Therefore we were buried with Him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, so we too may walk in a new way of life.”

NEW way of life ya’ll!  I’m sorry, but I just don’t believe the Christian walk that my God has laid out for us mean one foot in a life of lies and one foot in the life of church goin, mission work and Wednesday night suppers.  New life means NEW! A NEW way, meaning, not the old way. 

Romans 7:6

“But now we have been released from the law, since we have been released from the law, since we have died to what held us, so that we may serve in the new way of the spirit and not in the old letter of the law.”

Died to what held us…”, We must die ya’ll!  Die to self, die to the wants of this world, die to how we used to make choices, die to the things we used to look at, die to the old thoughts in our minds.  We as Christians have the greatest gift offered to us in the world, why can’t we just let go and accept that we CAN have ALL NEW, God wants this for us!  Why can’t we just jump in with both feet and take what God has for us?  The answer is Satan.  He’s at work, don’t misunderstand me he has not conquered this world like my God has however satan is busy.  He’s busy and working very hard to lead as many of God’s children away as possible.  My bible says that I can serve “in the NEW way of the spirit.”  I want to and I don’t want to look back.

So Today ya’ll, I’m claiming NEW…. I will not lie down and believe that loving my husband in continued sin is what my Lord has for me and our marriage.  I refuse to believe this. I will not believe this.  I will plead the blood of Jesus over him each day, I will bind satan in his precious name and I will stand firm in what I know, and what I know is that my God wants ALL OF HIM and wants ALL NEW for him and all of us!

Dear heavenly father, I’m exhausted, I’m tired, and I’m weary. 

Almost every day I think being in Heaven with you would be better, well in fact I know it would and I do look forward to it Lord but only according to your timing!  Lord, father, I know that you have a purpose for my husband, my marriage and my family.  I have seen you work miracles since last fall and seen a man who could hardly open the word to a man who is reminding me that it’s time to read the word and pray.  Lord, I know your word we’ve read has planted like a seed and that you are growing it. 

Lord, I love the way that you keep exposing my husband’s lies, and thank you.  I love that you aren’t tolerating any self-reliance anymore and that you are continually reminding him how much you want him, all of him, the NEW him that you want him to be and thank you.

Thank you Lord, please give me the strength to endure the trials that come from his consequence.  Please help me to be the wife you’ve called me to be. Help me to love my husband the way you want me to love.  Love through me, please Lord, I need your help desperately.

Thank you Lord, Amen.

 

His Grand Rescue Plan

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CR 13 Los Guido scenery

A Grand Rescue Plan 2500 Miles Away:

My husband, my daughter and I recently returned for a second time from a third world country where we spent a week ministering to others in hope that we could help the missionary and his team earn the right to share the Gospel. 

We’ve supported a girl there with school uniforms for the last three years and this time we had the opportunity to purchase some food staples and hand deliver them to her and her family in her village. How exciting, in my mind I thought what next?  We’re already supporting her so that she can go to school, we provide presents during the holiday’s and in-between, and now we are able to provide a month’s grocery’s and leave more money behind for more.  I quickly realized that I was concentrating on what we were doing, what I could do—not what God could do.

After further discussion with the missionary, my husband and I realized that we were not her rescuers.  Unfortunately as refugees in this country, the likelihood of her even making it to high-school or out of the circumstances she was born into was not going to happen.

The missionary reminded us the reason for being there and doing the things we do, he does and his ministry team did was to earn the right to share the gospel, to be a conduit, and to be used by Jesus and the Holy Spirit so that she can have a relationship with Christ herself – to be rescued by him – to receive VICTORY! 

God can rescue Aimee and he can rescue us.  I love the thought that my Creator of the universe wants a personal relationship with each of us.

Relationship, it’s a big word.  Relationship is not just something that is; it’s something that is built.  I never had a true relationship with the Lord.  I realized last fall that I had lived my entire life working out my salvation, being a good person, but never building a true relationship, meaning no dialogue between myself and my heavenly father, my savior, the one who has rescued me, the one that provides eternal VICTORY!

A Grand Rescue Plan at Home:

“What I have done, is wake up every morning and cry out to God for help to be the wife that he wants me to be.”

I was reminded Sunday in a friend’s sermon all about the Victory that we can find in Jesus.  If you’re a southern girl like me and have ever graced the door of a Southern Baptist country church, you might have heard these words. 

“I heard an old, old story,
How a Savior came from glory,
How He gave His life on Calvary
To save a wretch like me;
I heard about His groaning,
Of His precious blood’s atoning,
Then I repented of my sins
And won the victory.”

Sound familiar to anyone?                                                                                          

My friend asked the questions, “Do we live in the mire of the pain or do we allow God to move us to a place of Victory?  Victory is a common theme in our Savior’s life but do we truly believe it?”

My goal should be to allow Jesus to take my scars and do something very different with them, different from what I could ever imagine.  We all have scars, lost jobs, hurt relationships, deaths, infidelity, addictions and so many more.

Do we truly give it to the Lord; do we truly ask him to take this hurt, this pain and turn it into what he wants?  Our goal has to be to allow Jesus to take our scars and do something very different than we could ever imagine.

He reminded us, “What if there is a reason for having this scar, a reason for why God allowed this thing to happen in your life”?

The beautiful ending to our stories is that Jesus can bring victory amidst of the pain.  I don’t know about you but despite the hurt in my life over the almost last 11 months I claim victory, VICTORY IN JESUS.

“No, in all these things we are more than victorious
through Him who loved us.”  (Romans 8:37)

I love that no matter what our little girl Aimee has encountered, they can; we can go forward from that.  No matter what has happened in their life or ours we can go forward with Christ with personal relationship and have VICTORY!  He has a grand rescue plan for each of us.

If you are overwhelmed by pain and hurt, know that Jesus wants to overshadow you  in his love.  I’m not saying the road is easy.  It has been the hardest thing to do.  To wake up every morning and say today I’m going to be an encouraging, supportive, loving wife to a recovering sex addict would be inaccurate.  What I have tried to do is wake up every morning and cry out to God for help to be the wife that he —that God — wants me to be.

“Now I know that the Lord gives victory to His anointed;
He will answer him from His holy heaven
with mighty victories from[a] His right hand.”  (Psalm 20:6)

 “Dear Lord, take my scars and turn them into what you want them to be.  Please continue to give us strength to seek your face and will daily.  Please use me and my husband.  Please bring beauty from the ashes.  Thank you that you’ve always had a grand rescue plan in mind and that through you we have VICTORY,  Amen.”

A New Birth-9 Months Later

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Seedling

“A New Birth – 9 Months Later”

“By his own choice he gave us a new birth by the message of the truth so that he would be the first fruits of his creatures.” James 1:18

When most people hear nine months, they think of babies, new births and the wonderful months that lead up to that birth.  When I hear nine months I think of how nine months ago our world changed.  More than just a change of not knowing to knowing or from living in denial of what I thought our marriage was to wishing I still was in denial. It was a change of the heart that began in both my husband and I. This change of heart began amidst the hurt, agony and disbelief. This change of heart began despite what was happening in our marriage and despite what had happened.

Our Lord promises us in his word that he will give us new birth and not just any new birth but specifically new birth by the message of the truth. I love what the HCSB notes say about this verse.
“Message of truth refers to the gospel by which new birth comes. First fruits refer to the best that the harvest produces. God gives us good gifts that yield wondrous fruit, not temptation that leads to death through wayward desires.”  Praise him!

After that August 12th Sunday morning my husband and I found ourselves flat on our face before our heavenly father. We began (I don’t know how-I know this was a God thing) the next morning in the word and prayer together and have for the last 247 days (9 Months).
What if we had not fallen on our face before God together? What if we would have not went to the Truth (the Word) and prayer? Would we have encountered new birth? Would we have seen the hand of God begin to restore our dead and broken marriage?
August 5th, five days later God gave us Isaiah 43:18-19, we actually both wear this

verse on a leather bracelet every day.  Here is what he said.

“Do not remember the past events (oh my …so hard), pay no attention to things of old.  Look I’m about to do something new, even now it is coming.  Do you not see it?  Indeed I will make a way in the wilderness, rivers in the desert.”

When I read this verse now I shudder at the sheer magnificence and authoritative way God started working in our lives and marriage.  He was telling us that morning that he was in control.

Does the Lord want to give you a new birth, a new life?  I implore you to fall flat on your face, laying it all down and asking him to take control.  It started that day and has been a process for us, but a journey that I’m so glad we are on.  How sad it would be if we were still drawing away from each other and Christ. 

1 Peter 1:3 says, “Praise the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ according to his great mercy, he has given us a new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.” 

We are guaranteed new life through Jesus Christ our Lord! We all are!

I’m praising hiss all day long for what he has done, is doing and will do in our marriage and for that matter anyone’s life that will totally surrender.  Because of the cross my husband doesn’t have to live any longer with sexual addiction, my marriage didn’t have to continue on the road to destruction.  Remember what 1 Peter 1:3 says, “…God gives us good gifts that yield wondrous fruit, not temptation that leads to death through wayward desires.”   Hallelujah we are not chained to our addictions but have new life through the message and a new birth into living hope because of the cross! 

Last thought for today:

I love the song “Restore” by Chris August, it has resonated with me in such a special way.

“…But right now if their being honest

They don’t know if they’ll stay together

Let’s fast forward to the future

After struggling on their own

They finally figured out they needed

Jesus in the middle

Now I’m watching God rebuild their home.

The enemy tries to come and divide

Trying to get us to give up the fight

But darkness will always lose out to light

Cause we’ve got the power of Christ on our side…”

 

Continued Journal Entries:

9-16-2012:  Today I heard a story about a Ugandan woman named Mercy.  I learned of how hard her life has been.  I feel like the Lord is saying your life could be so much harder.  My family is all alive and well, move forward with me child and truly live out the life I have for you.  I feel like the Lord is saying to me that I’ve been trying to live as a Christian with no dialogue, no true relationship… sad thing is…he’s right.

9-17-2012:  Today God gives us Colossians:13, 23-25, Here and in many places in the bible God talks about forgiving, just as forgave us…..THIS IS HARD! HELP! All over Ephesians, Mathew, Luke, Colossians it talks of this.

9-19-2012:  I’ve come to an empty place…Wilderness within my soul. It does not satisfy me anymore…I have to follow after God’s own heart.  It’s all been lip service, one day I want to be able to tell of his faithfulness. I’m now broken beyond recognition, we are not the same people, we are God’s not Satan’s.

9-21-2012:  Today I have to leave town for work for the first time overnight since all this happen.  Dear Lord please give me peace while gone. 

9-24-2012:  Today I’m better than yesterday and better than the day before only by the grace of my loving Jesus…he is truly my strength.  Today is my birthday.  Psalm 16:1,2,5,8

9-25-2012:  I love being in bible study with my husband, however I look over often at times and get MAD…MAD at what he did…I can’t even begin to describe how I still feel a little over a month out now.  I feel very alone sometimes.  Psalm 23:4 really spoke to me today.

9-26-2012:  I have been amazed at how close I have felt to my King but it comes from constant communication… something I’ve never had before.  Philippians 4:19, There is only one hero…We all need to be rescued… His name is JESUS!  There’s no perfect man or woman… We all have imperfections that we bring into our marriages. Genesis 2:20 and 3:7-15.  Adam and eve were pulling away because of the sin that was in their life. It was affecting their marriage.  WE are all sinful and self-centered. There is no perfect person.  It’s something that we have to realize every day… It’s not just about my husband changing it’s about us both changing.  I had built up so much resentment…yet I was so far from God myself.  We had become roommates totally.  I had pushed things under the rug for so long…that’s what the devil wanted… he wanted us to stop talking.  I believe in his redemption, his renewal and his transformation.  If we are connecting to God it will connect everywhere…I need to stop worrying about him and make sure my relationship with Christ is the first priority.  Holiness is the goal for us together, that’s the purpose of our marriage now!  Ephesians 5:22-32,  this should provide freedom.  Jesus designed marriage to make us more holy not happy.

9-28-2012:  It’s hard for me to read John 8.  To see the word adulterer.  I am thankful though that God is a God of second chances.  I love that he loves my husband and that he cares for our marriage. I love that we can lean on our heavenly father.