The one person I had loved more than anyone or anything had betrayed me. When I heard the words that told the story of a life of pornography and years and years of monthly visits with prostitutes we both collapsed. Collapsed because it had zapped every bit of energy in our legs that we had. Collapsed because it felt like we were being punched in the gut over and over. Collapsed because “on the floor flat” before the Lord is exactly where Jesus wanted us to be.
Eyes wide shut.
My life began as a child with Christian parents who lead me to the Lord at the age of three. You might think, that is young. Yes it is.
Fast forward through church camp rededications and a life of “always there if the door was open”, and being great at the role of an evangelist daughter, I acquired a vast head knowledge of who God was and his love for us. I believed that he had forgiven me of my sins, it was understood and I loved him for it.
Life was very safe and sheltered till high school. During high school I began walking a crooked line between the life I had been taught to live and the life that Satan would rather I live. This life was amiss of any dialogue between me and the Lord. I had reached an age of accountability and maturity and there was no excuse for God to not be first. Instead of making the choice to communicate with the one that loved me most my life reflected a shallow relationship with Christ. The focus was on me.
College life only yielded the same. Never letting go and surrendering to the Lord. Here I began refining a life of self-reliance.
So naturally the time came when I fell in love and married. I found someone a lot like me with common interest and goals. Goals? That might be stretching it. Who were we kidding; we were living in the moment. Head over heals in love with the courtship we had been living and marriage was the next step. Truth–I had found someone with the same talent as I, someone who was just as self-reliant as I was yet could just as eloquently proclaim the mercies of the Lord. I loved this man though. I still love this man. God gave me a love that has never wavered, truly a miracle.
Truth again — We were lost.
Several years of dating, sixteen years of marriage and our “eyes became wide OPEN”.
In August of 2012 eyes wide shut became eyes wide open. On that Sunday it was evident that our marriage was not what I thought. At that moment in time I realized that my husband was a sex addict and had dealt and lived with this addiction for the last 27 years. It was evident that day that self-reliance had taken a toll on him and myself.
19 Now those who had been scattered by the persecution that broke out when Stephen was killed traveled as far as Phoenicia, Cyprus and Antioch, spreading the word only among Jews. 20 Some of them, however, men from Cyprus and Cyrene, went to Antioch and began to speak to Greeks also, telling them the good news about the Lord Jesus. 21 The Lord’s hand was with them, and a great number of people believed and turned to the Lord.
Satan’s plans backfire just like above. Persecution was meant to hurt, to stop what God had planned instead it is the very thing that sparked the spread of his word.
Satan had planned to destroy my husband’s life and our marriage. In most instances with these offenses Satan would have probably won, however he did not account for what would happen next.
See we had both lived a life of self-reliance never surrendering to the Lord’s will, never developing the relationship that he so desperately wanted and that we could have had if we would have talked to him. How do you talk to him? Through living in prayer and in the word with him we had done neither.
Where God Met Us!
The one person I had loved more than anyone or anything had betrayed me. When I heard the words that told the story of a life of pornography and years and years of monthly visits with prostitutes we collapsed. Collapsed because it had zapped every bit of energy in our legs that we had. Collapsed because it felt like we were being punched in the gut over and over. Collapsed because “on the floor flat” before the Lord is exactly where Jesus wanted us to be.
My husband and I on that Sunday morning at 11:30 am fell to the floor him first with his hands around my ankles, me next broken over him prayed to God asking him to HELP US.
We had no idea how to get through this but we had been taught that when life was touch to call on his name. We were relying on this to be true. We were hoping this to be true. It’s all we had. We felt helpless as a couple, I felt worthless, wounded and as if I wanted to die.
We had to live out 1 John 1:8-9.
If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.
He Has Delivered.
We very quickly met a God that was loving, authoritative, just, full of grace, mercy and forgiving. A God that desires my husband and I to be head over heals in love with him, surrendered to him, free from the weights of addictions, self-reliance, pain, hurt and pride.
A God that is sovereign with “the plan” not just a plan.
Today 190 days later, we have studied the bible together, talked about what it means to us, and how it applies to our life. We have prayed each morning before starting our day and prayed each night before closing our eyes. Constant prayer and surrendering to the Lord is the only reason our marriage has survived this deep hurt. We have had to put on the full armor of God.
Isaiah 43:18-19 was given to us on the fifth morning after.
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.
We have clung to this verse like nothing else ever in our life.
Don’t get me wrong, I still struggle a little 6 months out now. I still struggle with “forgetting the former things”. Can you relate? I still struggle with not “dwelling on things of the past”. Anyone else? The questions of my husband’s secret life of sex addictions mystify me. I can’t believe that I lived all that time not knowing. I’m hurt.
Although I still hurt, I am here to tell you, all women, anyone who has suffered from deep hurt and pain, that God does bring forth new life. My husband is a new creation and I’m a new creation. God has provided us a path in the wilderness and we’ve been walking through it with him. he has led us to the river that quenches and has quenched our thirst like we never imagined.
God gave us the Holy Spirit to empower us for messy situations just like this one! Messed to Blessed.
I recently heard Beth Moore during a Wednesday night bible study say, “The power of the resurrection trumps the power of the past if we are willing to let it”.
Praise God! The old is gone and new life begins with surrendering to the Lord. Our eyes are now very wide open.
It’s unfortunate that we had lived out in all of our life before and after marriage, 2 Timothy 3:7.
7 always learning but never able to come to knowledge of the truth.
We now want a teachable spirit, want to listen to the voice of wisdom and listen to him.
I continue to pray Proverbs 3:3-4.
3 Let love and faithfulness never leave you;
bind them around your neck,
write them on the tablet of your heart.
4 Then you will win favor and a good name
in the sight of God and man.
On Day 190 this is my story. I’m not a writer. I’m a failed out English major from a private university, but I have a story to tell and I have felt compelled to tell it. I want every woman who has felt this hurt, for every man who so desires to choose to be the spiritual leader God is calling him to be, and for every couple that is living in a self-reliant marriage headed down a self-destructing path to know there are struggles, but there is HOPE. I welcome you to join me in this journey I will begin next week a weekly journal from day one till now. I hope somehow I can encourage someone.
God has more for you- he can turn messes into blessings!