I feel like I don’t belong.

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“I belong to a God that has not left me through this time in my life. I belong to a savior that amidst all trials, struggles, and tribulations has loved me and never wavered.  I am his child and I belong to him.  I belong.”

 

“I feel like I don’t belong”.

I feel like I have not belonged.  I feel like throughout the last 8 months I have been caged in someone else’s story, someone else’s life, and someone else’s misery.

I have thought, “This is not my life, it couldn’t be”.  The thing is… it was and it is.

God knew this would be my life.  God knew what these 8 months were going to hold for my husband and I.  The Lord knew the struggles he would go through to resist the temptations of his former sexual addiction, he knew the feelings I would have of betrayal,  and he knew the love that he would pour out on us.

The love he has shown us, I do belong to.  I belong to a God that has not left me through this time in my life. I belong to a savior that amidst all trials, struggles, and tribulations has loved me and never wavered.  I am his child and I belong to him.  I belong.

I continue this blog with journal entries picking up at the end of last August, just weeks after realizing my husband’s addiction and realizing just how far from God we had driven ourselves.

 

8-28-12: A little over two weeks after.

And he showed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding from the throne of God and of the Lamb.  And the spirit and the bride say, “Come!” And let him who hears say, “Come!” And let him who thirsts come.  Whoever desires let him take the water of life freely.  Revelation 22:1, 17 NKJV)

And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying.  There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.”  Revelation 21:4 NKJV

 8-31-2012:

God reminds me every day just as I thirst for water for my earthly body, I should thirst for his word and him in my life and that in both ways only he the author and creator of our world can quench. Powerful God we serve!

9-5-2012:

1 James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, To the twelve tribes scattered among the nations: Greetings.

Trials and Temptations

2 Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds,3 because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance.4 Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.

12 Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.

Oh God that is what I claim!

9-9-2012:

Today the Casting Crown song comes on, The Voice of Truth.  This song really says it all.  Jesus is the voice of truth and I choose to listen and believe despite my sufferings.

9-12-2012:

Today is one month from life crashing down around me as I knew it.  One month from God grabbing us up from the trenches of sin and loving us!

The Lord gave us this scripture today, this is what the Sovereign Lord, the Holy One of Israel, says: “In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength, but you would have none of it.  Isaiah 30:15

Oh God I want it!

Also, the weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world.  On the contrary, they have divign power to demolish strongholds.

I pray every day Lord that you will demolish any strongholds in mine and my husbands life.

My husband decided to resign as our Sunday school teacher.  I’m so glad.  I’m ready to just be members of the class with him.  I just can’t sit under him teaching any more.  This will give us time to heal and learn together under another teacher.

God reminds me today that the lies we have held on to are nothing in the shadow of the cross. Praise God.

Also today a friend sent to me a reminder of the verse where Jesus tells someone that he must forgive 70 times 7.  My prayer is that I can do this.

9-13-12:

I turned on the contemporary Christian music station this morning and the song playing is titled…”Seventy times Seven” the very song my friend shared with me yesterday.

I GET IT LORD! 

Dear heavenly father, I was made to fulfill a purpose, please show me that purpose.  I can’t understand why this had to be my life, and why I have to go through these, messy, dirty, awful struggles.  Thank you that your glory does meet my suffering.

 

“I’m still crying out the very same thing.  Lord I want my heartache to heal and for this to all go away, but ultimately, I want your will to be done

 

Does Jesus know my suffering, does he understand what I’m going through?

What I couldn’t see within the first month of this new pain was that Jesus knew what I was going through.  Now 227 days later I can see that Jesus walked on earth and was human, although perfect, but Human.

Jesus experienced suffering.  We think of the cross as the only place of sacrifice that he made.  Sacrifices weren’t just made on the cross; it began when he descended from heaven to earth.  Jesus gave up being with his father.  The greatest of riches and the beauty of the highest court didn’t and still today does not compare to what he left in Heaven.

It all began in the manger.  His life was walking sacrifices here on earth.  He was obedient in the face of suffering.  Have I been?  Are we?  Jesus learned through sufferings.  Think about the garden of Gethsemane.  He was so stressed that blood vessels in his forehead were popping. Jesus cried out…Lord if there is any other way, take this cup away from me…but let your will prevail.

I’m still crying out the very same thing.  Lord I want my heartache to heal and for this to all go away, but ultimately, I want your will to be done.

Friends, there is no situation in life where we can say; God doesn’t know what this is like.  He does.  He knows.  He sees.  He desires to be an integral part of it and he has a plan.

Jesus was obedient in the face of the most extreme suffering–Something to really think about as we near Easter Sunday.

Lord help me be obedient during my time of suffering, give me your strength.

 

“I’m not alone, and I do belong.”

 

 

 

 

 

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A Heart in Tug of War

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 “The heart that has been crushed beyond all recognition and the heart that still loves are in constant tug of war.”

Say what?  Shock is what it was.   We quickly became flat on the floor, crying and weeping.  We were the kind of flat that maybe a servant would display before their king.  We were the kind of flat where you don’t want to and maybe even can’t look up.  Maybe we were waiting on God to reach down and lift our face up—I’m not sure, but we eventually looked up and have since tried to fix our eyes on him.

Last August our eyes became wide open, before each other and before God.  On August 17th five days after a week of revelation into my husband’s other life, I began journaling.  All (or most) had been revealed on August 12th of a 27 year sexual addiction and the interesting thing is we headed straight to the word.  We did not know what else to do.  The very next morning on August 13th we began waking at 6, grabbing a cup of coffee and meeting back in the living room to begin our bible study.  Who knew Jesus Calling the bible Study would become such a ministry in our lives.  I hope to be able to share and tell Sarah Young one day how thankful I am that she followed the call of God on her life.

One bible study at a time has brought us to today.  I’m not saying that they haven’t been filled with tears, questions, and tons of heart ache but we have not given up.  Our time in the word has brought us to today DAY 197-Praise God.

My hope and prayer is that women who are enduring or has endured what I’m going through will somehow take encouragement from my words and what the Lord is doing in our lives. 

Here are my journal entries for the First two weeks:

August 17th:

Today God gave us Isaiah 43: 18-19,

Remember ye not the former things, neither consider the things of old. 19. Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth; shall ye not know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness, [and] rivers in the desert.

We immediately knew this was our verse, we have clung to it ever since.

August 20th:

Even though I have had remarkable times with the Lord and amazingly enough also with my husband I feel such and overwhelming sense of hurt, anger, loneliness, resentment, and disgust.  I can’t stop thinking about him in bed with all of these other women.  Satan constantly reminds me that I’m now, or he wants me to think that I’m now his last choice since he was caught.  Satan wants me to think that the only reason he is changing is because he was caught.  Satan also wants me to feel that the last week of closeness I have felt with my Lord is not real.  When will Satan stop reminding me of all that has happened?  I feel like I could move on one day if I could just forget everything that has happened.  How do I wipe this from my memory?  How long will this take? How long?

 

August 21st:

Today in my Jesus Calling devotional it talks about how the Lord has chosen the path that I’m on.  It is both a privileged and a perilous way.

Today I’m realizing that a ton of the Old Testament tells about God’s promises to his people and what he is doing for them, a lot of going away from the Lord and coming back.  Oh God, take us back and don’t let my husband and I go.

 Today I’m reminded that God is a redeemer.  I’m reminded that he makes beautiful out of horrible and does all things well!  God has truly shown us who he is and what we mean to him.  I’m constantly reminded and here is where I’m getting bogged down, that I will receive much more joy if I forgive than hold onto this hurt.  How do I let go?  As the song by Mathew West says, “I’ll be the one loosing if I don’t”.

How, How?

August 23:

My thoughts.  Geesh… the Lord is reminding me today that I have to FORGIVE- once again.  I keep telling him that I just have gone through the biggest tragedy of my life, and it’s too soon!  He has reminded me today that I have to die to self to forgive.  Just like Christ.  Lord help me.

Dear Heavenly Father you remind me of things constantly, I’m in over load.  I need to remember the pledge you made to us.  You picked us up and have taken us in.  Thank you.

Today a friend sent me Jeremiah 24:6, 7

6. For I will set mine eyes upon them for good, and I will bring them again to this land: and I will build them, and not pull [them] down; and I will plant them, and not pluck [them] up. 7. And I will give them a heart to know me, that I [am] the Lord: and they shall be my people, and I will be their God: for they shall return unto me with their whole heart.

Wow, what a verse, this has to be my prayer for my husband.   Dear Lord give my husband a heart to know you, please pull him in so he will be your people and you can be his God.  Create in him a new relationship between you and him.  Give me a new husband.  I pray he returns to you with his whole heart.

August 24th

Two weeks of bible study today, two weeks of a breaking heart.  Dear Lord deliver me from this misery.

Today this verse landed in my life!

Fear thou not; for I [am] with   thee: be not dismayed; for I [am] thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I   will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my   righteousness.

 Oh Jesus let this be true.  I need your strength, I need your help and   I need you to hold me, not just hold me for Pete sakes, I need you to help me get out of bed.  God I feel like I’m dying down here.  Please hold me with your right hand of righteousness and anything else you have!!!!

 Well, those are the first two   weeks of thoughts from a girl that was just trying to make it through every day, just trying to even get out of the bed!    This has been the hardest thing in my life that I‘ve ever had to deal with.  I have been crushed, my heart   still needs so much repair, however; I’m in full belief that my God is big enough to do it.

 Dear heavenly father, I ask you to help me and help every woman or spouse that has ever had to feel the hurt we feel.  The heart that has been crushed beyond all recognition and the heart that still loves are in constant tug of war.  God, please   help the heart that loves to win.  Help my heart to learn to love as you do.  You have already forgiven; help me to forgive as you have forgiven me.  Amen.

                       

 

 

 

 

My Story- Eyes Wide Open

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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.

Acts 11:19-21:

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!