"I cry out to God, I run to Him in my pain, frustration and even shame. I just can't seem to get it all together. Why God, why can't you just "fix" me? Can't you just remove those ugly things deep in my heart that seem to still be there, forever a part of who I am? Lord Jesus, there is this battle, a struggle raging inside of my soul. I see the woman I WANT to be, the one I desire to be and I am so very far from that. She is buried beneath the hurts and insecurities. I thought you and I together had conquered these things once and for all, but here I am, finding myself in this cave of despair AGAIN. There are days when it seems the harder I try, the worse it gets. As if the ground that I had gained was all but lost and I find myself back at the beginning of it all. Old feelings, thoughts of the lies, the betrayal. They weigh heavy upon my soul like a weight with no mercy."
Have you ever had similar thoughts? You are NOT alone, my friend!
I so understand! Just when you think you have made headway, you find yourself battling the same thoughts and same feelings. They come against you when you least expect it. Like a surprise intruder trying to capture your heart and bind it so that the very life is sucked right out of you.
Sadly, there are women who have witnessed the deliverance of their husband only to give up on their own wholeness and choose to walk away. Until you are there, that makes no sense. Why would a wife stick with her husband through hell and back only to leave once he is delivered? You and I get it. Pain, brokenness, frustration, hopelessness, weariness, etc. The repercussions of our husband's addiction to porn reeks havoc on every area of our lives. SO many reminders of the betrayal on a daily basis. Some literally feel like they don't have it in them to continue even though they have witnessed what they have prayed for. However, if God is the healer of broken hearts then why are wives leaving broken and in such pain that they choose to give up?
Remember the enemy? The one who hates Jesus. The one who despises the cross. He is the same one who hates redemption, restoration and anything that brings Glory to the King of Kings! He is out to kill, steal, and destroy you and your marriage. Make no mistake about it...the wife of a husband who has chosen to turn away from his life of addiction becomes his prime target. He knows he cannot use the husband's addiction anymore to destroy what God has declared sacred so he comes after the wife with a vengeance. He will use whatever he can in hopes to defeat you, discourage you, and ultimately destroy you.
Beautiful friend, I want to encourage you....do NOT give up! God IS with you! Your heart will not ALWAYS hurt this bad! Thoughts of the past WILL lose their power over you as you choose to hold on to Jesus!
I know it is NOT at all easy. If you are like me, you probably thought that if your husband would just get delivered from his addiction that your heart wouldn't hurt anymore, that your life would finally be full of blissful moments and your marriage would be like you have always dreamed. Oh, how I wish that were true, but that is just not reality. I can honestly tell you that in my own life, things actually became MORE difficult for a season. The wounds were deep, so deep that I did not even realize how deep until God began exposing them graciously, one layer at a time. There were so many times when I became so tired of the battle, so weary of fighting the thoughts that seemed to just be waiting to discourage me. Unfortunately, the road to healing and wholeness has no shortcuts. No "quick fix" to be found. No three step formulas. It is full of challenges and opportunities for obedience. No matter how many books you read, how many counseling sessions you attend, how many prayers you have prayed, healing is usually a slow process. However, thanks be to Jesus that it is a process that God desires for you to walk through WITH Him. He will use it to transform YOU so that HIS Glory is revealed through YOU!
The TRUTH is there are things to be learned that can only be revealed to you as you take each difficult step with your hand in His. He is gently and lovingly burning away the impurities and creating in you a beautiful vessel of honor. Not only does He want you to be a reflection of Him but He wants you to be FREE from your insecurities, fears, anger, and anything that hinders you from walking in God-confidence! See, He has plans for you but if you are carrying around untruths in your heart about WHO you are and WHOSE you are, you will never fulfill the plans and purposes that He has for you. Those mindsets will stop you every time. Friend, this process can be painful! It is a battle of the flesh and a battle against the enemy. Sweet sister, it is the process that will lead you to the promise! Don't forget that! As you walk in obedience you will find divine strength and sufficient grace to persevere.
I am so thankful I did not give up or walk away...wounded. God is faithful! I Learned that I have to make a choice to intentionally turn to Jesus during those times instead of giving in to the voice of the enemy. Many times I have failed. Many times I have allowed the enemy to defeat me. However, God showed me a different way...His way. I could choose to continue to wonder in the wilderness of the past and fear being hurt again OR I could choose to believe His Word and then respond accordingly. Believe me my friend, it is much easier to wallow in the mess, to give in to feelings of insecurity, discouragement, anger and to allow your thoughts to take you captive. However, there is no freedom there. Freedom came as I disciplined myself to turn to God and His Word. There were times (and still are) when I did it in tears and had to read a scripture more than once (out loud) before I actually internalized it and got my emotions to line up with TRUTH. Girls, this is Christianity 101 and I know that. However, even though I KNEW it, I did not always DO it. Just being real. I don't know what kept me from it. Fear? Hurt? Anger? I believe it came down to who I wanted to be in control. And in those difficult moments it was usually ME. Praise God that I got weary enough and desperate enough to recognize what I needed to do. But you do NOT have to wait until that happens! You can choose NOW to do things differently.
Thanks be to God that as His beloved daughters, we have powerful weapons at our disposal. However, if we do not choose to pick up our weapons we will be defeated every time. Could it be that the reason we stay "stuck" is because we put our shields down and fail to pick up our tools for victory when in the heat of the battle? We are surrendering all right, but sadly, our surrender is to the enemy.
SO , let me ask you...are you tired of being controlled by your past? It is time to take a stand! Be strategic! PUT ON your praise, PUT ON your armor, raise your shield of faith and surrender your brokenness to Jesus and then keep surrendering! Be encouraged my friend...the Spirit of the living God lives within you....His strength is made perfect in your weakness!
I know you won't FEEL like doing these things... after all, you may have just walked into the room where you caught your husband looking at porn and those memories hit you like a tidal wave! Been there, done that. I understand. You cannot keep negative thoughts and feelings from bombarding you at times....you cannot keep away from all of the triggers that remind you of your husband's betrayal, BUT there is HOPE! It all goes back to what you allow your mind to dwell on. Change your thoughts and your feelings will soon follow. You must be intentional. You have to desire freedom and obedience to Christ enough to discipline yourself...to lead yourself to Jesus. So how bad do you want to be healed, to be free?
Friend, the very next time you are reminded about the past, about your husband's betrayal...replace those thoughts with the Word of GOD! In that very moment, let your trigger be a reminder to RUN to the ROCK, your Fortress, your Strong Tower!!! God's Word is so very powerful! His Word WILL transform us but we have to grab onto it with courage and trust believing by faith that those precious promises are for us! His Word will bring LIFE to those places in our hearts that seem dead. His Word will purify us from selfishness and pride. His Word WILL heal our broken hearts as we surrender all that we are to Him. It is time to determine with all the strength that God has given you that you are NOT going to do/act/think like you have done in the past. It is NOT working!! Surrender your mind to Jesus. Make a NEW habit! Use what satan intends for evil to cause you to run to TRUTH, to your loving Savior.
Praise God that your husband's betrayal does not have to leave you with an opened, seething wound that continues to bleed. Your triggers do not have to control you and become a part of who you are...you can be totally healed as you allow Your loving Savior to make ALL things new! As you determine to move forward, one decision at a time, one step at a time, and one day at a time, this process WILL take you to the abundant promises that are written in God's Word just for you. Friend, listen to His guidance, obey what He asks you to do and no matter what do not abandon the process He is taking you through. Sister, let me remind you; any thoughts that cause you fear, discouragement or hopelessness are NOT from God! God's word is TRUTH and LIFE and will stop the enemy from hindering the progress that's taking place in the process towards your promised future! Be strong and courageous, my friend! Cast your difficult moments upon Him. That means to literally throw them at His feet. As you do this, he WILL sustain you! In His timing He WILL complete the process in you, He WILL set you free. Trust Him dear sister and believe his Words.
The girl you want to be? She is there, like a diamond in the ruff and when she comes forth, her beauty will be a reflection of the Glory of God that no man can take away.
Need some encouragement this very moment? Can I challenge you to think on the promises below? Study them. Repeat them. Hide them in your heart! Then, go ahead and dive into God's Word and find some of those precious promises for yourself.
Therefore, humble yourselves (demote, lower yourselves in your own estimation) under the mighty hand of God, THAT IN DUE TIME He may exalt you, casting the whole of your care (ALL of your anxieties, ALL your worries, ALL your concerns, once and for all on Him, for He cares for you affectionately and cares for you watchfully. 1 Peter 5:6-7
CAST your cares on the Lord and HE WILL SUSTAIN YOU; He will never let the righteous fall.
AFTER YOU HAVE SUFFERED A LITTLE WHILE the God of ALL grace (who imparts blessing and favor) who has CALLED YOU to His own eternal Glory in Christ Jesus, will Himself COMPLETE and make YOU what you ought to be, establish and ground you SECURELY and STRENGTHEN, and SETTLE you.
1 Peter 5:10
Blessed be the Lord, MY ROCK, and MY KEEN STRENGTH and firm STRENGTH, who teaches my hands to war and my fingers to fight-MY STEADFAST LOVE and MY FORTRESS, MY HIGH TOWER, and MY DELIVERER, MY SHIELD and HE in WHOM I TRUST and take REFUGE...