From the Blog

We need your help!

When I see the stats regarding “Christian” men who are struggling with an addiction to porn my heart breaks! Why? Because for every husband who is struggling there is a wife who is broken.  She is left hurt, isolated, full of shame… not knowing where to turn. Her husband’s secret is now her secret and she is being destroyed from the inside out.  These wounded sisters need help.  They need a safe place where they can be understood and encouraged.  I am SO thankful to share with you that Freedom Begins Here is offering such a place.  We have created a closed Facebook page for these women to find HOPE and ENCOURAGEMENT from other women who have experienced healing and wholeness in Christ.  The Facebook page is called "In Your Shoes" and can be found  by clicking on the link above.

We also have a support group of women in Northwest Arkansas who meet on a monthly basis.  You can find out more info about that OR encouragement for starting your own by visiting www.freedombeginshere.org and clicking on the contact tab.

SO……………. How can YOU help?

**If YOU love someone who struggles with a porn addiction, this ministry is for YOU!  It may be a husband, daughter or son.  It doesn’t matter.  This is your personal invitation to join us.  You do NOT have to walk through this difficult season alone.  There is HOPE in Christ and in community with sisters who will love you, support you and encourage you on your journey towards healing and wholeness! Friend, be courageous and join us today!

**If YOU are a woman who has experienced healing in Christ from this kind of betrayal, please carefully consider joining us in ministering to those who are wounded.  (2 Cor 1:3-4)  The pain in your past can be used for GOOD!  Friend, Trust me, you do not have to be a counselor or psychologist...all you have to be is available.  As God has comforted you, you can comfort others and give them HOPE.  You WILL be blessed by being a blessing!

**If YOU know of anyone who you feel would benefit from this ministry, please pass this information along to them.

**If none of the above applies to you, we STILL need YOUR support.  We ask for your prayers.  

Pray for our sisters, husbands, children, families, churches, and nation to be set FREE from the seduction of porn that is running rampant in our world today.  Pray that darkness would be brought to light.  Pray that the body of Christ will step up and address sexual issues as boldly and unashamedly as the world portrays them.  Pray that our churches, families and future generations will KNOW the TRUTH and be equipped to handle this war strategically and intentionally.

Together we CAN make a difference!

Porn: The Intimacy Killer

There are few words that can bring men’s conversations to a grinding halt. Intimacy is one of them. Speak the word, intimate, in the setting of a man-to-man talk and hear the deafening silence.

If this conversation makes you a tad uncomfortable, that's probably a good thing. Intimacy and pornography are diametrically opposed to one another. The two are mutually exclusive. Like light and dark. They can’t occupy the same space. 

Ok, the point is this. Fact: Viewing of pornography kills the intimacy you have with your wife.  If you’re having intimate (sexual that is) outside of the bonds of marriage, you need to revisit God’s design for relationships. Marriage, then sex. 

Evidence
How do I know this to be fact? My personal experience, which I’ll address shortly, and this article from Resurgence is another solid piece of evidence.  http://theresurgence.com/2011/11/19/7-negative-effects-of-porn, Journalist http://www.amazon.com/Pamela-Paul/e/B001H9Q502/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_pop_1 Pamela Paul writes: “pornography gives men the false impression that sex and pleasure are entirely divorced from relationships.”  

The Resurgence article accurately states: “Sex becomes self serving. It becomes about your pleasure and not the self-giving, mutually reciprocating intimacy that it was designed for.”

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The Journey of Restoration; Wives, What Do You See?

Even though you may see your husband moving forward on his journey towards deliverance, sometimes it is difficult to see him as God sees him.  I can relate all too well.  We tend to see through eyes of the past.  We see through distorted lenses.  We see through the pain, the tears, the memories.

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When it's Hard to Love

If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a
resounding gong or a clanging cymbal.  If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom
all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains,
but have not love, I am nothing.  If I give all I possess to the poor and
surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing.  
Love is patient, love is kind.  It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.  
It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered,
it keeps no record of wrongs.  Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.  
It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.  
Love never fails.  
But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled;
where there is knowledge, it will pass away.  For we know in part and we prophesy in part,
but when perfection comes, the imperfect disappears.  When I was a child, I talked like a child,
I thought like a child, I seasoned like a child.  When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me.
  Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face.  Now I know in part;
 then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.
 And now these three remain: faith, hope and love.  
But the greatest of these is love.      
1 Corinthians 13
The above is commonly know as the LOVE chapter in the bible.  You can find parts of it on greeting cards, quoted at weddings, and even hung on walls.  It is so beautiful.  As Christians, we are in awe and filled with thankful hearts knowing that is how Jesus loves us.  That is what He does... that is Who He is. This knowledge is AWESOME because it is His love that the Holy Spirit uses to draws us to Him. The same Holy Spirit who indwells every believer. SO why don't WE love as Jesus loves? Could it be because it is easier to accept this gift of love from Him than to think that WE are called to give this gift to others? Seriously...how many of us really love this way?  This sacrificial, unconditional love is NOT the kind of love we are used to seeing, let alone giving....especially in marriages today. 

 

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Why My Husband?

Why God?  Haven't I done what I was supposed to do?
Why this?  Haven't I faithfully attended church and served in ministry?
Why now?  Haven't I fasted, prayed, and read your Word?
Why me?  Haven't I pleased you Lord by living like a christian woman should?
Why MY marriage? Haven't  I been a Godly wife?
Why MY husband?  Haven't I prayed SO many prayers for him and over him?
Why God? Why didn't you stop him?

Sound familiar?  Chances are, you are reading this blog because you have found out about your husband's addiction to porn.  Chances are, at some point you have shouted these questions to God.  I have too.  It's okay, my friend, because God can handle it.  BUT, maybe we need to look a little deeper and examine the root of these questions and our belief system.

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Welcoming Vicki Tiede to the Freedom Begins Here Team

The statistics are staggering, fifty percent of Christian men are addicted to pornography. The cancerous infection of pornography is eating away at the hearts of the women behind the men who are addicted. I was one of those women. If you’re reading this, you probably are too.

I’ll be honest, that marriage didn’t survive. I was a mess. He was a mess. Together, we couldn’t begin to make things right. I’m convinced that you do the best you can with the information you have at the time. At that time, I knew diddly-squat about pornography addiction let alone what I could do about the tremendous sense of betrayal and pain I felt. I certainly was in no position to contribute to an environment that promoted healing.

Nevertheless, I was determined to fix my eyes on the God of Hope and begin a spiritual quest to redefine my life regardless of my husband’s daily choices. In the sixteen years since my first marriage ended, I’ve continued learning to allow God to meet my greatest needs, rather than expecting my (new) husband to do so. This is a long and learned process, a slow dance through brokenness in the arms of the Almighty.

I’ve written a book called When Your Husband is Addicted to Pornography ~ Healing Your Broken Heart. Oh, I pray you’ll get a copy and start working through the healing process.

My book doesn’t promise a woman an overnight healing; rather, it offers tools to help you examine your current stage of grieving and teaches you what God’s Word has to say about overcoming the painful ramifications of your husband’s betrayal, cleansing your mind and heart of the hurtful, and perhaps graphic things you have seen, heard, said, and felt. In the book, I repeatedly show women passages of Scripture promising that God will meet you exactly where you are in the healing process. When Your Husband… stresses that a wife is only responsible for herself and the choices she makes. It’s not a handbook for fixing your husband. When Your Husband… points you to the One who is able to bring about restoration and reconciliation.

I’m so excited to be blogging regularly with Mindy Adams for Freedom Begins Here! (You are going to love getting to know Mindy too!) God has placed an enormous burden on my heart to open the Scriptures and share my life experiences in order to share His grace and faithfulness and to draw other women into a lifelong pursuit of knowing Him. I’m living proof that God can and will do beautiful things with the broken pieces of your heart. Psalm 147:3 reminds us that He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.

I’ve been a speaker and author for more than ten years, and I’ve shared my story countless times and heard the tear-filled stories of more women than I can name. There’s comfort in knowing that you aren’t alone on this journey, that others have walked this path and come out on the other side – hopeful, strong in the Lord, and able to trust again. I’ve watched God restore marriages again and again. He is able.

I look forward to beginning a dialogue with you and other women like us. You are on a journey you never chose and you’re making the voyage with a broken heart. I’m confident, friend, that God can and will see you through to a place of health and renewal. Please, come back often to our blog here at Freedom Begins Here and let us encourage you on your quest for healing.

 

We Need Each Other

You see her, Sunday after Sunday. You notice how pretty she is. She seems to be everything that you aren't. Everyone seems to like her. She seems to have the "happily ever after" that you only dream about! Her marriage is perfect. Great family, great kids. She always smiles, always seems to have it all together. You have her all figured out. You assume she never gets angry. She never yells at her kids. She never misses her daily time with Jesus. You are so sure that she never feels awkward or insecure. There is a big part of you that wishes your life was more like hers. For you, life has been so unfair. You think if she had half the problems you do, she certainly wouldn't be smiling so much. She is so intimidating to you. Why would she want to be friends with someone like you? Your life is so messy. She certainly wouldn't understand.
So what do you do? You keep your distance. You may even avoid her at times. Even though she has tried to reach out to you, your assumptions about her will not allow a relationship to take root.
But, what if your assumptions are all wrong???? What if the thoughts you are having are not reality at all?
Can I be frank with you, dear sister? If you look closer, with your heart and not with your eyes you may see something you never noticed before. She is a woman just like you, a woman with a story. Her life is not perfect as you have invisioned. She may look peaceful and happily married but it did not come without a price. She is not what you think. Maybe if you befriended her, you would find out that she struggles, has insecurities and a heart that is covered with scars. Maybe if you reached out to her, got to know her, shared your own story with her...you would know the truth about her instead of the imaginary picture that keeps you at a distance. Maybe you could help her and she could help you. Please, dear sister, stop the assumptions. Open your heart and allow the walls that keep you from connecting with your sisters in Christ to come down once and for all.
Bottom line....we need each other. We were not created to go through this journey of life in seclusion. Relationships are what God uses to fulfill His plans and purposes on this earth. It is through these relationships that we learn more about ourselves and the LOVE of Christ.
It is in the confines of community that our character is molded and shaped to be more like HIM. We need real relationships with our sisters in Christ. Not only do our relationships challenge and change us for His Glory, they also are a mighty force against the enemy and his schemes. Satan is quite aware of what happens when we come together in the name of Jesus. That is why he wants you to be paralyzed by your perceptions in such a way that you miss what is real. He WANTS you to stay in seclusion. He knows how powerful the encouragement and wisdom of a Godly woman is to a sister who is broken. He knows how powerful the prayer of agreement is when sisters in Christ unite. The giftings, the sensitivity, the passion and the discernment that God has placed in each one of us is a force to be reckoned with. He knows that when we engage in spiritual warfare on behalf of our sisters, our husbands, our children, our communities....... something changes.
Together, we are stronger and together we can win battles as we lock our shields in prayer. We must not be blinded by what we percieve to be truth about our sisters in the body of Christ. We must not allow the enemy to separate us or to seclude us.
I have been BOTH of the women mentioned above....too insecure to befriend a woman who seemed to be all that I wasn't AND I have also been misjudged to the point that I was kept at a distance. In both cases, wrong assumptions and perceptions stole the blessings that might have been.
Lord, help us to not allow insecurities and our perception of others keep us from the divine connections that you have for us. Convict our hearts where we are judging instead of loving. May we see others through your eyes. Help us to reach out and befriend those you place in our paths. Lord, you know this can be scary. For those of us who have been hurt by others, this can seem downright risky. Deliver us from our fears and help us to live life in community with our sisters in Christ. Help us to find joy in our journey as we share our lives with others. Help us to be real and transparent so that others will not be intimidated by what we seem to portray on the outside. I pray for my sisters that you will send divine friendships their way. That your daughters may embrace all that you have for them. May our influence point others to YOU in such a way that lives are changed for YOUR GLORY. May we be a powerful force that pushes back the enemy as we join together in friendship and love. For such a time as this!! AMEN!!!!!