I am so excited to be writing this post! When I started this blog almost one year ago, I had no idea where our story was headed. All I knew was that God was asking me to share it, so I did. I was scared to death. As 2016 ended and 2017 began, I was broken and hurting. I feared my marriage was over, that my husband was lost, and that I was worthless and disposable. I was the lowest I had ever been. It wasn’t much different for my love, or for our marriage. We were at our all-time low, and we had no idea what the future would hold. No idea… But as we ended Chapter 3 of Our Story, we clung to a verse:
We could never have guessed what God was up to! We've had front row seats to a real-life miracle, and we are in awe! Click To Tweet
Isaiah 43:18-19 – But forget all that – it is nothing compared to what I am going to do. For I am about to do something new. See, I have already begun! Do you not see it? I will make a pathway through the wilderness. I will create rivers in the dry wasteland.
Making a Path Through the Wilderness
In January of 2017, God started the work of putting to death the ugly monster of sexual addiction that had raged in our marriage for too long. He was also laying the foundation to defeat my fear and doubt and draw all of us into a deeper relationship with Him than we ever would have thought possible. He laid out a path for us and made certain we had everything we needed to see each step with clarity. All we had to do was follow. As we took each step, He provided what we needed to take the next… and the next… and the next. And here we are today. SO MUCH further down that path than I would ever have guessed 12 months ago. My love is barely recognizable. I look pretty different too!
We’re learning there isn’t a formula to healing though. While we want to have a step-by-step solution for this mess, that’s just not how it works. How do you bottle a miracle?
We can offer tools and resources that are helping us. We can tell you about the lessons God has taught us, and try to apply the grander concepts. We can map out the steps God has asked and is continuing to ask us to take. We can offer to lock arms with you and walk through the fires together. We have, and will continue to do all those things. But none of them are THE answer. There is only one true Healer, and He is Jesus Christ. Without Him, there is no hope. With Him, we have everything we need to find victory over sin and death.
If you’re here because you’re walking this path too, I need you to know that the course He’ll lead you through is almost certainly going to look a little different than the one He’s leading us through. That’s okay. I’m not here to be the expert and tell you what to do. I’m here to point you to the One who performs miracles! The Answer. The Way, the Truth, and the Life! He is the only reason we’ve made it as far as we have.
Creating Rivers in the Dry Wasteland
Just one year ago, our marriage seemed hopeless. Dried up. It felt like a barren wasteland with no life left anywhere in sight. I wanted to believe in the God who makes beauty out of ashes, but I just didn’t see how He could do it.
I’ve spent the past year documenting the fact that, whether we see a way or not, God. IS. Able! Step by step, he led us: My love confessed. We made some major changes in our day to day life. I decided to cast off my doubts and put my faith wholly in the Lover of My Soul. We spent a week at a marriage intensive. We did a 90-day therapeutic separation. We followed God to Africa. We spent time every single day with God, learning from His Word. We started learning to find our individual identities in Christ alone. We spent countless hours working on communication and truth-telling. We read books. We surrounded ourselves with people who are committed to God, who love us, and who are just about as determined as we are to see this thing through to victory. We learned to capture our thoughts and surrender them to God. We looked for opportunities to give back to God. As obstacles arose, we chose to face them head on, with faith and determination. With each step, springs of life-giving water appeared bringing a free-flowing river of hope and joy!
By no means do we think we’ve “arrived.” We know for sure we haven’t. It’s one of the things that assures me we’re on the right path. In fact, if the day ever comes when either one of us thinks we’re fully healed, we better be dead. Because anything else would spell certain doom for our future! This sanctifying story will be life-long, and we’re pretty psyched about the journey!
Forgetting the Former Things
So here we are. Our face off with the monster has ended. God put it to death. We’re coming out on the other side of that chapter as a new creation. One who bears the scars of the war that was waged to set us free. Those scars are forever. Constant indications of the fact that we’ve not yet been made perfect. They are permanent reminders of our inability to do anything on our own, and of our Lord’s mighty work in spite of us. They keep us face to face with our need for Him.
With the Author’s pen securely in the hands of Christ, we’re starting a new chapter. We believe this one is going to be incredible, but we’re committed to understanding that it was through the difficult chapters that God brought us here. They are forever a part of our story, but they are no longer who we are.
We won’t be bound by those memories. We’re not going to give guilt and shame a place in this chapter. We're going to wear our scars with humble thanksgiving to the One who has made us beautiful. Click To Tweet We’re going to let them be seen so that people will know how mighty our God’s work really is. We will not cower or hide, but we will put those chapters behind us and walk forward in victory!
Doing Something New
Only God truly knows what the pages of this new chapter will hold. But He has started to give us some hints. These years are going to include sending our children off to college, (or life – whatever they choose) and shifting our focus from parenting to something else. We believe, at least right now, that it will be some sort of ministry that will grow out of the miraculous works of 2017.
In many ways that work has already begun. Opportunities have started to present themselves for us to come along side other couples who are struggling through the early stages of recovery. We’ve decided to claim 2 Corinthians 1:3-4 over this new aspect of our story. God has been so faithful to comfort us and get us through this trial. How could we do anything other than offer that comfort to those He sets in our path? We are determined to look for and cease as many opportunities as we can to deal debilitating blows to the enemy in the area of sexual addiction and broken marriage. With God’s help, we will be formidable foes against the forces of darkness!
Exactly what that will look like, we have no idea. Perhaps my writing will reach new milestones. Perhaps we’ll start some sort of “safe house” ministry. Maybe, God will lead us back to Africa to do some unknown work there. Who knows? The possibilities are endless.
What we do know is this: 2017 was the most incredible year of our life! We are head over heels in love with our Lord and Savior. We are confident in His love for and faithfulness to us. We are dumbfounded and stupid with awe over His miraculous work. We are more in love with each other than we have ever been. Our kids are awesome and gifts we do not deserve. There are hurting people who need Jesus no matter which direction we look, so no matter where God leads us, we know we’re called to show them that there is hope in Christ.
We can’t wait to see what 2018 and beyond holds for us! As always, I hope you’ll join us on the journey! LET’S DO THIS!!! And, God bless!