For 13 years of our 18 year marriage - my husband abused alcohol. Since we are going to be honest with one another here in my blog - he has struggled with it since he was a teenager. About 2 years ago, it started to escalate and eventually the anger that accompanies alcohol abuse was pointed towards our kids. My life had come to a place where I had to make a change - because - I firmly believed that keeping the kids in that situation was a sin. I hardened my heart - I stopped loving my husband - and I left. I had prayed about it - I had cried about it - and I was done. Shortly after - as my husband was sitting alone with everything that he had thought was important - God got in touch with him. God worked a miracle in my husband. My husband walks with God now...like I had prayed about for years. We have been in counseling (Christian based) for a year. We moved back in together March 1st of this year and we celebrated our 18th wedding anniversary in April. Yet – while that is a testimony in and of itself– that’s not where this blog is going to stop…because as we all know, life is no fairy tale. In my introduction blog - I mentioned that God showed me my own sin. Part of it was the sin of my hardened heart - and part of it had to do with a relationship that I had developed with another man. While I was separated from my husband - it was still very, very wrong. So - to the murky water that was my life, I added adultery. The other man and I had been really, really close friends. So - I lost a friendship that meant much to me - one that I had depended on in my darkest times. It has been heartbreaking - and I would be lying if I said that I have completely healed. Part of the problem is that the worldly friends I have tell me how “justified” I was, how “understandable” it is…and I keep having to be honest with them and with myself. It was sin….and I disappointed God. It’s only by His grace that it didn’t derail His plans to restore my marriage. I know I have a divided heart still and I know that isn't what God wants and so I've prayed. He answered. A few months ago - a summertime woman's bible study was looking for participants. I contacted the leader to see what we were going to be studying - she really didn't know yet. I had been praying for women friends - Christian women friends...and this seemed like a good place to start. Last night we began the study, the one selected is Beth Moore's “Loving Well”. Can we see the Creator’s hand in this? During the discussion session after we watched the video – we talked about being vulnerable with people who have hurt you. 1 John 4:18 says There is no fear in love; instead, perfect love drives out fear. I realized that I haven’t been able to be vulnerable with my husband – and that this is what is keeping me from healing. I’m not loving him the way God calls me to love him – fearlessly. I remember all the name-calling, the anger, the yelling, the throwing…and while there was never any hitting…the damage that was done is deep. It reaches to the deepest part of my soul – the place only God can touch. There is a part of me that doesn’t want to love my husband that deeply again – because of the pain. Sometimes, it seems it would be so much easier to walk away and start over. Yet – out of obedience to God –I must let it go. I must be fearless. I was sitting there, letting it all sink in, being quiet, when another woman shared her current situation. She doesn’t attend our church – and was invited by another member. Her husband moved out while she was pregnant and is currently living with another woman. She has an brand new baby and a husband who isn’t offering any financial or emotional support. She is struggling ~ she is struggling with hearing God and with keeping a loving heart. As she was sharing with us, my heart started pounding. I was being led to share. I waited a few minutes - to see if God might change his mind - but He told me that it was time to speak out loud about what I had lived with and the path that I have traveled. With a shaking voice – and plenty of tears going all around in the room – I shared. I'm not sure I got it all out - but while I was talking - she began cryin in earnest - her husband was also abusing alcohol. I told her that God is capable….and that he does not fail. We talked about being still...and letting God work. In that moment – the 6 of us were so intricately connected – from the woman who selected the material, to the woman who had invited this new mother to our group – to me - just another sinner – fully forgiven and loved-one who can testify to God’s power. So this morning – I was thinking about what to share in my Testimony Thursday blog. Again, God spoke to my heart. This time – I argued a little bit more with him. I really don’t like sharing the ugly parts of my life. Then my favorite song came on the radio – “Always” by Building 429. This is the song that reminds me that no matter how many times I fail – He will never fail – his promises remain. He uses what we see as “failures” to further His kingdom. 2 Corinthians 12:9 (NIV) But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me.
Dear Ladywithaview, This is so beautiful.
Lord God, wrap your arms around my sister today and cause her to feel your enormous love. I pray you will comfort her in the deepest part of her broken heart, and bless her over and over again for the strength and courage it must have taken for her to share this with others thereby perhaps helping another heal, too. Wow, Father, what a beautiful tribute she gives. How she has touched my heart with her words today. Thank you for my sister, ladywithaview. May she be so blessed today.
You are stronger than you think. You go, girl!
A brand new view.. yes..
"Being confident of this very thing, that He which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ" Philippians1:6
i am offline for a few days as i take care of my grandmother. I am actually commenting from my phone so please forgive any typos.
Thank you all for your kind words..they mean much. Words cannot describe the enormous burden God has lifted from me this week. My heaart feels freer than it has in years.
I walk in love...and peace....
God bless you ladywithaview as you take care of your grandmather and be a blessing to her.
What an amazing testimony you have.
What glory you bring to the Father.
There are so many things here I wish I could comment on, but the two biggest points I want to mention is that you are a poster child for NOT getting a divorce. I know, I know, the world says we're justified in getting a divorce under all these different scenarios. And even scripture permits divorce sometimes. But I've said and I still say, when a Christian chooses divorce, they choose no differently than the world chooses. God calls us to be different. Kudo's to you, dear sister in Christ.
And secondly, by allowing yourself to be transparent and vulnerable, you are taking pain and offering it back to God to be used by Him. And He will use your pain in ways that will bring glory.
Great post, thank you for sharing.