The Fog

I didn’t even realize until a couple weeks after the confession of the affairs that I had been in a fog. Over the course of the last year I had become completely deceived, I had become a different person. I couldn’t think clearly and the things that were important to me had been forgotten.

Gollum from Lord of the Rings was the one character I began to identify with. I had been a guy who was “normal” and sought after the Lord. Then the ring got a hold of me and I slipped away to live in the deep dark places. The ring for me was comfort, that comfort was found in seeking out women and pornography. This deception and acceptance of lies in my life turned me into a thing that was no longer recognizable.  My wife would even say that before I confessed she didn’t know who I was anymore. The crazy thing is that I thought I was still the same guy. I was so blinded I didn’t realize that I had become someone else.

By the grace of God I now see that I was actually blessed to be Frodo. The Lord brought conviction and confession in my life and has graciously allowed healing in my life. God is so good. When the Bible talks about the deceptive nature of sin and that the devil is crafty and seeking to destroy it is completely true. The devil is great at taking half truths to convince us that our sinful behavior is acceptable. We become so deceived and begin to think that crazy things are okay. For a while I had come to believe that I could talk to all these women, make-out with some and that it was okay. That I really didn’t have to confess. That is insane! That is just one of the lies I had used to convince myself that my behavior was acceptable.

If you recently confessed to major sin in your life you may be feeling the same way. Here are a few of the things that I remember from those initial weeks:

• You are in a fog of sin and it will take some time to come back to normal.

• Don’t trust your thoughts, desires and emotions. They are all messed up because of the effects of sin in your life.

• Be honest with your spouse and others that you are in a fog and that you don’t even trust yourself. Don’t worry, you will be able to trust yourself again. I remember being so scared that I couldn’t trust myself.

• As you heal you will eventually look back and be blown away by the crazy things you did and came to believe. Be thankful that God in His love pulled you back to reality.

The night I confessed I probably did one of the craziest things. My job (I would be terminated later that week) required that I travel a significant amount. On Wednesday of that week I was supposed to go to Alanta for work. My wife and I were in our room talking that night and she said something about doing something later in the week. I don’t even remember what she said. I replied and said I couldn’t because I would be out of town for work. She got pissed (rightly so) and stormed out of the room. She went outside into the cold all alone and I sat there wondering what I did. Insane… I know! Not only was it insane because I just confessed to affairs while traveling, but I also worked at an institution that would immediately terminate me once they knew. (The institution treated me with such grace, love and truth. I will always love that place.) Sin had such a hold on me that I lost all grasp on reality.

Getting through the fog was a hard journey and took a number of days to get through. My heart also remained hard and calloused for a while. Over the course of a couple weeks the hardness and callouses were taken away.

When you are in this fog trust your spouse and a couple close friends to help you remember who you are!

A Girl’s Dream

Most little girls dream about getting married someday and how wonderful life will be. I also dreamed of getting married, but around the age of twelve I started dreaming specifically about a Christian husband. Because I had never had a Christian dad who talked about Jesus or the Bible, I wanted that for my family. I wanted to marry someone who would pray with me and our kids. I wanted someone that loved talking about things that were good and positive, someone that encouraged me with my walk with God. I wanted someone to love me unconditionally, and faithfully. I wanted to marry someone who truly loved Jesus and was trying to live for Him each day.

I married that person. From the beginning we both unknowingly bought each other a Bible as a wedding gift. I wanted that to be central to our marriage and he did too. We prayed together and walked with God.  We were not perfect at it, but we were both trying to love God first and love each other next. We said divorce was not an option we would always work through it.

Flash forward about seventeen years when my dream was crushed. How could this happen? My husband walked away from God and me. I kept asking him if he secretly hated me. I would say over and over, why did you do this to us? I was so hurt and broken inside because I thought I just wasn’t good enough for him. I thought he really didn’t like me and wanted to get away from me. I thought I wasn’t beautiful to him anymore.  I think I even said that I cannot compare to the things these women do in pornography, and I would not want to, so if that’s what you want…I am not that.  I took the affairs so personally. I was so confused because we had a great marriage, not perfect, but great. I was totally blind-sided that he would actually break our marriage vows and actually have sex with other women. I couldn’t get over the fact that my ideal marriage was crushed. If we made it to our 50th anniversary, we wouldn’t be able to say we were always committed to one another, I was so broken and damaged.  He said it was not because of me, or our marriage, it was his fault.  He wasn’t dealing with hurts and disappointments in life properly and was trying to escape and make himself feel better. It was all so self-centered, I was so shocked. How did he get this far from God.  I couldn’t trust him now and that felt so horrible. How can you be in a relationship and not trust? I had no idea, so I had to trust Jesus and His promises for me.

I realized months later that the reason I was taking it so personally was because I had elevated our marriage up on a pedestal. People constantly told us that they looked up to our marriage, so it was built up even more. I was finding my significance in a great marriage. I found significance in being married to a Christian guy who was seeking the Lord.  So when all of the sin was unleashed it was broken, I felt completely frazzled and lost. I blamed myself. The wounds were deep and painful. Then the words of Psalms and the counselor’s words began to settle in my mind. I started hearing God’s voice louder than Satan’s lies.  When you feel like you are not good enough and Satan tells you that your husband wants someone else, go to your Father and be still. Listen to how much He loves you and that is all that matters. You need to heal and the only person that can do that is Jesus. I realized that I needed to love God with all of my heart, mind, soul and strength before I could heal and forgive completely. I needed to believe the Bible and to continue filling my mind with truth.  I needed to believe that I was the daughter of a King!

I am beautiful.

I am victorious.

I am chosen.

I am accepted just as I am.

I am blessed everyday I rise.

I am loved unconditionally.

I am the apple of my Father’s eye.

I am never forsaken.

I am not average. I am not ordinary.

I AM A MASTERPIECE!

…and you are too!

 

 

 

 

A Growing Light 

He is the light of the world. -John 8:12

I never use to see the light. I thought I trusted Christ. I taught a lot of people a boat Christ. I did a lot of activities that were about Christ. However I don’t know if the light could ever be seen in my heart. Looking into my heart was like looking into a cave. The cave was pitch black. I was told there was light in there but I never saw it. I learned to talk like there was a light. I would celebrate with others that we could see the flicker of light in our own caves but because of my pride I learned to say I saw the light.

Through self-righteousness I became really good at living like I saw the light. I was so good that I didn’t even realize that I didn’t see the light. When I saw the warning signs that there may be no light I blamed it on God. If He wanted the sin gone he’d do more. I’d pray and when I fell I’d blame it on God and believe He didn’t really love me.

All the while unforgiven ess, hurt, anger, disappoint and sin pulled me farther from the cave and even helped me build a wall into the cave so I couldn’t see in. Fortunately before the wall was completed Love broke through the wall. God reached down and touched me through my bride e Her love broke the walls down and I finally admitted that I couldn’t see the light in my cave.

My Bride saw the light in her cave like a roaring fire and she told me to keep looking for the light in my care. She said it was there. Other friends told me it was there and they started holding my hand and pointing me in the direction to see the light.

I started longing to see the light so I spent a lot of time looking for it. As though I was a hunter waiting for the prey long before sunset. This time I didn’t accept the opportunities to pretend to see the light.

In the waiting I started cleaning away the rubble from the wall that had been broken down. I removed the hurt from the past and I understood that on my own I would only build walls. Through Christ all the rubble could be removed. I could be forgiven and forgive myselfee

Slowly I began to know the light was there and I’d see glimpses. The more I let go and actually let Christ clear the rubble the more often I’d catch a glimpse. After a time I kept being fearful the light would disappear. I was also fearful because I only saw it every once in a while. I was blessed my bride kept pointing me to the light and she kept loving me, friends also kept telling me they saw the light in my care.

A couple weeks ago I noticed the light was bigger and I saw it constantly. I was thrilled but not satisfied. I want the light to be bigger and stronger. I want it to be a roaring bonfire that I feel the heat of Joy through. Not only that I want the light in me to be a light for others. I want it to give them the heat of joy and comfort so that they will look for the flicker of light in their cave.

I do have to tend my cave entrance though but Jesus now helps. Hurt and temptation want to begin closing it off again. I have to bring others into my cave to help me keep the rubble away. I’m finding as the fire and light grow bigger and brighter that it becomes easier to clear the rubble away. I am so thankful. I am confident my fire will spread to others. I wait in expectation for how that will look.

Friends be honest if you can’t see the light. It’s okay because if you keep looking you will eventually see the flicker of light in your cave. God will also bring others along to help you see it!

I hope this encourages you. Now I’m off to enjoy the fire in my cave. 

He does love you…

Over the years one of the lies that I have accepted from the devil is that God saved me, but now He is just waiting for me to mess up. God wants to point out my failures, and as a result I never really accepted that God is for me. Recently I have spent a lot of time reflecting on the truth that I am God’s son and that I am the apple of His eye. (Psalms 17:8) This is creating great peace and freedom in my life. 

This morning as I drove to meet a friend I was under attack from the devil. He was trying to get me to beat myself up and to agree with him that I wasn’t worth anything. This went on the whole drive and I prayed to God but it continued. When we sat down to coffe I immediately asked my friend how work was. He said, “no, that we needed to talk about something else.” He explained about a friend who believed that God wanted them to suffer and that God was against them. He then went on to share Romans 8 with me. 

What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things? Who shall bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died-more than that, who was raised-who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? As it is written, “For your sake we are being killed all the day long; we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.” No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. – Romans 8:31-39

My friend spoke into my life to remind me that God loves me and is for me. God is at work and worthy of my trust. I was super encouraged in my soul by his words. The devil wanted to destroy me and instead God spoke love and truth into my life through a friend. 

As I drove home I reflected on the love of God displayed in that divine moment over coffee. God loves us, my friend and He wants to encourage us. Do you believe it? Are you looking for Him to show up in unexpected places? He wants to care for you as you are His son or daughter, the apple of His eye. Confess now to Him and to a friend any lies or unbelief you are accepting about God. 

Unbelief like this led to my affairs and enslavement to sexual sin over the years. This unbelief led me to a life of trying to manipulate God. Eventually I was tired of it and let anger and rejection rule in my life. In those moments I found out I am more sinful than I ever realized but I also found out that God loves me more than I ever comprehended! As you move forward in the healing and hopefully reconciliation with your spouse accept that God loves you completely. Anything that comes against that belief, acknowledge it as a lie from the devil and renew your mind with the truth of the Word of God. You will heal and you will come to a deeper understanding of God’s love! 

Wait…

Indeed, none who wait for you (the Lord) shall be put to shame… – Psalm 25:3a

Over the last several months, as my wife and I are healing from my affairs this verse has become a bedrock for me. There are and will be days that just suck as you and your spouse heal. The enemy will attack and try to destroy the healing that is taking place. Not only will there be difficult days but at times you won’t know what to do or how to respond in certain situations. Then to top it all off you will be longing for the healing to come much quicker than what it is.

Within the first few weeks of my confessions my wife read through the Psalms a couple times and I read through portions of it. This verse over and over again has stuck with me, and has taken me back to a better place when things get difficult or I don’t know what to do. Through the course of all this mess I have learned that I just need to hold onto the Lord. I need to cling to Him and wait for Him.

This verse gives me assurance that if I don’t know how to act or move forward that I just need to be honest about it and wait for the Lord. He will come through, He will guide his children as they trust in Him. We must, however be willing to wait. That can be the hard thing. It takes faith to trust this verse to be so. As you take more time to wait instead of rushing forward it will become easier and easier to wait. In America we are taught all the time to be in control and to be people of action. In God’s economy we become a people who wait and let God take action for His glory. When we do that we truly learn to live and be filled with joy as He miraculously works.

God is in control of your healing process, so wait. He will turn the destruction of your affairs or the betrayal in your life into something beautiful as you wait. He will not let you be put to shame. Have confidence and wait. Let God come through for you…He will!

Wait…