For a while now, there’s been something on my mind and in my heart that I wanted to share. Maybe needed to share. It’s not easy because it’s personal and awkward, and there’s no way to open my heart to you without reliving some memories. But, I think someone needs the encouragement, the hope that God heals, and we can live in Him!
A Little Backstory
As many of you–my faithful readers–know, my husband quite out of the blue a little less than three years ago confessed to me that he was addicted to pornography. We had enjoyed a quiet dinner at home sans kids except for our newborn. If I’m remembering correctly, our infant son lay snuggled in my arms unaware of the turmoil that was about to take place.
I was shocked. Deeply wounded. Angry. Everything I thought we had felt snatched away in a moment. My one comfort was the babe snuggled in my arms. I’m sure it was quite by design that I had such a tiny one who needed me, who helped keep me from slipping away into nothingness. His total dependence reminded me that I must remain present for him and his six older siblings.
But it wasn’t pretty. At times I raged. Others I hid inside myself. And still others I wore the mask of “everything’s fine,” but wanting to give up and run away.
My goal here is not to rehash all that I’ve shared before, but to give a clear picture of how awfully low I was, and how betrayed I felt. I thought I could never love my husband the same again. I thought I could never again be “alive” and normal for my kids. And I certainly was sure that I could never be real with my friends again. It was too painful and embarrassing. I was trapped in a deep, deep and dark, lonesome valley.
He began to move. He let me scream at Him, be hateful to my husband, to close myself off from my kids and extended family. But only for a time.
He began to change my husband, to help him break through the bondage that pornography held him in. Ironically, He used my husband to minister to me, even though at first, I often rejected his help. He sent two friends to guide me through the muddy waters, and finally, He drove me to Himself. I knew I could have no peace without Him, and I desperately needed it.
I began to throw myself into His word and into worship music. The healing began, and slowly, He lifted me from the mud, and He ministered to my broken heart.
There was a time when I could never have imagined our marriage could be fixed. In truth, there was a time I didn’t want it to be fixed. In no way could I imagine giving myself fully to this man who had betrayed me. When I thought of intimacy, it was this: I can never be intimate with him again.
But God — God heals.
He doesn’t just heal us partially; God heals completely. Oh, there are scars. But much like the stretchmarks on my bulging belly and the tell-tale scar of c-section after c-section, they are beautiful scars. Scars I would never trade because they tell my story. They represent the life God has placed there. And they are glorious!
From the very beginning of this pregnancy with our 8th child, I knew. Was she planned? Not by us. But God. My scars from betrayal and restoration are mirrored in the scars from this pregnancy. They are beautiful scars because they mean healing. Complete healing.
This baby is proof that God can and does heal, but we have to let Him. It takes time, and it can be very painful. Ultimately, our victory baby is the physical evidence of our healing.
You see, we thought we’d not have more kids.
But God — God heals.
He showed me that intimacy could be possible again, and not by persuasion or force, but by the healing of my own broken heart. He showed me that He can make all things new. With Him, beauty is most definitely possible from ashes.
He healed me. He healed my husband. And He healed our marriage.
Amazingly, He has allowed His glory to be displayed through us! For that, I am very thankful, and completely humbled.
Let Him work in your life, friend. Give Him the pieces. Let Him do a mighty work in you!
I’ve loved this poem from the time I was a young girl, and it laid tucked away in my Bible for many, many years…
As children bring their broken toys
With tears for us to mend,
I brought my broken dreams to God
Because He was my friend.
But then instead of leaving Him
In peace to work alone,
I hung around and tried to help
With ways that were my own.
At last I snatched them back and cried,
“How could you be so slow?”
“My child,” He said, “What could I do?
You never did let go.”
Give it to Him, let him work. Trust that He knows what’s best for you!
Get weekly-ish [we all know life happens] encouragement from one mama in the trenches to another!