Monthly Archives: May 2016

I’m a huge “Pinterest” fan,  and an inspiring quote came up on my home page today. It read:

“The pages of yesterday cannot be revised, but the pages of tomorrow are blank and you hold the pen. Make it an inspiring story.”

We can change with God’s help. I felt all the old habits rise to the fore yesterday, but with God’s grace, I know I am not reacting in the way I once was. Today is a blank page, and my prayer is that each day will show that God is in charge, that his Holy Spirit will be steering my heart as I hold the pen and write on these pages. 

Yes, the pages of yesterday cannot be revised, but we now have a book full of  blank pages. What we do with these pages is up to us, but my prayer would be that these pages are filled with beauty and inspiration. We are not defined by our past, we are defined by Christ who gives us a future full of empty pages, that can be filled with beauty which can come from him.

My greatest desire is for flowers to bloom on the rubbish heap. That the rubbish heap will not be recognised because of the  abundance of flowers growing there. God can bring great beauty out of great sin and great pain. I am seeing it, I am understanding God is at work, changing me, changing my husband. We have a long way to go, but God’s work is to change and transform and to bring glory to himself.  This is my greatest desire, and God delights in the prayers of his people. What a saviour! 

Isaiah 61:3 says:

To all who mourn in Israel, he will give a crown of beauty for ashes, a joyous blessing instead of mourning, festive praise instead of despair. In their righteousness, they will be like great oaks that the LORD has planted for his own glory.


Even though the sin that has been comitted is not my sin, that’s not how it feels. The shame and guilt feels as if it were my own. In the beginning of this process I was totally crippled by it, but over recent weeks I have begun to see how Satan loves to keep me in bondage so that I lose my joy and hope in Christ. I am now aware how wrong this is. However, it’s still a weak spot and it doesn’t take much for guilt and shame to be triggered yet again and  engulf me. 

My heart was totally overwhelmed last night as my husband went back to our old home to sort something out. As my thoughts  went to my former life and what had happened, guilt and shame descended like a huge black cloud, and the thought of my husband bumping into anyone we knew filled me with horror and shame.

 It’ s very  hard to keep a check on emotions and exercise self control when we are raw. I felt like I was on a slippery slope wearing shoes with no grip. The emotions of resentment and anger bubbled up, along with the shame, and I felt hurt and overwhelmed from all sides.The place that was once a  refuge and a place of comfort  was now a place I was hiding from. At that moment life seemed so unbelievably unfair. The place I was running from had been my safe haven for the last eighteen years.

I can’t always control my thoughts, but I am responsible for my actions and reactions. I felt that injustice and overwhelming pain, the unfairness of all that had been meted out to me, and I had the need  to tell my husband yet again how hurt I was … Poor man! As if he doesn’t know already! It is so unbelievably hard to react well when we are hurt and reminded of our pain. Triggers will always be there, but we  need to keep committing it to God. My prayer is that when I’m hurt and under pressure, I will be able to swallow that  hurt and let the moment go. Last night impacted my husband too, and as he has grown more in his love for Christ over the last months,  he has become more and more devastated by this whole situation. He rang me at lunchtime totally overwhelmed and downcast and near to tears. Last night had devastated him as well as me, and while he was on his lunch break I had the opportunity to pray with him over the phone. 

In Luke 15, Jesus tells the parable of the prodigal son. I love the way the father responds:

“But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him.21 “The son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.”22 “But the father said to his servants, ‘Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. 23 Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let’s have a feast and celebrate. 24 For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ So they began to celebrate.”

What an incredibly generous and kind God we have. Satan wants to hold us in bondage but God frees us from it all.

Long my imprisoned spirit lay, fast bound in sin and nature’s night. Thine eye diffused a quickening ray, I woke, the dungeon flamed with light;  My chains fell off, my heart was free, I rose, went forth, and followed Thee.

No condemnation now I dread; Jesus, and all in Him, is mine!   Alive in Him, my living Head, And clothed in righteousness Divine, Bold I approach the eternal throne, And claim the crown, through Christ my own. 

When I look back at these last months I am thankful to God for his constant care. Sometimes it felt like I had been abandoned, but I know I wasn’t. God was with me in the tsunami of my life and he was that almighty rock that stood firm and secure in the howling gales and the waves that threatened to engulf me. Looking back at the times when I felt completely bereft and forsaken, I am now so thankful to God for the support he put in place. Kindness is the one thing that has helped me through. Consistent kindness of others means everything. It can change my mindset from despair to hope. When we need comfort or help in our distress, people who are kind impact us.

God has been kind to me by providing many people that have helped me through these very difficult days.

Some people have appeared in my life unexpectedly and for a season. Some are constant. Some check up on me month by month. Others have come from my past and old friendships have been rekindled which are precious because I am known and understood and I can be myself. God has been kind in giving me these people who  have helped me back onto the road of recovery. I am thankful to God for them all. God is our Father, he is the best parent we can ever have and  he fulfils our needs as he sees fit.  We can so easily look to others and feel envy because our situation is not like theirs, but our Father puts each of us on a particular path and knows that the trials we are given hone and sanctify us. We need to learn contentment with what we are given, even if it feels unfair. 

Friendship is a gift from God and Ecclesiastes 4:9,10 says:

“Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labour: If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up.” 

Thanking God  for his love and care in providing kind friends that I will spend eternity with.

      It’s taken a while for me to get a job; I have felt too fragile to get one sooner. There has been so much overwhelming change in my life over the last few months I couldn’t cope with anymore. God has been kind in providing for our needs so far, and now I have begun a new chapter and I have started working short hours. 
      I don’t  like driving, but I found myself applying for a job that’s all about getting in my car and going to places I’ve never been to before. 

      God is good, and knows what’s good for me. I am finding new places, some of them very beautiful, and early this morning I have driven up high and looked down on spectacular views of the sea glistening below.

      As I was driving home a chorus of a hymn came to mind which I found myself singing:

      In my daily reading today I was looking at Isaiah. One verse stood out. In ch 2 v  22 it says:

      “Stop trusting in man, who has but a breath in his nostrils. Of what account is he?”

      Everything apart from God is sinking sand. God is the only thing that is constant and firm and sure. I felt lifted this morning as I looked down from a high place at the vast beauty of the sea below. This scene changes constantly as the light changes and this morning everything sparkled – the picture I looked down on could have been put on a postcard. I didn’t choose to be in this  place, but God has put me here. God has blessed me today by showing me his majesty and beauty in the creation he has made. He has been gracious in reminding me again that I do have a solid rock on which I can continue to build my life upon.

      “When darkness veils his lovely  face, I rest on his unchanging grace; in every high and stormy gale, my anchor holds within the veil.

      On Christ the solid rock, I stand; All other ground is sinking sand, all other ground is sinking sand.”

      Its easy to focus on the negative, on the bad, on the shame and the hurt. But in this tangle of conflicting emotions which pull me in every direction, I am aware of something very precious. I am aware that God has been gracious in bringing my husband out of darkness and into his wonderful light.

      It’s very hard to blog about him in some ways because of all that he should have been. He was a pastor and he should have always been in the light. Over the last years I have known something was amiss. It wasn’t anything blatant but I knew he wasn’t loving the Lord with his whole heart. But it was subtle, and I couldn’t put my finger on it. I also knew of his unhappiness, but I couldn’t get to the bottom of it. I prayed for him at home, at work, in the night, and even trudging around the aisles of the supermarket. I never stopped. I implored the Lord over and over again, and prayed for him over many years.

      God’s timing is always perfect, and he has now answered my prayer; but not in the way I expected. I give him thanks because my husband has now stepped out of darkness into light which has brought blessings that can only come with confession of sin. My husband is now experiencing a joy that has alluded him for many years. Its wonderful to see, and my prayer is that it grows and grows.

      His desires no longer conflict with mine and I find joy as we run the race together with complete transparency. Life is short and eternity beckons, and my heart is warmed at the realisation that my husband is walking completely in the light. Damage has been caused and hearts broken on the way but God is the almighty fixer. He will mends and restore us both.

      He has taught me many hard things, and I have much more honing in store, but for today, I thank God for his kindness.

      We have the most amazing Saviour. He is patient and gives us the opposite of what we deserve. No matter what we have done, where we have come from, God is full of kindness and mercy.

      God sees our repentance and runs to us. His love never runs out.

      Thank you Lord.

      In life, I like everything to be tidy. I am not referring to my house, but my relationships.

       If there is mess,  I have an overwhelming need to fix things. If I have offended someone I am in a state until I have righted it.  I have a need to reconcile no matter how difficult the situation appears.  I wanted my marriage and family to look neat and have pretty edges. Instead, whopping flaws were exposed for everyone to see. I wanted love and harmony to reign and only acceptable sins to be on view.

       My husband’s wrong doing cannot be referred to as “an acceptable sin.” I wanted the hurt to my church family to be put right, but I couldn’t fix it. I didn’t want our children to be impacted negatively  by their dad’s behaviour, but they have been, and I can’t fix that either. A  hard  lesson I have learned in this process is having to hand control over to God, and trust him with the consequences. This has seemed unbearable and impossible at times, but I am learning that there is no other way. We have to leave the fixing to God. 

      We find it hard when others see our failings;  I want people to think well of us; I desire affirmation not shame, and it’s hard to cope knowing that people now see us with all our massive failings on show.

       It’s difficult admitting failure to one other. We know we can’t impress God, but we often try to impress each other. But when  I have been with Christians who are brave enough to talk openly about their flaws, and confess their sin and failings to others, my heart has been impacted for great good. It’s liberating and transforming to hear from others about their struggles and failings; not because we can gloat and feel superior, but because it gives us permission to be open and transparent back.  When this happens we connect on a spiritual level and  we are mutually encouraged by one another. Also, the focus is off us, off our own efforts to live good lives and instead our focus is on God’s almighty forgiveness and grace. This results  in looking at Jesus and his righteousnes, not ours. 

      Whether our sins are big or small, we still fail. Confessing to one another is biblical and is of great worth. It helps stop pride and a judgmental heart. It forms solid friendships with a spiritual foundation which is based on truth and honesty and accountability with one other. Confessing  our sins to each other gives others a liberty  to confess back, which brings us  from darkness into light, and reminds us that God is not interested in our good  works, but he is interested in a contrite and penitent heart. So if God loves us to confess and come to him with nothing, then this is how we must be with each other. The out-working of this is that we can tangibly help and pray for others in their struggles which would never come to light if we hadn’t  been open and transparent first. When we confess our sins to each other, honesty and transparency reign, and we are reminded that it’s all of grace, and all our works in God’s eyes are like filthy rags. 

      James 5:16 says:

      Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.

      I pray that as we confess our sins to one other, we may be built up and rooted in Christ who bore all our sin. This takes the focus off our own goodness as we look up to Christ, who was the only one who was ever good.

      Why do you call me good?” Jesus answered. “No one is good except God alone. ( Mark 10:18)

      I am very grateful to God for how I’ve felt this weekend. Often weekends are hard going, and conversations happen which lead me to dark places which then spoil a morning or an evening. Which ever part of the day is spoiled, it’s because I’ve allowed it. My emotions dictate my mood. 

      On Saturday morning we read and prayed together as we normally do, sometimes conversations evolve which can become unhelpful as there is time to overthink and obsess. Then my feelings dictate my mood which is hard for my husband and unhelpful for me. 

      This Saturday however, ended on a different note and because the end results were stark I thought it was worth writing it down.

      So the past with all its hurt and pain  were candidly talked over. I felt myself sinking into a pit of despondency. For the first time ever after such a hard conversation, I suggested that we pray together, so that whatever negative emotions that were now at the forefront of my mind,  God would rule over them  and take charge of them in a way that was right and honouring to him, so that our weekend wouldn’t be spoiled. 

      It’s the easiest path to obsess over past hurts, and it takes effort and will power to even have a desire to ask God to help us think and respond rightly when we are in the middle of an emotional crises. I am beginning to see that we need to be self disciplined.

      It’s good to talk things through, it’s healthy and it’s right. In my situation I need to vent my fears  and my insecurities, but it’s how I deal with the end result that matters. 

      God expects us to exercise self discipline. If I bring up subjects that I want to talk about, I need to have my armour on first. Prayer is pivotal.

      So praying with one another about reacting rightly so that our joy and peace are not spoiled was a revelation this weekend. When our emotions control behaviour negatively, we sin. Up till now I have honestly thought that I can’t help it.

      So we had a happier day ~ God is so good and kind showing us the right way to live. We may not like it at the time, but when God is listened to and obeyed, the results show  themselves. Joy replaces resentment and a calm replaces anger. 

       Godly living is a continual learning curve. God was so kind to us this weekend, and we need to be continually praying that we take his word seriously because the way we respond, even behind closed doors when no eyes are upon us, matters.