Monthly Archives: August 2016

It’s been quite a year for us all as a family. If someone had told me last September how my life would pan out over the weeks and months to come I would never have believed them.

I am reading a book by Paul Tripp which a friend sent to me. The book meditates on psalm 27. This morning I have been reading verse 14 which says:

“Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord!”

I have found waiting hard. I want instant solutions to my problems. I crave instant fixing and everything to be righted now. I want hurt to be wiped away like wiping chalk off a blackboard. I want to feel settled now. I want a sense of purpose for the future now. I am hating the consequences of all that’s happened, and I long for good to be born out of bad. I want God to do this now. I hate waiting.

Paul Tripp says:

“The one on whom we wait is the dissatisfied Messiah. He will not relent, he will not quit, he will not rest until every promise he has made has been fully delivered. He will not turn from his work until every one of his children has been totally transformed. He will continue to fight until his last enemy is under his feet. He will reign until his kingdom has fully come. As long as sin exists, he will shower us with forgiving, empowering, and delivering grace. He will defend us against attacks and will attack the enemy on our behalf. ….he will not rest from his work until every last microbe of sin has been completely eradicated from every heart of each of his children.”

While we wait, God is refining us. He is teaching us many things as a family and will eventually bring us all through.

There are struggles and hurts and moments of overwhelming pain, but I thank God that he is at the helm. I am waiting for him to work in our lives as a couple to bring about great beauty. This has to be the case because my husband is fully committed to giving his whole life over to God and is now not keeping anything back for himself.

Grace will triumph, God has won the victory. God will work in our hearts so that his beauty will be displayed once more. God will make us useful and make us like himself because he is working and will not relent as he will bring glory to himself.

It may be that he is teaching us the hard lesson of contentment in waiting. Only God knows the plans he has for us. It’s actually not my business to know what’s in store, but I pray that we know contentment in our circumstances which will grow us as we learn to wait upon Him.

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Pastors who sin are in a unique position. I have seen it first hand and the consequences of their actions are vastly different from the ordinary man in the pew.

Pastors have unique responsibilities; this I understand. To be above reproach is a serious ask, and not to be taken lightly.

When pastors sin publicly, it’s devastating, they are in a position of trust and should put God before all else, and be above reproach.

1 Timothy 3:2 says:

Now the overseer is to be above reproach, faithful to his wife, temperate, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach…

The consequences for the pastor who goes off track is far reaching. For my husband, it’s been truly awful to watch. As time has gone on, the spirit continues to do his work of grace in his repentant heart. As a result, the horror gets worse and worse for him.

Sometimes I think that fallen pastors are banished to a land that no one ever visits. He is talked about, and his actions no doubt are discussed with sadness and shock, but I wonder how many men seek these pastors out and run to them because they themselves love Jesus?

When we are repentant, the father looks out for us and strains his eyes to see a glimmer in the distance. Then he runs and embraces and loves and forgives.

Because I am living with this first hand, and I have been hurt the most, I have a unique platform to be able to express what’s on my heart. Adultery in ministry is truly awful. Satan jumps up and down for joy when he wreaks havoc. He has the upper hand as the church is overwhelmed by terrible sin and shame. For my husband, these consequences are fair and right. But he has been publicly humiliated and he has been stripped of all. Who of us would lose our job, reputation, community , home and security because of it?

I thank God for those men that have reacted like our kind Heavenly Father. They have come along side, written letters, met up with and loved. This is what my husband needs right now. Men who will love him and act out the gospel by really living it; running and embracing, caring and supporting.

For all banished men who have fallen from ministry, don’t be harsh with them when repentance is evident. They are unbelievably overwhelmed and know how much they’ve messed up. They may never be able to contemplate ministry again, but they are forgiven and loved and precious to God; therefore we need to run to them and love them just as Christ has run to us and loved us.

I thank God for where my husband now is. Open, transparent and going the way of obedience which is manifesting itself with kindness and gentleness. He is knowing love for his saviour.

I pray for him as I have done for many years, that he loves his God with his whole heart, mind, soul and strength and is captivated more and more by the gospel of God’s amazing grace.

Matthew 7:12 Says:

[12] So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.

God seeks us out, he works in our hearts, he draws us to himself. He doesn’t stand in silence and create distance, but gets his hands dirty by involving himself in our mess by looking to his dear son.

God forgives and loves the repentant. Repentant fallen pastors come into that category too.

It’s taken me nine months to get to this place. 

A place of peace and joy.

Even though I am still overwhelmed, and have many things to work through, I can emphatically say that obedience to God truly satisfies the soul. 

It’s been an excruciating  process, which I am in no hurry to repeat. As time has gone on, it’s become less about adultery and betrayal and more about what my heart has revealed  in response to it all. My marriage seems secondary – It’s been all about God and my reactions to what he has commanded me to do.

I have come to understand that it’s all grace. There is no way that I could respond kindly to any of these hurts without God’s spirit working in my life. God had to show me my huge failings before he then enabled me to respond rightly. 

We all hurt about something. It’s inevitable. We are all sinners. My experience applies to us all.

1 John 2:4-6 says:

Whoever says, “I know him,” but does not do what he commands is a liar, and the truth is not in that person. But if anyone obeys his word, love for God is truly made complete in them. This is how we know we are in him: Whoever claims to live in him must live as Jesus did. 

Responding well is a hard road full of difficulty. It’s like climbing a mountain;  just as you get to the top, you see another peak, and realise you are only halfway. But in the end, after a lot of effort, the views are breathtaking at the summit. 

God’s rules are hard, but they are for our good. God’s way is the only way which brings true joy and satisfaction in him. By obeying God’s word we are cultivating an eternal relationship with our Father which will never ever be wasted. When we get to heaven we won’t say, “it wasn’t worth the effort.”

I have hung on to bitterness and anger and resentment. It brings nothing good. We may think these responses will bring some sort of satisfaction, but it has hindered my joy and peace and put a wedge between my relationship with God which has made me more miserable than I already was.

Praying that as we read God’s word, we will take it to heart and ask the Holy Spirit to enable us to respond in the right way. For those who ask for wisdom, he gives it, which is the only way to ultimate happiness. 

I wrote this blog a few days ago.  I’m posting it today because it’s our son’s wedding day. I want to give God thanks and praise for where he has  brought me to today. He is good, kind and generous and delights to show mercy.

I think I have stepped over the line. I have begun to shed those negative emotions that have hindered and dragged me down. Bu God’s grace, I have left them behind. They may not be far away, but they are definitely on the other side of the line.

There has been a turning point today. I saw hurt in my husband’s face and I felt complete compassion for him. I wanted to absorb his pain and take it away. I didn’t feel hurt, or resentment. I didn’t view his hurt through the lens of my own hurt; I felt no prickly emotions. Rather, I felt liberated and healed. What  an amazing God we have!


Even though my husband is bearing the consequences of his actions, I was able to look at his pain through the lens of sadness for all he is bearing. I felt healing in my own soul as I acknowledged how hard this situation was for him. I was glad to hug him as he cried over all the damage done.

If I have really stepped over the line and I am responding to my husband as the Father  responds to each of us, then I shouldn’t just cautiously  step over it, I should  run over it and be glad to forgive and actually  look upon him as though he hasn’t sinned against me. This may sound a ridiculous thing to say, but after all, this is how our Father responds and continues to respond to the hurt and shame we cause him when we are repentant. 

If I’ve stepped over the line, I won’t  be tempted to use his past actions as ammunition when I’m under pressure. I will  love him unconditionally. I will be proud to step on that podium and say how much I love him. This is how God responds to us. If we love God, then this is how we are commanded to respond to each other. 

So when we sin  against one another,  I pray that we may look to the Father, see him looking for us when we are far off, and just like our Father, we will run and forgive and embrace and exalt each other when we’ve been sinned against. That we would forget self and remember Christ. 

He freely bore hurt so that we could know healing. I pray that we won’t abuse the wonderful gift God has given us. When we don’t forgive it grieves him because we just don’t appreciate or understand the sacrifice and the depths of love it took Jesus to suffer for us.

Lord, 

  We all fall short in our walk with you. When we hurt we don’t want to forgive, we hold back and bear grudges, we respond badly with self at the centre. Help us to respond like the Father. Help us to be the first to respond with grace and kindness and forgiveness, even when we feel our offender doesn’t deserve to be forgiven. We don’t deserve to be forgiven and yet you run to us. Give us compassionate and forgiving hearts. All marriages are imperfect, but we look forward to a greater marriage to come. The marriage of the church and her beautiful bridegroom. What a saviour.     Amen 

 

Since my last blog I am feeling in a better place. God is teaching me that it’s ok when everything is stripped back and laid bare. Submitting to his will, however impossible it seems,  is the only way for true contentment in him. I am slowly grasping this and asking God that I won’t fight against it any more.

Before I opened my eyes this morning I was praying a hymn by a lady called Frances Havergal. I pray that I will be able to make the words of this hymn my own with God’s grace;

1. Take my life and let it be

Consecrated, Lord, to Thee.

Take my moments and my days,

Let them flow in endless praise.

2. Take my hands and let them move

At the impulse of Thy love.

Take my feet and let them be

Swift and beautiful for Thee.

3. Take my voice and let me sing,

Always, only for my King.

 Take my lips and let them be

Filled with messages from Thee.

4. Take my silver and my gold,

Not a mite would I withhold.

Take my intellect and use

Every pow’r as Thou shalt choose.

5. Take my will and make it Thine,

It shall be no longer mine.

Take my heart, it is Thine own,

It shall be Thy royal throne.

6. Take my love, my Lord, I pour

At Thy feet its treasure store.

Take myself and I will be

Ever, only, all for Thee.

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.

Submitting to God is the only way, and I pray that as we walk with Christ at the centre of our lives we will bring him glory. Then we will be at our happiest and most fulfilled. 

It’s costly denying self. It feels like cutting off a limb when we understand that we need to give up the right to nurse hurt and resentment. It’s also a real test when we  trust God by stepping over the line. Then we have to shed all that we think we have the right to hold on to. 

This is my third blog teasing through leaving hurt behind, and I have been wrestling with God over all of this. It’s difficult really letting go of negative emotions, and I’ve been hesitant removing the bricks from the walls I’ve built around myself. It’s my protection and my fortress, but it doesn’t fit in with forgiveness and grace and love. So the wall needs to be demolished. It may have to be brick by brick, I’m not sure if I can cope with a stick of dynamite which will blow the wall up instantly. 

I’m beginning to see that if I do this I won’t lose out. I know that I will gain. I’ve had glimpses of joy that only forgiveness brings. it’s about trusting and obeying without knowing the outcome.

It’s a bit like swimming in the sea. For me it’s always an excruciating process. I hate being cold and I stand waist high in the perceived freezing water. Sometimes it takes a lifetime to get my shoulders under, but once I do, all perception of freezing cold has gone. It feels wonderful and liberating and I wonder  why I didn’t just take the plunge and do it sooner.


Going God’s way will always be like that. Once we shake off everything that holds us back and take the plunge and trust God, we will know freedom and liberty and joy and fellowship. 

Praying that God helps us in and through the hard situations that we face. That we follow his lead and not our own. Then we will be led into green pastures where the quiet waters are. He will then restore our souls. 

Following  Jesus comes with a warning. It’s not for the faint hearted. 

Matthew 16:24 says:

Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.

Luke 14:27 says:

Whoever does not bear his own cross and come after me cannot be my disciple.

As I am going through the process of working things through before God, I am seeing that these verses impact our lives in a big way. It’s only when we come face to face with huge pressure that we begin to realise how massive these  verses are. Whether it’s working through betrayal and hurt as I am, or reacting rightly when we face injustice or pressure in the workplace or at home. These verses are hard to process  and take some working through. 

Jesus is giving us an ultimatum. If we want to follow Him then we must be willing to walk as he did; respond as he did; love under pressure as he did; Forgive as he did. 

Jesus’ teaching on love and forgiveness leaves no room for self indulgence. My last blog about leaving hurt behind seems very costly indeed. We feel we have that right to be self indulgent, to keep a record of wrongs, to wallow in self pity  and think our problems are worse than anyone else’s. But Jesus says  if we really  love him we will deny ourselves and take up our cross and follow him. This has been very hard to get to grips with, as letting go of hurt and self pity feels an impossible ask. Like pouring liquid gold into the middle of the ocean.

But Jesus says it’s about self denial. Putting Jesus first and putting self to death. How often as Christians do we focus on God’s desires and not our own? For me, not often. Self is up there. 


Denying self seems too hard. It cuts across everything we want and we baulk at Jesus’ command. Dying to self cannot happen without the power of Christ enpowering and enabling  us. 

We continue to look to our wonderful saviour who responded to hurt and pain with such selfless love, and self denial. As we begin to understand the huge cost that the Lord Jesus was willing to pay, I pray that we will be willing to die to self more and more. It’s only when we die to self that we begin to understand the blessings that come when we live for Him.

Again, this command is making us lie down in green pastures, we hang on to self indulgence and hate the thought of letting it go,  but God in his wisdom sees the blessings we have in him when we are willing to deny ourselves, take up our crosses and follow him. Praying for strength to go the way that leads to life.