Monthly Archives: October 2016

Suiting up again! 

As I woke this morning I was assaulted by guilt and grief. Before I had chance to open my eyes I felt consumed by the pain that has been caused. Firstly to God, then to others. As I thought about it, I felt all  joy being sucked out of me and I was consumed by overwhelming grief that God has been so hurt. Before I opened my eyes, I felt tears rolling down my cheeks. 

Every single day I have a friend that sends me scripture via whatsapp. Since the news broke all those months ago, she has sent me verse after verse with relentless tenacity. Today I expressed how grieved I was, how overwhelmed I was by the hurt caused to God. Her response was;

“It’s Satan, without doubt!!  Your husband is completely forgiven, totally. Yes the Holy Spirit was grieved when it was happening but now it’s all about grace and forgiveness. Say, get behind me satan and reclaim your joy xxđź’•”

It was just what I needed to hear this morning, and how I thank God for straight talking loving Christian friends who aren’t afraid to tell me what I need to hear.

God has provided me with two ladies that I love with my whole heart. I have been in a triplet with them for many years. As we have studied God’s word together, bit by bit our whole lives have been exposed to one another. We have been honest and accountable, and as we have challenged one another, we have been helped to see our flaws and blind spots before each other and before God. 

We need close fellowship with others. We can be so blinded by sin. We need to be honest and accountable and not care how we come across …. otherwise pride stops honesty and accountability. We need others to listen to what we are really saying, and be willing to be challenged and corrected. It brings life.

This lie from Satan about how terribly God has been grieved has been my biggest stumbling block. Months ago, I was walking by the sea, and in my bitterness I told God how dreadfully he had been hurt and how could I ever get over it? I can remember emailing another wise friend. Her response was:

“Is your sin 20% and your husband’s 99%? Has God not forgiven him just as he’s forgiven you?”

This was such a big wake up call for me. Satan is so unbelievably subtle and he uses things that are close to our hearts. He knows how much I love the lord, and he uses it against me. Today I was hurting on God’s behalf,  and not realising how I was sinning against him. He must be grieved that I’m hanging on to the hurt caused him when he’s heard our cries, sees our sorrow, understands our repentance and has forgiven it all. In spite of grace, I am bringing it up and crying for the grief caused when it’s been dealt with. Satan is far more devious and subtle than we will ever understand. He comes to each one of us knowing our particular weakness and temperament and goes for the jugular. 

Ephesians 6 again comes to mind. My friend always says: “suit up today, my friend!”  This is what I must do. 

Ephesians 6:10-18

[10] Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. [11] Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. [12] For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. [13] Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.[14] Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, [15] and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. [16] In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. [17] Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.[18] And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.


Healing and restoration 

We can now look to the future, dependant on God to restore our family. There is mess and disharmony and damage. The consequences have burnt us all. Some burns are healing, some are still blistering and stinging.  I pray that all the injuries that have been inflicted would gloriously heal, so that God wins every battle in this war. I pray for God’s  grace to infiltrate every pore and every facet of this situation so that good comes out of bad. My greatest desire is that the good would totally obscure the bad. That as God pours his grace out liberally, there will be overwhelming beauty where dark ugliness once was. 

That ugliness has hurt so many, but thankfully, God delights in restoring and mending and covering it all by his generous and glorious grace. My heart aches as I wait for this to happen. I long to see others forgive as God has forgiven us. I want harmony and forgiveness and a love to pull our family together in such a way it becomes even stronger than it was before. It’s only God who can move hearts to forgive and love better than before. 

So I pray for healing in the church and healing in our family. I pray that God opens our eyes to see our  own sin and failure; then we won’t want to stand in judgement over each other. When we begin to understand the blackness of our own hearts, we begin to have compassion on others when they stumble and mess up. We dare not take the splinter out of our brother’s eye when there is a plank in our own.

I wish with all my heart that this had never happened, but it has. The big question is, how can we glorify God through it?

This journey I’m on will continue. It will be filled with twists and turns, ups and downs; that’s inevitable. I have accepted that I will feel strange and out of sync for some time to come.

The big lesson God has taught me is the need to put him first; no matter how wrong it feels, no matter how hard or sacrificial. I have come to see that when Christ is at the centre, then everything will be righted. 

I have come to see that confession is vital. Whatever our lives look like, whatever persona we want to display to others, God knows our hearts and he sees us as we really are. This journey has magnified how  black my heart really is; how I’ve judged others, how I’ve resented and fought and wrestled with God. How self centred my thinking has been. I have come to understand that  I’ve offended God so badly by not fully submitting to him. All I can do is come to the cross exposed and naked; I have empty hands and I have no words that will placate him.  I thank God for our wonderful saviour, he gives us words, he gives us his works, his life, his purity. I can look to him and live. My husband can look and live, just like the Israelites in the wilderness looking up to the snake, knowing that if they didn’t they would die. just like King David after his treacherous adultery which led him to the darkest place he could ever go. Jesus covers it all. There’s no point pretending we are good because we really aren’t. We all need Jesus. He covers all  our shame from the beginning of time to the end of it. 

His love never wavers, and however we’ve shamed him he tenaciously holds on to us. Amazing love! 

So as we limp on that racetrack together, heading towards our permanent home, bit  by bit we will come to understand that we aren’t actually limping anymore but we are running. Running that race with the wonderful knowledge that Christ enables us  to get to the finish line.
We have an amazing God. He delights in bringing us out of the rubbish heap and into his palace. He gives us so many reassurances from his word; he lists so many saints who have failed so spectacularly and yet have been wonderfully forgiven and restored. It began with Adam and the list will go on till Christ returns.

But for all of us on that list of failures, we have an amazing future, filled with love and light and grace and forgiveness. I thank God that he delights in mercy. Delights to love. Delights in forgiveness. Delights in transforming the worst situation into the best it can be. Any good we have will forever be a gift from him.

I thank God for the husband he has given me. We have been injured and our wounds have been bound up and soothed, it’s time to start running again, together looking unto Jesus the author and perfecter of our faith.  Our elder brother goes before us and we keep our eyes glued on him as we continue on that journey.

I’ve learned that It’s possible to love deeply after any hurt. But Christ has to be centre stage otherwise the formula is all wrong.  Love will come if we begin to love Christ more than ourselves. I’m beginning to understand that bad reactions for whatever reason come when Christ is pushed aside and we take centre stage.


Help us to love you first and best. Help us to always remember how much you have forgiven us and have that in mind as we respond under pressure to others. If Christ is centre stage there  will be a sweet aroma which will indicate that flowers are growing where rubbish once was. From now on I pray that our lives would glorify and honour you. We have been forgiven much, help us to love much. Amen 

Today there is a feeling of excitement as we have waited on tenterhooks for the estate agent to ring back. With our offer accepted and new beginnings around the corner, we can move forward by God’s grace. 

This journey is coming full circle. Unkindness and sin buried under a sea of love. The sea is so vast and deep and wide that my husband’s wrongdoing is a mere  teardrop in that vast ocean. 

And that great ocean of love has covered many sins from the beginning of time. For every sin that has been hurled into that sea, lives have been transformed and renewed and the brokenness of our lives made whole and new. 

When we stand before God we will have no thought of judging one another. We won’t care what our neighbour has done ; only ourselves. We have one chance in this life to be right with God, and  God in his mercy has broken us so that we can see him at work in our lives. He has broken us to make us whole. 

Jesus bore it all. So many sins that have been hurled into that sea of love. They have all sunk to the bottom never to be retrieved and eternally forgotten.  On Saturday a friend reminded us of these words from Micah 7:18-19 ‘Who is a God like you, who pardons sin and forgives the transgression of the remnant of his inheritance? You do not stay angry forever but delight to show mercy. You will again have compassion on us; you will tread our sins underfoot and hurl all our iniquities into the depths of the sea.’

God has been kind to us. Our lives could have been a disaster with Satan jumping and leaping for joy. Yes, another minister has fallen, this has hurt and grieved God and his wife and family. The church has been overwhelmed with unspeakable grief and those ripples will go on for some time to come. I feel so unutterably sad because of it. 

But That’s where it stops. 

I am his wife and I love him with all of my heart. God has broken me and shown me my own sin. My husband is a mere man. As I think about this I return to my first ever blog. I see my husband on that racetrack, doubled over, broken, distraught and at he end of himself. Thank you Lord that you have enabled me by your almighty grace to run over to him; put a blanket around his shoulders; help him up to his feet; give him something to drink and limp along that racetrack with him. What an honour. What a joy to have my husband, who I love with every fibre of my being, love his Lord fully once again. No barriers, no sin  separating  husband and wife. No sin now separating my husband and his lord. 

1 Here is love, vast as the ocean,

loving kindness as the flood,

when the Prince oflife, our ransom,

shed for us his precious blood.

Who his love will not remember?

Who can cease to sing his praise?

He can never be forgotten

throughout heaven’s eternal days.

2 On the mount of crucifixion

fountains opened deep and wide;

through the floodgates of God’s mercy

flowed a vast and gracious tide.

Grace and love, like mighty rivers,

poured incessant from above,

and heaven’s peace and perfect justice

kissed a guilty world in love.

These are some of the things I’ve learned over the past year:

  • When my heart felt broken in many pieces, God kept all my tears in his bottle.
  • When I came face to face with unkindness, God’s kindness supported me.
  • When I refused to let go of the shame that threatened to suffocate me, God gently tugged it out of my hands and placed it on  his precious son.
  • When I felt unloved, God poured out his grace into my life, showing me the extent of his love in the Lord Jesus. 
  • When I was stripped of all,  Christ showed me he was enough.
  • When I lost everything, I found diamonds. 
  • When the future seemed bleak, I understood that this life is fleeting and heaven is  beckoning.
  • When my husband’s sin was publicly exposed, God dealt with me; exposing my sin, my failings, my bad responses, my selfishness and pride, my unkind attitudes to those who had hurt me. 
  • When I saw the fruit of believing satan’s lies in others, I began to grasp the subtlety of Satan in my own heart. 
  • When I felt utterly defeated, God taught me how to use his armour to dodge satan’s fiery darts.
  • When I was taken in by sin’s deceitfulness,  I was made aware that the battle is raging and I need to cling onto Jesus to be safe.
  • When I grasped more of God’s response to sin,  I understood grace to be shockingly kind, and outrageously generous and stunningly beautiful. 
  • When I’ve struggled to forgive, God’s generous grace exposed my shrivelled unforgiving heart.
  • When everything failed, I came to recognise that all other ground, apart from Christ, is sinking sand.
  • When I felt unsafe in this world, I felt secure in the one to come.
  • When I panicked and was overwhelmed by anxiety, his word comforted me.
  • When I wanted to hate, Christ showed me a better way.
  • When I was overwhelmed and sorrowful, God’s word showed me that lonely hill, and the indescribable sorrow Jesus suffered. 

Thank you Lord. 

Eleven months on and I have hit a wall. I’m tired, emotional, overwhelmed and  at times feel defeated. One thing extra in the week and I’m crying, just like an  overwrought  toddler. 

I can’t expect anything different. I am tired and drained after the most exhausting and debilitating journey. 

I need to guard my heart so that I don’t fall into wrong thinking. I need to see the positives in all of this and not  just the negatives. So many lessons learned; so many riches that God has poured out. That’s what I must remember today.

We labour on, continuing to respond in a way that’s right, fighting the desire to put self in the centre  and to pander and give in to self pity. 

I am learning that my feelings, although they are screaming at me today, do not take pride of place. Responding with Christ in the centre is the only way forward.  In order to do it, I ask God for help today because there’s no way I can respond rightly in my own strength. 

I am thankful that God never goes off duty. Never leaves his post for a second. I need his sustaining grace continually. Godly living is impossible without him. If God withdrew for one second, I will fall. It’s all a gift from him. 

“You hear, O Lord , the desire of the afflicted; you encourage them, and you listen to their cry.” Psalms 10:17