Category Archives: adultery

Psalm 16:6-8 

” The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; surely I have a delightful inheritance.  I will praise the Lord, who counsels me; even at night my heart instructs me. I keep my eyes always on the Lord. With him at my right hand, I will not be shaken.”

God’s word has marked out my boundary lines. God has shown me  what is acceptable and what is not. 
I am a wife who is understanding how to forgive.  Obedience brings peace and contentment. It’s a shame we don’t recognise it as the best way and fight before we submit. After submitting, all I can say is: “Thank you Lord for enabling me to forgive, because you have forgiven me first.”

I consider myself blessed. So many lessons learned and my sin has been revealed in all its ugliness. There is so much I am learning through his word.

Today I am just thankful. Thankful that he has used adversity to change me, shape and mould me. Adversity has made me appreciate  his grace more than I ever did before. What a saviour. 

There are many lenses I have viewed my husband through over the last eight months. The lens of anger and hurt, of bitterness and displacement. Even though the world would say that I have a right to all of these reactions, I am learning that we have to be very cautious about which lens we choose to view our life through. Viewing our life through a wrong lens distorts our understanding of the gospel and brings disaster into our lives. 

After many hard knocks I have come to understand that it’s only the lens of God’s word that should influence our lives. It’s the only way for true contentment and fulfilment with the one who knows us best.

When we are looking through a wrong lens, sin is crouching at our door.

Proverbs 17:9 says:

Love forgets mistakes; nagging about them parts the best of friends. 

God forgets our mistakes, he hurls our iniquities into the depths of the sea. If we are loving God before ourselves, then we do the same when people hurt and offend us. 

James 1:25 says:

 But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues in it, not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it, they will be blessed in what they do.

When we experience betrayal and hurt our instinctive reaction often turns to bitterness and distance, anger and unforgiveness. Looking through the lens of God’s  word  enables us to see that God reacts to us very differently. God  reacts with kindness and forgiveness, with tenacious love and with no thought to his own feelings when we have hurt and offended him. When we are looking through the right lens we begin to view those who have offended us as loved and precious to God. When we break it down, we begin to view ourselves as no better than those who have hurt us. We are all sinners that don’t deserve the outrageous kindness of our Heavenly Father. So, if  God reacts with love, grace and forgiveness when he is hurt and offended, so must we. 

Trust is hard. In order to trust we have to let go.

We feel  vulnerable letting go and we stand exposed.

If we knew the end results before we let go, it would mean that we could hang on to perceived control and the process would be made easier for us. We do it blind; in the dark ; not knowing the outcome.

Trusting and letting go has been one of the hardest lessons I have learned. 

When we really trust it means fretting, anxiety and worry are binned – otherwise we aren’t trusting. 

When we trust it means that circumstances in our lives, however impossible are handed over to God, and we trust him to work it out without us frantically trying to help him, because we think our wisdom is valid.

Trusting and letting go has been an excruciating journey that has really tested me and shaken me up.

I have never blogged about my children. Each one is unique and precious. I was like a lioness with my Cubs when they received the devastating news. I can’t verbalise how pained I was for them. I can’t express my anger and horror and sorrow I felt for them all. If I could have absorbed all their pain for them I would have. I wanted to absorb all their brokenness and make them better. This was my job.

For me, trusting and letting go in this situation was a NO GO. I was not willing to just hand them over to God and say:

 ‘ Lord, you are in control, I hand each one of my children over to you, and I know that even in this, you are working everything for their good. Help me to know that whatever the outcome looks like, they belong to you, and you have the right to work out this situation in whatever way pleases you.’

So I fretted and obsessed and worried. Each child in a different location and each child overwhelmed with hurt. I lay awake at night, obsessed in the day. I tried to fix things, I tried to make things right, I tried with all my might, but I would not hand them over. They were mine and too precious for me not to worry over. 

This led to an accusing spirit in me. My husband should have protected, he was a role model, he should have loved them. He should have practiced what he preached, literally.

I have now  come to the end of myself and have now prayed that prayer that I was so unwilling to pray.  I have been humbled and God has opened my eyes to the fact that they are his children before they are mine. He is the wise parent, not me. My children are experiencing pain and hurt and everything I didn’t want them to experience, but God is using that wonderfully in each of them for his glory.

I have handed control over to the ultimate parent. The only parent who truly loves, wholly understands and uses each situation to hone us. He will shape each of my children to be more like himself through this. Of this I have no doubt, as I am seeing it already. May God be praised. 

Eight months on and I have experienced first hand that bitterness hurts us.

Like all the lies of the devil, he tells us that we have every right to be angry and bitter, and that its the best route to take. How can we possibly forgive after such catastrophic sins have been committed against us. This is the world’s view also, so when we are sinned against, our default position is anger and bitterness, resentment and self pity.

For all of us who have felt the full force of harbouring resentment, we know that after a while, nothing good comes from it and we lose our joy in the Lord. There is a huge spiritual dimension to this, but also a physical one too. Below is an extract from an article I’ve been reading lately:

“Brain Affected by Thoughts?”

“We’ve all heard doctors warn that fits of anger may cause high blood-pressure or even lead to coronary heart disease and heart attacks.

new research shockingly reveals that unforgiving, resentful, pessimistic or negative thoughts cause the “memory trees” in a brain’s dendrites to become sparse and thorny. They no longer look like healthy, abundant “branches” sometimes referred to as “magic trees” by neurologists and brain researchers. Anger Makes Abscesses in the Brain. Let me put it another way. When we are unloving, angry and unforgiving of others, special photographs of the dendrites in our brains begin to look as if dark abscesses have taken root. Literally. We develop black holes in our brains.” ( Valorie Mays)

The author goes on to say that when we begin to forgive the damage is reversed and brings healing and restoration.

This has really turned my thinking around today. Everything in Satan’s kingdom brings havoc, destruction and damage. He is so subtle and quietly urges us to nurse grudges and bitterness. At the beginning of this process I felt that God was almost cruel in commanding me to forgive and love. I felt I had the right to nurse hate and resentment. But in fact, God gives us every command because he is kind and loving, and wants the very best for us.

We haven’t suddenly got an easy solution, but we have a knowledge that God does everything for our ultimate good. So when we are tempted to hold a grudge and nurse resentment and be full of self pity, we can remember that we are in satan’s realm and only damage will come from it. Praying that we follow God’s wise commands even though it feels costly, because it will bring joy and healing, but most importantly it will bring glory to himself.

My life right now is inconsistent.I am having ups and downs. Good days and bad days. Times of joy and times of melancholy. Feelings of hope and feelings of overwhelming despondency.

Acceptance is a big thing, and it’s so easy to look back and wish for what has gone. Even in the light of mighty forgiveness and overwhelming grace, I am bearing the right consequences for my husband’s sin. It could be no other way, because our Heavenly Father is a good parent, and there are always consequences for wrong actions. King David was forgiven, but he and Bathsheba always had the grief and sorrow of a son who died. Sin matters.

My prayer is that the experiences that I’ve gone through won’t be wasted. That all this hurt and pain will be used to help and support others. That many will be encouraged to understand that it’s possible to feel all of these overwhelming and debilitating emotions, and yet know God in such a wonderful and intimate way. It’s such a paradox. Grief and sorrow and hurt, yet at the very same time knowing joy and hope and such a knowledge of our saviour.

Eventually, this roller coaster ride with its ups and downs, twists and turns making me feel sick and disorientated will level out. But I will look back and I will be able to say:

I have really felt a sense of joy now and then over recent days, which has been welcome. I am making progress, but this morning I had a trigger that overwhelmed me. It weighed on my heart like a millstone. I have started helping in the toddler group at my new church. As we set up and then prayed, I felt suffocated with grief for all that I had lost. I missed my old group and the fellowship I had with them. I missed being known. I missed all the people I served with. All their names were in my heart. All that served the coffee, precious ladies that I caught up with over the hatch. I missed the mums and carers and grandmas. I loved all those I served with, and at that moment in time the hole in my heart felt unfillable. I began to quietly sob and had to escape. I know my life will be hard for months and months to come. 

There will be no easy fix. It’s a season I have to go through in order to get to the other side. There is nothing that can be done; it can’t be fixed or mended. As I write, I am quietly standing in a quiet spot in town and thanking God for smart phones. I can pour my heart out as I write, which helps me to put my emotions back in their proper place. 
Later in the morning, I talked to a mum from Morocco. She was telling me how hard it was to settle. I was able to see how bereft she must have felt and I was able to express that to her. At the end of the session she came and found me and hugged me. Empathy is often born out of pain; I learnt this morning that no difficult situation is wasted. 
Two steps forward and one back. We go on in God’s strength. 

Suffering has always been something I have worried about. Dying, long term illness, persecution for the gospel to name but a few. I suppose I can now be put in that catagory; sinned against by people who should have loved me, ripped from my home, my church and community, and living with betrayal and hurt. But I’m thankful to God that it doesn’t feel that way. 

I would never ever want to experience anything like this again, but this whole situation with all the pain and heartache has brought blessing. I have been grief stricken, overwhelmed, disconnected and bereft, but in it and through it there have been times of great blessing. I have been able to tell others how good God is, how faithful and kind and constant and sure. I’ve learnt that it’s possible to hand fretting and care and anxiety over to God and know that I can leave it with Him, who knows all. I’ve seen that heaven is beckoning, that life is short, that wisdom is putting all our effort and energy into pleasing the one who made us and who  gives us life and breath. I have learnt that obedience brings fellowship and closeness to him that nothing else can. 

Would I want this to be taken from me? 
We read Tim Keller and his devotions in the psalms this morning – He was looking at psalm 69: 29-33.
“But as for me, afflicted and in pain – may your salvation, God, protect me. I will praise God’s name in song and glorify him with thanksgiving. This will please the Lord more than an ox, more than a bull with its horns and hooves. The poor will see and be glad – you who seek God, may your hearts live! The Lord hears the needy and does not despise his captive people.”
Tim Keller says:
” DONT WASTE YOUR SORROWS. Praise to God is the antidote to self absorption that can overtake us when we suffer. This not only honours God but also encourages others. When suffering, don’t get sucked down into yourself- turn outward in praise to God and minister to those in need.”
I pray today that this will be the experience of all of us who are suffering. That we may see it as a gift not a curse and that in it and through it, we may minister and be of great help to others. 

Galatians 5:22-23 says:

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.

I have been reading through Galatians this morning, and I have been reminded of the beauty of living with Christ in view. God is so kind and generous in the way he enables us to respond to one another by  his Spirit. 

 That simple list seems at first glance to to be such an easy thing. And it is easy to react like that with those who please us, those  we get on with, and those who make us feel safe.

These verses become less easy when we are hurt, under the cosh, and offended. I was struck also by these verses in Ezekiel which reminded me that any goodness we have is a gift. 

In  Ezekiel ch 36 :25 God says to his people,

 ” I will sprinkle clean water on you and you will be clean; I will cleanse you from all your impurities and from all your idols. I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees.” 
Praying that the Holy Spirit does his work in our hearts today, enabling us to go God’s way; being kind to those who have hurt us. Not avoiding or giving the cold shoulder to those who have offended us. Reacting with gentleness and kindness in the face of unkindness.
We need Gods help, it goes against our natural inclination. But God is willing and able and He loves to pour his grace on those who want to go his way, for his glory.

Who is the man who fears the LORD? He will instruct him in the way he should choose. (Psalm 25:12)

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. 

No matter how intent we are in wanting to forgive and do the right thing before God, the fact remains;  hurt really hurts.
This journey to recovery seems like it will be a long and convoluted process, with many twists and turns and steps forward and back. 
One thing I am so thankful for is the Lord. I have thought over these months how awful it must be for people experiencing what I am going through without the constant firm rock of knowing Jesus as their saviour. It seems an impossible situation to be in, and I’m sure that’s just what it is. 
I am realising as the weeks go by that I am exhausted. So unbelievably weary in mind and soul. Thinking is overwhelming and my head actually physically aches ; it then becomes too much of an effort to have the drive to do anything at all. This is a process that I’m sure I have to go through, and that I will eventually pass.

 Everything we experience is for a season. Ecclesiastes says:

However we react to hurt and pain, God knows and sees. Nothing is disclosed or hidden from him. It’s good to be honest and express our weariness and pain and know we can run to the shelter that is constant and good and safe and reliable. But however we react, we will have to give an account of our actions and reactions to him. Ecclesiastes 3 v17 says: 

I said to myself, “God will bring into judgement both the righteous and the wicked, for there will be a time for every activity, a time to judge every deed.”

How we respond matters.

God knows our brokenness and hurt. Jesus experienced it during his life on earth. Crushed and overwhelmed  and hurt by our sin, Jesus went to the cross. We will never be able to understand the pain and brokenness and rejection he experienced, and we will never understand how excrutating it was to have his Father’s wrath upon him in full force when he had done nothing wrong. God knows all, and when we feel completely beaten down and completely spent, Jesus went before , and there is nothing we can experience that is outside his realm of understanding  and empathy.  Our wonderful saviour bore every hurt and every  grievance so that our brokenness can be beautifully mended and restored. 

My payer is that in my brokenness I may be able to see and understand that this is only for a season. But with Christ with us we can even smile at the storm. It will pass, and by experiencing the winds and the waves we will understand that Christ is our solid rock and nothing is outside his remit.
What an amazing and wonderful saviour we have.