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Screaming on the Inside

From a precious sister in Christ, Terrie:
This picture was in my newsfeed this morning, intended as humor, but it struck a chord with me. Maybe it strikes a chord with you, too. As believers, we are expected to react to the tragedies and trials in our lives according to the Word of our God, and of course, that’s exactly what we should be doing.
Sometimes, though, it’s not that easy, is it? Sometimes, those Living Words can feel just like typed words on paper. Sometimes, our spirit does not absorb what our eyes are reading, and what our mind already knows. Sometimes, we are too ashamed to admit to those closest to us in our faith walk that we are stumbling on two broken ankles. We may even find ourselves beginning to just go through the motions, so no one knows how frail our faith has become. We are smiling and praising on the outside, but inwardly, we are screaming.
I know, because recently, it happened to me…
Just before my ninth year of walking on the narrow path, “The Event” happened in my life that knocked me so far back, I began to wonder if I had ever been on the path at all, or if I had just been deceiving myself. I turned to my wiser sisters, who encouraged me, prayed for me, and directed me to the Scriptures that held the answers to my dilemma. At that time, I couldn’t find the words to tell them how disconnected I felt, no matter how much encouragement was coming my way.  I spent almost two months saying “HalleluYah!” and “Amein!” to my brethren, using only my mouth, and dying inside a little more each day.  I was smiling, but still screaming on the inside.
  • I backed into a dark corner, where my enemy and my pride wallowed together in a pity party, each feeding the other, while my spirit was starving. It got harder and harder to smile through the internal screaming, and so I gave in to the isolation instead….
I was ready to chuck everything, from my Bible to my marriage, right in the river. But I have come through the fiery furnace, most of the way, at least, and am already beginning to give thanks for this core-shaking event.

Day after day, I awoke to a feeling of desperation and to the wetness of tears rolling down my face. “The Event” was my first conscience thought in the morning. Even in my despair, I knew that my God was the answer, and I cried out to Him often, even if the only words I could form were “I need You!”.  I hung Scriptures all over my house, and spoke them aloud often. For a while, I would feel the strength and peace to get the day started. Without fail, though, “The Event” would seep past the guard on my thoughts, and I’d find myself weeping again. Or fearing. Or playing the “what if” game. Little by little, shame would creep up on me.

  • I was ashamed that my faith was shaken.
  • I was ashamed that even though “The Event” happened to me, my reaction to it was every bit as sinful as “The Event” had been toward me.
It was not unlike being caught in a whirlwind. I was spinning out of control, and more scared than I have ever been in my life. My days ended much like they’d started, with tears on my face, wrong thoughts in my head, and my enemy laughing…
I knew that my Father hadn’t let go of me, but was unsure of exactly what was happening. And so, I cried out some more. Finally, in a fit of tears, I told God everything I was feeling. I even confessed my anger toward Him for allowing “The Event” to happen to His own daughter! He patiently waited for my tantrum to be over, and whispered one Word into my spirit…Pride. I understood then that in order to give “The Event” to Him to work for my good, I had to let go of it. Pride kept it clutched in my hands…
  • ~Pride is the most common crack in our armor, a place for our enemy to take a foothold (See Eve’s story). Whether his foothold becomes a stronghold or not is up to us!~
With this new understanding came the beginning of my journey back to the Narrow Path. I began to see how “The Event” could be used by both my Father and my enemy.
  • My Father could use  it for me to bear fruit in the future. That is HIS will for my life.
  • My enemy (who is really YHWH’s enemy) could use it to tarnish my testimony. That is his will for my life.

The choice as to what role “The Event” will ultimately play in my life, which is truly a choice between life and death, is mine to make…

Like I did nine years ago, I will choose life. Every day. This time, with a plan to combat the wiles of my enemy and those of my second enemy, my own pride…
  • I will choose the Narrow Path, which is lit by the Word of my God.
  • I will forgive freely, as I have been forgiven.
  • I will think on the things that are praise-worthy.
  • I will repair my armor by keeping my pride in check. No stronghold can be taken without first having a place to take a foothold.
  • I will remember that when I pray for “Whatever it Takes” sometimes whatever it takes will hurt.
  • I’m going to let any hurt propel me closer to my Father, who will reveal what the hurt can teach me about Him.
This time, if  I start to hear the screaming on the inside, I will seek wise counsel in honesty, and be accountable for my own faith. I will not be backed into a corner, alone, ever again!
Has this new knowledge instantly changed my every emotion connected to “The Event”? Oh, if it were only that easy, who would need a Savior? This new knowledge has, however, instantly changed how I will REACT to those emotions. YHWH’s way, or the enemy’s and my own ways?
I share this private “Event” from my own life because I see so many prayers requests on a regular basis. Reading between the lines, I see that many of you have had “An Event” in your own faith walk that has shaken you, too. Oh, it may be different than mine, but the side-effects on you and the pressure on your faith has been the same. I share because I know how hard it is to admit that we’re sliding down a slippery slope, and that we can’t see how Abba could bring good from “The Event”. That would be to admit that we don’t trust Him!
I beseech you, friends, if you are screaming on the inside
  • RUN to the throne…Yell, kick, cry, shake those fists if you have to, He already knows what you’re feeling!
  • When you’re spent, ask Him to change you, through and through. He is so faithful!
  • Next, connect with a believer or two whom you trust, and be brutally honest with them. Ask them for support in prayer and to hold you accountable as you wander through the briars on your way back to the Narrow Path. Stay connected!
Every day, life and death are set before us. Making the choice is an action, not a feeling. The “Events” and our reactions to them are  going to show us where we are truly standing, on the Solid Rock, or in Sinking Sand…
FOLLOW UP POST:

90 thoughts on “Screaming on the Inside

  1. Wow. Thanks for sharing your story. I scream inside a lot over the years. Normally in the shower actually. I’ve screamed, cried, begged God to change things. To help me. To make it all better.

    I love what you said here.

    “My Father could use it for me to bear fruit in the future. That is HIS will for my life.
    My enemy (who is really YHWH’s enemy) could use it to tarnish my testimony. That is his will for my life.”

    Wow. Powerful. Again I’m reminded of Joseph…he could of crumpled under all of those circumstances but he rose above. He kept his eyes on God and was transformed and blessed. That’s what I want. Less of me, more of Him.

  2. This post could have easily been written for me, by me and about me. I find myself sliding back into this tunnel of doom. There is no specific event, there are many. Some of which I THOUGHT had been dealt with, forgiven and forgotten.

    While I know the Word, the words seem hollow – they bounce off my spirit, making no impact. I confess them, but they seem hollow, I cling to them but they escape me after a while. I repent, I cry out to God BUT STILL. I find myself not moving beyond this point. Or breaking free, but not breaking loose…so I find myself back here, after a sunday morning church high; or some time spent before the Lord during quiet time; or time spent in worship while I drive. Then “something” happens or triggers and my spirit starts deflating…and I feel like such a fraud!

    Obviously this has repercussions on my marriage, my work, my role as a mother, a friend…BUT
    Through it all, I believe in God and I believe God. He will never leave me nor forsake me and will help me through.

    Thank you for sharing!

  3. This is wonderful… and the thoughts are so similar, regardless of the various “events.” The section that Godlywifetobe quoted was powerful to me as well. I will try to remember that and ask myself, “PrayinglikeHannah, who are you going to release this to? Your Father or the enemy?” Thank you.

  4. I think for me and “My Event” its the shame I feel for feeling so inadequate and yes lately at times like a fraud wondering if I really did hear my Heavenly Father calling me out to “go and tell”. Questions that will slip in my mind…… I am a seasoned Christian, aren’t I? I did hear my Heavenly Father calling “go and tell” didn’t I ? I am walking in the will of God, aren’t I? And so it goes and I remember a long time ago reading a small pamphlet from The Daily Bread Devotions entitled “Why Good Christians Doubt”. I wish I could find it again because all I remember is that it was encouraging to remind us about the fight we have between the strong desire of our spirit man to rise in power and the flesh man that has so many “why’s”. As I was feeling a little out of sorts the other day especially, it’s been like that for a few weeks now, I took my coffee outside on the deck where it was rather chilly. And I began thanking God that I could feel the cool and feel others things but that feeling was not enough for me, that my Faith was my lifeline to my doubts and then he reminded me about trust. And it is vital to me to TRUST when I cannot see or when I am simply feeling along the walk waiting on my Faith to really kick in because one thing that is my constant, JESUS, he has always come through in little ways and certainly big ways – but always in ways that I know it was him. And he will give me the encounters I need for encouragement because he knows my heart and he sees my battle and my desire to truly serve him. And the enemy of Yahweh is our enemy too indeed and he tries so hard to cut a cord of nutrient in us from our Abba Father, but I remind myself often that No WEAPON FORMED AGAINST ME SHALL PROSPER. I remind myself that I am indeed a child of God and that this to shall pass. I know God has good plans for me, for good and not evil and for a sound mind. So indeed I also fight at times and I am so thankful that the scripture is so very true and will prevail in us – Greater is He that is within us – than he that is in the world! Praise God that you have the strength to turn your “EVENT” into a witness that truly gives God the glory and gives you the strength. I know you have encouraged many of us, many blessings for your life.

  5. Oh, how much i relate to this… In recent days the screaming voice got louder again. Need prayer. Feel like Mary and Joseph who lost Jesus and searched desperately for Him. I know all the theory, but got tired… Hate to be lukewarm. Hate to smile only on the outside…

  6. Boy this is EXACTLY where I have been over the last year or so. And I have taken things to god and tried to pray scripture. Wow. Tyanks

  7. There are so many times I feel like I am screaming on the inside. Screaming sometimes in pain and honestly screaming inside hoping someone would see how fake my smile is….I’m such a quiet person the kind who rarely reaches out. Pray for me sisters. ..

    1. Praying for faith,
      I pray that God might greatly increase your faith and help you turn wholeheartedly to Him and find refuse and healing and hope in Him alone. Sending you a huge hug!!!

  8. Sisters,

    I count myself blessed to have y’all in my life via this blog!
    I am going through an “Event” as we write, and this post is key to how I choose to handle/deal with it.

    PraylikeHannah, I LOVE what you wrote, “Who are you going to release this to? Your Father or the enemy?”

    THANK YOU!

  9. Thank you for this post. If the whole world could read this, I think there would be far fewer “Events” and a lot more willingness to do whatever it takes to strengthen precious relationships. So few people actually think about how much hurt they will cause!

    I think our heavenly father understands when we scream and don’t understand why such painful things happen to a person of faith. “Events” of this magnitude literally knock us off our foundation sometimes, in that we are in such intense pain we can’t think clearly. Imagine the pain of a thumb that has been smashed in a car door; when the pain is at its most intense it’s impossible to think or respond calmly. All we can do is scream, groan, gasp, and try to breathe until the pain lessens. Suffering from an “Event” is the emotional equivalent of smashing your thumb (or worse!) only the pain lasts much longer! Lashing out at God then is like saying, “Just get away from me”–or worse–to someone attempting to sooth us five seconds after our thumb is smashed. Every ounce of our energy at that point is needed for dealing with pain, and there is no room in our consciousness for anything else, least of all trying to be polite. Only when the pain subsides enough can we begin to think clearly, process what happened, and begin to heal. Our Father understands this and loves and carries us through the pain, then helps us heal.
    I am so sorry for what you have suffered, but am so glad you allowed God to help you grow spiritually from this. Your post was a real encouragement to me! Much love to you and all my sisters here.

  10. I have struggled with two nearly identical “events” in my marriage, 7 years apart. After the first, I shut down spiritually, became a disrespectful tyrant to my husband, and thought I could handle my life better than God could. I allowed pride to swallow me up and spent years going through the motions while screaming on the inside.

    When the second “event” happened this past summer, I tried to reach for my old friends – pride, self-righteousness, and anger – and didn’t even have the energy left to cloak myself in them. Instead, I fell on my face before God and saw, for the first time, my own sins instead of just my husband’s. In my particular case, I honestly believe that I faced the same situation twice because I didn’t learn what I should have learned the first time. I didn’t forgive, I sure didn’t forget, and I used my husband’s sin against me as an excuse to wander around and distrust God while committing a multitude of my own sins. This time I am striving every day to use these valleys in my life as part of my testimony and allow it to be used for God’s glory.

    I am so struck by the idea of praying for “whatever it takes” and being prepared for it to hurt… That’s exactly what I prayed for last July and it is painful every day. But I also see myself growing and changing as I step back onto the path my Father has laid out for me instead of letting circumstances rip me to shreds.

    I’m grateful each week to read the posts here and know that I’m not alone in my journey. As Terrie mentioned, all of us may be dealing with different things for different reasons, but we are sisters in Christ and our struggles are often so similar. I find a lot of comfort in that and pray for many of the writers and commenters here.

    1. Andrea,

      Wow! thank you so much for sharing!

      Yes, I think we have to get to the point that we are even willing to suffer, if we know it is God’s will and that He is using it for our ultimate good and His glory. That is total surrender. I want what You want, God. No matter what the personal cost to me!

      I appreciate your willingness to share your story, I know it will bless many wives. I pray for His greatest glory in your life and marriage!

    2. Wow! Sorry but i am a MALE but I truly can empathize with this post. Thank you Sis Andrea. you sound like my wife -but I do hope my wife can see herself instead of blaming it on others. there is a HUGE amount of pride and lies to protect herself. My heart has been used like a yo-yo. each time it goes down it crashes and shatters into a million pieces. I am hurt AND numb. Only God has kept me from wanting to just throw in the towel. I do hope many more saints (female AND male) will admit that the old man is still there and that we should all surrender EVERYTHING and TELL EVERYTHING to God. He loves us more than we love ourselves. The perfect one gave us HIMSELF and even gave us HIMSELF in the form of the Holy Spirit to help us expand HIS kingdom and to make it home. These excruciating testimonies are sorely needed in the body of Christ to shame the enemy and to glorify Abba. Wow! We can call the GREAT I AM , abba. So mindblowing. May God be glorified in the lives of His children.

      1. Thank you for chiming in, CrushedMale! I agree, The Body of Messiah needs to start sharing the struggles on this Narrow Path and the testimony of how faithful Abba is through them! Blessings to you. Your Sister Sojourner, Terrie C

  11. Terrie,

    Thank you so much for sharing this. Like the other wives who commented, this resonated with me. Some days I can truly feel God’s peace and joy, feel His everlasting arms holding me, and other days I am such a fraud — smiling and calm outside, broken and crying inside. Thank you for the reminder that choosing life is an action, not a feeling. And thank you for outlining your “plan to combat the wiles of my enemy and those of my second enemy, my own pride.” Very helpful. I copied it down to keep it handy for the days I don’t feel so strong. God bless you and all of the other wives here — I lift you all up in prayer to our loving Father.

    1. Cat, One of my most repeated prayers is that I won’t get to the Throne on judgment day and discover I was a fraud. James reminds us that we deceive ourselves if we are hearers of the Word, and not doers. To be doers of the Word, we must learn to die to self. Perhaps these “events” are teaching us to do just that! Blessings, sister

      1. Yes, Terrie, I believe you are absolutely right — our “events” are teaching us to be doers, not just hearers, of the Word. I have been a hearer of the Word for my entire life. I didn’t even realize I wasn’t a doer, always thought I was a pretty good person, but ACK… my pride! And without my “event” which started me on this journey about 6 1/2 months ago, I would still be strolling along blissfully unaware of how displeasing my life has been to God. Thank you for your prayers and encouragement. Blessings to you, too, my sister!

    2. Cat, I so understand what you’re saying! Some days I even think that I’m doing okay because I have God’s amazing guidance and presence in my life. I’m leaning and learning like I never imagined I would! But you know on the other days when I’m literally screaming inside, I know that I need to find a safe way to release those emotions and that it’s okay to do that. If I’m alone, I wail and cry until it’s over, if not I might write down my thoughts. I bring my emotions and pain before the Lord and ask for His help, His comfort and His wisdom. But first I experience my emotions, every one of them, because as I’m just starting to learn in my life, emotions are normal and it’s good and healthy to experience them. I never knew that before. This is one of the many things God is teaching me right now. I heard a quote on the radio today, I think from a book called ‘To Crave’, “God gave us emotions so we can experience life, not destroy it.” I really don’t think that you are a fraud on those days, you are a human experiencing life! I can see that you know what to do with those emotions, you are bringing them to your Heavenly Father and allowing Him to guide you through them. I kind of know what you mean though because really I can’t go around wailing and sharing my pain with everyone. When I go out I have to pull myself together even when I’m crying inside. But I don’t think that I’m a fraud for doing that, not everyone is safe and I need to take care of myself. If people ask I don’t pretend everything is great though. But you know I find people rarely ask and it’s easy to change the subject if they do. I have one friend that I’m able to share everything with which helps. It helps me to know that Jesus understands great pain, He understands betrayal and that even He expressed emotions, at times in the presence of others. He is the ultimate Comforter because He get’s it!!! How amazing is that! I’m praying for you and your journey! Thank you for being such an encourager on this blog!

      1. Melanie,

        Thank you so much for sharing these wise words. I am struggling to learn the same thing about emotions — that it’s normal and healthy to experience all of them. I have so long pushed away any negative emotions and shut down rather than sharing them (a huge part of what has damaged my relationship with my husband — I imagine it has felt so disrespectful to him that I seemed so unwilling to trust him). I guess I get easily overwhelmed by such emotions and end up feeling so lost. Thank you for the reassurance that I’m just a “human experiencing life” in those moments and the reminder that bringing those emotions to our Father is the only way to heal and grow through them.

        On one of those days, recently, I was reminded of the words of Isaiah 53:3 “He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from Him; He was despised, and we esteemed Him not.” The rejection and sorrow I feel is no where near that of what Jesus experienced, but it is reassuring to know that He experienced the same emotions with which I am struggling. He felt exactly as I do and can comfort me like no one else.

        I also love verse 7 “He was oppressed, and He was afflicted, yet He opened not His mouth: He is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so He openeth not His mouth.” If Christ would remain silent, fully trusting His Father even when forsaken by Him for the sake of our sins, then surely I can bring my pain to the Father and be still and wait as I trust Him to lead me through it for His glory and my good.

        Thank you for your encouragement and prayers. You are such a blessing to me, my friend, and I know to so many other wives here, too. I am praying for you, as well, and am so thankful for the loving support God has allowed me to find here.

        1. Yes Cat, that sounds so similar to my experience. I truly believe that my inability to really feel my emotions, much less express them, ended up ruining my marriage. I grew up in a great Christian home but I realize now that expressing negative emotions was not allowed. As well I grew up in the church and I just felt like as a Christian I shouldn’t be sad or angry so I just tried to block those feelings and keep going. I never took the time to analyze and understand what I was feeling and why and then give those to God. We do have such an amazing example in Jesus Christ! What an amazing gift from God that He would send His Son to earth to be a man, to experience life, the good, the bad, the painful and then death, an excruciating death that brings us freedom today!

          I’m going to mention a book on todays post that you might find helpful in this part of your journey.

          I really couldn’t have made it this far in this journey without you and the other women on here!

          1. Melanie,

            Our backgrounds and current situations sound so similar! (I see that so often here on Peacefulwife.) I grew up in a Christian family, in the church and even Christian schools. I too only realized recently that expressing negative emotions was not acceptable. Thank you for pointing me to the book recommendations in your other comment. I will look into those.

            Can I offer a book recommendation, too? “Telling Each Other the Truth” by William Backus identifies all the ways we avoid honest communication with one another and the damage it causes in our relationships. It is very straightforward and Scriptural based, particularly the exhortation in Ephesians 4:15 to “speak the truth in love” (denying my emotions is not loving, but actually hurtful to others). It outlines very practical steps to take in breaking bad communication habits and establishing new God-honoring ones.

            I am motivated to change and grow in this regard for several reasons. First, I realized that denying these emotions to myself and others was dishonest (I was so blinded I never saw it this way!) Also, I began to truly understand how hurtful it was to my husband and how damaging it was to our marriage (In the moments when my husband would be bending over backwards trying to get me to just share my heart and I was so tied up in knots inside I couldn’t get out of my own way to do it, I KNEW something was wrong with me, but I never realized what I was doing and, when the upset of the moment past — because he was always willing to forgive and move on even when I was too paralyzed to actually deal with any conflict — things just went back to the way they were, I never tried to change, I didn’t know how). Finally, I felt the great weight of responsibility in teaching and leading my children by example as they experience various emotions and learn how to express and cope with them appropriately.

            Yes, praise God for the incredible gift and example we have in Jesus! Right down to experiencing and dealing with all the messy emotions that go along with being human.

            Much love to you, my dear friend and sister! I am blessed to be journeying and praying together with you.

          2. Cat, Your response to Melanie stopped me cold mid-sip of my first cup of coffee this morning! I grew up under the spirit of alcoholism and abuse, which is the reason I was an atheist until age 40. That’s another post in itself! But your insights based on Ephesians 4 are spot-on! Not once throughout this whole “event” in my relationship have I conveyed my emotions honestly or effectively. They have seeped out in resentful and damaging ways, instead. I look forward to taking this new information to Abba in prayer, and to gleaning from the book you referenced. I have always looked at my lack of sharing my intimate feelings, the bad ones at least, as being a peacemaker, which I had to be in childhood. Now I see that it is just another area where I’m not living in truth and freedom. Thank you, sister!

          3. Seems like we are all extremists here – because my issue was on the opposite end of the spectrum. I felt every emotion and expressed EVERY single one to my hubby. That was not good for me at all (or for him, I have come to learn the hard way!). I kept nothing in – I wanted him to know every thought I had, wanted him to understand every pain and be a part of every joy. I think it was too overwhelming. I never leaned how to handle some of my emotions “myself,” which I think is sometimes necessary. I had to “vent” and I wanted him to help me deal with my emotions by fixing whatever was the source of the negative emotions, or being the constant source from which the positive emotions could flourish. I was emotionally dependent on him and pretty much had “too many” emotions about things. One of the things he used to say to me a lot (and he still does even in our state of “separateness”, which shows I am not growing as much as I should be!), is that I am too sensitive. I used to hate when he said that…. it was like a curse word to me…… but I think he was (is) right. Part of my problem, is that I suffocated my husband with all my emotions……

            But, I am glad I realize all this – it is refreshing to try to purge myself of what I see is wrong with “me.” If it’s God’s will – I will get to right my wrong, in my marriage. Nothing is impossible with God.

          4. It seems to be our human tendency to be at one extreme or the other! It’s so awesome when we can see the good that is coming from being refined! I pray that God will do the impossible in your marriage as well!

          5. Amen, PrayinglikeHannah! It sounds funny, but you’re right – it is refreshing to be trying to “fix” someone who we actually can control — ourselves! Through the mighty power of the Holy Spirit. Praying for the impossible with and for you! Love you!

          6. Cat,
            I was so excited when I found out there was SOMETHING I could control!!!!!! ME! And I also get to control how much of God’s Spirit I allow into my life. So – I ask God to let me have the faucet WIDE OPEN! I want the Holy Spirit coming FULL BLAST into my life!

            It is very freeing when we stop trying to control things we can’t control – others and God – and focus on what we are actually responsible for.

            Much love!

          7. Prayinglikehannah,

            Amen!!!!!

            I was so much like you – telling Greg EVERYTHING.

            Brutal “honesty” is so damaging. We do need to be honest, real and authentic, but at the same time balance that with kindness, consideration, respect and honor. Those extremes are where we go when we are in the flesh. We need God’s Spirit to soar above the extremes to find the balance and power of God’s Spirit to walk in obedience to Him.

            I pray God will give you the opportunity to write the wrongs you have committed in your marriage and that your husband might come to Christ and for healing for your marriage!

          8. yoursistersojourner, I’m so glad that you’ve gained this insight for your life! I pray that God will bring healing to you in all areas of your life, including your emotions!

          9. Yoursistersojourner,
            This was a whole new concept to me, too — that by not sharing my emotions/thoughts/concerns (particularly the negative ones) I was actually being dishonest! And unloving! That’s a pretty shoddy kind of peace I was trying to keep. I hope that you’ll find the book helpful. I certainly did and am glad I mentioned it. I am praying for you! Love & blessings!

          10. Cat,

            It’s interesting how we can convince ourselves that our motives are righteous- but we can be blind to our own sinfulness. I’m so glad that you are learning to listen to your heart and feelings, not that they are the most important thing, but it is important to be authentic and honest – yet at the same time kind and loving. We do tend to go too far one way or the other – not enough talking or way too much talking! Either extreme is sinful and destructive.

            Much love to you!

          11. Cat, that books sounds perfect! Thank you for suggesting it, I think it will really help me, in all of my relationships. I’m at the point with my mom and sister where I’m just tired of us all being so fake with each other. I’ve tried to express a bit of my sadness but just didn’t feel like they got it. I think my whole family probably needs to read that book.

            My husband has always feared conflict so whenever it would arise he would be very quick to apologize afterwards. So many times it should have been me, but it always took me a VERY long time to apologize. So basically we never got to the root of any problems and I never had to change either! Now my husband calls me an ‘apology machine’! I think he’s pretty thrown by it. Now I’m very quick to apologize if I recognize that I’ve sinned against him in any way. If I ask him for his forgiveness he gives it but I don’t really feel like his heart is in it. It feels like he can forgive me easily because in his mind he’s already written me off so he doesn’t really care what I do or don’t do. He recently told me in a conversation about people in our lives that he wishes that they would all just leave him alone and that he wants people to stop caring about him. He didn’t say it but I’m pretty sure he meant me as well. This is the man that has expressed that he is angry at God for pursuing him… Right now you can’t see it in my husband but he truly is a man after God’s own heart. Oh how God grieves for him and their severed relationship. I know God’s pain is greater than mine because His love is greater.

            I’ve been feeling the same way about wanting to teach my children about emotions, that they are okay. I want to teach them to identify their emotions, then ask themselves why they’re feeling that way and then decide what they can do about it. I’ve posted a list of ‘soul words’ on my fridge that lists emotions, so that we can look at it together and pinpoint what’s going on. We’ve just started this recently. Before when my kids were upset or crying I would just tell them to go to their room until they were ‘done’! Yikes, I was going to turn my kids into emotionally unhealthy people who run from emotions. just. like. me.!

          12. Glad to suggest the book, Melanie, and I hope that you will find it helpful. I sure did! And I agree — so many of us could benefit from the lessons in it. It would be really awesome to be able to work together with one’s spouse to learn to speak the truth in love to one another, but the author does point out that, since we cannot change others, even just focusing on ourselves and learning to speak the truth in love on our own we will notice improvements in our relationships.

            I hope it will be helpful for all your family relationships, too. I’ve been apply what I learned to my communication with my parents, as well. Praise God my parents are believers and very gracious about the concerns I have approached them about (issues to do with “leaving and cleaving” which I now realize I never fully did).

            “Apology machine”, eh? 🙂 While my husband hasn’t labeled me as such, I’m sure he’d agree. I feel like I’m constantly telling him I’m sorry. He doesn’t accept my apologies, though, and he’s told me to stop, he’s sick of hearing it. So I’m trying to be careful and come up with other ways to acknowledge my role in situations where I wrong him. Our husbands sound like they are both in the same broken place. It is so heartbreaking to see how much pain he is in. Thank you for the reminder that it hurts our Father’s heart even more because He loves him even more than I ever could.

            Wonderful idea to work on “soul words” with your kids! Yes, it scary to think that the unhealthy boundaries and bad emotional habits I’ve developed could so easily be passed on to my children! I need to be so cautious and prayerful in order to “nurture them in the discipline and teaching that come from the Lord” (Eph 6:4) and not that which comes from sin and fear and pride.

  12. This was timely! I had another of many such ‘events’ this morning, when things were going so well 🙁 I needed to read a post like this. Thank you x

    1. Cat and JuR – Funny to see consecutive posts from both of you, because I thought of you both at church today! A man spoke of how happy he is to have been blessed to have a wife like he does, because she prayed for his salvation for years. He said things of the church were very far from his mind, and he didn’t really buy into all the things of Christians, so he can’t believe he is in church ministries today and enjoying salvation. He credits his wife for praying for him for many years…. 🙂

      I am sure this wife had a lot of “events,” but it must be so much joy in her now!

      1. What a sweet story of salvation.

        I find it interesting in many churches that I know that there seems to be many women sitting with their kids alone while hubby us at home against the church. So sad. Praise God for those men that stand in as a role for our children of a Godly man and the hope we can have that our husbands will be like that 🙂

        Sometimes I get discouraged and down that my hubby isn’t by my side in church but I am trying to use that time to thank God for the Godly men in my sons life in particular and praying my husband will be that man for others one day 🙂

        Not saying our husbands aren’t good examples-but in the area of faith our children need an example. My children too benefit from men who are full of the fruits of the spirit and meet some needs my kids need at the moment while their Dad gets there one day.

      2. Thank you, PrayinglikeHannah, for your thoughts and prayers and for sharing this beautiful story of the couple in your church. I need constant reminders that my eyes are to be on the prize at the end of the race. That this journey isn’t about me, my husband, or our marriage, but that it is a life and death battle for his eternal soul. That certainly puts the hurts and frustrations, and even joys, of daily life into perspective. Much love to you, my sister!

    2. Just this morning, JUR? You must still be numb and reeling! Hold on, sister, decide to stand through this, even though it feels like you can’t. Our Heavenly Father has you in His hand, even if it feels like you’re grasping at air trying to hold His. Until you can begin thinking clearly and moving forward, hold on to that knowledge with all you’ve got.

  13. Sisters, your comments stir my spirit and my heart! I type through tears knowing I’m not suffering this human condition alone, without support, encouragement and love. Our adversary has a big fat bull’s eye on marriage! After our covenant with our Heavenly Father, marriage is our biggest covenant relationship, we cannot allow him to take a stronghold! For those of you who had an event in their own relationship, I’m curious as to how much time has passed since the ground shook. I am between three and four months, and already I have seen so many changes in my perception since the truth came out. Again, thank you all for the kind words, I could see your lovely spirits shining through them!

    1. I am sooooo happy I found u all.I have a lot to share but I just want to thank God for you all. I was screaming inside alone in my room as my husband and I don’t sleep in the same room …I am an immigrant too so I am soooo lonely being with him in this country I found u when I was asking God for any Christian chat ,,I want to ask you to Pray for me and I really need your company ….

    2. Thank you for this post, and how honest it is. I can relate to the feeling of helplessness and desperation.. and so few people in my life knew about it!!!

      My event—finding out about my husband’s infidelity– happened a little more than a year ago. WOW how things have CHANGED since then!! We are both brand new people thanks to the saving grace of the LORD! I thank God that in his infinite wisdom and mercy allowed this to happen to reveal MY hardness of heart and awful sin!!

      I still struggle some days to let go, but recently I read the story of Jesus healing the crippled man by the pool. Jesus asked the man “Do you want to be well??” Wow!! That jumped out from the page at me!! I am so tempted to feel sorry for myself and hold on to my hurts, but Jesus can’t do His healing work unless I truly want to be well! So that’s what I’m working on right now!! 🙂

      God bless!!

  14. “The event”, that cursed event. I am no stranger to the event. I am thankful that I gave my struggles to God in my crisis. We all encounter “events” and crisises. That is this world. I pray that each woman here would reach out to make Christ their number one and to surround themselves with godly sisters when we are feeling ourselves slipping away from that narrow path. Thank you Terrie for sharing your story.

  15. Dear April,

    Firstly, I am so grateful God blessed us with your ability to reach out and open our eyes so that we may know Him.

    I am so worn down. I am 34 and the baby clock ticking deafeningly in my ears. My husband, like gracealone’s, has refused me children and his mind is made up.

    Tonight he told me he intends to get a vasectomy, which I entirely disagree with. If I give consent I am afraid that I am conspiring with him in sin. Can you provide any guidance on this issue?

    I am heartsick. Everything inside of me wants to die. My poor son will never know the joy of being a brother. The enemy is heaping guilt upon my head. My husband does not have faith in my ability to change. I have hurt him terribly, most all of it through misguided faith and disrespect and not from the infidelity, addiction or abuse which we are constantly guarded against.

    I have been working hard this week at recognizing my idols and having a very much wanted baby with my husband was the biggest. I am battling this even as I type.

    Please tell me what you know about the scriptural stance on vasectomy. Thank you.

    1. Livelywriter,

      Well, vasectomies weren’t an option in biblical times!

      But – here is my suggestion.

      Pray. But ask God to refine your motives. Ask God for His will. Ask God for His glory in your life.

      You don’t have to give consent. You can say, “That makes me sad.” Or, if your husband knows very well that you are against a vasectomy, it may be wise not to say anything when he says he plans to get a vasectomy.

      Our God is able to change your husband’s heart. Our God is able to lead you through this man. I pray you will focus on your part, becoming the godly wife God desires you to be. That is more important than having another baby. I pray you will seek to find all of your contentment in Christ no matter what your husband does or does not do. I pray for God to radically change you and to use you to bless your husband and to accomplish His purposes here on earth.

      Sending you a huge hug my precious sister!

    2. Livelywriter:
      I will be praying for you. I can SO relate. I sometimes feel that when one already has a child, it might be incomprehensible to others that the desire for ANOTHER child, is still a “void.” I know it is, even if not as big a void as those who have not experienced parenting at all. However, since I have that same “void,” I know it is a sense of being “incomplete.” I too have an absolutely wonderful son — whew, he is such a joy. But I “desire” (to put it mildly 🙂 ) another child – and would be elated beyond measure to have daughter .. or two… 🙂

      ..but as April said, it is so important to come to that place of contentment with Christ – regardless of what He (God) gives you. I see nothing wrong with wanting another child – but it can’t be more important than having the right relationship with God…and with your husband.

      In my case, my adorable son 🙂 is also my husband’s only child but you said, “My husband, …… has refused me children and his mind is made up.” Is it that your son is not your husband’s child and you just want to share a child with him? If so, I can imagine how much more of a void that is 🙁 — but either way, I understand your desire. However, please don’t let the desire be a source of disrespect to your hubby 🙁

      I trust that God will soothe your aching heart…..

      1. Thank you for the tender kindness of your words, April, Prayinglikehannah, and sistersojourner. Thank you more for your prayers.

        My son was born when I was 20, he wasn’t planned, but I have never looked back. How scary it was to be a single mom so young. I spent 11 years raising him independently, never living with anyone else, including my parents. It was such a hard time, joys were sandwiched in layers of fear.

        Then my husband and I were brought together, he welcomed my son and said he wanted more. We married and because of his job, we spent 2.5 years in Europe. Being away from family was stressful for us all, plus my son has adhd and entered puberty. I leaned so hard on my husband for things I had no business seeking from him. Even last year when he first said he changed his mind, I was blind to my sin and folly. Now here we are in a new state with no family nearby and my husband acting so unlovingly.

        Last night, I lost it again when he handed me a letter explaining that he wanted the vasectomy and to say that I needed to find work and fix my mental state and fix my son’s disrespectful behavior. I had thought I had given up my idol desire for another child, but found out how much it still clings to my hands. I honestly feel like I am handing over this very lifelike imaginary baby, saying goodbye and abandoning it. I foolishly tried to convey this to my husband, how it feels like this is a life or death issue for our marriage and how much I struggle to let it go. I know I likely caused more damage by speaking from my heart instead of being still. 😥

        I prayed and wept for hours last night, begging for the courage to murder my dream so I can seek true joy as His child.

        Dying to self is no cakewalk! I hear the secular advice to leave and start anew echoing through my head; there is no doubt for me that the advice is bad and wrong, for contemplating it only raises fear and sorrow in my heart. I also hear Him telling me that there is no fair, only right or wrong.

        Prayslikehannah, I have been told by my husband and his mother that I DID get to have a child, my son, as if that nullifies my desire to have a child with my husband. I understand your pain and I am so sorry you also face the longing for more children with a husband who won’t. It is like offering up your greatest honor and gift to bear your husband’s children and he forcefully throws it in the garbage without a second glance.

        A girl would delight me to no end, though another son would be so welcomed too. However, I must completely kill this longing in my heart because I will never get out of this fiery pit of despair until I do.

        For anyone else suffering this issue, I have a special place of tenderness in my heart for you. You are not alone, we can band together in spirit and forge ahead to do what is right though it is scary and painful. I will pray for you too.

        April, have you considered opening a forum?

        1. Livelywriter,

          I do think you will have to grieve over this dream. I don’t think it is wrong to share that it hurts you very much to think of giving up the ability to have a baby with your husband.

          But – I do think this is something you can lay on the altar to God. It IS PAINFUL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! But God is able to cause circumstances to go exactly as He wants them to. His sovereignty is where I find my peace.

          My heart breaks for your pain!!!!!!!!!!

          I do know that you can find true joy in Christ and even contentment even if you do not get to have your dream. But there will be a lot of feelings and emotions to hash through and it will be a process to lay it down.

          I’m so proud of you for desiring to seek Christ and for wanting to honor Him.

          Right now, I am not planning to open a forum. I have tried that before and it was very frustrating – both of the formats I used.

          But – you are always welcome to share here. 🙂

          Sending you the biggest hug!!!!!!!!!!!

          Much love,
          April

    1. Lively Writer, I pray God washes over you like a wave, filling you with His peace and love. Even if you feel like you can’t grab ahold of Him today, believe that He is holding you! He is the ONLY thing that will bring you through this even better than you began. Hard to believe, I know, while the flames of the furnace are still nipping at you…but He is so much bigger than anything that comes your way!

  16. I wanted every one of you to know that I have gone through these comments and prayed for each of you. I gave thanks for those who’ve shared their wisdom, and pleaded for those of you who are pinned against the wall by our enemy today. All hands up in praise that God has not left us alone in our struggle, but provided sisters to uplift, encourage and educate us! HalleluYah, He is so good!

  17. I seriously cannot thank you enough for opening this website and sharing God’s loving Word and showing us His way.

    I am grieving…and that is okay. The pain is preparing me for something greater than my desires. A tough pill to swallow and it still catches in my throat a little.

    Whenever I found out I was pregnant at 19, I felt so alone and had to search my soul for the answer. Sin surrounded me, yet My Father gave me the Grace to move forward with conviction.

    How beautiful that scary time was, I knew I was on the path He intended during that time…I had such peace. Then, I lost my way. For a very long time longing for a companion, a husband was my idol, when I finally let that go, He blessed me with my husband.

    What is different this time, is that I KNOW (because of your ministry) that He is turning my face toward Him now. It is scary and also thrilling. It feels like my naive faith is maturing.

    Your ministry spoke to me in a way I could finally understand what God asks of each and every one of us. Give Him 100% trust and control…there is no middle ground. Anything less and we risk our own destruction of His gifts. Years of church going could not open my eyes like they’ve been opened here. We are all blessed by your heeding His call to share.

    Thank you from the bottom of my heart, April.

    Your friend in and through Christ,

    Natalie

    1. Livelywriter,

      This is the stuff I WISH I had understood and learned in church – but I didn’t get it. It is exactly what Jesus asks of all who follow Him – taking up our cross, dying to self, losing our life so we can find it, living in obedience to Him to show Him our love, repenting of sin, abiding in Christ, being filled with His Spirit, tearing out all the idols…

      Yes – He deserves 100% of our trust and submission. He will take nothing less.

      I am so glad that God is using this blog to bless you and deepen your walk with Christ. That is a HUGE answer to my prayers! 🙂 You are a blessing! Thank you for walking this road with us!

      Much love my precious sister,
      April

  18. I love how you emphasize the CHOICE involved! I am finishing a week long series at http://www.amyruthwriter.com on “How to Speak LOVE into your Marriage.” It’s about being intentional about what you say to your spouse, including a number of experiements!

  19. Please pray for me. I’m screaming inside and I’m anything but a peaceful wife. To explain further, I would end up going down the list of all the things I think he’s doing wrong. I am sinning against him, I know that. I’m to the point where I push him away nearly every time he tries to hug me, I barely respond when he says he loves me, I go to bed early just to be alone and today, I even told him that I’m not interested in things he’s saying (I wasn’t interested in the play by play of a basketball game that I didn’t care about and he didn’t even watch, but still!).

    I know that our only hope is God working in each of us. I’ve started writing two lists: the good things in him and the sin in me. I apologized to him for not being a good wife, but I’m still a lousy wife. I’m tired and I feel unloved. The words and the hugs mean little to me because they have no follow up, but yet I know how hurtful it must be for me to be so cold towards them. I don’t know how to respond, how to respect when I feel like everything has been dumped on my shoulders or how to respond in love when I feel used and unloved.

    1. Lucy,
      Of course I will pray for you right now!!!

      How is your walk with Jesus going. That is where your power and healing will come from!

      What is it that you believe you need?

      Thank you for reaching out!

      Other ladies, would you please rally around Lucy with prayers and encouragement and love?

      Sending you a huge hug, my precious sister!

      1. I’m trying to stay in the Word, listen to worship music and sermons. I’m struggling with God though because nearly everything I hate about my marriage comes back to things that, in my pride, I said I would never stand for back in my single days. I’m about to have a birthday and I’m wrestling with my biological clock (we have no kids, no intimacy and no immediate possibility for either to change), so I’m fighting resentment on that level. I keep reading about suffering and trying to remind myself that He is using all this to sanctify me.

        As to what I think I need, I work full time and he works part time, so I carry the financial burdens. He insists on separate bank accounts and wants me to pay the bills because he’s forgetful. He says he will help, but I have yet to see that happen. He also says that he will help around the house, but then does nothing. I’m tired. I need him to step it up and contribute something in all of this. I’m tired of coming home after working all day (when he either hasn’t worked or only worked a half day) to listen to him complain about his day while he watches me work around the house. Usually, I don’t get to sit down until 8 pm, but he will not step up to do any thing. I want him to care about my day, my thoughts and my interests, but most of our conversations revolve around him and what he’s reading. It’s hard to believe that I am loved when I feel like my husband expects me to be his mom (doing everything to take care of him). I don’t feel like I matter.

        1. Lucy,

          What does he say when you share these concerns and burdens with him? Does he know you are feeling overwhelmed and resentful?

          What are the things you believe you must have to be happy? Intimacy and children?

          Much love to you!

          1. He just blames his job and has lots of excuses for everything else (I’m tired, I don’t feel like it, I forgot, etc.). If he doesn’t know that I’m tired and resentful, he hasn’t listened to me. I have told him that that’s where I am, but he just keeps telling me that I have to be patient with him, that he’s trying. I just don’t see any actual attempts.

            I want him to be my partner, to try to at least notice when I’m exhausted and to contribute to our life together. I want him to step up, rather than to just expect me to do everything.

          2. Lucy,

            Is there anything that you can take off of your plate right now?

            If you are interested, I have an assignment for you. 🙂

            Several wives I have walked beside have had a VERY, VERY hard time giving up bitterness. I did, too! In fact, two wives I know have actually cried about it and said things like, “But I love my bitterness! It’s all I have! I don’t want to let it go! If I let go of my bitterness, I won’t have any ammunition to use against my husband!”

            It is scary to let go of our bitterness. I cherished my bitterness and enjoyed it. 🙁

            Then I realized that I had a choice. I could have bitterness, or I could have Jesus – but I couldn’t have both.

            Is he dealing with any mental illness, addictions or history of abuse?

            Please check out my post today on http://www.peacefulsinglegirl.wordpress.com about “We Reap What We Sow”

            And, when you are ready, I will give you that assignment. 🙂

            Sending you a huge hug!

        2. Lucy,

          Have you apologized for the zingers and disrespect? Are you willing to accept his hugs and begin to move towards him?

          Do you resent him?

          Are you holding onto bitterness?

          Are you willing to let go of bitterness? Or is that a scary thought?

          Much love,
          April

          1. I did apologize, but I doubt he believes me because I still lash out. 🙁 I don’t think I would believe me either.

            Yes. I resent that I believed all the promising words he said during our courtship and now I feel alone. Yes, I am bitter, too.

            Theoretically, I want to let them both go, but I keep clinging to them, dwelling on them and telling myself that it won’t change. I know the church answers of where to start, but I’m hurting so much and they just don’t seem to fit any more. I know that God is sovereign over even this, but I’m struggling.

        3. Praying for you, Lucy! The answer can only be found in The Father. That’s where you must begin. If you place it in His Hand, you will begin to see His Hand in it! I can only tell you this from painful experience. I am now climbing out of the valley, bearing fruit from the experience I never would have dreamed of…and giving my God the glory! The first step is the decision to believe the Scriptures we read about walking in love, forgiveness, and preserverence. It’s an opportunity to truly walk out the things you believe. In no way, shape or form easy, but rewarded from On High. Your Sister Sojourner, Terrie C

          1. Lucy, The first changes will be in you, not in the circumstance. It can be dangerous to think that happiness will only come when the circumstance changes. The joy and peace The Father gives can change you right in the same situation! My prayers for you continue 🙂

          2. Yoursistersojourner,

            SO TRUE! I agree completely. That is so important for us to understand at the beginning of this journey. Thank you for encouraging our precious sister!

    2. Lucy,

      Praise God that you are here and honestly looking at yourself and reaching out for support! And that you are staying in the Word, even while struggling so much. Your disappointment, hurt & exhaustion come across so clearly. I pray that you will seek God with all your heart because He promises us He will be found! I pray that you will experience His peace even in the midst of your pain. I pray that you will cling to His promise that His grace is sufficient — He will not allow your suffering to continue one second longer or be one smidge greater than He knows you can bear in His strength, for His glory and your good.

      Have you listened to any of David Platt’s sermons? I recently finished “The Cross and Suffering” as recommended to me by the Peacefulwife and highly recommend it. You can find it on his website radical.net or on YouTube.

My grandmother is on hospice and won't be with us much longer (11-30-16). I will get to comments when I am able to but I need to be with family right now. Thanks for understanding.

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