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Fear

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I don’t often quote Dr. Phil. But he has a saying,

“What I fear, I create.”

This is so true!

  • If I fear being alone, my desperation to try to make my husband be with me will repel him
  • If I fear not having control, my attempts to control others will push people and God away from me
  • If I fear not having children, I may pressure and push my husband so much that he decides he can’t stand the thought of having children with me
  • If I fear not being popular, I may try so hard to be popular, that I lose a lot of friendships
  • If I fear being unloved, I may be so desperate to try to get my husband to affirm me and build me up that I come across as a black hole and unending pit of need instead of being confident in Christ. I can actually make it much harder for him to love me when I make “feeling loved by my husband” or my husband into the most important thing in my life (an idol).

Proverbs describes the same concept this way:

As a man thinks in his heart, so he is. Prov. 23:7

  • If I think I am unloved and assume my husband hates me – I will create that very situation many times because I will approach him with resentment, bitterness, assumptions that he has evil motives towards me, disrespect and a desire to control and change him.
  • If I think I am unpopular – my thoughts and fears can cause this to become reality because I will approach people with suspicion and fear instead of the love and joy of Christ.
  • If I think I am a failure – I will act like a failure, my fears of failure will paralyze me, and I will easily become a failure. My fears become a self-fulfilling prophesy.
  • If I think I am unworthy of love – I will act like I am unworthy of love instead of believing and accepting what God says about me and how much God loves me.

Fear is unbelief in God. Fear is the opposite of faith. We have fear when we are trusting ourselves not God.

Without faith, it is impossible to please God. Hebrews 11:6a

 

** If you have experienced severe trauma, anxiety, PTSD, rape, being molested, sexual/physical abuse – you are going to probably need some outside help to be able to work through your fears – and it may take some time. That is ok! Please don’t stop taking any of your medications, but talk to you doctor and maybe prayerfully consider finding a godly mentoring wife/mentor/Christian counselor to help you. 🙂 I am not writing specifically for women who have been victims of abuse or who are dealing with addictions in their marriage or who are experiencing uncontrolled mental health problems. If you are in one of those categories, my blog may not be a good fit for you.

 

We all have fears. But the key is to hash through them and to determine that if God is who He says He is, then He is bigger than my fears and I can trust Him even if He were to allow my worst fears to happen. That takes some time to process – it sure did for me. But what freedom and peace when I laid my fears at God’s feet and decided to trust Him and throw away my fears!

Fear is not an innocent emotion – it is a theological declaration of what we believe to be true about God and ourselves. It declares to us and everyone around us that we do not trust God, we do not believe God is who He says He is and that we are not claiming God’s victory, power, promises and His Word.

Our God, the God of the Bible and the universe is SOVEREIGN. There is NOTHING over which He has no control. He is OMNIPOTENT, OMNISCIENT and SOVEREIGN.

  • Satan can do nothing without God’s permission.
  • People have free will. Our husbands can and will sin against us at times. AND at the same time God is sovereign.  God promises that He will use ALL things for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purpose. Romans 8:28-29. Yes, my husband may hurt me, leave me, cheat on me or who knows what else … but my God will never leave me. And my God is able to use even the most awful trials and sin that touch my life to accomplish His good purposes to make me more like Christ and to bring glory to His Name. So I can’t lose. I have to win. I ultimately will always win when I am in Christ, because nothing can separate me from His love for me! He will never leave me nor forsake me. As long as I have Jesus and His Spirit and His power and His Word – I have everything! And if my husband does sin against me, God is able to empower me to respond in His strength and to extend grace and He may use that situation to draw my husband or maybe even many hundreds or thousands of people to Himself one day for all I know!
  • Suffering cannot hurt me in the end. God promises to use it to accomplish His purposes to refine my faith, to purify and prune me, to make me more fruitful for His kingdom. He gives me the GIFT of sharing in the “fellowship of the sufferings of Christ.” Suffering and troubles are God’s servants in my life. He will use them to chisel and mold me to be more and more like Jesus. So, if God permits something painful to touch my life, I win and God wins.
  • If God is for us, who can be against us!!??!?! He who did not spare His own Son, but gave Him up for us all – how will He not also, along with Him, graciously give us all things? Romans 8:31

Fear is a powerful weapon of Satan. He LOVES for us to be paralyzed by fear.

All of the controlling wives I know, myself included – were motivated by FEAR to control. When we have idols, our motive is fear –

  • Fear that God will not give us what we REALLY want if we trust Him.
  • Fear that God will hold out on us and not give us what is truly best for us.
  • Fear about how we can possibly prevent all the potential bad things we worry about.
  • Fear about how we will be able to force things to happen the way we think they should (as if we are sovereign instead of God).

For God does not give us a spirit of fear, but a spirit of power, of love and of a sound mind. II Timothy 1:7

Fear is never from God. NEVER. Not the kind of fear we are talking about here. It is always from the enemy or from our sinful nature. It springs from lack of faith and unbelief and mistrust of God. That is why the Israelites didn’t obey God and take the promised land. They were afraid. God was VERY angry with the entire generation because of their unbelief and allowed them all to die in the desert and wander for 40 years and He refused to allow any of them to enter into His promised land and His rest because of their unbelief and lack of faith in Him.

This is VERY SERIOUS stuff.

We cannot build our lives on fear and live for God. It is impossible. We have to choose one or the other.

The only fear God commands us to have is fear of Him.

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge. Prov. 1:7

This is a reverent awe and trembling before God because we understand how powerful, great, mighty, sovereign and holy He is. We NEED that kind of fear. But the other unhealthy, sinful fear has to go when we have proper fear of God.

Here is a passage from I John 4 – this is a summary of the entire Christian walk and what God intends for it to look like:
7 Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. 8 Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. 9 This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. 10 This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. 11 Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. 12 No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.

13 This is how we know that we live in him and he in us: He has given us of his Spirit. 14 And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world. 15 If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God lives in them and they in God. 16 And so we know and rely on the love God has for us.

God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them. 17 This is how love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment: In this world we are like Jesus. 18 There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.

19 We love because he first loved us. 20 Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen. 21 And he has given us this command: Anyone who loves God must also love their brother and sister.

The only motives God wants to fill our hearts and minds are:
1. deep, wholehearted, absolute love for Him
2. genuine godly agape love (godly, I Corinthians 13:4-8 love) for other people.

Everything else has to go.

Fear cannot live where God’s love lives. It has to flee. The more we know God, the more we see we have no reason to fear – because greater is He who is in us than he who is in the world. And the more we understand His sovereignty (which is a HUGE key I was missing for decades), the more we understand His power, His purposes and that He is in control and He WILL make all things work together to make us more like Christ and to bring Himself glory – and those are our goals, too. We can’t lose when we completely surrender to Christ! We get HIM!!!!!! He is all we need!

My goal is not to avoid pain. This life will have pain – guaranteed. My goal is to seek to absorb every drop of goodness and learning I can from the trials and pain and to grow closer to Christ and more like Him as I suffer.

141 thoughts on “Fear

  1. April,
    I was just reading about fear in Joyce Meier’s book about managing your feelings. It does all boil down to the fact that we must acknowledge that God is sovereign over EVERYTHING! And everything is designed for our good and His glory, because he loves us.

    I’ve struggled to remember this in the middle of difficulties, but have found that the more I stay in the Word, the easier it has become to keep every thought and feeling captive to Gods purpose for me!

    1. senterwife,
      Some wives try to do this without time with God and His Word – it is not possible! We need that nourishment to give us strength! Thank you so much for sharing.

      1. Whew….it is hard enough to do this, even when we are spending time with God. I wonder if wives really “try” to do this without God and His word;

        Or it just happens sometimes because we get busy with daily activities and don’t spend as much time with God as we should, often trading this important time for other stuff (which we really should not do). But your point is so right on (as usual April!) — we SO need that “nourishment.” Thanks for your wisdom April — you are such a blessing.

        1. Prayinglikehannah,

          It is easy to put God on the back burner and way down on the priority list. After all, there are so many urgent things crying out for our attention. One writer described it as “the tyranny of the urgent.”

          But if we do not make time for God – we WILL crash and burn. Whether we mean to do it and get too busy, or we just make unwise choices like watching TV instead of being in the Word – this is our lifeline! It is our power source – God’s Word and His Spirit are the only way we can do this. God gives us control over how much of Him we have and how much power we give Him in our lives. I personally want the Holy Spirit coming FULL BLAST like Niagra Falls into my life! No more little trickles!!!!

          1. You are correct.
            I personally have to admit that I am still at little trickles stage. There are MANY more building blocks that are needed in my relationship with God. However, I am glad I am far from where I used to be, even though I am far from where I should be. I look forward to getting to my Niagra Falls 🙂

    2. I am reading that same book right now! I appreciate April writing on this. I know this has ruled my life for too long. Joyce often says that we have to learn lessons by going around and around and around the mountain. I seem to take one step up and then have to go all the way around again. Lately, I have had a breakthrough. The basis of my problems is not respect for my husband, it is fear and letting my emotions rule my life. It may sound simple to some but for me it wasn’t. I was doing it all backwards! I can’t show my husband the respect he needs living in fear. Only by trusting that God is who He says he is and not letting every little emotion run my life, can I even begin to do this. It just doesn’t work any other way. I am praising God for this breakthrough! I can do this! Control fear and emotions first and respect is easy then!!

      1. Daisymae,
        YES! Disrespect is rooted in our own pride and fear (and many times our idols, warped understanding of God and ourselves and our sinful nature being in control).

        This is a very key building block.

        I am so excited about what God is showing you!

        I hope you might allow me to share this on my FB page, please? BEAUTIFUL!

      2. Daisymae,

        This is exactly why God says a gentle and peaceful spirit that does not give way to fear is so beautiful in women.

        It is very rare for a woman to be willing to give up her fear and trust God – but once she does, she can live in His peace and can be unshaken because her life is built firmly on the Rock of Christ and His truth, not the sinking sands of fear and sin.

    3. Senterwife,

      Shaunti Feldhahn’s new book Secrets of Happily Married Couples talks about this concept, too – “bossing your feelings around” and not being run by our emotions. I love that concept of not allowing our feelings to become tyrants that hold us captive, but that we can choose to focus on God’s truth and not listen to our feelings when they are trying to mislead us or get us to automatically assume the worst about our spouse.

          1. flyaway16,
            Oh yes! I tried to be perfect on my own for many years and was terrified of failure or being thought of as less than perfect – as if I COULD be perfect! I expected myself to be perfect and was so blind to my many sins.

            But definitely – trying in our own power apart from the Spirit of God to be perfect is a recipe for misery, worry, anxiety and fear.

        1. 4 pride for example when u want others to be perfect u will focus on their negatives & compare ur self with them then u either feel superior which is pride or u feel less

          1. flyaway16,

            Yes…

            With pride, I can put myself above God as if I know better than He does and above others as if I know better than they do or as if I am better than they are instead of seeing myself on equal footing with all people in desperate need of the grace and forgiveness of Christ.

            Pride can convince me that I am above having to obey God’s Word. I am the “exception” to His gracious commands. I don’t need His power to live my life, I can do it on my own. With pride, I put myself in the place of God in my life – just like Satan did. That was his sin, too.

            The thing that makes it so hard for many people to come to Christ is that we all want to believe we are good enough to get to God through our own efforts – that is what every other religion teaches. But Jesus says that none of us are good. We are all evil. And the only way we can come to God is through His sacrificial death on our behalf. Then we stand before God with the righteousness of Jesus (who is God Himself) covering us, not our own attempt at being good enough.

            Much love! 🙂

          2. Flyaway16,
            Yes! I was very unwell most of the day yesterday. I couldn’t even sit up to be at the computer. My apologies! I hope to respond as soon as I can!

          3. Holman Bible Dictionary

            Pride

            Undue confidence in and attention to one’s own skills, accomplishments, state, possessions, or position. Pride is easier to recognize than to define, easier to recognize in others than in oneself. Many biblical words describe this concept, each with its own emphasis. Some of the synonyms for pride include arrogance, presumption, conceit, self-satisfaction, boasting, and high-mindedness. It is the opposite of humility, the proper attitude one should have in relation to God. Pride is rebellion against God because it attributes to self the honor and glory due to God alone. Proud persons do not think it necessary to ask forgiveness because they do not admit their sinful condition. This attitude toward God finds expression in one’s attitude toward others, often causing people to have a low estimate of the ability and worth of others and therefore to treat them with either contempt or cruelty. Some have considered pride to be the root and essence of sin. Others consider it to be sin in its final form. In either case, it is a grievous sin.

            “Boasting” can be committed only in the presence of other persons (1 John 2:16 ; James 4:16 ). “Haughtiness” or “arrogance” measures self as above others (Mark 7:23 ; Luke 1:51 ; Romans 1:30 ; 2 Timothy 3:2 ; James 4:6 ; 1 Peter 5:5 ). This word refers primarily to the attitude of one’s heart. 1 Timothy 3:6 ; 1 Timothy 6:4 ; and 2 Timothy 3:4 use a word literally meaning “to wrap in smoke.” It emphasizes the plight of the one who has been blinded by personal pride.

            Pride may appear in many forms. Some of the more common are pride of race, spiritual pride, and pride of riches. Jesus denounced pride of race (Luke 3:8 ). The parable of the Pharisee and the publican was directed at those guilty of spiritual pride, the ones who “trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others” (Luke 18:9 ). James 1:10 warns the rich against the temptation to be lifted up with pride because of their wealth.

            Gerald Cowen

            Copyright Statement
            These dictionary topics are from the Holman Bible Dictionary, published by Broadman & Holman, 1991. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Broadman & Holman.

            Bibliography Information
            Butler, Trent C. Editor. Entry for ‘Pride’. Holman Bible Dictionary. http://www.studylight.org/dic/hbd/view.cgi?n=5098. 1991.

    1. JuR:
      I am happy to hear “from you,” 🙂

      I have been thinking of you! How are you doing now my dear?
      Yup, this is a wonderful post, as was yesterday’s. I will need hours to catch up this and yesterday’s post…you know, to really absorb the info. They are great

      1. hi prayinglikehannah!
        That is so nice that someone out there things of me, us ‘cyber’ wives are truly real and bring great comfort!
        I’m ok at the moment! my husband really opened up to me the other night and said he hated confrontation and thinks he is right about most things, but that he knows he isn’t really. I quietly listened and didn’t jump in…I just said that he was quite hard to live with! he said he knew that and that he would change, I said that it was one of the most ‘real’ conversations we had had! we have been married 5 years today! God left me waiting a few days last week and I really thought he wasn’t going to answer my prayers, but when my husband suddenly talked with me (always late at night in bed!) I knew GOD was there. Its really one of the hardest situations when it concerns my daughter…April’s post about Fear really strikes a cord with me as I do live in fear…and I really must try now to let it all go, I think the enemy attacks my husband and us ans seeing as my husband is fasting and we have been going to church, he keeps trying to drags us back to dark places we used to be in…
        …how are you? I hope all is going well for you too! xx

        1. JuR:

          Happy anniversary!

          I am glad that you are doing better. I had to smile when you said, “I quietly listened and didn’t jump in…I just said that he was quite hard to live with!” 🙂 sounds like a big jump in to me 🙂 — but I understand what you mean, and I am glad he had a chance to share his thoughts with you.

          Yup, I can certainly understand how hard it is when it comes on to your daughter, I am very protective (understatement!) of my child too, it’s a mom thing; but I trust that as you grow and draw closer to Christ, He will speak to your heart about how to handle this in a way that honors your husband and that most of all honors Him. We are not perfect, and this is a hard road…we all fall sometimes, have the wrong thoughts, wrong responses, wrong words, wrong attitudes etc. – we won’t always get it right, but it is good that you are getting up and going at it again. I had some wrong thoughts earlier this week too, but God lead me to some words of His, that helped me to clear my head of them! Strange, it’s not as if I did not always know those words, but as you said – it is hard and only when we are constantly in tune with God can we even begin to scratch the surface of this thing.

          I agree that now that your hubby is going to church the devil will really try to shoot more fiery darts, of course that would not please him!

          I am doing well. Thanks!

          1. 🙂 prayinglikehannah! lol, yes I know it did sound like a big jump in, didn’t it! but my husband has not been kind in the past and has hurt me ALOT, with mind games etc, (we’ve even had therapy!) he hasn’t meant to but he did nevertheless…so recently when he did something again (which was not very nice) and I tried to sort it out with him, we had days and days of anger and, well basically, giving up….again! I prayed that God would help him and also help me to sort it out. it was not sorting itself out….I had to be honest with my husband, but not in a screaming and shouting way, so I just said that he was very hard to live with, but in a calm way! do you think husbands do need to be told sometimes if they are making life unbearable?!

            I don’t know, seems like I have a looong way to go here! Thank goodness that GOD is in my life and can teach me the ways I should follow!

            thanks xx

          2. Hi JuR,
            Happy anniversary! Are you doing anything special to celebrate?

            I think it’s ok to express how we are feeling if it’s done at the right time and right tone. I do not think that a wife or a husband should be able to put down, yell, be nasty, without the other saying “I don’t like the way you’re treating me at the moment”. But I may be wrong :p

            The other day our son was in trouble at school for losing his temper. My husband was called to pick him up and take him home as I was working (hubby was almost finished work, I wasn’t). So he tells the people at work and they say that he’s “just like his dad”. He asked what they meant and they said that hubby has major anger issues and us very intimidating and scary to approach. Hubby laughed it off but in the group of 6 men they all agreed he was “grumpy and intimidating”. He came home telling me this and I just kept silent. He said “so do you agree?” I said “hmm I have said that to you before so yes I agree you are like that at times”. He didn’t get cross like he normally would but was just kind of shocked that other people had called him out. He did a good job of disciplining our son and talking him through things after that incident.

          3. hi godlywifetobe!

            Thanks! I agree that timing and tone are important, I have learnt through this website to handle things differently, but it is hard. I am far from perfect, but I have not really taken my husbands own battles and struggles into consideration and perhaps now is the time that God is showing out husbands gently the way their behaviour affects people. I must keep stepping out of the way, allowing God to work in my husband, which he definitely is> I need to find a way to cope if I am let down again as I was not expecting to be let down EVER again! will not have any expectations! sooo hard though! xx

          4. GWTB

            I think it is important at times (with the leading and wisdom of God’s Spirit) for us to say, “That really hurt me.” “Ouch.” “Please don’t yell at me. I want to hear you, but it scares me if you raise your voice.”

            I think you handled that situation really well! WOW! How interesting that what his coworkers said got to him and maybe woke him up a bit. And the way that you kept silent at first – I think that was wise. Then he asked directly for your opinion – and I LOVE the way you shared your perspective. Very calm and respectful – truthful but not condemning.

            I’m so proud of him for handling the situation with your son! I hope you praise him for that!

            God is at work, here, my precious sister!

          5. Thanks for your encouragement.

            There was a few instances this week where he’s attacked me with his words to try and crush me where I wasn’t so godly in my response 🙁 but I did repent to God and him, even though he NEVER apologizes to me.

            Yes I praised him for what he did with our boy. Told him he said the perfect things to our boy and how grateful I was he handled it better than I could of.

          6. Godlywifetobe;
            I have been thinking of your comments. I don’t know specifically about the validity of what your husband’s colleagues said. But in general, I think it is an example which shows that, God sometimes have some information communicated indirectly. Maybe hearing it from his colleagues made him more look at these actions in a way that he might not have, when he heard it from you.

            It’s nice that he handled the situation with your child well. That’s great.

          7. He was asked by management to take an anger management course :p so it’s valid…I think the industry he works in calls for such tough and forceful and intimidating leaders to get the job done and to fight for your position that it’s changed him to what he is now. I know he can be different though when he encounters Christ 🙂

            Thanks for your encouragement. X

          8. Well JuR:
            I am definitely nowhere close to being an authority on these things – but my answer to your question, would be yes. I certainly think that one should let her spouse know when she is hurt. I think open communication is healthy, and I think stifling emotions can be as harmful as blurting them out in the wrong way. So, it all boils down to how we communicate the feelings. When I read the Surrendered Wife, the author suggested saying things like, “Ouch.” Now I can’t say that does not sound funny to me…. I know I would not use ouch unless someone stepped on my toes or something 🙂 but I guess the point is to be succinct and focus only on sharing that there is hurt and not on attacking the other person. But again, that is merely just my opinion. How old is your daughter?

      2. Y’all are all most welcome! I love the community God has granted us to enjoy together here and to see how everyone encourages, blesses, supports and shares the truth of God and what each one is learning. BEAUTIFUL!

      3. Oh Kelly;
        You always “chirp” me up! You are so “chirpy.” Love your bubbly spirit.
        Re my wisdom of the day….. uhm, uhm….me ….wisdom? Uhm…not so sure about that! 🙂
        But I think your wisdom of the day is right one! Choose to focus on the blessings! Regardless of our situations, we all have some blessings to focus on.

  2. Excellent post April! It’s amazing how much control emotions can have over our lives. Fear and anger are my top two. God has spoken to me several times this week regarding fear. I’m getting the message!! Another wonderful Dr. Phil quote is, “You cannot change what you do not acknowledge.” There is so much truth in that. God bless you for helping us on this journey.

  3. After reading this I know for sure one of my fears is that God doesn’t care about my situation and my hopes and dreams; fear being alone; fear being unloved.

    I want to be free of those. It’s hard when you’ve felt some of those fears almost your entire life. The last 2 stem back to my childhood and really have been the driving force for my controlling behaviour 🙁

    1. GWTB,

      Those are very normal fears that so many people have.

      But what does God say about His love for you and whether He will leave you? 🙂

      I can’t wait for you to drop these fears. You do have the choice. You can look at them and compare what God’s Word says and you can choose to reject the familiar old evil lies or you can accept God’s truth. The truth will set you free! 🙂

  4. “My goal is not to avoid pain. This life will have pain – guaranteed. My goal is to seek to absorb every drop of goodness and learning I can from the trials and pain and to grow closer to Christ and more like Him as I suffer.

    But how do you truly make that your goal. I am scared to death of pain.. It WILL destroy me. I must find a way for it to end. I’m not sure how you get to a point where you accept pain as a way of life!

    1. I agree Elizabeth, I don’t want to feel such heartache where I feel like death would be a better option! shouldn’t we be having an ‘abundant life?’ I really want to avoid ’emotional’ pain also, ….x

      1. Elizabeth and JuR,
        We don’t want pain, of course. But God uses pain and suffering to shape, prune, mold and refine us. Even Jesus suffered – and suffered greatly. But He had the most abundant life possible on earth.

        I think that sometimes our definition of “abundant life” is – health, lots of money, no problems, an easy, comfortable time.

        That is not what Jesus is about! He commands us to take up our crosses daily and follow Him. Dying to self ALWAYS involves pain. Suffering is talked about many times in the New Testament. God doesn’t promise us an easy life. Jesus told us if we follow Him, we will be persecuted and hated by some. All of the apostles were martyred except for John – and people tried to kill him, too, but he survived.

        Jesus’ definition of “abundant life” is that we know God, love God and have the Spirit of God abiding in us. John 17 That is what He wants to give us – streams of Living Water in our souls.

        Sometimes we have emotional pain because of our own sin or misunderstanding. Sometimes we have emotional pain because of someone else’s sin or misunderstanding, sometimes because of circumstances no human can control.

        But these dark times CAN be the most productive times of spiritual growth in our lives! Many times, a person’s ministry later was birthed by the greatest emotional and spiritual pain of their lives. Mine sure was! Many of the greatest hymns (It is Well with My Soul) were created out of sorrow and enormous tragedy.

        I believe the key has to be that we fear God (in a healthy way) much more than we fear pain. I think the closer we get to Christ, His presence, joy, peace, strength, purpose, etc… becomes so much more important to us than sparing ourselves from pain.

        It is a process and a journey to get there. But if you know Jesus and love and trust Him, you will realize that there is nowhere you would rather be than in the center of His will – and if that involves suffering, and God is with you through it and wants to use it to accomplish His good purposes, then – ok. I want to accept that, embrace it and ask God to bring Himself the most glory possible in my life no matter what the personal cost to me.

    2. Elizabeth,

      I am certainly not saying to seek out pain or to try to have as much pain as possible or not to look for answers to pain. But there are situations where we have no control and we will suffer. When we are in such a situation, we can choose to obey James 1 and Philippians 4:4 and I Peter that say for us to rejoice in our suffering because we know God is using it to develop character, perseverance, hope, trust, increased faith and maturity in Christ in us. We can trust God will use the pain to make us more and more like Jesus.

      If God allows something into our lives – we can choose to praise Him and ask Him to use it for good and to use it to teach us and to help us draw nearer to Him!

      The trials reveal the strength of our faith and the depth of our real love for God. It is in the fiery trials where we grow and learn the most and learn how dependent we are upon God.

      Pain will not destroy you when you are full of the power of God. It will hurt. But then you can trust God to use it for your ultimate good and His glory.

      I like to pray things like:

      “Lord, don’t let me waste one drop of this suffering! Let me absorb all that you have for me to learn!”

      “Lord, all I desire on earth is You. If You want me to go through this situation, I trust You. Teach me!”

      “Lord, I know You can use this situation for Your glory in my life to draw others to You – may You be greatly glorified no matter what the personal cost to myself.”

      This is part of dying to self and picking up our cross and following Christ. We want comfort and ease. That is NOT what following Jesus is about!

      Our reward is Jesus and all of His spiritual riches and treasures.

      Like Jesus, we can pray that God might remove the pain from us – but then we can say “Not my will but Yours be done!”

    3. Elizabeth, It helps me so much to remember that we are to partake in the sufferings of our Messiah. Another verse in Isaiah says with great knowledge comes great sorrow, paraphrased by me. We serve a God who instructs us at different times to turn our laughter into tears, and our tears into joy. Our great pain serves a purpose, and as we come through it, He begins to reveal what the purpose is. Pain will not destroy you if you remember the bigger picture is unfolding. Often, it teaches us to die to self, which is something we must do to let His Holy Spirit work fully through us. Know that I will be lifting you in prayer! Blessings ~TC

      1. Amen Sis! This post has been such an awesome blessing. Have to print it out and re-read, re-read, re-read! Anyway, as Peter said:

        Therefore let those who suffer according to God’s will entrust their souls to a faithful Creator while doing good.
        (1 Peter 4:19 ESV)

      2. Part 3 of David Platt’s message on Angels, Demons and Spiritual Warfare begins with Job. David Platt gives the incredible picture of how we can best understand suffering as we look at it from a heavenly perspective.

        Job didn’t know all that had gone on in heaven and the conversation God had with Satan. Satan wanted to prove to God that Job didn’t really love God, but only wanted the good things God gave him. Satan had to act in God’s permission and could do nothing unless God allowed him to. And when Satan attacked Job – Job’s faith never wavered. That is the kind of faith I want! HUGE FAITH in God!

        When Job remained strong and refused to curse God and said “The Lord gives and the Lord takes away, Blessed be the Name of the Lord” -there was great rejoicing by the angels in heaven as Satan was humiliated before God and God’s Name was exalted by Job’s obedient, faithful heart.

        AND – because of Satan’s involvement in Job’s life – God accomplished His good purposes:
        – Job came to know God in a much more tangible, real, deep way because of Satan’s work in Job’s life. Wow
        – Millions of people have had the godly example of Job to go to when they face their own severe trials and His example continues on thousands of years after he lived.

        I don’t know what purposes God may have in your suffering, my precious sisters – but I know God is completely able to bring something so beautiful from it!!! IF we are willing to trust and obey Him in the midst of the storm and seek Him with all our hearts.

        1. April, I just wanted to say I love this piece about Job. A couple of weeks ago I crashed and burned and really thought God had ‘left me’ and that things were going wrong again after my husband did something which caused another terrible argument. I have continued on, believing and trusting God…my husband began reading a non-christian book last week, I was a bit disappointed as I thought it would distract him away from the bible and devotional he was doing, but then last night after I left him reading until late, he came to bed, saying he was sorry and that he loved me and that I had saved him from himself (I think I led him to the Lord at the beginning of the year!) and I realised that God may have used this book to ‘speak to him’ deeply, as there is a blended family in the book with various issues with the stepchildren etc (which relates to our situation). I am just Amazed at how good GOD is to me and how he is working in my husband heart, all I need to do is trust in GOD more and stay out of the way with trying to control my husband. I just wanted to share that it is very easy to feel completely exhausted when the same problems keep happening over and over again, but once you start praying over your situation and taking the correct respect steps, dramatic things can happen. My husband is changing in front of my eyes and sometimes I even take that for granted! praise God for your Blog I would be so ignorant without it! much love and hope you are feeling better xxx

  5. I LOVED this! It really ministered to me and made me think. Fear is so powerful and can truly control you. I need to keep re-reading this one to soak it all in!

  6. Good Morning April!

    Your post had me thinking, I have fears and the one I was thinking on one particular in my life that I am so scared to trust my husband again, I started crying . My prayer is to try and move forward, Love God more than my husband by obeying The word of God by forgiving and loving my husband even though I still hurt. Just another scar that I have to get on passed. I cannot have fear and faith it’s one or the other. My prayer this week was that I would love God more than anything or anyone, I would love him more than unforgiveness, more than bitterness, more than material things, more than pride, stubbornness e.t.c I want the Lord to be #1 in my heart, my Life, this life is here is going fast and what we see is temporary. It’s kinda hard getting out my feelings, hope it makes somewhat sense.
    Thanks for your post! Have a great weekend!
    Love,
    Amy

    1. Amy,
      I don’t know your situation or circumstances with your husband, but I feel like I’ve been (sometimes still am) where you are. It is so hard to move beyond those emotions. I think its awesome that you are making that effort to put God first in your life. Thats great! One of the things that April has pointed out that really helps me is hearing that even though our husbands will fail us, God is still sovereign. He can still use the situation for His glory.
      Love,
      Jeanne

    2. Amy,

      I love your prayer!

      It is ok if you need time to rebuild trust with your husband and need to see that he is being open, transparent and honest before you trust him again. God never commands us to trust people. But we can always trust Him. 🙂 I pray God will help you find the resources you and your husband need to heal your marriage. God can give you the power to work through forgiveness and to work through your fears. That doesn’t mean your husband is trustworthy. His trustworthiness is a separate issue from you forgiving him and you trusting God with all your fears. Does that make sense?

      As we know His love more and more – His love can chase our fears away. 🙂

      It is hard to not let your feelings completely dominate and control. But as you learn to really examine what you are telling yourself and where those thoughts come from (the enemy, the sinful nature or God’s Spirit) – I believe you will be able to shoot down the destructive thoughts and build your life on God’s truth and His Word.

      I’m so sorry you have been hurt so much.

      I pray for God’s healing for you, your husband and your marriage!

  7. Good one just what I needed to here it soften the pain in my heart this morning sometimes I feel hopeless because its a little hard for me I don’t have family or friend that I could talk to when I need to be inspired so thank u 4 ur blog I feel Like ur the only one that understands me

    From:Angela Brown

    1. Angela,
      Praying for some godly friends for you to plug in with soon. And I am praying for healing for you, your husband and your marriage – for God’s greatest glory in your life!

  8. “•If I fear not having control, my attempts to control others will push people and God away from me”
    “•Fear that God will not give us what we REALLY want if we trust Him.”
    “•Suffering cannot hurt me in the end. God promises to use it to accomplish His purposes to refine my faith, to purify and prune me, to make me more fruitful for His kingdom. He gives me the GIFT of sharing in the “fellowship of the sufferings of Christ.” Suffering and troubles are God’s servants in my life. He will use them to chisel and mold me to be more and more like Jesus. So, if God permits something painful to touch my life, I win and God wins.”
    “Fear is not an innocent emotion – it is a theological declaration of what we believe to be true about God and ourselves. It declares to us and everyone around us that we do not trust God, we do not believe God is who He says He is and that we are not claiming God’s victory, power, promises and His Word.”

    TOTALLY AWESOME!!!!!!

    Thank you for this post! OUCH! It isTRUTH, I needed this more that a V8 today!

  9. Oops this is what I said b4 I read ur blog on rejection / And iam not waiting to have sex with u anymore so u go and do what u need to in that department and I will do the same we r done . I am dont need to b deprived in that area either since u have divorced me already it doesn’t make a difference any more ism done being faithful to u in that department , hope that just made it easier for u O boy now what do I do ???

    From:Angela Brown

    1. Angela,

      You said that to your husband?

      Please repent!!!!!!! Turn to Christ and repent to your husband – without explaining or justifying yourself.

      I pray that you might get your heart right with God so that you can bless your husband and be the woman God calls you to be for HIs glory!!!!!

  10. I think PRIDE is the root of all sins, just as HUMILITY is the base of all virtues.

    When we are PROUD, we are always afraid to fail.
    When we are HUMBLE, we do not fear failure. We know we can always try again.

    When we are PROUD, we are always afraid to be wrong.
    When we are HUMBLE, we are even surprisingly gladdened when we are deemed right!

    When we are PROUD, we leave no room for mistakes from ourselves and from others.
    When we are HUMBLE, we extend grace and leave room for growth. We are not surprised by others’ or our own faults.

    When we are PROUD, we are always afraid to be rejected.
    When we are HUMBLE, we do not hold anybody’s opinion of us as crucial to our being validated.

    When we are PROUD, we are always afraid to be judged or misjudged.
    When we are HUMBLE, we do not mind other people’s judgments of us, as long as we know the truth and God knows the truth.

    When we are PROUD, we are always afraid to be out of control, lest things become less than PERFECT and we be deemed as imperfect.
    When we are HUMBLE, we already know of our imperfection and are aware that we cannot control anyone or anybody, but that we can just do our best.

    When we are PROUD, we are threatened when others have more or are “better”
    When we are HUMBLE, we are even happy for other people’s good fortunes, hoping some of it will rub off on us.

    Lucifer fell because of PRIDE.
    Jesus was glorified because of His HUMILITY.

    When we have too much PRIDE, we tend to also be ANGRY, ENVIOUS, JEALOUS, GREEDY, FEARFUL, HATEFUL, JUDGMENTAL, BITTER…

    When we know our place before our Creator and our purpose in this world, and we realize that we are NOTHING before Him, and humble ourselves before God, we experience the fruits of the Spirit at all times — that of JOY, LOVE, PEACE, KINDNESS, GOODNESS, GENTLENESS, SELF-CONTROL, FORBEARANCE….

    If it is not one, it’s the other, just as April said.
    Whose path do we choose?

    Luke 14:11
    “For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”

    1. Nikka,

      Ooh! THIS is awesome!
      Please, please allow me to share this on my FB!!! 🙂

      Yes, pride tells us we have the RIGHT to sin. Because we know better than God does, after all. So, why should we have to obey Him when our wisdom is so superior?

      From pride comes a spirit of independence from God and rebellion against God which produces a total lack of willingness to obey God or to submit to God.

      When we submit to pride, we are submitting to the enemy.

      LOVE THIS:

      Lucifer fell because of PRIDE
      Jesus was glorified because of His HUMILITY

      When I am prideful, I cannot forgive because I believe I am perfect and sinless, essentially, so I shouldn’t have to forgive someone else. How dare they sin against me!?!?!

      Humility helps me see my own massive sin debt to Jesus and allows me to experience the overwhelming grace, mercy, forgiveness and love of Christ. Until I posses those things for myself, I cannot extend them to others!

      I think this topic could be a book in itself!

      1. Share away, April!!!

        I have been filled with too much pride for a good 37 years before the Lord convicted me of my sins before I turned 38. I thought I was nearly “perfect” because I was “kind”, “charitable”, Ms. Goody Two Shoes, “nice”, “prayerful”, “religious”,…

        Imagine, how I almost wanted to be eaten alive by the ground when the Lord opened up my spiritual eyes and showed me my TRUE self and my MOUNTAINS OF SIN!!! Totally humiliating! And humbling.

        Whereas before, I would defend myself to high heavens for every perceived injustice against my person, now, I even side with the accuser to say, “Ah, that’s true.” Or, “That is not true, but it may be an area of growth or change for me.” How can one be taken aback with judgments and misjudgments now, when before the Lord, we already know we are “GUILTY AS CHARGED!”? And yet, this is the most mind-blowing of all…

        Romans 5:8

        “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”

        Wow. Just wow.

  11. I loved this post, April. It was so powerful! Convicting and enlightening! Wow. God is so good. Thanks for posting about fear. I was too tired of being afraid, that’s why I let go and let God when I got too broken last year.

    My role model for the fearless woman is the Proverbs 31 woman:

    “She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come.” (v. 25)

    In other versions, it says, “she smiles at the future.”

    To smile at the future means to be in a place of TOTAL faith and belief in God’s Sovereignty and Provision. She seems to be saying, “I will do my best, and I KNOW in my heart, God will do the rest”, and so she rests. ”

    Thanks April!!! 🙂

    Love,

    Nikka

    1. Nikka,
      Living in fear is overwhelming and exhausting! There is no peace in fear.

      There is so much freedom in Christ that we, many times, just don’t even realize is available to us and we don’t take advantage of. We allow the enemy to rob us of the peace and joy that Jesus died to give to us.

      I don’t want any of us to be robbed of one ounce of God’s spiritual blessings for us!

      Love that about the Proverbs 31 woman. Beautiful!

  12. I pray that we all be led by the Spirit of God to minister to one another that may need a word and that we don’t overlook or miss those that are hurting. I would only hope that we be sensitive to hearing the Holy Spirit and building the body of Christ up toward him.

  13. I just really want to share this series on Bible.org called Face Your Feelings.. I do not remember who shared this with me sometime ago, so if it was someone on April’s site, Thanks for sharing it.. 🙂

    If you are dealing with fear, pride, worry, anger, rejection issues, disappointment, envy, jealousy, etc, etc, this is a MUST read! I am on chapter 12 and I have to say its one of the most awesome reads ever. My daughter is also reading it.. If you love it, if it’s helped you, please pass it on to other women. It is women focused but I think it would be a good read for men as well..

    https://bible.org/series/facing-your-feelings

    Hope this helps someone.. It has helped me..

    Gail

  14. Wow!! Good stuff, April…so much to think about!! Excellent read & replies, as I deal with my fears, as well. This is really giving me some insight & I am reminded that I must stay in His Word, I must combat those negative thoughts, I must trust Him, and that I cannot get through these times without Him, I must have faith & not fear, and those hurtful things that are happening to me in relationships with daughter-in-laws, step-kid’s, etc…He is allowing them to happen & He is drawing me closer to Him, and I am loved, and I will win….yay!!!! And I must lighten up on my dear husband…he cannot be my savior, and I believe he loves me the best way he knows how right now. I will continue to show love to those who are hurting me & trust Him with the rest.
    Thank you for giving to the Lord.

  15. This was hard to hear!
    As someone who suffers from anxiety, I fear all the time!
    I fear that I will not be a good enough wife and mother.
    I fear that I will hurt the people in my life by my mood swings.
    I fear that I will give up.
    I fear that I will never be able to fully trust God, and be a godly woman.
    I fear that certain family members in my life will go down the wrong road, far away from God.

    And I know that God sees me fearing all of these things instead of fearing Him, and I feel ashamed.
    It is hard to remember that He is always there, and how great He really is, when I had atheism pounded into my head for most of my life (by my mom).
    I fight against my doubts every day.

    1. Paulina,

      Would you like to talk a bit more about this? Was there something in your past that triggered you to feel so afraid?

      Do you have a godly wife mentor or Christian counselor who is working with you?
      I’m sure there are many lies that you were exposed to if you were raised by an atheist mom.

      Have you ever written down the things you believe, why you believe them, where they come from and compared them to scripture?

      Can you tell me about your walk with Christ a bit?

      Much love to you and a BIG HUG!

    2. Paulina, I too battle with exactly those same fears, and more. I thank God that slowly, over a long period of time, I am learning to trust Him (and my husband), thanks to all the wisdom on this blog. It really is teeny baby steps for me, with many slides backwards but by picking my self up over and over again and clinging to Jesus, I am finally beginning to glimpse some of the peace that April is talking about. So hang in there!

      1. Ronnathen3,
        YAY! Some glimpses of peace – that is exciting!

        You know what? Going a few teeny baby steps in the right direction is better than going 100 miles per hour in the WRONG direction. 🙂

  16. My biggest fear right now is to believe that there is hope for my marriage. I fear that if I continue to hope, that I’m going to get hurt again. I have hope in the Lord, I know He will use all of this for His glory and that He will carry me through this. Even though I know all that, I fear the hurt… But should I hope for my marriage to be restored? There is not even a glimmer of hope right now for me. We have come to the place where we are doing an in house separation, both for my emotional and physical health.

    1. Melanie:

      I am sure April will have many words of wisdom to share with you in response to your question/comments. I know I don’t have the answer for you, but as one who is in the midst of a broken marriage myself, I wanted to give my 2 cents, since I have asked myself that same question many times. I looked at it this way, some people prayed and trusted in God for healing of a loved one, and the loved one still died. Other people did the same thing, and were able to credit God with the restoration of the health of the loved one. I know God heard both prayers and despite the different outcomes – I know he acts in both situations.

      So I have struggled with the question of whether or not my marriage is on the list of marriages that will be miraculously restored. I don’t know that I have the answer, but what placed me in a place of comfort (and I use that word loosely, because sometimes it is far from comfortable); is what I believe I have heard God say about my own situation to me, and what He wants ME to do. I think God accomplishes His will for each of us in different ways. Also, I know that God’s will is never contrary to his word – so I expect that he would not be displeased with you hoping for restoration in your marriage. I know that marriage is a good thing to God, so I can only believe His desire is to see healing and the power of His presence in them. But what that means exactly in terms of what you should look forward to, I think is based on what you hear God speaking to your heart.

      I know if God had moved instantaneously in my marriage as I wanted him to, I would have missed out on a relationship with Him, like I have now. I needed some darkness in order to see God’s light….. I was too busy putting my trust in myself! (It does not mean others need the same darkness!)

      Some Christians have divorced because of infidelity in their marriages, saying that though they have forgiven, they feel justified in ending the marriage because of their understanding of the scriptures. Others have worked through the same issues and feel that as hard as it was, God spoke to their hearts about staying. I am always perplexed by those things. But, ultimately, I am unsure it is really just about your marriage, or the bigger thing of what God wants to use this situation to do in your life – regardless of the outcome of your marriage.

      I SO understand you though — believe me, I do.

      Wishing you well!
      P.S.
      I am glad that you are both still under the same roof!

      1. That is very wise… It makes me think that is probably the case with whatever might be causing our hurt at the time. There is a much bigger picture & our transformation is the ultimate goal… He is the only one that knows how to make that happen in us….huh… I guess that’s when we pray for His will and not what we think we want…..? Enjoying learning here….

      2. prayinglikehannah,

        This encouraged me more than you’ll know! Thank you! I have been wanting answers but I want to be careful about taking a verse or passage out of the Bible and applying it to my situation. Instead I started thinking about what is God’s overall message in His word – it’s redemption, that is God’s heart through the whole Bible. God’s heart is for the redemption of my marriage and more importantly for the redemption of my husband. He will continue to give my husband free will but He will pursue him all the days of his life. God doesn’t give up does he? I won’t give up either! The truth is that being on the path I am with God now will be worth it, no matter the outcome.

    2. Hi fellow pilgrim, It is hard to let go and give it to God -but it only makes sense. He already know everything and wants us to truly ‘know that we know that we know.’ I am preaching to myself. I am in a furnace and I don’t see the end but he is with us. Here is another site that might be of interest to you:

      http://www.brokenheartonhold.com/

    3. Melanie, You are putting a lot of pressure on yourself by focusing on the end result. Focus on The Father alone during this “separation”, while walking out His instructions for being a Godly wife. Pray His will over your life in all things, knowing that He is your greatest need. You don’t have to figure out the next 20 years today, you have to figure out “this day”. Remember, Abba has His own timing, and it is perfect, but rarely in the timeframe you think it will be in. Above all, stand on the Holy Scriptures, the only unchanging truth we have! Blessings to you 🙂

      1. yoursistersojourner,

        You’re so right! It works a lot better just to look at it one day at a time! I do need to keep my focus on Him and not on my present circumstance. I was feeling really low when I wrote that post, I have been encouraged by you and the others and by God! I believe I know what I need to do – believe in God for the restoration of my marriage! Trusting Him no matter what the outcome or the timeline!

    4. Melanie,

      In Christ, there is MUCH hope! I pray you will keep your eyes on Him! As you find all of your power, strength, joy, identity, purpose, passion and meaning in life in Christ, I believe that you will be able to rest in His love and trust Him to work in your husband’s heart as you just week to obey God yourself.

      Are you both believers in Christ?

      Would you like to talk about why things are so tense?

      Much love!

      1. April,

        That was a really low moment or me when I had written that. Just the day before is when I had finally come to the place where I had to ask my husband for a separation (in house). He’s agreed to move to the basement and leave his phone down there at all times, as well as all the music he’s been listening to in front of me, about sex, love and cheating! Uggh!!! He is still welcome to have meals with us and play with the kids whenever. It’s been about a month and a half since I found out about my husband having an emotional affair with a woman that he’s known since before we met. He says he’s been in love with her for 20 years. They reconnected 2 years ago on fb. I asked my husband to stop all contact with her but he refused because he does not want to end his relationship with her. She lives a few hours away. He says they haven’t been intimate but I’m not sure now if that’s true. I used to trust what he said, now I know I can’t. Since I found out he now communicates with this other woman right in front of me. I’ve seen him text her that he loves her. Every time his phone goes off it’s like a knife in my heart. I’m always wondering if it’s her. I had continued to be intimate with him because I thought it would be a way to bless him and also to show that I was working to improve in that area. That had always been the area of greatest strife in our marriage. He always wanted it more than I did. When I started on this respect journey back in December this was the first area that I had changed. But when we’re intimate he won’t kiss me or hold me. I can’t take that anymore, he was never like that in our marriage before. I finally realized that by putting up with all of this and not putting up any boundaries, I was just hurting myself. I couldn’t love others as I love myself, because I wasn’t loving myself. I was probably punishing myself by continuing to be intimate with him because that was the area that I felt that I had failed the most. I have done what I know God wanted me to do and that is that I have repented to Him and to my husband of all the sin that I now see that’s been in my life. With God’s help I’ve been changing. I’m not giving up on the respect thing, I have learned so much and it’s making a big difference I think in how I’ve chosen to treat my husband even through all of this. He doesn’t see any of it, but that’s not the point is it! Actually at first I was really disappointed because I thought why am I finally learning all about respect now, when my husband has basically already left our marriage. But then I realized that it was so much more about me and God then my husband and I. I see how I’ve treated God just like I’ve treated my husband all these years. I can now see my sin clearly and I now see how I can have a better relationship with my Lord and Savior! Now that was worth any pain that I’ll go through!!!

        I’m reading a book by Gary Smalley called “Hope for the Separated”. Just yesterday I read this and it greatly encouraged me in my journey,

        “Does the possibility of failure mean that we should not try? The whole teaching of the Bible stand in opposition to an attitude of futility. God never gives up on His people, and history is replete with examples of genuine spiritual restoration. Marital restoration is worth the risk of failure.
        Your attitude is important. Don’t say, “I might fail,” but rather, “I might succeed!” Few goals are more deserving tan the restoration of your marriage.”

        We are both believers. My husband is running from God and from me and pretty much everybody else in his life as well – except her. Thanks to what I’ve been learning here from you and the other women, I’m running to God, all throughout the day!

        I often try to make this all about our marriage in my head but actually it’s about my husband and God. I don’t know what happened… My husband is a man after God’s own heart. I would still say that about him. What he’s doing now goes against his very soul. I’m so concerned for him.

        I will hope for his relationship with God to be restored and I will hope for the restoration of our marriage!

        1. Melanie,

          Goodness – what an incredibly painful situation. 🙁

          I can understand why you feel the need to create the boundaries you did. An emotional affair is not ok.

          I’m excited about then book you are reading! Thank you for sharing! And I am excited about your love for God and faith in Him and your desire to honor and please God just for God’s sake. I am excited about your genuine concern for your husband’s soul.

          I am praying with you for you both to be reconciled to Christ fully and for restoration for your marriage.

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

          Are y’all seeing a counselor or pastor at all?

          1. April,
            Thanks for your affirmation it is like a balm to my soul! 🙂 Thank you for praying as well. I’m seeing a pastor in our church who specifically works with marriages in crisis. I still may ask if the church will help me find some professional counseling as well. I do see how much I need to work on me right now.

          2. Melanie,
            It sounds like you have a good plan to me! I am praying for you!!!!

            Thanks for asking about Cat. 🙂 I heard from her today. She is doing well. Her husband needs prayers. I will let her know!

          3. April, I haven’t seen Cat on here recently. I hope she is okay. You may give her my email address if she would like to contact me directly some time.

          4. Hi Melanie,

            What a beautiful picture of your faith blossoming in this stream of comments! I can so relate to so much of what you shared. It is a painful place to be, but also exciting when you can see the unseen with your eyes of faith and put all your hope and trust in the Sovereign Lord God Almighty!

            I am still here. Thank you for asking about me. I am so blessed by your concern. I faithfully read April’s blog every day, usually in the mornings and I don’t always get to go back and read through the comments though I enjoy doing so. You and all of the other wives here are such a blessing to me and I am so encouraged by your words!

            Lately, though, I’ve really been needing to spend more time in God’s Word and prayer so my limited free time is going towards that. Even though I’ve not been able to comment so much lately, please know that I am praying regularly for you and so many other wives here! I praise and thank God continually for the support of this community and all that He is doing for His glory in our lives and marriages! I can’t wait to meet each of you one day in eternity and see the big picture of what He has accomplished!

          5. Hi Cat,

            I’ve been needing to do the same, spending more time in God’s word and in prayer. When I don’t, I feel like I’m drowning and I’m looking too much at my problems and not to Him. In those times I want to act on my feelings and base important decisions based on them! That would be disastrous!!! I NEED Him every moment of the day! I thank God for bringing me to this place for that reason. He’s teaching me about the relationship that He has always wanted with me! Now that’s amazing stuff!!! 🙂 I will keep praying for you and your journey as well! I can see that God is blessing you through all of this, giving you a thirst and desire for more of Him!!! Nothing is wasted.

          6. Yes, Melanie, God is teaching me so much about Him and my GREAT NEED for Him and nothing else through all this. It’s not easy, though, and very painful. Thank you for your prayers and encouragement. Please pray for me today — I need His wisdom & presence!

        2. Be encouraged Sis,

          You are not the only one in such a fiery furnace. Emmanuel IS with you. I can 1000% empathize. I’m ‘almost’ in the same scenario. I guess we can just tap Job on the shoulder and tell him to pass us a piece of clay to scrape our wounds =). Your words via Dr. Smalley are encouraging! May God truly bless you sis! As Dory in “Finding Nemo” would say -if she were converted – “Just keep praying! Just keep showing!”

          1. Chrushedmale,

            Thank you for your encouragement! I checked out that link brokenheartonhold and I ended up buying the book. It’s just what I needed!

          2. No problem.

            “Paul acknowledged what we must acknowledge if we are to trust God. God’s plan and His ways of working out His plan are frequently beyond our ability to fathom and understand. We must learn to trust when we don’t understand. In subsequent chapters we will explore these three truths—the sovereignty, love, and wisdom of God—in greater detail. But the primary purpose of this book is not to explore these wonderful truths. The primary purpose is for us to become so convinced of these truths that we appropriate them in our daily circumstances, that we learn to trust God in the midst of our pain, whatever form it may take. It does not matter whether our pain is trivial or traumatic, temporary or interminable. Regardless of the nature of the circumstances, we must learn to trust God if we would glorify God in them.” – Jerry Bridges – “Trusting God: Even When Life Hurts”

          3. Another VERY EDIFYING except from “Trusting God:Even When Life Hurts” –

            “Perhaps you wonder why, in a chapter on the love of God in adversity, I have seemingly digressed so extensively about our sinful condition. I have done so for two reasons: First, that we might see the depth of God’s love, not only in giving His one and only Son, but in giving Him to die for such people as Paul has described us to be. But I have dwelt on this point for another reason. When we begin to question the love of God, we need to remember who we are. We have absolutely no claim on His love. We don’t deserve one bit of God’s goodness to us. I once heard a speaker say, “Anything this side of hell is pure grace.” I know of nothing that will so quickly cut the nerve of a petulant, “Why did this happen to me?” attitude as a realization of who we are before God, considered in ourselves apart from Christ. We see then that God loved us when we were totally unworthy, when there was nothing whatsoever within us that would call forth His love. Any time that we are tempted to doubt God’s love for us, we should go back to the Cross. We should reason somewhat in this fashion: If God loved me enough to give His Son to die for me when I was His enemy, surely He loves me enough to care for me now that I am His child. Having loved me to the ultimate extent at the Cross, He cannot possibly fail to love me in my times of adversity. Having given such a priceless gift as His Son, surely He will also give all else that is consistent with His glory and my good. Note that I said we should reason. If we are to trust God in adversity, we must use our minds in those times to reason through the great truths of God’s sovereignty, wisdom, and love as they are revealed to us in the Scriptures. We must not allow our emotions to hold sway over our minds. Rather, we must seek to let the truth of God rule our minds. Our emotions must become subservient to the truth. This does not mean we do not feel the pain of adversity and heartache. We feel it keenly. Nor does it mean we should seek to bury our emotional pain in a stoic-like attitude. We are meant to feel the pain of adversity, but we must resist allowing that pain to cause us to lapse into hard thoughts about God.
            It may seem cold and even unspiritual to seek to reason through the truths of God’s love in times of heartache, pain, and disappointment. But it is neither cold nor unspiritual. Paul himself, in one of the most ecstatic passages of Scripture, used a form of reasoning—an argument from the greater to the lesser—when he said, “He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?” (Romans 8:32). Paul reasoned that if God loved us so much to give us the greatest conceivable gift, then surely He will not withhold any lesser blessing from us. Or to restate this truth in a way more applicable to our present theme: If God’s love was sufficient for my greatest need, my eternal salvation, surely it is sufficient for my lesser needs, the adversities I encounter in this life. If we are going to come to the same heartfelt conviction that Paul had, that no adversity can separate us from the love of God, we must use our minds to reason through the great truths of Scripture even as Paul did.”

  17. I should clarify. I’m not being abused physically. I’ve had a chronic disease that I’m presently recovering from. I can feel that the stress of our home life is affecting me physically.

  18. Peacefulwife and everyone who shares,
    Thank you so much for making your lives transparent. Now I believe that I am learning the meaning of “our lives are not our own.” We are not here to be selfish, but to build God’s Kingdom.
    I have known about the Christian faith for a long time and even thought I was a strong believer-until last week when I was broken. I recently posted that I was constantly in tears because I didn’t know what to do at times so all I could do was go somewhere and cry….a lot. I didn’t realize that I was being broken, but after yesterday I realized what God had done and was doing.
    I am so grateful for God’s grace, mercy, and sovereignty. I was so controlling in the past and voiced everything in an “angry Black Woman” sort of way. I realized that when I started this journey in January that I was controlled by my fears and emotions. I was taught that I had to be strong and never let a man get the best of me. I was also taught that men could never be trusted, but yet, I married. I married in my mid-thirty’s and only by the grace of God because He had began to break down some things in my life prior.
    God’s sovereignty is soooo amazing. My husband was offered a deal that would have compromised his walk with the Lord. He made the decision to follow through with this deal. In the past I would have nagged him and told him that he was not a strong believer if he could do something like this, but this time I stated what I thought and why I was opposed to the decision only once. I left it alone and prayed that God would be sovereign over my husband’s decisions and our household. I prayed for His sovereignty daily. During this time my husband was also becoming distant and unloving. I stood and prayed. Well, yesterday evening we took the kids to the park for a walk. He began to talk to me and pour out his heart. We then ran into a man that he had met a couple of days prior. This man began to talk to him and told him out of nowhere that the decision that he was about to make was dangerous and that he would lose his testimony. My husband broke down and told him what was going on. He said that the thing that touched him the most was that I said that I would stand by him although he knew he was being disobedient.
    My husband drove all the way home telling me that he would be obedient to God no matter what our financial situation is. Praise be to God!

    1. A newlywed,

      This is great news! As April would say, “you got out of God’s way so your husband could hear him.” I applaud you for just telling him what you thought once and then leaving it up to him. Isn’t it amazing how things happen after that? I’m so happy for you!

    2. A Newlywed,

      I was teary-eyed with your testimony. That man whom your husband ran into, was not placed by God there for no reason! I got goosebumps thinking how the Lord places people in our lives to lead us to the right path or to tell us what we are about to do is wrong! “Angels” all around!

      I am so happy you stood by your man, sister! Because you were behind him and his decision, he was able to do the deciding himself. Imagine the repercussions if you went ahead of him or pushed him into making “your” decision and worse yet, not following him at all or going against him.

      God is so good. This testimony is awesome and amazing.

      God bless you, sister. You are on the right track!

      Love,

      Nikka

    3. anewlywed,

      I am so glad that you are seeking God with all your heart! What an incredible story of how God brought conviction to your husband and you only shared your heart with him once. WOOHOO!

      I am so thankful for the way God worked in this situation. Thank you for trusting Him!!!!

  19. Jeanne,

    Thank you for your encouraging word that God will use my situation for his Glory! It’s hard though getting past the hurt and fear of getting hurt again also when wrong thought s come and having to take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ. It’s a Fight! To God be the Glory!
    Love,
    Amy

    1. Amy,
      I’m right there with you. I could have said the exact same thing. Its so hard and it is a battle. I’m finding God’s peace more and more though and am learning to take those thoughts captive much more than I used to. One of my favorite Bible teachers, Nancy Leigh DeMoss says, “Anything that causes us to depend on God is a good thing!” Through these trials we are growing closer to God and thats a good thing.

      Love,
      Jeanne

  20. Melanie,

    I know what you mean with fear of getting hurt again, when I was reading April’s post this morning I began to think what if ” I put all my hope in my marriage then I get hurt all over again right back to where I started then started to cry. The pain I went through was too much. So, instead I am going to put hope in Jesus with my marriage and not make my husband an idol and if my husband sins against me again, I hope that I am grounded more in Jesus that he is my rock and not allow my husband’s sins to move me much anymore. I am realizing that I Need Jesus more, he needs to be the love of my life, then my husband 🙂 my relationship with Jesus has got to be #1 over everyone
    Dear sister, I do feel your pain that’s why I responded to you, there is always hope, I know it’s scary but we have to have more faith than fear. The devil wants us to fear- but God wants us to have Faith that is what pleases him. I am in agreement with you that God will restore your marriage and make it stronger than before in Jesus name, Amen

    1. Amy,
      THAT is it! We don’t put our hope in our husbands or our marriages or any person. Our faith in trust is all in Jesus!!!!! YES!

      Thank you so much for sharing with Melanie and for sharing your heart and what God is teaching you! 🙂 WOOHOO!

    2. Amy,

      I appreciate you so! Thank you for responding! I know that you get it and that really helps! I absolutely know that my husband was an idol in my life. I too am concentrating on finding my acceptance and love in Christ alone! I think you’re right that if we are grounded more in Jesus that whatever trial may come, they will not shake us like before. You’re right, the devil wants us to fear. As another post mentioned, we create what we fear. Satan wants us to fear the outcome in our marriage so much, that we check out completely, that even if our husbands came back, we would be long gone, either emotionally or physically. I realized the other day that when I finally made the decision to ask for a separation that I felt so relieved. I believe that this will be a healthy thing for both of us but the day before I talked to my husband about it, I started feeling and thinking in my mind that this was it. I was going to let him go and start moving on with my life. I realize with that attitude there would never be any hope for our marriage. I do need to move on in a sense and just concentrate on my relationship with the Lord. I also need to do some things for myself, like get some education and explore interests of mine. But my heart has to remain for my husband, because he’s my husband, because that’s God’s heart too!
      I’m so sorry for your pain as well Amy. May God restore your marriage and make it stronger than before, in Jesus name, Amen!

  21. Hey Kelly,
    I just wanted to share something with you. I have a daughter, before marriage daughter, she is not my hubby’s but hubby has been there since she was 6 months. She looks at hubby as Dad. We treat her as if this is her only Dad, other Dad is long gone, and hubby would rather she dont know, b/c he took her in and treats her as his own.
    Okay so being that these children are step children, do you ever think that Dad just looks at them all the same. And that he just may treat them all how he chooses, no parent treats all the children the same, I dont think at least, and maybe b/c he doesn’t treat the kid yall had together like you want him to, that it leaves you feeling bitter. Have you ever thought that he may just treat your kid like any other, It seems like a big lie in your head, that he is treating the other kids better, then the one yall had together when in reality he just treats all the kids differently. Being that your HIS WIFE and that is the child yall had together I’m pretty sure He has a close bond.
    Just my 2 cents, but I’m not for certain, if that’s not how you see it then I would defiantly go to God about any bitterness you may have in your heart of your husband for making certain choices with the children, and any resentment of the step children. Satan feeds off our own emotions and thoughts of things-our non trusting behavior. I know he does this to me defiantly, like goodness, usually sin starts from our own desires or wants- like Eve in the garden-she wanted more, and Satan used this to his benefit, most of my temptations come from my loss of trust in God and husband. I’m ministering to myself here as well. I am trying to overcome the enemy, well my own thoughts, b/c I cant say its all the enemy I play apart in my own head as well.
    James 1:12 Blessed is the man who endures temptation; for when he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him. 13 Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am tempted by God”; for God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He Himself tempt anyone. 14 But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed. 15 Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death.

    Hebrews 13:6 So we may boldly say:

    “The Lord is my helper;
    I will not fear.
    What can man do to me?”

    1. Yeah, the expectations we have for our husbands, can be like a burden we are caring on our own shoulders. Take away the-I wish my husband could be or do this, and put it all in the Father’s hands and do our duty unto the Lord and we will be just fine. My hubby knows-what he desires to do, and even asks for my input on fun nights-like incorporating it, so that time is planned. But in your case, just know that men have alot of mental, and physical stuff they are caring around. I’m pretty sure your husband would love to do this and that-its just they can only handle priorities with our understanding ( understanding what is all on their plate) and prayers more than anything. The older kids-your step children seem to have some very important things going on with college ect. Im sure this was on the top priority list of his things to do. I would have loved for my Mom(only child-no Father) to come to have lunch with me, but she had to work and Im sure that was not as important to her as it was to me. I know she was busy as well. I guess you can say wants or needs…..needs are more important-wants come next. Much love Kelly!!!

      1. Yes I enjoyed hearing how everything played out, it is hard, I’m glad u shared, and I wish you the best. That scripture is awesome,glad it helped you.

  22. Dear fellow wives,

    Wow. So much of what’s been shared today has been used to shine light in dark corners of my heart.

    Mcsprite, that link to the book is amazing. Oh, I am excited to continue reading it, I am already on chapter 4!

    I am still in the early stages of unravelling my knot, but I wanted to share a big realization that hit me today. About 10 years ago, I went through a period of really shameful and sinful behavior (we are talking really bad). I cringe recalling it. Today, I recognized that I was in a complete spiritual rebellion then. Prior to this summer of rebellion, I had been assaulted and raped and then slept around and became a single mom. I felt really cheated. Funny enough, I was regularly attending church at this time too. I clearly remember an incident where I knew I could only be forgiven by repenting and turning away from the sin…and I said NO! Oh how that pains me now. I took a handful of filthy stinking crap and rubbed in God’s face! 😥

    I am so unworthy! From that moment on, until a few weeks ago, fear has plagued me. There is no doubt in my mind that I lived in fear because deep down I knew I was wrong…that I had no peace in my life because I thought I didn’t need Him. Oh the pain I’ve caused by my sin! I have hurt others terribly. Yet, God shed His Grace on me and brought my husband into my life even though I hadn’t repented. I’d surrendered control of that one thing and he blessed me beyond my dreams.

    Now through the process of working through my marriage problems, my wretchedness is being revealed to me. I deserve nothing good. I am a complete and sinful and wicked failure without His Grace. I understand why my best efforts are dirty menstrual rags…I am filthy and stained with sin. I am disgusting. It is as if I am seeing myself for the first time through God’s eyes. I am uglier than the ugliest monster imagined; I am putrid because I am filled with death. The light’s been shone on the scary thing I’ve been running from in the dark…it was me!

    Like I said, I am still just beginning to have some clarity, but I think it is important to share because I would not be at this point of discovery without reading everyone’s experiences and input. Thank you, Lord for this community!!!

    1. Hi livelywriter!

      The first step towards true freedom and liberty is finally able seeing ourselves for what we are — grave sinners with yucky, filthy, whoa in number sins. After that we grieve for those sins that offended others and especially God… And in that state of brokenness, the Lord will make us whole — but this time, he will create a new person in us! That transformation from our old selves to God’s new creations of our selves, is what I still find totally awe-inspiring, amazing and miraculous till now.

      I have to sometimes look in the mirror to see if I really am “me”. When the Spirit resides in you, “you” no longer “live” in that body; it is already Christ who lives in you… and even old modes of thinking are now outdated or outmoded or just totally off, that you realize Somebody has really taken over. It is no longer I but Christ who lives in me. Praise God for what he has done in your life!!!! Bless you dear sister, as you continue to walk with courage with Christ!!! 🙂

      Love,

      Nikka

    2. livelywriter,

      Thank you SO much for sharing your heart! This understanding of your sinfulness and mourning over it is so beautiful in God’s sight! This is a humble and contrite spirit – that God will not despise.

      I always know that if a wife can be “poor in spirit” like this before God – some good things are about to happen in her walk with Christ!

      Praying for God to continue this work He has begun in you!

      I pray you will receive His mercy, grace and forgiveness and live in His power, strength, Spirit, freedom and glorious light!!!!!

  23. Ladies,

    ** If you have experienced severe trauma, anxiety, PTSD, rape, being molested, sexual/physical abuse – you are going to probably need some outside help to be able to work through your fears – and it may take some time. That is ok! Please don’t stop taking any of your medications, but talk to you doctor and maybe prayerfully consider finding a godly mentoring wife/mentor/Christian counselor to help you. 🙂 Ask God to give you wisdom to take baby steps at a time, if you can’t do this by yourself – find someone (preferably an experienced godly wife or counselor) who is in tune with Christ and ask them to mentor you.

    I am not writing my posts specifically for people who are experiencing uncontrolled mental health issues or who are in abusive situations or situations where active addictions are going on. Please seek outside help if this is your situation!

  24. Your statement, “Satan can do nothing without God’s permission.” Is so powerful! Once we fully grasp that concept, we begin to conquer our fear. We’re told not to fear in Scripture as many times as there are days in a year, I believe Our Father considers this a serious part of our covenant with Him. He wants us to stand on His word, to live by it, not just believe it. James says when we doubt as we pray, we will receive nothing. To me, them’s some hefty words 🙂 Blessings to you!

    1. yoursistersojourner,

      There is part of David Platt’s message on Angels, Demons and Spiritual Warfare where David talks about how God is sovereign even over Satan and demons. Satan can only speak to God when God speaks to him. Satan can only inflict damage on people when God grants him permission (Job). Sometimes God sends evil spirits to torment people as a judgment (King Saul). And when God allows Satan/demons to do something evil, He ultimately uses them to accomplish His good purposes. How amazing is that!?!?!

      It gives me such peace to understand God’s sovereignty and all that it means.

      Love the points you made! Thank you so much!

  25. Thanks, April, for an awesome post, & I am so blessed by everyone’s comments! My main fears are seeing myself realistically (afraid of what’s reakly under there) & what will happen if I see my husband as he is realistically. We both were “awesome” at wearing masks when we met, but marriage strips those frim you. Now he has worked hard at being real & seeing me realistically but this controlling woman is struggling to do the same. I think God knew we’d be struggling with fear because He says “do not fear” 365 times (I read that a few places recently) & Satan loves to use our fears against us. Especially when they are similar to the truth.

    1. Sally,
      God certainly uses marriage as a pressure cooker to reveal our sin and the quality of our character and our faith in Christ.

      I pray that you will be able to trust fully in Christ and receive the grace and mercy and forgiveness He has for you – and extend the same to your husband.

      God uses marriage to make us holy and to draw many to Himself when we are seeking Him with all our hearts. I pray for God to empower you both to learn and grow through these trials and to become more and more like Christ for His glory!

  26. Elizabeth and peacefulwifephilippines,

    Thank you for the encouragement. My Dh and I were at the point of divorce in December. I was in pain and so was he. In the last month or so we finally let that thought go and are willing to be committed without conditions. I came across this blog trying to find any help I could find and also wanting to see if we could justify divorce in our situation.
    I am so grateful to God because His love and grace is so amazing that he saw little old me. I am learning to chase peace in Christ and not live in fear. I have a long way to go, but I love even the glimpse of what I have now. My relationships in every area is changing. I cant thank God enough.

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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