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“How I Became Enmeshed with My Husband” – by LMS

ADMIN NOTE:

An update 3 weeks ago created many technical issues on my blog, unfortunately. Jetpack lost all by a few dozen of my WordPress and email followers. My understanding is that the issue should now be resolved. Thank you for your patience! If you haven’t been receiving emails from me, there are some posts you may have missed:

A Summary of the Stages of This Journey

Can I Be a “Peaceful American” Even Now?

My Husband Isn’t As Involved with Our Newborn As I Want Him to Be 

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A guest post by LMSdaily

I had a dad, but he was a workaholic. I was close to him, but never got enough of him. So, when I met my husband, who was very much into family, promising to adore me, cherish me, etc… he also said it was his job to make me happy….I believed it hook line and sinker.

It was no longer my job to make me happy and I was relieved of the duty in my mind. As I relied more and more on my husband to make me happy, more and more pressure was put on my husband. I was a black hole of need. It was too much.

He failed all the time (in my eyes) and there was no satisfying me. He felt like he could NEVER make me happy… nor could ANY man.

I never understood how this thinking acted like the death of a star…imploding on itself, then a massive explosion outward, until I realized what it meant that I had put my husband as an idol above God in my life. ONLY God can fill that endless need in our lives to help us feel loved, cherished, wanted, needed, worthy, valuable, and accepted. Our husbands are humans too. They make mistakes, have wrong ideas, thoughts, and ideas too. They are have sin issues at times and struggle with idols, too. Even if they are Christians. Understanding the imperfections of ourselves and others is crucial to the humility we need to feel before God. This humility helps us realize how imperfect we all are, and how perfect only God is.

One other thing I realized also was how incredibly “lazy” I was in my thoughts. It was very easy to just let my husband tell me how I should think, what to feel, what opinions I should have or to make all the decisions.

My family felt like I lost myself when I started following my husband’s every thoughts. I looked like a snob to them because my husband was judgmental, but I thought he was right to be that way. At that point, I stopped being his helper in life, or, I liken it to a co-pilot. Rather I was like an anchor, or another passenger he was responsible for. Dragging me along for the ride and not taking any responsibility for myself.

He had no one to help him think through his ideas, thoughts or to even run things by for a different perspective. I was blindly following him.

He may have been questioning his own path, but realized I was no help anyway to him… kind of foolishly clueless and blind in life. So he dragged me along out of responsibility. He didn’t have a helper because I was not interested in doing the brain work of thinking on my own. I am disgusted at my laziness when I look back at it.

Now, I have started to really think about it all. Even subjects I would avoid in the past, like finances, or deadlines, or cleaning out closets. This is something my husband is not used to. He is used to just making decisions and having no obstacles or contradictions. So, now, he sees me as something in his way. He thinks I’m arguing with him, that we think differently, that we are incompatible.

But the truth is, I have good ideas, valid concerns, and viewpoints too. My husband, having to now consider them, is irritated with my concerns. It’s like red tape to him. Of course, I don’t demand my way, but I bring up my concern in a respectful way, then leave the decision to him. If he is not trying to break the law or hurt someone, it’s fair to let him decide, but he gets my viewpoint too, nowadays. Not always. If I bring up a good point he had not considered, he gets irritated, because it was easier to just make the decision and live with it. But my point makes him have to think more, too. His conviction from the Holy Spirit and his responsibility as the head of the family is making him feel uncomfortable and not as sure. As he learns to trust me as a helper instead of an anchor, I hope he will find a value in me again. I’m sure this will take time.

For too long, in many ways, I think we both lived together, physically married, but really thought more as single people… not really understanding what “two becoming one” really meant. If my ways worked with his, or vice versa, then cool…no problems, but if not, he/I complained. That is a controlling attitude. Now, I am constantly thinking on how a desire or idea I have might affect him, not just me, and I want to choose what blesses him first, then me. I think more “married” than single now. Less self-centered, more wanting what is best for my husband and kids. But there is always a balance that needs to be made. I can’t just ignore my own desires and wishes either… that’s the starry-eyed groupie way. More of a doormat. To women, it can feel loving. To men, it feels like we are spineless and weak.

We need to be strong and whole as individuals before we can come together and be part of a unique being in a marriage.

My lack of a daddy figure basically was a hole that needed filling. Ideally, I should have had God fill that father role for us instead of my husband. Then, I could be a help meet in my husband’s life, not a groupie looking for attention from a man. This is why God is the great “I Am”, in our lives. He alone can fill those missing holes.

I will pray that you can seek God as a Dad in your life and feel the love, protection and attention you crave from Him. In this way, the love, protection and attention you receive from your husband will be extra. Icing on the cake – that you can enjoy as a treat – not daily living sustenance.

Look up the following subjects in April’s blog for more:
Oneness in Marriage – Not Too Close, and Not Too Far Away

Closeness in Marriage Looks Different from What I Expected – A Fellow Wife

How to Make Your Husband an Idol

I Was SURE I Hadn’t Made My Husband an Idol!

Fully Trusting God with My Husband – Laying Down All of My Fears 

LMSdaily’s posts

 

 

154 thoughts on ““How I Became Enmeshed with My Husband” – by LMS

  1. LMSDaily, this post was a blessing to me as you have opened my eyes and mind to thinking about this perspective in relation to my own life. While I don’t have exactly the same situation from my childhood it has helped me to think about some things that definitely do relate, like the expectations I place on my husband that aren’t fair and how I sometimes forget the “humanness” of my husband and how I need to respect this. As well how God wants me to seek how to bless others first before myself and that includes my husband.

    I have been thinking of you daily and praying for you and I am looking forward to an update on how things are going with you when you are ready to share with us. praying that God will continue to guide you and bless you every day on your journey!

  2. LMSDaily and Peaceful Wife,

    A Question:
    I have just been reading about good works and faith,
    Contrary to popular belief, I think, faith takes work.
    Doing good works doesn’t, it can be more in the nature of checking off things on list. It’s not nothing, but its not essential to our entering Heaven.

    So my question is: Can doing good works be like dragging the anchor and working out of faith be more of a co-creation, which if by necessity messy?

    Working to become one out of two requires faith, it requires taking a risk without knowing what will come of it. It may not feel so good sister, while your husband is finding your comments interfering and a nuisance. LMSDaily, have you shared anything of what was in this post, rhat you wish to make your marriage a work of faith, not simply of good works?

    Always good to read and share,
    Thank you sisters,
    Jesuscentreoflife

    1. jesuscentreoflife,

      I believe that real faith produces works. I think that is scriptural. Just doing things without faith or doing things to try to earn salvation won’t work. But when we have saving faith – our desires change. We WANT to please God and obey Him. Not to earn salvation but out of joy and thankfulness for what Jesus has done for us. And we do it in His power, not our own.

      True, it is messy and there is risk.

      1. I’m also wondering about the act of faith that is marriage,
        We are the church and Christ is the Bridegroom.
        In our marriages, faith with good works, that is the key, right?

        Faith allows us to make it work and together with that good works help create not only sweetness but a joy in being together?

        Thank you!

  3. I have been on this journey for almost 2 years now. In my “death of self” I have realized that good works alone do not open the door to heaven for us. My journey has truly been one of learning to live for God and not my husband. I had placed him on the throne and did not look to please God first. Everything I did was to please my husband, and I think God needed to show me how wrong this was…so things were taken away in order to open my eyes. I needed to know how to not live for people, things, ideas and even to stop living to avoid fear itself. There was such a huge perfectionist mindset standard I lived by. “If I could do everything just perfect, then I would win the love of my husband.”

    The extent of being enmeshed made me lose where I ended and where my husband started. I felt so responsible for his moods, happiness, choices and behaviors. It brought out a huge control issue in me as well. Through God’s word and wonderful, godly teachers, I feel I have a much healthier viewpoint now. In no way do I think my marriage is back on solid ground, but I know I am….with God helping me, I am on the right path no matter what happens. I can only be me.

    I try to be mindful of what I do or say snd how ot can affect others, but I can’t control how they take things. Some people just don’t want to live in peace with others, and they becone grumpy and hard to get along with. When I make a mistake, I appologize from it. When I sin, I repent and turn from it. Others can see the blessings all around and live a life of joy. My husband may never change. But I have one chance to live for God, and I’m not about to let one human stand in the way of my destiny. Even though it may be one human I love very much. I love God more. I had my husband as my king, an idol, in the wrong place in my life. He doesn’t understand why God needs to be in my life, but I pray one day he does and sees how much better life can be when we allow God into our lives.

    1. Love this too LMSDaily, so glad to hear from you and what God is teaching you. Inspiring to read how God has shown you so much!

  4. You know something funny, I had discovered this site a few months ago, (I’ve been married 8 months now) and tried to apply things here and there. But it wasn’t until yesterday that I actually took the time to take notes and start taking things to heart and realized how much work I still need! So after work I started to act more like a Peaceful Wife and this morning before our jobs as well. What’s funny is that when he was dropping me off my morning train he goes “how come you are so carefree? is it because you are well rested?” that goes to show you that in only one night and morning he already saw a HUGE difference. Part of me is super happy and another is so surprised at how much of a control freak and worry wart I am if with only one morning he noticed that much difference.
    But I already feel God working in my spirit and my mood, God is good and I’m thankful for this site and all the writers.

    1. Stephaniestephanie,

      That is awesome that your husband noticed the difference. I know you will, too, as you learn to trust God and walk in His presence and power instead of worry, fear, and control. You will never regret this journey. 🙂

      Thank you so much for sharing, precious sister!

  5. Good morning all. I feel like I need to share something I have only had revealed to me recently by God. I asked for Him to show me why I feel a lack of peace, so He did…this seems to be the next door to crack open…. so I need to open it and look it square in the eye. I’m sharing here because I know this is my story post. My prayer is that these thoughts might help others wake up to some core sources on how we become “disrespectful wives” in the first place. This may also be a bit therapeutic for me as well, but I value any discussion on this topic…as I am seeking what to do about it.

    Invisible. This is how I feel. I feel like a ghost in my own home. I see what everyone else needs. I see their hurt, their desire, their longing. I DO things for those I love, and it is just expected of me. I dont feel appreciated. I feel like a ghost, an insignificant obstacle. I am not seen, but I see them.

    But I didn’t always. Only since God woke me up did I start to see those things in others. Even though I feel this way right now, I suspect I have made the people I love the most feel this way too, in the past. I know I have made God feel that way when I ignored Him for 30+ years. It. Is. Heart. Wrenching. This feeling is crushing. Depression is knocking at my door and I’m fighting like heck to keep from answering it.

    It has occurred to me that I have been so consumed with feeling heard, being seen and mattering in my marriage, that when I felt unheard, I simply reacted by turning up the volume. I will be louder. I will not be ignored. I yelled, I criticized, I pointed out all the wrong, imperfect things. But, that selfish and immature reaction only made me seem prickly, hard to be around and unpleasant. It also totally ignored the needs of my husband (and kids)to be seen and heard. I was demanding attention for myself, but not giving any back. I was not seeing his pain, his emotions, his sadness, his loneliness, he was in plain sight of me, lying right next to me, but the real him was invisible to me. My eyes were tightly shut.

    Then we had kids, and they became all consuming and overshadowed ANY relationship. Of course my husband would not demand my time for himself, he’s a good guy and knew the kids needed that attention. HE was NOT being selfish, but stepoed back, sacrificed, for the kids sake. Besides. He’s a grown man and the kids are little and helpless. He could take care of himself, he didn’t really need me. I was more than happy to be useful and have a purpose as a mom, but my husband began to fade into the background. My attention was no longer on him. He may have begun to feel like nothing more than a wallet and a ride. I was too busy with kids stuff, my own job, hobby, house, to even “see” his needs. He was dissapearing, feeling not needed, not wanted. So, he found a place he WAS needed and wanted. Work. And he poured his soul into it. He found respect, attention and a place to belong. He felt visible.

    All the while, I’m on a circus ride at home, drowning, wondering where he went. Missing him too, feeling exhausted at the end of the day and feeling abandoned. I would think..”I have needs too, why won’t he meet MY needs?” Can’t he see how much I need him?

    Today, I’m realizing how invisible I feel. I know, however that God sees me. I am not forgotten. I just have 2 teenagers and a very invisible-feeling husband. Of course the terns don’t see me…their world revolves around themselves. They are not mature enough to understand it all fully. Ideally, my husband and I would have nurtured each other and we would be there for each other during these trying teenage years, but we didn’t do that for each other. Instead, we got selfish, loud, critical, resentful, hurt, depressed, and withdrew. Now, we are both invisible….trying to find each other, and angry at the other one for not “showing up”.

    This is a very painful place to dwell. I have started to pray to God for Him to show me what to do here. I could pray that my husband “open his eyes”, have a softened heart to me etc, but then I remember that God is more interested in changing “me” than changing others FOR me. In spite of my “feelings of invisibility”, I am suspecting I need to put my pride down, my selfish parts down and “see” my husband. I need to also “show up” by being vulnerable…even though it feels so unsafe. Even if he has been a giant jerk. I need to love like God loves me even though I refused to “see” God for 30 years. Yup, that was one invisible person who was right in front of me. He is in the sunrise, my husband, my kids, the very air I breathe, inside me and all around me, yet I didn’t even acknowledge His presence. Invisible. Now that I can see God in my life, all around, I have no excuse to not “see” the real people right in front of me. The ones I can physically touch, feel, hold and look at.

    God teaches we must give to receive. So, if I want to be seen, I need to seek, if I want to be loved, I need to love, if I want to be touched, I need to reach out and make contact. Allowing myself to dissapear because I feel invisible just keeps me from being seen even more. It solves nothing. It is the enemy trying again to kill, steal and destroy.

    My husband said the other night that we don’t talk anymore. If it continues, we will drift apart more. I was angered at this at first, because I feel that I have been screaming this from the mountain tops and that he is blaming me….again….for our problems. He’s the one who shut down, stonewalled, withdrew emotionally. Why do “I” need to fix it again? I was angry and bitter and hated him for saying it when I feel he has caused all of this…I have been trying so hard and long to reach out to him, talk, etc, only to end up feeling bruised and battered and more misunderstood. Some or all of that could be true. But I have a part in it too. Am I really seeing my husband? His heart message? Or am I being “sunburned” as April calls it and looking for the constant criticism. What is he saying to me? That he misses us talking? Who would miss the fighting and frustration and arguing? Is he sensing me giving up? I have. I have stopped trying to get his attention…it seems useless anyway and I feel like I’m doing stuff only God can and should be doing…but, God does not ask me to be passive and uninvolved. Active rest…quite an oxymoron. Hmmmm…what could it be?

    I don’t know how to help my husband feel “seen and heard”. I want to, but I can’t control his feelings. I don’t know how to be seen and heard myself….by my own family. The ways I tried in the past didn’t work very well. We are two blind, invisible people that God put together. We know we need each other, but are floundering around seeking, but feeling un-saught after. Reaching, but feeling like ghosts. Trying to touch, but blaming the other for not being touchable.

    I have tried to be seen by being vulnerable with my feelings, but I am starting to suspect that it was a self centered way to be. I tried to make him look at me, but he couldn’t because he didn’t even feel real himself.

    Maybe people need to feel seen and heard before they can start to see and hear.

    I know the answer is in God somewhere. How did Jesus help people feel seen and heard? He points out WHO is to be seen and heard in the beattitudes, but HOW does He DO that? Who are generally invisible in society? Children, the poor, the widowed, the sick, the hungry, the depressed. God tells us to care for these people because He knows our natural sinful self will, in fact, not see them. Jesus points them out. He knows. But I need help to see HOW.

    Sorry for the length, but this seems like a giant pearl to learn from God right now. I don’t want to steep in my own bowl of self pity….that will get me nowhere. I think we all need God’s help to “see” the invisible people in our lives. Any scriptures that might help with this would be very appreciated.

    I pray for us all to find healing and see the “invisible” but true path God has for us.

    Blessings-Lms daily 115

    1. LMS, my sister. My heart aches for you. You are on a rough road. And, I don’t know the answers. I know Who has them, but I don’t know the answer.

      I may be completely off base here, and I don’t want to get in the way of anything God might be doing in you….but I do want to just ask you to really evaluate whether you need to take on the responsibility that your husband is trying to put on you….”We don’t talk anymore”.

      Manipulation is real. It’s sad to get to a place in our lives where we realize that yes, Satan really does use people to blame us and accuse us and make us feel guilty.

      Again, I don’t know for sure. Only God knows. But, I have read your comments. I have seen the way you’ve tried and reached out and yes, you have been vulnerable. You give foot rubs and you ask your husband to Christmas parties and you invite your husband to other things, you try to include him. It seems like you have been shut down over and over. Unless you are not providing the full story, I can’t see how you need to take anymore blame or feel responsible for the lack of communication in your marriage. Don’t play into the enemy’s hands who wants to keep you feeling condemned and paralyzed and guilty.

      It could be that your husband doesn’t like that you are “letting him go”. And he shouldn’t. But, the way to your heart is not to make you feel guilty as if it is all your fault. It’s for him to realize his own problems and begin to take ownership and work toward healthy change in himself.

      Now, switching gears a little bit, when your husband said that you could say something like “You’re right, I hate it that we don’t talk. I would love to talk more with you. How do you suggest that we start working toward healthier communication in our marriage?” Or you could say “You’re right. I hate that we don’t communicate much, either. I feel like I’ve reached out to you and that I keep getting shut down. I’m scared to try anymore because it hurts so much to be vulnerable and then get shut down.” (That is truth. May not be exactly easy to say or what your husband wants to hear, but it is truth and it is needed).

      I understand the wanting to shut down when you are hurt. After 5 weeks of separation, I am just now willing to try to reach out a little to my husband. And, I can see that this “reaching out” will NOT be out of a place this time of trying to control circumstances or somehow act in a way that will entice him to repent. No, this time it is out of just doing this for the Lord. Just loving someone who is in a lot of ways being my enemy right now. Blessing him even when it feels like he’s purposely doing things to get me riled up. I clearly keep hearing from God that it won’t be ME that makes my husband SEE. Only God can do that in a person’s life. But, I can at least live and act in a way that brings God glory and doesn’t put a stumbling block in my husband’s path to God. I want my hands clean in this process, whatever the end result might be in our marriage. I want God to use this time to strengthen my character and rid me of my sinful wanting to “pay-back” by withholding blessings I could give him easily. (And now that I’ve typed that, maybe this is what you’re referring to….this being able to get to a place of doing these things out of the motive of just pleasing the Lord).

      It is also really hard for me to not get caught up in overthinking every little thing my husband does and assigning bad motives because the fact is that I don’t trust him. He has broken my trust by lying and I’ve heard little lies that he tells others. And, I think it is wise to be cautious because of that. But, on the other hand, I could drive myself crazy thinking every little thing he does or says has a bad motive behind it when there may be nothing there. I need to trust God to defend me and to take those thoughts captive when I start worrying about those kinds of things and just admit that I don’t know and I refuse to spend one more second of energy on something I don’t know. I need to trust that God will prompt me on next steps to take and that He is my Defender and will take care of me.

      LMS, the thought that is coming to mind as I close this as that what we ALL desperately need (even those who aren’t in desperate situations) is to lean on the Lord and live from His Spirit minute by minute. We think we can handle this life without Him — but He says we can do NOTHING without Him. Nothing. And yet, we live like we can run our lives most of the time when what God wants for us is to come to a place of utter dependence on Him.

      Sometimes, the situations that we find ourselves in – like you and I are in – are good places to learn these lessons. Because, no one can tell us “Well, just do this and this and this and it will all be ok”. Because they can say those things but of course, five questions immediately come to our minds — “Well, that’s all find and good, but what about when I do that and then *this* happens?” Only God has the answers for each of our particular circumstances. We need to be willing to do whatever He asks of us — WHATEVER He asks of us. We need to be willing to be used by Him and then seek Him at every turn.

      He will give us this wisdom when we ask Him. He has given us everything we need for life and godliness. We are lacking nothing in Him.

      Love you. Remember that you are loved today. Know that God has not abandoned you and has not forgotten you in your painful circumstances. He is working out His will today in your life. He sees the end result and He is carrying you to that spacious place because He delights in you.

      1. ContentInChrist,

        Your comment really spoke to me, the part about your husband having lied to you and you hearing him tell little lies to others. I feel the same way about mine. This is compounded now by the fact that his job has moved him two states away and my daughter and I won’t be able to join him for 6-7 months. Despite the text messages and phone calls each day, I feel so far from him and I often question what he tells me about where he is or who he is spending time with. I DO trust his faithfulness to me, he has never and would never be unfaithful, but I sometimes question his openness with me.

        Your thoughts about needing to not spend any more time worrying about those things and instead letting God prompt your next steps was what I needed to hear. I still feel disconnected from him. I am still unsure what to believe at times. But I know I need to stop worrying about it and instead trust God to bring any deceit into the light, when He deems it time to do so, and I need to trust Him with my marriage and my husband.

        Thank you for sharing your thoughts!

        1. You’re welcome, Victorious Wife, and I’m sorry that you understand my situation. It would be incredibly difficult to be away that length of time. I pray that God will use this time in your life to do great things in you, to bring you to a deeper place of knowing who you are in Christ and being filled up in His love. And, I pray that God will speak to your husband as he is away, too.

          It is hard to not be able to trust your spouse. And, I completely get the “feeling disconnected” part, too. In reality, my husband and I have never shared any kind of deeper relationship than a physical relationship. I’ve been married for 24 years, but I really don’t know who my husband is because he has never been very vulnerable with me about any part of his life.

          But, our hope and trust is first and foremost in God and the story He is writing in our lives. He is ALWAYS trustworthy, ALWAYS loving us perfectly. He is pursuing us with His goodness and mercy all the days of our lives.

          1. CIC, I’m so sorry you’ve never had a deeper connection with your husband. That must feel unbearable at times. I am grateful my husband does often share his feelings with me, about his past, his children, his dreams, etc. What he doesn’t share is current situations sometimes. In those moments, I need to trust God to bring any sin into the light, and I need to trust that if it’s important, my husband will share it with me.

            Thank you for praying that God will use this time to work in both of our hearts. I can see Him doing that, and I am so grateful, and look forward to more of what He will do.

            Thank you so much!

        1. Thank you, Cic, I have been really wrestling back and forth on these viewpoints. I know that boundaries are important and that I feel I have made many efforts to reach out, communicate, etc. I know there comes a time when the consequences of his actions need to be felt by him and not me taking them on for him. That would be more enabling. I just want to make sure I am responding in a godly way to him. WWJD style. I know that as I dig deeper, I see more of my sin from the past. I repent, find more, repent. Not seeing the “invisibles in plain sight” in my life really has my eyes opened. I see the housekeeper in the nursing home, the janitor at the school, the nurse aid who gets dumped on…but needs the job, the homeless guy riding a bicycle in freezing weather. The angry kid bullying a quiet, awkward one, the loner reading about guns….they are all in plain site. I wonder who are the “invisibles in plain site” in all of our lives? They can even be our kids when we are consumed with our own problems, our aging parents cause we are swamped at work, the neighbor widow who lost her husband and doesn’t know how to start the snowblower or mow the lawn, the aunt who is depressed from her empty nest and needs to feel useful again, the grandfather who can’t carry the heavy stuff anymore and is feeling useless, the elderly lady who is statving, but goes to church every week to cate for the kids, our spouses who feel replaced by some other activity that has our attention.

          Irregardless of where my husband is trying to place blame for us “not talking”, I still need to reach out to others to help with their deepest needs. Maybe my husband’s deepest need is to not feel invisible, either.

          Just a thought…since I know how painful that feels right now, I sure don’t want those I love to feel invisible by me.

          I will continue to pray on it and also pray that your reaching out to your husband because God asks you to brings you a sense of peace and rightness with God. It seems the way Jesus would still love another. I DO reach out to my husband many times ONLY because I feel the Holy Spirit asking me to. I will even try to worm my way out and say “but I don’t want to, it’s easier to just ignore him” etc. I just can’t escape the niggling voice saying “do it anyway, he needs to feel your attention..it is planting a seed for later.” I may not agree or understand it, but if God asks, there is nothing I won’t do for Him. He is my King. Things always seem to go better when I do it His way, anyway.

          I suspect I have been dealing with a mild case of depression, which would be crippling if it weren’t for the word of God lifting me up, doubt, hopelessless, jealousy, defeat, and pride in the form of self pity. I’m sure in the natural nobody would blame me for feeling these things, but God’s grace is supposed to be sufficient for me. I still have a life to live and I get one shot on earth to do my best to spread God’s Kingdom to others. I won’t do that very well sitting in my own pity party or brooding, being negative or missing out on receiving the everyday gifts God gives me.

          My husband may not be my perfect, ideal picture of the husband I always thought he would be. He may not be my best friend, the person I trust whole heartedly with my heart, or the dad, son, brother I wished he was…but he is not a bad guy, either. He works hard to provide for me and the kids, and he won’t turn his back on us if we are truly in need. He has sacrificed alot too. He may be a hopeless people pleaser, prideful, bullheaded control freak, but God gave him to ME. He must think I needed him and that my husband needed me. I just think we are list to each other in the dark.

          This aha moment of invisibility seems really big or important to me for some reason. I’m not sure why, but it seems integral. Like a huge turning point. I have not discussed it with my husband, not sure if I should, but sonething seems to be sliding into place about it. If it is revealed to me. I’ll be sure to share.

          All my love and thanks for your sincere prayers of blessing. Glad I don’t feel invisible here among friends.

          1. He works hard to provide for me and the kids, and he won’t turn his back on us if we are truly in need. He has sacrificed alot too. He may be a hopeless people pleaser, prideful, bullheaded control freak, but God gave him to ME. He must think I needed him and that my husband needed me.

            LMS,
            Loved this part you wrote….This is something God has been showing for a while now. And it is so true!!!
            I will be praying for you…You are going through some deep deep things, and Im praying for the breakthrough for you and your husband!
            Love,
            NB

            1. Thank you,NB. It’s really cool that Gid shows us these crevices in our soul. The other perspective is like a whole new world of wonder. I wI’ll pray for you as well. Many blessings to you.

    2. LMSDaily115,

      This is so powerful! Thank you very much for sharing!!!!

      Perhaps – he is saying “We never talk” as a way to reach out and try to say that he misses you?

      You know, when you are the one who “wakes up” first with God’s power – it is lonely. You can see lots of things that no one else in the family can see. And you may feel lonely even at church sometimes, too. There is a particular kind of loneliness that goes along with growing deeper in Christ – so many other people just can’t see or understand yet.

      But I love that you are able to see what God is showing you and I pray for God’s wisdom and continued work and healing. I am completely confident He will complete the good work He has begun in all of us.

      I am so thankful for the pearls you share with us – and that everyone shares together. How amazing that we can be on this journey together.

      Much love!

    3. Hi LMS,

      That was a wonderful expression of the invisibility we have as humans towards others needs. I think you are seeing and exploring some very deep truths. I will pray for you that you will be able to understand these things, grow from them and share them with your family and with us.

      I wonder if perhaps you have answered at least part of your own question in a way? You wrote “I don’t know how to be seen and heard” and you also wrote “only since God woke me up did I start to see those things in others” (their hurt, desire, longing etc). Perhaps it is not possible for your husband to really see and hear you until there is a deep work of God in his heart?

      I suspect you are right, that you have probably made the people around you feel invisible over the course of your life. I know I have done the same, the more time I spend with Christ the more I see this. I see how much my life has been a total commitment to myself at the expense of others. I have a million memories of times where I have made my wife feel invisible, where my actions and words would have given the message “you don’t matter”. But, I did not see this until the Lord opened my eyes either.

      Praying for you today. HH

      1. Humbled Husband. Your comment was very eye opening. The line about answering my own question moved me to the bone:

        ” I wonder if perhaps you have answered at least part of your own question in a way? You wrote “I don’t know how to be seen and heard” and you also wrote “only since God woke me up did I start to see those things in others” (their hurt, desire, longing etc). Perhaps it is not possible for your husband to really see and hear you until there is a deep work of God in his heart?”

        I felt a stirring inside when I read that. Yes, I think you nailed it. I am invisible to my husband, kids and others because their eyes are not open. Maybevits why i feel more visible at church…among strangers…but with open, seeing eyes. And only God can do that. Yes, I feel truth there. Thank you for gently helping me to that point, HH.

        So, I’m back around the circle to praying for God to continue to work on the hearts of my family and helping me to stay on the path. It’s all we can do some days…pray.

        I feel a fog has lifted from this. Climbing out of the hole a bit.

        I pray you are doing well and working your way through some of these things with God also. Sometimes we get a bit stuck, like a really hard math equation we know we have the answer somewhere, but cannot see it yet. That’s where this group seems to really shine. I pray that you are able to experience some peace and joy today in all God has given you. Hugs.

        Thank you HH, and to all with your loving encouragement and support.

        1. Hi LMS and all,

          I was just reading in Ephesians 2 this morning and a few things struck me as very relevant to us and support what we were just discussing.

          Ephesians 2:1-3 says “As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our flesh and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature deserving of wrath.”

          Firstly, we were all once dead and could not see. What we ‘saw’ then was through the eyes of our carnal nature, we saw only what we wanted and what we felt would make us happy. We genuinely only had those thoughts and we followed those desires and thoughts, often to our own destruction. We lived for our own gratification and expected our spouse to fulfill that.

          Secondly, the enemy is at work in all people who are not free in Christ. He is now “at work in those who are disobedient”. Elsewhere scripture teaches that “the god of this world has blinded the minds of those who do not believe”.

          Verses 4-5 go on to say “But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved.”

          It was a real work of God that opened our eyes to His grace and the birth that occurred in our hearts is something that simply could not be seen or understood until we had it. I simply did not understand and could not understand the presence and love of God until I knew and had it. And, like the shepherd who lost one sheep, God pursued me passionately to show me this love. But He had to utterly break me first. Praise Him for this breaking 🙂

          And, it gives me great joy to know that the same shepherd is also pursuing my wife and your husband! When the sheep was lost, it was not the responsibility of the other sheep to bring him back, it was the responsibility of the shepherd! In the same way, it is not your responsibility to save your husband nor is it my responsibility to save my wife. Our job is to enjoy the presence and care of the shepherd and to let His light shine through us 🙂

          I also love verses 13-14 “But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near by the blood of Christ. For he himself is our peace, who has made the two groups one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility”.

          We have been brought near, so near to God. I love that the Jews and Gentiles, two groups of people with markedly different ways of thinking and behaving, were made one in Christ. The hostility that once existed was broken, Paul used the term “destroyed”. This is very powerful to me and shows of the unity that can exist between people who once hated each other.

          This passage really encouraged me this morning. I pray that it can be an encouragement to others here also. Muchest love in Christ, HH

          1. HH, Love this, thank you!!! Especially this:

            “When the sheep was lost, it was not the responsibility of the other sheep to bring him back, it was the responsibility of the shepherd! In the same way, it is not your responsibility to save your husband nor is it my responsibility to save my wife. Our job is to enjoy the presence and care of the shepherd and to let His light shine through us.”

            THANK YOU!!! I really, really love that. So, so so so good and definitely confirming what God has been speaking to me the last week.

            And this:

            “The hostility that once existed was broken, Paul used the term “destroyed”. This is very powerful to me and shows of the unity that can exist between people who once hated each other.”

            Wow!

            OK, I want to share something that I hope comes across the right way. The other morning, I was feeling sad and started to cry – I was thinking of my husband and my thoughts were focused on him and what he was doing or might be doing apart from me and does he even miss me or care and blah, blah, blah…..

            I literally started to cry for maybe two seconds and very quickly, I heard God say “Let ‘that man’ go.” In my spirit, I knew that this meant I was to stop worrying about anything my husband is doing right now. He is a lost man. (First of all, why do I want to know or think about what he is or could be doing? All that does is bring FEAR and despair!!!) Secondly, I felt like God was saying if I ever get my husband back, he will be a different man than he is now – the old man will be gone, and a new creation life in Christ will be the reality. I think God has most definitely told me that if this marriage is to be restored, the only way will be if he is born again. So, I do need to, in a very real sense, let this man go that I have been married to for so long. Which is sad, yes. But, can I just say, as soon as I heard God say that to me, I immediately stopped crying and just said “Well, ok, then!” It was kind of strange to be so despondent one second and then to have God speak to me words that helped me (at least for now!) move forward to letting go emotionally a little bit more (which is what I need and what God is calling me to).

            Please know that this doesn’t mean that I think God is calling me not to care about my husband at all. Not at all. It really relates to me worrying about his actions and thoughts and character and motives and all of that. Things I don’t know fully nor can I know. God is working more compassion for my husband so the “letting go” isn’t coming from bitterness or anger.

            HH, thanks again for what you shared.

            LMS, I’m glad that you feel you are coming out of a hole. I pray renewed joy and hope for you as you cooperate with God to show the “invisible” that they do matter and are loved and valued.

            1. CiC, so glad that spoke to you, it impacted me greatly this morning and I knew in my heart I had to share it here 🙂 God is GOOD!!!

              Regarding what you shared about your husband and what God was speaking to you, yes, I get it completely! I’ve experienced the same thing many, many times over the last few months. The tears, the strong sense of God speaking specific scripture into my heart along the same lines 🙂 And yes, it definitely doesn’t mean you don’t care about your husband, probably you care even more! But you care enough to want it to be ‘real’ and for him to have true joy.

              Along those lines, I have put up some definite and strong boundaries last week based on exactly the same thinking….I maintain that my door is always open for reconciliation but I realised afresh last week that any pursual of a continuation of a relationship under current circumstances is actually hindering God’s work, and that any reconciliation is actually a bad idea until a complete heart change has occurred. So I am communicating on a bare minumum level.

              I am still not entirely sure whether DW is a believer or not, she maintains she is and I hope that to be the case for her sake. But either way she is clearly making choices that are indicative of an angry and rebellious heart, and any reconciliation under these circumstances will be very temporary and destructive.

              Loving how the Lord is strengthening you….He has got your back CiC!! Stay in the boat 🙂

              In Him, HH

            2. Content…I know exactly how you feel. At one point, I, too was crying about how much I don’t know my husband and grieving my marriage. I was angry about it. As I was dusting and cleaning (to try to distract me ftom my pity party), I came across our wedding picture. I picked it up and was mourning my husband. I heard God say ” You will never have this marriage again…stop wanting it back…it wasn’t good anyway. If this marriage is to last, it will be a different kind of marriage all together and you will take a new picture of a new couple who has a new marriage that glorifies me.” I slam dunked the picture, frame and all into the garbage. Husband saw it, but I explained to him that I don’t want that old marriage back. I want a new one. I think it shocked him.

              I think this is the mindset of truly putting our deepest idols onto the altar to give to God. It is a good release. God asks this from us, but He will give us back something so, so much better.

              It will change your focus, your direction and thoughts. I think you are growing deeper into God. I’m so full of joy for this for you.

              I have been blessed deeply by Humbled Husbands response to my post. I’m glad it helped you too. Thank you for your prayers.

              Relationships are messy. But God specializes in messy lives.

              He gives grace to us and gives us what we do not deserve, and mercy to us for things we do deserve.

              Blessings and hugs.

              1. LMSdaily115,

                I love that – its will have to be a different kind of marriage. Stop wanting the old marriage back. YES! I pray with you that God will empower you both to create a brand new, godly marriage for His glory!

                I always love hearing what God is showing you, dear sister. Thank you so much for sharing with us!

          2. HH,

            I’m somewhat relieved that you understood what I was saying. I could see how others would think there’s no way God could be telling me that but God has used it to bring a lot of peace to me. Your comment above and a couple other things God sent my way all within the space of a couple of days have really encouraged me and I know God is specifically leading me.

            I wanted to share this sermon link which was one of those things. I recommend this to all those struggling to make sense of what seems like a hopeless situation. The sermon is based off Jeremiah 29:11 and is very, very encouraging and, I believe, will strengthen those whose faith is a little weak right now.

            http://www.oneplace.com/ministries/the-alternative/

            I think you will see that your healing and peace will be even greater as you disengage a little more from your wife while she is acting in such ways. It might be hard for you to stick to those boundaries if she keeps trying to get you to back down on them in various ways, but I know God will continue to lead you one step at a time.

            I’ve been praying for your children and you for wisdom. I had to get a little firm with my middle daughter a couple of weeks ago and we are very fresh into this separation thing. It was kind of difficult because I knew that it might drive her away from me and more to my husband, but I knew I couldn’t let the circumstances we are in prevent me from speaking difficult truth in her life, even now. I tried to affirm that I know she is hurting from all that’s going on and extended another invitation for her to frankly discuss anything she wants with me, but that I would not tolerate disrespect and her refusal to let me be her mother and to guide her. And gave her some very specific consequences which got her attention. At first, she was not happy, but she responded in good ways very quickly afterwards. Apologized for her part and began to show greater respect.

            Discipline and training is hard! But, even if it drives my child away from me for a season, I know I am responsible to God about it.

            Your children are very young. I love the advice I got from some good friends years ago. They said that consequences do not need to be harsh to get a child’s attention. (in other words, don’t default to “you lose all desserts for a month” when a day or two might be enough to get your child’s attention without causing rebellion). Also, when possible, keeping things light by playing “games” to retrain behavior. For instance, if you’re having trouble getting your child to come to dinner when you call them, you could say “Hey, I noticed that you’re not really responding when I call you. Let’s try that again a few more times right in a row and see how quickly you can come with a good attitude.” Send them back to the room, re-call them and then when they come, praise them. Do it a few times and keep it light and cheerful. You can do these things when they’re young but not so much later on, so take advantage now!

            I was really too harsh many times with my children when they were young – got frustrated way too quickly and expected perfect obedience too often. I wish I had taken the time (which is hard many times when we just want them to obey like right then!) to do this like that.

            Also, step in and show your children how to “re-do” conflicts with each other as situations arise. (I’m sure you’re doing a lot of this already!)

            It’s a blessing to know you, HH.

            As Tony Evans says in that sermon link above… “God is up to sonething great!”

            1. Hi CiC,

              Thank you so much for that link! I will listen to it later today 🙂 Yesterday at church I had three separate people come up to me and say that I am in a ‘rebuilding’ stage of life. That all things have been broken down and now it is time to rebuild on Christ.

              And thank you for the parenting advice, I have a lot to learn as a dad and it is only made harder doing it alone. I love the keep it light advice….I often say to my kids when it is time to get to the table for dinner something like “I’ll race you there” and turn the focus onto that and they end up coming to the table straight away….mind you then they sometimes argue about who won the race!!

              Thank you for praying for me, I do need wisdom. Sometimes I feel I am too harsh, then sometimes I feel I am too soft also! It is a tricky balance.

              I had a long, hard conversation with DW on the weekend. I have been cleaning out the house ready to sell and I found some things under the bed that made me sit back and think. We ended up talking right back to the start of our relationship and what went wrong with it and why, we talked about parenting and prayed together for the kids, she talked about her confusion over what she believes and what is from God and what is not. It was a pretty difficult conversation but also good to be so honest. It hasn’t changed anything, we are still divorcing at her wish.

              There are as many people telling her that she did the right thing to leave me as I have telling me that I am better off without her! Both of us broke down a fair bit, in particular I was talking about the memories I have of how many opportunities I had to cherish her and instead wounded her heart and I just lost it bawling for her pain. Whilst I need to keep these boundaries up for my own hearts sake, I genuinely hurt for what she has felt through me so much more than for what I have felt through her.

              I am a bit somber today actually. Lot to think through. I am choosing to trust God about it. HH

              1. HH,
                I am praying for God’s wisdom for you too. It requires the power of the Holy Spirit for us to get that balance right – in parenting and in everything else. It seems the whole Christian walk is about a very delicate balance.

                Very thankful you had that discussion with your wife. It sounds like it may have been productive. Praying for God’s healing, direction, and power to work in both of you for His glory.

            2. Been thinking on that comment a bit more today CiC. The more I think on it the more I like the idea of suggesting see how quickly you can come with a good attitude. Gonna try that! Thanks!! HH

          3. LMS, I remember you sharing that incident, I think. That’s another confirmation to me that that was God’s voice I heard. I know our old marriage has died. There’s no way to get that marriage back. But, sometimes, I still want to go back to Egypt.

            I look at pictures of me and my husband and I just see hollowness in his eyes. No joy. No life. He smiles, but never a real joy-filled smile. It is so hard to see someone you love so much so empty and to feel powerless to do anything about it. I do believe God has said he’ll save him. But, I’m struggling with the idea that that might be long after we are out of each other’s lives.

            How are you doing? I think you’d really like that sermon I linked to.

            I’m struggling this morning. I don’t know how to stay in the surrender mode. When I’m there, it’s peaceful. When I start thinking of the future, what will happen in my marriage, who really is my husband and what is lurking in the darkness (I can never shake the feeling there are things being hidden), I fall apart quickly.

            Just re-reading that last paragraph about staying in surrender mode. Makes me think of the chapter I read in one of Andrew Murray’s books (not Absolute Surrender). That when we have committed something to the Lord, we can entrust him to keep that commitment and surrender. So even if it feels like we are not doing a very good job with it, that actually we never could anyway…its all about trusting God to bring me back to that place and believing that He will hold that which I’ve committed unto Him against that day.

            I love you guys so much. I am really thankful that y’all understand and we can each share our thoughts and hearts and pray for each other and watch God unfolds His plan in each others’ lives.

            Waiting hasn’t gotten sweet for me yet, but I’m looking forward to that phase.

            God, hold us and comfort us. You are enough no matter what. Give us joy in You today.

            1. CiC, I know what you mean about focusing on the “what ifs” and then you find yourself falling apart.

              With my husband living in a different state for work right now until we can move up there, things are really hard. He sent me a video of himself on his couch the other day, just telling me he missed me…but what stuck out at me was the fact that he didn’t have his wedding ring on. And the entire message of his video was lost on me. All I could focus on was the fact that my husband is in a new city, alone, living by himself, attending church functions, meeting new people, and now he’s not wearing his wedding ring. I do trust him, but the fact that he knows how important that is to me because of what it symbolizes, and it seems like it’s not at all a big deal to him, just hurts my heart.

              I fell asleep crying that night. 🙁 He’s gotten upset with me for bringing it up before because it makes him feel like I don’t trust him, so I just kept praying that God would help me to keep my mouth shut.

              As I drove into work the next morning, I put on worship music and just focused on the words I was singing, and focused on praising God. Soon, my thoughts were re-centered and when I spoke to my husband again, I was able to be joyful and kind and not mention the ring at all.

              I think this is why Paul commands us in Philippians to think about things that are “true, praiseworthy, noble, pure, lovely…” We aren’t to think about the things that are not praiseworthy. We pray about them, let God deal with them, and then turn to focus our thoughts on what IS praiseworthy – which is always Christ! If we can’t find anything praiseworthy about our husbands to dwell on, then we dwell on Christ alone.

              I don’t know if this will help you at all, but the experience helped me and I hope it might bless you.

            2. Content in Christ. I’m doing okay. I find that after a time at peace, I will start to slip off the path. I feel that unrest, that self-sorrow. I call it the pity party pit. When I get in there, I think of all the things that shoulda woulda coulda and I start to feel sorry for my loss, my unfulfilled expectations, my dreams that seem broken etc…. I find myself getting a taste of anger, bitterness, dissappointment and fear. I’m starting to get better at recognizing this and going to God quicker. This last time was about feeling invisible and I was surprised how quickly I was able to get back on the path. HH’s article was very helpful in doing that, but I know God guided me to the blog to ask for sone help….and there, He sent divine help through my friends here.

              I find that taking the focus off myself and focusing on helping others is a tremendous boost. Not only does it help you do God’s will, but you can be a fullfilled prayer to someone, and rest in His peace while He works in other ways. God has taken you to this place. You have been trained, educated and practiced to go to Him. Have a relationship and follow Him. Now, God needs to trust that you will stay there while He works on your husband, setting up things for the future. He comes back and “tweaks” things when you start to wander off the path, but you can handle that now.

              Each day is a chance to do your best. Take care of your kids, yourself and love the man (your husband) not the lifestyle. Pray for him. Keep trying to see where maybe his pain and bad thinking are from. It may help with forgiveness and compassion. You may need to love him from afar right now.

              God has you here for a reason and He didn’t bring you all this way to leave it here. It is just a chapter in the book. Who knows where the adventure will go at the next page turn! But with God, we always know it is for our good.

              Many blessings and hugs. It’s a new day at the darkest point of night.

              1. LMSDaily115, those words were beautiful and so encouraging! Just as you were talking about helping others I thought of how God is using you too to help others and using your situation to meet the needs of others just by your sharing.

                I love how you said how this is just a chapter in the book and God truly is always ahead of us preparing the way. Just a short time ago I never could have thought of it that way myself but I find so much peace now in knowing that and He reassures me of that just in the inspiration I get from hearing from others who are also walking on the same road!

                I have been reading your comments but very busy so haven’t had much time to respond lately. I really wanted to comment on your sharing about how you didn’t want your “old” marriage anymore. I have to share that God has impressed those same feelings in my heart and I can really relate to where you are coming from. I really feel in my own heart like God has given my husband and I a “new” beginning. And it isn’t a painless or comfortable all butterflies and roses journey, but I really feel our “old” marriage is gone. Of course some old things from the past are still things we stumble over from time to time, but there seems to be a new way of doing things that makes it feel “new”. And like you, my husband also doesn’t have a close relationship with God right now. Yet I feel that doesn’t matter because I do, and that is all what is in my control. I love your statement “love the man, not the lifestyle” that is how the Lord is leading me forward and it has made an immeasurable difference in my life, our lives, and our marriage. We still have our trials, we still have our faults, we still have our frustrations, but that is only small amongst the blessings that now I have open eyes to see. All that matters to me is to do as God asks, and love my husband for the man that he is. I hope some day that I will get to see in My husband a man who truly loves and has a close relationship with the Lord, but for now I love my husband for exactly who he is right now and nothing else.

                Thanks again for sharing your story it is a blessing to me and I am sure to do many others.

              2. Love this, LMSDaily115!

                Yes, as soon as we realize there are negative, resentful, bitter thoughts, or fear – it is definitely time to take that all before God and to allow Him to shine His Light and truth on it and to tear out anything that is of the flesh. Then we can resist the enemy and yield to God completely again and He will restore our souls.

          4. HH,

            I forgot to respond to your comment.

            That sounds like it was a good conversation with your wife (although painful). And that y’all prayed together! It’s interesting to keep hearing these stories from you.

            I have to ask…do those conversations kind of throw you off for a few days (because you start having hope that maybe it will be a catalyst for restoration?) Or, are you really at a place where you can have that kind of interaction and walk away knowing that plans are still proceeding and it’s OK?

            I know you know this, too, and I don’t want to give false hope (and can understand why you are quick to say divorce is inevitable), but God can change your wife’s heart. Even if it’s the minute before she’s supposed to sign papers.

            I think it’s a tricky place to be in these kind of situations. We feel like God is asking us to surrender our marriage to Him, but of course, we still have hope for a restored marriage and family.

            I’ve mentioned this resource before here, but I am really enjoying the book Broken Heart on Hold by Linda Rooks. I read a chapter a day and each chapter is just so good. So encouraging and comforting. She went through a three year separation with her husband and their marriage was restored.

            The book would be good for anyone in a waiting pattern in their marriage, not just physically separated.

            I’m glad you were able and have had lots of opportunity to express your sorrow over the hurt you caused your wife. How does she respond to that or if that’s too personal, I understand.

            Have you been able to share with your wife any of the new things you’ve learned spiritually? Who you are in Christ (our righteousness in Him) , your assurance of His love for His children, etc? Just curious.

            Oh, Father. We lift up our husbands and wives to you today who don’t know you. They are lost. Living in darkness and bound by the enemy. God, grant them the gift of repentance as You did for us. Don’t ever let us forget we would be there all, too, if not for your grace and mercy in our lives. Give us wisdom as we interact with them. You protect our hearts, Father, and when we are in a position to show your love and mercy, help us to do that but without compromising on truth and your standards. We trust that You put us each with the spouse you did for good reasons. What Satan is meaning for evil, You are meaning for good.

            Protect our spouses from total destruction. But bring them to the end of themselves so they can see their need for you. Bring hidden things into the light. Put people all around them, wherever they go, that point them to you. Chase them down with your powerful love that overwhelms them and changes them forever. Thank you that you have done that for each of us.

            In Jesus’ name.

            1. Hi CiC,

              I don’t think I have heard you mention that book! I will buy it now, it sounds like a good read.

              I don’t mind answering your questions. Yes, this conversation actually did throw me out for the next two days, but not for the reason you asked. I have moved way past the point of having my hopes raised by every little (or big) event that may be a catalyst for reconciliation, I am settled down for a ‘marathon’ not a sprint and can walk away from it knowing that God’s plans are still happening.

              But, it threw me out because it was painful to hear about some of the characteristics of myself that have contributed to our relationship failure, and also contributed to relationship problems with other friends. It is interesting that this conversation came upon the tail of the recent discussion about being invisible because one of the things she said was that I have always had strong opinions and shared them in a way that made her feel voiceless, even on small, unimportant matters.

              The conversation with her prompted me to catch up with another friend last night and talk to him about our friendship and he said “If I could sum up how our conversations used to make me feel it in one word it would be ‘little'”…….wow……..talk about confirming what she said. So it threw me to hear how I have made people feel, but it also encouraged me that she and my friend now feel free to tell me that. My friend said that over the last year I don’t make him feel little anymore. That is good and I am glad the Lord is breaking me of that.

              I will answer two of your questions together. How does she respond to my sorrow over the hurt I caused her and have I had a chance to share what I have learned of who I am in Christ etc? She responded by saying that she forgives me and is very happy that I no longer have fear and insecurity but that she has been through far too much to ever feel any love for me again or be willing to pursue any sort of relationship other than friendship. She then talked openly about her plans for boyfriends and another husband and asks me how I will treat them.

              Thank you for your prayer CiC 🙂 HH

              1. HH, wow. It is really hard to hear how awful and sinful we have been. I know that when I sat and thought about how “invisible” and little I must have made my husband, mom, friends feel, I feel like slime. Yup. I did that. Not my best moments. BUT God’s Mercy has saved me from the utter rejection I deserved. I think we need to see that we, too, can become monsters. The ugliness, the scary, rotten stuff lives in each and every one of us. Until we see that and come face to face with it, we tend to deny that it lives on us. It’s in “other” people, but we reject the repulsive I’ve idea that we have inherited the monster ourselves. So, every day, we learn how to quell and tame that monster.

                God gives us the grace, the power, the wisdom.

                I’m happy to hear that your DW has forgiven you. It is very scary to think about ever going back into relationship with the very person who has caused so much pain in life, yet who has been trusted at the deepest levels. I think that is where my h is right now. I don’t think he trusts he could try again. But I see him “dipping his toe in the water” so to speak. I, too, am struggling with this, but I wasn’t as angry and resentful as he was. I don’t know how to talk to my h. I don’t feel like he really wants to hear from me, get to know me or try to understand who I am ad a person. He is still in the “what about me” phase…a very selfish, short sighted and hurtful place to be. I just pray in time his vision focus can move outwards and see the other people in the world.

                I would suspect that the future for your wife will not really be what she thinks it will be. I can forsee a wonderful excitement establishing new relationships, but the fact she hasn’t done her own “mirror work” inside herself may end up coming back to haunt her again. I would suspect she may end up in the same pickle with another relationship. Or, she may wake up, but find YOU have moved on, or she may feel too guilty to try to “come back home” to repair the relationship. God CAN perform mirackes, like said before, right up until the last minute, but even if you two don’t remain married, the best situation could be to still have a good relationship with her. Albeit more as friends, coparents or people you care about, but not as intimate anymore. That’s ok. My own parents had a nasty divorce, but still care about each other. At one point, they even dated again, 20 years later to see if there was any spark left. They both realized that they were too different and neither had learned to appreciate each other’s gifts. They were still looking at what they each could get out of the relationship. But they are friends. They help each other when they can. I guess sometimes it is the best we can hope for.

                It definitely helps the kids to see parents be able to be cordial and pleasant with each other. To put differences aside.

                I pray that your wife still finds the love of God.

              2. Hi LMS,

                What you have written has stirred up a whole flood of emotions in me!! Oh so many! I don’t know where what I am going to write now is going to go but I am going to roll with it and see!!

                What stirred my emotions is that you said that even if we don’t remain married we could still have a good friendship. As friends, coparents or people who still care about each other. It stirs up emotions because that is EXACTLY what she says she wants to do but I can not do that. And that whole ‘spark’ thing is what she says is missing. In fact, she claims it was never there.

                There is nothing nasty in our divorce in the sense that neither of us are greedy, she actually hurts for me that I am going to lose the house I started building when I was 18, we text each other pictures of what we are doing with the kids and we have even attended school events together. She trusts me to do the right thing by her with our assets and I also know she will too. Honestly, in a lot of ways I would rather just give her the house and walk away with nothing material.

                But…..I…..can…..not…..have a platonic friendship with her. I simply cannot do it. Not just because I believe so strongly in the family unit, that marriage is for life and that I see my kids pain at our separation and believe that they need two parents who are in love and love them. But because when I see her MY heart leaps, MY heart smiles, MY heart yearns for intimacy with her. What I am saying is that the spark is strong in me! To be honest, that spark in me had nearly died out 3 years ago, but as I draw closer to Christ it burns with an intensity now that is so strong.

                If I have to do friendship with her for the sake of the kids then I will, but it will be the most difficult trial I have ever endured. Dropping off the kids to her and another man would be…….I can not put words on that actually.

                Wow…….that is intense. HH

              3. HH. I totally get where you are coming from. It really sucks to totally be in love with someone who doesn’t feel the same way back. I keep hope out there that my husband may find that “spark” again. But from what I have learned and read, it won’t happen unless that other person learns how to love with an agape type of love, learn to cherish, and protect. I think we can pray that one day she has that breakthrough with God, but until then, we are to try to live peaceably with one another. It could be worse, even though we want so much more. It’s between her and God at this point. You have done, and continue to do what God asks.

                I’m hoping I don lose whatever “spark” I have left for my husband as I try to hold out hope for him myself.

              4. LMS, I am glad that you ‘get’ what I mean. I have a day off work today due to weather so I am gonna spend a good portion of it in prayer for us all. Take care my good friend. HH

              5. Lol. We have a day off of weather too. 12 inches of snow…first of the year, but I’ll bet you don’t have that problem today! I pray you find the wisdom, discernment and peace God is trying to bring to you today. Keep stepping along your journey, my brother.

          5. VW – (I’ll just go ahead and shorten your name since that’s what we do around here… Not sure if HH started that or someone else!) –

            Thank you. Yes, that helps. Definitely what I try to do, but your comment was much needed this morning and a blessing.

            I’m sorry for your struggle, too. I know we commented a little on another thread. I’m sorry about your husband’s ring. I get it. My husband was wearing and not wearing his at random times over the past couple of years. He said it was hurting his finger. I wanted to believe him. But there were other things that were “off” in our marriage so it always was very hard for me.

            He hasn’t worn it since our separation and told my mom that he lost it in a hotel room. Only God knows.

            Praying for you and your husband this morning.

            1. CiC, thank you very much for your prayers! I will be praying for you as well.

              It’s very hard when there are things that are “off”, and we aren’t sure if we should “trust our gut” like the world tells us, or ignore our gut because scripture says that “the heart is deceitful above all things.” Our gut can also be persuaded by our own thoughts, and not necessarily facts…it’s just hard to know what to trust sometimes. But we can always trust in Christ, in His love, and in His judgment. That is a relief!

          6. My friends….

            I think this has been my worst day yet. I’m overwhelmed with sadness. But, got a little quickening in my spirit tonight reading some more testimonies. Remembering again that whatever we have to lose for Jesus’ sake is worth it.

            LMS, thank you for your encouraging words.

            I am really struggling with: What is God going to do in all of this? Will our marriage end or be reconciled? Will this trial and pain last forever? I’m struggling with the idea of being single the rest of my life. You name it, I’m struggling with it today, I think!

            It is so hard to not be pursued by my husband. But, I can see this has been the reality from before we were married. I remembered an incident that happened where I pursued him when he should have been pursuing me and apologizing for something extremely significant. But, I chased him down, dragged him out of the situation. I was angry at him, but quickly accepted his excuses and put it behind me. I no longer chase him down for apologies anymore or try to get him to see what he did. I’ve done it for 24 years. It’s not my job and never was. But, wow, this is painful. I think he will just let me go – just chalk it up to “Well, it was good while it lasted, but she’s just not worth the pain and effort to make this work.”

            HH, wow, you are a strong man to be able to listen to words like that from your wife. I’m so sorry. I find it interesting that your “spark” of love is increasing more and more for her.

            I find myself praying today that if God knows that our marriage is not going to be restored, to end it quickly. Have my husband file for divorce, make it clear to me, something. It’s been 4 years of pain already – and this is even worse – and I’m just ready to move on one way or another.

            Sorry for my bluntness, hopelessness, lack of faith. Bear with me and thank you all for your love and prayers. I can’t tell you how precious you all are to me. Y’all were a bright spot in my sad day today. I’m really, really thankful for this place.

            1. CiC. Ok. Here is what wisdom I can hopefully share with you when I have found myself in the same places mentally as you find yourself now:

              1) These feelings won’t last forever..feelings are fickle, and satan in trying to worm his way into your thoughts…mainly with fear. This is a vompliment, it means you are on a path he doesn’t like and he is trying to derail you.

              2) FEAR: The main tool used to kill steal and destroy. Your uncertainty of what the future will hold is crippling you. This is where you can put into action what you have learned about giving it over to God. I recommend praying to God, especially in the morning for Him to give your your portion of courage, patience, wisdom, discretion and peace that you will need just for the day. Tomortow, He will give you what you need then…you only need today’s worth for today. Thank Him that He is walking with you and guiding you and that you can trust that whatever His will is, you will follow. This helps you stop trying to guess the future or trying to take control, or run ahead of God.

              3) When you stop and think about it, you are going through some scary stuff, for sure, but tomorrow will come anyway, and there IS life after this trial. It may be different than how you imagined it would be, but it will be life. This is your chance to live it to the fullest. The trick is to focus on the things to be thankful for. Kids, health, courage to stop living in a way that does not glorify God, that you have a roof over your head etc. Remember, there are surely others who have things much worse. He did not beat you, put you in the poor house or other such things. Remember, at one point I was grateful we were too broke for my h to file for a divorce!

              4) Go out and be a blessing to others. Volunteer, reach out to a friend and see how you can help. Pour your energy into loving on your kids and helping them feel secure, loved, listened to and not swept away from your waves of emotion and chaos. Spend time with them answering questions, being real, but not burdening them with your fears. Be strong for them too. They are looking to you for how to deal with life when they experience it too.

              5) Work on your own pile of stuff in your own life. Let your husband wander around in life a bit. Maybe he will wake up, maybe he won’t, but God promises that you haven’t seen your best days yet. Let God work on your husband. You don’t need the distraction of other men right now. Stay loyal to God right now. Read, talk to a therapist, journal, but get these feelings out. Blogging??? Sure! Sometimes just admitting your sadness or writing it down clears the fog a bit. It’s ok to go to our Father and ask Him to just hold you and let you rest in His arms. Shut the mind off and stop over thinking it all.

              6) Look to each day as a new adventure to see what God will teach you today. Look for the wonderful surprises and the lessons in something you didn’t quite understand or like. Learn from each day. There is joy in growing and maturing in God.

              7) Realize that each and every person has their sins, No one is perfect, and neither are you. But learn to love each person for who they are, not what they do or don’t do. Love the person, hate the lifestyle, if you have to, but focus on the goid stuff, not what is lacking.

              8) Take this time to do stuff for YOU. A bubble bath, a movie, go out with friends, make your favorite meal, blast your favorite music, join that yoga class you wanted to…live life…it passes too quickly and you don’t want to waste it lamenting on and on over one person who didn’t turn out like you thought they would. There is soooo much more in life to experience. You need to discover who YOU are as Content in Christ. Not just a wife, a mom, a daughter, an employee. Discover your talents and contributions to God’s Kingdom in this world.

              9) Above all, this takes time to completely give your marriage, fears and control over to God. But when you do, a huge sense of peace and calm and “knowing” that things will be okay no matter what will come over you. Some days will be good, some, like today will be bad. It truly is a rollercoaster, but it levels off somewhat in time. Remember, if you are sick, hungry, tired, in pain or hormonal, your feelings will swing more wildly.( I really have a hard time the week before “shark week” I cant even stand myself…but when I see it, I wait a few days and its better, but I also have some deep revelations during that time too.) If you can learn to recognize this, you can see it for the “mask” that it is. Don’t be a slave to your feelings. Learn how to reel them in and peel them down to what they are. “Reel and Peel”…my new self command, lol. There really is only a few big ones. Fear, greif, anger (which usually is fear…unless it is godly anger), discouragement, joy, peace, compassion…I’m sure I’m missing a few, but whiddling them down to a core emotion can help.

              I hope this helps. I am suspecting that you may be: grieving the loss of the marriage you once knew. Afraid you may not have meant as much to your husband as he did to you, Angry that his sin has caused this pain in your life and the kids’ life, discouraged at the unknown length of time it may take to feel normal again or feel like things are fixed, Joyful that you have God in your life, peaceful at the love our Father gives us, compassion for the hurting people who are in the same boat as you. Am I right? Guess what, it’s ok to have those feelings. Now, what will you do with them and how will they dictate your journey?

              It’s drawing to a close to this day. I would say out loud sonetimes… “Lord, it feels like Friday today, but I thank you that Sunday is coming”. It keeps hope of His blessings in front if you.

              Sleep well, my dear sister and know that you are loved, cherished and not alone. Until later. Hugs and prayers going out for you tonight.

            2. Hi CiC,

              I went to respond earlier today but the words were not there. Now I know why, God wanted to speak to both you and I through LMS response. Thank you LMS.

              CiC, it is not fun hearing those words from DW! I too have wondered why my spark is increasing while hers is non-existent. I think LMS is right (again) when she says that agape love is what feeds that spark, and without it the spark dies.

              Love in Christ, HH

            3. CIC,

              My dear sister! I am sending you the biggest hug!

              Here is my take – I pray it might be a blessing (and I really love what LMSdaily115 shared, too!):

              It is SO human to want to know the outcome. NOW. It can seem like knowing the end result is the most important thing. But – what I believe God has been showing me over the past 8 years now – is that God puts us in situations where we can’t know the outcome and there are no assurances of everything turning out a specific way. I tend to want to rush and push to just get the whole uncomfortable waiting thing over with so I can just KNOW the final answer.

              But God seems to not be as concerned about that as He is about us being willing to rest in His peace in the midst of the uncertainty and the not knowing. I believe He puts His children in positions where we can’t know the outcome and that is possibly the most important part of what we are learning. We learn to trust HIM, not the outcome. Not the timing. Not rushing to just get any old answer because we don’t want to wait anymore. His way takes a LONG time many times. It is painful slow sometimes. But God’s timing and His way is right and good – perfect every time.
              It is hard to realize that the man you married never was who you wanted him to be and doesn’t know how to give you anything you really want him to give to you.

              I know your situation is different from mine in a lot of ways. There are major sin issues going on there – it sounds like. Thankfully – he is not beyond the reach of Jesus!

              But I can relate to that general struggle. I was terrified that Greg would always just ignore me and be completely unplugged for the rest of my life no matter what I did. And he stayed pretty unplugged for years after I began this journey. And even now – he is not unplugged – but his personality is just very different from mine. He doesn’t emote like I do. He doesn’t connect verbally like I do. He is an introvert and needs space and time to himself. He isn’t my twin sister. He isn’t a woman. He doesn’t have a Hollywood script writer to tell him just the things I would love to hear. I had to let go of some of my expectations because those things are just not who he is. Now we do connect – much more than ever before. But it is different from my old expectations. I don’t have the marriage I expected those first 14 years. I have a different marriage – but it is also much healthier and better.

              Your situation, again, I realize is very different. But – I think it is important to realize where people are and who they are and to accept that they are where they are right now. Right now, it sounds like he doesn’t have the ability to love anyone the way you would love for him to love you. Even if your expectations are reasonable in marriage. It sounds to me like he is extremely spiritually and emotionally wounded. Maybe he doesn’t even know how to make things work even if he wanted to?

              I’m glad you are realizing what things are your responsibilities and what are his. I know it is VERY hard not knowing what the future will hold right now. Of course, none of us ever really can know that. I’m glad you are working on healing in Christ for yourself and that you are able to step back more during this time to get a better perspective. I pray for God’s wisdom, vision, power, discernment, leading, and provision for you, my sister. I pray that you will recognize the voice of the enemy and resist him so that he will flee as you fully yield yourself to God and His will – even when it is not clear what that will be. I pray that you might learn to rest in God’s love, peace, security, provision, protection, and refuge even in this time of not knowing and uncertainty. And I pray for God to give you clarity – so that you know exactly what He wants you to do each step of the way. I pray for His power for you to do all that He calls you to do – that He might be greatly glorified in your life, my precious sister!

              If you are interested, you are welcome to search my home page for (although you may have read these already):

              – insecurity
              – security
              – loneliness
              – lonely
              – pursue my husband

              This life is short. Even if you live to be 94. It is very short. We have been having a discussion lately on my other blog. Some of the singles say they can’t find a godly Christian to marry, so “they have no choice” but to marry an unbeliever. But we do have a choice! We always have the ability to obey God if we are in Christ. If that means not marrying at all because there is no godly option – then let’s walk in obedience to Christ! If that means being single for the rest of my life – is that something I am willing to do for God if He calls me to it? If He does, I know He will empower me to handle it by His Spirit. Not to say that these things would be easy. In our own power, they would be impossible. But how I pray we will each seek God’s will far above our own. I know you will. I’m so glad you are reaching out for help, prayers, and support.

              Are there some fears and dreams you would like to maybe hash through here together? Some things that need to be laid down, perhaps?

              Lord,
              We lift up CIC to You tonight. Help her to get alone with You. Help her to write down her fears and dreams and even any idols (if there are any) and every motive that she has right now. Use this time to purify, refine, and prune her in her faith. Strengthen and equip her to be ready for the assignments You have for her and to be ready to receive all of the spiritual treasures You have for her. Help her to be still before You and to know that You are God. Help her to be willing to release her grip on every fear and desire she has but her healthy fear and reverence of You and her fervent desire for You. Help her let go of everything else and give You the freedom to remove or add anything You want to to her life for Your glory. Help her to desire You wholeheartedly and to face this fiery trial without fear, riding at the front of the boat in wonder and excitement to see what You will do next. Accomplish Your every purpose in this time. Let CIC be able to truly be content in You no matter what else may happen.

              We also pray that You will go after her husband by the power of Your Spirit in ways we can’t begin to fathom to claim him for the Kingdom of Christ. Not through CIC’s wisdom or strength, but by Your Spirit’s power alone. Overcome the gates of hell and all of Satan’s plans to destroy this man, this lost son for whom Christ died. Rescue him and bring him safely into the fold, Lord. You alone are our LORD! You alone are worthy of all of our trust, faith, obedience, sacrifice, and hope. Empower us to be faithful and obedient to You no matter what the cost may be to ourselves at the time. Thank You that You will reward us in heaven for following You and that You will give us the power we need to do this in Christ.
              In the Name and power of Christ,
              Amen!

              1. All,
                Here is my grandmother (Mom mom’s) favorite hymn that I just learned Friday to sing to her on her last day with us in this world. It is so beautiful. May it be a great encouragement to some of you, as well…


                And here is a song my twin sister shared with me this week that brought great strength, faith, and encouragement to me:



              2. Sone other hymns I sang to here that really encouraged me as I sang each verse and that may encourage you were:

                It Is Well with My Soul
                What a Friend We Have in Jesus
                Sweet Hour of Prayer
                Amazing Grace
                10,000 Reasons

                Much love!

          7. VW,

            Yes, we can always trust Christ!!!! I am so thankful that I have that solid ground. I can’t imagine going through this life without being able to come back and relate all things to Christ.

            You talked about “gut” feelings. You know, VW, this is a topic that I’ve been forced to think a lot about the last few months. I, for most of my marriage, tried to ignore my gut feelings. I also let my husband convince me of his version of truth even after I had seen things with my own eyes or heard them with my own ears. I don’t know what it is in my personality that let someone do this to me. It’s embarrassing to even write, but what I’ve come to know and truly believe that what God has led me to is that, in fact, this did happen in my marriage.

            It was to the point where in the last six months, my husband lied to me about something so meaningless – seriously, it was just the dumbest thing and I know I never would have batted an eye if he had told the truth about it. (So, I’ve had to reject the idea that it was my reactions to his honesty that made my husband lie to me….I believe very strongly that God has revealed to me that this isn’t the case in my marriage). The crazy thing about this lie is that I didn’t find out he lied about it until a little bit later. We were at a birthday party and his brother was there who said something about this particular incident that contradicted completely what my husband had said. My heart started racing and also at the same time, a darkness came over my husband – a look on his face of contempt that I had seen before when he was trying to defend a lie to me. BUT, but, but….we were out of town together, trying to reconnect after a difficult few months. I kept thinking, “Well, maybe there is a 1% chance that I’m wrong. I don’t want to bring this up and ruin our time together.” The next morning, in the hotel, I woke up thinking about that incident. I was in turmoil because my spirit knew my husband had lied to me (yet again), but I didn’t want to accept it. I was rationalizing it all away, telling myself that it was just the enemy trying to divide us (which, yes, that’s true, but it wasn’t a misunderstanding between us….it was a blatant lie!). I ended up giving it to God, still with the belief that there was a 1% chance I was wrong and so therefore, I didn’t want to bring it up (plus, I knew the fallout that would occur if I brought it up to my husband, no matter how respectfully….he would’ve told me that somehow I remembered wrong or that he didn’t say this particular thing or whatever and he would have been very mad at me).

            I say all that to say this. It is very important for us to be able to look at the reality of our situations and not deny facts. Denying facts does not make issues go away. Rationalizing truth away does not fix things. And, we need to trust what our eyes see and our ears hear. (My counselor told me that this is something they counsel people in my kinds of situations about….they literally have to counsel them to a place where the person starts trusting what they’ve seen and heard and that THOSE things are reality and facts, not the things that someone with a major lying problem will try to tell you).

            The gut feeling thing is different in some ways, yes…..but I’m also really seeing that it is the way God has made us and we need to not discount it totally. If we have “gut” feelings that alert us to danger, it is ALWAYS best to not ignore those and to get to safety immediately. Just a few seconds of doubting your instincts or gut feelings on danger could be the matter of life or death. “Gut” or “instinct” feelings are a part of the way God has designed us. Also, when I look back on my situation, it was those “gut” feelings that wouldn’t go away that caused me to start praying for God to reveal if my husband, in fact, had a lying problem. Once I started praying that, God started showing me in no uncertain terms that yes, he did. EVEN THEN, though….because I was so used to being told my reality was wrong for so many years, I still question whether I’ve heard from God or not….especially after I talk to my husband or see him even for a few minutes.

            I think even some of yesterday’s confusion and sadness was a result of wondering if maybe I was wrong about everything I was seeing in my relationship. By the end of the night and this morning, God was reminding me again of the incident that I just described to you above…and showing me that I was right and that I am remembering facts right. He has been doing that (reminding me of past incidents in my marriage) consistently every time I start to get confused again about what is real and what isn’t.

            Anyway, sorry for the length. I’m processing for myself, too….and also hoping that this will be helpful to anyone who might be undergoing similar dynamics in their marriage.

            1. CiC,

              First, never apologize for writing a lot! I feel like I can be way too wordy sometimes, but truly, it’s better to be able to express all of yourself.

              I can completely understand all of that. There have been many times when my husband has agreed to something, and I will follow through, then he will get angry and tell me he never agreed to it. Or he will offer to do something, then it won’t happen, and he’ll be upset with me for not taking care of it and tell me that he never said he would do it. Or he will say that I’m the one who came up with the idea and he never offered.

              Those are the very mild situations. There have been a lot of times when things have been manipulated to be my fault when they weren’t really.

              I am learning now to trust myself a little more (despite the fact that I really do have a horrible memory, and I’ve been that way all my life – that’s why it’s so easy for him to tell me that I forgot something, and it’s easy for me to believe that and blame myself). Especially when I have things in text messages, I’m more confident in what happened. Learning how often I really have been right helps me to not become self-deprecating, and instead to focus on praying for my husband’s heart. He is being deceived at times.

              I don’t believe it’s intentional for him to hurt me. That is not his goal. But he is walking in darkness and scripture tells us that those who walk in darkness truly don’t know what they’re doing. As Christ prayed for those who nailed Him to the cross, “Father forgive them, for they know not what they do.” Our husbands truly don’t understand what they’re doing.

              Not that they aren’t responsible for their actions. They do know right from wrong. They know lying is wrong. But they don’t truly understand the ramifications of it.

              More so than what it does to us, is what it does to their eternal soul. It tears them away from God, removes them from His holy presence, from His blessings, from His power. How awful to live that way! And they’re so blinded to it!

              So, as I’ve learned to trust my instincts a little more, and to trust my memories, I’ve learned to let go of some of the hurt and anger, and redirect it to prayer for his eyes to be opened, his heart to be softened, for God to BLESS him with conviction and grace.

              I am so sorry you’re being manipulated this way. It’s a horrible feeling. The power and strength you are finding in Christ is simply beautiful! I know sometimes I wonder, “Am I just not getting this lesson well enough, is that why I’m still enduring this trial? What is wrong with me that God continues to allow this to happen?” That’s such a horrible mindset. He allows things for our GOOD, not for our punishment. It may not have anything to do with whether or not we’re “getting it”. He has His reasons and it is not our place to know or understand what they are right now. We simply have to trust He is GOOD, He is WISE, and He is POWERFUL.

              Praying for you, my sweet sister. Thank you for being so open and vulnerable, and for allowing me to share with you as well.

            2. CIC,

              I have not experienced my husband “gas lighting” me the way you have. I have witnessed this being done to wives before – and whether it is intentional or not, I don’t really know – but it is very harmful. It makes a wife feel like she is going crazy and can’t trust her own memory and gives a husband a very convenient tool to rewrite history to be whatever he wants it to be for his benefit.

              I would imagine that it would take some time for a wife who has been treated this way to be able to rightly discern (with the power of the Holy Spirit) the difference between truth and lies and to begin to stand firmly on what she knows is true rather than accepting her husband’s lies as truth. It seems to me that it is going to be really important for wives in situations like this to heal in Christ and to become strong in their ability to see and know what is really happening. Then they won’t be pulled by lies.

              I pray for you and for VW – for God’s wisdom, healing, strength, courage, provision, and discernment so that you can accurately divide the truth from falsehood and so that you will not be swayed by lies. I pray that God will empower you to grow mightily in your faith and that you might completely build your lives and thoughts on God’s truth and reject anything that is from Satan or the sinful flesh. I pray for God to speak healing to your husbands and that He might draw them to Himself – they desperately need Him as we all do. I pray that God’s voice will become stronger and stronger and that you might stand in love against any deception or manipulation. I pray for wisdom about healthy boundaries. I pray for God’s healing for your families and for Him to bring great glory to Himself from these situations and for Him to use all of this somehow for great good for both of you.

              Much love!

              1. April, thank you! Since my husband has been gone, about a week and a half now, in just that short amount of time, it seems like things have gotten better. He hasn’t “forgotten” anything I’ve shared with him about my plans or what I’m doing. He hasn’t gotten upset about anything, other than the one time I asked about his ring. He has been very intentional about calling, texting, video chatting, making sure to “spend” time with me. He has been doing devotionals every day (I’m not sure how long they are, but frankly, that doesn’t matter – the fact that he’s making it a priority is what’s important). I am praying this separation will be used by God to repair and restore anything broken, that we will be brought closer to each other, and most of all, closer to God.

              2. Victorious Wife,

                Praying for God to continue to use this time to grow you both and to bring healing to your marriage, my precious sister. I love you dearly! Thank you so much for the update.

          8. LMS, Thank you so much for your comment to me from last night. So many good things in there. I will read and re-read.

            I would tell you which parts spoke the most to me, but as I re-read, *all* of it is so good. And, yes, you suspect right about my current feelings. Probably the worst being that I don’t know that my husband ever really loved me for me. That’s really hard to come to terms with.

            You are right – feelings will change, they don’t dictate my forever reality. Just like today, I am feeling much stronger and better. I need to remember that one those really hard days, because man….I get hit so hard I think this is my reality forever. I think, how can I go on one more day. But His mercies are new every morning. His grace is sufficient for me. He is strong in my weakness.

            April, thank you for the reminder that my husband cannot love me in the way I want to be loved (with Christ’s love). I was thinking about that today while driving and realizing that the foundation of our love was probably built a lot on how I look (physically) and also how I idolized him. I have good reasons for saying and thinking this, without going into detail here. I no longer idolize him and I’m 44 now….not as youthful and not in my “prime”. The foundation is crumbling fast (or has crumbled). But, anyway. It is good to be reminded that I cannot expect a godly kind of love from him and also that I need to accept this about him. And, HH’s and LMS’s comment about agape love feeding that “spark” and without that kind of love, the spark dies (because it is built on the wrong foundations) just totally fits in with all of this. Thank you.

            And thank you for what you said about waiting and how God puts us in these positions so that we have to learn to trust Him and not the outcome. I know that’s truth. I know it is. I don’t like it right now, but I know it’s truth. And, I know God will do something with me in this time that I will never take back once I get on the other side. Thank you for all you said. I know you and others here will have to remind me of this many times. I don’t foresee me “getting this” quickly and just sailing through. Although I do want to have victory in Christ through this. But, I’m going to need to lean on y’all and others and I am not too proud to say that I need y’all. I need my brothers and sisters and God has been so good to have people reaching out at all different kinds of times to me – through texts, emails, calls, etc. It has been beautiful and so life-giving.

            As far as hashing through dreams and fears…

            I wanted my husband to value me. I don’t think he ever did. And definitely doesn’t now. I wanted him to love my quirkiness and my friendliness, to see me as a wife that was of greater value than rubies. To love my personality and to encourage me to use my gifts and talents. I guess bottom line is I wanted to be valued by my husband. I have to let that dream go.

            I have to let the dream go of having a family who isn’t torn apart by divorce. I fear for the impact this will have on my children. I fear losing relationship with my children if my children are fed lies. I am having a hard time being apart from my kids on the two or three nights when I don’t have them. I love being with them and feel much more peace with them. I need to figure out a way to have better thinking about the time when I’m apart from them. To trust God that this is somehow part of His plan for them, too.

            I fear finding a job, being able to support myself. I totally believe God is calling me to get a job. I’m scared to get started on writing my resume!!! I stayed at home and became financially dependent on my husband, letting him handle all the finances because I trusted that we would be together forever. It was what we both wanted and agreed to before we were even married (that I would stay home and raise our children….which I am very thankful for, of course!!!)

            I enjoyed the physical affection/aspect of our relationship and I have to know that I may never have that again in my life.

            I’m sure there are more…but that’s probably enough for now. I’m not (today) drowning in those fears and lost dreams, but those are definitely the ones rolling around in my head.

            Thank you for your prayer, April, and also for the things you said regarding gaslighting. It’s really a great comfort to me that you understand this dynamic and that I still feel safe to talk about these things here, even though this is an unfamiliar topic or subject for a lot of people. I don’t even bring this up with most of my family because I don’t think people who have never experienced it can really understand it. My mom understands it and it’s been good to talk to her and to have her friendship, love and support. She has held me and comforted me as I’ve bawled like a young child in her arms several times.

            Thank you ALL for your comforting words and reaching out to me and your prayers. I realize how PRECIOUS and priceless those kinds of things are now. I never knew before in the way I know now.

            1. Hi CiC,

              I think you are dead right, when you come out the other side of this you will never be the same again. These experiences will change you and shape you forever and I pray that you will let them change you for the better, because they can. As hard as it feels right now there is a wholeness that God can create from a brokenness that we do not understand until we have been through it. I personally do not know how much more brokenness God is going to let me experience but even what I have experienced has born such beautiful fruit that I know surrendering to His plan in faith is the best option.

              It is probable that you will have more days where you feel you can not go another step! I have had many days like this since our separation 8 months ago. Yet, somehow God brings the right people and the right words to us and gently shows us that He is trustworthy and can get us through the next stage. I have had to face many ‘stages’ that I did not expect and in each one God has proven Himself faithful.

              And please, lean on us all here when you need to!! We can not replace Christ but we can minister His love to you, and this blog has been such a beautiful place for me to be able to talk openly during my ‘3AM downers’. We are all part of the body of Christ and we genuinely care about each other and agape love is shown here often. The internet has allowed a new way of showing this love and I often thank God for my ‘friends’ on this blog.

              I definitely understand having the fear of seeing your family torn apart by divorce 😕 This is an unfortunate reality and one that will need a lot of wisdom and understanding to walk through. You are right, it is not going to be a ‘quick fix’ situation…..I wanted that when my world was shattered last year but God is interested in doing lasting, permanent changes in our hearts, not just brushing over big issues.

              I am praying for you again today. HH

            2. CIC,
              You are most welcome. It sounds like you are in a better place, I am so glad. And I am glad you are seeing the things you need to lay down and entrust to God. I know God will help you to do that and that He will use all of this to accomplish something so beautiful in your life!

              I’m so thankful God gave us each other. It is such a blessing to receive the love, encouragement, prayers, and insights everyone has to share here. This place and each of you are such treasures and blessings to me. 🙂

              I am so sorry about the whole gas lighting thing. The main time I saw that was before God had changed me – and I did not respond in a godly way. I was pretty hateful at the time toward the person who tried to pull that on me. I remembered exactly what they said and was not about to let them make me think something different! I can see where I could have responded in more productive ways as I looked back. But I have seen the kind of pain and problems this thing can cause in marriage. It is a big problem. I want it to be resolved and fixed!

              So thankful for your mom. 🙂

              Sending you the biggest hug!

  6. LMS, I never really addressed a lot of stuff in your post. I went right to “Don’t feel falsely condemned!” LOL

    But, yes, there is a lot of truth in what you wrote. God in us makes us see others and feel compassion in ways that we never did before. Only God’s life in us does that. Apart from Him we are all self-centered and ego-driven.

    And, it’s hard once we know what true Love looks like for us to get heartbroken and sad when we see the way this world operates. It’s hard sometimes to remember that we were once operating the same way. We were in the darkness and held captive, too.

    Only God’s love can love someone who is hurting you over and over. (But even God has boundaries – even Jesus removed himself from harm before His time had come for crucifixion). We can be a catalyst to show someone they are not invisible, but only God can fill the hole in your husband’s heart. He wants you to fill it, but you can’t. You are human and will let him down as soon as he thinks you have finally “figured it out”.

    Father, I pray that you would keep working this message of truth into LMS that she is wrestling with right now. Give her clarity on how to love her husband and her family well in this time of deep pain. Give us your wisdom on what is the best and most loving thing to do each second. Remind us that this is fluid and changes from situation to situation so that we don’t hear Your voice at one time and think this is the right answer for each time – You want us depending on you moment by moment. Father, show LMS that she is not invisible to YOU today. Remind her that she is loved and held by you and that she is valuable to you and that you care for what she’s going through. God, we pray for breakthroughs in her situation. That You would come and start to move circumstances in a way that LMS knows what her next step is. Lord, open her husband’s eyes to what he is doing. Break down walls of pride and hurt and resentment and bitterness. God, we pray for you to act. We need to see your might! Glorify yourself in this situation, Father. Let LMS walk in the abundant life that you’ve purchased for her, Jesus. In Jesus’ name, Amen!

  7. So, good morning all. We had our first big snow storm yesterday. I love shoveling snow…It gives me great time to pray and be with God. I pray for all of us here on this site.

    I’m looking for some input today, though. Here is the back story. Since I started this journey, I have gone through many stages, as April states, of learning to be reformed in Christ. Some that stand out are: working on the log in my own eye, being horrified by seeing my own sin, the frustrating quiet phase and learning to confront my husband’s (and others) sins. Even though I have experienced these and many other stages, April explains that this process isn’t always linear. That sometimes we will find ourselves back in the early stages repeating a lesson over and over with some sins that we are particularly prone to. For me, it seems to be perfectionism, pride and control. We need to stay on constant guard for them and get right to work when it starts to creep back in.

    Yesterday, my teen son brought up to me that he thinks nothing is any better between my h and I because I won’t speak up. But he also says that I am impossible to talk to because I have my ways of doing things and there is no budging me. He thinks Its horrible thst I see a counselor and thinks our family is “screwed up”. This started because he asked what I was doing on my phone and I said journaling, he asked about what, I said my feelings, thoughts and concerns…like a therapy. He was disgusted at me over it. We got into a pretty heavy discussion over it.

    Just last week, my h said he feels like we don’t talk and it will cause us to drift more apart if something doesn’t change.

    Ok. So, now the two men in my life feel unrest because of MY communication. In ” log in the eye” fashion, I decided to really meditate on what they said. I have a few schools of thought and now I feel very conflicted and need some voices of reason. If I’m wrong, I need to know so I can turn from a sinful way. I’m trusting there is good, godly council here. I also feel the Holy Spirit is bringing me to my next lesson in some ways, but I can’t see what it might be…a gut feeling. But I can also realize the slippery slope of listening to a teenage boy who thinks he’s smarter than the world and an unbeleiving husband who blame shifts. I know I need to pray on it all, but I value the guidance and thought provoking conversation here.

    My issue is that I have found that there is very little to really argue about when you are grateful for the daily gifts from God. But confronting sin in others and erecting healthy boundaries is still somewhat elusive to me. I know arguing is disrespectful, so I avoid that most of the time. This leaves me with very little to say except to buold up and encourage my family. In the past, when I tried to bring up concerns, issues, feelings I’m having with my husband especially, I was pretty much told that I was wrong, it’s my issue, i was disregarded and steamrolled. It left me feeling that it is useless to try to be heard, they don’t want to hear it anyway and I am left feeling frustrated and angry and hurt, I learned to step back and to let life and God teach them. That I did and said what I could, the rest is out of my hands. Sometimes I felt a peace about this…especially as a controlling person, I felt the lightness of not having to make things turn out certain ways. I let my h have his own consequences. I see the value in this with my teens, too, as life and God discipines them for their own bad choices. I thought I had found my voice, but as I sometimes do, I’m sure I overcorrected.

    The fact is I feel oversensitive about not being heard or especially when I get interrupted, disrespected when I bring up a concern, try to communicate and get blown off or any of those types of things that SHOULD be allowed. It leaves me feeling resentful that I cannot be me, maybe even oppressed in my own family. I also don’t want to be in danger of people pleasing, but often, I can see that most arguments are not worth the cost to the relationship damage. Yet, I am being told by people whom I love and love me, that something I am or am not doing is hurting them. This could be true, but I don’t know how to fix it.

    Am “I” hurting them, or are they hurt by the consequences of not listening to what I have to say, being respectful in communication, simply not caring themselves or blaming me for their lack of connection?

    If I need to change, I will, but if this is the result of their own sin, I don’t need to own that. Then, there is the different expectations. One is my son (and probably my daughter feels this way too), a child, immature in faith, emotions and such, the other is my husband…also immature in faith, but not a child and should know better about communication. One I am a mother to and it is my responsibility to help guide and teach, the other is NOT my child and I have worked hard to stop treating him like I am His mother, but I feel like I am still expected to be his mom.

    I tend to be the first to change, but in the past, it made me lose myself and it cost me far too much. I can dwindle it down to people pleasing…trying to make everyone else happy, but not trying to make God happy. Fear, of hurting my family. So, how do I know if their concern is valid or if I need to let God deal with them and their sin? I would love to have some real conversation and share ideas, concerns, thoughts and feelings with my kids and especially my husband, but I’m no longer interested in those things being rejected, cast aside and invalidated….it hurts too much to be that vulnerable and then emotionally injured over and over…at some point I feel I am throwing my pearls to the swine. However, I think it shuts me down, puts up walls and disconnects me. I know I’m scared to reverse those things and be vulnerable, but it doesn’t feel safe to. The things i have read say that being vulnerable is the only way to establish trust and connection again. Any input? Thank you in addvance.

    1. LMSdaily115,

      It can be really hard to discern when something is truly a godly rebuke or when it is just inflammatory criticism that is not from God sometimes. I am not there to see your interaction – so it makes it difficult for me to tell exactly what is going on. And I haven’t spoken with your husband or your son – so I realize I am getting a rather one-sided portrayal of what has been happening. But I like your thought processes. I love that you are humble and willing to receive constructive criticism if it is of God. I love that you are working through all of this and I think you have so many good points.

      Finding that balance is really tricky. But I do think it would be awesome to seek to be vulnerable. Perhaps you may pray about saying something like:

      “I really do want to feel safe enough to know that I can be vulnerable – that my thoughts, concerns, ideas, and feelings will be valued. I have felt that when I have tried to be vulnerable on a number of occasions, that I was rejected and hurt deeply. That makes it difficult for me to be willing to share again. But I want us to be close. I want each of us to feel safe to share our feelings, needs, desires, and concerns. I’m glad you shared with me that you feel that things could improve. What do you believe we can do to make things better? I’d love to talk about that.” And then maybe after they share and you pray, you could let them know the things you need to feel that you can be vulnerable again and what you believe needs to happen to rebuild trust?

      Praying for God’s wisdom for you, my precious sister.

    2. LMS,

      I wish I had an answer for you, but I think this is one of those things that you have to give and present to God and say, “Lord, what is true here?” And, you know He will if you are willing to listen. He has promised to give us wisdom if we ask believing that He will.

      You said your son said something about you having your ways of doing things and there’s no budging you. Do you have any idea what he’s talking about? Did you ask him specifically what he meant by this? I think if you have no idea, that it would be very good and appropriate to go back to him and let him know you’ve been thinking about your conversation. That you wanted to know what specifically he meant. Let him know that you want to hear him and are open to what he says. At the same time, it is important if he starts disrespecting you in the conversation, that you would be able to say “Your tone is disrespectful to me. I want to talk to you, but I won’t allow you to speak that way to me. Let me know when you’re ready to talk in healthy ways because I believe this a really important conversation we need to have.” If he keeps disrespecting you, you might need to let him know you’re going to leave the conversation and that after you’ve had time to think about it, you’ll come back with a consequence of some sort for his disrespect. Let him know he’s free to share his heart, but he needs to share it in appropriate ways and with appropriate words and tone.

      I know that my children’s respect for me and the strength of our relationship gets BETTER when I am being firm with them without letting anger and frustration take over. Their respect level goes up for me after I am firm on a boundary and even after I give appropriate consequences. It makes sense, right? We all hear that kids want and need boundaries, they want to know where their limits are. But, we have to be the ones that show them.

      I also wonder if your son’s anger might be coming from the fact that he sees you as the “stronger” person in the marriage and he’s frustrated and angry because *you* should be able to make it work because of that. Just a thought. So, he might be totally out of line with everything he said and he is just hurting you because he’s hurt and angry. God will show you.

      It might be that you can also share with your son that you are wanting your relationship with your husband to work. That you are praying for it to be repaired and that you are willing. It might be appropriate (without going into any detail) that he knows that you feel like you are trying, but that you don’t know what else to do and that God is going to have to be the One who restores it. I don’t know, I guess I just say that, because I know my son expressed to me that he was glad that I talked to him several months back when there was a lot of silence going on in my home at one point. When I finally talked to him about it, he said “Well, thanks for telling me…” and expressed something else about the idea that it was hard to know that something was going on without anyone addressing it with him.

      I think it’s really important to talk to our kids about the “elephant in the room” and not ignore it, as uncomfortable as it is to bring those things up at times. God can do great things through those kinds of vulnerable conversations. And, you can have these conversations in ways where you are remaining really respectful and honoring to your husband, while also not sugar-coating and denying things.

      O.K., well, that’s all I have and I know some of the things I brought up may not even be applicable to you right now. But, they’re what came to mind for some reason.

      Love you and thanks for your love and support. 🙂

      1. Hi April. I am deeply meditating on some things right now. I plan to write a bit when I get some “sit down” time. After the holidays. Here are a few subjects….1) lonliness within a marriage, and how to overcome it. 2) The sense of entitlement and expectations. 3) choosing to stop living in “Pity City”.

        All of these take some time to understand who I am to God and how He is able to fill those empty holes in my soul. Lonliness can come to many…not just the single, divorced or widowed. It can be lonely within a troubled marriage, when you are constantly around young children, when you are in a leadership role, when you are in a group of people, if you have an introverted personality and need solitude to recharge, if you are feeling misunderstood or too different such as Christians can feel lonely in this sinful world. Yet, we can choose to be happy even if life doesn’t always give us what we want, or it didn’t turn out how we thought. This goes along with looking at the lack or looking at the lovely. Its a choice, and the bible tells us how to think…”whatever is lively, excellent, good, praisworthy….think of such things.” We have so much to be thankful for, yet many times we take that for granted.

        Entitlement and expectations have been some sins that I see many using to exact revenge on their spouses. This is such a fast spiral down. Two sets of close friends of my husbands are dealing with affairs and it just breaks my heart when I hear how they are justified.I worry about their influence on my husband and the advice my husband is giving them is very hopeless. I’m not sure what to do here, or if I can influence in some way…I’m not even suposed to know about it.

        Vulnerability has been a bit elusive for me still. On one hand, I find there is not much to talk about because I learn so much more by listening and not compkaining…I’m grateful and i choose joy, and on the other hand, I have so much I want to say, but no ears to hear it. So, I have taken the angle to trying to figure out how to help my husband feel safe enough to speak up, which can help him feel heard, listened and hopefully open up…maybe then it can be mutual. But i have tried this in the past and it hurt too….I guess i didnt expect to hear my husband bluntly tell me he doesnt love me anymore. We seem to open up while discusing these other people’s marriages and drawing parallels to them in our own case. But it still avoids the elwphant invthe room. Although I continue to ‘give’ to my husband…just to bless him, it’s hard not to fall in the trap of reciprocity. I start thinking…”does anything I do for him even matter? You would think he would want to return the favor when I rub his feet/back. Even just to put his arm around me when we sleep would help me feel so much more close to him. Why would he with old this from me? Oh yeah, that’s right, he is not in love with me. Tick tick till he leaves”…enter Pity City. I know that thinking what he “should” do is not helpful…it’s hard not to. It makes me feel so used….so I have to stop. I don’t know where to go from here. I feel suffocated with this grief.

        I’ll be praying this season to have God help keep my light lit. A lone candle in the window on a dark, cold, still night.

        Just in case someone realizes they are lost.

        But also to keep the dark away.

        Blessings and prayers to you all and have a very joyful Christmas.

        1. LMSDaily115, I was so very deeply touched by your post this morning. I sense God is teaching you some very profound things right now and is ministering to your deepest needs. God takes us to places sometimes that we don’t even begin to understand sometimes where we are or why, but we know He knows our every need and we can be assured He is doing His work in our hearts as we continue to trust Him. I have no words other than encouragement as I am only a beginner on this journey 🙂 but I wanted to encourage you and tell you how your words have touched me today and how much I sense in reading your post that God is at work in your heart and I feel He has great things in store for you just around the corner. I have no idea why or what but I felt so strongly that I just needed to reach out and encourage you and tell you what a blessing God has given me through your words. I will pray for You that your lone candle shines brightly and you will be able to use it to not only keep away the dark yourself but to lead others into the light as well. Have a wonderful Christmas!

          1. Thank you, truly blessed.I’m glad my words were helpful to you today. I will update after the holidays. God will provide.

            1. LMSdaily115,

              I’m excited about what you are about to dig into and want to learn more on these topics, myself. Praying for God’s insights and power as you seek Him above all else and for His discernment and wisdom for you as you seek to love your family in the current way-less-than-ideal situation.
              Vulnerability is especially hard if you really aren’t spiritually or emotionally safe. Jesus didn’t entrust Himself to men because He knew what was in the heart of a man. Vulnerability probably requires a bit of mutuality.

              There is nothing wrong with wanting mutuality in marriage. It is supposed to be a mutual relationship, after all. But – if a spouse can’t give the things we need, we can mourn over what we don’t have and take our pain to Jesus, and then I believe He can empower us to be the women He calls us to be and to find our needs met in Him – as I know you have been doing, my precious sister.

              We are all here with you, praying for you and your family, supporting you, loving you, and we want to encourage you however we can.

              Much love!

        2. Your pain is real and valid, LMS. I’m praying for you this morning. You are deeply loved by God, by all of us here and by so many others in your life.

          LMS, I don’t remember… Maybe this is something we’ve talked about before… But do you have a church that you are attending regularly for fellowship? What kind of relationships with fellow believers do you have? I ask, because I can see how important those things have been in my life – the last year especially. It’s hard to walk alone and we’re not meant to do it.

          May the Lord make His face shine upon you and be gracious to you.

          The biggest hug to you, LMS.

          1. Thank you, cic. Yes, I have a church I have been in for a year now tgat I love. I so aporeciate going on sundays…sometimes just to be hugged by someone who cares about me. I totally agree. We need community. We are not creatures meant to walk this life alone. Blessings.

          2. Good, LMS. I’m glad. I have a few women in a prayer group that group text and I have leaned on them hard through this. Church is good on Sundays, but you really need those close relationships where you can call and sob and ask for prayer right then. I hope you have that, too, and if not, that God will bring a couple of close friends in your vicinity that you can meet with and talk to face to face. (Which you might have already!!)

            HH, GREAT song! I think I listened to that a few weeks ago and it didn’t touch me, but tonight, it is speaking to me!

            This morning, I was begging God for a word from Him to lift me up and He reminded me again of this verse: “For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things!”

            ALL things!!! That catches my breath. My children’s pain and hurt right now — God’s in it. There is purpose in it.

            And, I immediately saw in my mind’s eye Jesus lifted up and exalted over everything. So, that fresh word from God has sustained me today.

            And this song speaks to us of Jesus and to think that He’s fighting for us! He is our Brother and our Intercessor and our Defender.

            Job 16:19-21:

            “Even now my witness is in heaven;
                my advocate is on high.
             
            My intercessor is my friend
                as my eyes pour out tears to God;
             
            on behalf of a man he pleads with God
                as one pleads for a friend.”

          3. Which one, HH? The ones in Job or the one about all things centering in Christ?

            My mom quoted the ones from Job to me today on the phone. She has a daily calendar and I originally was supposed to be at her house tonight (but plans were changed and I was with my kids an extra night) 🙂 Anyway, she had turned that little daily calendar to today’s date in anticipation of my coming back to my childhood home tonight and the verses from Job were there along with a quote about how a tear that falls on this earth moves the King of Heaven.

            All that just makes me want to give thanks in public for the ways God has used this time to heal and deepen my relationship with my mom. She has been my best friend through this, always willing to hear me, never tiring of hearing the same things. She’s saved me a lot of money on counseling! Prays for me when I’m falling apart. My mom understands what I’m going through and can relate and encourage me and speak to me from that place.

            Anyway, whichever verse(s) it was, glad God used to encourage you.

  8. Hi guys,

    I’m so glad I checked this blog today as I was able to have the time to catch up with all of you and your lives that brings a lot of warmth into my own life. I just feel bad I don’t get the updates but that might be a glitch and a reminder to check in more since I really do appreciate so many of you on a personal level.

    Hi April, may your precious grandmother rest in peace. What a blessed long life she lived. And her final days surrounded by loved ones is a gift God granted her. Thank you for sharing your updates and those beautiful videos. I love any recommendations you and those here share because I know it is already good. I look forward to hearing those hymns today.
    I hope things at work are better. I often pray for you and your family.

    Hi CIC, I was totally clueless to what you wrote here on the 12th when I sent you the email yesterday. I’m so glad LMS and April responded because as HH said, I felt I needed to hear that for myself as well and will reread both of their posts today. I prayed for you yesterday and this morning at church and for your precious children. I often do. I hope you are feeling in good spirits today.

    Hi HH, When I read about how you still feel for your wife I just cried. That was very heartbreaking and I felt your pain, I’m so sorry. I thank God you lean on God’s strength. One of todays bible verses that appeared on my phone was Psalms 104:4
    “Look to the Lord and His strength; seek His face always”.
    This is what we must do. I really look forward to reading your posts and hope for happy news from you.

    Just this morning I was spiritually attacked and when my husband asked what was wrong since he saw me unusually quiet getting ready this morning I simply said “Oh nothing, it’s just at work I’m going to be nice no matter how they treat me”. I said it so simply but the tears fell down and I simply wiped them away, gave him a smile and a hug and changed the subject. He offered a bit of encouragement and that’s what I resolved to do. I “told” God today when I started my day at mass that I would like to be this way, to offer myself in this way because I felt that was the only way to feel better, to combat that fickle feeling (thank you LMS) because feelings don’t equate to truth. Thank God, I see in this a victory in the spiritual battle. I prayed, went to church, focused my mind on God, put on the spiritual armor and I feel better. All this before 8:30am. When we start to get these feelings of despondency, it is the enemy trying to get us to lose hope, he wants us to doubt and say ‘oh it’s just human nature to feel this way’. Partly. But the enemy’s lies really upset me today, I saw him clearly and went to mass, prayed and set my mind the way Christ said to and thankfully I feel better and stronger.

    Hi LMS, I read your latest post and because I have a teen son my heart hurt for your situation as I can relate in certain ways. His approaching you and commenting, even angrily, is his way of showing concern for his mom. Maybe he saw your journaling as not ‘action-based’ enough to win restoration. He may not realize this is a necessary healing you need, which is normal for him not to realize. Maybe encourage him to write down his feelings. This helped me tremendously when I was attacked over 20 years ago. What I sense in his sweet heart is that even though before they didn’t hear you when you tried to have discussions in the past,… at least there was noise. It may be too quiet for his sense of insecurity. He needs a form of engagement, that reassuring smile from mom, and often. Not assuring that all will end the way he wants but he must know from what you show him that even in heartache mom is still reading and living but mostly mom is still caring and smiling. He should see this even when he sees your eyes red with tears that were shed. He knows you’re hurting but he needs those smiles that say “I’ll be alright son, this is the normal course…but you see me still living with faith and hope, still planning….still making a new and weird meal for us to try…”
    My son doesn’t eat with us always so I out of habit put a post it note with his name on a plate so he knows that’s his whenever he’s ready to pop it in the microwave. He’ll never verbalize how these little things mean to him (I certainly don’t expect him to) but I know he appreciates it. I always say or text him a good night and if he walks in on me while I’m reading or in the kitchen it’s always a chipper (even if I’ve just argued with my husband) “Hey hon, how’s it going?” and I stop for a minute. I’m sure you have times like these and maybe he misses those moments. Ofcourse you need time for yourself but he may worry that you’re enclosing in on yourself and he wants mom to smile and talk to him and say things throughout the week like “Hey, I know you’re hurting too…we have to continue to do things for ourselves that benefit us….why don’t you try to learn a new guitar song….did you practice hoops today…..we’re in this together buddy……I would love restoration (the way CIC worded it)…..I’m trying……I need some alone time but you know I’m always here to lend an ear……” sometimes when I’m outside i’ll send a quick text to the kids like “Hey you guys want me to bring home a latte?” . When I stay engaged with my teens, they’ll STILL ignore me all day but I’ll feel good (even though I miss them,their in their rooms so much) because I know that I tried to engage them and that they know mom is always ready to be there for them and even though they ignore me I know they feel safe that I care about them and their hearts so I’ll be the one to roll my eyes when their moodiness strikes.

    Please know if there is anything offensive in what I wrote it is TOTALLY UNINTENTIONAL with all my heart i say that. Ofcourse you love and show them you care. It’s just I personally know a woman whose kids I adore, I love them like my own, and they are now in their twenties and she, as a mother, while loving them dearly, was very aloof, not very engaging and this may have caused loneliness in them when they were younger and perhaps other issues not fully resolved. With Gods grace, we do things that may at first feel awkward when its helpful and especially under special circumstances. It’s easier for me to talk to my daughter sometimes than to my son. Sometimes he’ll be fully interested in talking and I’m very distracted so I force myself to be with him there, in that moment, because I remember what a blessing it is to have him there, at that moment. They will just grow up so fast. May God grant you and your children, in good health, an abundance of strength, patience, wisdom and peace.

    1. SisterinChrist,
      Thank you for your sympathy and love. And thank you for sharing about the victory you had in spiritual warfare today! WOOHOO!

      I am so excited to see God continue His good work in you, dear, sweet sister! Thank you for sharing and for your love for our sisters and brothers.

  9. April, just wanted to say I’m sorry for the loss of your Grandmother I apologize for missing that. Praying for you and your family.

    I’ve been popping in and out of here the last little while as I was juggling a lot going on in the last month, and I haven’t been following everything fully and haven’t been able to comment as much as I wished. My grandparents and uncle have been visiting us for the last month and it is crowded and a little chaotic with a big family already, several animals in the house and then three more adults. We are fortunate though to have them still able to travel half way across the country at their age so every visit I am extra grateful they are still able to come. We also were very blessed my uncle decided to do some renovations for us while he was here which was a real blessing yet made it very challenging on top of the crowded house and trying to think about holiday preparations!

    That being said the last month has been a real test in our household as my family has real boundary issues and is very, very controlling by nature and in the past this has been a significant issue between my husband and I. While we can’t change their controlling nature, we did this time try and handle it differently and I believe it was the first time we ever managed one of these extended visits so well. It was very challenging as when I am with them the problems I have with boundaries (lack of) usually cause a lot of tension in our marriage so I did a lot of praying for God to help me act differently this time and not let the situation throw me back into my old ways and my husband left feeling disrespected and resentful. I can believe because I know that God is so faithful, yet I can hardly believe my husband and I made it through the whole month without the tension causing us to end up in a tailspin like it has been every other visit for the last 15+ years. God.Is.Good. And His way is perfect 🙂

    Now we are working together on getting our house back in order and preparing for Christmas. For the first time in many years we put our Christmas tree up as a family, watched a Christmas movie and had some Christmas treats. It was a simple night but such a blessing. God is good 🙂 so so good 🙂

    CIC, LMSDaily, HH, SisterInChrist, VW I am trying to catch up on all the posts but just to let you know you are in my prayers I think of you all often and pray for you in your own life situations. As I catch up on your posts I see so many inspiring things, so much learning going on and I am amazed at what God is teaching you. Isn’t it amazing knowing that no matter what our situation is God is bigger than all of it and trusting in Him we know He is taking care of us.

    1. TrulyBlessed, I am so glad to hear that you were able to maintain boundaries with your family in a way that showed respect for your husband and your marriage! Praise God for His blessings when we do things His way! His wisdom and goodness are truly astounding, and it breaks my heart that so many others just don’t see this.

      Your Christmas time together sounds absolutely wonderful. I’m glad you were able to do that as a family!

      Thank you for your prayers! Praying for you as well!

    2. TrulyBlessed,

      Thank you for your prayers and condolences. 🙂

      I am so thankful that the visit was much better than before! WOOHOO! That is awesome!!!!!!! Praising God with you, my precious sister. And I love that you did so many things together for Christmas as a family and enjoyed each other. 🙂 BEAUTIFUL!

      I’m so grateful for your update. I always love to hear anything you want to share.

      Much love, my precious sister!

    3. Trulyblessed, I just love reading your comments. Wow what a busy time you endured this past month! Did they leave yet? lol. I personally have a hard time when my husbands family visits, not sure why but im sensitive to the disruption to the normal family dynamic. The last time, like you, with prayer, God gave me His supernatural strength because my husband was impressed with my “gracious hostess abilities”. Could be aging causes me to relax more too.
      Anyway, very lovely of you to be welcoming to extended family. I’ve always admired people who open their homes as that was difficult for me for many years.
      I, like you, love catching up here because just as you said there are so many inspiring things and learnings going on.
      I love our spiritual family here.
      God bless you and thank you for being here.

  10. Hello, all. April, I am doing better, I think. For now. Haha! The swinging emotions are crazy!

    Here are some things I hear God saying to me pretty clearly right now:

    He has encouraged me through a few specific friends that, yes, this time is incredibly painful, but He, in time, will bring healing, a deep peace, joy and deepened trust in His goodness and plan. Even if things don’t go the way I want, He is able to bring me to a place of true contentment and joy no matter what. He will give me the grace to get through whatever He’s asking me to go through.

    I know this waiting time is essential. I really do have so much healing to do. There are certain triggers in my life that pull up all kinds of negative emotions in me. I don’t even know what to do about it or what healing is going to look like with this particular issue. I also realize I don’t have the money to pursue professional counseling for this. But, I feel confident that God is the Great Counselor, so I’m trusting that He will bring the insights I need at the right times, resources and other people who can help. I’m excited about the freedom that I am convinced He is going to give me in this after years of being bound in this area. And, I think the separation is vital to this healing.

    I also definitely feel Him telling me to get beyond myself and reach out to others and be a blessing to them. Have heard this numerous times from Him (one was LMS, and she rightfully points this out a lot in her advice to others). I practiced this yesterday morning when I woke up feeling down and felt God said to get up and get moving and reach out to bless others. He gave me a few specific things to do and it was nice not to be pulled into a deeper sadness.

    I believe He’s also telling me He has a specific plan for ministry for me. This is something I’ve felt for about a year or so. I’m waiting on His direction and I feel like He’s told me that I am going to just know when I “see” it. In the meantime, I can wait and just be a blessing as He leads me to opportunities.

    Yesterday, as I was doing some Christmas shopping, my mantra was “I am going to be OK.” 🙂 Lots of deep breaths.

    Yesterday, God led me to Isaiah 43:1-2: “But now, this is what the Lord says – He who created you, Jacob, He who formed you, Israel:
    ‘Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.’ ”

    And He brought to mind the song Already There by Casting Crowns. I may not know what the future holds, but God is already standing at the end of my life, He sees and knows the beautiful ending and how it all works out for my God and His glory.

    I really want to desire his glory more than my comfort or good, though. I’m not there. Something He will do in me, I pray.

    TrulyBlessed, so glad God is moving in your marriage so powerfully. Thank you for sharing. Praying for continued healing and a deepening of your relationship with your husband solidly built on Christ.

    1. ContentinChrist,

      THIS is AWESOME:
      “He has encouraged me through a few specific friends that, yes, this time is incredibly painful, but He, in time, will bring healing, a deep peace, joy and deepened trust in His goodness and plan. Even if things don’t go the way I want, He is able to bring me to a place of true contentment and joy no matter what. He will give me the grace to get through whatever He’s asking me to go through.”

      What a precious spiritual gift God is giving you – and I believe this is one He wants all of us to receive from Him!

      I am excited about the spiritual freedom, strength, and growth God is going to work in you, too. 🙂 I know it will be amazing!

      I also love that you are focusing on loving others in this time. That is beautiful! It reminds me of something God has been showing a number of my brothers and sisters, married and single. That we are to live a life of love – loving those God places around us. I hope to get to share something a single brother in Christ who is 57 shared with me this week. I am just waiting for his permission, but it is SO powerful.

      Love that passage in Isaiah 43 and that you are claiming God’s Word and His promises to you. I love that you are seeking Him first even though this is a very painful time and that you are open to all that He may want to show you and do in your heart at this time. That is awesome!

      Praying for God to continue to empower you as you wrestle with so many difficult thoughts, temptations, and concerns – that He will help you get to the healthy place He has for you as His daughter.

      Much love to you!

      1. PS, CIC,
        If you want to talk about some of the triggers or need a bit of help with any of the wrestling, we are here and will do anything we can to help and to point you to Christ.

        Much love!

    2. CIC, this was so beautiful. There is so much wisdom in your words. The verse in Isaiah ” I have redeemed you; I have called you by name; you are mine.” Every time, throughout my life,when I read this verse I’m so moved I feel I could die and go to heaven. For God to say to me and you,….”You are mine”….and that no one can snatched us out of His hand. I can’t explain the profundity. I love verses like that that remind me I should feel more secure in His love and just how much He loves us.

  11. How are my sisters and brothers/friends on PW? Many of you are on my mind and in my prayers tonight. This can be a hard season. I pray that God will give you all a deep joy in spite of any painful circumstances. That you will enjoy the simple pleasures that God graces us with every day and not miss the special ones that come for a season each year.

    Jesus, You are all and in all! No matter where we are, You are holding us and keeping us and Your eye is on us. Thank you for giving yourself to us, for coming to this sin-sick world to rescue us. For coming into our sin-sick selves and rescuing us. What love! What grace! Help us see with new eyes the miracle of Emmanuel – Christ with us, Christ in us, Christ as our very life.

    Amen

    1. Hi CiC 🙂

      Thanks so much for asking! It does have the potential to be a lonely season doesn’t it. I am working through most of the holidays with a short break around Christmas day. My wife has taken the kids on a beach holiday which is lovely for them. I am glad they are having fun but can not help wanting to be a part of it.

      But I do have my children for Christmas day which is great. I am not really a present buyer but I have put a lot of thought into their gifts this year to help them feel a bit of normality. I only bought them one each but they are very tailored to their individuality 🙂 I can’t wait to give them to them.

      I won’t be receiving any gifts which is PERFECT!!! Heh, my idea of a perfect Christmas gift is if someone gives me nothing, literally!! It would show me that they respect the fact that I don’t like having ‘stuff’, it would show me that they understand ‘me’ and would make me feel very loved 🙂

      By the way, that book you suggested by Linda Rooks is fantastic. I finished it yesterday but will be reading through it many times I think. So many gems of truth in it, it really speaks to the heart. Thank you for suggesting that.

      I have a slightly new challenge at the moment which has taken me by surprise. A girl at church has shown so much kindness to my kids through this separation and last Sunday she was especially patient.

      I was running late after church and she was looking after my kids. She had just put aside her plans and put me and my kids first, waited until I had finished talking and then asked how I was going and listened whilst I talked about some struggles. She just LISTENED! No interruptions, no judgement, no criticism. Her character and personality is incredibly attractive.

      She offered some scriptural support about the power of Hosea demonstrating the love of God towards unfaithful Israel. I have honestly never talked to a girl who was so patient! My daughter adores her and always picks her out to go and sit with.

      But I walked away going woah, that is really attractive! I realised afresh how vulnerable I am to kindness like that at the moment, especially from an attractive, single woman with a beautiful Godly character. I suspect that a new shark is circling my boat disguised as a dolphin…..not that she has any designs on me, she has too much integrity for that, but it made me see how the enemy may be attacking me in a new way. I will be making this a matter of much prayer!!

      I hope that this Christmas is not too difficult for you CiC. I will be praying for God to strengthen you over this time. HH

      1. HH, I hope your kids love the gift they each get from you! I find it so interesting how adamant you are that you would truly feel loved and understood by someone honoring your words that you don’t want gifts!!! Interesting!!!

        I can see how the situation you described would be something to guard your heart over. I’ll pray for you with regard to that. I, myself, can see how quickly my mind goes to feeling like I will need a man in my life to feel complete. Oh, Jesus! Bring me to a place of desiring You more than anything or anyone else ever….

        So far, so…..o.k. 🙂 for Christmas season. I truly have never cried so many tears in my life. They come easily and sometimes unexpectedly after feeling strong and even really joyful for a few hours.

        I’ve realized that I am struggling to really place this marriage at the throne of God. I still find it a strange place to be to feel like I should hope and pray for restoration of our marriage, but to also be laying it totally down. I also am very aware that I do not know if I believe prayer even matters…..because my parent’s marriage was broken for years, I prayed for years for restoration for them and it never happened. So, there’s something that God wants to heal in there, I know. But, right now….well, that’s just where I am and it keeps me from believing a lot of times that prayer even matters – or maybe I believe it matters for many other things, but definitely not broken marriages where people are hurt and things seem hopeless. Yep, definitely something God wants to speak to me about, I know.

        Thanks for your prayers, HH.

        1. Hi CiC,

          Maybe I am just really weird not wanting gifts 😜 But, it definitely would make me feel respected and loved to not receive anything!

          Thank you for bringing me before God about this girl. It is definitely a time to be on my guard and would be so easy in this Christmas season to let the guard down and feel wanted…but it is also all too easy to see where that leads and the devastation that follows. Besides, the intimacy that Christ offers is of far greater value and will never leave! ☺

          Regarding praying for your marriage and wondering if prayer really has any benefit. I want to share something with you that I was discussing with my mum today after our Christmas lunch. It is pretty heavy, almost even morbid in some ways and I am still processing it in my own mind, but it had a ring of truth to it. I have her permission to write this online.

          I have written about my grandpa’s cancerous brain tumour. It is very difficult time for my mum especially. A few years back we also lost our grandma, her mum. Grandma had rheumatoid arthritis very aggressively, and the treatment basically turned her lungs into scar tissue and she suffocated to death. As mum is dealing with the likely loss of her dad and is praying for his passing to be painless, she has been reminded of seeing her mum choking to death. She remembers lying facedown on her hospital bed praying for her mum’s passing to be painless but seeing each breath as a struggle and knowing it was so hard 🙁

          She has been very open with God lately with how she felt about this and my grandpa’s illness has shown her how bitter she was at God for not making her mother’s passing painless. She wondered whether there was any point in praying for her father’s passing to be painless when her mother’s wasn’t. As she was praying about it this morning she was led to think of the cross and how it was basically a death by suffocation. She realised that in eternity her mum would have a very unique appreciation of the way Christ died and as she was praying about it this morning she realised that her mum would gladly have born the suffering to learn something more about Christ. That was the character and nature of Grandma, she was truly one of the most incredible people I had the privilege to know 🙂

          Mum also realised that seeing her mum go through this was able to give her a new depth of understanding for the pain that Christ endured on our behalf and it helped her to see things in the light of eternity. It doesn’t mean that it wasn’t hard for her to see her mother suffer, it was very hard. But, it also doesn’t mean that her father’s passing is necessarily going to be painful and that her prayers would not be answered for him.

          It does mean that our prayers are not necessarily answered the way we want them to in the time we want them to. Sometimes God can bring a greater lesson out of our suffering than He can out of a healing. The priciple of my kids school recently made a comment about some serious issues at the school that I am involved with that “It isn’t that a believer doesn’t go through all the crap that any other person does, it is HOW we go through it that shows Christ in our lives”. I think this is very true!

          Mum finished her prayer time praising the Lord and was able to let go of the bitterness for the first time in years and was able to see something new of Christ’s love in it all 🙂

          I hope that sharing this is of a help, it seemed to be the right thing to share.

          In Christ, HH

          1. HH,
            How I love this! Thank you so much for sharing.

            You know something else I noticed as I watched Mom mom dying? I, too, prayed for her to be able to have a peaceful death and that she might not suffer if it was God’s will. She eventually did die very peacefully. But she had quite a few days of suffering first. I noticed that death is terrible. And I remembered why we die. It is because of sin. It helped me to hate sin even more and to realize that death, pain, disease, and suffering were not God’s original design for us. It was a sobering reminder of the price of sin to me – even for believers. We still face physical death because of sin.

            My mom had a very hard time seeing her mom like that. It is excruciating to see our loved ones suffering and not to be able to fix it. But there was great blessing even as we did see her suffer. It made us all ready to release her. None of us wanted her to continue in her suffering. We were able to be relieved when she passed away – and thankful that she was in heaven instead of in that old worn out body. We couldn’t possibly want her to continue on like that or to stay with us if it meant she would have to be in so much pain and to struggle so much to breathe.

            Much love in Christ to all!

            1. April,

              I can definitely see how the death of mom mom would speak to you like that! The price of sin is so sobering isn’t it. That is something that has impacted me SO much these last couple of months, the agony of the separation and the flow on issues has really made James 4:4-6 so true to my heart!!

              “You adulterous people, don’t you know that friendship with the world means enmity against God? Therefore, anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God. Or do you think Scripture says without reason that he jealously longs for the spirit he has caused to dwell in us? But he gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says:

              “God opposes the proud
              but shows favor to the humble.””

              Wow, an enemy of God?? How often in times past have I consciously made a proud decision that I knew would dishonor God! That is adultery to Him, as much as unfaithfulness would be adultery to any spouse! He is fiercely jealous of my loyalty to Him and guards that with a passion. So often now, because of my own experiences of the consequences of sin, I am checked in a thought or action and have joy in consciously surrendering that thought to my heavenly spouse. I have NO desire to cause pain to my Lord!!

              I am just so glad that my grandma, mom mom and my grandpa will know the joy of eternity with Christ 🙂

              HH

              1. HH,

                Thank you for these insights. So good!

                I’m very thankful for your grandma and grandpa’s faith – and for Mom mom’s too. What peace that brings in the midst of grief and heartache.

          2. HH, No, you’re not “weird” for not wanting gifts! It’s just who you are and how God made you! 🙂

            Thank you *very* much for sharing this. First of all, I love that your mum has such an authentic faith and is so open about sharing her own struggles. How beautiful!

            I love how God brought her back around to that issue and led her to new ways of seeing it all. He is so good! I know He will do the same thing for me. He is the Revealer of all truth and He will reveal in His time and way the insights and wisdom that will help me see that “unanswered” prayer in a different way.

            I can say this, for sure, right now. That because my mom and dad’s marriage had similar dyamics to what I’m going through now, my mom is a friend to me in a different way than my other friends are. Because she really, truly understands the deep hurt. But, of course, I wish that she had never had to go through it and also, that my dad would have truly sought her forgiveness for the ways he hurt her over the years. I believe my dad was a Christian and that God had done a deeper work in his life the last years before he got Alzheimer’s, but for some reason, he never was able to give my mom that closure and apology that she needed. My personal opinion is that he was scared of her rejecting it. But, I don’t know for sure. Only God knows.

            Sometimes, I wonder if our prayers are mostly self-centered or centered on the comfort of ourselves and others. When really our prayers should be for us and all around us to know Christ more and for God to be glorified through the situation. This is where I struggle because I am quite aware that I’m not desiring God’s glory over my comfort many times.

            And, as you said, the suffering in our lives is truly what enables us to know Christ more and to learn to live from His life like we wouldn’t if we thought we could handle this life on our own.

            Thanks again for sharing this. Hope you had a great Christmas!

            1. Hey all,

              Merry Christmas, I prayed for you all a lot over the weekend. That during whatever faced you the real and tangible presence of God’s peace would be with you.

              My Christmas was ‘different’ this year. It wasn’t as lonely as it could have been. I had many family members reach out to me in different ways, even my sisters husbands parents (haha that sounds complicated) asked me to share their Christmas meal and celebrations together 🙂

              The song Control by Tenth Avenue North is an incredible encouragement.

              CiC, I haven’t always had a relationship with my mum like that. It has only become that open in the last two years, it is one of the beautiful fruits of the suffering and humility that the Lord is creating in me. She never felt free to be like that with me until now, she has told me recently that she was always nervous of giving her opinion to me because I was always ‘right’….ugh, I’ve heard that so often lately, BUT I praise God that people now feel free to share their true self with me!

              Love to all always, In Christ HH

              1. HH,

                So thankful that you had so many reach out to you for Christmas. That is such a blessing.

                Continuing to pray for God’s will and His greatest glory in your life, your children’s lives, and your wife’s life, as well, dear brother!

              2. Thank you April.

                I am up late praying tonight, I have just taken the kids to see my grandpa to say goodbye. My daughter prayed for him and made him funny faces to cheer him up. My son is a bit glum and asked a lot of questions about tumours.

                Grandpa has had a very sudden surgery scheduled for tomorrow morning and there is a 40% chance he won’t make it through due to other health issues. We did not expect surgery for a few weeks. They are removing a part of the brain to try and get all the tumour but we don’t have a lot of confidence in the doctor at the moment, first they said the tumour was in the LHS then they said it’s in the RHS!! I find it difficult to have confidence in them when they talk about the wrong side of the head. HH

              3. HH,

                How did your Grandpa do during the surgery? 🙁 So thankful you and your kids got to see him. This part is so yucky! Praying for all of you! And the doctors. Goodness!

              4. Thank you April.

                The doctors cancelled the surgery yesterday and had a meeting with grandpa and members of the family to discuss the process. We were very thankful for this. We were given more information, were able to look at the MRI results and were able to make an informed decision together with grandpa. He wanted the surgery to go ahead and has been in the theatre for the past 3 hours. We will know by the end of today what the outcome will be.

                In Christ, HH

              5. HH. I am praying for you and your family tonight. It is in God’s hands ultimately. But I will rally with you and pray for peace and comfort today. Blessings, brother.

              6. Hello PW friends.

                Grandpa has come out of surgery and woken up. All diseased tissue has been removed, his vitals are good, he can move all limbs on command and is able to answer basic questions correctly. As far as brain surgery goes it appears to be a successful operation. If his recovery continues to go well his life expectancy has been increased to around 15 months, which whilst still a short time is more than anyone was expecting. Thank you all for your prayer and thoughts at this time!

                In Christ, HH

              7. HH, I’m so filled with joy at this update! Wow, the power of prayer! I will keep praying for swift recovery. I feel the blessing from God that you will have more time to be with him, pray with him, tie up loose ends, heal any hurts together and have that time to help each other say goodbye. Even though it can be so painful and hard to do so, it can be a wonderful blessing to have that “one more day to tell you how much I love you.” This sure seems like a granted wish. So please, I pray that each and every one of you recognize this “one more day” and squeeze every drop of love out of your self and pour into this loved one. I promise, God will return it all back double.

                God bless you today.

              8. Thank you LMS!! It is a very good outcome and I am certain that we will all use it to spend time with him and love him through to the end 🙂 HH

    2. Thank you, CiC. I am so glad to have this forum. This may be a tough Christmas for me as I battle my lonliness. But I know that we all have choices. I can choose to either disengage and enter more solitude, or be engaged. I can either choose to be happy and find joy where I am, even if it is not where I would like to be, or I can choose to be angry, miserable and dwelling in “pity city”. I can choose to find the joy and happiness that comes from giving to others and being that “miracle” in someone’s life, or I can choose to look out for number one and take more than I give.

      Although I may feel alone in my marriage, my heart goes out to all those who feel alone in some way this season. The single, divorced, widowed, and seperated. The mothers of young children who are always giving and don’t have someone taking care of them. The people in leadership who are trying to take care of a flock. The persecuted, the isolated, the mentally disturbed, the shy, the emotionally battered, the physically battered….I’m sure I’m missing some. But you are not alone. Jesus “gets” you. He came to earth and experienced this lonliness himself…all of it. He promises to never leave your side and to give you rest under His wing. He is there and understands and never leaves us.

      All in all, I’m working hard to keep my “candle lit” this year. I have placed a single candle (electric, but hey), in the window of my craft room/prayer room. It represents my soul and the light still there. It shines out to those lost in the dark, provides a focal point to draw towards and reminds me that the light will burst through the darkness. I plan to keep it there, even after Christmas.

      I pray for you all this Christmas as we celebrate the birth of our Savior. He lights the candle within us.

      I pray for all of my candles out there around the world. Blessings and hugs to you all.

      1. LMS, I’ll think of you when I see the candles in my mom’s windows (battery operated, lol!). She has put them in her windows for many Christmases now, but they have a new meaning for me now after reading your comments.

        Oh, how I pray that God will break through as He did on when He came to this earth as a baby. That He will break through the darkness and birth something new in your family.

        But, in the meantime, I pray that He will grace you with some moments of refreshment for your weary soul and broken heart. That He will continue to heal your heart and bind it up.

        I love you, sister. May you tangibly feel His presence and comfort so that your strength is renewed and you can soar on wings like eagles again.

  12. Merry Christmas April and my brothers and sisters in Christ! I pray so much that this Christmas we each encounter a moment where we feel our spiritual cup overflowing no matter what our circumstances. Whether we are lost in wonder watching a bird on a branch or when our eyes close instinctively as we enjoy the sun on our faces. Or a scripture verse that stops us in our tracks for contemplation. These momentary graces where we become entranced in Gods majesty, brief and yet quenching an inner depth that brings renewed hope and strength to persevere through the day. Sometimes they catch us by surprise, off guard, other times through the graciousness of our Lord we remember they are readily available to us anytime. I pray our children have these moments too and that each of you see the gift of their precious smiles this Christmas. God bless you all and grant strength, joy, health in all forms, peace and wisdom to all of us and our precious families.

  13. Hello all my PW sisters and brothers. I hope you all had a Christmas filled with peace and grace. Our Lord has come and we all celebrate the gift of life He will bring.

    I want to share an interesting discussion that came up between my dh and I over the holiday. I really wanted to try to avoid “relationship” talk until after the new year because I wanted to spend my limited energy on focusing on good things, not arguing, dealing with hurt feelings, trying to be heard, seen or counted by my husband who is just not very present. But, that was my wish, not my reality. Things came up. Tension ran higher than I hoped for. I worked hard at biting my tongue, letting things go and staying positive. I did better than in the past, but really struggled with how easily offended I became overy things said. He tried hard to be polite, cordial and positive….I give him that. There was effort. I received some beautiful gifts from my kids, my relatives, and even from my husband. But what I wanted could not be bought from a store or wrapped up in a bow.

    I knew this year was not going to be a “Pintrest perfect” Christmas. I didn’t go all out with baking, or kill myself to get “everything” my kids or dh wanted. I didn’t do a cookie exchange. We didn’t get up at the crack of dawn to put the turkey on…we had “make your own tacos” instead. Presents were wrapped and bows put on. Some pretty, but not all of them. The tree was put up and we all put the ornaments on, but not all my decorations went out. Our elf on the shelf moved a bit, but not the antics like in the past, especially because both my kids are aware of who Santa is. This depresses my husband and he is bitter at me for telling the kids 3 years ago. I wanted to spend my time and energy on the things that really mattered. Spending time with God. Helping my family. Providing the house for us all to get together. Supporting my sister in law when her father passed away. Decorating the cookies with my friend and her little children to keep them occupied while the men worked on mechanical things in the garage. and seeing the delight on their faces over their creations and thoughtful gifts. I put a candle in my prayer room window. I prayed for my provision. I had a couple glasses of wine to just take me down a notch. I rarely drink alcohol.

    Christmas night, my dh and I are laying in bed. I asked if he enjoyed his christmas. “Yes, but I don’t understand why you didn’t do (insert critical comment of insignificance here), or why you did do (insert additional small item) instead…I don’t do things like that.”

    Some dumb thing he took offense over. Nothing on my radar. I had no idea he would feel so strongly about. It made him feel left out and not included somehow…like am inside private joke he wasn’t part of…an issue I had discussed with him a few months earlier…..I inadvertently did the same thing back. I looked like a hippocrite to him. Ugh. He’s right. I’m so sorry. I will defiantly not make that same mistake again.

    Yet, out of the 95 things that were right and good, he chose to focus on a few negatives. I never heard “you did great, good job, thank you for your hard work, your surprises were fun, the house looks great, the food was delicious, the kids were great….” Yes, I longed for that approval. At one point, I slipped and let out a clue for another person’s present. My dh looked me square in the eye, pressed his lips together and just shook his head in pure dissappointment of me. It was crushing. I felt so small, embarrasssed, exposed and not good enough…again. Will I ever be done “doing time for my crime” in his eyes? It seems that whatever ways he feels he has been hurt by me, no matter how many times I have appologized (I don’t appologize now, except for current things), or however much I have changed my ways, it’s just not enough for him. I tried my best.

    So, here us the discussion that came out the morning after Christmas. “I did my best” and “good enough”. Two phrases that people use to justify their behavior. My dh hates “I tried my best”. He thinks it’s a lousy excuse to do a sub par job of anything. It puts the blame on someone who can’t accept the effort, when in reality, the person should be saying, “I did what I felt was good enough”. Example: Someone at a job does an incomplete job at a task, throws his hands in the air and says “I did my best”. No, not really, did you ask for help, did you research the project, did you do x,y,z? If not, it wasn’t really your best, you just felt it was good enough. At least saying “good enough” puts the ownership on the person who is accountable. “Good enough” says “this is all the energy or time I care to put into this project”.

    True. But if someone is truly “doing their best” with the information at the time, or skill level they have, and it still gets rejected, what motivation is it to keep trying “their best”. Does it eventually degrade into “good enough” because the best isn’t enough anyway?

    So, I hate “good enough”. To me, it is accepting mediocrity. It is being minimalistic and doing the bare minimum. It is giving up simply out of laziness or lack of care. A half done Christmas tree because company is on their way over and the meal needs to be started is “good enough”. Washing a car and not scrubbing the engine compartment is good enough. All acceptable. Those things may not need “my best” because they are not as important as other things to me.

    But having a “good enough” marriage or raising kids “good enough”? Being a good enough Christian, or being a good enough wife/husband/friend? Not flying in my book. Yet, I have learned to find joy in what I have. Sometimes we have to accept “good enough” and be happy even if it is not what we hope for. The things on this earth may not be good enough to me, but God never sees us as “good enough” He wants us to do our best. Yet learn and continue to do better than before. He never expects perfection, but encourages and praises our efforts to seek Him. Good enough…eh….no one wants to feel or be “good enough”. But God also knows when we are using “I tried my best” as an excuse that really should be labeled “good enough”. If we are being honest with ourselves.

    I’m interested to hear if either of these phrases resonates with you? Especially in the way we treat our relationships with our spouses, our kids, our family of origin, our friends, our jobs….or…how about our relationship with God?

    Are we being “good enough” wives to our husbands? Are we “trying our best”? Are we feeling discouraged from truly doing our best and not feeling appreciated for it? Are we doing our best for God? Or just being good enough? I challenge you to really look at your relationships and ask.. “Am I doing my best? Or is it just good enough?” The reality may be very surprising and telling. I will post my areas of “good enough” in a day or two… a way of admitting where I am kot giving my best.

    I, for one, will admit, there were many things that would have irritated me, annoyed me or put me in a bad mood over this holiday, people come with quirks. But I conscienciouly chose to focus on the good and let those little things go. Therefore, I enjoyed the people much more. I found the joy in God’s ways and His word. I truly enjoyed this Holiday, but it was not easy to do. I felt the enemy swirling around like a krampus trying to kill, steal and destroy. But love, and faith saw me through.

    2017 is going to be a great year. I look forward to learning more about our Heavenly Lord. I look forward to healing, making crooked paths straight, the courage, joy and wisdom to come. I pray for all of you to receive all of that in 2017 as well.

    All my love.

    1. LMS, as I read your post, I remembered reading the title of a blog post the other day at a website I had been doing a little reading on. So, I went over there to read and think it’s very appropriate for you and your situation.

      http://www.hurtbylove.com/the-burden-of-perfectionism/

      It hurts me to hear how your husband is treating you. 🙁 I see the enemy using him to keep you in a state of condemnation and feeling like you can always keep trying and trying to be better and better, to somehow get to a state of being able to please your husband. I think it’s a losing battle as long as your husband is operating in that mindset. You will never be perfect enough, there will always be SOMETHING that you could have done better or shouldn’t have said a certain way, or whatever.

      Your description of how you handled Christmas was beautiful – with grace and wisdom. God is pleased with you, LMS. You are worthy and, in Christ, you are more than enough. Jesus is living and manifesting His own life through you. How could that not be enough? You are not walking in rebellion to God, you are open to His leading and He is displaying His glory through you. Like Paul, we press on toward the goal that Christ Jesus has already attained for us. We don’t get caught in morbid introspection, but trust that God will continue to sanctify us in His time and way. Our only job is to rest in Him and to trust that He will continue to do this ongoing work in our lives.

      Yes, there are always ways to grow in the Christian life. God is gracious to point those things out to us lovingly and with no condemnation. His laying his finger on an area in our lives comes with the grace to be open to His teaching us more and to change behaviors as He leads and guides us – and definitely doesn’t come with a condemning feeling.

      Maybe I am reading your comment wrong, LMS, through the wrong lens, but I feel like your husband’s constant blaming you is really having an effect on the way you’re thinking. I love you, sister. If I’m seeing wrong, I’m sorry. I’m concerned for you. I love you dearly.

    2. LMS,

      Hi 🙂 I just want to take one thing out of what you said and share with you something that I am praying will be seen by your spiritual eyes! When you are talking about being a “good enough Christian” or giving our best to God—-I just want to share that we can NEVER do anything in ourselves or hand to God anything worth anything. We are DEAD in His sight in ourselves—and now all He sees in us is Christ. Christ is our righteousness, sanctification, wisdom, salvation, etc. Everything is in CHRIST. And when we draw away from that, and say that we need to be at “our best” in order to offer something to God that He can use or work with, we are totally undoing all the work of the Cross of Christ! It is not what we are AT ALL, it is what CHRIST IS! That is the only attitude we are to have in terms of anything in our christian walk and spiritual life!

      That is not to say we don’t do anything, act immoral, or anything of the sort. What it means is that we do not count on ourselves AT ALL to reach God. We have absolutely nothing to give that is worth anything in ourselves. It is CHRIST ALONE.

      And to me, that is the best news EVER! That is why our Lord is so GREAT! It is His Glory!!

      I know there are a lot of psychology and things that have gotten into christianity and have brought about this idea that we have to give God our best! And try our hardest! And then God will be able to do something with us that is good.

      That is not according to Christ at all, and it actually takes away from His work in the Cross and puts the focus back on OURSELVES. And when the focus is on ourselves, then we are basically saying that we can be good enough, and we can not. That is a lie.

      Everything needed to walk as He walked is provided by Christ alone—-we can do nothing.

      I pray you will see this with opened eyes and be set free from any idea that we can be good enough or that it is all about offering our best. “Ye are dead, and your life is hidden in Christ”

      Love,
      Amanda

  14. Hi LMS,
    My husband also does the putting his head down with eyes downcast and a nod of disapproval that really is soul crushing. The worse is the very minor things that would cause this. The last time it was related to something so insignificant the only thing I remember about it was the hurt I felt. It is not that he intends to make me feel small, it’s an ugly habit he’s developed that stems from a set of expectations not meeting his standards. Now, since I know that whatever I or the kids have done to merit the downcast look of disapproval was not done on purpose I realize it’s something he has to work on and it’s not my fault. For many years I’ve devalued myself over this so it is a substantial discovery that has lightened my heart very recently as I, at the moment, either say to myself or oftentimes as of late I’ll say it directly to him….something along the lines of “You’re disappointed again? You know that was a mistake, or unintentional or I forgot…” My goal is to have him hear how many times I ask him if he’s disappointed again so he can see it in himself and hopefully change this poor behavior. He’s done this for many years and it is only now that I see that it is his issue and not me being a bad wife, mother etc…. We have a good marriage and this still happens so my goal of catching him doing this and mentioning it to him (because he knows I’ve mentioned how much it hurts) works for the dynamic we have now. Before, we had worse problems and I wouldn’t even mention it but it would have helped to know that it truly is a problem and a habit stemming from him and not me. I would have avoided alot of pain had I trusted in that because I was doing the best I can.

    There are many reasons our spouses offend us with insensitivity. One thing that I have learned is that my best someday is a grand feast, I lay out chips with salsa, I make 2 dinners, I tell the kids to invite their friends over and I have an abundance of energy and joy filled spirit. The next weekend I may barely make it to do the laundry and it hurts that I have to get up to make brunch for everyone so when I do get up on the day I feel tired and I make tuna and I haven’t done the laundry and my husband doesn’t smell dinner at 5, that’s my best. LMS, I know when these days happen, I know full well that even though he won’t say anything (he usually makes it known by opening the fridge or some such thing) he has an expectation I haven’t fulfilled. My old self would have would have lashed out in anger saying I’m too tired let’s order because I knew then that I had to let him know that I failed and so I’m angrily acknowledging this while asking to order dinner instead. He would then pretend that he doesn’t know what I’m talking about and that he didn’t “say” anything. Those days or years are gone, now I tell him, not in the mood to cook I’m too tired. I try to say it in a respectul way with an apologetic smile. Even this is rare because I usually work like a horse when I’m tire anyway.

    Doing your best is doing what you can out of love when you’re body is telling you you’d rather be in bed napping because you may be spiritually drained, emotionally spent or physically tired even against our will. There will be people who see the effort and others blinded by their own self interests. I know that’s the part that hurts and you can only pray and continue to hold our tongues when we hear words directed at us that cut to our core. Especially when we have done our best. They don’t know but God knows and at the end of the day I thank God for giving me the strength to have gotten through the day.

    I’m suffering now for something going on with my teen son and his poor choices that could affect his future. I would appreciate any prayers for him. Thank you all and God be with us all.

    1. SIC, I’m sorry about the hurt and struggle with your teenage son. May God use this time to bring things out into the light. I pray this ends up being a situation where your son learns more about the consequences we all face over our sin (it may hurt, but it is so good for our kids to have the natural reaping of what they’ve sown….the earlier the better so they can grow and mature).

      I think we all can understand the things you said in your other comment, too. It is very hard to surrender our children to God, to know that they are part of this world and will suffer, too. We think if we hold onto them, we can spare them that. We distance ourselves from this God whose ways we can’t always understand. But, we only hurt ourselves in the meantime. We rob ourselves of the joy of surrender, of the peace that comes when we trust that God is always, always good, that there is no darkness in Him at all and that we can trust Him with our Isaacs.

      I heard a sermon this morning – again from Tony Evans – about laying down our Isaacs. Really good.

      http://tonyevans.org/jehovah-jireh-2/

      It then reminded me of an interview I heard a year or so ago on Christian radio with an author who wrote a book called When I Lay My Isaac Down (Carol Kent). The book might be too much for you right now where you are emotionally, SIC, but all of what I heard this morning and thought of fits so perfectly with what you’re saying, that I feel God has something to say to you (and all of us!) about laying your Isaac(s) – your children – down.

      Anyway, I’ll be praying for you, that God will gently speak to you in your fears and that He will lovingly lead you to that place where you are able to put your children entirely in His hands. Your punishment has been taken care of on the cross. There is no more condemnation for you in Christ. God knew about this struggle in your life before the earth began. He has eyes of love for you in your struggle, not a condemning stern look wondering why you are where you are. He understands and He will do this work in you. Rest in His unfailing love for you, rest in the fact that He is showing you this even now to bring you to a more spacious place of freedom. He will do the rest and will walk you through every step. He is for you, not against you. Even when He allows painful circumstances into our lives and the lives of others, He is only using them to bring about more freedom. How do we wrap our brains around that and understand it all? I don’t think we can totally. But, somewhere deep inside, I know you know this to be true.

      Love you–

      1. Thank you CIC, your words were very healing to my heart. Very much so. I will listen to the recommendation on laying down Isaacs. Thank you again. You’re very kind in the way you reach out. ((hug))

  15. One more thing I wanted to add is that I know I’m not giving my best to God. At least I know God knows exactly why, even though I may not understand fully myself. But now that we have an issue with my son, I need God more. I go to church everyday but that’s not enough. I need to pray intently every day, I need to make time for Gods eternal Word everyday. I feel I need to do more and what’s holding me back is hurt and fear. I fear the world sometimes, i fear my children getting hurt in this world and so instead of getting closer to God, sometimes I distance myself because I know that He knows that they will have pain in this life, possibly great pain and there’s nothing I can do to stop it. And I wish He would protect them always. I fear I idolize them and I fear He’ll punish that. This holds me back sometimes, my children are my life, they are my joy and to know that anything horrible can happen paralyzes my spiritual growth. I think this may be the reason. For years now I don’t read the newspaper or watch the news.

    1. SisterinChrist,

      I was reading your comment and I just want to share something with you, if you might be open to hearing it! It is intended to bring life and not death to you!

      I noticed you are saying you haven’t given God your best because you have not made more time to pray and read the Word. You go to church everyday but you don’t think that is enough. Sister, our relationship with Christ is not based on how many times we go to a building, how many times we pray, or how many times we read the Bible or for how ever long we read it. Our relationship is solely based on the Cross of Christ having forever put to death our old man, and now if we are born again, we are joined to the Lord in spirit. Our human spirit is joined to the Lord by His Spirit. That is the only basis of our relationship with the Lord. Sure, we read, fellowship, pray, etc…but that is only because we are truly joined to the Lord in spirit. We don’t do those things to create our union with the Lord.

      I fear you are blinded by some kind of religious formalism, and I pray you will see the truth and be set free! God is not a God of punishment to those who are His. Jesus Christ died on the Cross to take our punishment that we deserved in ourselves—– therefore there is no more judgment or punishment on us. We are now walking in newness of life, and if in newness of life, then we are to walk by the Spirit, and when we walk by the Spirit, there is no more condemnation because we are in Christ! 🙂 And that is great news!

      The only way to true spiritual growth is by keeping the LORD JESUS in view. He is to be our life, our joy, our everything. And you speak rightly when you say that if you are idolizing anything else, you will be limited in growth.

      Perfect love casts out fear! If Christ is Lord of your life, you have nothing to fear, because you trust in Him. When we are living with Christ as Lord, our only concern is for the Lord’s glory and His interests and purposes to be accomplished—at whatever the cost. He is to have His place as Lord in our lives—- and no one and thing else!

      Love,
      Amanda

      1. Hi Amanda! Thank you for your response. I’m convalidating my marriage today but will definitely respond to your points when I am able as I’d like to clarify.

      2. Hi Amanda, thank you for your patience with me! I was actually getting married through the church after having a civil marriage for 16 years. It was one of the greatest days of my life. Just my small family, 2 witnesses and the priest.

        When I stated I haven’t given God my best, first of all I was down that morning because of something that transpired so you may have read my comment as being down because I think I owe God more in order to be saved perhaps. I do owe God more, but not for that reason.

        When I attend mass I don’t enter into a building. I am entering into a piece of heaven on earth. I’m reading the Lambs Supper by Scott Hahn which explains it perfectly. Going to mass everyday has transformed my life more than anything on this earth has.

        When I am immersed in Gods Word and pray intently, I am a different person. The Holy Spirit empowers me with patience, strength- in holding my tongue- in enduring, in using wisdom to make choices and a plethora of other wonderful fruits of the spirit. When I don’t pray or immerse myself in God’s word I am more susceptible to let my amour down and get snippy, impatient or worse, lose heart in my life over circumstances or people.
        My relationship is built on the Cross of Christ but if you have a friend you never visit how long will that friendship last. How well would you know the person if you don’t nurture and water that friendship. By reading Gods Word and praying I am visiting my Lord, I am showing Him I want to be with Him closely. And when I’ve joined myself to the Lord it builds my relationship, it builds my union with Him which is necessary as I walk this journey encountering people and circumstances that, in retrospect, with immersing myself in prayer, as Jesus did, I am in a MUCH better place to keep Him in view and deal with the outside world. Prayer is powerful, God’s word is sharper than any 2 edged sword. I’m using that armour He gifted us with.

        I punish myself if I don’t draw near to God so He can draw near to me as James 4:8 states. I am not blinded but I am set free with these truths scripture and prayer allow me to see and allow me to walk in His spirit, praise God.

        1. SisterinChrist,

          I’m so glad you got a chance to clarify that! 🙂 I did take it as though you were saying you were down because you were not giving God your best!

          As far as everything else—I am in agreement with you sister! Those things are necessary BECAUSE of our spirit union with the Lord! We can not grow without the time spent with the Lord, in His Word, and fellowshipping. I agree!

          Anyone would be lost without that time spent. I know if I even spend so much as a few days away from my regular time with the Lord alone, I am just as lost and much more susceptible to fall under trial as anybody! It is imperative that we keep the Lord in view always!

          What the Lord has shown me and that I want to share with you and all is that, even though those things are important for our walk with the Lord, as you said, they are not the basis of our actual relationship with the Lord.

          If you or I are thrown in jail and we don’t have a Bible to read, or the Body to fellowship with, or a church to go to, we are still joined to the Lord in spirit—and our relationship and union can not be taken away because we don’t have those outward things, does that make sense?

          1. Hi Amanda, yes Amen. I recall reading many stories of prisoners who were grateful for their scripture reading as they needed it during their confined years with no bible. Thank you for your kind response. God bless you and hope all is well.

  16. Hi everyone, just checking in to see how everyone is and how the holidays are going. I am encouraged to read some positive experiences and the victories the Lord has given you in your circumstances. I know as well so many are still hurting and going though painful times and I am praying for you all that you will continue to stay focused on Him so
    He can see you through. Only you and the Lord know your own experience and I am praying your individual needs will be met whatever they may be.

    Our Christmas here was the most relaxed we have had in years and I too did not stress about so many things. We had a great Christmas Day with family, although my husband has been working straight 12’s days and nights the past 9 days. Despite the long shifts both days and nights I feel like my husband and I are more connected/engaged this Christmas than we have been in a long time. Only 2 more shifts and we are off together for a few days I am looking forward to that.

    i gave my husband a special gift a ring with a personal engraved message. It was the special gift I was supposed to give him to show admiration when I was doing the respect dare and I couldn’t decide on anything. I didn’t know how he would react especially he isn’t a jewelry type guy but i just felt it was the right gift. He put it on right away and hasn’t taken it off and I am so filled with gratitude to the Lord as I see him wearing it. Less than a year ago my husband was making plans how to leave and told me he was done. God spoke to me at our darkest time and then He gave us a second chance. He showed me anything is possible with Him and with Him I have nothing to fear. When I gave my heart to the Lord I didn’t even know if I would have a marriage anymore and I have been blessed beyond what I ever even imagined. I pray for restoration for all your marriages and I know with God anything is possible. I see the dark pit we were in, the bad state of our relationship and I know if He can completely turn around our marriage with only one believer, anything is possible. I will continue to pray for you all.

    1. Trulyblessed…thank you for the inspiring and uplifting update. I pray that we all can experience some kind of restoration like that. But even if the marriage is not restored, God can celebrate the restoration of OUR relationship with Him. We were once very far and distant from Him, and now we are more connected and growing closer. He loved us first, therefore we love. That is the best part. As we live this life on earth, until we are called home, I pray God can bless all of you to be able to heal those wounds, learn, grow, be courageous, patient, wise, strong and humble.

      Prayers out to you all today to go into 2017 with a heart of hope.

      Hugs.

      1. LMSdaily115 – Thank you for you update. I am praying for God’s wisdom for you, for His Spirit’s power and strength, and for you to be able to hear His voice clearly and for you to be filled to overflowing with Jesus. I pray for God to continue His work in your life and to work mightily in your husband’s life – whatever it takes to bring him to Christ – and your children’s lives.

        TrulyBlessed,
        Thank you for your update! I rejoice with you! 🙂 I pray God will continue His good work in each of you for His glory!

        CIC,
        Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts and insights. I continue to pray for you and your family, as well – that God will accomplish His good purposes in your life, your children’s lives and your husband’s life. I pray God will bring your husband to Christ whatever it may take, as well. I pray for you to grow in Christ and to clearly hear His voice and to abide in Him continually.

  17. Hi, all. Coming here broken and weary and just asking for prayer, please.

    My heart is just broken. I am fighting to take thoughts captive, I know the right answers in my head, but I can’t seem to make myself get where I need to be. I know I’m grieving… can’t imagine living with this pain for an unknown extended period.

    Jesus, help me.

    1. Hang in there CIC, pray intently, again, now. I’m running out of my house now but wanted to respond quickly. No time for thought on how I’m phrasing my words but here’s what popped in my head. Please do these things, remember to focus on whatever is good, lovely. …
      After you pray put on praise songs right away
      Get mad at the enemy fir attacking you and fight back with your armor
      Good music, a good show, I’ve been watching a journey home.
      Fast, Even for a few hours with a special intent that you will say in your immediate prayer
      The spiritual combat (I’m literally looking around my room)by Dom Lorenzo ScapulI is a classic treasure.
      Feed your ears (music) don’t be in too much silence when your down (learned from my mother) or pick up uplifting book or watch an edifying program. It works for the now. Don’t believe the enemy that tells you it won’t work. I really feel for you and will be thinking of you. Sorry fir the rushed response I’m literally running out the door but honestly my heart is also hurting and so I wanted to share.
      It does work if you are blessed with the time to do these things

      1. Thank you, SIC!!! I’ve been crying out to God since last night and then this morning to speak a word to me to get me through to a better place emotionally. I do need to remember to focus on whatever is good. You’re right. I have definitely not been doing that. My thoughts have been focused on the future and what my husband might be doing and what he did in the past and all those other things that have no life or hope or peace in them. Thank you for always reminding me of that. I will need to be reminded again….thank you for speaking the truth.

        I got up and have been busier today than yesterday, so that also helps!

        I hope you are ok. I’ll pray for you now. We are here for you, too, if you want to share.

    2. Content in Christ. I’m not sure what exactly you are wrestling with. You can email me personally if it helps. I can feel you being scared, unsure of the future. Maybe even full of doubt. All of that is from the enemy. If you stay afraid, you will be led to the easiest path…but that is not God’s path. Love conquers fear.

      What has been your husbands responses to your leaving? How are your kids responding to this? What are your biggest fears right now?

      Yes, it is lonely. You may even be wondering if staying with him was better than this. Maybe in the future, God will bring some wisdom and enlightenment. But for now, I would like to suggest focus on healing. Focus on trusting God. You have been in a long term relationship that has died. It may be restored or not. If your marriage becomes restored, just know that you both will be different people and it will be a new marriage all together. If it doesn’t get restored, then you will still be a new person as well.

      I caution you from sitting in Pity City for too long. Even David sat for some time after his town had burnt, his family carried away and everything he owned was gone. He grieved. You need to as well. But fir a season. Then the time comes to choose. Choose. Choose to stand up, wipe off the dust and continue to live the life God has designed for you. You cannot control if your husband will ever become the man you want him to be. Yes, there are thousands of things that he should’ve and could’ve done. But he didnt. It is costing him. It’s costing you. It’s the price of sin. Yours and his.

      Although our situations have similarities and differences, I have learned that when I am angry, pride sets in. I stomp my foot down emotionally and I can feel this sense of “payback” creep inside of me. “I’m mad as heck and I’m not taking it anymore.” The problem is, that’s not God’s way either. He isn’t interested in payback. He is interested in pay it forward. Yes, we need boundaries….to guard our heart and not get sucked into evil things. But we cannot go through this life without some compassion for others. Especially our lost husbands. I can come up with hundreds of things that he could and should do that would help tjis marriage heal…in my opinion. But then I realize he could probably do the same…in his opinion. My pride keeps me from massaging my husband’s feet. “He never even touches me, hugs me or talks with me, why should I?”–payback thinking. But if I think…”my husband is lost. He doesn’t understand how much he needs God in his life. These things he chases to fill the hole are empty. I know his feet hurt from working all day. I can reflect the light of God’s love and offer to massage his feet…no expectations. I’ll do it EVEN IF my husband doesn’t thank me, reciprocate, or touch me back. It is a gift…freely given…like God’s love to us. We love because He loved us first.” When I love my husband (first), it teaches him to love BECAUSE of that first love. I usually feel like it isn’t appreciated or even noticed. But, every once in a while, something must have got through. I got a long, huge hug on Christmas morning. A foot rub myself the other night. He bought me a special gift to help ease my own physical pain…totally unsolicited. In his own way, he loves me. It’s not at all the ways I would like, long for or need, but it is his ways. I have learned it will never be perfect. Never be the “happily ever after” of a fairytale marriage. But it will be ours. We can grow, learn each other, be open and honest, humble and compassionate. Yet, still, I know I need to grow more in my own right. I have needed these last 2 years of “solitude” to find myself…Sans husband. I have discovered how incredibly sensitive I am…almost to a fault, yet when sensitivity is needed, like with my hormonal teenage daughter, I’m the person for the job. It’s a gift and a curse at the same time. I’m learning how to armor up against being overly offended at each little thing.

      My husband thinks I am too accepting. That I feel everything in the world is acceptable. He thinks my silence means acceptance. I can love a gay person, but I can hate the lifestyle. There is a difference, but my husband would see a gay person as trash and condemn them for it. That’s not right. God loves all people, sinners, gay, white, black, straight, murders and theifs. I told him once…”a hospital is not for the healthy” . He wondered why I like to go to church. He thinks we are all self righteous and hippocrites. I said church is not a museum of the saints, it’s a hospital for sinners. Of course you will see that stuff there. But you see that stuff out of church too. We are seeking help. Some have found it, some are still searching, learning. Some, like me, didn’t find that help in church. I found it in a messy all purpose room at the end of the hall in my house. But it was there that God opened my eyes. Church helps me refine my faith. Gives me support from others who have been in my shoes.

      Cic, I hope you are gathering your support all around you. Keep searching for God in the darkness. The path may seem dimly lit, but it’s there. Just don’t rush it. Your husband needs the space too. You are not alone. God never leaves you. Be grateful to have this rest, this solitude to really, deeply think and pray for wisdom from God. Listen to Him, even if He wants you to do something that you don’t want to do. Try to obey Him fully and swiftly. You cannot know His ways, you just need to trust Him. He may even ask you to return to your marriage one day. You may be digging your heels saying no way, God, after all of this? But listening to God will be your way through the desert.

      It takes great courage to have done what you have done. I know my husband asking me for a divorce catapulted me into a relationship with God that I never would’ve had otherwise. Not sure if he appreciates my new found faith, but I know he appreciates that there have been definite changes in my attitude. I’m still very much on shaky ground, but I sense the room getting a tad brighter.

      In your case, it may get worse before it gets better. But it wasn’t getting better on its own either. You feel you followed where God wanted you to go. So let God get to work. You work on you. Ask Him to peel back the layers and refine you. Search for ways to be an angel gor others. Still love your husband, even if you hate his lifestyle. He is your brother in Christ.

      Today I pray for you to ask God for wisdom. To help you stay strong and patient and rest in God. You did your part in the marriage for now. Now, it’s time to refine yourself. Your husband is not on your page. I pray for you to take this time of solitude and use it to becone closer to God.

      Although it is Friday, remember that Sunday is coming.

      All my love, sweet sister.

      1. LMS,
        THIS is beautiful!!!!!! SO MUCH TRUTH IN WHAT YOU WROTE. Love it.
        CIC, praying for you….
        LMS, I’m praying for you too…
        Love,
        NB

      2. Thank you, LMS. Thank you. I needed that. Right after I posted, I came across some books on Amazon that had good reviews and I downloaded, like, four of them right in a row. A Max Lucado one on Joseph’s life (You’ll Get Through This), a few others that seem to focus on having the right mental process as I go through this – which, interestingly, the reviews were very similar to the things you’re saying. More of the “let go” terminology and understanding that I can only control myself. Actually, LMS, one’s topic was on MLC and made me think of you (called Detach and Survive: A Book of Self-Care for the Wives of Midlife Crisis Men). I started this book this morning and I really like what she’s saying so far – short excerpt below:

        “I used the term ‘loving detachment’ because it is not about trying not to care, of course you care. It’s more about saying “I love you enough that, despite the fact that it hurts me and I do not understand, I will not interfere with what you are choosing to do…..”

        She talks about him having to go on his own journey – that might be a long one – and that may or may not lead him back to you. But, it is his journey to take and we can’t control it. We can only control ourselves and we need to focus on ourselves and our healing to be able to go forward.

        I can say that, without a doubt, when I am feeling strong and good, it is in those times where I have truly put my husband back in God’s hands and stopped worrying about what he’s doing, might be doing, did in the past, etc. It is so good in that place. I don’t know why I keep going back. Well, I guess I do….24 years – this will be a process and I need to give myself grace for this, too.

        I started hitting the “One click to buy” button (or whatever it is, lol) and rapidly bought these books after a few seconds of guilt about spending the money. Then realized I am not spending $140 an hour on counseling for myself even though I probably need it….but honestly get more help from you guys and my other Christian friends and family around me. So, I got over my guilt and purchased the books. I’ll call that my self-care for the day, haha.

        I also had a stronger realization this morning of a lurking truth that’s been coming out stronger and stronger in my spirit.

        It’s kind of ugly, so everyone get prepared.

        I realize how much pride I have/had had in myself – my looks, my figure, my personality. I can see that I thought that those things about myself could hold my marriage together. And, I can see how the things I think about myself also affect my thoughts in my day to day activities. At the very beginning of this separation, I had a thought that this was going to be good for my pride. I have even said to my mom and a few other people….I don’t think my husband is going to come back for me. It won’t be ME that makes him return (if he even does). I knew that it would not be good for my pride if he came back quickly and because he can’t live without ME. I don’t know another way to express it than that, but it’s just something that’s come to mind several times. If he comes back, it will be because he is a brand new man and sees the beauty of Christ in me (rather than being repelled by it right now because of his current spiritual standing).

        So, here we are. He’s not returning for me and yep, that does hurt the pride. A lot.

        I know now that it is GOD that truly holds a marriage together. His love, all of the essence of who He is.

        So, anyway, I bet y’all can tell already that I’m doing much better than when I posted that this morning because all of my words are back. Hahaha

        Thank you all. I love y’all so much. I’m grateful I can get on here and just lay it all out there and know that y’all will pray for me and encourage me.

        1. ContentinChrist,

          Yay! So thankful to hear what God is doing in you and what you are learning and that you are making self care a priority. That is awesome!

          I also appreciate you sharing about pride. Pride is SO insidious! There will be layers that God will expose at various times along this journey. I think if we had to see everything at once, it would be totally overwhelming. But I am thankful that He shines His light on these sinful motives and shows them to us so that we can tear them out and throw them away and allow Him to continue to radically heal and transform us – conforming us more and more to the image of Christ.

          What you are learning is PRICELESS. You cannot hold the marriage together. That is true. Sobering. Humbling. And true. Your looks can’t keep your husband. Your personality can’t keep him. But God can hold a marriage together. Makes me smile just thinking about the power of that statement.

          Much love and a huge hug!

      3. LMSdaily115,

        There is nothing more encouraging for someone who is in a crisis, in my view, than to hear from someone else who has been through a similar crisis and who is able to share the treasures God has given them in that time. SO beautiful and powerful. The power and beauty comes because of the pain. If you said the same words but didn’t have any suffering in your own life – they would be meaningless. It is our very suffering in our own trials that gives such weight and meaning to our words about faith and about trusting God and learning to lean into Him in the midst of the darkness.

        It sounds like there have been some beautiful things happening lately. I’m so glad you noticed them and savored those things with your husband. Thanks for sharing with us! I praise God for each little gift. 🙂

        Thank you also for sharing about pride. That is something I believe we will always need to be on alert against.

        I am so thankful to see the way God uses our sisters (and brothers) here to bless, encourage, and build up each other. What a beautiful expression of the body of Christ in this place. I praise and thank God for His work among us!

        Much love!

      4. LMSdaily115,

        I know I have shared this before – but I had a 3.5 year period at the beginning of my journey where Greg was still pretty shut down. That was my “time in the wilderness” kind of like Paul’s 3 years in the wilderness after his conversion where he studied, prayed, wrestled, and where God showed him the truths that he would later share with so many people in ministry.

        I needed that time, too. Greg was physically there. But he was not emotionally there in a lot of ways. And even now, he is an introvert and he needs a lot of space and time to himself. I could either accept that and realize that this time is a gift for me to use to grow closer to God myself and for me to use for ministry or I could continue my old thought processes and expectations and demand that he change. But that 3.5 years – that was a time I needed. God used that time to help me learn to depend on Him not on Greg. He used that time over and over to refine my motives so that I was doing this whole becoming a godly wife thing just to please God not to try to change Greg.

        God often does get us to Himself – away from everyone else – to teach us, train us, and grow us. He uses these times to prepare, mature, and equip us for what He has in store.

        Much love!

        1. April,
          Thank you for this reminder.
          As I’m in my second almost 3 Rd year of this journey, I’m learning the exact same things you just mentioned.
          Refining by our Lord…. Very, very powerful thing to go through. Wouldn’t change it for anything.
          Love,
          NB

          1. NB,

            It is a painful process – to be refined by the Lord’s refining fire. But – it is the very best place to be!

            Thank you for sharing, NB. Praying for us all to be open to all that God wants to teach us, change in us, and all of the provisions and promises that He has for us to receive in Christ.

            Much love!

  18. Things God showed me last night:

    God can handle my emotions! Even when others can’t. 🙂 I am safe with Him, even….yes, even….when I am angry at Him and don’t understand His ways. As a matter of fact, as I was honest with God about my anger and confusion last night….and He showed up to encourage me and lift me up. I feel like God was making it very clear to me in a couple of different ways last night by telling me that I am safe emotionally with Him, which is something I really need right now.

    I watched a testimony about a man who had stage 4 cancer. In it, I heard a couple of things for me:

    That God has made us as individuals and not as statistics (a direct quote from him). (That was hopeful, because many of the things I’m reading sound very hopeless for my marital situation).

    That God is going to completely heal me (even if not my marriage) and that right now, it is like I’m having to take chemotherapy/radiation treatments that are very painful but necessary for healing.

    Here is another direct quote from this man’s testimony (who was completely healed of his stage 4 cancer):

    “I believe it taught me to see Him as He is and as I am and that I need to be joyfully dependent on His mercy at all times. that I’m not in control. That He is. And that when I put my trust in Him with every part of my life – whether it’s my joy, my career, my plans, money – that I can be joyfully dependent on Him because He is merciful and I have the scars to prove it.”

    God really spoke to me through this testimony…..then another testimony came on the same program (700 Club) later about a man who had been sexually molested as a child and had gotten into pornography at a very young age. It was very good, also, and I believe I was supposed to see that testimony, as well.

    Hope you all are well. Love to all of you! How is HH doing???? HH….where are you??!! 🙂 How can we pray for you?

    1. Yay! I love hearing your spirits high. CIC there is power in feeding our spirit edifying testimonies, music books etc..as you know. I try to teach my teens whatever they listen and watch has an effect, either positibe or negative. St. Paul knew what he was t about. I’m really happy to hear the joy in your words. You are such a sweet person. On my way to work and it’s nice to start my day with you all.

    2. Content in Christ….see! You knew what to do in your painful sorrow…go into God! And you did. Yessssss. I am so overjoyed to see these revelations in your thought processes. God is holding you, hugging you, tucking you safe under His wing. This is step by step healing. We do not know what the future brings, but we know our best is still ahead of us. Our job is to live in THIS moment we are given, right now.

      I’m very glad to see how God is working in your life right now. It’s surprising to see just how much we still have to learn, isn’t it? I sometimes get all up on myself thinking ” I have intensely studied and processed my sin, my mind, made changes…it’s good enough, I know how to do this”. But them WHAM, I get schooled by my own pride and realize that I will be learning every day of my existance. I will never be done. There is no “acheivement” of learning it all…until we are in heaven. So. Knowing that, I have learned to get excited about what God will teach me next. Even though I am fully aware it may be a tough, painful, hard lesson, I know I will be better for it. Just when we think we know it all, we realize how much we don’t know…at all.

      Content….keep your candle lit. Some nights, when the storms are raging, the wind is howling and the rain keeps beating us down, just keeping the candle glowing with the faintest light is hard. It takes perseverance to shine…even a little bit. But then there are those nights when the crickets are happily chirping, the air is calm, and the heavens are filled with stars that we can billow up our flame and shine out Christ filled love out for someone in need, lost and looking for The Way. Keep your candle lit.

      Love and hugs to you.

      1. All,

        HH’s comments to CIC will be a blessing to anyone experiencing difficult trials or separation or a spouse seeking a divorce. Thank you so much for sharing these treasures with us, HH!

  19. Hi April! How do you deal with anxieties in your marriage? Is there are process that you go through in your mind/heart? Is there a biblical scripture that helps you get through it? Looking forward to hearing from you. Thank you !

    1. Willa,

      Yes, there are many things a wife can do to deal with anxiety. Let me be sure first, though, are you safe? If you believe you are safe, here are some of the things you can work on from your end. Please search my home page search bar for things like:

      – spiritual causes of anxiety
      – worry
      – fear
      – husband idol
      – bitterness

      And check out my Youtube channel:
      – taking our thoughts captive
      – a heart of thanksgiving and praise
      – don’t let a grumpy person steal your joy

      Much love to you! 🙂

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