This is a continuation of a series every Friday where I will be highlighting the growth and healing of one of my readers, a new reader each week. These, my sweet ones, are their brave and vulnerable stories. Take heart…you are not alone. -Elisabeth
I was eighteen when I met him. The Lord knew me for years before that though. Yet my craving for human attention won, and I put my sword down and followed my flesh. I left God for a man.
I was twenty-three when we got married. Subconsciously I had been nursing gaping holes left by the removal of the Spirit – seeking relationships with others – male and female – and hoping that marriage would fill those gaps.
I was twenty-eight when I had my first child. She came into the world dead. They revived her minutes later. Pain manifested in extra-marital emotional relationships, unhealthy friendships, spinning out of control, and hoping that a baby would bring me the intimacy with my husband that would fill the wounds created by the removal of God’s love. Nothing filled it. Not him. Not my baby girl. Nothing.
I continued to search for what caused such emptiness.
I was thirty when my husband was hospitalized with a massive anxiety attack that kept him out of work for three weeks. Our lives changed forever that year. It was during this time his therapist introduced him to a form of spirituality guaranteed to change our lives. That it did. We practiced mindfulness for two years before . . .
I was thirty-two when I had my second baby. Although we were neck-deep in peace and mindfulness and now, I was underwater in pain, disparity, and loneliness. Yet, when my son came into the world, he was mindful – alive – awake – aware.
No thing – no child, no job, no husband – could fill the void of emptiness I had. On the outside I had created a façade so beautiful, so concrete, so unfaltering – that nobody had a clue how messed up I had become. My blurred boundaries starting to spill out into my work life, and I reached out again to other men. Money disappeared on vacations, expensive hobbies, masters degrees, clothing, and cars.
I was forty when I had my first physical affair.
I was forty-one when my husband found out about the second one. I was forty-one when I moved out and left my children with him. I was forty-one when I crashed and burned. I was forty-one when I moved into my parents’ storage room. I was forty-one.
I was forty-one the first time I considered how I could end it all.
And then the Spirit whispered in my ear. I looked up, and God opened His arms. He took me up off the ground. Broken. Terrified. Angry.
I clung to Him, feeling more at peace and happier than I had ever been – despite the pain of the consequences of my actions. That year I made so many mistakes, fighting the Spirit with my flesh, but learning more and more about forgiveness of myself and of others – victims of my resentment, anger, and bitterness.
I am forty-three. I am divorced and remarried. I have judged poorly. I have hurt others. I am not perfect to anyone, but in Christ I have been made perfect. I am forgiven. The enemy continues to attack with guilt, but I have on my Belt of Truth.
At the age of forty-three, I pray each day that God humbles me and allows me to do His work. He has saved me from destroying myself and others any more. He used my mess to bring me back to Him. He left His flock to lead me back. He opened His arms and celebrated when I returned.
God loved me at my darkest moment.
If this sweet woman’s post resonated with your heart, please know that you are not alone. Here are a few resources for you:
If you would like to join my closed Facebook group called Hope & Healing, you can find it here.
If you’d like to receive my free e s-book, You’re Going to Make It Through, you can get it here.
If you need a nudge in your healing, I would love to work with you! Join me for one of my coaching courses.
If in a difficult marriage: Surviving in a Difficult Christian Marriage is available as a PDF/e-book: www.elisabethklein.com/books
If separated/divorced: Unraveling: Hanging onto Faith through the End of a Christian Marriage is available in paperback/e-book: http://tinyurl.com/phowp95
If a single mom: Moving on as a Christian Single Mom is available in paperback/e-book: www.elisabethklein.com/books