Someone I loved once gave me a box full of darkness. It took me years to understand that this too, was a gift. – Mary Oliver
Releasing Winter 2018
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The truth is, I wrote this book for you.
The process of putting this journey into writing was difficult. I felt very raw, vulnerable and exposed. And the intricacies of our healing journey were ones, I would sometimes wish to keep to myself. They’re private, perhaps taboo and definitely touchy territory, especially in Christian circles where I find myself. Because let’s be honest:
Sex and pornography make most people squirm, especially Christians!
It wasn’t easy being so open. I was tempted to water things down, too many times to count. I would have much preferred, to write something that made “everyone” happy. But if I’m not ruffling feathers, I dare to say, I’m doing no good!
It’s important you know, I wrote this book in the thick of it. Each page was penned in the trenches, from a place of honest emotion, wherever I was at. As we walked the path of healing, I recorded it in real time. I wanted to stop and run away countless time over; to quit life altogether. I pleaded with God, to take away the mess we were living in. But the truth is, I knew deep down He wouldn’t do that… I didn’t really want Him to, either. I knew that what He’d brought me to, He would bring me through.
While my flesh wanted God to deliver me, my spirit wanted to see it through; to take the long way. I wanted to see God work a miracle and experience genuine transformation of heart and life. Somehow I knew the prize was worth it- that it wasn’t just about me and my marriage. While I wanted our marriage restored, I wanted to save others, just as bad. I wanted to save you!
And so I ask you: would it have been better for God to deliver me or to make a deliverer out of me?
When I first discovered the porn, I came home to it on the computer; left blatantly there to welcome me after work.
I was furious, to say the least.
How could he do this to me? To be watching porn after years of being together and in our home, on the family computer.
I was not blind to the fact that Dave had watched porn in the past, but that’s exactly where my mind had left it: in the past! I had naively believed, that after we became an item and he was no longer chasing coat tails, that he’d have no need for pornography- that I would be enough.
Sporting an engagement ring, I believed his interest in pornography had dissipated in favour of me and our relationship. My mind saw porn as the substitute – I was his real deal! Why then would he still need it?
I sat him down later that evening and gave Dave the opportunity to explain himself. While I can’t remember the details of our conversation, I know that I made it clear he had to stop. He promised he would and assured me it wouldn’t happen again.
And so, I believed him.
Days, weeks and months rolled by and I truly thought the porn was behind us…. until it happened again. And again. Three times, I caught him red handed and three times he swore he’d never do it again.
I had no idea his habit was a serious one, let alone an addiction and I hated it, because I saw it as a personal threat- my competition for not only his affection, but his time, his joy and sexual satisfaction. I had no understanding of it being destructive to his health or the intimacy that was crumbling in our relationship.
Still, I knew I had to do something.
I needed to know that I was his true love and his first choice; that I was more important than the porn and the other women he was watching. I wanted him to choose me, all of me and only me! And because of my past, I wanted to be chosen for more than just the physical and what I gave him sexually.
I sat down and prepared to give back my engagement ring. What I was about to say, was completely counter cultural…
Hand in hand, we walked the mile long stretch of beach. The waves gently crashed, the sound of seagulls sang over head and our shoes crunched through the leaf strewn shoreline. It was a foggy October morning and we had just celebrated our fifth wedding anniversary at an idyllic getaway.
We had just renewed our wedding vows, intimately and private- just us two. We committed, once again, to choose each other from this day forward. This time it felt different, though. We were different. Our old marriage was dead – we had divorced it– and we’d entered a new one. Because we were new- entirely new individuals.
Divorce was inevitable after what we’d been through. The question was, would we try again with someone else or with each other….
We had survived the hardest year of our lives -a trauma that nearly ended our marriage.
Standing here holding hands, committing to love, trust and respect each other, was no small feat! In fact- as our counsellor had reminded us a week prior- it was a miracle.
Him, me, our marriage and our story- a miracle; proof that God is alive and active. Proof that He is a God of the impossible made possible; a personal God, of relentless love, that cares deeply about the things that hurt us. Proof, that when we come to Him with the busted up parts of our hearts, He is faithful to heal us and give us beauty for our ashes; to give us tenfold, for our trouble.
Friend, I do not say that lightly. I say that from the deepest, most sucker punched part of my heart-made-whole. I know, because God took the thing that nearly killed me and made it my hillsong of joy – the thing I count as gift – and warrant now, a blessing.
And this here is that story.
Betrayal trauma is a condition that parallels the symptoms of PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) and is caused when someone experiences betrayal and deception within their primary relationship; this betrayal damages the trust and safety of the relationship and calls into question the bond they have with their partner.
If you have been betrayed by your spouse through pornography use or infidelity, you may experience tremendous anxiety, high stress, fatigue, depression, despair, grief, fear, and other serious symptoms. – bloomforwomen.com
If you or your partner is addicted to pornography or are suffering from betrayal trauma, please know you’re not alone!
My prayer for you, friend, is this: That whatever it is you’re going through, you wouldn’t get out of it prematurely. That you would allow God to finish the work he’s started in you and carry it through to completion. And my belief, is that completion means healed and living in the freedom and wholeness Christ offers us, now, here, on this earth! I pray that you would lean not on your own understand, but on God’s wisdom- that you would lean into the struggle, embracing the darkness around you. Because in it, you’re never alone- Jesus is with you…when it’s dark, even a flicker of light, can shine bright.
God has not left you, even when it feels like He has. While I do not know why you’re going through this, I know that God is capable of making the impossible, possible. He came to set the captives free, to bind up the brokenhearted and to make us new – entirely new! Not a patched up version of our old selves, but an entirely new creation in Christ Jesus. He did it for me and my marriage and He wants to do it for you!
He has a plan and a purpose; He wants to use your pain for good – to redeem the ugly and make your mess, your message. But He’s a gentleman and he waits for us to give him permission to go to work. God gives us free will; the free will to love him, to seek his help and to choose His way or our own. If you’ll let him, he’ll do far more than you could ever ask or imagine.
God is still in the business of performing miracles…
My testimony is proof.
Recommended Resources for understanding Pornography Addiction and How to Begin Healing Personally and as a Couple
- Start Here
- A video overview of how pornography works against us and real life couples affected by it
- The Facts on Pornography and how it affects your heart, your mind and brain
- Why Happy Couples Cheat
- Once trust is broken, can it be healed?
- Bloom Community For Betrayed Women
- Trauma Prayer to Listen to Before Bed
- How do I know if I’m addicted?
- Healing Program to break Free from Pornography
- One of Five Therapists in all of North America Specializing in Sexual Addiction and Betrayal Trauma
- Accountability Software
Recommended Resources for Talking to Kids about Porn
- How to React the First Time Your Child Admits Watching Porn
- 10 Amazing Resources for Talking to Children About Porn
- Teen Culture Translator – insights into whats influencing our kids