Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Do You Trust Me . . .

I've been asking my husband for some time now to write a Guest Blog Post
sharing with you a bit of his journey into freedom.  It's my joy to share with you some of his story in reference to my May 5th blog post:


In my early 20's I had a prophetic word that the man who won my heart would have to be a man of Stature in the Kingdom of God.  I can say today, that John has become a true man of STATURE in the Kingdom.  This strong, quiet man is a King among men, with a Kingly anointing . . .

"Nita has written a powerful article about her walk through my sexual brokenness and sin in our marriage.  It is raw and not comfortable to read, particularly if you’ve walked a similar journey of cycles of addiction, shame, betrayal, anger, and unfaithfulness.  But, Jesus is our redeemer.  

I strongly urged Nita to write about her walk, even though she didn’t want to expose me and our family to the public attention the article might bring.  I feel that her story needs to be spoken because of the hope it offers, and the testimony of redemption that it holds.

This morning, as I again pondered how to write about my perspective of this walk, I happened to read in Mark 5:19, right after Jesus commanded a legion of demons to stop oppressing the man of the Gadarenes and delivered him from a life of shame. The man (understandably), just wanted to get in the boat with Jesus, and forget about his past life and community, and move on.  But Jesus responded to him:  “Go home to your own people and tell them how much the Lord has done for you, and how he has had mercy on you.”

As I read that this morning I realized that is what is in my heart about our story.  I may not like who I was, and the things I’ve done and said as I was under the oppression of sin and shame, and it would be so easy to move on and forget about that painful chapter in our lives.  The truth is, we are moving on, and we have left much of that pain in the past.  But, our story is full of redemption and hope.  God, who is limitless, has brought such healing and restoration that I have to tell how much the Lord has done for me, and how he has had mercy on me.

For Nita, the question Father God asked her was: “Do you love me?”, and His request of her was to love me, as I was unlovable.

For me, the question Father God asked was: “Do you trust me?”.  The oppression of sin, especially sexual sin, brings such shame and isolation that you want to cover up every hint of brokenness and never let anyone see the filth.  But the truth is freedom and healing only comes through confession and repentance.  Confession means to agree with God that my behavior and thoughts were wrong, and that they did not line up with who he created me to be.  Repentance means that I had to change the way I think.  James 5:16 is clear that confession has to do with other people, not just a private communication between God and I.

All healing in my life has come as a consequence of throwing myself on God’s mercy, and confessing my sin in front of other people in my life: my dad, other men in trusted friendships, and Nita.

I had to consciously choose, repeatedly, over the course of years, to trust God, humble myself, and confess when I sin.  It would feel so tidy and nice to say that it was a one time thing and now I’m all good, but the truth is it is an ongoing process.  Where sin abounds grace abounds much more.  From my earliest days of sexual sin and selfishness, God has unflaggingly provided me opportunity at every turn to surrender to him, and every time I did, he brought healing.  There was a long process made longer because I would continually give up ground that was gained.  And truthfully almost every time I backslid it would be further and harder than before.  Every time I fell I would get more discouraged and try to blame God for not “magically” healing me of the desire to sin.  And every time his invitation to me was ultimately: “will you trust Me?”.  

Like Peter walking on water, when I trust him there is healing and hope and I feel invincible, but when I take my eyes off of him and fear, or try to meet my needs myself through self gratification and sin, I sink.  But he is always holding out his hands to me, with the question: “why did you doubt?”

Our story is not over. There is so much to say about identity too as a son of God, and about belonging and the practicality of walking out of secret and addictive sin.  I believe God will continue his redemption in our lives, and we’ll go from strength to strength.  And I trust that Nita’s story, and my story will offer hope, and a testimony of God’s faithfulness and goodness.  No matter how hopeless our situation, He is our redeemer, and he makes all things new."