Jesus wept. In that action alone, God gave us permission to grieve over what we love. This is an important step in your journey to healing. Tears are okay; its healthy to let it out rather than bottle everything up inside. Grieve over what was lost and stolen from your relationship. Grieve over the sacred being ripped out of your marriage. Use the emotions to positively propel you forward instead of what some so often do, and stay stuck in the muck. God does allow us to grieve but, He wants us to find JOY!
That first night after confession, I was told, “Grieve over the death of your marriage. Grieve over the loss of what was, what could have been and what may be. Your marriage will never look the same and for that you need to grieve for what you lost.” Don’t think for a minute that you don’t have permission or you’re on a timeline of grieving. It looks different for each person and is a vital step to healing and restoration.
What are the seven stages of grief?
1. shock & denial (lack of appetite, numbness, tears, no sleep)
2. pain & guilt (letter to Tim the day after, tears, journal)
4. bargaining (purging)
5. depression & sorrow (went on anti-depressants for 6 weeks, deep sadness)
6. testing & reconstruction (asked lots of questions, painted our bedroom, organized many things in the home including our social lives)
7. acceptance (forgiveness)
Did you find it hard to grieve with bitterness lurking around the corner or did God give you the grace to journey through this step with compassion?
How can we grieve for others without showing guilt for their sins?
What does the Bible say?
1 Peter 5:7
The moment you stop trying to fix things yourself and acknowledge your need for Him is the moment He shows up to give you strength.
Exhaustion can make us do very funny things or stupid things too! I once put a gallon of milk in the cereal cupboard and cereal in the fridge. I was deprived of sleep from spending nearly 4 weeks on the couch with two kids who emotionally I was pouring into so that the situation didn’t overwhelm them. I was slowly starting to eat and drink again and also attempted a light work schedule as well as spending many late nights in deep, lengthy conversations with My Love redeveloping us. Exhaustion overcame me and depression was lurking around the corner.
In our fast-paced life of jobs, family, relationships, and the household chore list, we find ourselves exhausted at the end of a day, yet alone adding on the emotion despair of a broken marriage. It is easy to say a quick prayer before falling asleep but, God wants more of us in those weak moments. God will give us the energy to push forward when we allow Him to fuel up our hearts and minds. Making it a habit to start the day and end the day with God is just as vital as water is to surviving. Even if you have no strength to get out of bed, find the words to utter a simple plea to the One who is ready to fill you with living sustaining words.
God's grace really is enough to carry you when you feel like you can't walk anymore.
Do you carve out time each day to spend with God?
Are you able to recognize your fatigue and humble enough to ask for help?
It is vital to know who you are in Christ as you offer yourself to your marriage. Husband and wife need to have individual relationships with their risen Savior and then together, share a Christ-like union in their vows. If not, you will find yourself lost, drained, and depleted of everything you are. Being able to stand strong in your presentation and depiction of God is an important aspect of the shared relationship. Your identity is NOT found in the sins of the past or web of consequences from the mistakes in your marriage. Your identity is found in the risen Savior!
How do you think people view you? If you had to write on a note card attributes about yourself, what would they be? Would they look different if you had your spouse write them or a close friend?
LET’S PRACTICE! On a 3 x 5 card, write down all the lies satan tells you and the things that negatively consume your thoughts. Then, step outside and burn every lie, the hurdles and hiccups that make you stumble and get in the way of seeing you the way God sees His daughter.
Where or what do you find your identity to be rooted in?
What evidence is there that Christ is working in your life?
2 Corinthians 5:17
1 Peter 2:9
2 Timothy 1:7
“God hath given you one face, and you make yourself another.”
-William Shakespeare, Hamlet
"Jesus, I pray over all the women with voids in their lives, sabotage in their minds and hurdles that never seem to go away. I pray that in the lies the devil speaks to us, we can crush them in Your Name. I pray that in Your Name all bondage we may be in, will be released. We rejoice in the promise of hope and healing and pray that in our journey to find more wholeness we see more of You. I pray that women will desire to seek You more in their daily lives and crave more intimate time in Your Word. Jesus we thank you for saving us from the pit and praise Your Name for loving us just as we are! Amen!"
About the Author
Stephanie is a stay-at-home mommy to four little blessings. Married for 16 years, Tim and Stephanie find new ways to enjoy intimate time together while raising the young family.