Last week I looked at two of the ways that spiritual growth is making a big difference in the lives of wives of sex addicts: the first was survival (plain and simple) and the second was healing.
There are two other areas of this journey where I (and others) are benefitting from our more “up close and personal” relationship with Jesus. One is maturity, the other is overcoming.
I have this vivid recollection of my daughter at age three running around our big, beautiful house, outside on our big, beautiful lawn (so funny to think of those trappings of our middle class success now). She was screaming and laughing her head off. I was watching her joy and smiling.
But just barely. And I wasn’t sure why a ‘just barely’ smile was all I could manage.
I knew that this should be one of the great moments of life – a raucous toddler, delighting in the world. Delighting in life. But I couldn’t enter in.
I remember saying to God, “What is wrong with me. This is as good as it gets. Why doesn’t it fill me with joy?”
At that time, I didn’t know that my husband was a porn addict. I didn’t know the depths to which he was rejecting me. Sure, my marriage wasn’t a model of intimacy and connection… but I figured, “this is just ‘your average’ marriage.”
Maybe I had walls around my heart that day – to protect myself from the as-yet undetected rejection. Maybe I just lacked spiritual maturity – those ripe, fragrant fruit of the Spirit. Whatever the issue, having Jesus walk me through this horrific journey has brought me to a place where I love more, delight more… and in general, feel more.
I hate what has happened to me… and to you. But I rejoice to be a person whose heart is open wider. Who is more compassionate, gentle, hopeful and… patient. Delving into Him was where it all began.
One of my beloved sisters on this journey is Donna Meredith-Dixon (who blogs here at times). I love her walk with God. I love her heart for other women. I love that she has been on this journey for over 11 years and has overcome and continues to overcome.
Donna has gotten past betrayal trauma and all that goes with it, at age 70, including the body image issues (that she’s had all her life), the spiritual issues, the trust issues, the forgiveness issues, the despair issues… And she’s had to overcome the pain, as a mother, of having to watch a child walk this all too familiar path.
Her secret: taking her cues from the God who loves her. Keeping so in touch with Him that His whispers in her ear drown out the shouts of the world around her.
There are other overcomers who inspire me. There’s Amanda (Worthy of love) Coach Katherine and Marcella (A Circle of Joy), Shelley Martinkus (Redemptive Living)… and so many others. As I share their stories with you in the coming weeks and months – you’ll see why I say this.
Of course their stories aren’t complete yet. Some of them might even argue that they don’t deserve the “overcomer” label. But they’re growing into it… I can see it.
My story is also incomplete. Yours too. But I know that Author of ours. He’s said he’s going to be the “finisher” of our faith as well, and I know he’s good for it.
Sticking close to the One who overcame the world… allows us to take heart in the face of trials and sorrows (John 16:33). He has promised us peace in Him and “everlasting joy” as our inheritance.
That’s my idea of overcoming.
Enjoy Part 2 of the Compassion series: Spiritual Crisis.
Next week I'll be starting a blog series entitled: "Co-dependent??" and will post part 3 of Compassion.