Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Where The Healing Begins

About three years ago, I had become very disenchanted with the church we had been attending.  Of course, we all know PART of what contributed to that.  When you are in the midst of hiding an affair, it is difficult to be at church, is it not?  It was for me.  Beyond that though, there were not many families with children that were our age and I wanted more for my kids.  You'd think I could have seen the distortion there-and I did-but I chose to ignore it.

Kris was going to Celebrate Recovery on Tuesday nights at this time.  This is a really great program for anyone who has ANY issue, really.  Find one in your area here if you would like.  This left me home alone in the evening with four kids, after working all day long.  It was not an ideal situation.  For me.

So, when Kris let us "try" a new church (you know, like samples at Sam's Club...) one Sunday, I was happy.  It was at that church, on that day, that I made a new friend.  And while I didn't see it at the time, this friend would play a very significant role on mine and Kris' journey to healing our broken marriage.

Her name is Kim.  She is the only person (beside her husband) that talked to us that first Sunday.  She was outgoing and helpful.  She made me feel welcome.  She told me about AWANA that had recently started for the kids on (of all nights) Tuesday.  She also mentioned a ladies potluck that was coming up.

I didn't DO ladies potluck.  I didn't have anything to do with groups of church women.  I've never connected well with women.  But I had already seen the ad for the potluck in the church bulletin.  And something in me was drawn to it.  It was confirmed when Kim came up to talk to us after church and brought it up.

I knew I was running.

And I knew that I needed Godly FEMALE influences in my life.  I knew it deep inside and I longed for it.  I didn't want my dark brought into the light, but I wanted friends.  And I saw this as a way to make friends AND allow the kids to do something on the same night that Kris was gone.

To make it even better, Kim invited us to a community group that met at her house during the AWANA meetings.  Kris couldn't go, of course, but I wanted to go.  It was the first "churchy" thing I had WANTED to do in a very long time.

All of that to say that it was Kim that got me involved in this church (whether she realizes it or not), where I felt comfortable being myself and where the women were receptive to me.  I made friends.  I enjoyed going to community group on Tuesday nights and the kids loved going to AWANA.

And when everything came into the light, Kim was one of the first people that I told.  I went home on Sunday (the 19th) and went to community group on Tuesday (the 21st).  I poured my heart out and she stood there with her door open...listening.  She just listened.  And because she knew our story now, on Thursday (the 23rd) she sent me an email, telling me about this Power of Purity conference that was coming up on Saturday (the 25th).

Do you see where I am going with this yet?

So I emailed the guy, Tony, who was heading up this conference.  I didn't know what it was.  I just knew that it was something that would probably be good for Kris, especially since it was specifically designed to help other men overcome sexual addiction.  Through a series of emails back and forth, Tony explained to me about the conference, and then invited me to come with Kris and be downstairs with his wife and one other lady.

It was only later that Tony shared he has never invited a woman to join the conference.  It is for men, after all.  But he said he felt led to.  In addition, he offered the conference for free, which he doesn't usually do.  Had there been a cost involved, we likely would not have attended.

Little things.

God was working and setting the scene for healing to begin.

While at the conference, Tony's wife was so nice to me, as was the other woman that was there.  I felt love and comfort from them, which I typically do not feel from women.  What was happening to me?

And God was working still, in the small things.

I saw a flyer on a table next to Tony's book Stories  for "Freedom Counseling."  Do you remember how I told you that none of the counselors Kris called had called him back?  Here we are at this conference, and there is a flyer for counseling.  Kris and I both felt like maybe we'd find our counselor here.

BEYOND THAT...while downstairs, Tony (the speaker) was telling his story.  There was a TV set up downstairs and I could hear his story as he poured out his heart to a group of men, young and old.  He has QUITE the story!  It was really bizarre to hear that not only did he completely understand the battles Kris had faced, but he had also had a relationship with another woman that was so closely similar to my own affair.

As if that wasn't enough, God gave us another sign that He was working and moving.

We were surprised to find out that Tony worked with Freedom Counseling.  And we thought, "Who better to counsel us than a man who knows EXACTLY what we BOTH have been through?"  We discussed it and decided Kris would call and try to schedule an appointment.  Kris did call him that next Monday and we had an appointment for Wednesday.  Now, instead of getting no response from counselors, we had an appointment.

I also found out that Saturday, at the conference, that Tony was also the preacher at The Outpost Church, where the conference was being held.  While Kris wasn't ready to commit to going to church there (we were both looking for somewhere new), I began to feel a pull to The Outpost.  We were only two or three weeks into counseling, and we had attended services maybe twice when Kris said "I think we've found our new home."  He didn't even say this after a church service.  He said it after one of our counseling appointments.  My heart was SO happy to hear this.  I longed to be at The Outpost.  I'm not even sure I can explain it.

It wasn't that I felt comfortable, though I did.  I felt COMFORT.  And there is a HUGE difference between the two.  I would go to church and feel loved.  I would feel comforted.  I would feel like I belonged.  This, I believe, was another way that God was wooing me and bringing me to the finale that was Good Friday.

So, you see, there are all these things.  These moments.  These events.  These people.  All these things were happening and Tony calls it "the fingerprints of God."  He tells us frequently that he can see God's fingerprints all over our story.  And now, I can too.  But you don't get that part of the story just yet.

For now, this is just the beginning of my romance with God.  While I didn't see it at the time, sharing my story with Kim that night was part of where the healing began.  Which, of course, brings a song to mind.  I hear the song now, and I just remember how true this was for me.  The lyrics are powerful.  I wouldn't like it if they weren't.  Anything by Tenth Avenue North is great, but this song really hits home with me, and what God was doing in my heart.

What God was BEGGING me to do.

Let the walls fall down...


  1. After I built the wall around my heart, God began to seep through the cracks in the form of music. The walls are not yet completely gone, but He is continuing to call me to Him. I can really identify with a lot of your story. Thank you for your words of hope and redemption from God.

    1. life would not be complete without it. Thank you for reading along. If you are open and willing, God will break those walls down completely and you'll be able to walk in His freedom fully.

  2. The link wouldn't lead anywhere for this song. Could you please clarify for me? Thanks Claudia

    1. I'm sorry for such a long delay - here is a good link: