Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Without Running Away

Often, I act rashly.

I tend to say things that I end up not living up to.

Mostly threats that I never follow through on.  This is especially true as I try to parent my teenage son.  Idle threats.  I'm not the best disciplinarian.  I make threats and do not consistently follow through.  Sometimes I get so angry and so frustrated, that I just say whatever I can in the moment.  Then I have to think of an elaborate excuse later to not have to follow through.

There are other scenarios where I do this.

One example is the day I came home, after believing that I was ready to give up on my marriage once and for all.  I told Kris that if he ever looked at porn again, I was gone.  I would not allow my heart to be broken again.  I was risking a lot.  I was giving up my addiction, my sin, and choosing my husband.  I expected the same in return and I told Kris that I would not stay with him if he didn't show me the same respect and give up what he spent years turning to.

When I made the declaration that I wouldn't stay with Kris if the pornography continued, I meant it.  Because at the time, my heart wasn't given fully back to the Lord.  I still had a wall up and was only focused on never hurting that way again.  And the only way I knew to do that was to insist that I would never let my husband cause me pain again by acting as if he is willing to risk everything we have fought for.

It didn't matter at the time that I had just given up a 7 1/2 year relationship with a man who was not my husband.  My husband was willing to forgive me for the years I betrayed our marriage vows.  I was willing to forgive him for the 12 1/2 years he spent choosing pornography over me.  At the time, it didn't seem like too much to ask.  I sacrifice.  You sacrifice.  Marriage is about compromise, right?

What began to happen in the months and years that followed was a different kind of healing than I ever imagined I could experience.  A healing so profound and so much fuller than anything I could have done on my own, that I could come to a time of testing within our first year back together, and not run away.  I was able to stay.  It was by God's strength alone that I didn't leave the first time my husband turned back to pornography.

On my own, I couldn't have stayed.  I would have acted rashly at the first sign of trouble.  Even though I knew the pain would be too great.  There is such a feeling of unfairness sometimes.  I think it is similar to the people who are watching their spouses live it up in other relationships outside of marriage and seemingly happy and carefree, while they struggle at every turn.  It's not fair.  Outside of God, as humans, I think this feeling of wanting everything to be fair is normal.

So how do you keep holding on, when all you want to do is run away?

How do you keep giving love, keep fighting, when you feel all alone instead of acting rashly and running away?

I think the key is faith.  You take one step forward, sometimes in fear, knowing that there's a risk. Knowing you might be hurt again. But also hopeful that this time, something will change.  Doesn't God do the same thing with us?  We fail him time and time again.  And each time, he takes us back, knowing we may hurt him again.  Knowing that we may screw up.  But loving us enough, and believing in us enough to risk being hurt again.  We are called to love that same way.  And Jason Gray said it best.

You must run the risk of fearlessly loving, without running away.


  1. Hi Jamie!

    I hope you've had a great new year. I came to your blog after sometime and noticed no entry. I would read you from time to time for inspiration. I must say your stories helped me through immense pain. God bless you and Happy to New Year!!!!!!

    1. Thank you! And thanks for reading. I'm glad God can use my story.

  2. You should write again!

    1. Thanks! I actually plan to. I meant to this past weekend and just didn't. Soon. I hope.