I’ve noticed over the last several months that the Lord is leading His people to be openly honest about where they are and where they’ve come from in their lives. I believe in part that this is due to the sad reality that the church has detached itself from identifying with the fact that we’re all human beings with hopes, dreams, feelings, hurts, desires and heartaches, and they’ve painted a pretty picture of Christianity for the world of people in their Sunday bests, who have no issues, struggles or pain. Where do the sick, dying and hurting fit into this picture of perfection? They don’t, that’s why they stay out and continue to be plagued with burdens that Jesus longs to carry for them.
The Father wants His people to be entirely whole, not painted over with pretty colors, yet dying inwardly. The place we call Church, the very thing Jesus died to build, God calls His family. This family should be the safest place for someone needing healing (even leadership), it should be a place where everyone could be encouraged, strengthened and set free, regardless of who they are or what gifts they carry. These callings are given by God Himself, and are not based upon someone’s wholeness, but rather their willingness to say yes to the one who’s qualified them.
It’s very sad that many lovers of God in places of authority feel that they can’t be transparent with those around them because they feel the need to parade a façade of perfection in front of the masses in order to be received as a messenger of the Lord. Jesus didn’t send His gifts upon perfected people; He sent them upon called and chosen people. Some of these lovers of God carry hurts, concerns and fears, and given the room to be who they are, could easily be set free of them. We’re all on a pathway of sanctification and restoration in Christ, the ashes and brokenness of our lives becoming a beautiful piece of artwork in the hands of the Lord. This beauty we get to experience that comes out of the ashes isn’t always an overnight work but rather a lifelong progression of beautifying the place of His sanctuary (our hearts).
It’s really a shame, because it’s usually the one’s who give the appearance that they’ve arrived, who are most likely the one’s who fear being real and open with their struggles because of what others will think of them. We are told to confess our faults one to another and pray one for another that we may be healed but this scripture is usually always referenced by those who are looking at the weaknesses or sins of others, and it’s true in part, but this statement is much more than dealing with sins, it refers to being honest, open and loving each other through our places of pain and weakness. It’s about family being family, and helping in prayer to see each other come to a place of healing and wholeness in the one who gave His life blood to purchase for us this incredible gift of grace.
I have so much I could share about my own personal pain over the years and how faithful Jesus has been to bring me through it all and to stand me up on my feet strong in Him, but I felt led to share about this one specific area of my life this time, because I believe being a woman, that many women and men as well, suffer from the effects of abusive relationships and desire to be free. The lasting results of abuse are subtle at times and other times, they’re well noticeable and will hinder the full life we’re to live in Jesus.
The way God fashioned my heart was to be a deep feeler, I love hard when I love and that’s not something I can help. It’s who He made me to be. As a young girl I desired above anything to have a husband that loved me and that I could deeply love. I grew up with a fantastic Father who never let me feel as if I was unloved at all, so my dream didn’t seem like something unattainable. He was a great role model of a man in my eyes, not because he was perfect, but because he loved me unconditionally. I met a young guy when I was about 16, I know it’s young but my heart was ready to love someone. He was sweet, not perfect but was attentive and would walk across town just to see me; I think it was that effort that made me fall in love with him to be honest. I fell hard, we got married when I was 18, started an immediate family, we weren’t serving Jesus at that time so we were stupid in some things. We did really well together for several years, during which time he came back to the Lord after being backslidden and I got saved, along with my whole family in a miraculous way. Jesus became everything to me, and then my family was second to that. I gave everything I had as a woman to serving the Lord, others and taking care of my family. My kids were a priority but never above the Lord. They had seen me live a life of prayer and dedication as I grew in Christ. My hope through some of the loss is to see them witness the end result intended by the Lord.
It wasn’t too long into my walk with Jesus and I was called into full-time ministry and a new leg of my journey began. I loved my husband deeply, but as the days passed he became more and more distant from the Lord. He had some issues that he was honest with me about so although it hurt me horribly, I loved him and was willing to pray that through and let God work in it. The Lord would give me dreams that were painful but I’d ask him about them and sure enough, they were true. As time went on, my walk with the Lord deepened, but my husbands heart grew colder and more distant, from the Lord and from me. He was a very angry person inside and I couldn’t fix him regardless of how much love I showed him. The amazing grace of God sent me powerful prophetic words by miraculous means (it would blow you away LOL) to give me hope to stand as I’d face the coming years of difficulty and brokenness, reassuring me, that He knew the end from the beginning and all I’d go through would be preparation for the ministry I’d been called to do.
I continued to be a faithful wife the best way that I knew how to be, I knew that it pleased the Lord to honor your husband, but love was rarely ever returned so from time to time I was faced with the temptation to leave. I inwardly began to carry so much pain and self loathing inside because I could not understand how if I loved someone so much, that they could reject my love like that. I would go in beside the bed and kneel on the floor, lay my hand on him as I cried and prayed in the Spirit, I was met with coldness and an unfeeling hardened heart. I’d kneel down on the floor in front of him as he sat on the couch when He’d get off work and put my head in his lap, wrapping my arms around his waist and be welcomed with a cold heart and lack of response. Something was wrong with me; I was now convinced of it. My husband suffered with diabetes and although I know it has its mood altering moments from the blood sugar being out of whack, it doesn’t make the heart calloused like stone. Something was seriously wrong, and I’m sure I was the problem.
Time went on. My husband would be at work all day, come home to a hot meal, a clean house and happy kids. I would miss him so much during the day, looking forward to kissing him when he got home but when he came home, he’d go straight into the backyard to his dogs and not even say a word to me. Sure, I was “in ministry”, bucked it up and pretended not to be hurt by this, but because of the way God fashioned me, his lack of love was killing me as a woman. I was dying inside because the thing I desired and needed most in my life, a husband to love me and I him, had become my worst nightmare.
I spend hours upon hours in travail on my bedroom floor, crying out to God to deliver my heart from such pain, I was completely broken-hearted and feeling like a used whore. I’d submit myself to him as his wife in natural things like intimacy but rarely would he treat me with tenderness or love. I sought to honor the Lord, even when it hurt so bad to stay with him. I’d often speak to him of how he made me feel but it seemed as time went on, and he grew further from the Lord, he would just turn a deafened ear.
By this time, I already had an incredibly slow metabolism and would gain weight really easy but soon I found myself turning not just to the Lord for comfort but to food, my spirit became so grieved and hurt that I lived only to serve others and never took care of myself much at all. (Thankfully by the grace of God, I no longer look to food for comfort but turning around the damage I did to myself isn’t as easy as I’d hoped. God is doing it one day at a time as He’s making me once again believe His love for me. I am now more than ever seeking to love who God created me to be, and do my best to take care of His temple. You can ask the people in my life that have walked with me through the thick and thin of it, how close to looking like I was dead or dying that I would get, but this death was happening to me inwardly. I did not love myself, I was rejected by the man I loved with all of my heart and as a result of that, Satan came with a vengeance to reaffirm in me that I was not really worth loving, even by God.
Jesus was and is, my everything, He was my lap to lay my head, He was the one who would always be there for me but I noticed after a while that I no longer could trust God the way that I had before, I use to trust Him and His love like I trusted my own dads love, but this man whom God had called to love me like Christ loved the Church, had by his own lack of receiving from God, passed into my heart and spirit that although I gave and gave of my heart, I was not worth receiving the love I so desperately needed from Him.
Finally after many, many years, God in His wisdom set me free from that relationship with my hands and conscience clean before Him, but it took several years to get over the loss. There’s so much to be said about the in-between times and the things the Lord did to change hearts, to no avail. My children were broken by this lack of a Fathers love in our home and they’re still recovering from it, but God is faithful and a God of restoration. I’m now completely free from the pain of that relationship and so ready to love again in the Lords timing, with the exception that it’s still very difficult for me to believe that I’m enough for someone. God has placed many people in my life who have shown me incredible unconditional love and I’m sure without that, I would not be where I am with the Lord, in our ministry or in my own heart. One of the interesting things about it is that over the many years I’ve been a single mother, the Lord has spoken clearly to my heart that He had someone special prepared to be my husband again one day. It was hard for me to believe this because even though the Holy Spirit would bring a strong Presence of God and witness to me of its truth, because of the abuse I went through (call it what it is), I was changed from being a deeply loving woman, to a woman who still had very deep love but didn’t believe there was anyone out there who would want it. Ive had a couple of run in’s with the opportunity to receive the wrong thing over the last 9 plus years of singleness, but God has always had my back and watched over my heart so that I didn’t get involved with the same abusive personalities. Although being alone has been very hard, I’m more grateful to God than one can imagine for His loving protection over my life. I know His gifts are good and come down from His own hand to heal, not to hurt.
The Spirit of God is and always has been an active part of my every day life and I see miraculous things transpiring in lives all around me through the power of the gospel, but yet, at times I still find it hard to believe that this man will love me as I am. I’ve struggled with the fact that I’m older now, and still trying to lose weight, but above that, I want to be healthy. I feel like I don’t have a lot to offer someone (in my opinion) and yet the Lord has waited until I am not as lovable as I once was and has said to me, “love is coming.” He even gave my oldest son a dream about this recently. My heart is delighted at the hope of it, but part of me still wonders how it could ever be and try’s to shut down the part of my heart that would believe the possibility of it. What would he see in me when I’m so imperfect? God alone could raise up such a man to heal this place in me. This person, whomever God has chosen, will have love that wipes away sorrow from my heart, that’s what He told me. Yes, God can do it all by Himself and has already done so much for me, I love the Lord passionately and He’s filled my heart in so many incredible ways, but because of what I’ve went through and who God has called me to be, a wife being one of them, He has prepared someone anointed to stand beside me as my husband and to love me genuinely, as I will be anointed to love and honor him as well.
Because of the residual pain of rejected love and much persecution in my life as a woman in ministry, I’ve had a really hard time loving and embracing myself the way God would have me to. So the Lord has went to work on this place in my heart to bring healing and wholeness into my life so that I can receive what He desires to give to me. It’s really been in my face lately about how unlovely I feel due to the imperfections in my flesh regardless of those who tell me differently. I know they have love that covers so it still makes it hard to believe. I’ve been consistently telling myself that this mans heart was fashioned by God with a hole inside of his heart for me to fill as well. I know it sounds foolish to some but until you’ve been abused by someone, or unloved by the person who should love you the most, it’s really hard to comprehend. As I said, this would be a thousand page book if I filled in the blanks of everything I’ve went through on this journey but I just wanted to point out how this one thing can affect your life so drastically. It’s so important to love your children, love your wives and love your husbands. We’re influenced by the love of those around us, or lack of it, more than anything else. God has prepared a testimony for me one day to bring to many other hurting men/women who’ve been scarred by life and how great His love is to send to us exactly what we need to be made whole in Him..
God bless you all, I pray this makes sense and also offers hope of how it’s okay to be real, and be anointed for ministry LOL
I’m a whole woman in Christ that’s being restored in ALL areas of my life. Through sitting at His feet, weeping over my brokenness, I’ve been left, not with a limp like Jacob, but with a huge, beautiful hole in my heart that’s ready to receive the one that God has prepared to fill it. ❤
My ex- husband is now re-married and getting closer to God. Jesus has healed his relationship with his children and he's now able to use what he's learned through his losses to love another lady the right way. God is faithful and does answer the prayers of His people. =)