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Support Through Prayer ...Part 3

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rosie437 posted 4/9/2016 09:03 AM

Hi everyone,

I haven't been on this forum for some time but felt inspired this morning. Virginia - maybe it was to come share in your question! I'm also feeling 'flat' lately and somewhat out of touch with my spiritual side. I wish I had answers for both of us but I think just asking the question is a good place to start. Maybe it is simply part of the cycle.

I've never been a very publicly religious person and don't follow any particular denomination but internally I consider myself very spiritual and have had true moments of connection with God that leave no question in my mind of the power of prayer and guidance in a higher power. I thought I'd come share one of these stories that I haven't really told anyone b/c it usually makes me start crying...

Last year on my birthday (4 days before my dday), my STBXWH and I got into a big fight over something very small - he's a true foodie and was angry at me b/c I was working out in the garden with my flowers and wasn't going to make the happy hour price cutoff at the restaurant we'd picked for my birthday. I was angry b/c it was my birthday and the only thing he cared about was saving money and being on his schedule. (Hindsight: I wonder if he had plans to try to meet up with the AP later that night that I might have ruined...I will never know).

I was quite emotionally upset and decided to go for a run - it's my chosen stress relief tactic and I needed to be away from him. It had been a rough few weeks with him already and I knew things were really not good in my marriage, even if I didn't yet know why. So I started out for my run and there were dark clouds off in the distance - the forecast had been 'spotty showers' and I didn't really care if it rained so I headed out into the country roads.

Still somewhat crying and unable to run very well, I stopped and prayed. I asked God for a sign on what to do with my marriage. I felt miserable, like I was never going to be able to make STBX happy and maybe the M needed to end. I ended my prayer with 'God, I really want to know now. If this M needs to end in D, please show me today. Let it pour on my run - make it obvious'. And then I started running.

Within 1 minute, it started sprinkling and I wondered about it but kept running. Within 5 minutes, it was absolutely pouring cats and dogs...it was not forecasted, did not look like more than a possible few sprinkles 5 minutes earlier but it was pouring. I kept running at first, telling myself it was 'just rain' and not a downpour. But then it got so bad that I couldn't see where I was going and the wind picked up, driving the rain right at me. I was physically forced to stop and wait under a tree. I remember all too well standing there with my back to the wind and just started sobbing, still refusing to believe that God could really be telling me to get a divorce...that's not supposed to happen.

I made it back home after that run, soaked to the bone. I showered and was quiet. STBX tried apologizing and trying to figure out why I was so upset. I curled up in bed and cried after my shower as he remained completely confused as to why I could be so upset about a stupid fight.

That moment is seared in my mind forever. I knew what God was telling me in a very real way but I still wasn't ready to accept it. I now believe God was preparing me for what was to come. Exactly 4 days later, I found his secret email account with evidence of a full PA. It was the day after they'd had sex for the first time.

I still fought D for a couple of months after that, wanting so badly to believe that my M could survive. But I knew in my heart on my birthday it was over, it just took me another few months to accept what God had told me. And now that I have, I have a sense of peace about it all. It's still hard, it still sucks but I believe I'm on the right path for me. And I believe God will keep guiding me if I'm open to it. Open hearts and open minds - this morning I ran across this quote:
"God often uses our deepest pain as the launching pad of our greatest calling"

Prayers for all of us here, God bless!

VirginiaRegret posted 4/9/2016 19:45 PM

Wow. I love stories like that. I love tgose moments where we can see God's work in our lives so clearly. For the longest time I was in total despair thinking that God hated divorce and if my marriage failed, that it would mean that I had failed to pray hard enough and trust hard enough. It's taken me a very long time and some very serious talks with a spiritual adviser that yes, God doesn't like divorce but we live in a sinful world. And God also doesn't want us to live in destructive abusive relationships. Realizing that I can leave and that it actually might be the best thing for all of us, has been incredibly freeing. I'm giving my all to this marriage. I go to a psychiatrist (recently diagnosed bipolar), a therapist, support group, prayer group, see a spiritual adviser, etc. I'm doing it not to save my marriage (although I do hope we make it) i'm doing it to save me. Because fundamentally I don't want to be the person I was.

I can't force any of it on him though. He refuses IC. We were kicked out of marriage counseling after a month because my husband wasn't really interested. I sometimes wonder if God is asking me to let go of my marriage, I wish I got a clear sign. I just don't know. But I do know that God has changed my life in the last 7 months for the better. And i'm ashamed of myself when I doubt or don't feel much like praying when I can clearly see all he's done for me!

But some days it still feels like it's all too much. And I feel like I want things fixed now. I feel tired and sad and disappointed about how my life has turned out. Sometimes I want to run away and start over with a clean slate (as if we really have that option!) And I wonder if everyone is just miserable. I have a lot of friends who aren't dealing with infidelity and are unhappy in their marriages. And single friends who want more than anything to find a spouse. I wonder if there really just isn't any happiness in this world for me and maybe for most of us.

Clearly I need to get my spiritual life back on track. I know this discouragement isn't coming from God.

Strength and prayers to you on this journey!

rosie437 posted 4/11/2016 21:16 PM

Virginia, I'm not sure if this will help you at all but I think what my story has taught me is that even when I received as clear a sign as anyone can ever hope to get - it still took me a really long time to listen to it. I fought my own spirituality, I fought against what God was telling me simply b/c I so wanted it to not be true. I couldn't have asked for a more clear sign, yet it still took me another four months and a whole lot more pain, many more arguments, a ton of self doubt before I finally listened. And once I did, I started feeling better instead of worse - that's been the most surprising part. I felt better working towards D than I did in R by far and that really shocked me. It's not what I wanted, it's not what I expected and it's certainly not what I would have planned. I'm not trying to push D on you (or anyone here) but trust the process and sometimes the problem isn't a lack of signs, it's our lack of being willing to listen to them.

I'm now 16 days away from my D being final and although it's an ugly, horrible, awful process and I feel sad that my M had to end, it's freeing to know this experience isn't going to continue to define me, my life, my future. God has more planned for me and for all of us!

VirginiaRegret posted 4/13/2016 07:30 AM

And once I did, I started feeling better instead of worse - that's been the most surprising part. I felt better working towards D than I did in R by far and that really shocked me. It's not what I wanted, it's not what I expected and it's certainly not what I would have planned. I'm not trying to push D on you (or anyone here) but trust the process and sometimes the problem isn't a lack of signs, it's our lack of being willing to listen to them.

Thank you for this. I've been mulling it over since I read it yesterday. The truth is, I know that I'm supposed to working toward reconciliation at this point. I've also had clear signs that this is the road I'm supposed to be on. I don't know what the future holds and it could be that I'm supposed to be working on my marriage because I need time to heal myself and without that time, I might've never recovered. I think my desire to leave comes from a place of fear. Fear that he will never love me again. Fear that he'll never see me as anyone or anything other than a horrible cheater. Fear that he will never forgive me because ultimately, I'm not sure I could. And a desire to run away and start over with someone who doesn't see me that way.

But I know that fear and that instinct to run isn't from God. Along with the fear and the pain, I do feel peace that I'm finally on the right road after many years on the wrong one. Being on the right one doesn't make life easy, but as you said, it sure comes with a lot of peace and I agree with you that that's a big indicator of whether you're headed in the right direction. After all, Jesus almost always greeted with Peace be with you or closed with Go in peace. He wants and plans for us to be peaceful in Him no matter what storm is brewing in our lives.

Lots to mull over. Thanks for response!

BrokenheartedWif posted 4/13/2016 08:01 AM

virginiaregret

I think my desire to leave comes from a place of fear. Fear that he will never love me again. Fear that he'll never see me as anyone or anything other than a horrible cheater. Fear that he will never forgive me because ultimately, I'm not sure I could. And a desire to run away and start over with someone who doesn't see me that way.

Have you shared the above with your BS? When my SAWS is vulnerable with me and shares his heart and fears with me, it gives me a glimpse into the changes he is trying to make.

faithfulfeathers posted 4/13/2016 08:05 AM

Rosie, I loved your story! When I was reading to the kids the other night, we were reading Samuel 14 and Jonathan waits and God gives him a sign to go into battle. It was a blessing for me to read both your post and that passage allowing me to give myself up and really pray for the signs he has to offer. It also gave me the ability to open my eyes and heart for the answers. Thank you.

Charlee posted 4/13/2016 14:14 PM

Hi There - Just found this forum and have not had the chance to read it through as this might have already been discussed, but Iam wondering if anyone can make recommendations for a Daily Devotional geared to being the BS?

BrokenheartedWif posted 4/13/2016 14:51 PM

Godly Whispers A 90 Day Devotional to Help you recover from your spouses affair by Marsha Rozalski. There is also a work book available for this study.

steadychevy posted 4/14/2016 08:53 AM

Thanks BrokenheartedWif. Another book to buy.

BrokenheartedWif posted 4/14/2016 10:40 AM

Your welcome Steady.

I bet we all have expanded or started our own libraries since DDay.

I much prefer the June 6, 1944 DDay to the new meaning of DDay in my life.

needfriendshere posted 4/14/2016 10:56 AM

Haven't been on this thread for ages! I tried to stay away from SI altogether, but circumstances keep bringing me back for encouragement and support.

rosie437, I LOVED the story you shared. Thank you so much. Something I've tried to do this year is end each day with writing in my journal something (anything) I am grateful for that day. And I thank God for it. I admit I have skipped some days when the dark clouds blocked out any semblance of a blessing. But, overall, it has been a wonderful experience. I highly recommend it.

Brokenheartedwif, I will definitely get the book you recommend. And the timing will be just perfect. I am just finishing a 40-day devotional which involves reading the Psalms.

Virginia, I sometimes find that when I "feel" flat, those are the times God really wants me to trust in Him. To believe that, even when I don't feel His peace, He is still there - the good Father who always cares and in whose hands I have placed my life.

Welcome to this thread, Charlee! You will find a lot of good and encouraging advice here. I have some awesome song recommendations that the good people here have passed on to me. My favorites are:
Worn, by Tenth Avenue North
Broken Together, by Casting Crowns, and
Blessings, by Laura Story

Hugs to Steadychevy, Faithfulfeathers , Strongheart, and Blakesteele too (I know you're out there somewhere)!

steadychevy posted 4/14/2016 13:44 PM

Thanks,needfriendshere. Just in from feeding the cows. 10 new calves. They are a delight. Not supposed to have any yet because calving is in May on pasture.

Yeah, our expanding libraries. I used to read economic, finance and investment books, Christian fiction, Louis L'Amour westerns, Jeffrey Archer, Dick Francis, Lawrence Block and John Grisham to name a few.

Now I read psychology, healing, self help, personal analysis, etc. I took 2 undergrad psycology classes at university and got average marks in them (lowered my GPA) and declared I wouldn't venture into psycology again. Wrong, I guess.

Thanks everyone for prayers. I pray mine make a difference for you.

ETA: I do thank you for your prayers. Prayer warriors do make a difference. I confessed in this forum that I was having difficulty praying for myself. I am doing much better in that regard. Specific prayers from so many here and expecially blakesteele who was probably the first of many to add me to their prayer list. I am not praying as much as I used to but certainly more than post DDay (I would prefer only knowing a bout one DDay, too, brokenhearted) and increasing.

What also helped me were some movies purchased recently - Courageous, Fireproof, Facing the Giants, Faith Like Potatos, Ring the Bell. Still have The War Room to watch.

Again, thank you for your prayers.

[This message edited by steadychevy at 1:55 PM, April 14th (Thursday)]

blakesteele posted 4/15/2016 09:32 AM

God gives us a spirit of power, love and self discipline. period. end of story.

Most of my life, since a childhood of abuse and abandonment, has me making a pattern of fear-based choices...including that first year after my first DD.

I see fear as a primary motivator in many folks lives....it absolutely was in my wifes life and was necessary for adultery to be chosen by her.

I NOW realize that fear is NOT from God or the spirit it gives us all...it is a tool used by satan.

Now.....fear itself is not inherently bad. Its what we do with it that assigns value. We absolutely can and should have fear but we are not to let it have us (the self discipline part of what is God-given).

Summary: Fear has kept me from real intimacy, and stuck in a cycle that has kept me from becoming the man God knows I can be. This trial, as dreadful has it has been, has opened my eyes to this crucial fact. Thankful for the healing and subsequent clarity that I have been blessed with.


faithfulfeathers posted 4/15/2016 10:29 AM

Blakesteele: Recognizing that control I was giving fear over me (and allowing Satan to spread it in my life) was a huge turning point in this process. It was a massive burden lifted when I came to that realization and was able to ask for God's help in standing against it. Thank you for sharing.

Hug to you Needsfriendshere, I hope you are well.

Praying for all of you.

hopefull77 posted 4/15/2016 19:27 PM

I was raised in the time of being fearful of God...my H and I went to listen to Richard Rohr a few weeks ago ...he has had such a HUGE impact on my eyes being wide open to who God is...but he talked about the "fear" of God...and how as kids we pictured God sitting way up out of our reach on a big throne with lightning bolts coming from his finger tips ...the wrath of God comes to mind! And then like Santa Clause he's making a list ...checking it twice....this is so far from who God IS! God is not out if reach because God is in ALL of us....I hate the word fear...I'd rather think of it as a conscience ....it's those little choices we make everyday...we are late so we push the yellow light and it turns red ...I know I shouldn't have done that...I know I shouldn't have that 2nd glass of wine but I chose to anyway....our choices have consequences and I know God stands beside me hoping I will learn something from those consequences ...God =hope=love...
peace everyone

blakesteele posted 4/16/2016 06:30 AM

Thanks guys! I too had that "fear of God, he's very distant" false perception of God most of my life. Both my Catholic upbringing and the way my own parents were contributed greatly to this.

I still have a type of fear towards God...but I no longer have that fear of rejection and condemnation. It's transforming me, thus change in perspective as I replace false assumptions with truth.

When my wife chooses to shut down or withdraw.....it no longer scares me. I see why that was comfortable for most of our marriage.....it's like what I experienced as a boy.

To change required healing.

Healing requires recognizing you were wounded.

Recognizing you are wounded requires courage to LOOK at the wound.

Fear stops the healing process.

God tells us to "fear not".......doesn't tell us don't have fear, he urges us to not let it have us.

Living boldly and in truth. I'm finally doing that.....and I am because I now know the truth, God is with me. He didn't just say "here's the bible, kid. Read it. I'll see you in heaven." No, he desires a very real, daily relationship with us.

And that's something my earthly father never desired.

steadychevy posted 4/16/2016 07:43 AM

I was lucky growing up, I guess. I never had that image about God being one who caused me fear. What I remember from early Sunday School is things like "bless the little children, let them come unto me". A picture that is still fairly vivid in my mind from my youth is one of Jesus seated with children of all races seated at his feet and gazing up into his face.

I was raised in a Christian home, attended Sunday school through to adulthood, mother was a lay minister, Dad on church board and sang in the choir (I was never asked to sing in any choir), etc. But I wasn't a Christian. I was of the Christian faith. I knew what I had to do to become a Christian but I didn't want to do it. I fought it. In August, 1997 after reading a Christian book for youth by Janette Oke I finally humbled myself before the Lord.

When the adultery was finally confessed (a forced confession) I was so angry at God. I was a good and faithful servant (well, I tried to be as much as a sinful man can). He knew my life before I was born. Why couldn't he warn me? (Maybe He did and I wasn't listening - red flags, anyone.) How could God let this happen to me? I knew that was wrong thinking but it is what I thought. God allows free will. We aren't puppets. He watches and feels anguish about our choices and anguish and loves us, just the same.

I am slowly getting back to the relationship I used to have with God, I think. Certainly not there yet. And maybe that relationship was more superficial than I thought and a deeper one will be the result.

God understands adultery. He has been betrayed in so many ways starting with the forbidden fruit, idols of all kinds starting with ancient ones and continuing to our modern day idols, worshipping other gods before Him. He understands
and that is why there is a specific commandment naming adultery and another about desiring a neighbours wife.

I have been asking God for guidance about what to do. Maybe I am like rosie437 and God has been telling me and I don't like the answer so ignore it and ask for guidance again. Maybe I am like the pitcher on the mound getting signals from the catcher and keeps waiving them off until he gets one he likes. Maybe I need to ask and then be quiet and listen.

I don't know your time zone, blakesteele, but it looks like you were up early this morning. I was, too. 5:30 am. I like to watch the sun come up from my office window with a cup of coffee and the quiet and stillness.

hopefull77 posted 4/16/2016 10:00 AM

this from my daily devotional...

Practice

Concrete Participation

As we turn toward participation we now can see that most of religious and church history has been largely preoccupied with religious ideas, about which you could be wrong or right. When faith is all about ideas, you do not have to be part of it; you just need to talk correctly about it. You never have to dive in and illustrate that spiritual proof is only in the pudding.

The spiritual question is this: Does one's life give any evidence of an encounter with God? Does this encounter bring about in you any of the things that Paul describes as the "fruits" of the spirit: "love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, trustfulness, gentleness, and self-control" (Galatians 5:22)? Are you different from your surroundings, or do you reflect the predictable cultural values and biases of your group?

The "participatory turn" is learning from concrete practices, personal disciplines, and interactive dialogues that change the seer and allow and encourage the encounter itself. Many Christians today are rediscovering prayer beads, prayer of quiet, icons, contemplative sits, Taizé chants, charismatic prayer, walking meditation, Zen chores, extended silence, solitude, and disciplined spiritual direction. Up to now, you could have a doctorate in theology as a Catholic or Protestant and not really know how to pray or even enjoy prayer (experienced union), although you could recommend it officially to others and maybe even define it. Now we know that we must personally live our faith.


I hope you will dive into your faith and experiment with ways of opening yourself to transformation, to encounter, to conscious participation in God.


Gateway to Silence


Spirit of Love in me, love through me.

blakesteele posted 4/17/2016 06:38 AM

Thanks SteadyChevy and Hopeful77.

Went to a friends house last night....game night with friends. fOM son was there....a surprise, kind of.

Son looks like OM. I hadn't triggered in a while....I did, kind of.

"Kind of".

Like you, SteadyChevy, I've been angry with God over my wife's affair.....the personal pain it caused me, the 7 kids affected by it, my own inability to be bold.

Like your devotional, Hopeful77, I've been guilty of "knowledge based faith".....the false belief that if I did the "right" things I would not be hurt. Faith with ME as the center.

Almost 4 years from DD 1 and I can testify that when we have joy in our lives, satan attacks. Last night, seeing his son at a party we both were excited to attend, was a surprise but one that was quickly met with ...."Okay, I didn't see this coming. But it is upon us. What are we going to do about it, God?"

Emotions urged me to FIGHT!!!

Wisdom gained through this trial had me recognizing all my emotions, treating them like the signal lights they are, and then boldly exposing the facts.

Facts:
He's a 10 year old boy. He, like me, was not a reason for his dads choices....my wife's choices.

He, like our girls, has been hurt by the affair.

My wife, like me, is hurting to look at a child hurt by her choices.

That particular affair is no more...I see my wife digging for hard to face facts of her own and have faith she will continue to find ways to disrupt the pattern of living that produced her affair and kept her in the isolated state they keep her in.


Then I made a conscience, out loud choice (in the bathroom) to act on facts, making sure to "have all my emotions while not letting them have me".


And I genuinely did not get angry at this surprise attack by satan....this has his MO all over it.

I choose to have the fun we knew would be had....and did!

He's really a fun boy and was actually on my game team!

No way could this night have proceeded to take place even 2 years ago. And that's not my credit to take, it's Gods.

Grateful for the work God does for me through other folks too!!! And have faith he has used me in similar ways.

PinkJeepLady posted 4/18/2016 07:52 AM

Love reading all your stories and thoughts! Thank you for sharing them. Blakesteele, isn't that amazing to see how you are progressing on this journey? Glory to God for sure!

I have been reflecting lately on my progress and can see God's hand throughout it all, but especially in those really bad times. He truly has carried me along many times.

Have a quick scripture to share this morning with you fine folks. I printed it out to put by my bed as a reminder to "look up" throughout the day!

Psalms 5: 1-3
"Give ear to my words, O Lord, consider my meditation"
"Hearken unto the voice of my cry, my King, and my God: for unto thee will I pray."
"My voice shalt thou hear in the morning, O Lord; in the morning will I direct my prayer unto thee, and will look up."

It sounds simple enough to "look up" throughout the day, but I find I need to really concentrate on looking to God for peace and comfort. Praying for all this morning, may you all have a wonderful day! 🙏

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