Many of you are aware that I recently had the privilege of speaking at the Survive ‘n’ Thrive Single Mom Conference in Oklahoma City. I wanted to share a very brief recap of what I shared with the ladies. I should be recording my session soon, and it will be posted on the Arise Ministries website. I will post a link when it is available!
Picking Up the Pieces
Recovering from Adultery and Divorce
Storms happen. In Oklahoma, we are very familiar with the devastating storms, tornadoes that rip houses from their foundations. They leave a trail of debris, piles of rubble. They forever alter the landscape.
And so is the storm of adultery. It sweeps into our lives, destroying everything we thought we knew. It leaves a trail of destruction and lies, a path that leaves us wondering if anything we ever believed was actually true. It strikes us at the core of our being, making us doubt everything about ourselves. We question our identity, our value, our ability to love or be loved.
So how do we overcome the storm? Where do we begin the process of clearing the debris and rebuilding our lives?
Before we begin rebuilding, we must first clear the debris.
- The moment of surrender. None of us wants the pain of adultery. We wonder why our prayers to save our marriage were not answered. We struggle with anger toward God. Perhaps in our stubbornness, we even begin to walk away from God, deciding to live our lives our own way. At some point, we must surrender to God. We may not want this journey, but we must trust that he is with us, that he is still in control. We must find a way to simply accept what is and trust him to make it so much more than we could ever imagine. (Galatians 2:20, 2 Corinthians 1:3-4)
- The decision to forgive. Forgiveness is a command. We must forgive the other woman. We must forgive the offending spouse. And, we must for give ourselves. Forgiveness is often more than we can do. But, God can allow his forgiveness to flow through us. If we are willing to be obedient, to take that step of doing what he has called us to do, his supernatural power will make all anger and bitterness fade away. By making the daily decision to walk in forgiveness, we will experience his perfect peace in our lives. (Matthew 6:14-15, Ephesians 4:31-32)
- The determination to thrive. Survival is not enough. God never called us to a life of mediocrity; instead he called us to live an abundant life, an extraordinary life. Our mindset must be one of knowing that we will make the most of our lives, that we will see God do far more than we could ever ask or imagine. (John 10:10, Job 8:5-7)
After clearing the debris, you are ready to begin the rebuilding process…a process that can result in things bigger and better than you ever imagined!
- Know your identity. Adultery robs you of every ounce of self-esteem, leaving you questioning your value. But, don’t let the enemy steal the truth from you! You are a child of the King of Kings, a chosen people, a royal priesthood. You are fearfully and wonderfully made, the apple of his eye. You are beautiful and greatly loved. You are a masterpiece created with a purpose! Dig into scripture, and let his words of love soothe your soul. Discover your inner beauty and value! (1 Peter 2:9, Psalm 139:14-18)
- Remember it’s not about you. If your situation was anything like mine, you may find that the offending spouse tries to convince you that you were the problem. You were a failure as a wife. You were too busy. It’s not about you! In my experience, affairs are the result of a person walking in the flesh, fulfilling the lusts of the flesh. Affairs are a result of addiction, pornography, self-centeredness. Adultery is the result of a person who is unhappy with his life, a person who has failed to learn the secret of contentment. So much more could be said, but please remember it is not about you! (Galatians 5:19-21, Philippians 4:12)
- Find your passion and purpose. Do you have a dream? Maybe you dreamed of being a writer. Or a singer. Or an artist. Maybe you dreamed of going on a mission trip. Maybe you dreamed of helping foster children or adopting. I don’t know what you passion is, but find out what it is! Take steps toward fulfilling your purpose on this earth! Follow your dreams! Become the best you you can be! (Ephesians 2:10)
- Trust him for a new future. One of the first verses that gave me encouragement is found in Isaiah 43: Forget the past! It is nothing compared to what I am about to do! How exciting is that? Whatever was in your past, your future is far greater! God has a way of taking all of the horrible, awful, ugly things of this life and making something beautiful out of them. That’s his specialty! (Isaiah 43:18-19, Zechariah 9:12)