There was a time when I was on my closet floor and the world went black with despair. I hurled curse words toward the Creator, the God who had royally messed up my life by letting me marry my husband, a porn addict who could not get out from under his addiction.
After catching him again with the porn, I was done. The curtains closed on the last act, the stage was dark. All the actors and actresses were leaving the theater. There was no more life in this play. THE END.
But as I lay in fetal position on the floor, pounding my fists, the grief welling within my soul threatening to crush me over and over and over again, Light broke through. Somehow God’s voice interrupted my wails and though His words were gentle, they pierced darkness. The curtains parted again. Stage lights switched on and I walked back on stage, though I had no more lines to say. But it wasn’t my turn to talk, just listen.
God spoke: Are you ready to do this my way?
Life, though I could not feel it pulsing in the moment, began again, a tiny seed He planted in my heart with those words. A tiny seed called Hope. There is another way.
It’s been eight years since that day, the day I found Hope again in the face of the darkness of addiction. After watching for years God slowly freeing my husband from the clutches of porn, I thought I could never lose Hope again.
But I did. And I have had moments of pronounced darkness in my life over the past three weeks, though not because of my husband. Someone else I am dearly close to is struggling with another type of addiction and I feel covered with sadness, a heavy blanket, soaked in tears hangs over my body and there are moments I am not sure I even want to take it off.
Yesterday, dear friends prayed for me powerful prayers — words for me and for my dear one struggling — and I was taken aback by the clarity and power with which she spoke. Juxtaposed next to each other, I saw my resigned attitude, my hopelessness, my gray next to this shiny, vibrant sword that held power to pierce not only my darkness, but also the one hovering over my dear one.
I saw a glimmer of hope reflected in that metal.
Today was the first day of VBS and I am the Celebration leader for all these 200+ children, but I am not sure how much I was leading as how much God led me. The theme is Wilderness Escape and boy would I like to escape this wilderness (the power of addiction, not the VBS). We are driving home, my two girls in the back seat and I am singing the praise songs with them:
“So many years, so many trials,
God has been with us through them all.
He gives us strength
Through His power.
He will never let us down…
He’s done it before;
He’ll do it again.
He is faithful.
He is faithful.”
It’s that gentle voice again. His gentle voice that feels like purifying life-giving water to me, but which has the power to destroy any evil in His path with a simple slice of a sword.
I’ve done it before. And I’ll do it again. I Am faithful. I Am faithful, He says to me.
We fall out of the car and head into the house for lunch and I carry the words sown like seeds in my heart. And as I type this out for you to read tonight, I light my candle, the one my friend just gave to me because she, too, knows the heaviness of darkness. But she knows , too, the piercing power of Light. “You need a reminder, Jen. He is Light. There is hope.” And He smells sweet.
I think it not a coincidence that our new summer Bible study on Isaiah 54 that Dawn is leading us through right here at SDG on Saturdays has begun with singing. I am finding it is possible to sing when I feel barren and bereft of hope or life or light. Perhaps it is because I am not singing in my own strength. Perhaps it is because my friends have faithfully lifted me up. Perhaps it is because I can hear His gentle voice and I know now how to listen. I know now there is another way. I know now the God who was with me through Craig’s porn addiction is still with me through my dear one’s addiction.
He is faithful. He is faithful.
We all sense hope in different ways. What are some of the ways you have felt hope?
SDG Gathering Important Information
Lisa Smith is helping me facilitate our gatherings each week. She is visiting those of you who link up on “even” numbers and I am visiting the “odd” (don’t worry, I’m not calling YOU odd). She will also be sharing on Mondays with you from time to time, opening up her heart and life to you, as you faithful do with us each week you link up. We do have some important housekeeping items about this gathering, so if you have not read them, please come here to catch up. The condensed version: Link up ONE post that shares your heart authentically and be sure to check in with some of your sisters who have linked up with you. Leave a heartfelt word of encouragement for them after you visit their space. This is a community where we actively seek to get to know each other.
Linking with Amy and the #RiskRejection group because sometimes hoping feels a little risky…