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Shipwrecked - Part 2

Oh no, what have I done?

That was the million-dollar question.

In that moment, I had an epiphany. There was something unhealthy in me that moved me toward very unhealthy and harmful relationships.

But coming out of denial doesn’t always mean you immediately start moving toward recovery. I wish it was that easy, but it would be another year or so before that would happen.

After having two physical affairs and one online affair and losing his six-figure job.

To say I was broken would be an understatement.

My world was spinning and I had no idea how to get it to stop.

I could barely function from the shock, trauma, anxiety, and depression that would follow.

I literally was at the end of myself.

I remember leaving and getting a hotel room.

Desperate and broken, I hit my knees and cried out to God.

I knew I got myself here, but I would need Him to help me get out of it.

It was then that I heard the Lord so clearly say,

“Leah, I need you to get out of My way.”

Admittedly I knew that I was supposed to move out.

So I packed my girls and myself up and moved in with my sister. It was a sanctuary for me.

This is when I began to walk the difficult yet beautiful road to recovery.

This is when I learned that,

"Hardships often prepare ordinary people for an extraordinary destiny."

I started attending Celebrate Recovery. I found a new counselor and I began my journey of healing.

It was during this time God asked me a question. He asked, “Would it be worth it to stay in this marriage if I could get my son back?” (meaning my husband) and of course, my immediate answer was Yes, of course, Father.

Did that mean I never thought of leaving my husband again? No.

BUT I had something to hold onto. I had a reminder that this was bigger than me.

God would give me instruction throughout the years. The biggest piece being, “Your job is not to change/fix your husband. Your job is to be an example by drawing near to me and letting me heal you”.

Now do you think I never tried to fix my husband? Oh, I had all kinds of book, podcast, and video suggestions he needed to look into.

I definitely tried my hand at controlling his recovery.

I wasn’t healed yet… so I definitely tried my hand at controlling his recovery.

But slowly as I learned to trust the Lord I began to let go of my grip on my husband and his recovery. I learned that the more I tried to control, fix, and change him, the more I blocked what God was trying to do in him…and in me. I had to surrender my husband to God and I had to trust God with the outcome.

Codependency doesn’t leave you quickly. Becoming less focused on others and starting to deal with the things going on inside of me took practice. There was a lot of confusion I had to work through.

I had to learn about boundaries. What a healthy boundary is. When it’s not actually a boundary and is more of punishment or me trying to control.

I had to learn that saying no wasn’t selfish. That I actually had a right and a responsibility to myself to care for and protect myself by saying no. I also had a right and responsibility to express my own thoughts, opinions, and emotions.

I had to put a lot of work into thinking about my thoughts instead of just letting them take over. Unfortunately, I struggled with a lot of intrusive thoughts and images in my head after his affairs. Fear had been taking over my mind, my emotions, and my behavior which led to me trying to control my surroundings and the people around me. I tried to control my husband’s recovery instead of trying to regain control of my thoughts and emotions. But God would begin the process of helping me do exactly that and reveal all the places I didn’t trust Him. He would slowly and steadily show me His faithfulness to me.

Romans 12:2 Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.

2 Corinthians 10:5 We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to make it obedient to Christ.

A couple of years into recovery

A new normal started to emerge. We still had a long way to go but the shock of the trauma had faded, the intrusive thoughts and images were becoming less and things started to fall into a rhythm sort of but there still felt like something was missing. I was having trouble keeping a connection with my husband. His behavior had changed and he was doing all the things but I just felt like I was unable to access him. I still felt lonely inside of my marriage. I didn’t feel heard or seen, not really…not in a deeper way and I didn’t feel like I could see into him. There was a wall. I wasn’t sure what to do with that. As I said, the behavior was different so I think I just decided this would just be our normal. That this is just how he is.

A short time later there would be one more disclosure/incident. It was less severe than the others but no less painful.

However, this would bring the next layer of change and healing to my husband and where I would start to notice differences in myself as well.

I wasn’t worried about getting him to do things anymore. I felt at ease sitting back and just watching to see what he would do. I took care of myself. I went on trips and spent time with friends and family. I started working out and eating better. I was focusing on myself…which was huge.

My husband stopped focusing on boundary lines… you know, how far can I go before I’ve crossed the line?

Those conversations stopped. Instead of focusing on how far he could go or couldn’t go, he was focusing on my heart and how things would make me feel. I also noticed him looking for his own resources, whereas before he would only do something if I requested it. He was becoming proactive instead of reactive.

He started reaching out to other men

My husband found himself a new counselor that specialized in sexual addiction. He joined a men’s group from our church that focused on purity. He would come home and tell me about podcasts or books he was reading and what he was learning. He was opening up to me! I was finally getting access into my husband’s inner world. He was starting to ask me questions about how I felt, and what I thought.

We were having spiritual, emotional, and intellectual conversations together.

He was finding ways to connect with the kids. He was noticing them. He would notice when they seemed to be having a bad day and he’d go try to connect with them.

Behavior modification will only take a person so far. Heart change is when the real and lasting change begins.

Now, we’re not completely healed. I know I still have a long way to go in my own personal healing and healing within our marriage.

Healing, maturing, and growing is a lifelong journey but I’m definitely not who I used to be.

At one point I felt lost. I lost my own reality. I lost my sense of self. I lost my voice.

I want to declare today that I am found in my Savior Jesus Christ

I have found a profound spiritual reality that is more real and true than anything I’ve experienced before.

I have found my voice and I’m using it!

I am a wordsmith and an author.

I am powerful and my words make a difference.

I am worthy of love, respect, and protection.

He has created me with courage, perseverance, and mercy.

My strengths flow through my imagination and curiosity.

My words are filled with wisdom, revelation, truth, and love.

I know who I am and love who I am.

That is just some of who God says I am. I am having the best time with my Father as he takes me on the journey of self-discovery. As I learn more about myself, I learn even more about Him and His heart for me.

There is so much more to this story that I don’t have time to go into. So many miraculous, supernatural, insane things that God has done. I’ll end with one of those. It’s a really fun story about the day I gave my testimony at Celebrate Recovery.

I finished my first step study a few years ago but never felt ready to give my testimony.

Toward the end of 2021, I kept getting prophetic words from people about how it’s time to share my story. How people need to hear my testimony. These were people I didn’t even know.

I knew it was God and that it was time. As I started to write it, I knew I was supposed to declare His truths over me, washing away the lies I’ve believed about myself.

As I was telling a my coach about the declarations, she casually says, "that sounds almost like a baptism of words."

Holy Spirit takes me back to a dream I had in 2020

Immediately, Holy Spirit takes me back to a dream I had in 2020. It was the first dream I ever wrote down, in a dream journal I now keep, because when I woke up it felt so significant even though I wasn’t sure why.

It was a very short dream. In it were two girls. One was being baptized in water and the other in words. I had no idea what that meant but like I said it felt so significant.

My coach asked me when I thought I was supposed to give my testimony. At first, I said I didn’t know but then I heard Holy Spirit say, look to see when you had that dream.

I pulled out my journal and I had dated it February 17, 2020. I told her I think I’m supposed to give it on February 17th…the only thing is testimony nights are only on Thursdays and only every other Thursday and women’s testimonies are only every 4th Thursday. So, there was only 1 day in February that I’d be able to give my testimony and the chances of that day being on the 17th were slim to none. She looks at her calendar and says, well it’s on a Thursday.

My mouth dropped. Wow, ok.

So, I email the lady who schedules the testimonies and just say, “Hey, I felt like God said I’m supposed to give my testimony on February 17th but I have no idea if it’s a women’s testimony night. If it’s not that’s fine”.

She emails back the next day and says, “Yup, it is and I’ve got you down for it.”

So, if you think that wasn’t crazy enough…there’s more!

Right before I’m about to go up to give my testimony they stop the services and announce that this is a special night.

They call up one of the members and her young granddaughter and announce she will be baptizing her before I give my testimony!

I couldn’t believe it!

Job 33:15-16 In a dream, in a vision of the night, when deep sleep falls upon men while slumbering on their beds, Then He opens the ears of men and seals their instruction.

Acts 2:17 This is what I will do in the last days, I will pour out my Spirit on everybody and cause your sons and daughters to prophesy, and your young men will see visions, and your old men will experience dreams from God.

God made sure I knew how important my testimony was and I want to make sure you know how important yours is also.

This wasn’t just for me.

This was for you too!

You have a testimony in you a story to share and it’s powerful!

God wants to encourage you to start sharing it. Even if it’s only to one person you’re close to first.

And as you share it, your words will become a cleaning salve that washes away fear, shame, and condemnation not only for you but for those listening that are or have experienced something similar.


I'm Leah

Wife, Mother&

FLRSH blogger.

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Thanks for sharing Leah! So often we are afraid and ashamed to share what God has delivered us from and what He has brought us into! Thank you for your courage in sharing. Marriage is particularly a vulnerable area for women where we tend to feel that we alone should carry the "responsibility" for whether or not our marriages are successful. Thank you for sharing how Jesus busted up that lie for you!

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