Tuesday, February 26, 2013

The Big Move

Scott and I made a difficult choice. We had been married for about 3 years. The first part of our marriage was a mess. I was "just friends" with a guy. My emotional affair turned physical. My secret world became too much to uphold when the secret of my lover was revealed to my husband by a mutual friend.

By the grace of God, my husband forgave me and we began to fight for our marriage. Scott and I did all that we could to rebuild and repair our marriage. I said good bye to my lover. We avoided seeing each other, but we both lived in the same general area. We had the same core group of friends. Everywhere I went, I had memories flood my mind. I wasn't about to run away, but I was defeated. I was trying to move forward, but with every memory, my heart would ache.

Scott and I talked openly about my pain. He comforted me the best he could. We wanted so badly to make new memories to replace the old ones that were haunting me. We made the decision to move. A lot of people criticized us for "running away." They thought we were stronger then that. I how ever feel that it was a critical choice. A wise choice. I wasn't running away, we were choosing to start on fresh territory. Call it what you may, it was one of the best decision that we ever made for the sake of our marriage.

We have lived here, in our "new town" for over 7 years. The memories of my old love have mostly faded away. I have a heart that is totally Scott's. When we moved it took some adjustment, but Scott and I had to really cleave together. God has protected our love and marriage. We have since created a million new memories. Scott is my love. He is my joy. I am so blessed to know that he was willing to fight to fix our marriage!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Finding Hope and Peace

"He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds." Psalm 147:3

 I just ran into the verse today..it is amazing!! As a person who is sharing my deepest aches and raw emotions with the world, I really want to draw your attention to our God and this verse: "He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds." Psalm 147:3. 

My heart was broken.Sometimes I feel that the word broken doesn't sum up the anguish and heartache I went through. I am sure Scott can relate because his heart was broken. He was in anguish..his wife, broke her marriage vows and had relations with another man. 

I wept for the loss of a great friend and lover. I also wept for the vows, promises, and hearts I broke as well. I was the responsible one...I still sometimes feel that I owe more to Scott. i feel that I need to do everything and love him with more passion that I can muster..but I know that it is impossible for me to do that. I will not let the devil poison my life and my heart with his lies. 

(God) "He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds." Psalm 147:3...I am not going to try to heal my own heart or Scott's. It is not my place. I have asked for forgiveness from Scott. He graciously granted it to me. He still loves me. He still loves me. He still loves me. More importantly, I asked my God to forgive me. He too, took me back with open arms. He took my sin-my terrible sin and paid the price for it. He has cleansed my heart and soul. He calls me his child. 

I have also recently started to forgive myself. I still struggle with what I did. I know that it is in my past. My heart still carries wounds from that time in my life, but I can find hope and peace in this verse.."He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds." Psalm 147:3

My God loves me. Most days are good. Most of my past stays in my past and I can celebrate the victory that God has given within my marriage..but some days...I struggle. 

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Remaining Friends

Scott and I were living on campus. I had recently graduated but Scott wanted to give School another shot. It didn't go well and we moved to a really nice town house.

My heart was slowly moving on. Scott and I felt like we were finally on the same page. I thought I was strong enough to hang out with Ozzy with in a group setting. We still had the same group of friends. I really wanted to still be his friend. I missed his friendship. It was hard when I would be invited to a Monday night football game, or a party of some type..I always had to ask if Ozzy was going to be there. If he was, I didn't go. Seeing him after saying goodbye would be to awkward...Part or me  longed to see him again, but I was also well aware that my feelings towards him were not completely gone, but I some somehow thought we could still be friends.

Scott and I decided together to attend a group gathering. We knew that Ozzy was going to be there... I was right it was awkward. But we went again the next week. I thought in my head that the awkwardness would just evaporate, but I was wrong. That awkward feeling that kept arising was the Holy Spirit telling me to not be there, not be around Ozzy. I once again ignored the promptings.

One Monday night, Scott and I went together, but Scott wanted to leave early and I didn't want to..I arranged with a friend to take me home later. I was stupid. As soon as Scott was gone, Ozzy and I started talking. I even started flirting. He flirted back..the tension was returning and it took all I had within me to not act on it.

I struggled with this for a very long time. I stopped being honest with Scott about my feelings. I somehow thought that Ozzy and I could still be friends. I however, learned the hard way that there is no way in the world ex-lovers should remain friends. HOW  STUPID COULD I BE?

I don't remember too much of this point in my life except the inner struggle that I caused. I was focusing so hard on the possibility of remaining friends with Ozzy that I was losing focus with my relationship with Scott, yet again. It was such a struggle that when I finally was sharing my struggles with Scott again, that we came up with a plan that would change our lives forever.



Thursday, February 14, 2013

Gratitude Journal Entries # 15, 16 & 17

Gratitude Journal Entries# 15
I am so thankful for the beauty of snow. I am not a huge fan of snow but something about the way the flakes gently fall to earth is so beautiful to me. I love when the snow sticks on the wet trees. I love the way new fallen snow covers up the old dirty snow...



Gratitude Journal Entries #16
 I am grateful for the opportunity to publicly share my testimony this past Sunday at church. I was not nervous to stand in front of a large crowd, but because of the contents in which I needed to share. I gave a 4 minute testimony about God's immeasurable grace and the way he saved my marriage. It went very well..if you would like to read more about it...you can click HERE and it will link you to my personal website.

Gratitude Journal Entries #17
Today is Vanetine's Day and I am so thankful that Christ is our exapmle of how to love. His love runs deep. His unceasing love saves us. His amazing love calls us to fall at his feet and praise his name. For He is good and his love endures forever...

Psalm 136

Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good.
His love endures forever.
Give thanks to the God of gods.
His love endures forever.
Give thanks to the Lord of lords:
His love endures forever.
to him who alone does great wonders,
His love endures forever.
who by his understanding made the heavens,
His love endures forever.
who spread out the earth upon the waters,
His love endures forever.
who made the great lights—
His love endures forever.
the sun to govern the day,
His love endures forever.
the moon and stars to govern the night;
His love endures forever.
10 to him who struck down the firstborn of Egypt
His love endures forever.
11 and brought Israel out from among them
His love endures forever.
12 with a mighty hand and outstretched arm;
His love endures forever.
13 to him who divided the Red Sea[a] asunder
His love endures forever.
14 and brought Israel through the midst of it,
His love endures forever.
15 but swept Pharaoh and his army into the Red Sea;
His love endures forever.
16 to him who led his people through the wilderness;
His love endures forever.
17 to him who struck down great kings,
His love endures forever.
18 and killed mighty kings—
His love endures forever.
19 Sihon king of the Amorites
His love endures forever.
20 and Og king of Bashan—
His love endures forever.
21 and gave their land as an inheritance,
His love endures forever.
22 an inheritance to his servant Israel.
His love endures forever.
23 He remembered us in our low estate
His love endures forever.
24 and freed us from our enemies.
His love endures forever.
25 He gives food to every creature.
His love endures forever.
26 Give thanks to the God of heaven.
His love endures forever.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

The Trust Issue

Scott and I were working hard to rebuilding our marriage. We were learning to communicate more efficiently and most importantly, I was working very hard to show Scott that he could trust me again.

I was working very hard towards opening up and telling him my hopes and fears. There were many things that were very difficult to share with him, things I am sure he didn't even want to hear about. I shared with him dreams that I had. I told him when I was missing Ozzy. I told him when he was being unloving towards me. I told him when he made me happy. I communicated everything.

Meanwhile, Scott became very vigilant over my outings and rightfully so. Where was I going? Who was going to be there? When would I return? Many times,  I felt like he was treating me like a child. I would often express my frustrations with him..but my infidelity was in the forefront of my mind. I would tell him anything and everything he wanted to know because he deserved my honesty. He deserved an honest answer.

I had taken the trust he had in me and shattered it with my infidelity.

I slowly began to rebuild my trust with Scott. Each time he asked I truthfully told him where I was going and who I was going to be with. I even called Scott when the plans changed or I was going to stay out later than expected. I felt like a child with a a very protective parent, but then again, can I really get mad because it was my choices that make him question me.I tried to give him my answers without frustration or sarcasm in my voice. Slowly but surely I was making progress to rebuilding trust and repairing my marriage.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Quitting an Addiction

Twelve Steps

Twelve-step programs have long been an important part of the recovery process and the basis for many recovery programs. Developed over 65 years ago by a small group of alcoholics, the AA program provides simple tools for living based on a set of spiritual principles and a reliance on the fellowship of men and women who share their experience and offer support as part of a lifelong process of recovery. This approach has since been adapted for the treatment of many other addictions...
These are the original Twelve Steps as published by Alcoholics Anonymous:[10]
  1. We admitted we were powerless over alcohol - that our lives had become unmanageable.
  2. Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
  3. Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.
  4. Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
  5. Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.
  6. Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.
  7. Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.
  8. Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.
  9. Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.
  10. Continued to take personal inventory, and when we were wrong, promptly admitted it.
  11. Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.
  12. Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.

 I know my topic doesn't include dealing with Alcohol at all, but I find it amazing and very interesting that the 12 step program that was created by AA  over 65 years ago is so versatile and really can help guide any type of addict away from their addiction and into a sober life. Here is a list some other ways you can help minimize obsessive thoughts and addictive behaviors.
  1.  Journal your thoughts. Get them out on paper instead of keeping them in your head. After you are done writing, throw the paper away.
  2.  Memorize scripture. When thoughts pop into your head STOP worrying about it. STOP obsessing about it...and quote a verse or two that would encourage you in the way that you want.
  3.  Talk to your spouse. The thoughts you have to share might be hard for your spouse to hear, but keeping them to your self not good, it's feeding your worry. Open all lines of communication with your spouse.
  4.  Create a play list with positive songs that help get your thinking turned around.
  5.  Pray.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

My Addiction

My affair had ended. Scott and I, by the grace of God, were working to piece our marriage back together. We had promised to be open with each other..I was more open with Scott then I think he was ready for. I wore my heart on my sleeve. My heart was destroyed. I was happy to be with Scott and knew that was right where God wanted me. At the same time, my heart ached for Ozzy.
I was addicted. Not to drugs. Not to alcohol. Not to gambling. I was addicted to love. I was addicted to Ozzy. I knew many of you might not be able to relate or even think it is possible to be addicted to a person..but please continue reading and you may understand my addiction.

After the affair ended, I had terrible dreams. Dreams of Ozzy dying. Dreams of funerals. Dreams about what my life would have been like if I would have chosen a different path. At first, because Scott and I promised to be honest and open about everything, I would tell him about these dreams. He would listen as I described and replayed these dreams to him. He would hold me as I sobbed. It is ironic that I should have been holding and encouraging Scott, but I was in such a deep emotional hole, he had to help me out...

The addiction was growing more clear to me. Scott would go to work in the evening and I would take out my old love letters that I had saved from Ozzy. I read and reread them. I cried over them. Each time I did this, I could feel my breath being taken away and my heart breaking more and more each time.

Ozzy and I both love music. We expressed our feelings with the words and emotions with song lyrics. Our favorite, Celine Dion. I would listen to her songs over and over and over again. Replaying moments that Ozzy and I shared together. We would sing her songs together and to each other. I would play the CDs at night and cling to every memory that I had.

I watched movies and any television shows that reminded me of him. I would be pulled to actors who had the same mannerisms or character traits as Ozzy.

My mind and heart obsessed. My dreams at night were so vivid and real..I didn't dream of him dying, or the loss of him. No. I dreamed of our life together.

I was addicted to his love. The saddest part is, I started withdrawing from Scott again. I would drive down the roads I knew Ozzy had to take in hopes of seeing him or passing him. I needed to see him one more time. I needed to talk to him one more time...but then I realized while listening to a song I heard for the first time on the radio. It is a secular song by Kelly Clarkson. It is called "Addicted." I am sure she is not singing about a person, but probably a drug..but these lyrics hit me to the core...

"Addicted"

It's like you're a drug
It's like you're a demon I can't face down
It's like I'm stuck
It's like I'm running from you all the time
And I know I let you have all the power
It's like the only company I seek is misery all around
It's like you're a leech
Sucking the life from me
It's like I can't breathe
Without you inside of me
And I know I let you have all the power
And I realize I'm never gonna quit you over time

It's like I can't breathe
It's like I can't see anything
Nothing but you
I'm addicted to you
It's like I can't think
Without you interrupting me
In my thoughts
In my dreams
You've taken over me
It's like I'm not me
It's like I'm not me

It's like I'm lost
It's like I'm giving up slowly
It's like you're a ghost that's haunting me
Leave me alone
And I know these voices in my head
Are mine alone
And I know I'll never change my ways
If I don't give you up now

It's like I can't breathe
It's like I can't see anything
Nothing but you
I'm addicted to you
It's like I can't think
Without you interrupting me
In my thoughts
In my dreams
You've taken over me
It's like I'm not me
It's like I'm not me

I'm hooked on you
I need a fix
I can't take it
Just one more hit
I promise I can deal with it
I'll handle it, quit it
Just one more time
Then that's it
Just a little bit more to get me through this
I'm hooked on you
I need a fix
I can't take it
Just one more hit
I promise I can deal with it
I'll handle it, quit it
Just one more time
Then that's it
Just a little bit more to get me through this

It's like I can't breathe
It's like I can't see anything
Nothing but you
I'm addicted to you
It's like I can't think
Without you interrupting me
In my thoughts
In my dreams
You've taken over me
It's like I'm not me
It's like I'm not me 

These lyrics made me realize that I had an addiction to Ozzy. I was feeding the addiction by reading the letters and listening to the songs that would take me back to the feelings I had while I was with him. It was here in my journey that I cried out to God and asked Him how to deal with this addiction that was consuming me. God revealed a plan to me...He always does. It's following through with the plan that is the hardest part.

God's plan involved quitting cold turkey. Against my own desires and with great sadness I decided to obey God and to put His plan into action. While Scott was at work one evening, I found a box. I began to fill this box with anything and everything that reminded me of Ozzy. Every music CD that I owned that contained even a single song that would stir emotions from Ozzy. Every note and love letter he ever wrote me went into the box. Every picture, every movie, everything that even made me think of him in the tiniest bit went into this box. Please believe me when I tell you that filling the box was more difficult then I can describe.  I was a big crying mess during this whole process. It was so tempting to listen to some music while I packed the box or read each thing as I tucked it in the box, but I forced myself to not.

Scott arrived home from work. I stood before him, crying and holding the box. I had a long talk with Scott and once again opened my heart up to him about my addiction and secrets. I handed him the box as physical proof that my heart, mind and soul were ready to kick my addiction to the curb and move on.

I wish that I could say that the box was the end of my addiction but as I am human that was not the case- BUT it was a huge step in the right direction. The direction of delighting in the Lord and what He has given me so that He could remold and renew the desires of my heart to match the desires of His.