43 posts categorized "loneliness"

When Survival Is The ONLY Option...

First, I would like to thank you for the opportunity to share my heart with you all. I am so blessed and even more grateful for the door that God has opened for me! The Holy Spirit has given me many spiritual gifts but there is one that I cherish the most. He has given me the gift of vulnerability. For some of you, vulnerability does not come easy. It may seem scary, impossible and maybe even unnecessary. I used to think it was a curse growing up because in those most delicate places of our heart people can so easily wound. However, it is also in those most delicate places that Jesus can (and desperately desires to) transform, heal and redeem. Let me assure you that Jesus is so worthy of those intimate places! In these next few posts, I am going to tell you all about myself. I... Read more →

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Advent - Sharing the Longing

Image courtesy of 9comeback at FreeDigitalPhotos.net One Bible story that I keep coming back to each Advent season is the one that features Zechariah and Elizabeth. I hadn’t spent a lot of time reflecting upon it until a few years ago when I began to observe Advent. Most of you will know their story is briefly told in Luke 1 before Mary’s story. I’d encourage you to read it again (v5-25) and as we’ve done in the past read it meditatively. Perhaps listen to it and put yourself into the story. Imagine you are Zechariah or Elizabeth or one of the crowd and see what the Spirit reveals to you. Longing This couple was probably in their late 50’s or early 60’s. He was a respected Jewish priest and would have been highly thought of within society. However, even though holding an elevated position in society they were probably looked... Read more →

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Going To Church Alone

Today, I want to chat about another big issue. This is a re-post for our newest family members. (Jan, 2016) GOING TO CHURCH ALONE. Gang, can I just say – Grrrrrrrrr This is so hard. I know that for me this was an area that was of intense and great struggle. Even today, I truly desire my husband to join me for church on Sunday. I’ve had to wrangle through all of the different aspects of church non-attendance with my husband. I’m certain many of you have as well. First, dealing with the whole couple thing. Grrrrrr, again! Our Western society is significantly “couple” focused. Learning to do anything alone takes a ton of courage and prayer. At least it did for me and I’m usually a courageous person. But after remaining a floundering believer at home, there comes a day when your need for community outweighs fear and you... Read more →

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Broadening our Horizons

Image courtesy of namakuki at FreeDigitalPhotos.net Being a SUMITE is full of interesting conundrums that can at times lead to much discouragement. One of these conundrums is our commitment to various Christian communities. I use the plural here to reflect both the church we attend plus other relationships (one-on-one and group) that we may partake in. As we’ve discussed before, sometimes our commitments can have a significant impact on our partners. Frustration, discouragement, isolation and sheer anger are some of the feelings our partners experience. These emotions naturally flow into our marriages and can cause our partners and us much stress. Lack of Interest A common refrain we often hear from our partners is a lack of interest in our faith journey. So our church attendance, content shared at meetings, etc just aren’t of interest. There’s a chunk of our lives that is pivotal to us that our partners are... Read more →

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GOING TO CHURCH ALONE

Today, I want to chat about another big issue that was mentioned back in December when we began this journey. GOING TO CHURCH ALONE. Gang, can I just say – Grrrrrrrrr This is so hard. I know that for me this was an area that was of intense and great struggle. Even today, I truly desire my husband to join me for church on Sunday. I’ve had to wrangle through all of the different aspects of church non-attendance with my husband. I’m certain many of you have as well. First, dealing with the whole couple thing. Grrrrrr, again! Our Western society is significantly “couple” focused. Learning to do anything alone takes a ton of courage and prayer. At least it did for me and I’m usually a courageous person. But after remaining a floundering believer at home, there comes a day when your need for community outweighs fear and you... Read more →

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First LOVE

We have been chatting about suffering. It can truly blow up your mind to consider the reasons of God for suffering. Not too long ago the Lord spoke to me about my unequally yoked marriage. It was likely in a challenging season when I was complaining to God about His delay in saving my pre-believer. (To even write that causes me a degree of shame. Sheesh.) This was the Lord’s unexpected but powerful reply. Hosea 2:14 But then I will win her back once again. I will lead her into the desert and speak tenderly to her there. 15 I will return her vineyards to her and transform the Valley of Trouble into a gateway of hope. She will give herself to me there, as she did long ago when she was young, when I freed her from her captivity in Egypt. —NLT The Lord then spoke to me, Lynn,... Read more →

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Want Some Gold?

We have been contemplating loneliness and marriage. And wow, some great comments following the last post. Go read them!!!! I’m in a place of contemplating – Suffering. Gulp! I think I struggle to even speak this word aloud. I wrangle with the implications and shrink back. I consider the life of a Christian in the Western world as compared to a believer who lives where Isis roams the land and kills even children who profess Christ. Do we truly suffer in the Western World for our faith? Do we suffer in our marriages to unbelievers? Geeze, these thoughts mess with your head. The answer? Yes and no. It’s never an easy answer, is it? Yes, we suffer for our faith. No, we don’t suffer the threat of death for our faith today. But tomorrow, who knows? Yet the anguish in our lives and marriages over our faith in Jesus is... Read more →

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Loneliness and What Jesus Says

Can I just say: Amazing! Our annual fast never fails to disappoint. So many great testimonies were shared of how the Lord moved in our lives. Many of you received a “word” for their year and I know many of us were loved on by our Lord through this community experience. I’m convinced our fast is powerful and one day as we are in heaven, we will fully comprehend the impact our prayers and fasting had upon people and this earth. Neat!!! (Thank you Rosheeda Lee for starting this annual tradition.) In the next several weeks I want to turn our focus to loneliness in marriage. And you know, as I contemplated this issue, a bunch of different emotions rolled over me. Also, the Holy Spirit sprang up with some perspective that I want to share that I believe is truth for all of us. I will tell you that... Read more →

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Moments of Delight and Moments of Despair

The Christmas tree at Rockefeller Center. My friends, it’s great to be back with you! I had an amazing week in New York City with my mother and dear friend Sally, who is also my son-in-love’s mother. Definitely a family trip filled with special surprises and blessings that I know came from God’s heart to delight us. And I am moved and impressed by the heart of this city and and what it has endured. There is a sense of strength and unity there. I was profoundly moved by the 9/11 Memorial and took significant notice that majority of those around us on that particular day were from other parts of the world. They traveled to our country, to New York City, to specially see this memorial and museum. The most emotional part for us was to listen to our tour guide describe this day from her first hand experience.... Read more →

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Holiday Aloneness

Christmas is only two weeks away, let’s begin our discussion about loneliness and take a look at aloneness during the holidays. And SUMites it’s not only our community that feels alone during this time of year. For different reasons, The Holidays punctuate loneliness in many hearts. Those of us who walk through life with a spouse that navigates life from a different world view, the Christmas season brings a new set of challenges into our homes and hearts. I know for me, there were many years in our marriage that this was the one time in the year that my husband would attend church, the Christmas Eve Service. In fact, his entire family would attend… I had tremendous expectations that each of them would be overwhelmed by the story of the birth of Jesus and thereby be saved. Yep, didn’t work that way. In fact, I think that the holidays... Read more →

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Yep, We Are Lonely

Hi SUMites, Well it looks as though I hit upon a deep need. The responses to Monday’s post, asking all of you about loneliness in marriage were vast and passionate. The comments on that post as well as the private emails that arrived, are filled with tremendous emotions. I sat down and wrote down the issues, the emotions the coping suggestions and I filled four hand-written pages with notes. There were many common themes from all of you. Such as attending church alone, the lack of intimacy with our spouse because we are unable to share our heart, our passions and thoughts about Jesus. From my note taking, there are SUMites in all spectrums of the unequally yoked journey. There are some of us at the beginning of this walk where we learn to forgive ourselves and decide to stick this marriage thing out. There are others who have discovered... Read more →

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Are You Lonely In Your Unequally Yoked Marriage?

Hello SUMite Family, I want to talk about loneliness in marriage. I may be off in my thinking. Do we, the unequally yoked, live in a kind of perpetual loneliness? I know for me, I’ve battled against loneliness for years. I’m coming to understand some common denominators that are present in our kind of marriages. I’m coming to see how and what we use to cope with our feelings of rejection, the pain, —boredom. I’m not sure right now what specifics to write about yet. Or even if this is an area we, as a community, need instruction or discussion. So, today, I’m asking all of you. Do you experience loneliness in your marriage to an unbeliever? What does that look like in your life? What are the triggers or are there triggers which allow loneliness to creep in? Do you want to talk about how we cope? Do you... Read more →

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I'm Lonely In My Marriage

On Saturdays we will post relevant articles from our archives that will address common spiritually mismatched issues in marriage. This is a re-post from July 19, 2010 at the Internet Cafe. This post over at the Cafe remains one of the most viewed posts of all time. So many people are lonely. Praying for your heart today. Hugs, Lynn ***** I'm Lonely In My Marriage - Internet Cafe by Lynn Donovan My mother is visiting this week from Colorado. She turned 70 years old earlier this year. She is as sharp as a tack and on Tuesday we went to Disneyland along with my teen daughter and her friend. My Mom jumped on the California Screamin' roller coaster without hesitation and we all shrieked in unison as our train launched from zero to 59 miles per hour in four seconds and sent careening down the track with our hearts racing.... Read more →

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Reader Question: Struggling with Shame and Regret

Hi Lynn and Dineen, I am writing this email because I feel an incredibly heavy burden. Right now I am struggling with a great deal of shame and an amount of regret over my decision to marry an unbeliever last year. It is tough for me to really believe that through this mistake, God will redeem any part of my situation. I love my husband, he is a good man and we have a wonderful little baby boy, but how am I really able to love him like I should when he is an ever present reminder of my disobedience? I know I am in for a long and lonely road and it seems as though every facet of my life will be affected by this. You see, I struggled with this decision and decided to go through with it. I was incredibly confused and in hindsight I know the... Read more →

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Never Alone

I remember a day years ago, sitting in a restaurant with our church youth group. I watched and smiled as they talked and joked around. And as I sat there in the midst of this group, I felt totally alone. I’d recently jumped in to church with gusto but my husband hadn’t. He’d decided to go quite the opposite direction—atheism. So there I sat in a room full of people who knew me, yet I felt this loneliness, a longing to be known and understood. And a longing to share my growing faith with my husband. Times of loneliness seem to enter our lives at times for various reasons, but in a spiritual mismatch it can be even more challenging as we wait for God to work in our marriage and on our pre-believer’s heart. Something I found so comforting in years past is that this longing to be known... Read more →

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God Answers Me. A Supernatural Encounter

Good Morning, On Monday we chatted about how to recover from enormous disappointment. And in the comments some of you shared how this unequally yoked life is filled with loneliness. I think I will have to write about walking alone because truly I found myself facing a future, perhaps the rest of my life, empty next and retirement, emotionally alone. So watch for that in the future. For today, I think we need an encouraging word from the Lord. So, let me give you the answers to the questions I asked of God. Do you remember last week I asked God, why? God’s reply was this, “Lynn, my grace is sufficient for thee.” Oh Man, that was not the answer I wanted. I have really hard questions and I was desperate for the Lord to show me His thoughts and his purposes in my unequally yoked marriage. I want understanding... Read more →

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An Open Letter from Courtney

An Open Letter from Courtney: Hi Lynn and Dineen, I never thought I would say this, but I'm going to miss this season being in a spiritually unequal marriage in some ways. It just dawned on me this morning during a very precious and tear-filled quiet time with Jesus. As the Lord has been impressing upon my heart more and more intensely over the past several months, and even more so, over the past ten days or so, my husband's salvation is days away. While I have been waiting and longing for this season to be over for four years now, crying and begging for the Lord to save my husband, there is a precious and sweet grace of Jesus being my husband that I will miss when Jesus dwells in my earthly husband. Can you believe I'm even saying that? I could never have known Jesus the way I've... Read more →

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That Old Familiar Ache

It snuck up on me again, that old familiar ache. The one I used to walk around with constantly early on in my mismatched marriage. I thought I’d made peace with it, made the choice to trust God with my husband’s salvation and the future of our marriage. I’d learned to bring that ache, that longing to share my faith with my husband to God and leave it in His hands. But there it was again just days before Good Friday. Why now and why so suddenly? Had I stopped trusting God somehow? Had I taken it back from God? Or was God trying to show me or remind me of something? I did a mental review of the last few weeks and nothing came to mind that might have shaken my foundation of trust in this area. If anything, my marriage and my relationship was better than ever. And... Read more →

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We Are Stronger Together

If you found your way here from the Focus on the Family broadcast, the first thing you heard yesterday was a quote from us. “Isolation steals our joy.” That’s why the first chapter of our book is titled, “Know That You’re Not Alone!” Our marriages are under attack by an enemy who wants to keep our unbelieving spouse in his or her unbelief and the best way to do that is to keep you—the believing spouse—discouraged and feeling as if you are completely and utterly alone in this journey. We want you to know right here and now, that is a lie. If you are here, it is because God has heard your prayers and brought you here to be a part of a community that understands your marriage, your heartache and your struggles without you even saying a word. We understand because we are living it too. All of... Read more →

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Messy and Broken Could Be The Best Place To Be

It’s Sunday afternoon as I write this post, I know I should be asking you to listen to Dineen and me on the radio today. But, right now I just can’t. My heart is heavy. In a rare moment, this morning at church at the request of our Pastor, I went to the front of the church to be available to pray with anyone who needs prayer. I’ve never done this before and wouldn’t you just know God KNEW there was one woman, a wife, who needed me, whom I could so relate. As I looking into her face, I could see a not-so-distant reflection of me only a few years ago. She was struggling in her marriage. My heart is broken for her. My heart is truly broken for all of our messy marriages. I am broken for those of us who are married and yet lonely, who are... Read more →

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Our Place of Influence: Where do we choose to stand?

When I try to explain to someone the role of influence we hold in our husband’s lives, it’s almost too difficult to put into words what I sense so deeply in my heart. I will say it is something I feel very passionate about. As women, we hold a very important place in the lives of our family. In many ways, as wives and mothers, we are the heart of our family. We influence the mood, the routines and the relationships of everyone in our home. We have a wonderful biblical example in the story of Esther. Did you know she was unequally yoked? She was a Jewess married to a Persian King—a pagan. Talk about finding yourself in a mismatched marriage and a unique situation, right? Yet if you follow the story, Esther finds herself suddenly in a position to influence her husband for the sake of her people.... Read more →

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What Do You Say to the Kids and more....

Today we are answering your questions that were posted the week of January 18, 2012. What do you tell the kids when they ask, "Why doesn't Dad go to church." Why isn't there marriage in heaven? How do you parent your kids when you and your husband see parenting so different. The boundary between submitting and serving vs. enabling. How do I keep hope alive when I my husband never responds. Listen in. Then join the conversation in the comments. Read more →

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Baptism is Happy and Sad

Yesterday as I sat during church, I watched as five individuals gave their testimony and were baptized. I’m nearly always moved to tears when I watch someone become baptized. I pray with diligence as they go under the water, asking the Lord to protect them from the enemy and to grow them up in the ways of the Lord. As they rise from the water, I clap and I whisper words of praise and join the angels who are celebrating one more broken and lost person finds their way home. At the same time, I find I’m can be overwhelmed with a deep sadness. It’s such a bizarre roller-coaster moment. I truly am happy for these who obey Christ in water baptism but I grieve because that still small part of my heart deeply longs to see my husband participate in the believer’s baptism. What I find difficult is that... Read more →

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We're in This Together

I want to share something absolutely precious with you! One of are readers has started a class for the unequally yoked at her church. We want to give a big "shout out" to the women attending Cindi's class at her church. Here's the info from Cindi herself: "My church is The Rock San Diego and the Women's Ministry is S.I.S.T.E.R.S. (Spirit-led, Instruction, Sharing, Teaching, Encouragement for Reverent Submission to God). The Bible Study is on Spiritual Warfare titled "Standing Firm" by Karen Stevens (our leader). We meet in classes after Bible Study and the name of my class is "Uniquely Yoked." Book studying is Beloved Unbeliever by Jo Berry. Fall session meets Wednesday nights from Sept 15th - Nov 17th 6:30 - 8:30pm." If you're in Cindi's area and looking for a group like this, email Lynn or myself (use that little button above with the "C" on it to... Read more →

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A Marriage Delivered from the Pit of Hell!

This is a day of great rejoicing and celebration. When I first started chatting with Deb, she was living in shall I say, a "difficult marriage." I watched and prayed over the months for her and her husband. There was a point where even me, the believer in marriage and the one person who believes any marriage can be restored, doubted this marriage could be healed. Oh Praise be to Jesus because in our doubt, struggle and sometimes, hell on earth, Jesus can heal a marriage. Today it is my great privilege to share my friend Deborah with all of you. Many of you know her from our loop at 1Peter3Living on Yahoo. Many of you held her in prayer. THANK YOU. Already, at a young age of 26, she has lived through a marriage she never imagined could happen to her yet she discovered triumph through the power of... Read more →

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