45 posts categorized "loneliness"

We're in This Together

512171_shadow1 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 get our email addys) and we'll get you connected to Cindi for details.

To the dear ladies who are attending her class, I just want to say WE LOVE YOU!!! Hang in there. You're not alone. Beloved Unbeliever is the book that began the transformation God wanted so desperately to work in my marriage. I will be praying for you all as you walk this journey with Cindi. Please feel free to let us know how you're doing!

Ladies (and gents), we are all in this together, and Lynn and I are so honored to be a part of your journey. We are dedicated to this ministry and to helping others find that "thriving" zone. We love you all so dearly and you minister to us too! Did you know that? You are all so precious to us, and we could not do this ministry without your help.

Cindi is such an inspiration in her desire to help others. That's where Lynn and I started and look what God has done! So if you're thinking about starting a small group, go for it. Let us know so we can be praying for you.

We had bookmarks made to help spread the "You're Not Alone" message we bring to this blog and our soon-to-be-released book. We would be delighted to send a few to whoever would like some to keep and share. Email me with your address and I'll send them out.

We are always here to help!

Praying and believing,
Dineen


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 Jesus Christ. Although her marriage story is still relatively new, it should be a story that encourages all of us to believe and to pray.

So now, I give you Deb. This story is worth the read. Be blessed, Lynn 

*****

First of all I want to say how privileged I am to be able to share my story on Spiritually Unequal Marriage. I never envisioned myself in this position, mainly because the struggles I have experienced over the last three years seemed unending and at times hopeless, but wonder of wonders, here I am to tell the tale and rejoice over what God has done. 

For all of you who haven't met me yet, my name is Deb and I have been married to my husband for almost three years. There were doubts in more than one quarter if we would ever make it to one year let alone three, but that would be jumping ahead of the story. : ) 

Following our four year engagement, (we weathered two and a half of those years apart in different countries) and subsequent wedding on September 2007, it was only three months later that I found myself Googling 'loneliness in marriage' in the hopes of finding help for my newfound struggles. This is how I stumbled across Spiritually Unequal Marriage. Through this website God has led me to a place where I have become strengthened and equipped through the prayers and support of people who have now become like family. Your posts and e-mails have kept me sane on the crazy days and grateful on the good days. I’m so thankful to know you. 

To backtrack, my relationship with my spouse had always been characterized by significant ups and downs. I would attribute this partly to our dysfunctional upbringings, partly to our equally intense and opposite personalities, and also to the fact that any marriage, especially one where believers are involved, is a favorite target of Satan. 

When we first met what attracted me most to my husband was his passionate love for Christ. He was absolutely radiant with the light of Jesus and I had never met anyone with whom I clicked so well spiritually. Throughout our engagement however, he had some negative experiences in the church we were attending at the time, and by the time we were married I was more or less holding onto what I had seen rather than what I was seeing regarding his walk with God. Despite this development, I was still fondly hoping that he would soon 'snap out of it', and become the spiritual leader that I had always wanted him to be. I knew that if he would only get it together in the spiritual department we would soon experience marital bliss on a near perfect scale and live out all my dreams together. I say this all with a wry smile, because you may be smiling too at my naiveté. (On a side note, I still very much believe in these dreams, but more on that later.) 

Needless to say, I unwittingly placed such a burden of my expectations for happiness on him, that with his own inability to handle some of his own issues, let alone mine combined, we began having conflict that only heightened as the days and weeks continued. For the first few months he was more or less strong enough to handle my anger and frustration, but it wasn't long before he threw up his hands in defeat and retreated into his shell. His words to me at the time were that I could no longer count on his support, spiritually or emotionally, as a husband or even a friend, and that all he cared to do from then on was find his satisfaction in online gaming. He participated in an online game, EverQuest, often shortened to EQ, which is a 3D fantasy-themed massively multiplayer online role-playing game. You can imagine how crushed I was to discover that everything I had wanted was now beyond reach. What doubled my anguish was the feeling that I was entitled to at least a measure of happiness. 

From the age of three I had dedicated my life to God and since then my best dreams culminated in a desire to serve Him with a husband who wanted the same thing. With that as my foundation, how was it possible that things could have gone so awry? 

For months we coexisted in an extremely tense and hostile environment. With the best I had I tried to cope with the new situation, but each day would find me in tears of despair. I have memories of walking the streets weeping, begging God to intervene. I still remember the nights and early mornings when he wouldn't come to bed but spent all hours of the night and morning gaming in his computer room. I can still recall his dark anger at my attempts to intervene. 

What I secretly hoped was temporary became solidly worse as five hours of gaming stretched into ten and ten into fifteen and my husband's obsession deepened into addiction. The disappointment and bitterness I carried had now become a weight I couldn't bear. At this point I was asking everyone I knew for help and prayer. I was unashamed in my needs, and I know that many of your prayers are what carried me through those initial troubled days. (A quiet thank you again for that.) 

It was only eight months after we married that I left home and took up residence elsewhere. This was decided upon after explaining my situation to pastors and friends who agreed that our situation had become so volatile that it was no longer safe. What I never conceived could happen was now a reality and I was separated from the love of my life and desperate and alone. From that point followed a year and a half period where our relationship fluctuated from okay to ugly and I was barely coping from day to day. 

Looking back it puts a lump in my throat to see how tenderly God cared for me over that time. I was extremely blessed to have an excellent church which gave me a lot of support and help. At every point I needed help, Jesus provided a friend who would send me a letter at just the right time, or a text when I thought I was going over the edge. In every possible way He was saying to me - 'I am watching over you. Don't despair.' 

Of course, being Deb, I did despair, even many times a day, but I also clung to Him like I never had before. This period, for me, was characterized by an intense and painful learning curve. Through it God was revealing to me areas of my life that He wanted to heal and transform. I didn't realize how imbalanced I was in my perceptions and thoughts about marriage, myself and even God. It wasn't until I was separated from Dans that I was able to see how needy and insecure I was and how much I had relied upon him to complete me. I had gotten to the point where I blamed him for all the unhealthy ways I expressed my frustrations and felt that if it wasn't for his lack of spirituality, I would be making better choices. 

God didn’t let me stay there too long however, and my anger with my husband began giving way to acknowledgement that he was not wholly responsible for our marriage breakdown. I began attending regular counseling with my pastor’s wife Connie, who walked me through inner healing and forgiveness. Together we asked God to reveal the root issues as to why I had become co-dependent and why I felt trapped no matter which way I looked. In answer to the most tormenting why question of all - 'why me?' God revealed that sometimes He allows wounds in our life to heal even deeper ones, and this was certainly true in my case. 

What broke my heart most regarding our situation was that my husband had renounced God and cursed Him to his face. I judged him in my heart for this, without realizing that God’s command for us to love our enemies and bless those that curse us (Matt 5:44) means that He also acts according to that same standard of behavior. This means that any of our spouses, no matter if they have never known God, or have known Him and then turned away, are still loved by the Father and blessed regardless. (Matt 5:45) 

About a year into our separation my husband began attending counseling with me which was in itself a huge miracle. He had become so resistant to any kind of help that I wondered if he would ever reach out again. From there we began to dialogue about our differences and slowly came to understand and forgive each other, bit by bit. Even the tiniest steps were huge, as we had so much ground to gain. I think because the progress seemed so slow, months later I was beginning to lose faith again that things would really improve. 

In January this year, however major things started to happen. I believe that as a result of many people's prayer and intercession, he lost the desire to play computer games. For those of you who don't know about gaming, for someone like my husband who played upward of 16 hours almost every day for two years, this is the equivalent to a heroin addict suddenly deciding they don't need the drug anymore. This decision was the catalyst for a completely brand new season for both of us. From that point on we have continued to heal and just two months ago we found a lovely apartment and moved in together! 

Thank you Jesus. 

Even more amazing is the continued newness that we are now experiencing in our relationship. We have actually had times of praying together, sharing our hearts about life and where we stand with God, and are finally discovering the ability to talk over even the toughest of issues without becoming enemies. 

You have to know how hopeless it seemed for two and a half years to grasp the fullness of how amazing this is. I know that we will continue to have our battles, but God has truly done amazing things in my marriage. 

By no means am I intimating that our struggles are over, or even that we have come through everything. In a real sense we are only just starting. What I am saying is that God restored hope where there was none, took us out of a muddy pit and placed our feet on solid ground. 

Debs and Dans (3)  I hope this story blesses you as much as I have been blessed to recount it. Through it I have gained a knowing that I never had before: no matter how tough a situation can be God will see us through it stronger than before. 

~Deb

Bio:   Hi I'm Deb. Born of Greek parents in sunny Perth, Australia, I now live and work in the not-so-sunny but gorgeous state of Washington. I met my husband in the Old City of Jerusalem in 2003 while completing the second year of my BA in English and Jewish studies. Following a lengthy four year engagement Dans and I were married in Tulsa Oklahoma on September 2007. I currently work for an airline which provides plenty of drama and 'scope for the imagination. Some of my best loves are traveling, reading classic literature, taking long road trips and eating chocolate.

Bloom and Grow.... Forever

I was sitting in yet another class, at a Women’s Ministry, anticipating once again how I could learn something about surviving in a marriage with an unsaved husband. I’d been to many different kinds of classes on marriage and many different churches, searching and searching. There must be someone, some pastor, some ministry, someone that would help me to know how I could save my husband. I had been struggling for 25 years spiritually unequal in a 31 year marriage. Why was there never a sermon preached about it? I knew I wanted to live my life for Jesus. I just could not figure out how I could do that and also be with my husband. Oh how wonderful it would be to be able to do the Lord’s work together, after all we were a team. God what are you thinking here? How was I able to do this, if my husband is not onboard? We have to do this together. Please save him. 

Once again, I stated my name in this new class and told my story. How I was looking for spiritual intimacy with my husband and just how lonely I was. Everyone looked at me so sadly. I did learn about our different love languages and how it could make our marriage closer if we new each others language. It was fun but you see, that was not our problem at all. We couldn’t speak spiritual language. Our marriage is really great. We love each other very much. He’s my best friend on earth. Our wedding invitations read “ The more love that is shared, the more quickly it grows”. Well, it grew and grew and grew over the years. We’ve had a blast and still do. Raised a son, traveled halfway around the world living in a sailboat the whole time. Literally we are close. 

But I am lonely, Lord. How can I live for you and still live with someone who does not know You in his heart? I contemplated leaving, but I love him so. I don’t want to lose him. 

At the end of the class session, my leader gave me a book, “How to be the Happy Wife of an Unsaved Husband” by Linda Davis. WHAT? You mean there’s a book? Finally! Thank-you, Thank you! I went home immediately and started reading. It brought me to my knees in tears, sobbing tears. This book was exactly me. Oh no, Lord. Forgive me, please! I have been trying to control everything. Even trying to save my own husband and believing it was my fault he was not saved. 

Jesus taught me that day that I didn’t have to worry one bit about my man, that he was in His hands. It is His job to save him and that I was to let go and surrender him. And, “Cindi, I want you to just bloom. I have work for you, and I want you to just bloom into the most beautiful flower that I have created you to be.” In quoting Linda, “Your husband’s unbelief is no reason to hold back your own spiritual growth.” What I learned from that was not only surrendering my husband to God, but myself. It freed me up to grow and I’ve been blooming and growing ever since. God has led me to teach a class on the Unequally Yoked at my church. I love that others have the opportunity to share and know that they are not alone in this. The outpouring is amazing! God is amazing! 

I now see my husband through God’s eyes and love him how God wants me to love him. Our relationship is even closer than ever, different and more peaceful. There are changes in him and I believe it’s because of what God has changed in "me". God has a plan for my man as well and I relax and trust God to do His part with his salvation. I wait, but I bloom and grow....forever.

Cindi Valli Cindi Valli

My name is Cindi Valli and I am a born again Christian as of 25 years. I am married 31 years to the sweetest man ever. We have one son, who just turned 30 who we raised together on a boat. I home schooled him most of the time and we have traveled half way around the world on 3 separate sailboats. The most recent one we've had for 20 years and still live aboard. I have led a class in Bible Study Fellowship in the past and am currently leading a class called "Uniquely Yoked" at my church. I absolutely love Jesus and trust in Him with all my heart and I lean not on my own understanding. In all my ways, I try to acknowledge Him and when I do He always directs my path. Proverbs 3:5-6

I'm Lonely In My Marriage

There is an epidemic of loneliness in our world. And more staggering is the number of people who are married and feel alone. Does it strike you as a strange paradox, to be married and be lonely? How can that happen? How can we live under one roof, share the same bed, live together, and feel utterly alone?....

Read the entire article at Exemplify today: I'm Lonely In My Marriage.


I Have a Serious Question for You.

Are you ready for healing?

Do you think as Christians most of the time we think of heavenly healing as a cure of a physical ailment? I believe we do and I know God miraculously heals people of physical sickness and disease. I also know God heals us from their emotional and mental injuries.

What I am discovering right now is the Lord is calling me to a year of healing. Healing specific to my physical condition(s). But, it is actually healing of my emotional issues as well.

I was talking with Dineen on the phone today. We were discussing how our weight gain is attributed to stress. Mine; unemployment. Hers; her daughter’s cancer and resulting heath issues.

How many of us medicate ourselves with food. I will own up and admit, I DO. Now let me tell you something that is hard to share. My bad habits began many years ago. I have thought long and hard about why I find myself with the struggles I face today.

I will admit that when I moved to California ten years ago, I found myself in a deep loneliness. My husband was far away from God and he was also on the road five days a week. I moved to a new town, leaving my career, family, and friends behind. I became a stay-at-home mother without any idea what to do with my high-energy self. I found myself eating too much and drinking a glass of wine at night to mask my loneliness. You can see how easily and seemingly harmless our bad habits begin.

I don’t want to skip over this point… Every spouse I have ever talked with who lives in a spiritually mismatched marriage, has battled with loneliness. It’s an odd paradox to be lonely and married.

I must caution you to recognize your stage of a spiritually mismatched marriage. You will likely experience loneliness. Now please don’t do what I did. I ate and drank to mask the hurt in my heart. Please turn to Christ.

But how do we really do this?

Why Don’t Diets Work?

Diet’s don’t work because we don’t cure the spiritual maladies of our soul.

Let me be specific. I needed healing of bad habits from years ago. Although I am no longer lonely, I still struggle with the years of reinforced bad habits and cravings.

After praying for several months now, I have heard the Lord calling me to healing. He has helped me to see that the emotional and spiritual part of this healing is completely up to Him and Him alone. The scripture verse, 2 Corinthians 12:9 But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness."

I don’t think I really understood this verse until now. His grace is sufficient. Nothing else is going to help me~ only His grace. Not only that, His power will be displayed through my healing. I will, without question, be healed through His power.

Whoa! Doesn’t that just blow your mind? Blows mine every time I think and pray about it.

Stripes I began praying 1 Peter 2:24 He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; by his wounds you have been healed, as inspired by e-Mom. (read her post here)

Now get this: by whose stripes ye were healed. KJV.

We WERE healed. It has already been done. Past tense. Already healed!

I began praying every night as I lay in the quiet of my room. Lord, by your stripes I am healed of my eating cravings. I would also count each lash, repeating the sentence of healing over my cravings. For the first time I felt the pain Christ endured for my healing. How dare I not pray for my healing when the Lord suffered to give it to me?

So here is my challenge.

Do you need healing? What is it in your life will you lift up to God in 2010 and ask for healing?

Now remember your heart and relationship with Christ must be in the right place. If you are far away from God right now, the first prayers and efforts must be focused on time spent alone with Him. You can know God through His Word and in worship. God lives in the praises of His people.

Then begin to pray these scriptures nightly over your body, soul, and emotions.

My healing will also require some further steps. I will share more with you in my next post.

Please tell me your need. I promise you I will take your healing before the throne. As you write the words in the comments, make this your 2010 commitment. Remember your healing is declared and it can be accomplished because the power of God is made perfect in weakness.

Praying the scriptures over your life, Hugs, Lynn


Weekend Devo — We Are Known

933344_i_love_you Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known. — 1Cor. 13:12

1 Corinthians 13 is known as the love chapter. Yet at the end of this wonderful chapter is an amazing piece of truth that gives us the reassurance we are truly known by the One who loves us with unsurpassed passion.

One of the most difficult parts of a spiritual mismatch is feeling like our spouse doesn't understand who we are in Christ. But our precious Lord knows us completely and even went to the trouble to include this tidbit in a chapter all about love.

So when we face those lonely times, we have this Scriptural reminder that we are known to the depths of our spirit. And there's no better remedy for loneliness than that.

Praying and believing,
Dineen


Weekend Devo—To Know and Be Known

(This is a re-post from July 30, 2007, with the addition of applicable Scripture. In light of our recent topics I thought it might be a good one to revisit.)

Bible But the man who loves God is known by God. — 1Corinthians 8:3

As I wrote down my prayer, the ache in my heart formed into these five words, “to know and be known.” Baffled by its meaning, yet fearful of the ramifications, I realized in that moment this was my dream.

To know and be known.

Several days later as I read one of my devotional booklets, one line jumped out at me. Almost word for word, the writer stated the same thing—to know and be known.

Now I knew I had to explore this further. What’s at the heart of this plea-like desire? If you’re like me, your faith defines who you are. At your very core, you find God, and everything you do is affected by this relationship.

Now I don’t say this to appear more than I am. Believe me when I say, the closer I come to Christ, the more I see how truly fallen I am. No, this goes deeper. This comes to a deep need to share ourselves with our creator and with our significant other. Our spouse.

How can you share who and what you believe yourself to be when the very essence that defines you is a Creator your spouse doesn’t acknowledge or even believe exists? We already struggle to be who we are in a society that tells us we’re not good enough, no matter what we do. Our marriages are supposed to be a place where we can truly be ourselves, secure in the knowledge that we are loved and accepted. But what happens when what we believe is unacceptable to the one we’ve committed to spend out lives with?

This question drove me to examine this desire and explore it in two parts.

To know. I want to know and understand my spouse, to relate to him on a spiritual level. Yet our mismatch makes this virtually impossible. I can’t know him this way, because he is still entrenched in his carnal form. The spirit I long to connect with isn’t there. But to delve deeper is to understand that who I truly long to know is God. To understand my place in his kingdom, and to find peace in this knowledge.

And be known. I want my husband to know who I am, to understand that my faith defines who I am at the very core of my being. Again I am drawn to connect with him on this spiritual level. To look further is to see our deep-seated need to be known by God. To know we matter to Him. That we are more than just one of many and unique in the Master’s eye.

I’m coming to understand why God brought this desire to light. Our natural tendency is to search for fulfillment of our greatest needs in the ones we are closest to. Our spouses, our children, our friends, our ministries, our jobs. Yet God desires that He be the one we turn to for this deep fulfillment and connection. This is the essence of our relationship with Him—our one true love.

I can’t relate to what it feels like to be married to a believer. I can only imagine it, picture it, desire it—deeply yearn for it. But in this time of waiting, I’ve met Jesus in a very personal way. Now more than at any other time in my life, He is more tangible than I have ever known Him to be.

When the spiritual loneliness hits me, my thoughts turn to Him who knows me better than anyone ever can. I turn to the ultimate groom, the one who died for me, and lives through me today. I turn to Jesus.

And in his presence, I am known.

Praying and believing,
Dineen


Unified by Circumstances

659006_together_2I had the wonderful opportunity to speak and share with a group of ladies Monday evening as part of the Daughters of Sarah ministry at Riverslake Church in Bakersfield, CA. We all share a common bond—being unequally yoked. Again, I'm amazed at how just knowing we're not alone can minister to the ache in our hearts. Awesome proof of Romans 8:28 in how God can bring good from our circumstances. He wastes nothing!

I loved how one of their ministry leaders (three awesome ladies—Kimberly, Marlene, and Becky) described the group as the club everyone wants to graduate from. I know we all do. What a wondrous day to imagine not needing such a ministry, but in the meantime we have a calling to fulfill.

Speaking to these ladies was such an honor. My prayer was to just serve, to just be the conduit God used to encourage and restore hope. I wish I could reach out to all our readers and hug each one of you and encourage you to keep praying and believing.

As I shared with these dear ladies (who put up with this newbie speaker!), we are called "to be the aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing." (2 Cor. 2:15)

It's a big job and probably one of the most difficult we will ever do, but so much is at stake! If you're not part of a ministry or small group designed specifically for the unequally yoked, I would like to encourage you to pray and ask God to show you other women (or men if you're male) in your church who are unequally yoked. They may be thinking they're completely alone and how wonderful if someone reached out to them. Meet for coffee once a week, or study a book together (click here for recommended books). There's also a wonderful online community at 1Peter3Living.

The point is, don't stay alone, because you're not. God is with you, and he will put the people and resources in your life to support and encourage you along this journey. Just ask him to show you.

And Lynn and I consider it a privilege to be along this journey with you. You minister to us as well and bless us with your comments. We're in this journey with you, united by our unequally yoked circumstances.

Together we can stand strong for however long God needs us to be a fragrant presence to our spouses.

Praying and believing with YOU,
Dineen


Weekend Devotion - I am afraid!

I am afraid.

It happened on October 20th, 2004. My husband purchased his one and only bible. This was such a momentous day in my mind that I recorded this occasion in my daily bible. I wanted to remember the exact day that my husband began his journey home.

There are several events that lead up to this purchase. First, it took my husband weeks to find the perfect bible. He researched the many versions available and considered all of the study supports which were included. Finally after two weeks, he ordered a Quest Study Bible, NIV version – The Question and Answer Bible.

Hallelujah!! I could already hear the angels singing. It wont be long now………

My husband started on a journey of discovery all on his own. He telephoned a buddy of his who went to my church. He wanted to meet with him to talk about his faith???? He didn’t tell me a thing about the call nor the lunch they scheduled.

My husband subsequently met his friend for lunch and the two of them decided it would be a good thing to attend the skeptics class offered at church. Well, guess what? My husband attended every class.

Fast forward and here we are today, 2008. The carefully researched bible resides in a drawer, untouched for a couple of years now. Sporadic church attendance stopped completely with the opening kick of the first NFL game last fall. Today my husband remains an unbeliever.

I am afraid. Could it be he actually read the gospel and didn’t get it? It is possible my husband studied and asked questions in a bible class and discounts the truth of God’s word?

From time-to-time I fret over this development or lack thereof. I am caught up in the what-ifs. Did he reject the truth or merely satisfied a curiosity? What if he never discovers there is a God? What if he dies????

I know I am not alone. All of us who are married to a nonbeliever worry. We know we shouldn’t but in weak moments we are overcome with fear.

But…….

I want to tell you about the rider of the white horse. The Prince who swoops away my doubts and rescues me from fear. It is the Lord, Jesus Christ.

He reminds me that my prayers are not in vain.
2 Peter 3:9 The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.

He assures me and gives me peace in what appears a hopeless situation.
Philippians 4:7And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

He empowers me to continue to walk-the-walk and talk-the-talk.
Proverbs 18:10 10 The name of the LORD is a strong tower; the righteous run to it and are safe.

He graces me with patience as I wait for the miracle that is sure to come.
Psalm 40:1 I waited patiently for the LORD; he turned to me and heard my cry.

He is all-powerful, all knowing, all consuming and will proclaim victory one day in the battle for my husband’s soul. I will trust Him. I will follow Him and I will never ever surrender my hope. I serve the God of the Universe. Why should I fear?

Isaiah 41:10 So do not fear, for I am with you;
do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you;
I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

I believe!!!!

Have a strong and hope filled weekend! Lynn


Feeling Alone

When I was feeling alone in my marriage, before my husband received "the big talk" from God. I felt really really alone. It was just me and the kids.

Most wives and husbands can talk to each other and communicate pretty well but not us. We use to be pretty much best friends in the early years of our marriage but as time went on we grew further and further apart. Finances grew tight as our family grew, cruel words were said, bitterness, anger, and unforgiveness crept in.

I remember one time in particular my husband said something mean which went right to my heart. I couldn't believe how he could have been so awful. I was just about to start on a pile of ironing, most of it was his work shirts and I said to myself "he can go do it all himself if he thinks he can speak to me that way."

But I heard God gently saying to me "that's not how I want my servant to behave, I want you to go ahead and do it anyway so that you will be heaping burning coals on his head". God didn't mean it in a nasty way; he was showing me to still "do good" towards my husband rather than having the same attitude. So...I carried on, pulled out the ironing board and iron. I set it up in my office, put on some praise n worship music and got through it all while venting my frustrations and tears on God.

I was able to tell Him all about it and at the end it was almost as it those big arms gave me a big hug, wiped my tears away, picked me up spiritually and set me back on my way again. When I put all of my husband’s shirts away in his wardrobe he saw them and told me he felt humbled. I even got an apology for the way he'd acted. I saw that if I'd vented and shouted at him, it would've made the situated much worse. However, because I took it to God He was able to work it all out instead.

For those who are still unequally yoked, there is hope and there is light at the end of the tunnel It is SO important to take our prayers and concern to the one who unconditionally is always there for us. Let Him do the intervening and speaking for us, after all He knows our spouses better than we do.

Amy Forbes


To Know and Be Known

by: Dineen Miller

As I wrote down my prayer, the ache in my heart formed into these five words, “to know and be known.” Baffled by its meaning, yet fearful of the ramifications, I realized in that moment this was my dream.

To know and be known.

Several days later as I read one of my devotional booklets, one line jumped out at me. Almost word for word, the writer stated the same thing—to know and be known.

Now I knew I had to explore this further. What’s at the heart of this plea-like desire? If you’re like me, your faith defines who you are. At your very core, you find God, and everything you do is affected by this relationship.

Now I don’t say this to appear more than I am. Believe me when I say, the closer I come to Christ, the more I see how truly fallen I am. No, this goes deeper. This comes to a deep need to share ourselves with our creator and with our significant other. Our spouse.

How can you share who and what you believe yourself to be when the very essence that defines you is a Creator your spouse doesn’t acknowledge or even believe exists? We already struggle to be who we are in a society that tells us we’re not good enough, no matter what we do. Our marriages are supposed to be a place where we can truly be ourselves, secure in the knowledge that we are loved and accepted. But what happens when what we believe is unacceptable to the one we’ve committed to spend out lives with?

This question drove me to examine this desire and explore it in two parts.

To know. I want to know and understand my spouse, to relate to him on a spiritual level. Yet our mismatch makes this virtually impossible. I can’t know him this way, because he is still entrenched in his carnal form. The spirit I long to connect with isn’t there. But to delve deeper is to understand that who I truly long to know is God. To understand my place in his kingdom, and to find peace in this knowledge.

And to be known. I want my husband to know who I am, to understand that my faith defines who I am at the very core of my being. Again I am drawn to connect with him on this spiritual level. To look further is to see our deep-seated need to be known by God. To know we matter to Him. That we are more than just one of many and unique in the Master’s eye.

I’m coming to understand why God brought this desire to light. Our natural tendency is to search for fulfillment of our greatest needs in the ones we are closest to. Our spouses, our children, our friends, our ministries, our jobs. Yet God desires that He be the one we turn to for this deep fulfillment and connection. This is the essence of our relationship with Him—our one true love.

I can’t relate to what it feels like to be married to a believer. I can only imagine it, picture it, desire it—deeply yearn for it. But in this time of waiting, I’ve met Jesus in a very personal way. Now more than at any other time in my life, He is more tangible than I have ever known Him to be.

When the spiritual loneliness hits me, my thoughts turn to Him who knows me better than anyone ever can. I turn to the ultimate groom, the one who died for me, and lives through me today. I turn to Jesus.

And in his presence, I am known.


I am married, so why do I feel so alone? Part VIII

While preparing for this series of articles about loneliness in marriage, I found an interesting piece of advice from a Christian marriage counselor. His advice resonates in me and I believe it truly is helpful.

Get regular physical exercise!

May I suggest a half hour a day walking or running? If you can’t walk or run, perhaps swim or at lease move around outside. Years ago I began to walk every morning. I would read my Bible, pray in my prayer journal, and then go for a walk-and-talk with Jesus.

Walking and talking with Jesus is often the highlight of my day. I share my thoughts with him. I worship Him as I see how beautiful the natural world is. It is on these walks that God sends little love notes to me. The melody of a bird song elates my soul; I delight to watch a bunny cross my path. A butterfly stops on a flower right in front of me.Butterfly6


I am renewed and filled with the Holy Spirit on this walk. I also have regular physical exercise to keep my physical body healthy.

Other suggestions to help keep your emotions in check:
• Keep a regular journal of your feelings. (Our prayer journal is perfect).
• Find healthy outlets for personal development. Acts of service, education, church involvement can divert you from the constant thoughts of “what is wrong” in your marriage. Involvement brings opportunities for more balance and changed expectations.
• Develop and maintain a routine. Keep physical, spiritual and emotional life intact and your home and personal world organized. Again more balance brings about more contentment and less dwelling on what you don’t have.

Balance and calmness!

Today go for a walk. Don’t worry if the neighbors see you mumbling out loud. You are praying to our very real and awesome God. Happy Walking. Be blessed, Lynn


I am married, so why do I feel so alone? Part VII

If you want to change your marriage, you must move from apathy to commitment. Begin by practicing thankfulness. Make a list of your blessings. Specifically thank God for your spouse and the specific things you appreciate about him or her.

Thanksgiving breaks down entitlement attitudes that breed discontentment. Self-talk such as I deserve a better marriage than this. Or, I deserve someone who can meet my needs, will never bring you to healing.

What we deserve is death and God owes us nothing. Through His grace and love, however, we have everything. We have His power to turn around our destructive self-talk.

Two suggestions to begin these changes:

First: Read the Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman. This book can help you to love your spouse in the language which will create the best response for your efforts.

Second: Help others. Giving to others in service can change the heart of anyone. Volunteer now. Don’t wait until you have more time or money. Start now. Ask at church where you can serve. Helping others who are struggling with greater difficulty than your own will quickly bring about a heart change. I PROMISE!

If you are seeking real changes in your marriage today, take out that prayer journal. Ask God to show you real thankfulness. Ask God to bring you to where you can serve. Ask God to be your everything, to fulfill your hearts desires. He is desperately waiting for you to speak those words and mean them.

Have a blessed and beautiful day. Lynn

Lord of Heaven and Earth, I ask your powerful and life-changing hand upon the readers here today. Reach down into their lives and marriages and bring the heart changes You know we need. Show us someone who really is in need and lead us to serve. I love you Lord, Jesus. Amen

God began doing a good work in you, and I am sure He will continue it until it is finished when Jesus Christ comes again. Philippians 1:6 (NCV)

Lilly2

I am married, so why do I feel so alone? Part VI

This next post may hurt a bit. Some people never grow up. And, by-the-way, that IS NOT A GOOD THING!

If you are married to an immature person, it can be utterly wearisome. No matter what you do, you cannot make someone grow up but you certainly don’t need to enable them in their irresponsibility.

Immaturity can be a result of childhood experiences. How we form our adult thoughts and beliefs, how we learn to love others is a direct result of our childhood learning, as we discussed in an earlier post. Some people simply are stuck in their immaturity and never grow up.

Dealing with an immature spouse sometimes is like dealing with a teenager. There must be rational approaches and consequences.

As adult and mature married people, we should be able to give and receive affection, through handholding, kissing, hugging, conversation, and sexual relations that are comfortable for both. The inability to enjoy a healthy give-and-take in these areas need to be assessed.

Simply there is no other alternative in certain situations. Professional counseling is needed or at the very least mutual understanding between the partners.

If you are the needy person, it can be terribly uncomfortable to discover this about yourself. But, see this opportunity as God calling to you to grow.

If you are married to an unhealthy person, perhaps someone who is unwilling or unable to make changes, stop and prayerfully try to understand what God is doing here. He often teaches us about ourselves, our needs, and the needs of others when we’re going through difficulty. Instead of rushing to try to change your spouse, stop and wait upon God to show you what is going on in your own life.

Honestly assess if you are balanced and that the needs you want your spouse to fill are needs only God can fill.

If after this time of examination, you still feel you have made an honest attempt to put your relationship first, spending time together, sharing, loving, giving affection, then make a commitment. Commit yourself to make a change in your marriage.

Today in your prayer journal, it is time to ask the difficult questions. Lord, am I the needy one. Am I immature? Do I look to my spouse to fill me when it is You, God who needs to fill me?

Submit Yourselves to God
James 4: 1-2 NIV
What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don't they come from your desires that battle within you? 2You want something but don't get it. You kill and covet, but you cannot have what you want. You quarrel and fight. You do not have, because you do not ask God.

How do we go about making change? Next post. Stay tuned.


I am married, so why do I feel so alone? Part V

After twenty years of marriage, George and Cyndi (fictitious names), are living in the same house, sharing the same table but feel alone and stuck in a marriage desperate for affection.

George has turned to pornography and Cyndi to food. Their desperate hunger has forced them to grab at anything that will feed their need for love. Some of the inappropriate ways people try to feed their marriages:

Threatening divorce
Withholding love
Playing sexual games
Having an affair
Diving into pornography
Alcohol or drugs
Workaholism
Gambling addiction
Entertainment

If you are desperately lonely and in need of affection, you may even be tempted to go too far in trying to get it from your spouse. Groveling, begging, or demanding will not work.

Marriage counselors would tell you that what attracts a person is self-respect and confidence. Finding ourselves as a child of God, created in His image, provides the self-worth necessary to face a future, expecting change in ourselves for the better.

It’s time to control our dreams. Hollywood portrays a dreamworld that simply doesn’t exist. Unrealistic expectations do three destructive things to marriage:

1. Focuses on things you can’t have, which is coveting.
2. Takes your mind off what you do have, which is ingratitude.
3. Creates unreasonable expectations, which lead to disappointment.

Today in your prayer journal, ask God about these three questions. See His wisdom about your thought life regarding you spouse.

God desires one thing of you today. DON’T GIVE UP! There are many wrong ways to meet your needs: looking in the wrong places, fantasizing, demanding, threatening, taking whatever crumbs you can get, and giving up. The right way begins when you take responsibility for meeting needs in a healthy way.

1 Corinthians 13:4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

Next Up: Am I the needy one in this relationship or is it my spouse?


I am married, so why do I feel so alone? Part IV

It’s time to take your pulse.

All of God’s children are born with personality, traits, and abilities which are unique. However, attitudes and perceptions are what we develop in our childhood. Attitudes and perceptions we can change as an adult.

Think about your family of origin and your family of today.

Was your family:
Supportive or aloof
Encouraging or discouraging
Warm or cold
Close or Distant
Real or Phony
Helpful or Critical
Open or Closed
Unified or Divided
Affectionate or Unaffectionate

Do you see any patterns here? Patterns in your family of origin or of today? Do you like your family of today?

Okay here is the hard part. How brave are you? If you dare to do it, your children are old enough to understand, and you are mature enough to handle their answers, try talking about their perceptions of what it’s like in your family. You may be encouraged or you may be warned about problems.

Take out your prayer journal and talk to God about your family of your childhood. Now ask Him to show you where the old ways were not good ways. Write out your prayer asking for God’s hand to help you change problem areas.

Ask God for strength and courage to broach this subject with your spouse. Bring the above questions to God. Ask Him to help you bring the questions to your spouse. This single exercise could start your relationship on a road of healing.

If you spouse is completely unresponsive or unwilling to participate, TAKE HEART. God is right beside you comforting you now in this lonely season. He will not leave you there forever. Also, think about what you may be doing to help your children learn a different attitude and perception about love and their future married relationship.

John 14:1
Jesus says,
1"Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me.

Be blessed, Lynn

Next Up: The Stupid Thing People Do


I am married, so why do I feel so alone? Part III

In some of my research materials, Christian Counselors indicate people do not know how to love one another. We will learn about this in future posts. But today we need to learn about ourselves.

To learn how to love another person, specifically our spouse, first we must learn who we are. My life forever changed when I realized my spouse was unable to mee all my needs. I guess like everyone, I am really needy. The task to love me the way “I wanted” to be loved was daunting.

I want to share one of my original posts with you here. Many of you may have read it before but the truth in this post is life changing:

For many years I placed my husband in the impossible roll of satisfying all the desires I had for love, acceptance, and identity. I set him up and myself up for disappointment. My husband simply is unable to fulfill every longing of my heart. Why, because our Creator did not design men to be everything to us. The enemy has deceived the daughters of Eve to believe that our husbands must fulfill our every whim, desire, and need.

In the Word of God we read that we are purposefully crafted to desire a heart relationship with our maker. We are fearfully and wonderfully made, Psalms 139:14.

God’s design, the correct design, is for us to establish our identity in Him. He wants us to know, without a doubt that we are His child (Ephesians 1:5a). He longs to show us how beautiful we are (Psalm 45:11a) and to share a love relationship with us (1 Corinthians 13:13). Some of the most powerful longings and needs women have, can only be fulfilled by a relationship with God through His son Jesus Christ.

Getting my mind and heart around this truth freed me and it freed my husband. Our relationship began to change and flash points of war diminished.

To understand Jesus is the ONLY ONE who can completely meet all of our needs is freedom. He must become our identity. He must become the one we turn to with our hearts, hopes, dreams, and disappointments. Only after we turn ourselves over to Christ are we able to approach a marriage relationship with realistic expectations.

Be blessed, Lynn

Ephesians 1:3-6How blessed is God! And what a blessing he is! He's the Father of our Master, Jesus Christ, and takes us to the high places of blessing in him. Long before he laid down earth's foundations, he had us in mind, had settled on us as the focus of his love, to be made whole and holy by his love. Long, long ago he decided to adopt us into his family through Jesus Christ. (What pleasure he took in planning this!) He wanted us to enter into the celebration of his lavish gift-giving by the hand of his beloved Son.

Next up: Learning to love; it goes beyond marriage to your entire family.


I am married, so why do I feel so alone? Part II

Marriage does not unravel in an instant or without cause. Over time, unintentional carelessness creeps in. A cutting remark strikes the heart. A mean gesture or a cruel look will begin the process of wall building.

As the hurts are delivered, regardless of their intention, we build, feverishly raising the walls of self-preservation. Do you recognize the symptoms?

• Frustration – You desire affection, but you find little satisfaction.
• Sexual issues – Sex with your spouse leaves you empty and ungratified.
• Wandering thoughts – You’re starting to look for love in the wrong places.
• Emotional numbness – Feelings for your spouse are vanishing fast or are already gone.
• Anger – You easily become exasperated, even infuriated, at your partner.
• Loneliness – Your spouse is never truly with you.
• Compulsive behavior – You often us food, drugs (prescription and/or illicit) or alcohol to kill your emotional pain.

As the wall is built higher, we find ourselves lost in these desperate emotions. More than anything we want to belong. The number one desire of all mankind is to belong. In order to belong we need a reason to exist and someone with whom to give and receive love.

We look to our spouse for this belonging and the fulfillment of our deepest needs. This thinking I brought to adulthood and into marriage. One of the greatest deceptions of the married life begins when we are children. Fall in love, live happily ever after.

I have an eleven-year-old daughter. We have seen every movie on the planet with this theme. Is it any wonder our children proceed into adulthood with this thinking?

Belief regarding marriage and relationships is formed as children in the family unit. We must explore this history to understand where we came from and how to break a cycle of unfulfilled expectations.

I will share my personal story with you. For years I lived in the “happily ever after” trap. I was freed several years ago. My freedom also brought freedom to my spouse. Amazing things changed in our marriage.

My prayer journal was hugely helpful. I hope you have started yours. Write this scripture in it today.

Psalm 71:3 Be my rock of refuge,
to which I can always go;
give the command to save me,
for you are my rock and my fortress.

Continue to write out your heart prayers before God. Imagine an angel lifting the words off the page and carrying them to the throne.

Have a blessed day, Lynn

Next: Overcoming our misconceptions about marriage and finding true belonging. Also, how to help your kids avoid the same pitfalls.


I am married, so why do I feel so alone? Part I

So how do we arrive in marriage feeling alone? We hear others tell us how their spouse is their best friend. Hearing this statement rips our heart out of our chest. We can’t begin to imagine a kind relationship with our spouse let alone a deep friendship. How did we end up in this crazy place?

Loneliness in marriage is not just a symptom of Spiritual mismatch. Over the past six or seven months I have talked with so many women who are struggling, alone in their marriage. I am convinced aloneness in marriage is reaching epidemic proportions. Men AND women and starving for affection and attention within their union.

I can attest, living this way is not biblical. It is NOT what God wants for you and He can change your situation. We are going to explore, through Christian counselors, how to make progress from loneliness to fulfillment.

So, let’s travel down this road together and discover how we can turn from starving and lonely to loved and filled up. It is my hope that if you are in a lonely marriage this series can help save you from your prison. Or, if you are currently enjoying a season of marriage happiness, you will dedicate yourself to learn from the discussion days ahead so you can reach out to someone God is desperately trying to reach. Please contribute through your comments. Someone out there needs your encouragement.

I also realize many of you would dearly love to change your situation but feel your spouse is unresponsive. I hope to offer you practical suggestions to work with your spouse or around your spouse for healing for both of you. If you are in a marriage where there is mental illness, addiction, or abuse, the steps ahead are not right for you. Please contact me for information how to overcome these issues in marriage. e-mail me

Let’s take a survey:

Do you feel close to or distant from your spouse?
Do you feel passionate or mechanical?
Is your behavior toward your spouse spontaneous or routine?
Are you emotionally full or empty?
Do you feel loved as you were meant to be loved, or is there something missing?
Do you feel inspired or expired by your spouse’s touch?
Do you feel adored or indifferent?
Do you feel understood or disregarded when you talk with your spouse?

If you answered several of these questions and they indicate dissatisfaction, you may feel lonely, angry, and bitter.

In reality we have three choices:
1. Leave your spouse and find someone else.
2. Leave things as they are and struggle along.
3. Tackle the problem without attacking your spouse.

If you choose anything but number three, there isn’t much you will learn here. But, if you are willing, even one person in a marriage can make changes that will impact the marriage in positive ways.

Are you willing? Will you commit to learning and putting into practice the suggestions that follow in the weeks ahead?

Starting today find a prayer journal. I want you to begin writing out your prayers in long hand. At least a few paragraphs. I want you to lift up your marriage, yourself, and your spouse every day in writing.

Begin praying today in your journal asking God to provide the willingness to change. Ask Him to fill you and your home with the Holy Spirit. Ask Him to protect you and your spouse from the enemy. If you start with this exercise, I promise it will change your life. I PROMISE!

Write to me. Tell me you started your prayer journal. Write the date down and we will share together the great things God has in store for our future.

Be blessed, Lynn

Next: How did we get here. It’s all about the walls!

If you are a Mother, I want to encourage you today at Christian Women Online.

Also, today is Marriage Monday. Head over to Fruit In Season for a great article on Real love.


I am married, so why do I feel so alone?

Today we begin a journey to explore loneliness in marriage. it is my prayer God will open our hearts, minds and spirit to receive His teaching and His will for our marriages. I am praying many of us will find a path to restoration. I am praying that lost time and hurts are redeemed. I am asking our God to be present in the every word of every post.

It is my hope that this series of articles will shine light on how we arrive at a lonely place and how to depart from it. I am asking God for deliverance from the enemy and for lives to be changed. Pray along with me.

Lord, Abba, Father, Place your hand upon this study. Let Your words be present here as we seek to uncover truths about loneliness and marriage. Reveal to us Your thoughts and desires for marriage. Lord, I ask for freedom for those who have hidden their hurt, inner-self behind high walls of self-protection. Lord, give us the courage to try one more time to find the intimacy and relationship that You desire in marriage.

We love you Lord. Let this study bring forth fruit, shed light on lies, free the captives and mostly, I pray this study brings honor to Your Holy name. Jesus, we pray, Amen.


Genesis 1: 23 The man said,
"This is now bone of my bones
and flesh of my flesh;
she shall be called 'woman,'
for she was taken out of man."

24 For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh.

Be blessed, Lynn