Categories, Sexual Healing Series

Identity Crisis

Before we get started:

  • Pray for Holy Spirit to be with you and guide you through this process as you won’t be able to do this alone.
  • Get a prayer partner or accountability partner or join our closed Sexual Healing group on Facebook here.
  • Be open and honest with yourself and transparent with your prayer partner or accountability person about any struggles or issues you’re having.
  • Enjoy the journey knowing that God is on your side and is more than willing to heal you!

identity-crisis-banner

 

Scripture: 1 Peter 2:9 (NIV) But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.


We were both fresh out of college when we got married. We were all lovey dovey and couldn’t stand to be away from each other. Then time passes, and the reality sinks in that you actually have to start doing life together, real life things like budget, pay bills, communicate. Before long, things started to get a little rocky. All of a sudden marriage didn’t look like I thought it would or should. All of my expectations weren’t being met, Hubby wasn’t being my knight in shining armor. He wasn’t telling me how fine and beautiful I was every day, or being affectionate everyday. He didn’t bring home flowers, and chocolates. He didn’t make me feel special, loved or needed everyday. In order for me to feel loved and cherished I needed this meer man to make me feel special because that’s what I expected and that’s what I needed him to do to make me feel secure and not doubt that I deserved to be married and to be loved unconditionally.  I needed him to do all these things every day so that I wouldn’t feel guilt and shame from my past and to some how prove to myself that I was worthy of love and valuable.

Looking back, this is what I expected from all my past relationships. I craved the attention and affection. My home life was so full of dysfunction and unpredictable circumstances, not the stability and security that a young girl needed. I wasn’t getting attention and affection from home from my mom and my dad was killed before I’d been born. There was no daily healthy affirmation or confirmation of who I was. So I sought the attention and affection elsewhere. I knew that my mom loved me but she had so many of her own demons to fight that she couldn’t fully give us what we needed, she couldn’t give what she didn’t have herself. If one guy wasn’t attentive enough, there was always another guy and another guy who was always available to make me feel beautiful, wanted, attractive and loved, special.  I thrived on the attention! The more attention I got, the more I felt validated and it took away from the hurt and pain that I had to deal with at home. It got even worse when I was in college. By then I was utterly boy crazy! I was so depressed from my past and I just covered it up with sex and all the attention I could get.

Well, this behavior played out in my marriage. Hubby and I didn’t get proper premarital counseling, we went in to marriage blindly, like sheep led to slaughter! We got what Hubby and I like to call “bootleg” counseling. The church we were attending at the time didn’t have any kind of marriage or premarital classes or counseling. We met with our pastor for about an hour. He asked all of five questions and when he found out we were living together, the only thing he told us was to stop having sex, not telling us why, and that we needed to get married sooner rather than later. So, we did, we got married and a few months later all hell broke loose!

I was expecting my husband to be my savior. My redeemer, the one to restore me and he couldn’t because that’s not his job. He needed someone to do and be the same for him and I couldn’t because that’s not my job either. Only Jesus can do this. We both came into marriage broken, battered and bruised filled with the pain and baggage from our pasts. He didn’t know who he was in Christ and neither did I so we put these unrealistic expectations on each other. You can’t be broken and get with another broken person and expect them to make you whole. No other human on this earth can complete you, ever. That’s not what humans are to do, only Jesus completes us. That’s why no matter how much sex, drugs, alcohol, food, shopping, attention you get or have, you’re never fulfilled. There’s a place in us only meant to be filled with Jesus and Jesus alone.

Path to Healing:

After some time, Hubby and I went to counseling and dealt with some of our past issues and learned how to work with each other. We also began to learn who we were in Christ. Throughout this journey, God called me to teach His truth about sex and during this journey He healed me as well. By replacing the lies with the truth, I was healed. My husband couldn’t and didn’t heal me, Jesus did. My husband isn’t responsible for my happiness and neither are my children, I am. People will come and go, will hurt you, try to break you, discourage you, knock you down, talk about you, wear you down, but Jesus won’t! All these things I experienced growing up because no one taught me who I was in Christ. I only heard of God here and there, but never about Jesus dying for my sins, my healing and wholeness and that I can be co-heirs with Him and be a child of God! Since I didn’t know these things, I went searching to fill this void in all the wrong places. Again I say, ignorance is NOT bliss. The things I did when I was young followed me into my marriage. My getting married didn’t make my hurts, pains, and flaws go away, they were just magnified! God uses marriage to draw things out of us and man is it painful sometimes.  I’m always amazed at how my husband knows exactly what button to push and how God shows me something about myself that I need to let Him in to heal or that I need to work on. Once I learned that I am God’s treasured possession, His daughter, the one He takes delight in, His child that’s fearfully and wonderfully made, I was able to relax and enjoy my marriage more! When my husband was being very human, it was easy to forgive him because I understood that he’s human and that God is working on him just like He’s working on me. My husband needed to have his junk uprooted too. So, knowing these things, it became easier to extend mercy and grace towards one another.

Work it out:

Not to say that you will be perfect going in to marriage, but BEFORE you get married, deal with you now! Learn who you are in Christ so that you won’t go into marriage with all these unrealistic expectations that will only put your marriage in crisis mode. You need Jesus now and you will most definitely need Him when you’re married! If you’re already married and things are already in crisis mode, focus on getting your heart right. Don’t look at what your husband is or isn’t doing. Let God handle Him, you focus on what God is telling you to work on.

Now, I want you to write down some of the lies that you believe about yourself or circumstances and then beside each one, write truth. For instance, for me it was not feeling worthy or valued, so my go to scripture was Psalm 37:23 (NLT) The Lord directs the steps of the godly. He delights (takes pleasure) in every detail of their lives. Just knowing that God took pleasure in every detail about my life blessed my heart! I didn’t have to worry about anyone else, because I knew that my Father cared about me. Below are some scriptures to get you started. Take time to write them out, meditate on them and use them to replace the lies and learn who you are in Christ! 

  1. Romans 12:2
  2. Psalm 37:23
  3. 1 Peter 2:9
  4. Psalm 94:19
  5. Romans 6:6
  6. Deuteronomy 7:6
  7. 2 Corinthians 3:17
  8. Isaiah 62:3
  9. Galatians 3:26
  10. Ephesians 2:10
  11. Psalm 139:14
  12. Song of Songs 4:7
  13. 1 Samuel 16:7
  14. Proverbs 31:30

Prayer:

Gracious and loving Father, thank you for your unconditional love, mercy and grace. Thank you Jesus for the forgiveness of sin.  I pray for every person who’s dealing with an identity crisis. Father I pray that you begin to show them who You created them to be. Show them how You see them. Father I pray that you will replace the lies told them by the enemy and replace them with Your truth. I pray for healing and wholeness in their hearts and minds. I pray for marriages to begin the healing process and I pray for wisdom and guidance for those preparing to be married. Lead them to wise counsel Lord and I pray that they take heed to all that they learn. I pray that all will continue to press forward towards all that you have for them! In Jesus’ name, Amen

I look forward to hearing about your experiences this week and if there are any other scriptures you’d like to share, questions or you just want to chat with someone who’s walking this same path, join us in the closed Facebook group here!

Be blessed & encouraged,

Shannon

Categories

The Great Shake Down!

I met my husband in 2001 in college, although when I met him, I had no clue he would be my husband, none of that love at first sight stuff :-).  He was just this cute dude I would see on campus who also had a very nice behind! Yes, there was lust and it didn’t help that he had muscles in all the right places and gorgeous eyes! So, each time I saw him, it was a treat for my eyes! LOL!  Well it just so happens, that I ended up having a class with Mr. Fine and he was even in my group for our class group project.  I never knew his name until the class and for the first 3 classes he was MIA! When he decided to show up for class that’s when I was able to put a name with the muscles and cute behind of Mr. Fine.  I paid no attention to him at first because he looked so young, but he wouldn’t have it that way, he made sure that I knew who he was! LOL! The semester moves along and he and I got closer and he turned out to not only be cute but very smart, intelligent and determined.  He had his whole life mapped out (or so he thought)! I thought that was awesome coming from someone so young, then I find he’s only 2 yrs younger than me but he looked so young!! Anyway, moving further through time, we got closer and began dating and he started having issues with his roommate who eventually bailed on him and left him with the full responsibility of the apartment.  Things got rough and he had to move out and had no where to go so he moved in with me. Yeah……. Ok, here’s where things start going crazy….

Now, before I met future hubbs, God had been calling me to come back to him but I didn’t want to “give up” my “freedom”. So I was occasionally going to church. So, one day when I was volunteering at church, I learned that living together with someone of the opposite sex before marriage was wrong, that this was called “shacking up”. Whoa, wait a minute you mean, everyone I grew up around that’s been “shacking up” is wrong and that’s not the way that God meant for things to be???? But I have this really cute boyfriend who had “no where else to go” who now lives with me! Oh no, what do we do?? So, boyfriend and I were able to forge a friendship with this married couple in the church who basically broke things down for us.  So we had a choice to make: boyfriend moves out or we get married! Say huh? Marriage was not on the agenda, we were trying to graduate from college first and we never really even talked about marriage before.  So we sat on this information and sat, and sat and sat until The Great Shake Down happened.

Now, when you surrender your life to Christ, He loves you too much to let you wallow in your sin and if you don’t do anything about it, He will and that’s just what He did.  The Great Shakedown begins…. First, boyfriend wrecked his car, he was fine, car wasn’t and being a broke college student that meant no new car for a while.  In the midst of this, I was going through pure hell in the job I had so I decided to quit just knowing I would get another in no time, but 911 happened and the job didn’t come as fast as I thought it would. After my job ordeal, my car broke down and we couldn’t afford to get it fixed nor could I afford to keep up the payments so, my car was repossessed.  Boyfriend lost his job but found another but it wasn’t enough  to carry us and the apartment so we were evicted.  Thankfully, I had a friend that I could move in with, so I put my stuff in storage and moved in with her and boyfriend went to room with some guy he knew from college.  Well, the arrangement with boyfriend lasted all of a week or 2 and then he moved in with me and my friend.  Sad to say, we still didn’t get the hints that were being thrown at us.  So we continued going to church and God continued making his statement. He HUMBLED us!! We were in an area that wasn’t the most pleasant, we had no cars so it was public transportation for us, I had to work at a restaurant which was the absolute last thing I wanted to do and it didn’t pay a lot of money and we were in the very last semesters before graduation so it was very hard.  In the midst of this, we would slip and have sex.  Even though we knew the truth now, it was still hard to fight the temptation because we still lived together and slept in the same bed. Yes, we were asking for it! After a while, boyfriend and I were hurt, defeated and tired.  Everything was so difficult! Just getting to school and work was a feat! So, we broke down and prayed, God, if it’s your will for us to be together and get married, then show us what to do, make a way for us.  We had no money, so God had to help us with this.

After we prayed, we stepped out in faith and went to see my friend who worked at a jewelry store, we told him our situation and to our surprise he was able to get us an awesome deal and use his discount!!!! Boyfriend and I looked at each other and thought ok, hmmmm this went very well.  So after we picked out our rings, we went on to finish school, boyfriend finished before me and somehow went to get the rings without me.  So, a little while before I graduated, November 8, 2003 he proposed!!! He was no longer boyfriend, but now fiance’!!! I was so shocked and to this day, I still don’t remember what he said when he proposed! LOL!! After this, I graduated from college and we went about the business of getting married.  My plan was to have just a little party dress, nothing extravagant because we couldn’t afford extravagant.  God had other plans!! My friend and I and fiance’ went to this little dress shop and Ms. Charlotte greeted us and we told her we were getting married and I just needed a little party dress nothing extravagant because we had no money.  Ms. Charlotte, says no, no, you’re getting a wedding dress!! Fiance’ and I looked at each other and just followed.  Well to sum it all up, I got a beautiful wedding dress, veil, and all adjustments for a total of $383.00!!! Again, God made a way!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! So we met with our pastor, once (um, another story for another day, sheesh!!) and he proceeds to tell us that since we were living together and were not married, we needed to get married ASAP oh, and stop having sex! So we set the date for February 6, 2004. It all worked out because we were able to get our taxes done early! LOL! We gave the pastor a $100 “love offering”, had close friends there which totaled 15 ppl at our wedding (no family there at all).  My friend and the lady from Kroger made my bouquet, my friend was able to get us a ridiculous discount on a Jacuzzi suite for our honeymoon. I walked myself down the aisle and fiance’ best friend was the ring bearer and my bestie was my maid of honor and on February 6, 2004, we became Mr. & Mrs. Richard W. Taylor II!!!

kissing wedding pic

wedding picture

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We are still married, 9 years later!! The road hasn’t been easy but we know that God is definitely in the midst of our marriage and that’s another lesson for another day 🙂

Now, why do I tell you all this?  Some people argue that living together before you get married is not a sin and it’s not in the BIble and it’s not, but God is a God of order and there’s a reason for not living together before marriage.  When you do this, you set yourself up for failure, pain, destruction.  It’s only by the grace of God that I didn’t get pregnant while were playing house and that we were both able to graduate from college but it did cause problems in our marriage (more on this later) not only this but, we still had to deal with the repercussions of us having sex with each other before we were married.  Sex is spiritual so you best believe that there will be some spiritual warfare going on!!! My other point is that, you can’t say that you’re a child of God and still blatantly sin and decide you’re going to do things your way.  With God, it doesn’t work this way, either you belong to Him or you don’t and if you do, He’s going to make sure that you do things the way that He says to keep you from hurting yourself and bringing everything but glory to His name.  Lastly, is that if you decide to commit your way to Him, He will definitely show up and show you favor and make things happen for you that you wouldn’t believe!!!!!!!!!!!!!

So, if you’re shacking up right now, I encourage you to make some decisions now so that you won’t have to endure The Great Shakedown! If you’re not ready for marriage, pray for God to make other living arrangements and go where He sends you and if you are ready, then GET PREMARITAL COUNSELING and take heed to all you’re being taught.  DO NOT set a wedding date until after counseling because you never know what will come up and out during counseling.  Trust me I’ve seen the horror of a marriage happening even though they were told that they were not ready!!! They are paying dearly for it!! Take your time and do things in order the way God intended! Marriage is not something to rush into and trying to practice it before you say “I do” is just asking for trouble! Take your time, take your time, take your time!! Pray, pray, pray! Have accountability partners, stay pure and trust God!

Be blessed & encouraged,

Shannon