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

Attracting Adam

Oldie but Goodie, an article I guest posted on my friend’s ministry site! 

attracting adamIn my single days, I was on the constant search for a man or male companionship. I just couldn’t bear being alone. I had a different guy for every aspect of my life.  One was just a friend that I could hang out with; another served my emotional needs, and finally a guy who took care of my physical needs. Neither had the total package based on what I thought I needed or wanted in a man, so during those times the combination of all three “fed” my wounded soul.

Notice, neither of the guys fed me spiritually because I didn’t consider any type of spiritual need.

God was just God—the One I called on when I’d gotten myself into a mess of a situation. He held no major significance in the decisions I made. But, when I stopped running from God, once I finally submitted, my life was changed completely!

During my single days, I didn’t know God so I did what I believed every other single woman did—I went out to find me a man. Not knowing that God never says in His Word that a woman has to go out and get a man. Actually, according to Genesis 2:22 it’s the polar opposite, And the rib, which the Lord God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man.

See, His Word tells us that Eve was brought to Adam right? Eve didn’t have to go and look for anyone. Being single, we roll with the crowd thinking that in order for a man to want us we must look, dress and behave in a way that’s contrary to God’s Word.  So not true!

You want to attract the godliness in a man—not just lust. Lust causes your brother to sin. It also dies and believe it or not, it’s not a man’s deepest need. A man’s deepest need from a woman is respect! God tells us in His word that the wife is to respect her husband (Ephesians 5:33). Remember, what you give off is what you will attract. Being “fine” or “sexy”, on the outside is not enough to get and keep a man. Why? Because this is and was not how God intended relationships to be. Yes, taking care of our body is very important because our body is the temple of the Lord, but using it to get what we want is not what our bodies were designed for.

Let’s go back to Genesis where Eve was created and presented to Adam in 2:22-23. First, God took a rib—a part of Adam that was good and God created a woman for Adam. Genesis 1:31 says, And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. God used a rib, the bone that’s close to a man’s most vital organs, his organs that are most vital to his life and being, and from that came Eve.

You—the custom made rib, was taken from your Adam by whom? God!

Now, when God is done (assuming that you will step back, submit, and allow Him to do so) forming, shaping and creating you—then and only then will God present you to your Adam.

I understand that being single can be hard, but I will tell you from experience, now is the time to deal with you! Your season of singleness is the best time to deal with your attitude, brokenness, insecurities, and your past. You don’t want to go into a new relationship, and don’t even think about going into a marriage with all your baggage.  Why? Because it will put unnecessary strain on your human husband who’s just a man. You can’t bring along all of the baggage and issues then expect him to fix your life, make you feel a certain way, and take away the pain from your past.  The only One who can do that is God!

Now, back to Genesis 2:23, when God presented Eve to Adam, what was Adam’s reaction? He immediately accepted her as his wife. He immediately and readily accepted EVE as God had formed and created her. Adam didn’t ask God to change her in any way. God didn’t ask for Adam’s opinion or preferences (he was asleep) but God knew who Adam was and He knew what Adam needed. Adam was formed, shaped and created by God as well and had God’s breath breathed into him.  This is another reason why you, as a single lady, must step back and let God be God. Allow Him to finish working on and in your Adam.

If you’re trying to get a man that does not have the breath or Word of God in him, then he won’t recognize you for who you are and won’t know what to do with you.  He’ll only respond to you lustfully and immaturely! Also notice that Adam didn’t ask to try Eve out or to live together first to make sure they were a perfect match sexually! Adam trusted that Eve was all that he needed because Adam trusted God. You need a man who trusts God and is led by God.

Men desire respect and not being respected is one of their greatest fears. I didn’t know this when I first got married and it really caused issues in our marriage. Once I stopped trying to be in charge and submitted myself to God (which is submitting and being the wife God called me to be according to His Word) my hubby began to respond differently.

I got what I needed from him and he and I began to flow. The flow got better as we both learned God’s roles for a husband and wife. Men respond to us visually yes, but once the lust dies—and it will, then what?

So, while you’re single, please stop trying to be God and submit all things to Him—especially the job of trying to find a man.  Use this precious time to work on deepening your relationship with God because trust me, you will most definitely need Him when you’re married! Know who you are in Christ. Find out what His word says about you. Be a wife now, because in a sense, you are married to God through salvation so allow God to be your husband. If you can’t submit to God’s headship, how in the world will you submit to your husband?

Be blessed & encouraged,

Shannon

Categories

Why Submit?

Submission

What is submission? Some women see this as the man walking all over a woman, the woman has to do what the man says, the woman has no say in anything whatsoever.  Neither of these views are true. I used to think this way as well until I got married and found out God’s definition of submission and what He meant for and by submission.

sub·mit

 [suhb-mit]  Show IPA

verb (used with object), sub·mit·ted, sub·mit·ting.

1.

to give over or yield to the power or authority of another (often used reflexively).
Now just looking at the definition alone could give you the wrong impression about submission.  But I think the key word here in this definition is yield.

yield

 [yeeld]  Show IPA

verb (used with object)

4.

to give up or surrender (oneself)
5.

to give up or over; relinquish or resign: to yield the floor to the senator from Ohio.

As children of God we are to submit, surrender, yield our will to God.  He knows the plans He has for us (Jeremiah 29:11). He knows everything there is to know about us even before we were born (Psalm 139). He’s greater and can do far more than we ever could in our fallible humanness.

Here’s what I’ve learned about submission.  Maybe this will help to change your view:

Submission is for our protection, period.  When we submit to God, it means we’re in His will and are protected, yes protected.  Submitting to God shows that you trust Him with your life.  Not saying that this will be or is easy, not saying that what He tells you to do will always make you happy but it’s for protection.  We have to remember the advantage that God has; He’s omnipotent and omnipresent.  He knows all and sees all. So when He says yes to something, I look at it as everything’s all clear.  If He says no, or there’s a delay I look at it as if He’s working some things out on my behalf, hence Romans 8:28.

Submission in marriage, same thing, protection but also peace.  In marriage, God has set an order: God, Husband, Wife, Children, everything else. When the woman tries to take over or lead, hence being out-of-order, things get crazy and it goes against the order that God has set.  By me submitting to my husband, it means that I am trusting God’s order and His design for marriage.  I may not always agree with the decisions my husband makes but I have to trust that my husband and God have been communicating and when hubby makes the final decision then he’s heard from God and that’s that.  Which is why, single ladies, you need to have a man who knows God, trusts God, hears and submits to God. If not, there’s no telling where this man may lead you and your family! Submitting to my husband even when I think he’s wrong is me submitting to God, my husband is head.  If my husband makes a decision that isn’t what God wanted I still have to have complete trust in knowing that God will not let us fall, He knows we’re not perfect and that He has our backs.  By me obeying God and submitting to my husband, I’m protected and at peace.

Flowing in God’s order and submitting to Him gives us peace.  We’ve done our part by entrusting our lives to Him, He takes care of the rest.  Submission, in its divine purpose, brings peace and protection.  It’s God’s way of saying, I love you and want to protect you, stay close to me, abide in me.  You can’t get better protection than that!

Be blessed & encouraged,

Shannon

 

Categories

No Regrets!

no regretsOk, a moment of realness here!

Live your life now in a way that you will have no regrets when you’re married. You want to be a wife, start acting like one now!!  The man who God has set aside for you will have your heart.  You will be so in love with him! He will be all that you need and want spiritually and physically.  You will think about all the guys you’ve given yourself away to and will regret all that you allowed them to do to you.  You will regret letting them see what was meant for your husband.  You will wish that he’d been the only one who’s seen you naked, who’s touched your body, whose known you intimately.  What you do now matters!

You are not a car! You don’t need to test drive or be test driven to see if you’re a good fit with some guy.  Trusting God, you will never be disappointed! He created you and your future husband.  He knows how He created your vagina and how He created his penis.  He knows what you both will enjoy sexually.  He created the gift of sex and He created you! You have one body, save it for your husband.  Let him enjoy you and love you in a way that no one else ever will and you will be free of shame and guilt and be free to enjoy him.

Be blessed & encouraged!

Shannon

Categories

Who’s Your Hubby?

Is one of your greatest hopes, dreams, wishes…marriage? Finding the perfect hubby, having the perfect kids, perfect family? Well, what if… God’s plan is for you to stay single?  What if His plans to prosper you and give you hope and a future (Jeremiah 29:11) does not include marriage? To never marry a man, never have sex, but to be forever married to Him only?

We are all married to Him, if we have surrendered our lives to Him, but what if you are not supposed to marry, could you handle that?  Are you in a place in your life right now where you could actually say that you have totally surrendered all your hopes, wishes, and dreams to God and trust that whatever He has for you, you know that it’s for your good, He will see you through it and you will ultimately be satisfied with it as long as you keep your eyes on Him?  Have you become so engrossed with the picture of marriage and sex that the thought of letting go of that dream and trusting God with it makes you want to break down and cry?!  Even as a married woman, I still have to lie all of my hopes, wishes and dreams down at His feet and say, Lord, not my will, but yours! Married, single, widowed, divorced, we still have to trust Him and fight for our purity, fight to stay faithful to Him and His Word. Trusting His unconditional, undying, indescribable, all encompassing love for us! Whoo! Honestly, I feel as if I need Him more now in marriage and as a mom than I ever have!

It’s not easy! It’s not easy being married and I know that it’s not easy being single but see when I was single; I didn’t know God, not like I know Him now.  If I knew Him then like I know Him now, I would have known my worth, how loved I am and how precious, beautiful, worthy and awesome I was and am in Him! I’m not saying that you won’t have days where the hormones won’t try to take over but at least you know that you have God and He will help you to deal with those hormones, urges, and temptations.  Now, if you have not surrendered your life to Jesus then, unfortunately you are left to fight those battles on your own, and as a woman who fought them on her own, you will lose! Life is messy and crazy and without God, it’s downright scary! I couldn’t go back to a life without Him; He’s just too good to me!  He is still my husband and He loves me in ways that my husband in his human nature is incapable of. So husband or not, you will still be married to God, the lover of your soul, and that’s not a bad situation at all!

For he loves us with unfailing love; the LORD’s faithfulness endures forever. Praise the LORD!
Jesus replied, “‘You must love the LORD your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’
Long ago the LORD said to Israel: “I have loved you, my people, with an everlasting love. With unfailing love I have drawn you to myself.
O Israel, hope in the LORD; for with the LORD there is unfailing love. His redemption overflows.
Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good! His faithful love endures forever.

Be blessed and encouraged,

Shannon