Truth for your day

Saturday, August 11th, 2018

This week – I was acutely reminded of the pain of the first days and weeks following Jason’s disclosure of his secret past.  The gut-wrenching – deer in headlights – I think I’m going to vomit sort of pain that brings us all to our knees.

The good news is (because I’m always looking for the brighter side) is Jason is living with integrity and living a godly life with purpose.  He is all in.  I as well am all in and living a life trying to pursue God and His path for me and not my own (the struggle is real!).  Yes – the good news is Jason and I are together and intact and fighting strong.

While I know sharing particulars here isn’t wise – the last few days have brought back some of the priceless and ever-so-important realities that I had to mine for in the weeks and months following Jason’s confessions.

So if you are new on this journey or a seasoned veteran like myself – I think you will appreciate hearing what keeps bubbling up in my head as we wade through the waters –

There isn’t a one of us that can fully prevent bad things from happening.  As much as I’d like to believe I can be perfect – this week has reminded me once again that it’s impossible.  God is the only one in this life that is perfect.  We are not.  I heard this quote yesterday and appreciated it – “I am careful not to confuse excellence with perfection.  Excellence I can reach for, perfection is God’s business.”  -Michael J Fox

Boy, did I struggle early on in our journey with questions such as – how could I have prevented this?  How could I have prevented myself from marrying a sex addict?  How could I have somehow been a better wife, a better lover so that this wasn’t my story?

The truth is – bad things happen to good people and it wasn’t my fault – but it was so hard to get there.  Especially when I suffered consequences as if it were my fault.

Isolation breeds fear.  It’s critical to talk about it.  One of the hardest things we will ever do is to share our pain with someone else.  I can remember 15 years ago – how I held onto my story.  Wondering if I just didn’t tell anyone – maybe it wouldn’t be real.  However – holding it all inside for month after month sickened me.  There was so much fear that I carried around inside of me.  John 11:10 says “but if anyone walks in the night, he stumbles, because the light is not in him.”

When we choose to drag what is dark into the light – no matter how scary it is – there is always freedom awaiting us.  It certainly doesn’t take away the consequences or the reality of the choices made by those we love (or made by ourselves for that matter) – but it does something powerfully healing when we share our truth with someone else that we consider safe.

My heart aches for all the women out there that haven’t shared their stories with a single soul.  That, my friends, is why I believe so much in these support groups.  Because it’s a place where you can share your story and work toward being real, true and authentic.

I’m reminded (and oftentimes forget) I’m no better than anyone else.  Then tragedy strikes and I’m back on my knees, realizing none of us are better-than.  It comes back to humility and there is nothing like the humbling work that Jesus does in our lives.  It’s painful.  It’s harsh.  And it’s also necessary.  Because living from a place of lowliness – continually choosing hands wide open, asking God to get us through the next minute, the next hour – there is such a sweet richness there that can quickly fade when life is throwing us Care Bears and rainbows.

What good will come from this?  I remember asking God – how will you redeem this?  How in the world could any good come from it?  I heart Genesis 50:20 when Joseph says to his brothers years after they betrayed him – “what you meant for harm, God meant for good.  The saving of many lives.”

Oh God – how much we all want that for our stories – for it NOT to be for harm but instead be for good.  And for not just one life to be saved because of our pain but for many lives to be saved.  Yes – that’s what we want!

Here’s to hoping that when you read this post – you are resting in God’s goodness – even if you feel like you are at the bottom of the food chain.  xo – Shelley

10 thoughts on “Truth for your day

  1. Erin

    August 13, 2018  |  06:11 am

    “Especially when I suffered consequences as if it were my fault.” – YES YES YES!!!

    “My heart aches for all the women out there that haven’t shared their stories with a single soul. That, my friends, is why I believe so much in these support groups. Because it’s a place where you can share your story and work toward being real, true and authentic.” – AGREED! I’m so thankful that I’m in one of those groups, Shelley! Those women have been my lifeline on more than one occasion! I’ve shared things with them I’ve not shared with anyone else and frankly, was scared to even admit to myself. I was met with understanding and love.

    We love you and are cheering you on, too!! XO!

    • Shelley Martinkus

      August 17, 2018  |  02:16 pm

      Awe! Thank you Erin!!! I hear you on sharing things with the girls that you were afraid to even admit out loud to yourself! You are doing great work! Keep going honey! xo

  2. caroline

    August 17, 2018  |  05:27 am

    I love this
    “…Isolation breeds fear. It’s critical to talk about it. One of the hardest things we will ever do is to share our pain with someone else…(and this)…When we choose to drag what is dark into the light – no matter how scary it is – there is always freedom awaiting us…”

    A bit risky too, you poke up your head and sometimes you get whacked twice and from opposite sides!

    But its worth that risk to finally be known in all your sorrow. And maybe enduring, a few ill informed whacks now and then teaches us how NOT to respond to another’s pain story.

    • Shelley Martinkus

      August 17, 2018  |  02:15 pm

      Such a great point Caroline – a few ill informed whacks DOES teach us how to not respond!!!! I always love your thoughts. And I am reading the books you sent me. So I’m thinking of you often. xo

  3. Erika

    August 27, 2018  |  05:27 pm

    There are so many good points in this entry! One that stood out to me the most is that good comes from this. I remember reading that in Rescued, but I was skeptical that would be true for me. Perhaps, even unbelieving. Although I had seen God work in my life, and take what was meant for evil and use it for good, I could not fathom, in this situation, how God possibly could use it for good. The pain was so deep and the circumstances seemed so bad. I STRUUUGGGLLLED! Like Jacob, I wrestled with God. I can say now that I have seen glimpses of good come from it. I believe more good is still to happen.

    • Shelley Martinkus

      August 30, 2018  |  07:14 am

      Oh I hear you Erika – It is so hard for my mind to see how God could turn some things that are so painful, so hurtful into something good. In some ways – it feels like slap in the face if that makes sense. Kinda like when well-meaning people say – “well, there is a reason for everything.” As if that makes me feel any better?! Because no – it doesn’t.

      I have a question for you – would you be open to sharing what the glimpses of good have been for you?

      Love seeing your voice here, Erika. xo

  4. Chelle

    September 9, 2018  |  01:17 pm

    “ There isn’t a one of us that can truly prevent bad things from happening “
    How many times have I mulled this over in my mind , if only, why didn’t i, how could this have happened?
    It wasn’t my choice , or my fault… but it’s my pain I feel .
    This has made me so much more aware of others pain
    Of others journies, of how hurting people hurt people ..
    I pray that now , I am a kinder soul
    Less judgmental
    More gracious…

    My support group !!
    I think I’d be divorced
    Or worse without it

    These girls are lifelines, full of love , wisdom, prayer warriors, Jesus loving walking wounded and I wish I’d met them under different circumstances
    But maybe I would not have ..
    And I can’t imagine my life without them and I hope our houses are on the same street in Heaven ♥️

    • Shelley Martinkus

      September 9, 2018  |  04:33 pm

      This is so sweet friend. Not sure how you added that little heart but I would add one here as well if only I knew how! Every day that we choose to risk by loving others – whether it be our husbands, our friends, our families – we also surrender that we might get hurt by them – whether intentional or not. It’s a hard reality to swallow. Add to that – while we get hurt in relationship – we also heal in relationship. Oh boy! I love what you said about being more aware of other people’s pain. Isn’t that the truth?! I never ever want that to change. Love you sweet friend! and love what you said about the group. xo – Shelley

  5. Erika

    October 15, 2018  |  10:10 am

    You asked what glimpses of good have I seen so far.

    1) I see how God has changed my heart. I can now see my husband as more than just his addiction. That was a hard one for me and took three years. The change had to occur so I did not remain judgmental and become bitter.

    2) Also, I now look at opportunities to form new and good memories. This took time because I grieved for a LONG time. The new memories have taken the sting out of the bad ones.

    3) I have met AMAZING women that I cannot imagine my life without now. They have given counsel when I asked, listened while I cried many tears, and have enriched my life in so many ways.

    4) Most importantly, my relationship with God has grown deeper and I have been strengthened by the power of the Holy Spirit. I have learned there is no ending to His depths.

    • Shelley Martinkus

      October 15, 2018  |  12:09 pm

      Erika – It means so much that you circled back and answered these questions! I believe they will be a balm for other women that read this post. I just want to also comment – hearing you say you see your husband as more than an addiction is BIG. And creating new memories – yes, yes, yes. It’s a treasure to see how God has healed parts of your sweet heart. xoxo

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