We left off last week with Jesus coming into my life. I felt wonderful and new. I fooled myself into thinking I didn’t need to look my past in the eye and deal with it. That took place in 2000.
In 2002 Patrick and I had our beautiful daughter, our princess. That same year Patrick came to know Christ as His Savior.
Sometime between 2003 and 2005 I began having an emotional affair. Before this time I had “dabbled” in my thought life. Thinking things about men I knew I shouldn’t. The thoughts didn’t last long and I would move on.
This time the thoughts took on a life of their own.
I shared my struggles with a close friend. But as my thoughts consumed me I hid them from her so she couldn’t help me.
I begged God for two years to take away these thoughts. I knew they were wrong. But I also told myself I wasn’t hurting anyone. What would a few thoughts do to a marriage?
One Sunday at church our pastor took some pottery and broke it into shards. He gave each of us a piece. We wrote down something we struggled with and then placed our brokeness on the cross.
I wrote down “lust.” I still see it every Sunday, because that cross stands on the platform as I lead worship.
I gave it away, yet I didn’t walk away.
I think I over simplified my issue. The product of my sin was lust but the root was pride and power.
I felt powerful when I had these thoughts. That was a complete lie. The thoughts had power over me.
Blinded by power, I didn’t see my pride. The rules didn’t apply to me so I could think what I wanted.
I started planning ways to end my marriage. I convinced myself I would never be happy with my husband and I just needed to do him a favor and release him.
During this time I read an article in a Christian magazine. The article was about emotional affairs and referred to the book Every Women’s Battle. I was shocked to learn I wasn’t the only Christian woman who struggled with this problem.
You see, I began to question my faith. I mean, if I thought these unholy things how could I call myself a Christian? Reading that article helped me to realized I wasn’t alone.
But I still didn’t walk away.
I believe this grew more intense for several reasons. I was around this man a lot. I put myself in a situation in which I spent a great deal of time with him. Patrick even made comments about this other man wanting to date me if I didn’t have a ring on my finger. He had no idea I was struggling with impure thoughts and his comments only fueled the fire inside me.
One more factor played into my issues; I wanted another child. Patrick did not.
I wanted to be okay with having an only child. I started reading books on the best way to raise an only and I tried to convince myself everything would be good.
Jealousy burrowed a hole in my heart as I watched other women have babies.
I told myself if I divorced Patrick I could have a child with this other man.
In the summer of 2005 everything exploded. I can’t even tell you how because I don’t remember, but it did. I confessed everything to Patrick. Not out of wanting to repent but because I wanted out of my marriage.
I said things like, “I never loved you. I should have called off the wedding before we even got married. I’m not happy.”
Patrick persisted in fighting for me. He searched the Word and spoke truth into my life, even though I didn’t want to hear it.
I was very confused. I didn’t really know what I wanted after Patrick started fighting for me. I finally told him I believed a major reason I wanted out was because I wanted another child and it hurt me deeply that he refused.
Patrick confessed something to me; God had spoken to him about having another child.
His story is very powerful so I want to give Patrick the opportunity to share with you next week.
I hate to leave you hanging, but isn’t that what good storytellers do?
We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. 2 Corinthians 10:5 (NIV)
How about you, have you struggled with your thought life? No need to share details, but can you share how you have overcome thoughts in your own life that could have been destructive?