Perspective is everything, don't you think?
Experiencing any kind of betrayal or rejection is breeding ground for all manner of negative thinking which can sprout into negative behavior. In relationships that involve betrayal, it's not uncommon for us to take on feelings and label ourselves with words and concepts that came to us from our betrayers. Some of my self-misperceptions were that I was:
Unloved — Ruined — Thrown Out — Replaced — Unworthy — A Pathetic Mess
My husband used to call me a "train-wreck" and a "wrecking ball". I was a wreck alright! I was wrecked by a man who trampled over the intimacy of marriage with many years of lust, deceit and lies, pornography, and other marital misconducts...finally leading to a two year affair and then divorce.
I remember when I was trying to recover from betrayal in my marriage, I kept praying that God would change my husband's heart so he would want to enter counseling, leave the other woman, and try to work on our marriage, but that never happened. Instead, the uprooting began...our marriage broke apart, as did the other woman's marriage. My husband stayed with her as I watched everything we owned start to disappear. He brought her into the lives of my friends and some of my family, moved her here from out of state, and worked continually to facilitate our adult children's embracing of her. He bought her a beautiful home and car right after he manipulated our finances in court to show great financial debt and struggle, and then he married her in the presence of my children, some family, and my old friends. I literally watched as his plans fell right into place, moving her into what was once my life.
There were so many years of deep heartache and pain for me! Growing and thriving was not even a thought while I was stuck just trying to survive and heal. Lysa Terkeurst explained my mental predicament so well in her book Uninvited; the title alone summed it up for me--I was "uninvited" to my own family and life. I had been completely uprooted!
Unfortunately, after all the changes I'd experienced, the piece that didn’t change, that stayed familiar to me day after day after day (and that I wished had left along with my past life) were the negative thoughts about myself. These thoughts seemed to hang on me like a disease on a tree, causing me such struggle in my efforts to blossom and grow godly fruit in my life.
So when it becomes clear that an unhealthy partner is contaminating us with emotionally abusive behavior, why do we stamp these negative feelings on ourselves as if they come from someone reputable? And worse, why do we believe that is who we really are! There is no way to heal, grow, and thrive while being poisoned by these lies.
So much is finally behind me--Thank God! And I've done like we all do once we've gotten far enough away from the crisis; I had a paradigm shift! Studying the word of God renewed my mind, and now I have a new perspective. THE RIGHT PERSPECTIVE!
SO NOW I SEE IT AS…
God saw the damaging stressors of being married to a man who had no regard for me or for God, and He decided to TRANSPLANT me! Just like trees at the nursery get tagged, I got tagged! Instead of a tag with a "D" for Divorce tied on me, God tied on a tag with a "T" for Transplant!
Like I said, perspective is everything, SO…
I am NOT Unloved! God loved me so much to dig me out of where I was.
I am NOT Ruined! I had lost hope from loss and heartache, but then Jesus fulfilled my longing heart.
I am NOT Thrown Out! God was taking me to be planted in a new, safe place.
I am NOT Replaced! I was being placed where I could grow and produce fruit.
I am NOT Unworthy! I am worthy enough to be tenderly cared for by The Gardener Himself!
I am NOT A Pathetic Mess! Nothing my God touches stays a mess, but His hand brings restoration and flourishing.
Serious gardeners will tell you the way to cure plant shock from transplanting is to:
In looking back at my "shocking" marriage crisis and divorce recovery, the Lord cared for me in a way of curing my shock from being transplanted! He was gentle and comforting (better than sugar if you ask me, and calorie free). He pruned me (which didn't feel great, by the way). I was kept well watered by His Word. And He waited patiently for me to take root and begin growing.
So what do I say about getting the right perspective? I'd say go green! Or better yet, grow green!
Don't believe what man says about you, BELIEVE GOD. John 7:38 says, "Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them."
As Priscilla Shirer teaches in The Armor of God, let's always be renewing our minds from the negative self-talk that the enemy wants us to hear. Use God's truth to combat the lies, no matter where they come from.
Remember when destructive people are wreaking havoc in your life, God is in the process of turning evil for good. All things will work together for His good for those who love God and are called to His purpose. If you feel like you're being uprooted and you're surrendered to God, just know that He is transplanting you to a place where the soil is rich and the water is plentiful. The wrong perspective tells us that horrible things are being done to us, but the right perspective will know God is digging us up, carrying us, replanting us, curing our shock, and waiting patiently for growth, blossoms, and fruit.
I love being cared for by The Gardener! I can trust Him because He is trustworthy! I look forward to my season of blossoms and fruit.
~Here are some other Scriptures for thought and meditation~
1 Thessalonians 5:23-24
May the God of peace himself sanctify you wholly; and may your spirit and soul and body be kept sound and blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. He who called you is faithful, and he will do it.
They who sow in tears will harvest with rejoicing.
I will restore the years the swarming locust have eaten, the hopper, the destroyer, and the cutter, my great army, which I sent among you. You shall eat in plenty and be satisfied, and praise the name of the Lord your God, who has dealt wondrously with you. And my people shall never again be put to shame.
From Psalm 80
You brought a vine out of Egypt; you drove out the nations and planted it. You cleared the ground for it; it took deep root and filled the land.
From Lamentations 3
The Lord is good to those who wait for him, to the soul who seeks Him.
It is good that one should wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord.
The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases;
His mercies never come to an end;
Great is thy faithfulness.
Laura serves as the Executive Director on the board of HER. She is passionate about helping betrayed women who struggle emotionally, spiritually, psychologically, and financially. She has been leading weekly marital betrayal support groups for several years. Currently, Laura connects with leaders, writers, and counselors, to unite the efforts of those who share a burden for betrayed women.
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