We’ve talked about the Unchained conference here before, but there’s one thing I must confess. It took everything in me to just to show up there.
When I purchased my ticket, I was ecstatic! I had read 4 of Vicki’s books and couldn’t wait to actually meet her. Yet when I arrived at the Sheraton Friday evening, a little early so I could help with check-in, my heart was so heavy I had a hard time plastering on that fake smile.
Because all week I had been struggling with a huge burden– I thought my marriage of 15 years was over.
I was pretty unhappy with God for letting me endure so much hardship. I didn’t want to be in a room full of Christian women where I would have to pretend I was fine. I was not fine! I had reached one of the lowest points of my life, and I felt God had let me down.
But I knew God wanted me to go to the conference, so I went. And I had a good time. Vicki gave some great tips on letting go of the fairytale women so desperately desire and the shame we harbor in our souls when we hide our sin. Funny how much of what she said was what God had been whispering to me over the past few months.
I didn’t have any cool breakthroughs while I was there. God didn’t give me any astounding words (I don’t know that I would have even heard Him). Frankly, I was glad when it was over so I could go back to the privacy of my home. I still had to figure out what to do about my marriage.
But I was only home for a couple hours before we got into another fight.
I jumped in the car and raced to the waterfront, throwing angry words at God in my fury. How could we go through months of marriage counseling and still end up at this point? If my husband was just going to give up, why was God telling me to hold on?
Why was I wasting my time, energy and prayers on something that would never get better?
Then my husband called to check on me. He insisted that he hadn’t changed his mind, that he still wanted to work it out and stay married. That led to a 4 hour conversation over the phone. Which led to more conversations over the next couple weeks, and soon we were talking like we had never talked before, discussing issues that had been glossed over. And really listening to each other.
Then a couple weeks ago he shocked me by asking why I wasn’t writing about our marriage struggles in my blogs. He said I could encourage a lot of women by giving tips on praying and persevering when marriage is hard and your husband is stubborn.
So, after talking with God about it (I’m not mad at Him anymore) I took a huge risk. I told the world about my failing marriage on my personal blog (jencudmore.com
). And I’m astounded by all the supportive comments I get every time I write a post about the struggles I’ve endured.
Like Vicki said in her book and at the conference, you will be blessed when you confess your problems to others and stop hiding your shame. You never know who you will encourage.
Blessings to you in the midst of your mess, Jen
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