Dangerous prayers? Who wants to pray dangerous prayers like “Break me”? I know I didn’t, but four years ago I did—and it’s a time in my life and marriage I will never forget.
In February 2012, I remember waking up in the middle of the night to discover my husband was having an affair and was addicted to pornography. Emails and text messages burned images into my mind and shattered my heart and I remember thinking to myself, “We have been down this road before. Why God, why is this happening again, why this time?” God answered my prayer to be broken quickly.
You see, I needed to be broken completely, my husband needed to be broken along with our marriage. We were not where we needed to be in our relationship with each other, ourselves or with Jesus. I remember wanting to throw in the towel because I was so angry and hurt. I didn’t want to do this again. But God whispered to my heart, “Just hold on….trust Me, this will be painful, but it will all be worth it.”
I was broken and fully dependent on God, because I was scared to death of what lay ahead. This wasn’t about me, this was about a man, my husband, Josh, who was finally ready to be free from the addictions that were controlling his life. We sat on the couch, just crying and holding each other. I looked at him straight in the eye, and I told him, “If you are willing to do whatever it takes to get better, then I will walk through the fire with you.” And that is just what we did. We walked through the fire of brokenness, restoration and healing together.
Josh and I went through intense marriage therapy, both separately and together. Later we were blessed with the chance to go away for five days to a marriage retreat where we spent eight hours a day going through intensive marriage therapy. It was the most painful and precious five days we spent as we learned so much about ourselves. God was taking us to new levels of healing in our marriage.
We learn early in life what marriage looks like from how we were raised, and out of those years of growing up we learn to cope with our feelings. I know for me, I grew up feeling not good enough, powerless, unloved, and rejected, and so I would stuff my feelings, act out by doing drugs, or try to people-please. But what I learned is that is not who God says I am. God says that we are loved, treasured, and self-controlled, and therefore we will seek to understand our spouse, be compassionate, and remain respectful.
I like what Pastor Craig preached about during Dangerous Prayers when he said, “Your most effective ministry will come out of your deepest hurts.”
Josh and I left that marriage retreat full of hope and fire because we could not wait to share this with other couples. Today, we lead groups of couples by sharing with them what we learned so that they can take their marriages to new levels of trust, communication, and healing.
Are you holding something back? Maybe it’s time to ask God to break you!