Monday, January 23

Tearing down the impossible

I’m guest posting over at InCourage today and would love to have you visit me there by clicking here.  But first, let’s tear down something impossible today…

I distinctly remember the day my Dad brought home a typewriter.  His office had gotten these new machines called ‘computers.’  Something within me stirred and went wild at the thought of possessing a typewriter.

I loved the way it could strike and letter up a page of nothing and make it something.

Maybe, I could one day write a book?  The thought came and delighted me until I placed my hands on the keyboard.  And the only words that came to me were all the reasons I couldn’t possibly write a book.

The dream was silenced.

The same thing happened to me when the high school choir director announced we’d be doing a musical.  I got so excited.  I could see myself playing the lead role. Until I heard my friend practicing with bold assurance and booming accuracy.  Suddenly every note I sang felt painfully hollow.

The dream was silenced.

And then in my mid twenties I dared to tell a friend of mine I thought I might want to speak at the women’s event we were planning.  Originally, I was just going to help plan the event.  But the stirring to speak wouldn’t leave me.  So, I gave voice to my crazy thought.

She just tilted her head and said, “No.  I feel certain you aren’t supposed to speak.”

The dream was silenced.

Has this ever happened to you?  Voices within remind us of all the reasons we’re incapable.  Voices around us all seem more confident.  And the voices of the naysayers are just flat out rude.

Oh how impossibility loves to scream into gaps of silenced dreams.

But here’s the thing about impossible- there is some part of what we’re attempting that isn’t impossible.  All impossibilities have a weak spot.  And that’s the exact place where we must attack.

A book might seem impossible.  But that’s not where writers should start anyhow. There’s an article that could be written.  Or in today’s world a tweet that could be crafted.  Or a blog posted.

Write there.  In the weak spot of impossibility.

Maybe it’s your marriage that seems impossible.  Go against the grain of your hurt feelings and silent brush-offs.  Think on just one thing you do love about that man of yours today.  Send him a text about how much you appreciate that one thing.  Praise him for that one thing. Tell someone else about that one thing you noticed today.

Start there. In the weak spot of impossibility.

I don’t know what impossibility you might be facing today.

But remember- all impossibilities have a weak spot.  It’s there.  Ask God to show you where it is.  Ask God for just enough strength to attack there. Tear it down one good decision at a time.

And soon you will see, inside every impossible is the word “possible”… if only we dare to see it.

Discussion

  1. 1

    Thanks for encouragement, Lysa!

  2. 2

    My husband and I have been seperated since 10/1/11 after years of lies and mistrust regarding finances and other issues. I have been thru an emotional roller coaster taking care of my daughter, trying to make decisions based on what’s best for her, all the while my heart has been broken, but being strong as she has needed stability. I’ve followed all the attorneys advise, families advise, I have read all the books you can think of, I speak to my pastor on a regular basis, and have prayed for some sense of peace and resolution to this. I haven’t found it….after all the lies and mistrust and my own personal counseling, I still wish for my family to be together. I have tried to get past the anger and hurt and have moments where I feel I am okay to move on, but want my marriage to work. Now I am faced with the option of marriage counseling which my husband has made an appt for. How can I trust him again?

    • 3
      Tonilynn says:

      Kristen,

      I too am where you are and same troubles over trusting someone is ever so present in my every day life. I also seek the answers to your trust question and still after 19 months and trying to get past and over anger and hurt.

      I will keep you in thought and prayer.

    • 4

      Kristen, I have found in my own circumstance that sometimes, even though you can’t trust your husband, you can trust God. You can lean on Him completely and He can get you to wherever he wants you to go. Trust in the amazing plans that he might have for you and your husband. God dreams bigger than we ever could. He’s been known to make beautiful things out of broken ones. Sometimes we just have to step aside and let Him work. I’ll be praying for you and your marriage. I know how painful it can be.

    • 5

      Kristen,
      You & I are in basically the exact same boat! While still living in the same house, my husband & I have been separated since October. And just like you, it’s mostly over lies about financial matters & other things that have brought about such distrust & anger. My husband lied about every financial question & hid mail so that I was in utter shock when, while he was gone on a business trip, I opened a letter saying our house would be foreclosed on in 3 weeks! We’ve had to file bankruptcy to stop the action, but I wasn’t given the respect to be allowed to know it was coming. Hidden bank accts, hidden lawsuits, the money stolen from my hard-working teens’ accts–it’s all added up to too much for me to be able to breathe sometimes. With no consistent behavioral change from him since, & his missed appts with the counselor (& the months lapsed in-between), it’s hard to believe anything’s really going to change–though I honestly think he WANTS to change, I don’t really believe he’s going to follow through on all the work that change requires. My Christian counselors have said they think that legal separation (not divorce) is the only thing left that may wake him up. Hard to do with kids ages 21 on down to 9! But a fight turned physical last week, so this may be my only option left….
      Like you, I don’t want to be in counseling sessions WITH my husband. He’s a very good speaker & knows how to say all the right things at the right time–leaving it to look like I’M the only one with the problem. Trouble is, he’s worked in Christian ministry long enough to know what to say, but he’s never gotten down to being REAL. Makes it feel kinda pointless to go together when he’s able to spin answers in such a way that I can’t think of a response. We’re seeing licensed Christian therapists now though (well, mostly me), and I’m praying his counselor will see through the veil of spin & outright lies. I’m trying to deal with my distrust, anger, & bitterness with my counselor, but at some point we’ll have to go together & right now I dread those sessions. Please pray for me! I’ll certainly be praying for you!

      • 6
        Christine says:

        Jesus needs to be the number one priority in your life, you won’t be disappointed. Learn all you can about God’s love, ask Him to help you see your loved ones through His eyes. Forgiveness is a gift from God, pass it on. Pray for God’s will in your life, He knows best. Be thankful for all God is doing in your life, little is much if God is in it. Pray without ceasing, nothing is impossible for God. He will work for things out for your good, love and trust Him.

      • 7

        Hi Kristen and Collete,

        we all are in the same boat… christian counsellors tried the best to talk to my husband, but nothing worked. He is a man who can convince anyone. so no surprises. my 9year old daughter is with me, while 2months back he took my 6year old son with him and leaving 150km away. he has threatened my lill boy not to speak to me. He is showing his muscle power and takes my daughter for 1 hour. he is a man who left me for my relative. when i recieved a divorce notice from my husband, this relative of mine send divorce to her husband. she came to the country where we are, my husband took a flat for her and was living with her… in this muslim country. lucky they were, i was not aware of this, or by now both would have face this country worst punishment. she being my cousin sister, and who got 2 kids like mine [11/9] who am i to punish her or him? i have submitted them to God. Revenge is for God. i am learining to be still and be at his feet.
        i am praying as per His Words…Me and my household shall worship the Lord. Yes, that day is near.
        will pray for you… uphold me also n your prayer.

    • 8
      ophelia Thomas says:

      HI Kristen,
      Don’t give up!!! That is just what the enemy wants.. maybe your husband and you can be counseled by your pastor.. what you can’t six God can and will just give it to him, keep in prayer and God;s word meditate on his promises and what God wants for your marriage.. I have been in many tough patches in mine… but God has been working on me and Him I had to forgive my husband many times with things people to get divorced for… PLEASE DON”T Let the enemy still your marriage.. Hang in there God Bless you HUGS
      opheliathomas777 Google +

    • 9

      Kristen, you will not regain your trust in him overnight. Know that it’s going to be a process – a process that he’s going to have to be patient with and it’s his responsibility to regain it, not your responsibility to just give it – but you also already know that we must forgive to be forgiven. Please honor his action of making the appointment by attending the session. The fact that you still wish for your family to be together is God’s doing. The doubt of being able to trust him again is Satan’s doing. Listen to the Higher Power and He will not betray you. You’re a strong woman, an even stronger woman when Jesus is the pilot and you’re the co-pilot.
      My audacious prayer for you: Heavenly Father, our sister Kristen needs you. You know her heart and you know her husband’s heart. Lord we pray that you will remove all the doubt and anger and flood them with mercy and love. Marriage is so sacred. And they desperately need YOU to be the glue in their marriage. Lord, please take control and guide their marriage back to your path. We thank you in advance for barging in to their marriage and showing them the deep love that remains between the two of them. It is in your precious name we pray, Amen.

    • 10

      Kristen,
      I went through a divorce not long ago and the ONLY advice I can give u is “CRY TO GOD TO SHOW YOU WHAT HE WANTS”. I sure know how lies n other things can make u hard n wanna run away, but if deep, deep, deep inside you, u hear God’s voice telling u to go to counseling, give God a chance to givr u HIS miracle. God loves us n certainly wants the best for us. A divorce is very very painful n sometimes we think that the grass is greener on the other side. Let me tell u, “The grass is greener where u water it”. Never forget that!! Cry to Jesus, sister, Cry to Jesus, HE WILL SURE GUIDE YOU!! Be blessed!!!

    • 11
      Bridgett says:

      First you have to learn to trust yourself and trust that God will take care of your situation. A lot the time we like to blame the other person for what is wrong instead of looking at our own selves. God just wants us to give it him and he will take care of it but you have to believe. Until you fix how you think you will not trust him you will always have doubts. I am not an expert I just know from my own experience. I do hope this helps and I pray your marriage will work.

    • 12

      That can be a very lonely and scary place to be. I’ve been there and it is not easy. I had to learn to trust God before I could trust my husband. It was the very thing that brought me to my knees before my Lord. He was the only one that soothed my heart and brought me the “peace that surpasses all understanding” in the midst of deception and loneliness. The Lord “nudged” me to pray for my husband (that was really hard), not for God to change him but rather to allow me to see my husband thru HIS eyes not mine. I also asked my Lord to open my husband’s eyes “truth” because the deception was also destroying him. It was not a quick and easy journey, but as I truly began to put my trust in our Lord, he gave me wisdom and grace to walk through the dark times. This is can be be a long process, so DO NOT isolate…surround yourself with people who love you, celebrate you and bring you joy.. . People you CAN trust. Then pray for your husband (daily) and surrender him up to our Heavenly Father. Doens’t always mean we get what we want but God’s plans are always good, so regardless of the outcome you will be ok because the Lord says ” I will bless you with a future filled with hope—a future of success, not of suffering” Jeremiah 29:11. I kept telling myself…this is not what God has planned for me. God bless you.

    • 13

      Kristen,
      It is almost five years since my world was shattered to hear that my husband was accused of sexual harassment at work. Like you, the emotions were flying; hurt, hate, and humiliation. How can someone do this to me after giving EVERYTHING of myself. Even today, there are days that I still struggle. It is at that moment that I focus in prayer with our Lord. I give me the strength to get me through what the devil is trying to take away and conquer (our marriage). Over the course of these years I have found it much easier to trust him. Trust in HIM and he will give you the strength to trust again. I will keep you in my prayers.

  3. 14

    Great advice, Lysa.

    Something that helped me immensely when we were going through a rough marriage patch (and not the first one by a long shot!) was that I wrote down on a card some positive things about my husband and some things to pray for him. And this mantra: “Don’t focus on how far we are from perfect. Perfect doesn’t exist anyway. Focus on how far we’ve come.” Then I read the card and focused on those thoughts every morning. It helped over time.

    I could definitely apply your advice to some career changes I’m contemplating. I can still get pretty self-defeated in that area.

  4. 15

    Work full-time as an office manager with a part-time family photography business that is succeeding beyond my dreams. Husband (who didn’t care to spend time together or talk about anything of substance) is suddenly very moody about me heading out in the evenings for photography or doing work on the computer. I want to transition to full-time photography, but he is getting very angry about the time I spend in it. He wants me to focus my energy on cleaning the house and making meals. The kids have grown and started families of their own. He says I need to help raise the grandchildren. Am I being selfish? I know nothing is of value in this life more than pleasing Jesus. What to do?

    • 16

      This is so good. I have been to the point where I could not see “possible” in impossibility. My marriage crumbled with my husband leaving me and 3 children ages 20, 16, 14. He left for a younger woman. So painful. A part of me wants God to work it out and another part of me says “how can I ever trust you again”. I’m in God’s waiting room.

  5. 17

    Lysa, God bless you for your daily devotions on PS31 and on your on website. They are what get me to spend time in the Word and pray and contemplate things. I have a hard time doing something on a daily basis without some structure. Both of your sites bring inspiration, hope and the structure that I need to fulfill my spiritual life and my relationship with Jesus.
    Thank you for your daily hope when it feels like there is none. You are awesome!

  6. 18

    Your words are greatly appreciated. Thank you!

  7. 19

    I need prayers for my marriage and for my family. THere are so many times that I wonder what have I done, this man doesnt seem to love and cherish me like God loves and Cherishes his church as the bible says to do then that makes it very hard for me to submitt to him as the bible tells me to do. I am in a mess, we hardley ever get along and we have two precious children that sit and no matter how i try to protect them from this tension the see and feel it. I was a happy home and more importantly a Godly home for those two blessing. THey are my world. I love my husband too but the flam is groing dimmer and dimmer and i sometimes just want to leave cause I dont seem to think it will ever get better. But i know God doesnt want me to do that but I am so overwhelemed that I just don’t even know how to pray. My husband seem to conflict on every single parenting style and action, he believes that I love my church more than him and my kids whitch breaks my heart in pieces I could never love anything more than my kids, only God. But i know i am not being the Godly women I need to be to him but everyday i am hit with some critical comment or remark and it set fire to my burn dislike towards him. I am broken and need your prayers. I am so serious about getting my family together and Godly and doing what I need to do but I am so busy trying to fix it myself but I want God to take over all of my life and lead me I am so emotionally exhusted. I am a saved Christian just i can seem to let go of control .

  8. 20

    Dear Kristen,
    The Lord hears our prayers – knows the cry of our hearts – and is more than able to heal and work (even what feels like then end of our life!) for our good and His glory.
    I believe I understand at least part of what you are feeling and going through – ’cause I’m right there with you gerl!
    I can’t make it through another day ….. on my own ….. and neither can you.
    But our Heavenly Father will continue to carry us! HE ALONE is trustworthy! And HE will NEVER let us go! : ) One of the things Holy Spirit recently revealed to me (via a devotional written by Lysa) is that I made an idol out of my husband! I crossed the line of respect (which God calls wives to do) to worship (which is idoltry!) – as if my life, happiness, security, future, etc. depended on my husband – which is a lie!!
    I pray you will receive and experience the love, peace, comfort, hope, and joy of the Lord today and in the difficult days ahead. God bless you Kristen! He is always with you and will never leave you. (I’m telling or reminding myself of these truths as I write ;)

  9. 21

    Thanks for the message today. My husband and I are in a messy place. We have been married for 20 years and the last year we have lost everything and he has a drug problem he has been in and out of jail gone for weeks at a time on benges and I have tried to get him help. I dont know what I should do I dont know how to help him. I have givin him so many chances and so much of my love. He was a great man before he started going down the wrong path. When he is in jail he tells me he doesnt want to be this person anymore turns to the bible and makes me think he is becoming the man I want him to be, then when hes out he goes right back to it. we have 3 kids that dont understand why. we are a lost family right now im not sure how I can get my husband back and if he is really ready to quit. I am trying to stop the anger and bitterness not sure how anymore.

  10. 22

    To all the ladies with comments on your struggles:
    Yours brought tears to my eyes! I too see a counselor by myself to try and figure out how to come out of this mess of a marriage. The sad thing about your stories and mine is that I’ve yet heard my counselor or any of your experiences identify something that has truly worked! My counselor tells me that so many marriages are like ours and men in general are all alike. I deeply saddens me that this is what we should expect for our lives. What are we supposed to do? This couldn’t be what God intended? I often think it’s a sick joke of His but so often I hear that this hardship is what gets us to love and rely on him more. More often than not I feel like giving up. I wish I could change the way I feel…the hardest thing has been trying to change how I think. I hate the thought of living a lie but if it’s what it takes to be happy…

    • 23

      There is a resource that has helped me as my husband is addicted to pornography and I have wrestled with divorce for 10 years. The website is http://www.divorcehope.com and can help clear up several things that are being taught by sme churches. I agree that marriage is a sacred covenant but it is not a permanent covenant. God made a covenant with Isreal several times but broke it because of their unrepentant sinning. Divorce should always be a last option, when everything has failed.

  11. 24

    Thank you Lysa for your encouragement. We have to remember that our man is not defined by his sins. He is made up of many different things not just the sin. It’s important when things get down to what seems like a dark pit to look at the positive things that made you love him in the first place. Those things are going to provide the rays of hope to get you through another day. The lies of Satan can shout out the negative things about your husband loud and clear. Listen to the voice of truth and love. Showing him grace and mercy can also bring about healing in your own life when the trust has been broken. If he is living in guilt and shame that will keep the cycle of fear going and no healing can take place. You want a cycle of love in your marriage not fear. “Perfect love casts out fear.” 1 John 4:18. The last thing I wanted to do was forgive my husband for his infidelity and stay with him but God showed me that love is stronger than my hurt. Sins do not make you who you are. They are mistakes or times of poor judgement not what defines you. Make a list of the positive things you love about your husband and focus on those when Satan tries to tell you your love for God and your husband are not enough. Just trust in God alone to get you through everything. He is the only one who will never let you down and never let you go!

  12. 25
    stephanie says:

    I have been separated from my husband for 5 weeks now, due to abuse and anger issues from him. He is doing a study by Almond Tree for his anger. The study calls it SIN. I have lived w/his abuse early in the marriage. Separated while I was pregnant w/#2, we seeked counseling. I was told that I needed to not push his buttons and to watch for his “tells”. That’s how I lived for another 10 years. I’d see his tells, the fear would come rushing in, I’d walk away or say, your flinging your arms around(one of his tells) and he’d defuse. We didn’t have any actual abuse episodes, just the fear of it. Then in 2011 he threw my son up against some plywood, I didn’t see it, justified it that our son was mouthing off(we have had a problem w/his attitude). Then last Nov. he slapped my son across the face. I justified it again, that he mouthed off, and I have slapped my daughter’s face for mouthing off to me. Then on March 21st 2012, he attacked my daughter and hit her several times in the face and head, called her a B, and then came after our son. My son instinctively covered his head, jumped out of the way, and my husband didn’t hit him. I told my husband he needed to leave, and he did.
    I was there to see it, and we filed a report on him that night. That was the first time I ever went to the authorities. They weren’t able to do anything. There was no physical proof, and it was only the first time I reported it.
    I can’t live in fear and neither can my kids. My husband is going through the Almond Tree study, meeting w/our Pastor, doing a men’s Bible study and meeting w/2 other elders from our church. The “secret” is out, and I know God has a verse about sin can’t exist in the light.
    I need a miracle. That is what I am asking anyone who will pray for us, to pray for. I know God can do it. I also know that Satan is fighting us every step of the way too.
    I’m reading my Bible, talking w/a Christian counselor(our 2 older kids are too), Bible Study on Love, and talking w/firm Christ centered women from our church.
    If you feel led to, please pray for my husband and I, that God will perform a miracle in our lives and marriage.
    Thank you,
    All of you are covered by me prayers too. I know there are others that are too ashamed to ask for help, just know that God is here for each and every one of us, and He doesn’t fail us, humans fail us.

  13. 26

    I’ve cried to God and each time I do I hit rock bottom again with my marriage. Lies, about stuff he’s told me is not true and I found out other wise, lies about money, lies about stupid stuff! It’s so frustrating! I have turned to a good friend for help who knows both of us and I’ve suggested marriage counseling to no avail! I just continue to pray and make excuses for him, but there has to come a time where he finally puts me first and puts our family first. We have two WONDERFUL daughters almost 3 years old and almost 1 (wow I can’t believe they are that old), and he has no patience with them and treats me awful too. He’s never gotten physical in the 4 years of our marriage, but I have feared it on more than one occassion. I don’t know what to do! He has been through a lot in the last year, and I try to say that’s why he has taken a turn for the worse in his attitude to our marriage, but I really just wonder if he thinks he got into more than he can handle. Lord, tell me what to do! I need to know what to do! I can’t do this on my own!

  14. 27

    I am sitting here with tears in my eyes. My heart breaks for the hurt and dispair I hear in each one. I have been where some of you are – betrayed, hurt,lonely, ready to give up. But at my absolute lowest, when I could no longer carry my hurts I literally cried out to Jesus. I knew that I could not bear the pain any longer. Give Him your cares and He will carry them for you. Wait on His perfect timing and trust Him. And pray, pray, pray for Him to touch your husband’s heart. God Bless each of you.

  15. 28

    Fellow ladies,
    Do not give up on your men. GOD gave him to you. You may not believe it but they NEED US very much only that they are inwardly too proud and selfish to let us know it. The answer is PATIENCE and PRAYER. Do good to them even though they hurt us. Forgive again and again and again and stay put!. Do not return evil with evil. No situation is permanent. Change is round the corner. GOD WILL CHANGE HIM AT THE RIGHT TIME.

  16. 29

    Dear Lysa, that was so encouraging. I am at the point where I am not sure how I feel about my husband anymore. He has put me and the children through so much pain, and I am scared to think of giving it another try. Please pray for me to be able to get over this fear, I am unable to do it on my own.

    God bless you.

    Rita

  17. 30

    Praying for those struggling in their marriages! We have been here too, with addictions, lies, adultery, etc. Sometimes tough love is necessary to salvage a marriage, been there many times! I started attending Celebrate Recovery (a Christ centered recovery ministry) for a support group, that helped me tremendously. My life radically changed as I was accountable for my own actions and worked on me. Counseling was a blessing, and continues to be a blessing. I will never be able to change my spouse, only HE can, but I can work on me and see what character defects he wants to change in me. I have to let go of control, and allow God to step in, if I am constantly enabling, or being codependent, there will not be consequences for his actions. For so many years I lived in denial, thinking he was the only problem, but God showed me clearly that I had issues to deal with too! Keep praying for your spouse, and asking the Lord to show you areas you need to address too! A marriage is two partners contributing. Nothing is impossible with GOD!

  18. 31

    i cant see the good anymore all i see is the bad the commets my husband makse more rude and mean then anything nice. whenever he doesnt get his way he throws a fit and tell mr h is gonna divorce me or leave i am at a point where i stil want to be married to him but i dont think he does i know there is somthing deeper in him he isnt a christain but i see gos working in him i am just tired and it feel impossible. we also have a 16 mo old daughter jessica and the way steven acts os not ok around her but this is not him at all.