It was the bravery I noticed the most when I looked around at the wives in the room; their heads held high – a little too high – as if trying to prove their value and remember their worth; trying desperately to stand tall in the middle of the mess.
This wasn't the marriage they daydreamed about when they were young girls thinking about their future.
I could see them nearly drowning. They knew they had to lift their faces because they were gasping for the fresh air above the Sea of Unspoken trying to get a full breath.
If they looked down the tears behind their eyes would pour out, flooding the room but then people would ask questions they had no easy answers to. Their broken hearts, they protected with prayer, were easy to spot even though, with everything they could, they tried to appear more together than any of them really were.
It was just a regular Sunday during worship and through the thick sorrow they were trying to still show respect to the men they vowed to love, but when the respect isn't returned... it gets tougher year after year. They get more worn with every discovery as if it was a punch in the stomach; though a physical punch may hurt less.
The secret tiptoes of unwanted, impossible Competition, always present and always a constant distraction, stealing their husbands' daydreams.
The desire of the women; to be the sole part in those daydreams but the subtle and sometimes obvious 362,436 reminders keep whispering louder and LOUDER how “not enough” the wives are. ...Beautiful enough. ...Sexy enough. Worthy enough to hold their husbands' attention and affection.
Dear Beautiful Women, please hear this:
God said there was no helpmate suitable for man. And God could have chosen ANY way and He CHOSE to create YOU as a solution.
Genesis 2:18, 22
18 The Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.”
22 Then the Lord God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man.
And then I saw the husbands; their shoulders slumped over from the weight of the shame and secrets they choose to carry – as if fully tricked into the lie that they have no choice in the matter.
They were lifting their hands in praise. Well ...almost.
I could see their arms were so heavy as if chained with invisible weights designed in hell, itself. And it was a strained effort to praise, knowing what they know about themselves and wishing they could shut up the nagging, constant pull of a curse the enemy cast out to lure them, hook them, and hold them hostage, each doing the very thing he'd never want to do; destroy the heart and trust of the wife he was blessed with.
Men who have been SO wrongfully told by the world to stuff down their feelings ...until the ONLY emotion that shows is a shade of anger which does nobody any good, are struggling in sin as the enemy threatens to steal hope of ever being free to speak or to breathe.
I saw the husbands sitting not too close to the wives because of the pew space that Disrespect and its intruder friend of Unforgiveness demanded.
I saw husbands and single men holding women in sexual bondage...
I saw women too afraid to let anyone know what they see and hear and read...
And that all too visible guilt as heavy as an anvil dragging, always following close behind the choices made again and again... and again.
You don't have to choose to keep doing life that way.
It's all empty. And the wages of sin is death; death of conscience, death of vows, death of purity, death of promises, death of trust, death of respect....
For the wages of sin is death,
but the gift of God is eternal LIFE in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 6:23
Jesus says to cast ALL cares on Him BECAUSE He cares for you.
Ladies, have you forgotten? You don't have to carry that burden. Jesus says to cast ALL cares on Him BECAUSE He cares for you.
Please give this to God in prayer.
Yes it's true that women (and men) should want to dress modestly and carry themselves in ways that don't tempt each other because we're to keep the marriage bed holy and pure.
Marriage should be honored by ALL, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral. Hebrews 13:4
This means: If it's not my marriage bed I don't belong in it; watching it, hearing about it, reading about it.... even when I'm single.
God didn't say if someone gives consent it's okay.
It's just not.
And movie and tv producers and pornography producers and actors are not given exception to this. Every knee will bow and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord.
AND if YOU lust, YOU need to look the other way.
Matthew 18:9 And if your eye causes you to stumble, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to enter life with one eye than to have two eyes and be thrown into the fire of hell.
You have been gifted power.
You have been given CHOICE!
You are to TAKE every thought and MAKE it obedient to Christ.
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
If you weren't capable of this, God wouldn't have said so.
People justify sin by saying that God doesn't care what we do.
He not only cares what we DO but He even cares what we THINK.
Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Philippians 4:8
First though, it's not “your” addiction.
Stop claiming that it's yours.
People act like they like their trash; snuggle up to it as if it's an old friend.
It's an addiction. And it doesn't BELONG to you.
Second, our God STILL loves, redeems, restores, heals, and forgives.
He IS The Healer.
Literally, right now open your mouth and claim healing.
OH! If we claimed healing as quickly as we speak about “my” addiction or “my” whatever!
Don't you see?
The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; Jesus came that you may have life, and have it abundantly. [Found in John 10:10]
When you know your worth and other people's worth, you see people through a healthy lens; not a perverted one.
I'm just writing out loud.
This is all so very close to my heart... because the sad truth is; if there had been cameras everywhere (like there are now) when I was younger, I would have been that girl in the films. And I wasn't aware of the trap I was in. I can promise you that people in the films and magazines aren't aware either.
But, Darling, it's not only pornography.
People everywhere – whether single or married – are just sleepwalking through days as if they lost free choice and have no power over anything anymore.
If you look not even that closely you can see the half-written, unfulfilled dreams people know somehow in the deepest part of their spirit they could accomplish if these chains would just let loose.
They think they can't tell others about the sin or the dreams because it's too unbelievably impossible for whatever reason.
But, Beautiful You, it's not!
He is The God of the impossible.
Please wake up!
Please get up!
People need you to do what God knitted into you.
He has work for you to do.
– being confident of this, that HE who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. Philippians 1:6
God WROTE INTO YOU some impossible things that ONLY He can bring to reality with NO ONE ELSE but you.
Stop looking around at other people for validation (church leaders, mom or dad, people who you think are better qualified) or to supply the education and the resources you need to do the work He wrote into you.
Your Father ADORES you and prayer makes the difference and your faith moves mountains.
The same God who did not let the oil and flour run out in 1 Kings 17 is STILL God. He STILL does miracles.
Even when you can't trust anyone or anything else HE can be trusted.
Please, for the life of your soul, open your mouth AND PRAISE HIM!
Oh Lord, please restore what's been stolen!
Wake the sleeping! Redirect our feet and fix our eyes and minds on You.
In Jesus' Holy Name, I ask for prison doors to open and the shackles to fall loudly onto the floor! Let our hands be light and easy to raise to You.
In Jesus' Beautiful Name, amen.
Between the ages of 9 and 49 Kerri Valor learned a lot about abuse;
sexual, emotional, verbal, religious, and physical abuse.
God sees everything and nothing is wasted.
While it would be easy to stay in a victim mindset,
Kerri has been able to see how God allowed her to learn along the way.
She developed a deep insight into the issues surrounding abuse
and feels called to help others survive too.
Kerri and her daughters are currently waiting in faith in Northwest Washington for God to open doors to Alaska. Once there, they'll be working towards the development of a homeless shelter for domestic abuse and sex-trafficked survivors.
They welcome your prayers, as well as financial partnership,
to bring to fruition the shelter God has pressed upon their hearts to create: