BVOV Magazine 2013 - present

Jan : Feb 21

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Page 26 of 47

Christy says she had no remorse about her affairs. In her mind, Tom’s behavior excused hers. For a while, the couple attempted marriage counseling with their pastor. But most of the time Tom didn’t show up. During one session, Christy decided to come clean. “I’m having an affair,” she confessed. She didn’t feel the need to repent. She confessed, she said, so her pastor would understand how miserable her marriage had become. “If you’ll fix Tom, I’ll be all right,” Christy told the pastor. “You’ll never find freedom unless you repent and confess your affairs,” her pastor said. “That’s the worst stinking advice I’ve ever heard!” Christy had no way of knowing that Tom already suspected. Now, the truth was out. Tom’s response? He fell back into his drug addiction and was fired from his job. Learning to Forgive “After my affairs became known, and Tom lost his job, he checked into a rehab program, but demanded to be released after two days. That’s when we moved back to Oklahoma City,” Christy explains. And the verbal abuse, manipulation and deceit worsened. “I’d gotten filled with the Holy Spirit and started attending a Bible study where the discussion was about the fruit of the spirit. Gloria Copeland had written the foreword for a book by a local author, Greg Zoschak. We read his book and watched videos of Gloria doing in-depth teachings on the fruit of the spirit.” Christy knew she didn’t have the fruit of the spirit as outlined in the Bible: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness and goodness. But she wanted them. After finishing the book, she read another one on the subject by Gloria. What she learned changed everything. “Instead of turning to another man for comfort, I learned to forgive, day in and day out,” she says. “Over and over I forgave. I learned the importance of walking in love. I learned that the only person I had the power to change was me. “When Tom threatened me with a shotgun, I filed a victim’s protection order against him and we separated for a year. Right after I did that, I had a vision. I saw myself standing at the top of a mountain with Jesus. Winding around the mountain and far off in the distance was a single line of women. I said, ‘Lord, what are those ladies doing?’ He said, 'Those are broken women that you’re going to help.' “Looking back, I realize that He called me to my purpose in life in the middle of my brokenness. I didn’t tell anyone about that vision for well over a decade.” Free From Shame Still puzzled by her own brokenness, Christy asked God, “Why am I like this?” 'You never felt like you were worthy of love. You didn’t think you were worthy of having a great relationship, so you settled for less. Because you didn’t know your identity, you sucked affirmation, approval and affection from the men you met. Christy, there’s nothing you can do that’s so terrible that I will love you less. My love for you will never change. And there’s nothing so amazing that you’ll ever do to make Me love you more.' “Wait, You’ll love me no matter what? I don’t have to earn it? And if You love me so much that I don’t have to hide my past from You…I don’t have to hide it from anyone!” Even as Christy said those words, something miraculous happened. She shed shame like an old skin. She found her identity in Christ and became free at last. Was she free of a drug-addicted husband? No. But basking in the forgiveness and grace God had given her, she was able to love and forgive him. His wrong attitudes and actions could no longer keep her bound. BVOV : 27

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