addiction, betrayal, divorce, My Story, repentance, Spiritual

A Mighty Change of Heart

Tomorrow is it two years to the day that I learned my husband was having multi-affairs online.

Remembering this day fills my heart with pain so intense that it feels like my heart is in a vise grip.  Just typing this is giving me a full-blown panic attack.  Heart pounding, hyperventilating, and hot tears forming in my eyes.  I still can’t believe this is my life.  I had to file for a divorce I never wanted because he would not or could not choose me over his addiction.

Giving love

The choice of my heart will not choose me.  At this point, I shouldn’t care.  Why should I?

Nevermind that my Patriarchal Blessing practically describes him, our courtship, family life, and marriage. It might as well have his name written there.

When I was engaged to him, my parents, especially my mother, did want me to marry him.   (They listened to gossip about him from his teenage goofiness.) After having another argument with my mom over marrying him, I asked her if she had prayed about it.  She had not.  I told her I didn’t want to talk about this until she prayed about it.  A few days later she came to me with a strange question, “What does his mother look like?” His Mom died when he was sixteen so I never met her, but I had seen pictures of her. I described her to my mom.  It was then that the tears started.  My mom then told me that his mother had appeared to her in a dream and told her that she had “hand picked” me for her son and then she asked my mom to please allow me to marry him.  So you see.  I can’t say this was a mistake.  Our love. Our marriage. It was meant to be! It was not a mistake. Remembering this brings a flood of tears to my eyes. My heart can hardly stand the pain!

This is why I pray every night that my Cheater will have a mighty change of heart.  It is excruciating to be so helpless over the choices of another person.  Especially one you love so much.  I can do nothing.  Just pray.  So I pray he will finally come back to himself and then come back to me.

Praying hands on an open bible

“Therefore, repentance means more than simply a reformation of behavior. Many men and women in the world demonstrate great willpower and self-discipline in overcoming bad habits and the weaknesses of the flesh. Yet at the same time they give no thought to the Master, sometimes even openly rejecting Him. Such changes of behavior, even if in a positive direction, do not constitute true repentance.”  Ezra Taft Benson

I believe in miracles. I really do.  But sitting here, two years later, the miracle seems to be so far out of reach.

This week I learned that he isn’t even going to church now.  The Bishop hasn’t even heard of him. In a strange way, this is somewhat comforting to me.  He has lead me to believe that he was working to repent and get back in the church so he could move on with his new girlfriend. It hurt me so badly to know he didn’t want to change for me.  After spending 37 years of our lives together, he couldn’t be bothered to make any changes for me. That hurts. I guess he doesn’t want to change for her either.

This is an important lesson for me.

It’s not about me.

It’s about him.

The kind of change that needs to happen in his heart to make him a new man must come from within.  He can’t do it for me.  He can’t do it for our kids or grandkids.  He can’t do it for her or for any other person.  He has to do it for the Savior. He has to do it for himself.  A mighty change of heart happens with a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.  It can happen in no other way.

I have been praying for this for two years.

I guess I will just keep praying.

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Alma 5:

 Behold, he changed their hearts; yea, he awakened them out of a deep sleep, and they awoke unto God. Behold, they were in the midst of darkness; nevertheless, their souls were illuminated by the light of the everlasting word; yea, they were encircled about by the bands of death, and the chains of hell, and an everlasting destruction did await them.

 And now I ask of you, my brethren, were they destroyed? Behold, I say unto you, Nay, they were not.

 And again I ask, were the bands of death broken, and the chains of hell which encircled them about, were they loosed? I say unto you, Yea, they were loosed, and their souls did expand, and they did sing redeeming love. And I say unto you that they are saved.

 10 And now I ask of you on what conditions are they saved? Yea, what grounds had they to hope for salvation? What is the cause of their being loosed from the bands of death, yea, and also the chains of hell?

 11 Behold, I can tell you—did not my father Alma believe in the words which were delivered by the mouth of Abinadi? And was he not a holy prophet? Did he not speak the words of God, and my father Alma believe them?

 12 And according to his faith there was a mighty changewrought in his heart. Behold I say unto you that this is all true.

 13 And behold, he preached the word unto your fathers, and a mighty change was also wrought in their hearts, and they humbled themselves and put their trust in the true and living God. And behold, they were faithful until the end; therefore they were saved.

 14 And now behold, I ask of you, my brethren of the church, have ye spiritually been born of God? Have ye received his image in your countenances? Have ye experienced this mighty change in your hearts?

 15 Do ye exercise faith in the redemption of him who created you? Do you look forward with an eye of faith, and view this mortal body raised in immortality, and this corruption raised in incorruption, to stand before God to be judged according to the deeds which have been done in the mortal body?

 16 I say unto you, can you imagine to yourselves that ye hear the voice of the Lord, saying unto you, in that day: Come unto me ye blessed, for behold, your works have been the works of righteousness upon the face of the earth?

 17 Or do ye imagine to yourselves that ye can lie unto the Lord in that day, and say—Lord, our works have been righteous works upon the face of the earth—and that he will save you?

 18 Or otherwise, can ye imagine yourselves brought before the tribunal of God with your souls filled with guilt and remorse, having a remembrance of all your guilt, yea, a perfect remembrance of all your wickedness, yea, a remembrance that ye have set at defiance the commandments of God?

 19 I say unto you, can ye look up to God at that day with a pure heart and clean hands? I say unto you, can you look up, having the image of God engraven upon your countenances?

 20 I say unto you, can ye think of being saved when you have yielded yourselves to become subjects to the devil?

 21 I say unto you, ye will know at that day that ye cannot be saved; for there can no man be saved except his garments are washed white; yea, his garments must be purified until they are cleansed from all stain, through the blood of him of whom it has been spoken by our fathers, who should come to redeem his people from their sins.

This is what a mighty change of heart looks like.  Anything else is just smoke and mirrors.

The Cupcake Warrior

chocolate cupcake warrior

Stay Sweet, Be Stong!

betrayal, Coping, healing, My Story, Trauma Recovery

“Lord, Save Me!”

When I think about my life now I have this feeling of anxiousness.  Sort of like I am going to crawl out of my skin.  You know that feeling, right? Somedays it is absolutely paralyzing.  I don’t know what to do first.  I feel scattered and tossed about by every whim of the day, like a feather caught on the breeze.  Floating around out there, I am not quite sure where I am going to land.  I long for the feeling of being settled, secure and safe. Grounded. Rooted in something solid.  I don’t like feeling like a feather. It causes me to feel vulnerable in ways that are uncomfortable.  I want to feel like an oak tree.

My ex-husband’s addiction has severed me from everything that anchored me to the solid foundation I once had.  The love of my life. Our family. Friends. Church. Nothing is the same anymore. All of it shattered into a million pieces. Floating.  Out there is my life, somewhere.  I want it back. Here’s the rub, I will never get it back and I know it.  Getting my life back is utterly dependent on the choices of another, who has no interest in choosing me, choosing us.  So here I am. Starting life over…at my age. Geez!  Life is so unfair. This really bites!

Sometimes, like today – I wake up feeling overwhelmed with anxiety. Monday’s are the worst!  I have so many things I could be doing, should be doing; working on my business, keeping up with school work, recovery work and housework. Where do I begin. Sigh. My life is a mess.  I know it is a mess.  I want it back.  Where do I start? I need a plan. Something SOLID that I can sink my teeth into! Let’s make this week count!  Darn it!

I’m scared.  So frightened of the new week.  Can I get it right this time or will I ultimately end up checking out and wasting my time on things that have no worth? Can I create something beautiful out of the chaos? I know I can, I have done it before, but I am in uncharted territory here.  I have never been in this position or anything remotely like it. There is no frame of reference, no similar experiences, no map…nothing. I suppose that is why it feel so unnerving.  There isn’t anything in my past experience to relate it to, so how am I supposed to know what to do? I need a plan. Something simple.  I can’t handle complicated at this point.

I had an epiphany this morning during my scripture study – EPIPHANY – I like that word.  It’s fun to say, and it’s a big word that makes me feel smart! Anyway…where was I…oh, yeah…scripture study.

I am studying by topic this year.  My one little word for the year is FORWARD.  Can you tell I am and ready to move out of the chaos that is my life? So I am researching and studying everything in the scriptures, conference talks, or words of the Prophets that have to do with pressing forward.  I could write several blog post on what I am learning, but I will save that for another time.  Today, I mentioned I had an epiphany. Something that will help me create order from the chaos…

It’s actually pretty simple.  “Lord, save me!” Peter’s exact words when he stepped out of the boat and walk on the water in his effort to come unto Christ. The most amazing thing about this story to me is Peter stepped out of the boat in the middle of a raging storm to walk on the water, so great was his desire to go to his Lord!  He was conquering the chaos as long as he kept his focus on Jesus, but the second he noticed the storm raging around him, he sank. Like a rock. (Peter, the rock!  Get it?)  Peter taught me an important lesson here.  Chaos can abound in my life, the storms will rage and anxiety can overwhelm me, but if I keep my eyes on the Savior, I will not sink into the depths of the sea and become overpowered. And then those powerful words for those times I falter and I am overpowered – “Lord, save me!”

So here is the plan for this week:

When life is an overwhelming blog of chaos and an unorganized mess. I cry out, “Lord, save me!”  This is the only way to do it, I believe.  Who else is mighty enough to save me?  No one!  Who knows what is best for me?  Who has my back?  Who knows what I need to do first, next and last?  He does!  All I need to do is to ask.  However, there is a certain amount of effort I have to make on my part to tap into His powerful saving grace. I cannot just go about my life, getting myself into a tangled mess and then expect Him to miraculously step in and keep me from drowning.  I have to do my part.  But what is my part?

“Wherefore, ye must press forward with a steadfastness in Christ, having a perfect brightness of hope, and a love of God and of all men.  Wherefore, if ye shall press forward, feasting upon the words of Christ, and endure to the end, behold, thus saith the Father; ye shall have eternal life.” (The Book of Mormon, 2 Nephi 31:20)

I draw your attention to two parts I must do; 1. Press forward with a steadfastness in Christ, and 2. Press forward feasting upon the words of Christ. From these two things I gathered that I cannot reasonably expect Him to save me if I don’t make Him a priority in my life.  Being steadfast means to have commitment, dedication and perseverance.  Feasting means more than a casual snack with the scriptures. The formula is clear; I make Him a priority + ask for His help = He will save me!  Easy huh?  Well, no.  Not really.  This is hard work. I need to make the effort to draw near to Him. For me, this is totally worth it though.  In a life of unknowns and in uncharted territory this seems to be the only way.

If I have ever needed Him more at anytime in my life, it is now!  Most days I feel like I cannot go 5 minutes without crying out, “Lord, save me!”  This week I am going to make this a priority to place my focus on Him and what he wants me to do, then maybe I will start to see  better forward progress than I could make on my own. I whittled it down to 4 steps:

  1. Focus on Christ to make Him a priority on my life.
  2. Feast upon the scriptures.
  3. Ask Him what he wants me to do first, middle and last.
  4. Tap into the power of His grace by including Him in the process, don’t go it alone.

The Father’s plan, the Savior’s Atonement, and the ordinances of the gospel provide the GRACE we need to PRESS FORWARD and progress, line upon line, precept upon precept toward our eternal destiny.” Elder David A. Bednar

Tell me how you make beauty out of the chaos of your life –

“Stay Strong, Be Sweet!”

chocolate cupcake warrior

The Cupcake Warrior