May
09

Breakthrough – A Testimony

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http://www.dreamstime.com/royalty-free-stock-photography-laughing-young-woman-image29658137April 12, 2013  [Your Letters, GEWife]
Karen, When you announced the small group study last year, my friend was really on fire about GEW. I was skeptical at first. I knew it had blessed her. But I wasn’t really sure it was going to help me. Afterall I thought things like – I wasn’t the leader in our home – I was the submissive one – my husband was the boss…at least these were my thoughts. But she was so excited about it that I thought it wouldn’t hurt to give it a try! My marriage had always struggled but I always blamed it on my husbands history of having been raised by a very abusive stepmother. All our problems stemmed from this – I thought – it was all his problems – not mine. But I liked the name “God Empowered Wife”. I at least knew I needed to be one of those!

My first class was six months ago. It was such a lovely group of women. It all made sense and there were real testimonies. I listened to the two CD’s a couple of times while driving and they touched my heart. I realized I had room for improvement (OK understatement!) – and I had a couple of wow moments, first step experiences. But in reading the book I hit a wall. I could not read past the first few chapters, the reading agrivated/irritated me – at the time, I thought it bored me!? None the less, I continued to go to all the classes.

Well, that first session of classes finished and not long after it ended my husband said to me during a tiff/arguement one day -” You were so much better when you were going to ‘that’ class”!!! Oh dear!! Didn’t that make me think!! So however weak my efforts I made a concious decision and prayed that God would help me to let go of the BIG idol I had identified in our marriage. This was it… “If only my husband was not addicted to X and didn’t do Y and Z – I would be happy” I wish I could share the specifics with you but I am convicted that it would not be fair on my husband. So lets just say these were serious enslavements and they have had a hold on my husband since he was a teenager.

I married 13 years ago knowing that these things had been issues with him, but convinced myself at the time that they were in his past. We met at church and I think he led me to believe this too. Love is blind and I think, in my mind, with all my husband’s past, I subconsciously became his rescuer. My husband has many good points. He has a very generous and loving heart, very sensitive nature (although trampled on as a child) and he has always tried and tried to overcome his challenges by working on himself with endless counselling and workshops. But although he had tried to quit X and Y many times. It was futile and really he didn’t actually want to let go of them, expecially X, he would admit.However, until I did this class I did not realize how condemning and critical I was of his issues. I hated the addictions with a vengence! Through the course God showed me how crippling my words to him were. Every time the hate and anger towards his addictions welled up in me I would normally lash out verbally, but now each time I confessed it to God and bit my tongue (well – a lot more than I used to anyway!!) After all – God spoke to me – “Yes he has these sins but (as the course revealed to me) look at all these sins you have!!” As Karen would say, – and said to me 🙂 – “You are a dirty rotten sinner!!” Wow!! Had I ever been self righteous!!!

So the new year dawned and my husband was still addicted to X and Y and life went on. But I was consciously aware that I had given it to God. I had a huge peace about it that I had never had before. Would you believe that when the next class for GEW was offered I hesitated to join! There was still a hardness in me. But part of me knew that I really needed to change a lot more, and with my husbands words, ” You were sooo much better when you were going to ‘that’ class”!!! ringing in my ears, I finally committed to go at the last minute.

I am so glad I did! A few days after my first class one of my husband’s best mates told him he needed to make changes and helped him find the resources to make those changes. He even walked beside him in that journey.  I really feel this was God’s timing, showing me that he was blessing my commitment – it was too coincidental. 

This time I thought I would read the book. But as I got a few chapters in, the same thing happened. I hit a wall and felt I didn’t want to read on. But, having been more convicted of God’s Grace in recent months from the church I had started attending – yes only since I had done GEW course – I confessed my hard heart to God and asked him to soften it as I read. Well He did! And suddenly I couldn’t get enough of it. I guess the fact that I could see the hope of my husband changing really helped too!

That was four weeks ago. My husband has been progressing in his efforts to overcome his enslaving addictions and his friend has been coming all this way to support him even though it is way out of his way. Also, of his own initiative, my husband has taken other steps to overcome his sin, steps he had given up on before, but now he wants to be free. 

The changes in my husband’s addictions are nothing short of amazing. He has tried to quit before, but this time, it’s differently. This time, I don’t have that doubt anymore that he will never change, because I can see his heart and I now trust God that he CAN change people, after all he is slowly changing even me. The amazing thing is that with the giving up of one addiction, the other addictions my husband had have fallen away at exactly the same time!!! Can you see why I am so excited!! As an added blessing, he is way more affectionate and attentive toward me since all this began and our relationship is thriving.

But I tell you, the number of times I have had to hold my words/bite my tongue, in these last few weeks as a result of what I read in that book and heard in this class is UNBELIEVABLE!! Boy did I have a lot of changing to do too!!

Thank you so much,

Bev

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