Yup. We're mid-way through week THREE.
I've been processing this all week. Trying to compose a post that "fits". Trying to think of the right words and feeling to expressions to write exactly how God is working in me.
This is such an awesome study - so much of my life FITS that it's hard to narrow it down!
Going through my notes, this is what stands out the most. There is a lot more but I tend to talk alot and since I'm already late and so many others have said it so much better than I have I'll hit just two points... "Don't simply press down sinful desires - Get new desires!"
This fits so well with an issue in our home that I cannot pass up the opportunity to share how God is woking in the life of my dear husband.
My husband was first exposed to pornography at the tender age of 11 at a friend's home. He distinctly remembers this as the start of a sexual addiction to pornography. He shared this with me and several others and we've been praying for victory over this for years.
We've been married for 11+ years and this has been a constant struggle for him. I have sins that I hold on to and I've never begrudged him for this. I know his desire is to change. The Lord started dealing with him about 3 1/2 years ago regarding this addiction and he's been struggling with breaking the chains of desire.
This weekend at the marriage conference we attended, a Christian anti-porn software program was mentioned (http://www.xxxchurch.com). After some prayer and discussion, we downloaded the software onto our computers. Now this software doesn't pick up gaming sites (like the FREE (pretend money) poker DH plays) - only sites that capitalize on a sexual addiction. You choose two accountability partners to receive email regarding potentially sinful websites at regular intervals. AND if you disable the software it is logged and sent to your accountability partners.
This is such an enormous step in our marriage. I'm so proud of my husband for taking this step. He and I have prayed about this issue so much. Praise the Lord, he's working in our marriage and giving us new desires!"Follow earnest confession with active acceptance"
This is a really hard one for me.
Forgiveness. I struggle with both forgiving and being forgiven.
Years ago I was hurt very deeply by my family. Accusations were hurled. Judgements were made. Our family has been divided over this one event in our lives. Apart from a miracle of God, members of my family will never speak again. I wish I could speak more on this subject - and I might at a later time. (Blogging is new to me and I'm apprehensive to post too much)
I struggled with forgiving those family members who hurt me. I prayed about it and believed I had forgived them and then something would happen in my life and I'd know I hadn't really forgiven them at all.
Someone told me during that difficult time that if I was constantly "back in the boat" the Jesus was trying to teach me something. That I needed to really release it to Him to be freed from it. When Jesus was trying to teach the disciples a lesson, they were frequently out fishing - they were "back in the boat". I felt like I was always "back in the boat" regarding forgiveness.
Finally after much time in prayer and many tears shed, I have truly forgiven those people who hurt me. It didn't come easily but I am finally free. I love what someone said to me recently about harboring unforgiveness - "It's like drinking poison and hoping the other person will die." That's truly how I felt for nearly 2 years.
Forgiving myself for my role in this situation? I never have. I've been living under the guise of guilt for years now. It's a sensitive topic, I live with guilt everyday. I'm not sure how to break free from it.
I've confessed my sin to God. I've begged for forgiveness. I know His grace has been extended in my life and I'm forgiven. But I can't forgive myself. I don't accept His forgiveness.
Now, isn't that self-righteous? I
can't accept His
I've spent a lot of time pouring out this situation to Him - each time walking away with the same burdens. I want this study to the end of this guilt for me. I've been imprisoned for some long by not accepting forgiveness in my life. God is dealing with me regarding this. I'm not sure HOW to forgive myself but I'm listening. Lord, speak to me....
I just want to add this before closing this post - this study has been amazing. I've never done anything like this and it's been so revealing. It's also been a painful study - my toes hurt from being stepped on so much - but I'm so excited to see what God has in store for me over the next several weeks. I'm continually amazed at how God is meeting me right where I am through LBY.