Sometimes we want everything to be black and white. We want concrete answers on how to make our lives better. We want to follow directions and get advice from someone we think is wiser than us. Little do we know, however, everyone is fighting some sort of battle.
Not long ago, I got a call from an old friend. She poured out her heart about recently discovering her husband's struggle with pornography. Almost begging she asked, "Ashlee ... what do I do now? I want to curl up in a ball and never get out. I knew something was wrong; he has been pushing me away for a long time, but for me it was easier just being 'crazy' than acknowledging reality. He doesn't deserve this family. I deserve to be loved, cherished, honored and adored. I deserve better than this."
I silently prayed to know what to say as she pleaded, "Ashlee, I know you are the one who can tell me what I should do."
Finally words came to my mind, and I said, "I wish I could give you a step-by-step map. But only God can give you the answer for YOU. He knows his plan for you and what you are both to learn.
"But I can tell you this. That love you desire—to be cherished, seen, worshiped and adored—we all want that, even those of us who make mistakes. The more time we spend waiting around for that love, the lonelier our world becomes. Connect yourself to God's love instead of waiting for it from anyone else. Then you will see clearly what you should do.
"Your husband might need you to walk away so he can figure out his own healing. Or, God might need to use you. He might see the role you could be in sharing His love with one of His sons. He might need you to give that same love you crave from your husband ... to your husband.
"He is struggling with his addiction regardless of who you are. You are amazing, so don't you dare let this break you. Stand up, and let God guide you. He will never leave you alone. Even if your husband can't figure out this crap and you have to be a single mom someday, you are going to make it. Don't let fear win. You are enough for yourself and for your Heavenly Father."
Many people are hurting. Maybe you are one of them. Relationships are hard—there are so many obstacles that stand in the way. We all make mistakes, and there is no one path to make them right. There is no perfect life or perfect family. There is no perfect journey.
We are all just imperfect people fighting for perfection.
Find the love God has for you. That way, even when you are all by yourself, you will never feel forgotten. He has a perfect plan. Our imperfections and those of others were perfectly designed to help us remember to turn to Him.
I might be considered the opposite of an expert in marriage because I gained my knowledge ... by losing my marriage. However, I know that confidence in relationships comes by finding confidence inside of ourselves and developing a powerful relationship with God.
We do not know what life has in store for us. We cannot plan what the future will bring. Some of us will lose love to death, divorce or total rejection. All we can do is be who God wants us to be and turn to Him for the love we crave and the answers we seek.
If you have spent your days asking why you aren't getting all you deserve, you probably feel pretty alone—the days of asking why are the loneliest kind. Before you look to someone else to believe in you, first ask God what He sees. When you can see yourself from His view, hope will replace the lies; and life will become a pathway unobstructed by struggles, a journey of unconditional, eternal love. Then you can be the light that brings others to Him.
Ashlee Birk is the author of The Moments We Stand, the blog and book series of her healing journey after the secret infidelity and murder of her husband in 2011. Graduate of Utah State. Mom of six. Contact themomentswestand.com www.themomentswestand