Julie attended Women in the Battle because of her husband’s sexual integrity issues. What follows is the testimony she shared after her experience that weekend:
Before coming this weekend, I felt like I was in hiding behind walls from God, from my husband, my family, and hiding from life. It was in the darkness of the night as a little girl that I first started to hide…from the violation against me and the humiliation that kept lurking. I would hide away reading words not meant for young eyes. Shame stuck to me like a stubborn price tag that wouldn’t peel off.
Sticky-note to self: I am dirty.
Sometimes I would venture out into play and forgot about my hiding spot under the back porch or high in the branches of the Japanese plum tree. I wasn’t hiding when my mother left home. I walked home from sixth grade and she was gone. Never to be caught exposed and vulnerable again, I knew I needed a better hiding place…one that I could take with me and was accessible anytime, anywhere. It was then that I began building the walls around my heart.
Sticky-note on heart: I am alone.
It was exciting and safe outside my walls when I met my husband more than 37 years ago. I was happy and blessed when our first 2 lb., 11 oz. baby boy arrived prematurely, and then another son 3 years later. We were laughing and playing outside my walls when we moved, lost our jobs and found out we were pregnant. I mistakenly chose abortion.
Sticky-note on my wall: I make bad decisions; I should not speak up.
Over the years my walls have grown familiar and comfortable. I don’t stray too far beyond my walls. So, when my husband confessed his sexual integrity issues, I could simply forgive and retreat within the safety of my walls.
Sticky-note on marriage: It’s okay to be dismissed; I am not that important.
I came to Women in the Battle because I was stuck all over with sticky notes. I didn’t know why I had no motivation, no joy and no insight from God. I found myself thinking about Lazarus. In John 11, I read: (v. 3) So the sisters sent word to Him [Jesus] saying, “Lord, behold, he [Lazarus] whom you love is sick.” I thought of New Life sisters, Pamela and Rhonda, who may have prayed something similar for me while I contemplated coming to Women in the Battle.
(v.4) But when Jesus heard this, He said. “This sickness is not to end in death, but for the glory of God, so that the Son of God may be glorified by it.” Then I read about Martha lamenting that Jesus had not arrived sooner to save her brother, Lazarus, who had been dead for four days. (v. 38-39) So, Jesus again being deeply moved, came to the tomb. Now it was a cave, and a stone was lying against it. Jesus said, “Remove the stone.”
Sticky-note on head: Jesus removes walls.
(v. 41-42) So they removed the stone. Then Jesus said: “Father, I thank You that You have heard me. I knew that You always hear Me; but because of the people standing around I said it, so that they may believe You sent Me.”
Replacement sticky-note: If I allow myself to hide behind my walls, others may miss seeing the hand of Jesus at work. If I do not speak up, I have missed an opportunity for others to believe.
(v. 43) And when Jesus had said these things, He cried out with a loud voice, (which I’m pretty sure I heard Him say) “Julie, come forth.”
Find out more about the next Women in the Battle Intensive Workshop.