April 9, 2012

Hidden Joy in a Dark Corner: Week One

Welcome to Week One of our next On-Line Study, Hidden Joy in a Dark Corner: The Transforming Power of God’s Story.

It is not too late to join us!! To sign up, simply visit the side column of my web site and sign up where it says “Subscribe to Updates” and “Subscribe to Wendy’s On-Line Bible Studies.” After you do that, you are registered and will begin to receive the weekly lessons in your inbox every Monday. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to leave a comment.

Months ago, I prayed for the Lord to draw each woman to this study for whom He had a work to do in her life. If you are here, sweet friend, it is because God drew you!! Begin this study from a place of confidence that no matter where you are today in your journey with God, He will take you to a new, healthier, better place. He is FAITHFUL and TRUE. He is GOD THE HEALER. He is a God of MERCY and HOPE. He is the GIVER of every GOOD and PERFECT gift. He is the WAY. He is the TRUTH. He is LIFE.

And if you desire healing…physically, spiritually, and/or emotionally…you are in the perfect place.  Every week we will be digging into God’s Word, learning, studying and praying His promises.  Below are a few of my favorites to which we will cling tightly during our journey.

My Word will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it. Isaiah 55:11.

My child, pay attention to what I say. Listen carefully to my words. Don’t lost sight of them. Let them penetrate deep into your heart, for they bring life to those who find them, and healing to their whole body. Proverbs 4:20-22

My friend, STAND on these verses as we begin this study. Believe them with all your heart. And then STAND again. Stand and believe God for His promise in Jeremiah 29:13-14…

You will seek Me and find Me when you seek Me with all your heart. I will be found by you,” declares the Lord, “and will bring you back from captivity.”

During this study we are going to seek hard after God, and you will have to join me in that seeking. Be diligent. Read your assignments. Read all the Scriptures. Do your homework questions in the study guide. And PRAY, PRAY, PRAY for God to do a mighty work in your life and in the life of each one of us doing this study together.

He is a FAITHUL God and will answer our prayers if we pray in faith and do not doubt!!!!

Today we will read the first two chapters of Hidden Joy. I wish my story had an easier beginning. It was hard for me to write and hard sometimes even now for me to read what happened to me on that day in June of 1986. But without this beginning, there would not be a rest of the story. Through what happened to me that day in my apartment…the day everything that I held dear was stolen from me…God has given me a TESTimony!! And I can honestly tell you that I would live through that day again if it meant that I would have the life and ministry I have today.

So, let’s dig in!! Each week I will share a short video message, post the assignment and a memory verse, and send you off for the week to do your homework. Please stop by throughout the week and share what you are learning and feeling in the comments. That is how we grow and learn in this study.

Assignment: Read the first two chapters in Hidden Joy, “Valley of Weeping” and “Why Did God Allow This?”

Memory Verse: When they walk through the Valley of Weeping it will become a place of springs where pools of blessings and refreshment collect after rains! Psalm 84:6 (TLB)

Prayer:

Heavenly Father, we invite You to join us on our journey. We praise You as our Abba Father. We thank You that You will meet each one of us right where we are as we begin today. Thank You that this is our divine appointment with You. Father, begin a work not only in us individually but also as a group, as a sisterhood of Christ. Even though we come from all parts of Your world, we invite You to knit us together through the power of Your Holy Spirit as only You can do. Begin a healing work in our hearts. Take us from glory to glory as we dive into Your living and active Word!! We love You and give ourselves to You. We open our hearts…even to the most hidden depths of pain, sorrow, fear, and doubt…and invite You to come in and MOVE us to a new place. Lift us out of the depths of darkness and into Your marvelous Light. We ask all this in Jesus’ most powerful Name. Amen.

Sweet Blessings to you,

Comments

  1. Jennifer says:

    Good morning,
    So excited to start this study! The lord lead me to Wendy a year and a half ago. What I have learned from Wendy is that the Lord is good and he wants us to search for him. He will lead you out of the weeping valley and take you to the green grass.

    My daughter was forced in a car by a man she did not know and driven 7 miles from her college house to a field where he raped her. By the grace of God , she was able to fight and run from him. This horrible act has changed my life. I found Wendy and some special prayer sisters who have guided me to have a deeper relationship with God. Some days are better than others, but I do believe if you find God, he will take you out of the weeping valley and guide you to the green grass. Do not give up, this takes time. I am learning everyday from people like Wendy. Read Hidden Joy, it will change you and help you to deepen your relationship with God.

    Looking forward to nests weeks lesson,
    Jennifer

    • Jennifer,

      It is such a joy to read this today knowing where you and your sweet daughter were a year ago and where God has brought you today. He is such a good and faithful God. He brings purpose to all our pain. I praise Him today for the story you both have to tell. Having you part of this study will be such a rich blessing!

      W

    • Karen Bost says:

      I first heard Wendy at our Women’s retreat and found her story to be so compelling. The only difficulty I seem to have in my life right now is caring for my aging parents. I hope that through reading Hidden Joy in a Dark Corner I will learn to more fully trust in God for my parents future.
      I’m also looking forward to digging deeper into the word and learning to pray the word!

  2. Thank you for this study!
    I have been in a deep, deep pit of depression due to many past traumas. The past week has been an incredible journey of beginning the healing. I was praying for a bible study to participate in and most seemed just not quite right. When I received the email about this one (and didn’t ignore it) a quietness whispered, “This one.” I can work at my pace. Not have to put on a false front for face to face meetings. And let God continue the work he has begun.
    God is Good.

    • God has brought you here, and He will be faithful to do a mighty healing work in your heart and mind!!

      Blessings,

      Wendy

    • I hope you are blessed by this study as much as I was. It literally changed my life – I will be praying for you and your healing journey.

    • Dear Chris,

      I never comment online, but your story reminds me of my own. I too have had many traumas and found depression my constant companion. I wanted to end my life. I thought I could never think differently about myself because as a child I was made to feel worthless and unlovable. Someone told me to start thanking God for something….anything, so I did and it changed my life. I started out small without really feeling thankful. After awhile I began to find so many things to be thankful for and my thanks became praise. I went from being downtrodden to being a very positive person. Maybe this will help. I pray it will.

  3. I haven’t started my book yet, but I just wanted to thank you for doing this. I’ve had a difficult past few weeks and am sooo looking forward to growing through this.

  4. Virgie Watson says:

    I have started to read your book and Im excited about your study I can relate to this book I was sexualy abuse as a young child I pray that through this study with you Wendy and the other women, that we will heal the pain that only God can heal. Todays memory verse is a comfort to me.
    When they walk through the Valley of Weeping it will become a place of springs where pools of blessings and refreshment collect after rains! Psalm 84:6
    Thank you Thank you Wendy for sharing your testimony.
    Love Virgie

    • Virgie, thanks for sharing a bit of your story with us and why God brought you here. God will be faithful to His Word!! You will find pools of blessings and refreshment.

      W

    • I doubted that a book and a Bible study to could heal me. In the first week (during last year’s study) I wanted to quit every day. I am so glad no one let me quit b/c today I am a different person, a healed person who has a personal relationship with Jesus.

      Praying for all the lovely ladies going through this study.

  5. I am half way through your book – thank you so much for the hunger to learn God’s Word and teach us how to study. I am here because I have been in an almost 2 year valley. My husband walked out on me and my children June 2010 and filed for divorce last August. We are in the final stages, but I am still praying against what I know is not God’s will for our family.
    Thank you for sharing your journey. I am praying for direction and healing.

    • Tricia, as you open His Word, pray fervently for guidance and direction. He will be faithful to speak to you as you open His Word. He says when His Word goes out, it will not return void but accomplish what He desires and achieve the purposes for which He sent it!! Claiming that for you today.

      Blessings,

      W

  6. My husband has had many affairs, he over the years has broken my heart in ways I didn’t know possible. With women who were friends, I have held and prayed with who are all married with children of all ages. I took a pistol out of his hand 8 years ago and truly felt this is it…he has gone as deep and dark as possible. But…almost two years ago he “got caught” again and this time his job was threatened due to being with someone while he should have been working. I prayed and I prayed have lived life alone in a home he does NOT want me to be in. He will not look at me or speak to me. He has begun to tell people untruths about me/us to gain a good opinion or sympathy? So the pain and hurt just continues. I have prayed more than one way about this and now just seek the Lord to hide me from the pain, to take the love I have for this man from me, to give me strength, to show me a way out of it. For 8 years I have known of these women see two of them from time to time and feel overwhelmed…where is my God in this…where is my faith?? so I am here to ask the questions and gain hope and a dark dark place..for I fear when I walk in this home, I fear when I wake up and I fear for my faith. Thank you Wendy and all those who are in a dark place…I too will be praying for us all….

    • Kelly G. says:

      Dona,

      I understand your pain. My husband cheated on me. It was something that I had a feeling was going on. I asked God for strength, clarity and protection for my heart. I prayed this all the time because I knew something wasn’t quite right. God answered me by connecting our cell phones out of the blue. I was calling him and he was ignoring my calls. I prayed for the Lord to help me and then the phones connected. I heard the whole conversation between him and this woman. I can hear the conversation to this day and trust me it is the most hurtful things that a woman could hear. I cried, I prayed and I screamed. But I also got her number and spoke to her. I prayed for her. I sent her prayers through text. I gathered my strength by doing that. Sopray for your strength, pray for clarity and especially pray for his sexual addiction.
      Be blessed.

    • Dona, so thankful the Lord has brought you here to shine the Light of His Word and the Hope of His Son into your dark places. I pray He will bring His living and active Word alive and bring healing and restoration to your broken heart. Thank you for sharing your story with us. You are not alone.

      Blessings,

      Wendy

  7. Vonnie Kronk says:

    I am Also halfway in this book & I stopped cause I Want to Get More Out of reading it! I feel God is wanting me To Get More Too & lead me to this online study to help me thru my journey.I was in an accident that I lived from Miraclously & I was given a New Life! I want to Glorify God in this New Life and In A New Way!

  8. Jean B. says:

    I am making the decision to start this online study, though I feel a little apprehensive. I am here because I have a long history of pain in my life including abuse, neglect, adultery, co-dependency, depression, fear, shame, rejection, betrayal, etc. God gave me Psalm 40:1-3 in one of my lowest valleys, as a promise to me. He has begun the process of pulling me out of the pit, some days hope wins out, some days are still very dark. But my heart’s desire is to find healing and to glorify God.

    • Jean, He is faithful to His Word. Psalm 40:1-3 is my life verse, and He has been faithful to make every verse a reality in my life. I pray the same for you!!

      Blessings,

      Wendy

  9. I can’t wait to get started with my Bible study girls tonight :) ! I look forward to this journey with y’all! If you haven’t read Wendy’s book yet, you are in for a powerful life changing study of God’s Word through this incredible story of transformation in Wendy’s life. I’m ready to jump in again with both feet!

    <3 Heather

    • Thank you, Heather. Love that you are doing this with a group. Be sure you girls share throughout the study!!

      W

  10. I received an email from Wendy about the study. I had never received an email from her, so when I started reading it, I knew I had to do the study. I know God wants me to learn and grow. I received the book last week (thank you Wendy for signing it & for the verses) I have not been able to put it down. I am looking foward to healing and growth from this study.

    • You are very welcome. I LOVE to sit in the office, pray over the books, sign them, and trust the Lord with the verses He gives for each book.

      Blessings,

      Wendy

  11. I believe God let me to this study as a way to continue the journey of dealing with and moving beyond the pain of the abuse. Now adays my sister & I would have been taken away from my Mother due to the neglect when Daddy was overseas. She was & continues to be very emotionally & verbally abusive though she can’t or won’t allow herself to see it. She was extremely over protective of me (I think it is due to almost dying at 5 & ongoing health problems). Due to that & low self esteem & kept getting into bad relationships where I was date raped. I thought I had found a wonderful man & trully believed it was God’s will for us to get married. I almost called of the wedding 3 days before, I should have. Once he had totally worn me down, the physical abuse began. I am a firm believer that children have a special connection to God. Each time the abuse was extremely bad, I would later find out my nephew had prayed for me that night. I trully believe that is what kept my ex from killing me each time. When I finally left the first time, my mom’s side of the family sided wth him over me. I had to give up working in the children’s minstry, but he was allowed to keep his leadership role. No one could believe that he would do the things he did. In fact several people asked me how I could have left such a wonderful man. Anyway after I left the second time, he decided he wanted a divorce. It has been 3 years since we last went to court. God has brought me a long way, but there are still things that can send me into a panic & I still struggle with confindence. Sorry this ended up longer than I intended.

    • Praying you will find hope, healing, and sweet fellowship here. We are thankful God brought you to us to find JOY in the midst of your trials and struggles.

      W

  12. Kelly G. says:

    I’m excited about this bible study. I think that it will help me with my “dark place” I find myself in right now.
    I’m mid-way through the second chapter and I had to pause on the part where Wendy said she had to look at the situation from God’s point of view. I really am meditating on having the strength to do that. I want to take the emotion out of the bad situation. I want to understand what God wants me to learn from this.
    I just quit my church. My husband is still going to the church. I do not believe the church is focusing on God but on the Pastor. It is concerning. It is also driving a wedge between me and my husband. The church depends on him a lot because other people will not step up to the plate which I think is wrong. The church is headed by a woman that leans on the men of the church much more then I think is necessary. She and I had a disagreement and she told me I was selfish, self-centered, and operating out of a spirit of error. She also told me that I need to repent and not to talk or text her until we could meet face-to-face.
    I told I only repent to God and I haven’t been back since. It really hurts because she made me think that I was turning my back on God because I left her church. Yet I have been going to church elsewhere. This happened almost 2 months ago and the disappointment still is very raw. I am hoping that this bible study will help me understand how to function in light of bad/uncomfortable situations.
    Thank you for giving me this opportunity!!!

    • Kelly, praying now for the Lord to comfort you in this difficult place you are in with your church and your marriage. Praying He will use your time with us and in His Word to bring clarity and direction for your future. Remember it is only God Who defines you and no one else. Remember Whose you are when people speak untruths about you. He is your Defender!!

      Blessings,

      Wendy

    • Kristy M. says:

      Kelly,
      I am praying for you and understand some of what you are feeling. A woman from our church felt God was telling her she was suppose to be with my husband. She once held my husband at knife point, threatening to kill him and herself if he did not break up with me. Then, one year ago, she allegedly heard God’s voice confirming she was to be with my husband. She verbally threatened me in the bathroom of the church. Despite videos proving she followed me into the bathroom she denied the incident when approached by a pastor and they believed her. I had gone to my bible study leader and pastor of women’s ministry after the encounter and was basically shunned. I was taken from my bible study because the leader didn’t feel comfortable with me in her group and I no longer had a role on the women’s ministry team. Another pastor suggested I step down from my leadership position with the middle school girls. Fortunately, one of the middle schooler’s father is a pastor and stood up for me on that decision. It was the church my husband went to before we were married and he wouldn’t leave despite my protests. It put a burden on our marriage. We agreed to attend two churchs, that one in the morning and my old church in the evening. It is not perfect but time and lots of prayer has brought some resolution.
      The hardest part was learning to forgive those who had wronged me, even though they still don’t think they did anything wrong. Wendy’s book goes into detail about this in later chapters and was a key to reclaiming my life. I had a long list of people to forgive from my rapist to my parents and my husband. It was one of the hardest things to do in my life but one of the most healing.

  13. Sheila Payne says:

    This is such a great book. I am very excited to read it with you Wendy. It is still being used at the Summit ministry with young girls that they have there in the summers.

    • So excited you are with us for another study. And I am thankful to hear the book is still being used with those young girls. Thank you for sharing it with them!

      W

  14. Stephanie says:

    I come to this study from a dark place of my own. I was diagnosed with rapid-cycle bipolar and depression nearly 3 years ago and have had a very hard road. My most recent pit was (actually IS) so deep that I became suicidal, not wanting to fight this battle any longer. I have reached a bad place with God. I’m so angry that He has allowed this, that He is allowing my family to suffer through my symptoms. I read Chapter 1 and 2 today, and I strongly identify with Wendy’s statement that she didn’t trust God and couldn’t believe Him anymore. I’ve said those very same words just recently. I’m praying that through my obedience to seek to understand God better, and by getting to know Him in this specific situation, that God will grant me peace. I’m desperate for peace. I plan to use all the scripture references Wendy provides as a jumping-off point in deep study of God’s word. Surely, God will speak to me. I will be faithful to pray for the women in this study.

    • Stephanie,

      God will meet you right where you are. My prayer is that you will be faithful to stay in the Word…He says that His Word brings health to our body and healing to our bones. But we must be faithful to remain in it, believe it, and pray it. That is what we will be doing. So PERSEVERE, sweet friend, and He will be faithful.

      W

    • Kristy M. says:

      Stephanie,
      I have been right where you are now but I can honestly tell you that there is hope because we have a loving God. At times I felt so distant from God, sometimes I refused to pick up my Bible, but everytime I did He met me there. I have been through Wendy’s book a number of times, it offers me something different each time. One of the most helpful things I did was every verse I came to in her book I wrote in a journal and left a space beneath it. As I see the promises in thoses verses come true in my life I write about it, right underneath that particular verse. I have been doing this for a year and I still have spaces under some verses, but so many of those verses have paragraphs under them…some even have post-it notes stuck on top of the paragraphs. It has changed the way I see the word of God, it is LIVING and ACTIVE.
      Saying a prayer for you now.

  15. I am here because I will be a 22 year long rape survivor this August. I have gone through a season of intense Christian counseling. I have been on a very long journey of healing. But I look forward to participating in this study. God has called me to minister to other women and I am currently co-hosting a weekly morning radio program where my co-host & I minister to women on the radio. I know that God wants me to overflow into the lives of others as they walk through various seasons in life. I thought this study would be a great opportunity to help fill my cup so the Holy Spirit can use me to overflow into the lives of other women. I am looking forward to reading the first few chapters in the book and working through the study online…sharing!

    • Tammy, how wonderful that God has birthed a ministry out of your terrible pain!! He is so faithful to His Word that He works all things together for good for those who love Him AND who have been called according to His purpose. Your story will give so much hope to some of our women who are struggling to see God in their trial. I pray that this study and the beautiful fellowship will FILL your cup to overflowing so that you can pour out into the hearts and lives of your women.

      Blessings

      Wendy

  16. Phyllis Houp says:

    I have not received my book yet, it should be here this week. I pray this will help not only me but my daughter. Because of the deep and dark things she has going on in her life, as her Mom I pray she becomes closer to the Lord. So, I am standing in the gap in her behalf. I need more of Him in my life to be able to help her and me meet the challenge. Thank you for your sweet spirit and the dedication to your ministry.

    • Standing in prayer with you now, Phyllis, that the Lord will shine His great Light and Love into the dark places in your daughter’s life. May He teach you new truths and promises that will enable you to minister to her more effectively. She is blessed to have such a faithful, praying mama!!!

      Love,

      Wendy

  17. Le'Ann Harvey says:

    Not sure why I joined this study. My husband and I just left a church we had been at for 10 years. My husband was a Elder but resign when a deep secret was revealed it had be hidden for years but the elders chose not to make it right just keep it covered. I feel lost not knowing where to God wants a now?

    • Le’Ann, the Lord brought you here for a reason. He promises that when you seek Him with all your heart, you will find Him. I pray He will give you eyes to see, ears to hear, and a heart to receive all that He has for you over these next few weeks.

      W

  18. Danielle says:

    I am really coming from a place of hurt. I spent my life in without family in group homes and graduated to rehabs as I got older because I started drinking. I do believe in God but often I feel so alone. I have two children and after the birth of my first child (who is nearly 4), i got sober. But about a year ago, I relapsed and gave guardianship of my kids to my aunt until i can prove myself stable. i haven’t seen my kids since. i will have a month clean tomorrow and everyday i feel like giving up. It seems like the more i try, the more life is set against me. I have lost my kids (temporarily), jobs, my home, my car, friends and I don’t know what to do. I’m am homeless and my brother is letting me sleep on his couch in his office till i can figure out a plan. I really really really would like to be a part of this study but don’t have the money to purchase a book. I found chapters one through three on online and have read the first two. I truly felt led to this study and can relate with the feelings described to the fullest. if anyone has an extra copy, please let me know. I will make every effort to pay you back once i find work. thank you.

    • Hi Danielle,

      Someone has offered to give you a book. Her name is Veronica. Please e-mail me with your address at deuteronomysix@aol.com. God must have an amazing work to do in your life to provide for you in this way!!

      Blessings,

      Wendy

  19. I am so looking forward to this study and see what God has for me. I was abused when I was a child and have never really gotten over it because it still affects a great deal of my life now including my marriage. And my hubby deserves more then that.

    Side note I signed up but didn’t get the email notice today for the study. I had signed up I’m going to start reading tonight.

    • Debra, your heavenly Father brought you here because He has an amazing, abundant life set out for you that He longs for you to discover and live. My prayer is that through this study, you will learn to fully forgive and forget all that keeps you from living this abundant life. HIs Word is living and active and penetrates deep into our hearts. Praying His penetrating Word brings great healing and transformation!!

      W

  20. Terrilynn says:

    I’m here because I believe this is the next step in healing from sexual, emotional and physical abuses that have existed for nearly every year I’ve been alive. I’m 46, and I’ve been on this journey of healing and restoration since May of 2008. I’m genuinely looking forward to dispelling more of satans lies with Gods beautiful truth.

    • Terrylynn, the way you worded that last sentence really spoke to me! Praying God will use this study to further (or start) the journey of healing for you, me, & the rest of the ladies.

    • Terrylynn, God promises to give us the desires of our heart…especially those that align with His will. He too wants to replace every lie you believe with TRUTH. He will be faithful. BELIEVE Him for this, sweet friend. Stay in His Word, believe it, and pray it. Tranformation…full and complete tranformation will come!!!

      Blessings,

      Wendy

  21. Jessica Joy says:

    Thank you Wendy for your faithfulness in leading this on-line study. I’m subscribed to the Proverbs 31 Ministry daily devotional Encouragment for Today and happened to receive an invite to join this study via email. Typically I delete these “additional” emails; however, when I saw it was an invitation for an on-line study… I thought to myself, “Hmmm, I just prayed that God would lead me to a study that would grow me, so maybe I should check this out.” As soon as I read the details of the study, I knew this was for me. I grew up in a christian home, but lacked an understanding of having a personal relationship with Jesus and did not understand God’s grace. I have realized that what I knew as Christianity was merely a legalistic form of religion. As I went off to college, I began to experiment with alcohol and drugs which lead to sexual immorality. I have been walking faithfully with the Lord for 4.5 years now, but I am dealing with the consequences of my past sin. In addition to that, a year ago I was engaged to be married and was only four months away from my wedding date when the Lord (along with wise counsel) called me to separate from this man I loved because of sin that surfaced in his life. This last year has been emotionally exhausting for me, but through it all I know God is strengthening my faith and growing me into the woman He wants me to be. There is nothing short about this post; sorry I’m just so excited to start this study! :-D May the Lord bless you all!

    • Jessica, I just love to hear from a heart like yours…one that so desires to go deeper still with God…to make your faith your own. I am so proud of you that you broke off your engagement to protect yourself and your purity. God promises to bless obedience, and I know He will be faithful to bless yours. Rejection, sweet friend, is God’s protection. He has greater things in store for you, and I pray they will begin in this study!!

      Blessings,

      wendy

    • Stephanie says:

      I come from a similar background…I was raised Pentecostal…in church every time the doors opened. I had wonderful parents and a great foundation in the Bible, but found myself wandering in my college years. I have really sought God over the past two years to build a true relationship and tried to seek his will for my life…..you’re right, at times it can be tough, but in the end I think we will be rewarded:)

  22. I am 36 years old and I have been struggling /battling chronic, clinical, debilitating depression for the past 10 years, with the last 2 years being almost non-functioning. On March 21st of this year I went to a hospital at my doctor’s suggestion as my last ditch effort to get help and on that day I received my first ECT treatment. That is Electro-convulsive Therapy, aka “Shock” Therapy. I am horrified and humiliated and everything else you can imagine because of the stigma that goes along with this type of treatment, but after having my 9th treatment today, and this being my 2nd bi-lateral treatment (the less commonly used form of ECT because of the risk of greater memory loss), I am starting to feel the depression loosen it’s grip on me. I don’t even want to say that for fear that I’ll wake up tomorrow with the same life quenching feeling in my brain that I’ve had for so long. I too, have not wanted to live anymore for quite sometime, but I couldn’t do that to my children, my husband, or my parents. “Healing” is something I haven’t believed I could have in a long time, but just that first page on your website used the word “healing” more than once and I suddenly BELIEVE that HEALING is attainable for even ME!
    Wendy, thank you for you time, your testimony, and your transparency. For people like me, your faithfulness just may be what helps me get my life back…back from the “living dead”!
    My prayers will be focused on each person who needs this study to bring them back to life…abundant life. In Jesus’ precious & holy name, I pray!

    • Courtney, thank you for being brave enough to share what you are going through. My depression was never that bad, but understand the stigma to some extent. I was a social worker for many years. It was fine for me to recommend that “my kids” or their parents get treatment, but most of the time I had to hide the fact that I was on meds (or had been on meds). I actually tried to kill myself in May 03, but God intervened & in desperation I sent out a email & was surprised by how many people I knew either had (or had dealt with depression) themselves or had a loved one with depression. Definitely agree with your prayer.

    • Courtney, thank you for being so honest with your heart and sharing your story. I can just sense the desperation in your heart for wholeness and healing. God wants that for you too!! He brought you here to get you into His Word. It is His Word alone, not mine, that will bring wholeness and healing, restoration and joy. Dig into every lesson. Persevere. Do not let up…even when you are tired. His Word will gird you up during those dark and lonely times. It will be your nourishment. It will be LIFE and HEALTH to you!! You are a new creation. BELIEVE that with all your heart and LIVE in the reality of who you are in Christ. He will be faithful if you are faithful.

      Love,

      Wendy

  23. olayinka says:

    Hi gals, missed studying with you Wendy! Your book is so powerful and real, it speaks to my heart and reassures me of all that I have studied and learnt about who God really is. I pray that God will make His truths sink in deep within our hearts, so that we don’t forget who He is and that we can always rely on Him in times of difficulty. Amen.
    God bless you Wendy, and grant you the wisdom you require to guide us through this book. Amen.

    • Thank you for your beautiful prayer for us and for me. I agree with your prayers wholeheartedly. We are so blessed to have you back with us, Olayinka. You were such a blessing and shared great wisdom in our last study. Looking forward to more of the same! :)

      W

  24. I am sooo looking forward to this study for the second time. the first time, was amazing and I have been so blessed by Wendy’s story. I am doing this study again almost a year later – not b/c I didn’t gain anything the first time – God showed up in a HUGE way, I healed so much. I know though I can gain even more the second time around.

    Thank you Wendy for saying yes to God in telling your story AND in this conducting this study. I have been so blessed by God through you. Love you!

    • Veronica, it is a true blessing to have you join us again. Please share as led how God has worked in your life and brought healing. Your story will encourage so many.

      And THANK YOU WITH ALL MY HEART for gifting so many books to the women in this study. Praying specifically for God to bless your generosity in very real and personal ways!!

      Love you,

      Wendy

  25. I spent my morning looking up and reading scripture to combat fear and have written down 10 that touched me deeply. After about the 5th my confidence and spirit were so uplifted I felt like i was smiling from the inside out. I will definitely hold on to these verses as my go to verses when fear rears its ugly head.

    • Praise God!! That is exactly what I did and we will study that in a later chapter. God is at work in your already.

      W

  26. Thank you so much for this bible study and your book! I have recently been diagnosed with a very debilitating, rare chronic illness. It came on very suddenly after the birth of my second child. I am struggling with this recent diagnosis, the symptoms, taking care of a family, etc. I have had a lot of anger toward God and have asked the exact same questions that Wendy did at the beginning of chapter 2 in her book (just wasn’t able to articulate it as well :o ) Thank you, Wendy!

    • Kirsten, several members of my family struggle with chronic illness…autoimmune issues. They suffer greatly. I am sorry that you are suffering this way, especailly as a mom I know it must be hard. Praying now for God to meet you in this study and fill you in ways that only He can do. May His healing Hand touch your body and bring healing and restoration to your body. I am thankful He brought you here to study His Word and join in fellowship with other women who understand your pain.

      Belssings,

      Wendy

  27. Wendy, or other sisters here,I have a question .AS I read this a statement on page 22, where Wendy said she was betrayed by God and could not understand what she could have done to deserve the punishment. ”

    I wondered if because my abuse happened when I was so young and i had not be “introduced to God ” yet. If its God I blame alone with my mom and wont or cant admit it. I blame someone my mom for knowing and not doing anything, But could I be also blaming God unknowingly which could be stopping the healing?

    • I’ve been re-reading your comment over and over, wondering if I can help answer your question, but all I keep coming up with is another question. Debra, do you think you are blaming God for what happened? Yes said that at the time, you didn’t know God, but now that you do, has this been something that has impeded your relationship with Him? Has it stopped you from growing in your faith? From reading His Word? From praying? Do you find yourself angry with Him? If you answered yes, then perhaps you are holding some resentment toward Him, if not, then perhaps you are not blaming Him. What I am reading in what you have written, is anger and unforgiveness toward your mother. Wendy addresses this in chapter 6 and though I don’t want you to rush through the study, you may want to jump ahead and read that chapter. Until forgiveness is given…there can be no freedom.

      I hope that helps you.
      <3 Heather

      • Heather, I don’t know if I’m unconsciously blaming God, if I do then it’s unconscious. All I remember was asking why is this happening to me and why isn’t someone stopping it. There were several that knew. I will jump and read chapter 6. There are events that stop me from reading His Word- like not being the wife He wants me to be. Because I feel guilty for not being intimate because of what happened as a kid. I find myself using that as an excuse not to get close to my hubby. Telling hubby things like I just don’t crave sex – or closeness like you do anymore, or I dont need intimacy / sex like you, but there was a time right after my abuse when all I craved was sex. To me right there that shows I haven’t put the abuse behind me …. Am I right in my thinking?

        • Hi Debra, really praying for you and your marriage right now. I had a bit of intimacy issues with my husband too after he abused me but J helped me with some of the issues. You can visit her website – http://www.hotholyhumorous.blogspot.com/ for godly advise on how to restore intimacy in your marriage. May the Lord keep you and cause the light of His countenance to shine upon you. Amen.

          • Thank you olayinka, although my husband never hurt or abused me – he does deserve my love and intimacy and its something I have been working hard to give, thanks for the blog, I will check it out!

            I am so clinging to Wendy’s book as well as the bible asking God to show me where I need to focus.

    • Debra, you are asking such great questions and they are very common questions for victims of incest, sexual abuse, and rape. These are healthy questions to ask so long as you do not dwell on them. It is because I had those questions that Hidden Joy came to be written.

      As you work through the questions in the back of each chapter and as you pray and dig into the Word, I believe the Lord will be faithful to answer your questions and bring you out on the other side. Be patient and persevere. Some chapters may be hard, but God will be with you working through every chapter and issue. HE WILL BE FAITHFUL!!!

      Blessings,

      wendy

  28. WOW! Your book is awesome. I was beginning chapter 5 before I knew it. I am looking forwarded to the study!

  29. olayinka says:

    Hi Wendy, are we to do the reflection and study for chapters one & two as part of our home work for this week?

    • Yes, I am so sorry that I forgot to put that in the homework assignment. I did remember to put it in next week’s assignment thanks to you!

      W

  30. I am here because I didn’t finish the book the first time that it was in a study on another site. But I started then because I also had been raped (twice) it was how I lost my virginity and the topper of loosing all self confidence. That was 33 years ago. I have in the last 10 years overcome most of my hang ups, however I am always aware that I must be on guard at all times to now slip back into my self hating people pleasing tendency’s. So I want to dive back into this book and finish this time. Thank you Wendy for putting your life out there, so that you can help women such as myself.
    Lynn

    • You are so welcome, Lynn. I LOVE leading these studies. It brings me great joy to watch women move through the chapter and the Scriptures and discover Truths and Promises that bring great transformation to their lives. I cannot wait to see what He will do!!

      W

  31. It amazes me. No matter how many times I read Wendy’s book, I always find something new that strikes me and moves my heart. As I re-read the intro and the first two chapters, I found myself constantly saying to myself, “Yeah, I remember feeling like that,” or “I asked that same question over and over again.” There were so many things that struck me as if I were reading them for the first time, but if I had to pick just one quote to share I have to say the one that gets me every time is from pg12 in the Introduction…

    “I learned that within the confines of God’s story, nothing had been stolen from me, but rather everything was given to me.”

    When I read chapters one and two, it can be hard to believe that the same person who felt such hopelessness, despair, loss, and was in such a dark place could come back one day and write the statement above. I sit here with tears in my eyes thinking about the ABSOLUTE healing found in God and God alone. Where we find Wendy in the beginning…is NOT where we find her today; thanks be to God. It took time. It took God. But healing came and that same healing is offered to every one of God’s children.

    What about you? If you had just ONE line or sentence that just made your heart leap, which one would it be?

    <3 Heather

    • Jessica Joy says:

      Heather,
      The sentences leading up to the one you shared struck a cord inside of me:
      “It stole my every hope and dream. But God’s love and His Word set my heart free.”
      I think each one of us can replace “It” with a circumstance that has occurred in our lives which has lead to shattered hopes and dreams. However, God’s love and His Words are so powerful that they can heal and give us a renewed hope.

    • I just couldn’t pick one! But these 4 sentences on the last page of ch. 2 really spoke to me: “Do you long for delivery from your anguish and pain? Do you long to escape from your prison of darkness? Are you desperate for hope in the midst of your hopelessness? Open His Word. Sit at His feet and ask Him to reveal Himself to you.” Good stuff!

    • Thank you, Heather!! I just love the question you asked the women…wish I had thought of it. :)

  32. Stephanie says:

    I am so depressed I can’t even open my Bible right now. I spent all of yesterday in the bed and didn’t do any of my work for this study. Today, I’m out of bed, but I just can’t seem to start the work. I want to be faithful, but it’s as if something is pulling me away, pulling me down further and further. I can’t describe it. Please pray for me.

    • Stephanie says:

      By the grace of God, I just completed yesterday’s and today’s work. I also got a shower and started laundry. And somehow, for some reason, I want to dig into all the scripture that is referenced in Ch. 2, after re-reading it this morning. If anyone prayed for me, thank you.

      • You’ve been on my heart this morning, I’m so glad that your day is turning around! Blessings!

        <3 Heather

      • prayed for you this morning. i know how it feels to be in debilitating depression. just keep asking God for healing, He will show you the root of it. and ask Him to shine light in your darkness, He will! and that’s what will pull you out of your pit. As wendy mentioned, psalm 40:1-3 were very helpful verses to me, a promise i clung to in my darkest depression. psalm 139, is another one wendy mentioned in her book, very helpful psalm, every part of it, but focus especially on vs. 11-12, God is with us in our darkness and His light can reach us even there. you’ve never fallen beyond His reach. pray you find healing!

      • Stephanie, that is what God’s Word will do!! He will turn our hearts away from our sadness and our circumstances and turn them towards Him. He will fill us with His good things!!! Praying you will continue to seek hard after Him. Don’t let up. Stay in the Word. Fix your eyes on JESUS.

        Blessings,

        Wendy

  33. Awesome, glad you are feeling better. God’s Word does AMAZING things,

  34. I found this study through proverbs 31′s facebook page and felt compelled by god to buy the book. I have a ling history of codependency, abuse (both physical and emotional) , divorce/broken home and others. I have reconnected with god in the last 2 years after about 20 years away. I still find myself asking “why god?” some days. I hope by completing this study and learning more about god’s word I can quit asking why so much and live in the present. My past is my past and it needs to be left there and not dwelt upon. Thanks Wendy for doing this study and I hope to grow through ir. God bless!

    • God promises when you seek Him with all your heart, you will find Him. I just love your heart to want to put your past behind you and begin anew. I SO remember that place. If you stay connected to the Word, He will do exactly that. He promises to make all things new!

      W

  35. I will be buying the book this Friday.I have gone through a history of pain and abuse.Been in and out of the Crisis Centre since 17,now in my early fifties.I am transgendered and have a strong female personality.I look forward to this journey towards healing and restoration.

    • Praying you will meet God in the pages of this book and in the pages of His Word. May He wash you with the TRUTH of His Word and bring total and complete healing and restoration of all that burdens your heart and mind.

      W

  36. I found out about your study through Proverbs 31 Ministries. It captured my heart immediately. A man broke into my home and raped me (with a 3 month old in my arms). I have never seen a study or met someone who has experienced this, so I thank you for writing this book and sharing your heart with others. I am looking forward to what God wants to do in my life through this study.

    • Lisa, oh, my heart just breaks thinking about this man raping your with your sweet baby in your arms. God brought you here to do a mighty work in your life. We are thankful you are here and cannot wait to see what God is going to do in and through Your time in His Word and in this fellowship of women.

      W

  37. Dear Wendy, thank you so much for this wonderful study. God has definitely picked me out for it. I have lived for almost 30 years in a prison, which has affected all my relationships in some way or the other. I am exhausted but also very excited as I am seeing a real shimmer of hope when I started the study on Monday. When I looked up the word “deliverer”, in the dictionary, it explains that it is to be set-free. I have wanted to be completely free for so long and felt that God was speaking to me directly. I really want to thank you for enduring your trial with such diligence in order for me to have guidance on how to be free in Jesus today. Thank you, thank you and I pray that God will bless you beyond comprehension, all my love. Riene

    • Riene, prayed for you this morning. “The Lord looseth the prisoners.” Psalm 146:7 He is faithful, He will throw open those prison doors!

      • Thank you Jean B, it means so much to me! and thank you to all the other woman praying, you are all in my prayers too!

    • Reine,

      Jesus said He came to set the captives free. One of God’s Names is that He is our Deliverer!! I pray that He will make Himself known to you in very real way that He is your Deliverer. And thank you for your prayers of blessings for me personally.

      W

  38. jackie s says:

    i will so attempt to pray strongly and fervently for all of the women who have made comments (or didn’t) this week. my heart is sad that so much pain and suffering has been experienced, but i am also encouraged that we have a true GOD who can bring us through the depths and pits of life to a newer, closer relationship with HIM.
    I did the Hebrews study w/ Wendy and considered doing another one at some time. However, in the past few months (as i was finishing out the Hebrews study), my husband began encountering more health issues – life changing, chronic seizure issues – and his behavior began changing. He is a Christian, as am I, and our marriage has always been “fine”, but never as strong as I’m sure that God would like it to be. My husband’s moods were changing for the worse, we began fighting, old issues kept coming to the surface and I began praying fervently for God to help us and him. Three weeks ago it all came to a pivotal moment. My husband drove to church (i had to drive separately that day) and he became overwhelmed with grief, depression,…over his fears of his health, felt like a failure in our marriage, as a father,…and wasn’t sure why God was still letting him live. He literally ran to our assistant pastor for help prior to Sunday School – I was brought in – and we have now begun the road to healing and developing a strong relationship with God – meeting periodically with our pastor in counseling, praying, delving into the Bible more consistently, …
    I have really had to take a long, hard, and honest look at myself – my husband acknowledged his desire to lay his situation at the feet of Jesus in front of our church two weeks ago – and my heart is filled with joy at the possibility of God working through us for the better! In the midst of all this, I saw the invite for Wendy’s book again and realized her book could be further encouragement for our own “darkness” that we’ve been going through. Thanks for the study – and blessings to all of the women taking part.

    • How wonderful to be on this journey WITH your husband. God will powerfully bless the two of you and your marriage as you seek Him together. I am honored He brought you here at this time for this study to be a part of your healing journey. Please share with us how God is working in your life and your husband’s. Praying healing prayers for your husband right now. Praying He will bring you both out of darkness into His marvelous healing, restoring Light.

      Blessings,

      Wendy

  39. I am taking this study because I want to be anchored in God’s word and not be moved by my circumstances and by the thoughts and opinions of others. I have lived too long looking to others to fulfill me and make me feel significant. When others reject me, I try so hard to win their approval and their friendship. Perhaps God is protecting me from something. I like your response to a reader’s comment, Wendy. You said, ” Rejection, sweet friend, is God’s protection. He has greater things in store for you. …” I believe those words were for me. I am hoping God will give me a new beginning and that I will handle all of life’s situtations- the good, the bad, the ugly by faith.

    Hopeful,
    Karen C

    • karen, i could very much echo your words. praying God tears down these strongholds for the both of us. He is faithful, He will do it!

    • Read Psalm 139 sometime during this next week. Allow time to soak in each and every verse, Karen. In this Psalm God tells you how loved you are and how He knows every part of you and loves every part of you. He created you just as you are. He has a wonderful plan for you. It matters not what anyone else says about you. It matters only that you KNOW and BELIEVE who you are in Christ and that you SEEK hard after the amazng plan He has for you. I pray you will begin to believe these truths in your life and allow them to change how you see yourself. May you come to know your identity and Christ and walk in confidence in that identity!!

      Blessings,

      Wendy

  40. I prayed a couple of weeks ago for God to lead me to a study with women who want to know Him the way that I long to, and the next day I got the email for the Proverbs 31 studies. I debated on which one to choose, and I realized that I’m somewhat in dark corner myself. I’ve often wondered exactly what “joy” looks like through our walk with Jesus, so this seemed perfect to me. I’m so glad I picked this one. I can’t put the book down, and I’ve cried thru most of it. My husband and I have only been married a little over two years. We have a 21 month old son and when he was 6 weeks old, I left our home to “prove a point.” Six months later we were in the middle of a divorce when God spoke very loudly to me and told me to wait and pray. My life changed that day. The Jesus that I had been raised to love suddenly became real and He became everything. My son and I have been back home with my husband since December and it has been anything but easy. I guess it’s been my Valley of Weeping. My husband isn’t saved and has a lot of anger and unforgiveness toward me. The Lord has become my strength, my joy, my confidence and my hope. I want to know Him more…to learn to abide in Him…and to learn that His promises are true for me, too. I want to learn more about His grace and pass it on to my son. I want my husband to see Jesus in me. I’m excited to be here with you ladies, and I thank you Wendy, for being obedient to Him so that dark corners don’t seem quite so scary.

    Excited,
    Katie G

    • Katie,

      Thank you for sharing your story. It took so much courage to listen to the Lord and obey Him when He called you to go back home. He will honor your obedience and bless your efforts. All He asks of us as wives it to live out our faith in front of our husbands with a gentle and quiet spirit. This is how we will win them over. I pray He will enable you through the power of His Holy Spirit to live out your faith this way….to respect and love your husband even in the hard times. May God tender your husband’s heart toward you and give him eyes to see Christ’s love in you. Praying strength for you when it is hard and when your husband’s words are harsh. Remember who you are in Christ and do not let your husband’s words define you. Through this study..mostly through the Scriptures taught throughout this study…you will come to know God in deeper and richer ways that will transform your heat and your home!!

      W

  41. I married a man I should not have and endured 6 years of emotional, physical, and sexual abuse by him until our (then) 3 year old daughter disclosed that he’d abused her. Which was the point I reached – Enough is Enough. In the darkness this trial has brought us – I’ve faced such suffering; hers, my family’s, and my own. And I’ve finally dredged up the source of the lies I’ve believed about myself (and God’s gift of sexuality) for so long; my poor choices in relationships due in part to being raped by a boyfriend as a young woman, and sexually abused by an older child at a waterpark as a girl.
    I believe God engineered this recent crisis to wake us up to the reality of his plan and desire for our lives (Jeremiah 29:11-14) and in short what brought me here is that verse and my life verses:
    Proverbs 31:8 “Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves and insure justice for those being crushed.”
    John 8:32 “Then you will know the Truth and the Turth will set you free!”

    • StephanieE says:

      Jeremiah 29:11-12 …..is my life verse:) Only the past few months I have really lingered on verse 12…”then you will SEEK ME and you will FIND ME when you seek me with ALL YOUR HEART”. God convicted me to do these things and only when I completely let go of my plans and desires and gave him the control did I begin to receives answers to questions I had been praying about. Praying for you:)

  42. Kristy M. says:

    I was raped as a child, sexually assaulted as a college student, suffered from depression, almost died from an eating disorder, spent four long years with a chronic illness that seemed to take everything from me and had a suffering marriage BUT I am a survivor! I am a child of God! He has plans for my life to prosper and will work everything for the good of those who love Him. I can’t say how many times I have been through Wendy’s book, too many times to count. Also, it took me a few times, and a lot of encouragement, to get through the study guide in the back. When I heard Wendy say that she would willingly go through the pain and suffering that she went through if it gave her the life and ministry she has today then I knew God was working through her, and I knew I needed to listen to the words of wisdom she shares. God changed my life through Wendy. A year ago I was deeply hurting and questioning the goodness of God. Today I am joyful and thankful for what God has done in my life. There are still some hard days but now I know to reach for my bible and I will find encouragement and a Father.

  43. I am doing Wendy’s online study because I too was raped about June / July 1986. (Is it weird I don’t remember the date?) It was a traumatic experience; I never spoke to anyone about it for at least 10 years. When I first read Wendy’s book it was as if I had written it myself. Only I knew the person who raped me & I withdrew from society. I felt safer to be alone. There have been many dark days when I just wanted to end my life. In fact about one day I left work early with the intention of ending my life, but just before I left one of the girls I worked with asked me to listen to a song before I left, too this day I still can’t remember what it was but I do know it was about God. Then she invited me to church, which I still attended. It’s been a bumpy road. I still have days where I tear myself down like you wouldn’t believe.
    Last year after losing my father, grandmother & my job within a 6 month period, I found myself at the end of the rope once again; I was scared of where I was heading & what I might do…
    God dropped the following verses into my heart Galatians 6:6 / Proverbs 10:11 / Hosea 10:12.
    I usually start things with good intentions but never finish them. I don’t know how to express what I am feeling or I don’t understand what I am reading… I just pray that I don’t get lost somewhere between the start of this study & the end.
    Forgive me I don’t make sense.

    Love & Hugs
    Karyn.

    • Karyn,

      My prayer for you is that you will PERSEVERE!! Set time each week to do this study…maybe a bit of time each day or one day of the week. Commit to it and try your best not to deviate. Sit in the same place each time. Keep a journal with your book. God deeply desires you to stick with it so He can do a work in your life. The evil one deeply desires that you quit to keep you from growing in Christ and to keep you from this fellowship of women who will build you up and encourage you. Don’t let the evil one win, sweet friend. Stand strong against Him. God will be faithful in your faithfulness to complete this study. It is only seven weeks. I know you can do it!!!

      Blessings,

      Wendy

  44. Caroline says:

    Wendy,

    Thank you for your testimony. I have participated in your Bible Studies and loved every one of them! God had nudged me to this one for over a year, I am excited to feel His amazing hand in this study as we dig into His word. God richly bless you!

    • Caroline, I am thankful the Lord brought you back to join us again!!! I look forward to you sharing as we move through the book.

      Blessings,

      Wendy

  45. Chargaile says:

    I am late getting a chance to comment, however, I read all the comments this morning and I am both amazed and blessed. When you read all of the comments at one reading, I am amazed at how God has brought together such a diverse group of ladies.

    So many different pains are shared here. But the huge blessing I received comes from that word “shared”. Sharing our pains, hurts and suffering with each other, praying for each other, those are the blessings and reason God led Wendy to write this book. He knew how many lives would be touch, He knew that His child Wendy would turn her pain into a means of giving hope to hurting women.

    I did the bible study last year on this book and I thought that since I have never been raped, I wasn’t sure how this would help me grow. Oh my goodness, I got my answer soon after I started, pain and hurt is pain and hurt, no matter where the source of your pain comes from. I learned so much and was blessed in so many, many ways.

    Yes, I am doing this study again and I know in advance that I will be blessed in huge ways again.

    Thank you Wendy for sharing so much of yourself and your teachings with us. Love you to the moon and back sweet lady.

    • Charlotte, I am so thankful you are joining us again. The women will be so blessed by your wisdom. Please, please share with us!!

      Wendy

  46. I am getting so much out of the 1st 2 chapters and questions, Some of the answers will be on my blog out of the shadows of abuse that I started when I did the study before. Just reading some of those earlier posts have shows just how much I have grown and am continuing to grow.

  47. The verses this week have reminded me again of who God is. Often I pass my circumstances through the “earthly filter” in my brain and then the doubts, fears, etc. come. The verses this week remind me to realize my life is passing through “God’s heavenly filter.” == Thus, God being God, has ways that are not my ways…..often hard to understand, but comfort and hope is there knowing.

  48. What an encouragement! Chapter 2, p 34 :

    “Do not get discouraged if you feel He is not answering your questions or speaking to your situation. He will. Trust Him in the wait. He is at work.”

    Waiting is hard but let’s persevere, as He is faithful.

  49. stephanie says:

    I haven’t posted since early in the week, but I’ve been reading all the posts throughout the week (I get them through my email). I am so encouraged by everyone who has shared and prayed. I want to thank those of you who responded to me personally. I have made a huge turn for the better and my mind feels functional again. I’m on vacation this week with my family, but I will be doing the work. I will continue to pray for everyone in the study. I especially pray that more women this week will come to the blog for encouragement and support. We as humans, and as women, need to know that while we may not share precise circumstances, we do share pain, loneliness and so much more. Dig deep, ladies, for God is Healer, Comfortor and Friend :)

    With much affection and many blessings,
    Stephanie

  50. As I sit here tonight re reading some of the verses i wrote down I am asking God to show me my life’s verse. But as I read the question Heather asked about one sentence, I would say it would gave to be in Ch 2 second sentence. “I put a wall around myself not letting anyone or anything penetrate it.” AS I thought about that I envisioned a wall or piece of furniture that is painted over and over and over never taking off the old to put on the new. My heart has been so built up and protected or fortified so no pain or hurt can get to it, Now not even a tornado could get thru , not even God and his love, until now.

  51. Just finishing the questions for chapter 2 and thinking about the combination of God as sovereign, wise and abounding in love. When these work together we have a Father who is ultimately in control, making the wisest, best decisions for us out of love. That’s an incredibly powerful perspective on the trials in life.

  52. Stephanie says:

    A little late getting started, but better late than never:). These past 8 months have been the most difficult of my life. I discovered back in September that my husband of almost two years had been cheating on me….after dealing with and incredible amount of pain and anger and trying to seek God’s will, 6 months later we actually spoke and decided to try and save our marriage. This was without the support of my family and many friends who felt he had not truely changed. Well… Two months of trying and counseling and I just still felt very uneasy. The trust had been destroyed and I felt like I had a 14 yr old child that I had to monitor his activities. I really began to seek God and pray for His will in this situation. My human mind and love for my husband clung to hope and wanted my marriage to work more than anything. But as I desperately cried out to God for some sort of revelation of the truth…he began to provide me with little signs that showed me my husband was moving back to the same behavior. So, I have decided to move on….it hurts tremendously and being raised in church there is such a stigma over divorce. I know God hates it, but I also know he doesn’t want us to live a defeated life where we are wrecked emotionally and just getting by. I’m looking for continued strength and reliance in God through this study….wow, I can’t even imagine a situation like Wendy’s…I know if God moved through her life in this situation he will meet me in mine!

    • Stephanie, I hope you get this reply, Welcome to our study . I am so glad you are here. I too am a victim of divorce. And a while back did a search for a woman who was being abused and the like who didn’t want to leave her marriage because she felt it wrong. In my search I discovered that God gave husbands the authority to protect save love and cherish the wife and while its true that we enter into a vow in front of God that when the husband does anything against God and hurts or abuses the wife – the vow is broken, and the wife is free. And while you aren’t in the same situation as the woman I am speaking of in doing the search for scripture for this woman, I too was set free because I had felt and thought I truly had sinned when I left ( I’m not saying the break up was all his fault- I had my hand in it as well ) but after several tries at trying to make it work it just didn’t click. And when I got to the point AND I AM NOT AT THIS PLACE ANYMORE of thinking suicide was better then the marriage I got out. I believe God did not want us to live a life or pain hurt confusion, chaos but of peace and harmony. I am happily married and working to have a better marriage and life with God and my hubby.

      • Stephanie says:

        Thank you for the reply….I have struggled so much with the concepts of forgiveness and and yes, feeling almost guilty like maybe I could try harder. Satan has definitely used my mind as a strong force to keep me down and feeling defeated. But as I leaned on God and continued to proclaim his promises, he opened my eyes to things that bordered on emotional abuse from my husband as well as behaviors indicating he continued to not set boundaries with other females. I finally came to the painful realization that I can’t change him, no matter how much I love him and that I wasn’t called to live in a relationship defeating me emotionally, physically, and spiritually. We recently separated for good two weeks ago and it’s tough…..I’m a very type A personality and hate failure and hate the “oh I’m so sorry” response I get from others when they find out…..I’m definitely not seeking pity. Just trying to live one day at a time and praying God gives me the strength to move forward…this is not the future I envisioned. Marriage for me was supposed to be a one time thing…..the reality of the whole situation just hurts tremendously. I’m sure you remember that feeling…

    • Stephanie
      I too am in your place but after 8 years. I found out about the one in 04 and we too attempted to “work it out” but two years ago found out that he was once again not able to remain pure to his faith and his actions took over. Only this time I pushed back and demanded to know even more about our life together and what I know now is there have been many…4 I know the names of and 2 have been very good and close friends. So the pain you speak of is something I too am working on and the anger is becoming an even larger issue. So I am hoping with ALL hope that this study with Wendy and you all along with the prayers going up will bring me to a point of raising above the actions, the hurts, the pain and yes even the memories of all this mess. I am also looking for what I am to do. Somehow and for whatever reason I still love this man or perhaps the man I once knew?? But the questions and yes even the guilt I have with all this becomes overwhelming. I hide in my room most days and nights while he works, goes to a different church, golfs with friends and seems to have God and everyone on his side. There is a peace about him that makes me wonder and question my faith and where is my Jesus??? When will I have protection from all this? Show me the way, the path and your will….
      Stay strong and know that together and with Wendy’s story we may just find what we are looking for and need…Blessings to you all

      • Stephanie says:

        I can TOTALLY relate! I have been stuck with our home, all the memories, working out at the same gym where the girl goes that he cheated on me with. And you’re right……definitely difficult at time to divert those feelings of anger towards him and toward the females involved; however, I have resolved that NOTHING will steal the JOY God has placed in me and I will not let this situation destroy my faith. In the end, it really doesn’t matter if our husbands come out “smelling like a rose” while you/I are struggling to pick up the broken pieces, because the only person we are called to please and answer to is God. That has brought me renewed strength many a day. That and when I feel so overwhelmed I just thank God for his blessings in revealing the truth before more damage was done, for great friends and family, and health and so many more things….once I do that it changes my focus from me to how awesome HE is….that will make you smile:)

        I came across this verse a few months ago and it has become my prayer for my situation…I will pray it for you as well!
        1 Peter 5:10 “And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast.”

  53. I am little late joining this study, but I have signed up because I am seeking God’s healing. My life is not what I had planned or envisioned. The shattering of my dreams and plans has left me bitter and hopeless at times. My thought life feels like it is constantly under attack as I struggle to stand firm on the truth that God has good plans for me. It’s easy to believe He will work in the lives of others, but for myself… Well that’s where I doubt. I want to be firmly rooted in God, to have deep faith and to trust him with all of my heart. I want to be transformed. Thank you Wendy for this study.

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