Saturday, November 8, 2014

Why Not Ethiopia?

By far, the most frequent question we get about our adoption is, “Why not domestic adoption?” Why are we spending tens of thousands of dollars to adopt a child half way around the world when there are so many children right here in the United States who need a family?

We have absolutely nothing against adopting domestically. Adoption is a wonderful thing! God Himself sets forth the example of adoption, accepting as children those who are obedient to His word (Galatians 4:5), regardless of gender or nationality. Those who choose to bring a child into their home to love as their own display a beautiful picture of Christ’s family. We 100% support Christians who adopt whether they are adopting through the State, going the private domestic route, or heading overseas.

The oft-quoted statistic is that there are 153 million orphaned children worldwide. This number includes children who have lost either a mother or a father. Of that number, approximately 18 million children have lost both parents, and are considered “double orphans”. That is a LOT of children. Unfortunately, we cannot give a home to every one of these precious little ones. What we can do right now is work on providing a home to one child in need.

When we sat down and began seriously considering the possibility of adoption, one of the things we discussed was how to decide which child to adopt. It was a tough topic. How do you look at that number – 18 million double orphans – and decide which ONE you will bring into your home?

It is, of course, impossible to decide which orphaned child is in most need of a home. Every child is in need of a family! However, the current living conditions and likely future of orphans in each country we looked at had a great deal of influence on our decision to pursue international adoption. Our desire is to give hope to a child who would otherwise grow up without a home, without a family, without necessary medical care, and (most importantly) without spiritual training.

With this in mind, we began researching various countries. Several factors limited our options. First, we were limited by my age. Many countries require both parents to be over the age of 25 before enrolling in a program. Some require both parents to be over 30. I just turned 24 and was barely 23 when we were ready to begin the process.

Second, we were limited because of how many children we have (and intend to have). Many countries only allow you to have one or two children already in the home. I am pregnant with our third blessing.

Third, we were limited by finances. We were convinced (and still are) that the cost of the adoption should not be a deciding factor in our decision. $40,000 is a lot of money, but our Heavenly Father paid a much higher price to adopt us into His family. A child’s life is worth the price. As long as we are doing what God wants and doing it God’s way, He will provide the money in His timing. We weren’t just looking for the cheapest, fastest, easiest option. However, some countries do have a minimum income requirement that we did not meet.

Once we figured out which countries we qualified for (Bulgaria, Uganda, The United States, Ethiopia, Peru, and several others), we took a closer look at the condition of orphans in those countries. Of each country, we asked, “What is life likely to hold for an orphan who is not adopted?”

We were first drawn to Uganda, where orphans who age out of the system at 16 years old are left with few ethical ways of making a living (many girls turn to prostitution in order to survive). In fact, we were in the Uganda program for several months. But at the time, Uganda’s adoption process was very unstable and it was uncertain if we would ever be matched with a child. For this and several other reasons we took a second look at the countries we qualified for and reconsidered our options.

We prayed, sought advice, prayed, researched, and prayed some more. And we kept coming back to Ethiopia, a country very similar to Uganda. In many of the countries we looked at, orphans are at a definite disadvantage, but their basic needs are met. For example, in the U.S., most orphans have access to food, clothing, and medical care. That is not to say that every child will be well cared for, but our country does a decent job of caring for the basic necessities of orphaned children.

In Ethiopia….

·        1 in 8 children die before the age of 1
·        1 in 6 children die before the age of 5
·        At least 150,000 children live on the streets (some estimate a much higher number). These children often turn to prostitution and thievery for a living.
·        Approximately 5 million children in Ethiopia have lost one or both parents. It is unknown exactly how many of those children are double orphans. Ethiopia has one of the largest populations of orphans in the world.
·        14,000 children are born with HIV each year.
·        Around 800,000 children are orphaned by HIV/AIDS each year. The rate of infection is increasing rapidly.
·        46% of the population is under the age of 15.
·        The country is struggling to recover from nearly 17 years of civil war (1974-1991) and a widespread famine in the ‘80s. Ethiopia is an extremely poor country and the resources to provide proper care for orphans is limited.

Does this mean that Ethiopian orphans are in greater need of a family than any other orphan? No. But there IS a need for orphans from Ethiopia to be adopted. So why NOT adopt from Ethiopia? Is there a need for children to be adopted from the U.S.? Of course! So, why aren’t we adopting domestically? Because we are currently in the process of adopting from Ethiopia.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Adding Arrows

Everyone else has known for about a month now, so it's probably time I update my loyal blog followers. On September 8, Joshua and I found out that we are expecting Baby #3 in May 2015! We are extremely excited and thankful for this new blessing from the Lord!

We are also very thankful for a much easier pregnancy so far. During my first pregnancy I threw up nearly every day for nine months. I think there was one stretch when I went a whole week without puking. My second pregnancy was much better. I only threw up about 25 times. Yes, I kept count. I was determined to keep the number under 30. Anyway, the nausea was still pretty awful at times and nothing seemed to help. Except a big, cold glass of chocolate milk. Which was not so helpful to my waistline...

This time around the nausea has been unpleasant, but manageable. I am 11 weeks along and have thrown up only twice so far! Woohoo! Not having to keep a bowl beside the bed for when I wake up in the morning has been fantastic. I can usually expect to feel sick around 12:45pm, but Joshua gets home at 1:00pm so he is able to come to my rescue and fix the kids lunch so I can rest.

One cool thing about this pregnancy is that I am actually having some cravings! With my other two, NOTHING ever sounded good. So, the feeling of WANTING to eat something is a feeling that I cherish :) And another plus: One of my strongest cravings is a craving for SALAD!

This third baby does not change our plans to adopt. Our agency is aware of  the pregnancy and is very supportive of us continuing the adoption. It will still likely be two years or more before we are placed with a child, so that gives us plenty of time to adjust after the birth of this little one. Please continue to keep us in your prayers as we prepare to welcome TWO more children into our family!

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

One Step at a Time

Just a quick update on our adoption progress. We received our notarized home study last week and immediately turned around and mailed off our i-600a. This is an application seeking approval from the government to adopt. Once they receive our application they will assign us a date to have our fingerprints done. Then they just have to get all the paperwork finalized, which we are told could take about three months.

On the financial side of things, we are about $1500 short of our next agency payment, which has to be paid before the next step of putting the dossier together. If you would like to donate to our adoption fund, please visit Please continue to keep us in your prayers!

Sunday, August 17, 2014

The Post I’ve Been Waiting Eight Months to Write

FINALLY! I am FINALLY allowed to write what I have been bursting to share since January. It’s been a long, grueling, frustrating, yet incredibly exciting eight months. We have had many long days, late nights, tense moments, and even a few tears. We’ve had our faith stretched, and we’ve seen God answer our prayers in some amazing, unexpected ways.

It’s been an interesting year. We’ve had ups and downs and in-between times, and one of the hardest parts of it all was not being able to share this news with everybody. I have so looked forward to the day when I could just blurt it all out to the world.

It started in January. It got exciting in February. It got crazy in May. It got frustrating in June. It got even crazier in July. Each month brought a new milestone, but also a new challenge. And each month I had to work extremely hard to keep myself from getting on here and spilling the beans to my millions of followers. Or at least, to the two of you who read this blog – one of whom already knows our secret... (Hi, Mom!).

*Cough* Anyway… The time leading up to this moment of revelation seemed to be unending… Kind of like this introduction…

Okay, okay. I just thought that since I had to wait so long to announce it, y’all should have to feel some of my pain by reading a bunch of long-winded nonsense. Now, FINALLY, our big, exciting news:



That’s right! We are in the process of adopting a young child from Ethiopia. We have been accepted by an agency, our home study is complete, and we are now seeking immigration approval. In a few more months our dossier will be ready to send to Ethiopia and then we will be put on the waiting list to be matched with a child!

Joshua and I are incredibly excited about expanding our family through adoption. We feel so blessed that God has given us the opportunity to begin this journey sooner than we originally thought possible. Adoption has always been close to our hearts and the desire to adopt is one of the first things that attracted us to each other. We began looking into it two years ago, compiling a notebook full of research. The timing was not right to begin the process, but we did a lot of praying about it and looking into what it would involve. When we moved up here to Michigan, God opened doors and we suddenly found ourselves in a position to begin the journey. In January, after lots of prayer, we took a step of faith and submitted our application. On February 3, we were accepted.

We wanted to wait until our home study was finished before announcing our plans. There were some delays, miscommunication, and a major change of course (which I will hopefully blog about in the future) so it took a little longer to complete the home study than we expected. But, now it’s done! We are approved to adopt!

God has taught us some big lessons these past few months about dedication, trust, and doing what is right now matter what. He has provided the necessary funds for each step of the way. He has put people in our lives as sources of encouragement and strength. He has opened so many doors that I thought were brick walls. We truly serve an amazing God.

So far, God has enabled us to pay for all the expenses we have faced out of pocket. Now we are coming to a point where we need to do some fundraising in order to proceed with the next steps. We currently owe our agency $2,666 in order to move on to the next stage. Also, the immigration approval and fingerprinting will cost close to $900. These are our immediate needs. If you would like to contribute to our effort to bring our child home, please or contact me at We would greatly appreciate your financial support!

More than that, we covet your prayers. This is a long, hard process. It is emotionally draining, with many highs and lows. If you have been there or are currently in the process, we would love to hear your story and advice! We know that we do not know everything that we will need to know for every part of this journey, but we do know that God provides just what we need for each step of the way. Please pray for us as we seek His will and glory above all else.

Ephesians 3:20-21, “Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.”

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

A Little Softer Now

Two posts on Facebook. One from a friend sharing the happy announcement that they are expecting another baby. The second from a friend sharing the heartbreaking news that their unborn little one has gone on to be with the Lord. Two posts. One sobering reminder.

I read both of these announcements at a time when my little ones were driving me nuts and I was having a hard time remembering why I ever thought I was qualified to be a mama. The first post brought me back to those joyful moments when we found out about each of our children, and an overwhelming love for my family engulfed me. Maybe I’m not ‘qualified’ to be a mama. But I am so thankful that God chose to bless me with my babies anyway. I wouldn’t trade this role for all the world.

The second post... It made me want to wrap my little ones in my arms and never let them go. It reminded me of just how brief and fleeting life is. How faint. How fragile. Today I’ve been given priceless moments with my children, moments that I may not have tomorrow. And no matter how long and crazy the days are, the years are short. I want to treasure those days and fill them with memories of laughter and of training my children with the joy of the Lord. I want to shower them with undivided attention, laugh at their silliness, smile at their determination, and handle those moments of frustration with grace.

A little more gentle. A little slower. A little softer now.  Because I am a lot more mindful of the brevity of life.

[Photo courtesy of David Castillo Dominici and]

Monday, June 9, 2014

Natural Remedies for Shingles

I wrote this about a month ago and am just finally getting around to posting. I still have slight pain in my shoulder left over from the shingles, but usually only when I get really stressed out. The oils and other remedies mentioned here have majorly decreased recovery time and I am so thankful for those of you who recommended these products!

Last week I came down with shingles, one of the most painful illnesses I have ever experienced. I woke up Saturday morning with severe pain in my right arm like I had strained a muscle or been punched several times in my armpit. It was the first time my oldest had slept through the night so I attributed the soreness to going too long without nursing him. Later that morning when an itchy patch showed up on my chest, I didn’t think anything about it, figuring that I had been bitten or just gotten something irritating on my skin. When the bruised feeling began spreading to my shoulder and back and more spots appeared, I started to wonder what was up.

I went the whole day trying to soothe my sore muscles and refrain from scratching the spots, hoping that it was just a minor allergic reaction to something and would go away soon. But it was getting worse. Much worse. By that night I could barely raise my arm without excruciating pain and the spots had developed blistering bumps all over them. So, after getting the kids ready for bed I called my mentor and best friend, who also happens to be a nurse practitioner (I highly recommend having a best friend in the medical field; Having someone you can bug at all hours of the night for the silliest of medical questions is invaluable ;) ). I described my symptoms and she asked a key question, “Are all of the spots on one side of your body?” Yep, sure ‘nough. Her unofficial diagnosis, “Girl, I can’t say for sure without seeing, but I do believe you’ve got shingles.”

            Shingles? Are you kidding me? At this point I kind of started to freak out. Isn’t shingles really dangerous? And highly contagious? Did I need to go to urgent care right away? After talking with her and doing a little of my own research online I concluded that no, in most cases shingles is not dangerous (although it can rarely cause severe complications), and it is only contagious to those who have not had chickenpox. If spread to an individual who has never had chickenpox, it will manifest itself as such rather than as shingles. The doctor will prescribe an antiviral but it won’t really fight the illness, just treat the symptoms while your body recovers, and the medication prescribed comes with a list of possible negative side effects of its own.

            I did a lot of reading online and talked with some friends who have had shingles and found that an outbreak usually occurs during a time of stress or really low immune system. I hadn’t been sick, but we had been to several doctors’ offices for my son’s leg (he severely bruised it a couple weeks ago and we wanted to make sure it wasn’t broken) and for our general check-ups, so I had been exposed to things that could have weakened my immune system even though I didn’t actually feel sick. And stress? Oh, yeah, there’s been some stress. Between being worried that Little Mister’s leg was broken and trying to care for him (ever tried to keep a two year old who can’t walk entertained for two weeks?), getting a new dog, and dealing with some other outside factors, I was exhausted and frazzled. So, it’s really no surprise that I ended up with these spots that feel like someone pelted me with paintballs, stuck a thousand needles in my skin, and poured lemon juice over the pinpricks.           

I am a no medication kind of gal. I don’t even like taking Tylenol for a migraine. Over the last few years I have been trying to learn more about homeopathy and natural remedies and to rely more on what God put into creation to help heal us. Call me a crazy hippy, but I believe that nature contains the safest, most effective medicine available. You just have to take the time to find what works. I grew up relying heavily on doctors’ advice, so this has been an adjustment for me and something of a journey to learn to trust that God really did create certain things in nature for our health and healing.

Since shingles attacks when you have a low immune system, my first order of business was to load up on vitamins and other nutrients to restore my body’s defenses. B-complex, L-lysine, large doses of Vitamin C, and a powder called Ester-C have become part of my regimen. B-12 is supposed to especially help, but you need it in a B-complex form for your body to absorb it. L-lysine is also found in meat and dairy, so I’ve been eating a lot of foods from those groups. You mix Ester-C with juice or water (it tastes nasty, though). As far as foods to avoid, you really want to stay away from nuts, chocolate, and sugar while fighting shingles.

I’ve also been taking colloidal silver. If you’ve heard any of the news stories about this substance you may be appalled. I was skeptical, too, but after doing a lot of research I am comfortable taking one teaspoon twice daily in addition to occasionally applying it topically to the sores. I believe it helps and have not read any credible side effects from it when taken properly. Do your own research. Don’t use it if you’re uncomfortable doing so.

In the realm of homeopathy, the only remedy I had on hand that was recommended was arsenicum album. I tried a few doses of that the first night, but it didn’t really seem to be the right remedy for me. Some other remedies that may help are rhus tox, iris versicolor, clematis erectus, apis mellifica, and mezereum, but we don’t currently have any of those.

The most helpful remedy I have found for shingles has been pure essential oils! I had wanted to get some oils for a long time because I’ve heard so many people rave about them, but they are so expensive! However, on the third day of unbelievable pain, and after talking with a friend who said oils worked wonders for her case of shingles, Joshua and I decided to give them a try. We couldn’t find anyone in town who sells therapeutic-grade oils, so we took the plunge and signed up with Young Living Essential Oils as a distributor to receive their wholesale prices. We ordered Monday and expedited shipping to receive the oils by Wednesday morning. The oils recommended to me were:

o   Oregano
o   Peppermint
o   Thieves
o   Ravintsara
o   Lavender
o   Frankincense

All but the ravintsara and oregano came with the Young Living Premium Starter Kit. Also included in the kit are lemon, and the blends Joy, Purification, PanAway, Peace & Calm, and Valor. Each comes in a 5 ml glass bottle. But wait, there’s more! With the Premium Starter Kit you also receive a diffuser and a sample box that includes 5 ml of Stress Away (which comes with an optional roller top), two 2 oz packets of Ningxia Red, and two little sample packets each of lavender, lemon, Peace & Calming, peppermint, and Thieves, as well as several pamphlets introducing you to essential oils and helping you get started if you intend to make a business out of it.

Wednesday morning before the oils arrived I was in an incredible amount of pain. Moving any part of my body hurt. I was hardly able to stand nursing the boys. I was only able to nurse from one side because the other side had blisters and I felt mastitis coming on even though I had been pumping. The blisters were spreading like wildfire and the bruised feeling radiated from my waist to my fingertips on the right side of my body. The slightest cold touch, even cool air brushing my skin just from walking, Hurt. So. Bad. I was in tears several times that morning. When the oils arrived at 10:00am I was overjoyed.

Joshua applied the recommended oils to the blisters and to the bottoms of my feet. It felt soooo good and amazingly soothing. At first he just shook a couple drops of each oil onto my skin and rubbed them in, but he had a hard time getting just one drop out so he decided to mix them in a little spray bottle and spray it on me. This works really well. After the first application I was finally able to get comfortable and relaxed into a two hour nap. That was the first deep sleep I’ve had in days (it helped that Joshua was sweet enough to take the boys and the dog outside during this time). When I woke up I noticed there was considerably less redness to the spots and the bruised feeling had almost completely subsided. Another couple of applications throughout the day and I was able to sleep that night like I have not been able to sleep in what feels like forever. I’m sold.

I’m still in pain. It itches, stings, and when it’s been a while since we last applied the oils, the bruised feeling begins to return (but with increasingly less intensity). With each application of the oils, the pain lessens. And the oils smell good, too, which uplifts everyone’s mood. It’ll still be a while before I’m well, and we have yet to see whether or not the kids will come down with chickenpox, but on my second day of using essential oils, I feel so much better than I thought possible. God really did design an amazing creation!

Interested in becoming a Young Living wholesale member and saving 24% off retail price? Email me at for more information.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Plotting a Rescue

My last couple of posts have been a pretty heavy, and I have some more deep thoughts in the works. Today, however, I wanted to lighten things up a bit and share with you some very exciting things that have been happening around our Little House on the Corner. 

Yesterday we went to the animal rescue shelter and picked up this handsome hunk we have been getting to know over the last few weeks:

He is a one and a half year old Plott Hound. He had been at the shelter a long time, but I honestly don’t know why he wasn’t adopted immediately. He is so gentle and loving and very obedient. Someone in his past spent a lot of time training him. He knows all his basic commands, including “stay”, “drop it”, and “leave it” and even listens to us from across the room already. We just need to work on his heeling...

 Boaz arrived at the shelter with his brother and the staff had wanted to adopt the two out together, but because of the size of the dogs they ended up having to split them because very few people around here have enough room for two large dogs. His brother was adopted a few weeks before we met Boaz. He is a big guy – close to 70 lbs – and doesn’t really know his own size. We have to watch Littlest Mister to make sure he doesn’t get whipped in the face by Boaz’s tree-branch-sized tail.

Boaz is very much Joshua’s boy. He recognizes Josh as the pack leader and is majorly attached to him already, whining whenever he has to stay inside while Josh goes out. He likes the rest of us, but he is devoted to Joshua.

Little Mister is slightly intimidated by Boaz, but is warming up to him quickly. Littlest Mister adores him and wants to be wherever his “gog” is. I think Boaz is one awesome dude. I love the tiger stripes on his coat and his playful yet submissive personality. I am very thankful to have a dog in the house again.

            The second piece of exciting news is… for a future post :)

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

For Love is of God

The responses we received from my post on pornography were astounding. We expected some negative feedback, expected there to be some who would treat us differently because of the confession, even expected there to be a few who would be offended by our frankness. What I did not expect (and I should have) was the outpouring of love and support shown to us by friends and strangers alike.

            To those of you who sent us messages, texts, and phone calls, who have shared the post with others and shared your own stories of hope with us, THANK YOU! Some of your loving comments brought me to tears. Others brightened my day with smiles. Each one of them meant so much and we want to thank all of you for taking the time to contact us.

             The love and forgiveness shown by our brothers and sisters in Christ has been overwhelming. With every comment I received from a fellow Christian it was clear. This is the love found in Him. This is true Christianity. This is the Body of Christ.

[image courtesy of Stuart Miles and]

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Confessions of a Former Porn Addict's Wife

I love my husband. He is a godly man, and I respect him more than any other man in the world. Though he is influenced by his history, his past does not define him. I share this information with Joshua's encouragement. We want to help others break free from the bondage of pornography. It destroys hearts, marriages, families, and society. But most important, pornography addiction destroys your relationship with God. It is my prayer that, by being transparent and honest about the struggles in our own lives, Joshua and I can help someone else overcome this sin and heal from the destruction pornography brings. There is forgiveness in Christ, and through Him there is victory.


I have never cried so hard, nor felt so broken. A rage boiled through my veins unlike any I had ever experienced. The intensity of my fury frightened me. The oppressive weight of hopelessness and the frantic pounding of desperation crushed me until I felt physically beaten. I wanted to vomit. I wanted to scream. I wanted to break something. Or someone.

            When Joshua arrived home early from work one overcast summer evening, I immediately knew something was wrong. Taking my hand, he pulled me toward the couch. “There’s something I want to talk to you about.” The worst possible scenarios flashed through my mind and I braced myself as I sat down beside him. My heart pounded. My hands trembled. My head spun. His voice was thick when he finally spoke. “I’ve lied to you.”

            A few days prior to this I had been up in the middle of the night with a fussy baby and picked up Joshua’s phone, intending to surf the web while I tried to rock our newborn back to sleep. The internet browser was already open. And it was set to search images.

            Not wanting to jump to any conclusions, I investigated a little further but couldn’t find any inappropriate material in the search history. Deciding there was probably nothing suspicious about whatever Joshua had been searching online, I eventually tucked the sleeping baby back in his crib and crawled into bed beside my husband. Joshua rolled over and wrapped his arm around me. I was reasonably certain that there was nothing to my fleeting suspicions, but I felt compelled to make sure. “When was the last time you looked at porn?”


            Somewhat impatiently I asked again, “When was the last time you looked at pornography?”

“I don’t know.” There was a long silence. “Sometime back before we were married.”

            I knew Joshua, like many men, had struggled with pornography before we were married. He had told me this before we ever began courting and had apologized and asked my forgiveness for letting lust rule his actions. There, lying beside my husband in the darkness, I had to make a choice: Choose to trust that he was telling me the truth and had remained faithful since our wedding, or go crazy questioning every move he made in the weeks to come. Doubt and suspicion are vile companions. I had lived with them before and the past had proved that they were needless weights in our marriage. So, I chose to trust.

However, several days later, Joshua sat me down and with many tears confessed that he had lied to me and that he had been using pornography off and on for the last year. I listened quietly as he answered my questions and watched as my strong husband fell to pieces before me. I had never seen Joshua cry before. Now he sobbed, begged my forgiveness, and swore that he would never do it again. With silent tears I kissed his cheek, told him I still loved him as much as ever and that I forgave him, but that I really needed to be alone. I slipped out to our balcony and there collapsed in a crumpled heap, crying out to the only One who could heal my broken heart.

If you have ever experienced a similar betrayal from the man you love most in this world, then you know what the following weeks and months held. You know the biting confliction of wanting to run to the man who has always been the one to comfort you, sooth your hurts, and wipe your tears, and yet holding back because he is the very person who has wounded you so deeply. You know the numbness which envelopes you as you go about your daily routines while trying to bury your emotions for fear of losing control once that floodgate is open. You know the inward battle between loving this man more than you ever knew one human being could love another, and yet contemplating methods of cruel revenge against him. You know the temptations that come out of nowhere, inviting you to betray your husband the way he so heartlessly betrayed you. You’ve asked the questions, “Why? Was it my fault? Am I not enough? What else might he be capable of? How could he do this to me? To us? To his God?” so many times that they’ve become recurring thoughts even in your dreams. You’ve felt the fury, the agony, the despair, the emptiness.

I know that feeling of isolation, like there is no one who will understand, no one who will listen to your hurts without passing judgment on your dearest love. I know the struggle you have gone through to balance your desire to protect your husband’s reputation with your need to find somebody in whom to confide. I know that suffocating fear that comes from wondering if it’s only a matter of time before he betrays you again. I know. I’ve been there. I’m still there at times. I know. What I want you to know is this.

You are not alone. Statistics state that 50% of men who claim to be Christians are addicted to porn. What does that tell us about the number of women who are experiencing the heartache of finding out that their husbands have been virtually cheating on them? Pornography is an ugly, rampant sin that is invading countless marriages. You are one of many wives struggling to recover from this devastating blow. There are other women just like you who have gone through the anguish of broken trust but who are committed to fighting for their marriages. You are not alone. There are women who will hold your hand, cry with you, pray with you, and assure you that it is possible to heal. There are already people praying for you who may not even know your name. I’m one of them. With the strength of the Lord, you can make it through this.

Christian counselors are available to help you. Pornography thrives on secrecy. Because of this, it is hard for men to admit when they have a problem. This sense of shame also affects us as wives. We don’t want anyone to know that our marriages have difficulties, and we certainly don’t want anyone to think badly of our husbands. So we hide our hurt. But there is no shame in seeking help with the hurt. Allowing yourself to open up to a trusted Christian advisor will help you process this devastation and help you deal with the aftermath.

Because so many other women have gone through the pain that pornography inevitably brings, there are many wise counselors within the Body of Christ who can help you through this struggle. Getting professional counseling as a couple is a good idea, but just calling up an older woman you trust, or maybe even getting in touch with someone you don’t know personally but who you know will give wise advice, is incredibly comforting. Seek counsel from those who are within the Church, as those outside the Body of Christ will not be able to give you the spiritual support you need.

You are married to a good man. Do you remember why you fell in love with your husband to begin with? Can you still list the good qualities in your man? I encourage you to sit down and list all the reasons you love your husband. Then, on those tough days when Satan tries to sow seeds of misery in your heart, think on those things.

My husband is a good, godly man. I truly believe that he is the absolute best person in the world for me. He loves me, cherishes me, sacrifices for me, protects me, encourages me, strengthens me, and treats me like the most precious gift on earth. But Joshua is just a man. He has moments of weakness, temptation, and folly. When the stresses of life are great, sometimes those temptations seem unbearable and he stumbles. His sin of pornography was horrific and it shook me to my core. But that’s how God feels every time I lie, every time I fail to glorify Him, every time I lose my temper with my children. It hurts my God’s heart. I am not in any way minimizing the significance of Joshua’s sin, but who of us has not struggled against some vice that we cannot seem to defeat, a sin which at times seems impossible to overcome?

We all stumble and we all fail. Just because your husband struggles with pornography does not mean that he is a monster or that there is nothing good in him anymore. You married this man for a reason. He is still the man you fell in love with! He is imperfect, he has hurt you beyond words, and he has set your marriage up for many years of hardship. But he is still your man. It may be hard to see right now but, if he’s like most husbands struggling with this sin, he wants to be free from its clutches. He loves you and he longs for you both to have the marriage you ought to have. He is a good man, and he needs you by his side.

Your husband needs your heart. You must turn your heart toward your husband, not away from him. This is incredibly difficult. To open your heart back up to the one who has so piercingly wounded you does not come naturally. To choose to again become vulnerable to the man who has shattered your trust goes against everything in human nature. But if you are going to rebuild that trust and work toward a God-honoring marriage, you must turn your heart to your husband.

Much like the process of grief, I went through several different stages of emotions in those first few weeks after Joshua’s confession. I truly felt as if something, part of our marriage, part of me, had died. I could see Joshua suffering, knew that he was fighting similar emotions of hopelessness and defeat, but I didn’t know how to be there for him while I felt so lost.

Slowly, with much encouragement from Joshua, I allowed myself to verbally express my feelings to him even when the words I said were painful for both of us. It’s important to communicate what you are thinking and feeling. If you try to hide those thoughts, they will only fester until what you once knew to be only a feeling becomes your mindset and outlook on life. Do not say things merely for the sake of revenge, but do honestly let him know what you are feeling and how you are handling the knowledge of his betrayal. Something like, “I just don’t understand what makes you want to look at that stuff,” is much more helpful toward rebuilding your marriage than, “You scum of the earth, I always knew you would do something like this to me!”

It’s hard. Oh, I know it’s hard. But to rebuild your relationship you must both commit to open, honest communication.

There is hope. Right now you may be wondering how you can ever trust your husband again. You may look at him and wonder what convinced you to entrust him with your heart in the first place. You may not even be able to stand the thought of being in the same room, let alone the same bedroom, with him. But know this. There is hope. There is forgiveness. There is healing. And, eventually, there can be trust. It is a long, rocky road, and issues that you thought you had dealt with may pop up years from now. But IN CHRIST there is hope for your marriage.

We all sin. We all fall short. “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8). We have an opportunity here to reflect Christ’s love for every undeserving soul. We can choose to demonstrate His mercy and forgiveness toward our husbands in order that Satan’s attempts to bring shame upon the Body of Christ may be thwarted. We can have marriages that are stronger for the storms they have weathered, that are beacons of light in a world that dishonors marriage and treats spouses as disposable. We can demonstrate God’s grace by the way we choose to cherish and honor our husbands.

With prayer, counsel, open communication, and sheer determination, your marriage can recover from this brutal shock and become stronger than before. You can one day look at your husband and see a man who is cleansed by the power of Christ, a man who loves and adores you, and to whom you feel blessed to be married. And you can find more purpose, more closeness, more meaning in your marriage than you ever thought possible. Believe me. I know.

 [Image courtesy of Michal Marcol/]