The Hobbit: The Battle of Five Armies was released in theaters in December, 2014. I remember well the release of The Hobbit: The Unintended Journey, in December, 2012. My teens went to the midnight showing of the long anticipated movie. I began to think about how many of us are on or have taken an unintended journey. Not the exciting journey where we anticipate the adventures around the next corner, but rather the one where we fear what is around the bend.
Many women are attempting to navigate the uncertainty of this unintended journey. This journey is full of pain and loss and it can be void of any hope for the future. Whether your husband is viewing pornography or has had an affair, your life is not what was, or what you expected it to be. You are on the unintended journey.
This journey doesn’t have to be one void of hope. My own unintended journey began in 1998 with the revelation that my husband was addicted to internet porn. I likened my journey to climbing a mountain. As I navigated the precipices and valleys, I had to often stop and catch my breath, checking my course against God’s Word, conferring with others and reading books. I needed to learn as much as I could about sexual addiction and what that meant for me and my family. I scoured the Bible for God’s truths and any hope that I could hold on to. I counseled with a qualified, understanding therapist and joined a support group so that I could drain my pain on a weekly basis.
As I reached the pinnacle of my mountain climb and could begin to see the other side, I continued my journey of seeking counsel and looking for that long term hope for my marriage and my life. Once I pulled out of my depression and despair, I was able to focus on what God’s intention for this journey was. Through a very difficult recovery, I began to see that I had areas that God needed to change and refine in me. Although my journey started alone, I invited others to join me in my journey. After 2 years of climbing the mountains and valleys, I was able to forgive my husband and we began our journey together. God restored our marriage to better than it was before my husband’s confession.
In 2001, God was working in my heart to help carry other women in their journey. This started in 1996 or 1997 as I was attending a Bible study at Westminster Chapel, going through the study, Experiencing God. In it, Henry Blackaby encourages us to “look for what God is doing and join Him in his work” and to “do a God-sized thing.” Working with women, encouraging them and helping them to navigate this difficult journey of betrayal was exactly what God was calling me to do.
Along with 4 or 5 other women, I helped start a support group for women through Prodigals International. In 2003, I was asked to join the Prodigals International board of directors and became the women’s director for the ministry. In 2005, I started another support group on Mercer Island, and facilitate that group to this day. In addition, I oversee the women’s groups in Tacoma, Mill Creek and Calgary, Canada. Along with an amazing team of women, I organize an annual women’s conference designed for women who have experienced or are experiencing betrayal in their marriage to come together to learn and find hope that their marriage can be restored or in the cases of those whose marriages don’t make it because of denial or abuse by their husbands, they can learn to be whole and enough in their singleness.
If you are finding yourself on this unintended journey, I would encourage you to seek help. Search for a Certified Sex Addiction Therapist (CSAT) at www.sexhelp.com/sex-addiction-help/sexc-addiction-help/sex-addiction-therapist. Check out www.prodigalsinternational.org.
Call some of the large churches in your area and ask about sex addiction support groups for partners in your area. In any case, find help from a qualified person.
There is so much poor information circling around, it is imperative that you are receiving correct information. You want to make sure that your map for this journey is current and correct. If it is not, you will travel the wrong direction or become lost completely. If you need help, check out our website at www.prodigalsinternational.org.