Overnight, I went from a career-oriented woman in love with my husband to a woman who felt like a single stay-at-home mom—even though I was still married. My husband not only worked 55 hours a week, but he was also in school. Often I wouldn't see him until 10:30 at night.
This left me with all the responsibilities of running our home and parenting our children. While it may not seem like a big deal, Chris' absence seemed to drive me over the edge as I experienced a whole new definition of lonely. Then, as if the enemy enjoyed playing with me, an old friend from the B.C. days (before I came to Christ) resurfaced. This friend, whom I will call John Doe, was engaged to be married and had just returned from serving in Afghanistan. (We had lost touch after I gave my life to Christ.) The conversations started innocently enough, from catching up to reminiscing about the old days.
The Dangers of Friending the Opposite Sex
Soon I was talking to John more than my husband. We exchanged text messages, phone calls, and emails until one day he wanted more than I ever expected him to ask of me. Shattered by the reality of this emotional affair, I knew it was best to tell my husband.
Though I hadn't physically cheated, the fact that I had a deep emotional connection with this other man was more than my husband could bear. He felt John knew more about me than he did. I had clearly made the right choice to cut off all contact with John, but I still reaped the consequences of my actions. The relationship left a relentless void in my heart. I was more isolated, ashamed, and lonely than ever.
It wasn't until I heard God's voice at a women's retreat that I understood why that void was there (and why Satan had been able to play me like a fiddle). My heart had been aching for so long from loneliness and insecurity that had I stopped hearing God's voice. Unknowingly, I had begun to look for something more tangible to fill it.
Sitting alone in my seat at the retreat, I knew God was ready to scoop me back into his arms. He spoke, "I'll take these chains, this bondage, and ransom for you. Abandon your heart, your desires, and let me come to you. I am moving. You may not see me, but I am conquering in the Spirit. I'm still right here where I always was. You, Heather, must return to me for me to heal you. My heart is breaking for you as you go through this, but there is so much glory, honor, and victory once you arrive on the other side."
I was in complete awe of how God's words were romancing my heart. That void in my heart was gone; it was full of him. I continued to sit, humbled by his presence and his words to me.
For Further StudyDownloadable resources to go deeper
- Reflections for Leaders: A 14-Day Devotional JourneyeBook Format Available! Fourteen days of Bible studies on Christian leadership principles for women.