My first year of marriage felt like quitting a drug cold turkey. My drug was lust. Lust for whatever made me feel good, and safe, and worthy. I was so lost and confused because what I’d previously known to give me this feeling of security was now gone. I thought marriage would replace the desires I lusted after, but this was not the case. Marriage exposed the brokenness of my flesh and the things I perceived to be true about myself, and my husband. My heart was telling me that my marriage would never work in these circumstances, and it was right—but this was not yet the end.
I had to find the truth. It is in knowing the truth that we are wholly set free. (John 8:32)
If my marriage was to survive, I needed to dig up the graves where I’d buried my shame. I had to bring to light what had been hidden in darkness. I’d lived this double life where on the outside I seemed to have it all together, but on the inside I was battling an eternal hell that no one knew about. I didn’t know what was real and what was fantasy, or who I was and what my heart really longed for. So I silenced everything and everyone and sought the truth of my identity, which the bible said was hidden in Christ.
Ephesians 4:22-23 says to “throw off your old sinful nature and your former way of life, which is corrupted by lust and deception. Instead, let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes.” So I strived for this continually. Renewing my mind in every feeling and every desire, and testing every thought against the truth found in God’s Word. (2 Corinthians 10:5) Every morning I get a choice to choose the truth about me according to the relentless love of God, or the critique of this world. This renewal takes persistence and patience with ourselves as we take the lead over our sometimes very convincing feelings. I find this practice to be a non-negotiable if we want to live a life of fullness.
Every thought of mine comes under this test: Does this thought have a foundation of love, or a foundation of fear? Does this thought condemn me? If so, it is not truth. Who does God say I am?