This is my personal story of how God brought me home to Himself. Before my storm, I was pretty much living camped outside His residence. To full of myself and never willing or able to fully enter His home. When my storm began: I had been a “lukewarm” Christian for 10 years, and trusted God about as much as I’d trust the mailman.

Myself is who I had faith and trust in. I was a great “controller,” manipulator, and investigator. I knew if I wanted something, I could get the job done. Those first few years, I was a busybody. I spent a LOT of time investigating, analyzing the information, then forming conclusions.

I also interviewed and interrogated God day and night for more information. I knew He knew it all. I hounded Him relentlessly and pleaded with Him to tell me what was really going on, so I could fix it. I studied my husband under a microscope; every look, every word, every action came under intense scrutiny by me. That was how it had been before my storm and how I handled all my problems.

Me, myself, and I.

That is who I knew to trust and rely on. I drove myself nuts. I had fear, anxiety, and worry. I was a mess. I didn’t eat or sleep. I was sick. These insecurities made me do desperately stupid things. This began to change when I realized that all my investigating and snooping didn’t alter a thing. Yes, I caught him… I confronted. I threatened. He got better at hiding the truth.

Knowing the truth didn’t do a thing to help me change the situation. It just confused me more and brought me more pain. But I didn’t care. Not at first. I was stubborn. For almost the whole duration of my storm, I tried to make things change. I burned myself out with my efforts and finally succumbed to the fact that: this situation didn’t need me or my help to transform it. 

The truth didn’t set me free in the way I had hoped. It set me free in a way that was needed. It freed me from me!

I slowly, painstakingly learned I could not control or change a thing. This thing was going to happen despite knowing every painful detail, and there was not a darn thing I could do to stop it. I could not stop the train from wrecking, but I didn’t have to be on it when it did. And I didn’t have to watch it either.

That was a considerable time of change for me. I was freed from suffering for my husband’s selfish choices, when I let go of trying to control and be yoked to every decision, action, and move my husband made.

I came to realize it was my fear and pride that was driving me to control. I saw how the idol (I had acknowledged and confessed to God), was being pulled from me and I was fighting Him to hold on out of intense fear. It had to stop. I had to stop being afraid. I chose to make a decision, and this came by one thing: TIME.

In time, and by the experience that time gave…

  • I learned to trust God and rely on His love for me. 
  • To know that I was going to be OK no matter what.

I came to believe God was trustworthy, faithful, and loyal. He was the real deal. He was not a liar, controller, or manipulator. His motives and intentions for me were pure. That was huge for me. I had never realized how important that was for me, how much I needed that. I tried to create it with my husband and myself. I tried to create a secure place of loyalty, faithfulness, and love.

I was set free from all of it because I found something much bigger than me. Nothing had ever been greater than the belief and trust I had in myself. The controller no longer needed to control, and I honestly was OK with this because I finally found something worthy to hand that control over too.

God really was capable of taking care of me. And I found my confidence in Him.

Let’s talk about confidence. It has become one of my most beloved words. It’s special to me because I never understood how desperate I was for it since I had none. I had no confidence in love, it had always let me down. I desperately needed love, but I lacked confidence and trust in love. I feared the thing I wanted most. I hated the fact that I could not stop the desire within me for love. If I could not stop it, I was going to control it so I could protect myself.

Control and fear happened because I had never encountered the One that was NOT going to hurt me. I was incomplete and searching, never finding that ONE that I could trust fully with all my heart, mind, and soul. 

Because of coming to know Him through experience and encountering His love, I have confidence in Him, which made me complete. Whole. I found all that was missing and…Bam…the need to control went away.

“Controllers” control because they must fill in the empty places. There is a void, and the ONLY way to fill it is to take matters into their own hands. No one is trustworthy to fill it. “Controllers” have NO confidence in anything but themselves and what has worked for them previously.

“Controllers” need time for God to prove Himself. To show them, over and over, His credentials. 

Not only did I have control issues, but I also had rejection and worthiness issues.

So as God showed me how faithful, loyal, and trustworthy He was, my unworthiness and rejection issues raised a big stink and said, “But why me? Why would the most amazing and trustworthy being have an interest in me?”

 Do you understand why God needs time? Why time is on our side?

I had longed for someone worthy to trust and be loved by. When I finally found that One and realized He was trustworthy, my unworthiness refused to allow me to be valuable enough and qualified to receive it.

What a pickle I was in. I had finally found what my soul had desperately longed for and needed. There was a REAL source to meet all my needs. Something real that offered everything I ever wanted – unconditional love, security, hope, peace…but I was not qualified to have it. That was the lie that blocked me.

That lie is shame, unworthiness, and many people, including Standers and their lost spouses,   live in this prison. Those who search their whole life to find the “thing” only to have their own souls reject it and tell them they are not worthy of having it.

Jesus made us worthy. We were bought with a price which gave us value and made us qualified. His death drafted billions of adoption papers, ready to be signed by willing participants.

For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. 15 For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!” 16 The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, 17 and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him. Romans 8:14-17

The problem is shame and unworthiness make those being offered the adoption papers to turn them away, even when they desire them. The power of shame and unworthiness can make a person walk away and never accept adoption.

 I did…for a time. I wept and wept at His feet. “I found You, God. I finally found You. I see You for the first time. I really see You. I want You so badly. But I am not worthy. I am not fit to tie the sandals on your feet. Help me. Please help me.” I would cry and beg, but walk away not signing. I would cringe when He drew near. Hang my head and not look at Him. I even had a dream about this. Where God entered a room and I dropped to the floor and hung my head. He lifted my face and said, “Don’t hide your face from Me in shame.” I could not stop, though. I needed His help to set me free.

And He did. 

He got me to see, understand, and BELIEVE that He had enough worthiness for both of us. That is what it means to be covered by the Most High. You are taken under His covering and become ONE with Him. It’s nothing you have done or earned. Worthy means assigning the matching value (“worth-to-worth”).

In this, we understand that Jesus places the missing coin (value) on our side of the scale because we are His child. ALL the parables about the lost are about value and worth. The lost son, sheep, coin, all address how valuable we are to Him. 

He showed me this, presented this truth to me. It then came down to me making a choice; to believe what He showed me, what price was paid for me at the Cross, or to believe in how I felt. It was not easy because unworthiness and shame produce extremely powerful feelings and emotions that feel like truth.

The truth is we are not equal to Him. We don’t have the same value and worth. It’s not possible. But it’s because He wants us, loves us. That is what makes us valuable. The fact that the enemy tries so hard to keep us from Him should help us to believe. 

I decided to believe it. Despite the overwhelming evidence I had on myself, the proof of what a wretch I was, I decided to allow myself to be adopted and claimed by Him.

That was the day everything changed for me. When I left the shame and unworthiness outside the door, I walked into His house and signed the adoption papers. Not because of my credentials, but because I accepted what JESUS DID to get me there.

 4 But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, 5 to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons. 6 And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!” 7 So you are no longer a slave, but a son, and if a son, then an heir through God. 8 Formerly, when you did not know God, you were enslaved to those that by nature are not gods. Galatians 4

 May He be Revealed to you through this,
Sheila Hollinger


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(~Marriage Revealed Ministries Inc. is committed to helping bring healing and restoration to couples who are struggling in their marriage. We do this through the revelation of Who God is and His heart and design for marriage which never intends abuse in any form. If you suspect abuse in your relationship, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 or visit them online at