Each day Standers must find their way through a maze of things that are there to blow up their peace and create a pit of despair to fall into.

Just about every single time I was in a bad place, it was not the offense itself, but the lie that came with it and where I allowed it to take me.

 With each thing my husband did, came a field of mines which I kept stepping into and causing great destruction; pride, rejection, anger, hurt, self-pity, bitterness, wanting vindication, and revenge. Processing that maze made me weary and exhausted as I tried to figure out what I was doing wrong to keep producing such bitter fruit. This only added to my anger, that I was suffering even more because I needed to change, “What about him?”

It took a lot of work to process through what I was feeling, and then discover why I was feeling it. Fear! Insecurity! Unworthiness! Shame! Pride! I had a lot of landmines in my mind field! And any wrong act from my husband placed me right back into that place of trying to navigate through them without getting blown up.

But, each time I had to face them and process them, I grew. I learned which each offense, that I took it as a grave personal attack against myself and made it all about me. While this wasn’t right, it did expose things I had inside that needed to be dealt with.  I learned about my issues of unworthiness, shame, and insecurity. I learned about the strongholds that prevented me from experiencing the JOY that is supposed to be ours when we go through trials and suffering. Because JOY was nowhere in sight for me most of the time – neither was peace. That did not come until I learned how to really spend quiet time with God during my ugly times, to self-reflect, and get to know my own heart.

“Create in me a clean heart and renew a right spirit within me.” Psalm 51:10 was on loop in my head as I begged God to help me. I did not like hating my husband. I did not like being so hurt, angry, and being used through my feelings by satan to destroy what God was trying to do in our lives. I wanted to overcome! I tried to grow and be righteous in His eyes, by choosing to think the right things. I could not do this when I had issues – strongholds in my life blocking me.

“The one who has clean hands and a pure heart – They will receive blessing from the Lord and vindication from God their Savior,” Psalm 24:4-5

I learned just how selfish I was. How I was putting myself, my pain, my suffering above him so far that I was not even considering what he was going through. I was seeing only what I was presented with and it was clouding my vision. If God says He sees the heart of a man, that means He can see past and deeply beyond their rebellion. Their selfishness. He sees their past and how they came to be where they are. He sees and considers all things. Their pride, their shame and the hold the enemy has on them. He can see if they are responding or rejecting His conviction. 

I found the more I made it about me, the more self-centered and selfish I was, the more pain I caused myself.

God is not going to restore your marriage and leave you a mess. He is going to use this storm to deliver you, change and transform you. This is why it’s so important to understand that when we are feeling anything but the peace and joy of God – that something in us must be revealed. There is something we are not mature in, like trusting God; or we are not free from, like roots of rejection. Sometimes we wrestle because we ENJOY the entitlement of being angry or hurt and use that to guard our hearts or as a weapon, we use it to facilitate a consequence.

Something is there that is stealing, killing, and destroying us and keeping us from living in abundance. Do not be complacent about it. Do not believe the lie that everything is happening because your spouse is not right. The truth is, even in the storm you can walk in peace and joy, fully trusting and confident in God.

Our hearts ache, but we always have joy. We are poor, but we give spiritual riches to others. We own nothing, and yet we have everything. 2 Corinthians 6:10


Standing with you,
Sheila Hollinger