from the wife, HER Voice, Hope Redefined, pornography addiction, recovery, the everyday, Uncategorized

Do You Believe I Can Redeem All Of This?

If you can do anything, take pity on us and help us.’ ‘If you can?’ said Jesus. ‘Everything is possible for one who believes.’ Mark 9:22-23 (emphasis added)

The taste of grape juice lingered on my lips. I had just left a Bible study where communion was given at the end as we listened and sought the Lord to speak to the innermost depths in our hearts. While resting in the presence of the Lord, each one of us asked the Lord for the bread and juice to symbolically soak into the crevices, the brokenness, and heal parts of our hearts only able to be healed by the One, the Healer.

That whole day I had been crying out to the Lord in a variety of ways. Asking for encouragement, asking Him to heal the broken areas of my heart, grieving losses.
A friend shared a testimony of how the Lord had healed her heart and asked her to let go of hurts, to cross a line and decide to let go, no longer holding onto the hurts of her past. And in a challenge, an exhortation from our Lord, asked if we all would be able to do the same.

God often uses a process to heal. Could I believe in a miracle healing? Could I believe, if I just chose to step across the line, that all would be healed? My heart wanted to believe. I so wanted to believe. As I waited for my turn to go up to take communion, in faith I whispered under my breath, “Lord, help my unbelief, Lord… I believe. “

On the way home, the Lord asked me a question, one I needed to be asked.

photo courtesy of unsplash.com

Do you believe I can redeem all of this?

This is an interesting question because I’ve seen the Lord redeem so much in my life.
He redeemed the worst decision of my life–to have an abortion. Now I have opportunities to travel and minister to other women who have had abortions. He has even redeemed details of the abortion and He has redeemed that day. He has blessed me with three beautiful, amazing children. He has blessed me beyond anything I could ask, hope or imagine. He has vindicated me and canceled my debt. Instead of shame (which is what I deserved), He has given me double honor. Yes Lord, I believe.

If the Lord can redeem something as horrid as abortion, He surely could redeem this situation. Hope restored. Redeemed hope. Yes Lord, I believe.


For those reading this today, I don’t know where you are in your journey. I don’t know if you are full of faith for your healing or desperately searching for a glimmer of hope to hold onto. Belief can be birthed in the despair of desperation. I have seen Jesus redeem. For you and for me today, I am speaking to our faith, encouraging belief.

Therefore, I ask you the same question He asked me, “Do you believe I can redeem all of this?” It is why Jesus gave His life. It is why He came. He came to redeem. It is the whole point of the gospel message. Lord, I believe.

Dear Heavenly Father, Thank you for sending Jesus and that He gave His life to redeem all, not just some things, but all things. There is no “If you can”, Lord. I know you can. Lord, I believe. Thank you for redeeming all things. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

The sole purpose of HER Voice is to provide an opportunity for those who have walked in our shared experience of betrayal to tell their stories and open their hearts. These stories are meant to be personal testimonies from women who are still unpacking pieces of their hearts and looking to the one who is the ultimate Healer. Our God is creative and no two journeys look the same. These posts are authored by women at various places in their journey towards healing and hope, so please understand they are in process like all of us.
 We encourage you to use self care when reading others testimonies. These blogs are not meant to “tell you how to do it,” but are meant to encourage and provide hope for others, wherever they may be in their healing process. 

from the wife, HER Voice, pornography addiction, recovery, the everyday, Uncategorized

Slow Change

I hate exercise. But I love cycling. I can’t even call it exercise because I love it that much. I’m not talking about a spinning class or riding a stationary bicycle, I’m talking about taking my bike out on a trail and riding across gravel and crunchy leaves and over old bridges.

A few months ago I was blessed with the gift of a few hours of time to myself, as for the first time ever, my kids were in school at the same time. I made a promise to myself not to spend that time cleaning or running errands, but biking on my trusty old mountain bike, one of my favorite past times. And it was glorious.

One afternoon a couple of weeks ago, the weather was finally cooler and it was an ideal autumn day. I set out on a ride with my playlist in full swing and I have to say, I was feeling pretty good about myself. Each week I had been able to push myself further and further, and it had been a long time since I’ve had something I’ve truly wanted to invest in for myself. I was rocking it. Then, bam! Out of nowhere, my pedals started spinning aimlessly and my bike stopped moving. I switched gears in a panic, causing my bike to completely lock up. I’m stuck. Just like that, I’m a walker – you know, those people I always pity as I’m riding, because riding gets the job done so much quicker. I can see more scenery and accomplish more in shorter time period. Not so with walking. So, I started the slow walk back to the car, which took double the time. And as each helpful citizen passed and offered to help me out, the amazing feeling I had earlier slowly dwindled. I’m humbled as well as extremely bummed. I wasn’t able to conquer the thing I love doing most, nor the goals I set for myself at the beginning of this new season.

Here I am two weeks later and I’m back on the trail. Only still walking as I wait for my “new bike fund” to grow. I’m forced to go slow, for now. Instead of making it to the winding part of the trail with the creek to my left, I can only make it to the old bridge about halfway down my usual route. It feels like I’m crawling.

Quite honestly, my fitness life isn’t the only thing feels like it’s moving at a snail’s pace. Many things do in this season, including my husband’s recovery. Despite the amazing progress he has made over the past couple of years in the way of his addiction, his progress has now leveled off. Praise God he has been porn free for nearly two years, but there is a piece of his heart that is still holding on to the day in and day out struggles. Like my bike ride, my husband’s progress at first was drastic and encouraging, but eventually it slowed to a jog, and then a walk, and now it feels like a crawl. Sometimes it feels he will never be truly free.

Over the course of our marriage, especially in the early days, I tried everything that I thought would bring freedom to my husband. As we all have done, I took it upon myself to do anything that I thought would conquer this problem. I got angry and expressed my hurt in unhealthy ways. I didn’t get angry enough and tried to ignore the problem. I sent him articles, book recommendations, support group options and videos that I thought maybe, just maybe, might finally change his heart. I checked countless search histories behind his back to try to find something I could use that maybe would force him to give this up.

I cannot conquer this sin for him.

But, none of these things ever worked. I cannot conquer this sin for him. I cannot conquer it any more than I can will my bike to start working again, even though I can clearly see parts of the bike’s mechanics disconnected from the bike itself. It needs repairs that I am in no way capable of doing myself. My bike needs a skilled repair man and my husband needs his heart in the hands of a mighty God.

And so, I felt God whisper a request to me at the start of this year. He was asking me to let go. To surrender my husband to Him. To take the burden of trying to keep up with his progress or lack thereof, and hand it over. Despite the huge changes my husband had made, there was still more needing to be done that only God could do. Only God could conquer my husband’s heart.

All of what God was asking me to do came together one night as I came to the story in Genesis 32 of Jacob face to face encounter with God. This story takes place the night before Jacob is to meet his brother Esau – the brother he deceived long ago. The brother that as far as Jacob knows, wants to kill him. The scriptures tell us Jacob was afraid for his life, therefore his typical planning and scheming nature kicks in. But here, on the eve of this meeting, Jacob, the expert deceiver, could no longer rely on his own lies and schemes. God meets him and wrestles with him. In this moment, Jacob’s only option was to rely on God’s blessing. He had nothing else. The words of David Guzik’s commentary (Enduring Word https://enduringword.com/bible-commentary/genesis-32/) really hit home for me:

“This is an invaluable place for everyone to come to: where God conquers us. There is something to be said for every man doing his wrestling with God, and then acknowledging God’s greatness after having been defeated. We must know we serve a God who is greater than us, and we cannot conquer anything until He conquers us.”

Something else interesting about this story – God wrestled with Jacob. He approached Jacob, not the other way around. God finds us in our sinful state, our pain, our shame and our brokenness – and he takes our hearts in His hands and remakes us. He conquers us. I’ve witnessed this first hand in my own heart over the past two years. I did not ask for God to come into my life and expose the most hurtful parts of my husband’s sin, but through it my heart was conquered and changed in ways I still am unable to fully understand.

So for months now, I’ve prayed what feels like a risky prayer for my husband: Conquer. Lord, conquer my husband’s heart. Risky in the sense that I am scared of how God might go about that. But, like a skilled bike repair man, this is His business and I can trust Him. I can see the changes in my husband, bit by bit. The wrestling is happening, even if it is at a snail’s pace.

My walks on the trail have now become quiet times of reflection. I can still take in the scenery, even though I don’t make it to all of my favorite landmarks. And there is still beauty in this season, as I vacillate between words of praise to God, then to questions and frustrations and sometimes just silence. Don’t get me wrong, I will be so happy the day I can race down the trail on my bike, but for now, I’m in a season of slow change remembering that God can conquer it all.

from the wife, HER Voice, Hope Redefined, pornography addiction, recovery, the everyday, Uncategorized

The Night that Changed Everything

My heart was full of joy as I rested on the swing in the quiet, serene setting of our porch overlooking the trees below. My husband sat next to me. I texted, laughing with a friend about her burnt dinner through “LOLs” and smiley emojis. One moment there was bliss, but I had no idea my world was about to come crashing down.

It was the day before our 20th wedding anniversary. Earlier that year, we had taken a trip to celebrate and it was wonderful. The next minute would change everything about how I saw my husband, our 20 years together, our marriage and my life.

He turned to me and said, “I need to talk to you about something important.” The seriousness in his voice alarmed me. It was then he explained to me that for over 20 years, he had been addicted to pornography and mentally undressing women with his eyes. He had a sexual addiction and I had been oblivious. For over 20 years, I had no idea. None. I thought we had an amazing marriage, one that others may even have been envious of, even though that was never our goal. It seemed he adored me and that adoration fed a deep need inside of me to feel loved and cherished.

At the moment of this reveal, I must admit I handled it extremely well. The shock of it numbed my emotions. I wasn’t sure what any of this meant. However, the next day my emotions caught up with my brain, and I began to comprehend and process what this meant. 

It meant for twenty years, my adoring husband had been unfaithful to me in his thoughts and actions. It meant that my whole world and everything I thought was true was actually not true. It meant that my husband, my best friend, the one who I thought would always protect me and that I was safe with, was not protecting me. He felt more like an enemy than a friend, and he did not safe.

Feeling like my world has just been completely shaken is the best way to describe how it felt to find out my husband had a sexual addiction. I felt like I was falling and I couldn’t get my footing. Like I was drowning, thrashing about in a sea of pain. Because of this feeling, I began grabbing onto things, anything that felt like a lifeline and anything that felt like it might be safe. I grabbed on to people, hoping they could save me and fill that void. That deep longing to be loved and valued. But when a drowning person grabs onto another person, they often drown that person with them. And if not, that person has to swim away in order to save themselves. This, of course, feels like more rejection.

It is difficult to describe this type of pain, and for someone who has never experienced this kind of betrayal, it may not even make sense. But it is a deep pain, nonetheless.

What I realized through my healing process through Hope Redefined and Redeemed Hope was that I had a deep fear of rejection from my past along with many insecurities. My husband was a strong source of security for me. When he became unsafe for me, that security was gone. I realized how much I depended on him for security, when in truth, the only One I should depend on for my security is Jesus. That’s all. Jesus should be it. No person is able to hold us up. No person was ever meant to carry that weight and keep us anchored and secure.

photo courtesy of unsplash.com

Jesus is meant to be our anchor keeping us securely grounded in love, value, and acceptance.

A boat has an anchor to keep it securely fastened to the ground. Jesus is meant to be our anchor keeping us securely grounded in love, value, and acceptance. Nothing else is able to keep us anchored.

The Hope Redefined Support Group was exactly what I needed, when I needed it. It was a safe place to share my emotions with others who were in the same situation. I began to see that all I was feeling was completely normal and began to have hope for healing. By the end of the eight weeks, I felt mostly healed. I went to the Redeemed Hope Retreat to see if there was any more healing needed. Through the retreat, God did an even deeper work and truly restored my hope in Him.

I’m a life changed through this ministry and I’m so thankful for it. Thank you, Lyschel, l and the Hope Redefined/ Redeemed Hope team for all you do.

friendship, the everyday

Who can hold my heart?

I just wanted to feel the comfort of another. I wept when I realized I didn’t have anyone who was safe or available to “hold my heart,” to catch my tears. I cried out and asked for the friend. “Lord, lay that person on my heart. Tell me who can handle this. Show me who can sit in this with me for five minutes and tell me it’s going to be ok.” I felt hopelessness sweep over me as I ran through my list of friends…all of them would be too busy for my mess. Working, taking care of kids, tackling the crazy season of Christmas. “What’s the point,” I thought. “Besides, I don’t want to burden them.”

As I drove to grab a last minute gift for a friend, I felt the weight of these thoughts. Just as the weight settled on my shoulders, the devil began his antics of whispering “you are so alone, you are forgotten by everyone around you, you are too much for the world, besides you signed up for this work, now you want to cry about it?” As I began to feel my soul agree with these lies, I also felt my spirit inviting me into the big T truths. 

My friend Marisha has this teaching where she talks about the importance of us recognizing little T truths and big T truths.  Little T truths are our reality. In this situation, the little T truth was that I was needing support from others because i was facing a really difficult reality. I desired safe connection with another, I wanted a shoulder to cry on for a minute and someone to hold my face and say “it’s going to be okay.” I wanted someone to hug my heart with their presence and words.  Those were all true things in the moment. And then…and then the Father of Lies showed up on the mental scene and did what he is only capable of doing…he lied.  

If I took Marisha’s words to heart, the only way for me to stop those lies was to battle them with big T truths. The truths that come from our Father. The truths that come from the One who made me, knows me and cares for me.

So I showed up to the shop that ALWAYS soothes my heart and I began the mental steps to remember the big T truths. The truths that I have written out 100 times in my journal, put on my mirror for daily reminders. The truths that are on post-it notes in random places. The truths that have seeped into my soul simply because I kept coming back to them instead of the lies. 

I began thinking on Matthew 11:28-30

Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.

This was so true, I felt weary and burdened. His offer was to give me rest. It was also to take His yoke, easy and light, not the heaviness I was currently feeling. And to learn from Him. Not be scolded for weariness or reprimanded because I have taken my eyes off of Him in this moment. But to learn from Him because He is gentle and humble in heart.  If I committed to learn from Him, I’d find exactly what I was looking for— rest for my soul. A place for my heart to be held. A safe space to lay it out there, surrender the heaviness of it and put on His light yoke. 

I envisioned me taking off the yoke that you’d find on oxen when they are plowing and instead, putting on a scarf. I imagined it was really colorful and beautiful.  I could also imagine the difference in their weight, but what about the difference in comfort and my ability to keep going? I wouldn’t make it far with that huge oxen yoke, but I could move through life easier with a scarf over me.

So as I browsed, wept a little and did my best to focus my mind on the big T’s, my eyes fell on a sign hanging in the shop. The sign contained three simple, yet powerful, words that my heart needed to feel and my eyes needed to see in that moment.

I AM HELD

Milk Moon House

There it was, the biggest big T truth that I needed to feel that day. I am held. At first I read it as a reminder, then I read it a second and third time and began to claim it in my heart. It was big T truth. I AM HELD. I am. And so are you.

The Lord has an invitation for us. His invitation is to focus our minds, body (eyes) and spirit on His truths.

I remember being told this by others or reading it in a well put together bible study so many time. Promise…I have been there. But when I was able to let it play out in my real life…it stuck. And now it’s one of my greatest weapons.

So you know what happened to the Father of Lies as I stood there agreeing with the truth that I was, indeed, held?  He left me alone. He felt the defeat and he retreated. He knew that was not a battle he would have victory in that day. We won! The Father led me out of darkness and we won that day. 

Friend, I left that shop with new tears in my eyes. I left with a bit of a pep in my step and rested my mind on the truth that He’s got my back and He does know all my needs. 

I wanted a tangible friend in the moment, and He was. He met me in that space and He cupped my face with his Spirit, He directed my eyes to that sign and offered me far more than I could have asked for or imagined. He held me and offered me a lighter yoke for me to continue walking through my day.

My prayer is that you let Him hold you, too.

Merry Christmas.


Thank you to my friend Jo with Milk Moon House for being the vessel that the Lord has asked her to be. Thank you for following His lead and creating with Him. She is the amazing artist of this photo.

Thank you Bradley’s for always being the space that others can go and exhale. You create a space like no other. It’s cozy! (that’s for you Joy H.)

recovery, the everyday

The Harvest isn’t the point

I confess, I’m not a gardener. I WANT to be a gardener, but alas I have failed for 4 years in a row. My dream has been to feed my family of 7 and then have a basket at the end of my driveway for all of my neighbors to reap from our harvest too. Wouldn’t that be dreamy to come home from a long days work and be able to grab a few fresh tomatoes on the way to your suburban abode?

So with this “bounty” goal in mind I have been working my backyard for several years. This past year I even lasagna layered my soil as I put it to bed for the winter in hopes of having this amazingly rich soil and HARVEST. Because it’s all about the harvest….right.

So this spring/summer growing season has come and I have managed to grow 4 peppers, 9 green beans and possibly 12 tomatoes. Yes, you read that correctly…9 green beans. 🙁

This year our struggle was pests. We had squash beetles, bunnies and squirrels. Squirrels who deserve a rant all on their own but I will save that soap box for another time.

As I walked through the rows of my garden a few weeks ago and griped about the condition, I said out loud.

“Alright Lord, this is it. I’m done. No more gardening for me. I am chalking this hobby up to epic fails and will buy all my goods from the store. I’m done!”

I heard His voice whisper in my heart. “But Lyschel, you love watching things grow. You have so much joy in seedlings.”

He is so right. I do love watching things grow. I love coming out to find a new seed popping through and the height of my tomato plants increasing as we begin to cage them. I’m ridiculously giddy during this phase.

But obviously when you hear God’s whispers you sit with them for a bit and ask for more. So as I began to process what he meant by “you love watching things grow” I began to realize that the delight I take in the process is just as special to me as the dream of a basket full of colorful goodness.

So what’s your point Lyschel?

Well, I started laying this realization out over several areas of my life. I wanted to see how this delight was transferring to other places or how the frustration of no harvest was weighing on me.

Our journey of sobriety and healing was one of the first thoughts that came to mind…second to parenting.

I could see how much I DIDN’T enjoy the growth process in these other places. I wanted to have the fastest growing season ever and fast forward to the harvest. Right…who wouldn’t want that. Am I alone?

I know I’m not alone because I sit with you all each week and we wrestle in this growing season together. We cry over the seeds that don’t seem to be taking root. We shake our fist in fits or rage at the squirrel who has yet again stole something that was NOT intended for him. We walk the row in prayers of anticipation and greatness. Then walk the same ones in defeat and are ready to throw in the towel…or trowel. (See what I did there,lol).

But the growth and advancement of our healing or my garden hobby don’t happen in one season. My soil will continue to get more rich with each season of planting. My skills will get stronger with each season of fighting off the pests and my harvest will increase ever so slightly with each season that passes. It’s no different for my recovery. With each struggle I will press further into the word of God. With each slip or relapse I will bring out the tools and skills I am learning from others as I continue to work on myself. We will take better steps forward as each season passes.

See, my harvest is not guaranteed, I think that has been proven. Not in my garden or in my marriage. But its something we go in full of hope and lots of unknowns. I had no idea that the little bunny family in my neighbors yard would have sooo many babies this year. I also had no idea this sin would snatch so much of our hearts and joy.

I don’t want to make light of our stories but I do want to offer HOPE. He sees us, he hears our grumbling in the rows of despair and he knows what brings us joy when we quickly forget and focus on the results verses the progress.

I’m praying you exhale today and determine what brings your heart joy in the gardening of your marriage. I pray he whisper to you too.

*full disclosure, the photo is not my garden, lol

Battling with you,

Lyschel Burket
Hope Redefined