The Truth: Only Jesus can satisfy me.

As I got to know these men, I discovered that they weren’t the Hollywood lovers I had envisioned. Each had his own set of weaknesses and character flaws (just like me). I was searching for satisfaction in the wrong place.

Jesus conversed once with a woman who had gone through five husbands and was living with a boyfriend. Apparently she was still looking for that “perfect someone” to fill the void in her life. Jesus told her, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst” (Jn. 4:13-14). He knew that human relationships—emotional or sexual—would never satisfy her longings. True satisfaction was only found in the love that He offered.

I’ve finally landed on the truth: I would be happier with Someone other than my earthly mate. I’m happiest when I cultivate a relationship with the One who made me—heart longings and all. As I have basked consistently in the verses about Jesus’ love for me and my unexplainable worth to Him, I have discovered true soul satisfaction for the first time in my life. Jesus is everything I was really looking for all along.

Lie #3: Life is passing me by; I deserve something better.

When I sensed my youth waving good-bye in my late 20s, I panicked. I deserve more than this, I thought, and pretty soon it’s going to be too late to find it! I was sure that I was a much better wife than my husband deserved, and I believed that some more compatible guy would jump at the chance to love me. I couldn’t stand the thought that I might never be happy and fulfilled (by my own definition) in this life. All the people in the movies found their perfect matches; I wanted to discover the “happily ever after” I deserved too.

The Truth: I’ve already received more than I deserve.

My affair showed me how wrong I was about myself. I wasn’t good. I didn’t deserve better. I didn’t even deserve a second chance. The good news is that God “does not treat us as our sins deserve” (Ps. 103:10). He offers me second chances not because I deserve them, but because of the amazing grace of Jesus.

Through Christ, I will experience happily ever after, but it won’t come until heaven. In the meantime He wants me to choose something better than earthly pleasure—intimacy with Him (see Lk. 10:38-42). Now the only time I feel that life is passing me by is when I am not pursuing a daily love relationship with Jesus. This relationship sparks passion and adventure as I discover His purpose for my life.

Lie #4: When others pay attention to me, it’s because they think I’m special.

Getting attention from men has intoxicated me since youth. I craved the sense of power and self-worth it gave me. When I felt discouraged or neglected by my husband, I turned to other men for comfort and reassurance. I knew how to lure the attention of almost any guy—single or married. The more men who showed interest in me, the better I felt about myself. In my mind they only flattered and admired me because I was special.

The Truth: People often use flattery to get what they want.

After my divorce, this fascination with men clung to me like a pesky bug. I feared that it would accompany me to the grave. As I had done many times before, I asked God to take this temptation away. But this time I meant it—I lived in the wake of its destruction.

Then I met a man—a gorgeous, smooth, successful man, the kind I would normally find irresistible—while on vacation. He pursued me with the most romantic words and behaviors a woman could stand without melting. It was just like Hollywood.

Suddenly it dawned on me: The attention he was giving me wasn’t about me. It was about sex and lust and greed. I wasn’t special to him: I was just another potential conquest. He was a wolf in sheep’s clothing, using attention and flattery to get what he wanted from me. The Apostle Paul described similar men in Ro. 16:18: “For such people are not serving our Lord Christ, but their own appetites. By smooth talk and flattery they deceive the minds of naive people” (emphasis mine).