Trouble in Paradise
Dena Johnson MartinDena Johnson is a former single mom to three amazing kids: Blake, Cole, and Cassie and wife to her high school friend, Roy. She strives to follow Christ each day and to lead her children to do the same. She delights in taking the every day experiences of life and turning them into biblical lessons for her children. Dena's daily prayer is simple: Lord, my life is yours. Live through me. Love through me. Parent through me. Let me decrease that you might increase. Dena is the founder of Dena Johnson Ministries, a non-profit organization dedicated to helping people find beauty through the brokenness of this life. Her heart's desire is to use her own pain to point others to the power of God who redeems every hurt, every pain. You can contact Dena at Dena@denajohnson.com. You can also find her blog at Dena Johnson Ministries.
- 2017 Sep 14
Our blissful first week of marriage was interrupted by a major test:
I found my new husband on a dating site!
A mutual friend knew we had just gotten married, and she sent Roy a picture of his online dating profile on a dating site known as Bumble.
Just imagine having walked through adultery and finding your husband on a dating site only to find new love…and then have history repeat itself.
When Roy got the message with the picture of his profile, he was genuinely confused.
“What’s Bumble?” he asked me and our mutual friend.
I didn’t know, but based on the picture I had a pretty good idea. Our friend confirmed it. Roy then began to try to figure out how to delete his account that he apparently had no knowledge of to begin with. He didn’t know a username or a password. He didn’t know how to access the profile.
Finally, he connected via Facebook and was able to delete his profile. And, his sister suggested he go back into any other websites he’s been on in the past and make sure his profiles are deleted.
The entire situation caught me by surprise…but probably not for the reason you would suspect. It caught me by surprise because I thought it was all pretty comical. We enjoyed a good laugh. I made light of it with my family telling them I had found him on a dating site.
And it didn’t bother me in the least…
I really wasn’t ever sure I could be secure in someone’s love for me after all I’ve been through. I didn’t know if I would ever be able to trust again after being betrayed in the deepest, most intimate ways. I wasn’t sure my walls would ever come down and allow me to let someone into the deepest recesses of my heart.
But I have. And it feels so good to be entirely secure in someone’s love for me.
As I thought about this situation over the last few days, I found myself relishing the truth.
God is the healer of all hurts. There is no hurt too great for the love of God. There is no pain too overwhelming for the mercies of the Lord. There is nothing better than knowing the goodness of God who pours out His healing over us. We must always remember that when we suffer hurt and pain, He is with us, working to bind up our wounds. He is always near to the broken-hearted.
The faithful love of the Lord never ends! His mercies never cease. Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each morning. Lamentations 3:22
Come, let us return to the Lord. He has torn us to pieces but he will heal us; he has injured us but he will bind up our wounds. Hosea 6:1
His grace is sufficient to allow us to move forward. You may be wondering how you can ever move forward, how your life can ever be meaningful. You may be wondering how you will ever put your life back together. You may be wondering if you will ever be back on your feet.
I guarantee all things are made new. ALL things. He has the power to create beauty from the ashes, bring joy out of the brokenness. No matter what you are walking through, He is in the process of bringing good out of it, of pointing the world back to Him. He is doing a new thing, a beautiful thing, an amazing thing beyond anything you could ever ask or imagine.
Each time he said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me. 2 Corinthians 12:9
Our past does not have to ruin our future. Instead, our past can be the gateway to an extraordinary life. When we walk through the trials of this life, we find a deeper compassion, a greater ability to empathize with others dealing with the crises of this life. Our mess can give us a message, our tests a testimony. Our painful past actually becomes the gateway to a beautiful, fulfilling future.
Have you read the book of Job? It’s in Job we learn our ordinary life becomes becomes extraordinary, the second half of our life is better than the first.
Your beginnings will seem humble, so prosperous will your future be. Job 8:7
We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed….All this is for your benefit, so that the grace that is reaching more and more people may cause thanksgiving to overflow to the glory of God. Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. 2 Corinthians 4:9-15-18
What are you facing today? Do you feel as if your life is over. Hold tight to the One who heals all hurts and gives you strength to move forward. One day you will again find the joy of life and laughter.