I finished the study. The view from the other side is amazing!
Though I previously had an awakening to God’s glorious design for sex within marriage, I needed more of His healing and truth. Sex with my husband had already became holy, emotional, enjoyable, refreshing and something that I craved, but I still didn’t feel 100% free. The Path to Sexual Healing Study focused on that first non-consensual encounter which lies at the root of my sexual history. I previously avoided tackling it because I didn’t want to be a victim, but I couldn’t be completely healed and free without setting it at the foot of the Cross.
From this vantage point, I can now see that the healing process has been much longer than this study. God has been preparing me for years – drawing me closer to Him, helping me realize the completeness of His forgiveness, showing me His design for intimacy with Him and in marriage through the Awaken-Love study, and finally leading me to exchange my wounded heart for a new one. The journey continues as I grow closer to Him and try my best to extend His love to others as new habits and thoughts are rooted in me.
I am surprised by the completeness of God’s healing. I anticipated that the study would result in the shackles on my wrists being broken, but the scars would remain. God’s ways are much better. He doesn’t repair us via a piece meal approach, rather He upgrades us into better versions of ourselves.
“But no one puts a patch of unshrunk cloth on an old garment; for the patch pulls away from the garment, and a worse tear results. Nor do people put new wine into old wineskins; otherwise the wineskins burst, and the wine pours out and the wineskins are ruined; but they put new wine into fresh wineskins, and both are preserved.” – Matthew 9:16-17
During the study, God showed me His intended healing by giving me a picture of myself walking in a shiny white robe with unblemished skin. Set free from bondage, my chains were not dangling and broken, they were removed. The old was gone, leaving behind no traces of its previous presence, and the new had come. On this healing journey, God gave me a new heart, a new skin, a new perspective and a new level of experiencing Oneness with Him and my husband. Forgiving others has lightened my load, brought joy to my heart and is changing relationships.
However, the newness presents its own challenges. I had to embrace it with faith – there wasn’t an obvious defining moment or a line in the sand for me to mark the healing milestone. Before stepping into the newness, I felt like a well that had been cleaned out, but was now empty. I had a new capacity to go deeper with God and my husband, but felt lonely and disconnected until I communicated my new needs to my husband. It took intention to walk in freedom. I was starting over, which was both frustrating and exciting, and I needed reassurance. I needed my husband to use his words more and I kept checking in with God for security to reveal myself more. I had to change my perspective from frustration to joyful anticipation as I seemingly learned everything all over again. Walking in my new freedom is growing my trust in God and increasing my vulnerability with my husband. Unearthing new discoveries and experiencing new depths of connection will hopefully continue for a lifetime. At the right time, I intentionally choose to change my focus from the season of healing back to pursing an all-day love affair with my husband. I had to choose to pursue him and be playful again.
Honestly, I hesitate to share all of the insights that I learned because I want you to be motivated to go on your own journey. There are nuggets of wisdom that God has prepared for you to receive as you look to Him for healing. I can’t underscore how worth the effort it is to trust God with your wounds, wrestle with Him and trek through the muck to get to a place of freedom and reveling in God’s design for you. If God is leading you to go on a healing journey, then the very best thing you can do is to take His hand and go!