18 In Faith

Boots On The Ground: Guest Post By Jen Ferguson

Today I am honored to have Jen Ferguson sharing her heart on a topic that so desperately needs to be brought into the light.  My prayer is that you will read, be encouraged and if you or someone you know needs freedom in this area, that you will seek out help. Whom the Son sets free is free indeed!

BootsOnGround

He caught me when I was driving down the road, thinking about my talk for an upcoming retreat.

“Tell them Craig struggles with porn,” God whispered to me.

“Oh, no, God. No way. Absolutely not,” I responded.

There are few times I have ever directly told God “no.” I’m the obedient type, not a rebel. But this? I could not do this. Craig hadn’t overcome this addiction yet. We were not only battling porn, but each other also. My tendencies to control and belittle still resurfaced just as his desire to escape into a world of fantasy did. Bad habits are hard to break and we both struggled to break free.

When I got home, I told Craig what God had said. What he said shocked me.

“Maybe you should tell them. God must have a reason.”

My husband was willing to risk his reputation and admit his problem. I was not. Too much shame still lingered for me. I hadn’t fully surrendered to the belief that his porn addiction didn’t have anything to do with sex or my physical body.

“They’ll think I’m not a good wife.”

“What if people look at us differently?”

“Are you crazy?” I asked him.

I finished planning my talk. There was no mention of porn. No way to even fit it in, I thought.

A few days later, I’m standing in front of 50 women. I’m teaching God’s Word. I’m following my outline and then I pause. The Holy Spirit whispered: “Now. Tell them about the porn.”

And what could I do but tell them? Because somehow in that moment, God had perfectly inserted Himself within the confines of my outline. In that moment, He made me brave. In that moment, I saw what Craig saw those nights before: God was up to something.

God challenged me that day – I don’t need to wait until I’m perfectly healed before I share my story. I don’t need to have my problems tied off with a shiny bow before I present them to someone else. Part of my healing takes place within the telling. God wastes nothing. God can use everything. But I must allow Him to do so. And if He is calling me, He will see me through the call. He will help me to share in a way that does not uncover my husband or heap more shame upon him or myself.

We have a choice

This is the truth: [Tweet “We have a choice to give power to our shame or allow God to give power to our lives.”]

Shame thrives in darkness. Satan wants you to keep your struggles all to yourself because that is there where they breed, fester, gain traction, and bring devastation. But when we confess, when we share, no matter how dark and gross we think our sin is, we expose it to light just by nature of our words and thoughts coming out from within us. And there in the light, is Jesus. He is the light and in Him? There is no darkness.

Our words have power. Our stories have power, even if we haven’t discovered the full extent of resolution or healing. Our stories are like boots on the ground, making a well-worn path for others to come behind us and beside us and share their stories, too. And all of us walking together? That’s community. That is how God designed us to live here on this earth.

Have you experienced freedom in sharing about your sin? Would you be willing to take a risk and see what God does?

JenFergusonBook CoverJen Ferguson is passionate about Jesus, her husband, and her two girls. She is the facilitator of The Soli Deo Gloria Sisterhood and loves to encourage women to bring their true selves out into the light.  She is the co-author of Pure Eyes, Clean Heart: A Couple’s Journey to Freedom from Pornography.  You can find out more about the book by visiting their new site, www.PureEyesCleanHeart.com.

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18 Comments

  • Reply
    Jennifer Ferguson
    November 5, 2014 at 6:32 am

    Thank you so much for opening up your space to me, dear one. You are loved and treasured!
    Jennifer Ferguson recently posted..Connections: God Redeems All Things

    • Reply
      Barbie
      November 5, 2014 at 8:39 pm

      Jennifer, such an honor to have you here!

  • Reply
    Lanette Haskins
    November 5, 2014 at 12:06 pm

    I LOVE this, “I don’t need to wait until I’m perfectly healed before I share my story.” I have been struggling with how to write my story/stories in a way that honors God and doesn’t dishonor others and one of my concerns was sounding like I was bitter, or like I wasn’t healed of all that has happened but the truth is I’m not…at least not completely and that’s ok. Like you said part of the healing takes place in the telling.
    I can’t wait to share with you Jen!
    Thanks for your beautiful words and your beautiful heart!

    • Reply
      Barbie
      November 5, 2014 at 8:42 pm

      Lanette, I know the hesitation sometimes to tell a personal story. But I can attest t the healing that comes in the telling. I wrote a post for Jennifer’s blog a few months back. Was scared, but oh the testimonies that have come from it. Be encouraged!

      • Reply
        Lanette Haskins
        November 10, 2014 at 5:46 am

        Thanks so much Barbie! I have also seen much healing in “the telling”. I began a ministry called Beauty for Ashes – Healing for the Abortion Wounded Heart and have witnessed incredible things in a couple of women’s lives! Just giving my own testimony helped them to finally speak the truth about their own circumstances and so much healing came from that! God is so good!!
        That’s why it’s so important for us to keep telling our stories, right?
        God bless you! 🙂

    • Reply
      Jennifer Ferguson
      November 6, 2014 at 6:38 am

      Yes! I can’t wait to hear your story. You know what’s interesting? When I started writing the book, I thought I was healed. Guess what? God used the writing to heal places I didn’t even know I was still hurting. But if I hadn’t started telling my story, I would have still had those hurt places. God is so good not to waste a thing!
      Jennifer Ferguson recently posted..Connections: God Redeems All Things

      • Reply
        Lanette Haskins
        November 10, 2014 at 5:48 am

        That’s so true Jen, God doesn’t waste a thing! He uses it all to bring good and ALL glory to Him!
        I can’t wait to see what He does with our stories!
        God bless you! 🙂
        Lanette Haskins recently posted..Finding purpose in this great BIG world!

  • Reply
    alecia simersky
    November 5, 2014 at 12:48 pm

    Obedience. That seems to be the theme right now…for me. When things are scary and I don’t want to share or reach out to someone bc I’m afraid of how they will respond, I tell God”NO.” And then of course I’m sorry for it later and promise, next time. God’s been speaking to me on being obedient, especially when it’s uncomfortable. Thank you for being brave and obedient in sharing/writing your family’s story. It’s encouraging and inspiring.
    I hate that I moved before getting to meet you and experience the SDG retreat, I was SO looking forward to it. I pray one day God will cross our paths.

    *And Barbie! LOVE what you’ve done to the place!
    alecia simersky recently posted..Excuse Me, My Under Belly Is Showing (and why I’m a Christian)

    • Reply
      Barbie
      November 5, 2014 at 8:42 pm

      Thanks Alecia! It keeps changing!

    • Reply
      Jennifer Ferguson
      November 6, 2014 at 6:39 am

      Me, too, Alecia! God works in powerful ways and I will pray that He arranges a face to face meeting between us very soon!

      And obedience can be so hard, but I do think the more we do it, the easier it gets because we give God an opportunity to show up in crazy powerful ways.
      Jennifer Ferguson recently posted..Connections: God Redeems All Things

  • Reply
    Kathleen Jaeger
    November 5, 2014 at 9:14 pm

    I agree that shame loves the darkness and the secrecy and keeps its power when we are silent. Another aspect of sharing while still in the struggle, it gives hope to the other strugglers that are listening, too. That is an important aspect of sharing in the midst of it — I take heart from those sharing in the middle.
    Kathleen Jaeger recently posted..Celebrating a man deeply admired

  • Reply
    June
    November 7, 2014 at 6:44 am

    You are so inspiring, Jen. So brave. I can’t wait to meet you in person ! May God continue to bless your obedience.
    June recently posted..Inspired by . . . life-giving water

  • Reply
    Ashley
    November 7, 2014 at 1:08 pm

    Very much needed today. Beautiful writing!

  • Reply
    Positively Alene
    November 7, 2014 at 3:06 pm

    This is just beautiful!!! Capital B beautiful. Jen – thanks for sharing the wrestling in your heart before your spoke, but mostly thanks for sharing your story.
    Positively Alene recently posted..3 truths i learned from Dachau and how they relate to voting day.

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