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The truth will set you free

This is a hard blog to write, but I felt God saying that some of you could benefit from our experience, so I’m going to risk it.  Life can be hard to navigate and sometimes you just need to know that someone else has struggled like you’re struggling.   Most of our marriage has be…
By Seth Barnes
This is a hard blog to write, but I felt God saying that some of you could benefit from our experience, so I’m going to risk it.  Life can be hard to navigate and sometimes you just need to know that someone else has struggled like you’re struggling.
 
Most of our marriage has been wonderful – idyllic even.  But one year when Karen and I were going through a hard time in our marriage, the tectonic plates in my world shook so hard I wondered if I was going to make it. I was utterly discombobulated and undone. Where could we find solid ground? Our nerve endings were exposed and throbbing. We wanted to run, but had no idea where to run to. Wherever you go, there you are, “God show me how I get to solid ground.” I cried out. 
 
In that dark and uncertain place in my life came this thought, “the truth will set you free.” Our reality had been rocked, so our understanding of truth no longer held. To get back to a safe place, we had to go through a hard season of truth-telling. We were in no-man’s land and the only way out was through a deep probing of some of the painful parts of our life.
 
It was a terrible grace that God was inviting us to receive. One’s tendency is to recoil from painful places, to hide from betrayal, to compartmentalize it and pretend it doesn’t exist. We want to O.J. Simpson the horrible thing in our past, walling off its radioactivity so that it’s like it never happened. With Bill Clinton we try to create another reality, “I did not have sex with that woman!” We assert as though the assertion makes it so.
 
Yet the radioactivity of the thing eventually has to leak through. In spiritual terms, the enemy of our souls has one weapon above all others. He’s called “the father of lies” for a reason. And we will never have the peace that God brings until there is a probing of the dark places in our lives where we’ve tolerated a lie.
 
When at last, though tears, Karen and I committed to the truth, the most incredible thing happened; we looked into the abyss and grace stared back at us. Certain lies had acquired a remarkable power. They were like invisible chains restricting our movement. And when we committed to the truth, no matter the cost, the power of those lies was gone. The truth had indeed set us free!
 
The pain didn’t go away after the forgiveness was given, but over time it subsided. And learning how to trust again wasn’t easy. But it ultimately made us stronger and our joy together richer.
 
So many people I know have made the decision to hide a shameful secret in their past. I think it’s just part of the human condition. We’re born vulnerable and ignorant and we’re pounded by an enemy who attacks us where we’re weak. But with all that, we’re not the only one that ever betrayed another or suffered abuse. It’s a job hazard we all face.
 

God made us for freedom. Jesus was a liberator who came to set the captives free. Haven’t you suffered enough? Jesus, the way, the life, and the truth, will set you free if you trust him. A good place to start is 1 John 1:9, and if you need a safe place to unburden yourself, email me and I’ll help you get to one.

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