When Holidays Aren't Happy: 4 Ways to Deal with Grief and Porn Addiction

When Holidays Aren't Happy: 4 Ways to Deal with Grief and Porn Addiction

My friend sent me a SOS text the other night. She had discovered a movie on their cable account that she suspected her husband had watched. Her text contained the normal anger and anxiety that many spouses feel when they find their significant other engaging in pornography. But she also said this: I feel so sad for him. In the same moment she was overcome by her own grief, she knew that her husband had lost something significant too.

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The Necessity of Undoing

The Necessity of Undoing

I'm guest posting today over at a friend's place. Here's a little teaser with a link at the end where you can finish reading.

This has been a summer worthy of its own hashtag.

If I had the time or the desire, I’d go back through each sad event between May 8th and the day I posted about Irma’s projected path (because at press time, she hasn’t made it to the U.S.) and tag it #thesummerfromhellcontinues.

As I talked to my mentor via FaceTime today, she said, “You have been through trauma.”

I bristled.

Trauma? It's not trauma. Trauma is what people are experiencing after Harvey. Trauma is sexual abuse or the loss of a child. This is not trauma, I thought to myself.

And this attitude of mine comes a few days after talking to two different women about two different things and me telling them that God wants them to know their pain is valid. Their wounds are valid. It is okay, I said, for them to lament and cry and point to all the broken pieces and be sad. I actually, this morning, told one of them to not compare her wounds with someone else’s.

Therefore, I know what I am telling myself is not the truth. Is it not easy to speak the truth and then shut one’s own ears?

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If Things Look Hopeless

If Things Look Hopeless

A decade plus ago, I (Jen) could have made the choice to steer the car into oncoming traffic. The despair was that bad. The darkness was that overwhelming. By God's grace and intervention, I stayed in my lane.

After that moment, the way I began to view the world and God and Craig slowly changed. And now, here we are, speaking hope and light to marriages, even though at one point, we were bathed in darkness and depression.

You can be a Christian and still be assaulted by hopelessness. You can still be plagued by thoughts about how easy it could be to walk away. And yet, as we have found, it's worth it to persevere through the suffering. God promises to use all things for good. There is purpose to our pain.

If this is true for us, it is true for you, too.

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Getting Through Grief (new video)

Getting Through Grief (new video)

Grief sucks and for the past 3 months we've been inundated with it. Since our mission is to live authentically in this community, we're simply inviting you into how we've been living out (the good ways and the not-so-good ways) this process of grief recently. 

Here are 3 lessons learned:

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Why Dead Batteries Matter

Why Dead Batteries Matter

I FaceTimed with my friend who is in hospice today in the aisle of Target today. When you get the chance to speak to someone who is dying, you make do in the environment you're in. You don't really care if people are staring because you're crying into your phone.

I told him I think he's the kindest man on the planet. I even confirmed it with my oldest daughter. She's spent the night at their house so many times over the past 10 years, and yep, he never raises his voice.

And then, he spoke to me:

"You probably don't even remember this, Jen, but 10 years ago - we had just met at the pool for the first time - we were stranded with a dead battery, and you had just gotten back from a trip from Florida. Craig met us at the gas station and gave us a jump."

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The Importance of Play in Marriage

The Importance of Play in Marriage

This is a piece of metal that my mother-in-law used when she wore her scarves. 

It's mine now. 

The reason it is sacred to me is not because I've been in desperate need of what my father-in-law calls a "scarver." It's because when he was going through her things, he immediately thought of me. 

One time years ago, he and I were in an intense Scrabble battle (the real one, with the board and wooden tiles). He played the word "scarve" and convinced me that it was a verb - like when you "scarve" someone (i.e. put a scarf around the neck). He was so convincing (and a priest!), so I didn't challenge. 

I should have.

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