Archive for June, 2018

June 27, 2018

So, I Lost Some Weight, Part 2: REAL NUTRITION

by healthybydesignblog

2.5 monthsThis set of pictures showed what happened during a period of about 2.5 months from August – November 2011. I was way too busy to go to the gym, but lost 60 lbs. I was introduced to Shaklee’s products and the company in the first picture on the left. I won’t promise you you can have this type of transformation just as quickly, but this is my story. I do believe you can achieve the same results, and I hope the outcome is more important than the time line. Transforming your life, and changing your habits takes time. And honestly, had it not been for my daughter’s diagnosis at age 5 of PCOS, I don’t know that I would have been motivated to make any changes for myself. I was healed and transformed by default, so to speak, in the process of trying to improve things for my only child, Rachel.

tammy-sm-06-18

So the black and white pics were taken in 2011, when I was 44 years old. This one was taken in 2018 when I am 51 years old. (Yes, am in desperate need of a haircut! Have an appointment on Saturday!)

One of the things I hope you notice is how much INFLAMMATION is in my face in the first pic above. My eyes were swollen almost shut! In the second pic above, you can see the weight loss has started, but the biggest change in my face is that there is no longer so much inflammation! Now imagine what I would have looked like at 51 if I hadn’t learned a few things, and changed my diet… if those bad eating habits had continued unchecked. More than likely, not only would I be much heavier, the Rheumatoid Arthritis that I reversed would have ADVANCED instead, perhaps crippling me. Also, more than likely, I would have been diagnosed as a Type 2 diabetic by now, which would put me at higher risk for everything from cancer to heart disease.

If you want a quick fix, I’m not your gal. Although I had a very quick transformation myself. If you want a pill or a potion to do all the work for you, I’m not your gal. BUT, if you are ready to make some real, long term changes, and are ready to INVEST some time, energy and even finances into your health, your weight, your appearance and the potential LENGTH OF YOUR LIFE, then hey, I’m your gal! At least I’ll tell you what helped me.

What Helped Me: REAL FOOD & Shaklee

Chicken patties or chicken nuggets are not real food! They have more chemicals in them than chicken parts. Fast food french fries are not even real food, if they were, there wouldn’t be anywhere from 14-17 CHEMICALS in them, just to make them taste so good! You can have french fries, but get some real potatoes and slice them and fry them yourself! Then all you’ve got is potatoes, grease and salt to worry about. I’m sure you already know, however, that if you’re trying to lose weight, you need to avoid or limit a lot of white stuff:

POTATOES
BREAD (includes pizza crust, biscuits, & breading, etc.)
RICE
PASTA
SUGAR (includes soda***, even fruit juices, etc.)

***Everytime you drink a soda with a meal, you’ve just consumed enough carbohydrates for TWO MEALS. You have DOUBLED your carbohydrate intake just by drinking ONE SODA. (Each meal should consist of 35-45 carbs, and each snack should be around 15 carbs.)

Most of the chronic diseases our culture is grappling with today is all about chemicals, sugar and carbohydrates in general. We are not getting enough WATER!!!! Not getting enough real quality protein (free of chemicals such as antibiotics and growth hormones), not enough REAL vegetables, and not enough REAL fruit. Although they get way too much fruit roll ups and sugar loaded fruit juice!

IN FACT, this is a generational problem! Kids in the US today are expected to live 17 years shorter lifespans than their parents, because all they are being fed is JUNK!!! Type 2 Diabetes is a big part of that shorter life span. Do you remember when Type 2 Diabetes was called “Adult Onset Diabetes”? Not anymore. Children are being diagnosed with Type 2 under the age of 12 all the time now. It’s not Type 1, which is something a kid is born with, having too little insulin and therefore needing injections of insulin. It’s Type 2, where they have CONSUMED SO MANY CARBOHYDRATES, their bodies are exhausted from producing too much insulin, and NOW they may need pills or injections. This is CRAZY! This should be a topic of concern for everybody, but I bet you never heard that before reading this article. These statistics come straight from the CDC, the Center for Disease Control.

I know, I know! All you wanna know is how I lost the weight and kept it off, right?

But can you at least understand why I am so passionate about getting this information out? This is just about poor nutrition shortening your life, it’s shortening your kids and your grandkids’ lives as well. It’s affecting the DNA that’s being handing down through the generations!!

• My rule #1 of weight loss is to DRINK WATER!!
And let me be clear  – if you are not motivated enough to learn how to drink water, stop reading, because it’s a lost cause. I used to be the chick that got thoroughly pissed if I was in a restaurant in the SOUTH, and all they had to drink was unsweetened tea, so I feel your pain here. I used to think only poor people drank water and Mt. Dew was what I drank morning, noon and night. I feel ya! But when my daughter got her diagnosis of PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome), we were trying to keep her pre-diabetes from turning into full blown Type 2 diabetes. I could not sit in front of a 5 year old, and drink Pepsi while telling her to drink water. AND, although we started out drinking diet drinks initially, I soon learned they were SO BAD for you, that we just drank water. For instance, many drinks today are sweetened with artificial sweeteners like aspartame (sometimes called NutraSweet) or sucralose (Splenda). Did you know Splenda was originally created to be a bug poison? However, the manufacturers realized a lot more money could be made as an artificial sweetener and the good ol’ FDA agreed and let them put it in our food supply. Aspartame / NutraSweet was also never supposed to be allowed into our food supply, but someone in the FDA who had financial gains to make, made it happen. I need to write another article JUST on the dangers of artificial sweeteners, but I’m sure if you google this topic, there is more than enough out there already.

• My rule #2 of weight loss is eat REAL FOOD. If you don’t know how to shop, prepare and eat REAL FOOD, there are no short cuts. Learn! You can google healthy recipes all day long. If you have to eat fast food everyday, and are not willing to invest in this part of your health, again, I’m not your gal. Nothing else I say will help you.

My Rule #3 of weight loss is my “Healthy Fast Food” Go To, Shaklee:
NASA uses Shaklee. And NASA Astronauts use Shaklee personally. NASA used specifically a rehydration drink we created for astronauts re-entering the earth’s atmosphere. We made it for them and GAVE IT TO THEM, after they came to Shaklee and asked us to create it for them. (Makes me proud. Good citizens, you know?) Olympic athletes also use our shakes, and not because we pay them to promote our products! Many other Olympic athletes are paid to promote a company’s products, so how can you trust their testimony about that?

If you need “healthy fast food” you can also get “real nutrition” in our protein shakes. Not all protein shakes are made safe and healthy. In fact, many are full of heavy metals such as lead, and can harm your health! So what good does it do to get skinny, if you’re poisoning yourself in the process??

This makes Rule #2 a lot easier, because you can do a meal bar or a shake for breakfast and lunch, and then all you have to do is worry about preparing supper. You can actually substitute a bar or a shake for any two meals of the day, whatever works best for you. Regardless, you only have to shop for and prepare yourself one healthy meal a day.

AND because our standards for purity are 4X that of the FDA’s standards, it’s the cleanest, purest nutrition you can put in your body. Shaklee scientists can prove that. But my guess is, many of you really don’t care, as I do about the science and the purity, you just wanna lose the weight. But I will provide a few links about it anyway, because it it doesn’t matter to you now, it will one day in your future. Keep in mind that “diet” products, vitamins, and even soda are not regulated by the FDA, so it’s like a manufacturing wild west nightmare. The FDA only steps in when enough people get hurt or even die.

Now scroll up to the top of this article, and take a look at my pics again. Is this something you want to try?

If so, I will be glad to help you. Wanna read more about it first? Here is a link to my website, I started with the Turnaround Kit, and that’s where I would recommend you start as well. You can also do “buffet style” and pick and choose whatever combination of products you’d like. However, this kit was put together incredible attention to detail and with incredible science behind it, so I’d still recommend you start there.

And here is an article dedicated to other people I shared Shaklee 180 with, and their weight loss testimonies too.

 

(If you found this article helpful, I hope you will consider friending me on Facebook, and liking my new YouTube channel as well. Thank you!)

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June 27, 2018

Shaklee 180 Testimonials

by healthybydesignblog

jacqui-180.pngFormer Extreme Make Over – Weight Loss Edition star, Jacqui McCoy (someone I also know personally) also uses these products now to maintain a healthier weight. AND, although she was told she could not conceive a child, she now has TWO!!! She conceived the first one only months after starting the Shaklee 180 program!

I think pictures are worth a thousand words. These are not models or celebrities obviously, but friends and family that I have helped personally.

karen-composite-2016

Karen has since gotten down to a size 2, AND although doctors told her that she would never be able to have children, because of a chemotherapy treatment she had at age 17 for her MS symptoms, she is now PREGNANT and due to have her first child in August of 2018!!! What if she had used something toxic to lose this weight? Her MS symptoms could have been exacerbated and it could have harmed her child. (Even one diet coke can send her into a 3-day migraine.) Karen also did a video with me on YouTube. (I’m heavier in that video because it’s in 2016, during the time my father is dying and my marriage is falling apart.)

Dale-before-after-2017

Dale Baker is a dear friend of mine, she also did a video with me on YouTube,
check it out!

Tim-composite-2014

Tim Hines is 6’4″ tall and was surprised that he was never hungry while on the program.

lynnw-comp-2017

Lynn Woodard was a college friend who had a tremendous transformation!

180 pics Tammy

Tammy Taylor Phelps: And of course, here are my own pics. Note that I look younger in 2015 than I did in 2011. And I still look better in 2018, 7 years older, than I did in 2011. That’s because I healed from the inside out!

To learn more about the Shaklee 180 program, please check out this video on YouTube.com.

If you’d like to order, please check out my website. Thank you!

 

(If this information has been helpful to you, I’d love it if you’d follow me on Facebook and YouTube! Thank you!)

June 14, 2018

What Does My WEIGHT Have To Do With My HEART?

by healthybydesignblog
affection board broken broken hearted
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

 

So today, I got dressed and my pants are all baggy. Great right? I’ve recently lost 9 lbs in about a week, but don’t celebrate that. It’s because my heart is broken. I recently was cheated on by my husband, who I still happen to love very much. Yeah… so… right… How about I get all real and personal and raw right in the first paragraph? Now most of my life, aspects of stress and a broken heart have led to weight GAIN. This is the first time in my life a broken heart has been so devastating that it has resulted in weight LOSS.

You know, I didn’t sit down today and decide to write about this topic, but I’ve learned to write when inspiration hits and honestly, it seems to help me process my pain. I believe this is stuff the Lord wants me to share, so that while He’s setting me free, others can be set free as well. I am not going to delve into the pit of despair over my husband in THIS article. I’ve done that in another article,  and have a whole other blog devoted to the heart break of my marriage, which I may choose to share at a later date. It’s still too raw to put out there. So understand that I am not being flip about this, but this is a topic – how our heart fits into this diet thing – that I don’t think most of us who have struggled with our weight understand enough about. If we understand it at all.

Now, I do have a healthy weight loss story prior to this, but that’s not the main thing that I want to talk about. Please don’t get too distracted here. I just want you to see that I have struggled myself and might know a little bit about this topic of weight and of how our heart impacts it.

Tammy-ba-2018

So, as you can see from the first picture, I had a significant issue with my weight earlier. This has been something I struggled with most of my adult life, really noticeably starting with the “freshman 15” pounds that most college freshman gain from eating junk at college. I was heavier than I’d have liked in high school as well, but when I look at those pictures now, I think how I wish I had appreciated how thin and healthy I was then. I thought I was a total cow. If I could go back and tell my younger self a few things… well that’s part of why I’m writing this article.

Why Losing Weight Is More Than Counting Calories
& Exercising At The Gym

Jacqui McCoyFor a moment, I am going to depart from my own story, and share a friend’s story. The details of my own pain still need to be kept private for now. My friend’s story however, has already been made public, and I asked her permission to share it here. This friend was rather famous because she was featured on the tv show Extreme Makeover, Weight Loss Edition. Her name is Jacqui McCoy. She lost over 200 lbs on the show. She was a young woman who desperately wanted to have a baby. However, she had been told that due to her PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, my daughter also has this) which was supposedly caused by her obesity, she would not be able to conceive. The HOPE of being able to have a child is what fueled her determination to audition for the show. This was an incredible motivation for her to lose weight, but as she found out, it has to go even deeper than motivation to not only lose the weight. Once you lose the weight, motivation is not enough to KEEP IT OFF.

So back to the topic at hand. What had originally caused Jacqui to gain so much weight to begin with? If you see pictures of Jacqui growing up, she did not start out as an obese child. Her parents are not obese either. But around the age of 14 she began to gain a significant amount of weight. What changed? She had been at a friend’s party and had been raped! She never told anyone. The shame, the guilt, the trauma, the self-blame was more than she could bear. She could have turned to self harm and become a cutter. She could have just as easily become an alcoholic, a drug user, even a workaholic. She did what many people do who have experienced a trauma, she began to self-medicate. Her “drug of choice” was food. (So is mine. Especially chocolate and sugar.)

Thin = Happily Ever After?

Not quite. Losing the weight is one thing. KEEPING IT OFF is entirely another demon to wrestle. Why do we almost always gain the weight back? I have kept off the majority of my own weight loss for a period of about 6 years, except for when my father died and my marriage began to unravel. That was in 2016-2017. You can see my pics here. I was in tremendous pain, was experiencing heart break at so many different levels, was out of my routine, life had been turned upside down, and so… What did I do? I self-medicated with my favorite drug of choice. Food! Chocolate & Carbs. I got back on track and many of us do, but many of us fall off the wagon and simply give up.

So back to Jacqui’s story. Surely after being coached by the best personal trainers in the business and having such incredible support from the show, from family and friends…. surely she never, ever would fall back into unhealthy habits, right? Wrong.

Not long after the show was over, Jacqui gained back (if I’m not mistaken) about 80 of the 200 lbs she had lost, and it came back FAST! She knew how to count calories. She knew how to exercise. She had a tremendous reason to be motivated. But none of that kept the weight from coming back on. How many of us have experienced that absolute same thing? Here is a recent post from Jacqui’s facebook page:

Jacqui's post

Trauma & Heart Break: The Missing Piece

Do not wave this off as insignificant. Jacqui said something at a convention I attended. She was one of the featured speakers due to her recent “stardom” and weight loss story. She said you have to “love yourself thinner.” I attached a clip of her talk here, the first few minutes are a brief repeat of the show itself, and then she starts talking.  I was one of those applauding wildly for her, but the impact of that statement has sunk deeper and deeper in my understanding as life just kept throwing some hard stuff at me.

I work with people a lot on their “self talk” when they come to me wanting help losing weight. Most people, especially women, talk to themselves in such a manner they’d NEVER tolerate someone else doing to their best friend or to their children. But they do it to themselves. This is usually an indicator of much deeper issues.

You don’t have to have been cheated on or raped to have “heart issues” that impact your weight and overall health. Maybe you just felt unwanted as a child, that’s a pretty awful thing to have happened to you. Maybe your parents got divorced. Maybe one of your parents was an alcoholic. Maybe your father abandoned your family. See where I’m going with this? Maybe one of them was a great person, but was a workaholic. Maybe you were raised by a single mom, and there just wasn’t enough of her to go around. Or on a lighter note, maybe you’ve just put everyone you love and their well-being ahead of your own for so long, that you don’t remember how to take care of yourself.

Learning How to Love Yourself
& Healing Your Heart/Trauma Is The Missing Piece!!!

Why do alcoholics keep drinking when their organs are shutting down and they KNOW they are drinking themselves to death? Why do heroine addicts keep putting that needle in their veins? Why does chocolate and sugar call my name – especially Nutella – if it’s in my house? Why can’t I leave it alone? You may think I’m crazy, but it’s the same reason I’ve stayed in a toxic relationship far too long. I not only did not value myself enough, and the TRAUMA in our hearts, whatever caused us to undervalue ourselves originally, is operating in our sub-conscious and DRIVING THE ADDICTION, in my case, and maybe yours, to food.

***** To over-simplify this, imagine that your jugular vein has been cut in your neck, but only a band-aid was placed to hide the cut while no surgery was done to heal the vein underneath.*****

We are all in various stages of understanding where we are now and why, and where we have come from. Most of us feel that we have no control over where we are going, and spend our lives reacting to whatever life throws at us. Many of us will give up trying to lose weight all together with reasons that sound sensible like, “Obesity runs in my family. There must be a ‘fat gene’,” or “It’s just too hard to go to the gym every single day!” or “I don’t drink, gamble or fool around. I’m gonna eat what I want!” or my all-time favorite and I think DUMBEST excuse ever, “It costs too much to eat healthy!” Face it. You’re either gonna pay now or later. I’d rather pay a little more to be healthier now and invest in long term health results, than to pay DOCTORS AND HOSPITALS LATER! I’d rather learn and do some hard things now, than sacrifice time in a waiting room of some doctor or hospital later when I could have been playing with grandbabies or something lots more fun!

Okay to wrap this up, there are many, many ways to go about losing weight. Please do so in a HEALTHY MANNER. If you go to some of the links I’ve shared with you, I will tell you more about my own story and what Jacqui McCoy and I both chose to lose and maintain our weight, and literally heal from the inside out. You don’t HAVE to go to the gym and exercise like crazy, I didn’t. BUT, I will tell you that going to the gym will make you feel better (releases those fabulous endorphins) and is a great stress reliever, which I think is a couple of reasons that I think facilitate weight loss at least as much as the physical activity. That’s my opinion. BUT WHATEVER WAY you choose, remember what Jacqui said, “You have to love yourself thinner.”

For some of us, that will be simply deciding that we will devote 30 minutes a day to go for a walk, maybe spending more time with good friends, maybe even changing jobs, but somehow making ourselves a priority regardless of what else in on our plate. Sometimes it makes a great difference just to watch that self talk. Encouraging ourselves the same way we would for any friend in how we talk to ourselves is HUGE!!!

For others of us, who have been dealt some really gnarly blows in life, some professional counseling or prayer ministry may be in order. But one thing’s for sure, ignoring the ROOT of the overeating does not work. Looking at this as a discipline doesn’t work unless you are already really healthy emotionally. Counting calories won’t work except short term, unless you get a handle on your emotional issues. Potions and pills that “make” you lose weight CAN ALSO HURT OR KILL YOU.

Addressing your trauma and emotional wounds will have ramifications much farther than your pants size my dear. I have really found this to be true recently with my latest heart break. Learn this concept now, and teach it to your children and your grandchildren. These unresolved traumas keep causing us to make poor choices, and not just in boyfriends and husbands, but in our diets.

One of my favorite lines from any movie is from “The Help” where the maid tells the little girl she takes care of, “You is kind. You is smart. You is important.” She knew the little girl’s mama was telling her she wasn’t good enough, pretty enough, thin enough, etc and etc. Do what you gotta do to heal your heart, and everything – including weight loss – will be much more attainable and sustainable.

(If this article was helpful to you somehow, I’d love it if you’d friend me on Facebook, or check out my my YouTube channel. I’m just starting to upload videos on YouTube.com, so stay tuned or a lot more.)

June 14, 2018

So, I Lost Some Weight, Part 1

by healthybydesignblog

180 pics TammyFirst of all, there is more to losing weight than exercise and counting calories! There are three major components to healthy and effective weight loss, in my opinion and in my own personal experience:

  1. Learning about REAL nutrition, not just counting calories,
    and putting REAL nutrition IN your diet
  2. Learning about FAKE food, and keeping as much
    FAKE food OUT of your diet as possible
  3. Stress, Emotional Triggers, and Dealing With Trauma

I talk about this a lot. Sometimes I think I’ve told this story too much, only to find out that others are still struggling so much, and still could benefit from it. So I decided doing this post was a good way to try to organize my story here. Please note in the pictures above, that the first row is a transformation that occurred in only 2.5 months! And, this transformation did NOT include regular visits to the gym! It was entirely about changing my diet (keeping junk OUT) and properly supplementing my diet (putting more good, pure nutrition IN).

My Weight Loss Actually Started With My Daughter’s Diagnosis

The pictures above only tell half the story. It all started with my daughter being diagnosed with PCOS. That’s the subject of another blog post, which I’ll write soon… But the short version is that in my efforts to help HER get healthier and lose weight, I ended up getting healthier and losing weight, too! I also reversed Rheumatoid Arthritis and have been pain free since 2011. It’s June of 2018 right now. That’s PAIN FREE FOR SEVEN YEARS so far. Not only that, I got rid of “brain fog” and was sharper than I had been since college. AND, I kept looking younger! Bonus!!! You can see for yourself in the pictures below. I think I actually look younger in 2018 than I did in 2011. I certainly look BETTER and healthier.

I also think it is important to point out, what I wasn’t willing to do for MYSELF, which was changing my eating habits and getting healthier I WAS WILLING TO DO FOR MY CHILD. Isn’t that typical? I was not motivated to take care of myself at all at that time. I had been through some tough stuff. Again, a topic for another blog article at another time. However, at the time that the Aug 2011 pic was taken, I had been through a house fire and a miserable, toxic 11-year marriage that ended in divorce. I was self-employed, working 80+ hrs a week, and was homeschooling my little girl. Simply put, taking care of myself came dead last on my priority list. I was in survival mode, pure and simple. You ever been there?

Love fueled the changes in my diet. Not love for myself, love for my daughter. Then I got to feeling SO MUCH BETTER, and looking so much better, that I decided I had to keep this new lifestyle up, just to be able to keep up with life!

However, as you can see in 2016-2017, I gained a lot of weight back, due to heart break. Although I was newly married in February of 2016 and very happy initially, my father was declining rapidly with Parkinson’s and I lost him in August of 2016. My marriage also started to unravel around that time. Also, my only daughter decided in July of that year, that she’d rather live with her father than with me and my new husband. Ugh!!! I was not just sad, I was DEVASTATED. I was also stressed, exhausted, depressed, broken-hearted, disappointed, grieving, etc and etc. You name it, I was feeling it. I talk about trauma and heart break and what that has to do with weight more here. Perhaps you can relate. I don’t think people understand how important this is to a healthy weight and a healthy mental state. I honestly believe that all the knowledge of healthy eating and other good habits can be undone, in an INSTANT, either by a new trauma, or by an event, or a trigger in your current situation that triggers an old heart break.

So, that being said, I leave it to you to do some investigating about how to heal past trauma. If you google that topic, I suspect you will find tons of information on that. Both in Christian and secular circles, they are all saying the same thing. Heal the trauma, heal your life. Heal the trauma, deal with the rejection, the abandonment, the disappointment or whatever it is from your childhood, and replace that, I believe, with the TRUTH of God’s word, the TRUTH of God’s love for you, with the FORGIVENESS of others and yourself, and the pieces begin to fall into place. Then attaining a healthier LIFE in general, and a happier, more peaceful life starts to emerge from the ashes. You simply have to LOVE YOURSELF HEALTHIER, or thinner, or more successful.

I have only recently begun to learn this myself. I maintained my weight with just the first two items I spoke about at the beginning of this article for a about five years: Putting good stuff IN, and keeping bad stuff OUT. Then a recent heart break hit me out of left field and for the first time in my life, my heart was so broken I began to LOSE weight. That has been a first. The anxiety attacks that rocked me after this recent heart break is what DROVE me to find relief, to find healing, and that’s how I began to learn more about this whole heart issue and how it’s tied to EVERYTHING.

Guess what? If you’re overweight, it has a lot to do with what you’re eating, but even more so, it has to do with the state of your heart. You may just be self-medicating.

If you’re broke, you need to learn a few basic financial principles, but even more so, it has to do with the state of your heart.

Keep making bad choices in boyfriends and husbands? It has a lot to do with the state of your heart and what you believe about yourself and your worth.

I call this a “broken spiritual GPS”. You keep doing what you think is the right things, you’re following the map you’ve got, but there’s something wrong with that map and although you are making all the turns that appear to be correct, you’re still ending up at the painful destination. Overweight, broken hearted, and / or possibly addicted or broke. Remember, you can be addicted to sugar as easily as cocaine or heroine. You can be addicted to the praise of man!

So, I really planned for this article to be more about nutrition. I guess I will start another post about that. It IS a very important subject. So let’s go there next!

June 5, 2018

Unfaithful

by healthybydesignblog

I hadn’t planned to write this today. Didn’t want to write this today. Didn’t want to dive into these feelings.

About three days ago, I found out that my husband had been unfaithful to me.

At first, I was in shock. My brain could not, no it REFUSED to accept the information. I simply did not believe it. At first I thought he was just saying it to hurt me, because he seems to enjoy doing that lately. He could tell I did not believe him. We’ve been separated for some time, but have been working towards reconciling, so I am not currently living there. When he saw that I didn’t believe him, when he saw that I was not crumpled on the ground, he went into the house and got a piece of clothing that had been left by the woman. I had to face the truth, but even then, my brain just would not compute.

Knowing that he could have called me, and simply expressed that he needed me to be a wife to him and I would have RUSHED right over to fill that need, he DELIBERATELY went to a bar, DELIBERATELY got drunk, and DELIBERATELY brought a strange woman into our bed. Then he didn’t just confess it, he threw it in my face (in front of one of his buddies) with absolute relish and fury. And all I could do was say, “Don’t you love me anymore?” I know he does. He did. Thirty days ago, he was confessing his adoration and love for me, apologizing for past hurts, and declaring, giving his WORD that he would allow nothing to come between us again. Just 30-40 days ago. So, as you can imagine, I was not just a little shocked, I was floored.

You know what happened next. I had an hour drive back to my place. I could not drive over 45 mph, so it took even longer. Once home, I began to let the information sink it. The images of the love of my life, naked, with some strange woman, in the bed that I had shared with him – in that bed where he had declared his love for me so often – fractured my mind and heart. Wave after wave of grief. I had emotional vertigo. I felt like I would throw up. I’d go numb for a few minutes, then it would start all over again. Then the anger flared. How could he have done this to me. What about all his promises? What about him giving me HIS WORD. I felt abandoned, rejected, and soooo disappointed.

Has someone YOU loved been unfaithful to you? Stop and revisit those feelings for just a moment…

In the Bible, God refers to our relationship with him, especially with Jesus, as a Bride and a Bridegroom. He uses marriage as an illustration throughout His Word. Beulah Land, the song our grandparents used to sing, is referring to a “Marriage” Land. When the word says that Jesus did not scorn the shame of the cross, for the “joy” set before him, I think it was that he, the groom, knew that when he got through this suffering, he had the JOY of meeting his bride (us) to look forward to. How many movies have we seen where the hero goes through incredible odds for his love, or even sacrifices his very life for her. It was never a question to Him if we were worth it or not!

So when we put anything other than God first in our lives, he is jealous for us. Over and over in the Bible, especially in the Old Testament, the Lord equates idol worship with a wife’s unfaithfulness. I thought I knew what he felt. I thought I understood. But until my husband hit me with his statement of his own unfaithfulness, I had a new appreciation for how God feels when we are unfaithful to him. I hope you will pause here, and let that sink in. Especially if you yourself have experienced this in your own life.

God doesn’t just love us as apart of an adoring crowd. He doesn’t see us just as “fans”. He loves us intimately as a groom loves his new bride. Do you remember what it’s like to be in love like that? Have you forgotten? Our love as humans waxes and wanes, but God is not a man. He is faithful and true regardless of how we choose to be.

So, where do we go from here?

Today, and yesterday, I have found myself repenting to the Lord for causing him the kind of pain that I have now feeling with my own husband’s infidelity. Especially when I have tried SO HARD to love him and love him well. Even as I type that, I am reminded of all the times I have read in the Bible with the Lord saying he had been so good to Israel (us) and that had lain naked in open fields and prostituted themselves with other gods. How soon we forget His Faithfulness.

Even when I met my husband, I made him an idol ahead of my God. I had been a single mother for ten years. The last time I had been intimate with a man, had been with my former husband, TEN YEARS PREVIOUS! Then this handsome, charming man fell madly in love with me, and I him. I got so swept up in his adoration (due to my own dysfunction and neediness) that I asked my Lord Jesus to please step down from the throne in my heart, and I replaced Him with my husband. Now I could have kept them both obviously, and still had Jesus on the throne and my husband and I probably be in a much different place right now. Either he would have recognized that Jesus was first and been drawn more to Him himself, or he would have chosen to leave the relationship. Either way, I would have been better off.

Now, I try to admit this pretty often when I write anything and put it out there for public view. I don’t know much at all. I don’t have a bunch of answers for you. I don’t know what tomorrow is gonna look like. I have no plan to wrap this all up and make it all better. ALL I KNOW is WHO I need to turn to. Thankfully, we are under a new covenant, and all the Father’s jealous wrath was exhausted at the cross. If we repent of our own unfaithfulness and ask His forgiveness, it is a done deal, and He doesn’t treat us like a jilted husband would. He welcomes us back with open arms and the relationship is as if the infidelity never occurred. Now that’s restoration.

I could go on, but I think I’ve said enough. I did not want to go here today, but He impressed it upon me that I needed to write this while my own pain was still fresh and raw and pulsating like a fresh wound. If you’ve asked the Lord Jesus to step down from the throne of your heart, won’t you give Him His rightful place again?