Coach Sarah

My journey began quite unexpectedly over a dozen years ago, when one day, my husband of 20 years, decided to share his childhood sexual abuse, his lifelong struggles with sexual identity (SSA), and his problems with internet pornography. I was shocked—numb and clueless. We had a wonderful marriage, family and ministry. We were the couple everyone sought to emulate. There in those moments, my world fell apart. Yet, I realize now, as painful as it was, that was the first step for both of us in finding healing and recovery.

Over the past decade, we've experienced a roller coaster ride filled with relapses and restorations. In every situation, God has given me His Word, particular Scriptures that have spoken directly to my need. I've learned to trust my Father God, knowing HE is always faithful, whether or not I could say that of my husband.

About two and a half years ago (again, unbeknownst to me), my husband fell deeper into his addiction than he'd ever gone. The hunt was no longer about virtual images; it concerned real people—even a person I knew. One night, while checking out a random error message on our laptop, I discovered a hidden file of images. I am confident the Holy Spirit led me directly to these, as my husband was only hours away from an encounter. God had spared us for a reason and we once again began seeking help.

Contrary to the counsel of friends and family, yet led by the Lord, my husband confessed his sins and shared his story with our church leadership and their wives. In the week that followed, each one individually expressed their appreciation for our honesty and their support for our recovery. Each one encouraged my husband to continue in his position as pastor. And again, we experienced God’s grace through the grace extended by His people.

We attended a three-day Hope and Freedom intensive with Dr. Milton Magness. There, for the first time in all our years of seeking recovery, I felt like I was truly heard. I’d already gone through the 12-steps, and, at that point, I didn’t fit the codependent mold. At his recommendation, I became part of a Journey to Healing and Joy group led by Marsha.

Journey to Healing and Joy has provided me support, encouragement and opportunities to connect and share with other women. My greatest desire is to comfort and encourage others with the comfort and encouragement I have received.

For years, I lived with the secret of my husband’s addiction, thinking no one would understand, and fearful in finding someone trustworthy with whom I could share. Being the wife of a sex addict in ministry is one thing, but being a wife of a husband who struggles with SSA is quite another. Thankfully, through God’s strength, I broke through the wall of silence and discovered I’d long been believing a lie; for in sharing, I found acceptance, healing, and even opportunities to help others find wholeness. If you are a ministry wife or if SSA is part of your husband’s or partner’s story, know that I am here for you, to hear your secrets, identify with your pain, and encourage you toward healing.

 

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