Which is more secure?
Two vessels bobbing at the dock. A three-masted schooner moored in shallower water dwarfed by the cruise ship berthed at the end of the blocks-long pier. Standing in the shadows and shade provided by the massive “floating hotel,” I wondered about travel aboard the schooner. It looked like a toy. Like you could almost see Captain Hook and Peter Pan aboard it. Yet, the placard hinted at its sailing superiority in years past.
Given my propensity toward seasickness, I preferred the bulk of the floating hotel over the ornate schooner. I imagined standing on the polished deck of the wooden vessel, wind in my face, hearing the sound of the waves. Romantic, right? But I couldn’t quite embrace the romance of sailing that ship. With my eyes closed, my equilibrium tilted as if I no longer stood on that concrete pier but aboard the wooden toy.
In the distance, clouds built. The calm inland turquoise waters gently rocked the schooner with increasing frequency. Gentle breezes cooled those of us enjoying the dockside markets. Grateful for the relief from the steamy warmth, I looked toward the clouds, uneasy about the coming storm and thankful to be on firm ground.
I felt secure.
Being only inches off the water, my thoughts turned toward the onslaught of a storm beyond my control, and that sense of security fled. I’d be on those waters soon enough. Would we be safe?
How easily our security vanishes.
God tells us that when we face troubles of any kind, to consider it pure joy. Not my normal immediate response to life turning upside down.
When we face sudden life changes, where do we find our security?
The last twelve months fit this category of sudden changes beyond our control. Everything we thought was secure wasn’t. The world changed. Normal became abnormal. Families and friends were forced to stay apart— students from teachers, the elderly from their families, new babies from eager family and friends—even when what we needed most was to be together to support each other.
As Dave and I faced the shifting, ever-changing environment, we struggled to find our security.
Where was our firm footing? We realized that what we’ve said and believed now had to be practiced. Our faith, our hope, our “best practices” for our marriage. We had a choice. Were we going to place our security in what used to be “normal,” or was it bigger than that?
Psalm 46:1-3 says:
God is our refuge and strength,
always ready to help in times of trouble.
So we will not fear when earthquakes come
and the mountains crumble into the sea.
Let the oceans roar and foam.
Let the mountains tremble as the waters surge!
Here are four places I found security last year
My always-reliable God.
Dave is an amazing audio engineer. He operates those massive soundboards you see at large gatherings and even aboard cruise ships. When the pandemic hit, we watched months of booked events cancel in a matter of hours. We had to make a choice. Would we anchor ourselves in the character of God or allow our emotions to go into full panic mode? Our immediate reaction? Disbelief and fear. How would we survive? Thankfully, we remembered to pause the panic and pray. Up until now, God had met every need. He was still reliable.
We had to lean into those realities and hold onto His character. God keeps His promises. And He said he would provide all our needs. Like everyone else, we felt unstable. Yet, God remained stable and always-reliable.
The freedom to pivot.
Talk about a year full of obstacles! We thought the closures and cancellations would last for a few weeks, maybe a month. But, as the weeks dragged on, we realized we could either stay stuck in fear or look for new opportunities created by these roadblocks. It was time to pivot not only in our business but in our mindset. “What does this make possible?” which I’d heard from my coach many times became a steady question we asked each other. We could panic or find freedom in the newness.
The reminder that I have enough and I am enough.
We never knew, up until now, how much of a scarcity mindset we’d adopted. Thinking that we could only succeed or only be “fine” if we had certain things or believing the “pie” of life only has so many pieces and if somebody takes the last piece, you’re out of luck. The scarcity mindset kills creativity. However, as we watched God provide for every bill and meet every need, we realized we had enough. Looking at these roadblocks as opportunities helped us change that mindset to abundance—there is always more. The abundance mindset opens our eyes to possibility.
Remembering that I am enough can be a challenge for the wife of a porn addict. But just like God’s provision of enough money, God made me complete and enough. Period. When your husband looks at another woman in lust, you don’t feel like you’re enough. But you are. His addiction is not a reflection of what you lack but of his struggle. You are enough.
The choice to celebrate.
Nothing in this world is secure except my relationship with God. Over the last year, it’s been important to celebrate every win, no matter how great or small. Each opportunity deserves a thankful celebration. Praise God when you use your talents and abilities well. Thank Him for the gift of creativity, which allows you to think outside the box to find a solution to a roadblock. Celebrate the disrupted rhythm in your life because something good came out of it. Remind yourself to look up and out for opportunities.
God is at the heart of my security.
I knew that before the pandemic, but 2020 seemed to underline and bold it! The only secure place I have is Jesus. He is my ANCHOR.
Draw an anchor on a piece of paper: a curved base, a straight line up the middle with a top. Write JESUS on the anchor. Or, use JESUS to make the anchor. Label the sections of your anchor with these reminders of our security in God.
A = Always faithful
The works of his hands are faithful and just;
all his precepts are trustworthy.
They are established for ever and ever,
enacted in faithfulness and uprightness.
N = Never Changes
Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.
C = Constant Companion
God is our refuge and strength,
an ever-present help in trouble.
H = Hope Restorer
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
O = Omniscient Savior
For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through him.
R = Righteous Redeemer
The Lord reigns forever;
he has established his throne for judgment.
He rules the world in righteousness
and judges the peoples with equity.
The Lord is a refuge for the oppressed,
a stronghold in times of trouble.
Those who know your name trust in you,
for you, Lord, have never forsaken those who seek you
I don’t know where you are today. I do know your world has changed over the last year.
We have a safe, secure place in Jesus. He alone brings security when everything else crumbles around us.
So many times, I’ve looked up and said, “I’m thankful You are in control, Jesus, because none of this makes sense.” And when I confess my faith in God, peace floods my heart and soul. The circumstances haven’t changed. I choose to change my focus.
Almost ten years after my husband confessed his addiction to pornography, I wrote a book about our journey. Spoiler: It ends with us still together all these years later—our life and family intact. But I had choices to make. The choices weren’t just his. Did I choose to heal? Could I choose to forgive? Would I choose to see the good when it felt like a whole lot of bad? I couldn’t have made those choices apart from my security in my anchor.
If you need help processing this messy world or your husband’s addiction, please reach out. There is hope. I can help you find it in Jesus’s reliable security.