THE UNEXPECTED JOURNEY: My climb to wholeness and hope after sexual betrayal

With God's love, a counselor's wisdom and a supportive community, the initial dark days of despair over my husband's addiction eventually gave way to unexpected hope, joy and a renewed sense of purpose.
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Mar

THE UNEXPECTED JOURNEY: Wholeness & hope after sexual betrayal

KarenBy Karen Crawford
Women’s Ministry Director, Prodigals International

I remember well the release of the movie The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey.  My teens went to the midnight showing of the long anticipated release. That poignant title has always stuck with me. So many of us are on or have taken an Unexpected Journey. Not the exciting journey full of anticipation of what adventure might lie over the next hill. But instead the one of dread because of what has suddenly been dropped in the center of our path.

Many women are attempting to navigate the uncertainty of an Unexpected Journey when they discover that their husband (or relational partner) is viewing pornography or has had an affair. Your life is suddenly not what it once was. A sense of hopeful expectancy about the future has been squelched and in its place an Unexpected Journey whose first steps are full of anguish and doubt.

But this journey doesn’t have to be void of hope.

My own Unexpected Journey began in 1998 with the revelation that my husband was addicted to internet porn. I likened my journey to climbing a mountain. As I navigated the precipices and valleys, I had to often stop and catch my breath, checking my course against God’s truth, conferring with others and reading books. Scouring for any hope that I could hold on to. I counseled with a qualified, understanding therapist and joined a support group so that I could, over time, release my pain and restore my sense of well-being.

Mountain TrailAs I reached the pinnacle of my mountain climb and could begin to see the other side, I continued my journey of seeking counsel and looking for that long-term hope for my marriage and my life. Once I pulled out of my depression and despair, I was able to focus on what purpose God could bring to this journey. Through a very difficult recovery, I began to see that aside from my husband’s recovery, I had areas that God wanted to change and refine in me.

After 2 years of this climb, I was able to forgive my husband and we began a new journey together. A journey of hope and promise. God restored our marriage to better than it was before my husband’s confession.

The Unexpected Outcome – Restoring Hearts Conference

16RHwebad940x788Along with an amazing team of women, for the past 8 years I’ve organized an annual women’s conference – Restoring Hearts.  My heart is to reach out to other women who have been hurt by sexual betrayal and welcome them into a community of understanding and support. Restoring Hearts Conference has drawn women from all across the Pacific Northwest, Western Canada and even as far away as Boston, MA. Each year we have an inspiring keynote speaker and a wide variety of breakout sessions by leading Northwest psychologists and thought-leaders on infidelity recovery.  We also provide an extended time for women to relax and connect with one another over a catered lunch.

Restoring Hearts offers a pathway to hope and healing. We desire to encourage women to come together to find answers, renewal and, most importantly, the support of one another.  At Restoring Hearts you’ll be with women who’ve BEEN THERE and who want to be a friend and a light to you on a journey that can feel so dark and hopeless.

Many marriages can be restored. But for those marriages that fail due to denial or abuse, women can learn to be whole in their singleness.

If you are finding yourself on this Unexpected Journey, you are NOT ALONE. I hope you will join us Saturday, April 30 at Westminster Chapel in Bellevue, WA for the 8th annual Restoring Hearts Conference. Our speakers and workshops will help you create a meaningful map for every step of your journey, pointing you in the direction of wholeness and healing.

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Tickets are available for individuals and for groups of 5 or more. Special discount available for Active Duty/Retired Military (or wives of Active Duty/Retired Military).  $10-off early bird discount available through April 15, 2016. All tickets include catered lunch.

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