divorcehope

My divorce story…picking up the pieces, making sense of the mess, single parenting, and other encouragement along the way!

The Perfect Storm October 21, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — justmejesusandsippycups @ 5:08 pm

lonely8

“Carefully watch your thoughts, for they become your words. Manage and watch your words, for they will become your actions. Consider and judge your actions, for they have become your habits. Acknowledge and watch your habits, for they shall become your values. Understand and embrace your values, for they become your destiny.”

― Mahatma Gandhi

It is with holy reverence and complete humility that I reach this point in my story.

Revelation 12:10-11 – “Then I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, ‘Now salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of His Christ have come, for the accuser of our brethren, who accused them before our God day and night, has been cast down. 11 And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death.”

And so, I continue to share my testimony as a means of overcoming the enemy and gaining greater healing and freedom in my life; but also with a hope that my story is an encouragement to you wherever you are in your journey.  My greatest hope is that my story may be able to prevent someone from making the same mistakes I did.  But regardless of where you are, what you may have done in the past, what storm may be brewing, or what you may be caught in the middle of….you need to know IT’S NEVER TOO LATE. 

God is a Redeemer.  No situation takes Him by surprise and no situation is too big for Him.  There are certainly natural consequences for sin, but He uses it all and begins to turn our lives around and weave circumstances together for our GOOD and His GLORY the minute we turn it over to Him.  He can bring unspeakable beauty out of the ugliest messes….all because of the greatness of His love for us.

Ephesians 3 states that “the love of Christ far surpasses mere knowledge without experience.”  God longs for us to know and experience the depth of His love for us.  It’s our hearts that He’s after…not sacrifice or religion, not being good enough or simply doing and saying the right things….He wants our whole hearts – the good parts, the hurt and broken parts, the secret and hidden parts, the dysfunctional parts, the parts we think no one understands and the parts we don’t even fully understand….He wants it all and He will do whatever it takes to reach us.  He is relentless in His pursuit of our hearts.  Yet we still have a choice….to harden our hearts and reject Him or to open our hearts and surrender to Him.

And so I pick up where I left off in my last entry.  New mama, new season, new job working part time for our friends….it was a whole new world for me.  On top of the new world of motherhood, I was also learning a new business and we were attending a new church….I was trying to find my place in all of my new worlds.

As I explained previously, some contention had arisen in our marriage again due to our new season and my new job and trying to find the balance and rhythm of our roles within the marriage.  I sensed my husband’s overall displeasure with me, but he had fallen back into his pattern of not wanting to address the conflict and work through it.  His perspective was always right, and I was somehow just supposed to know, understand, and go with it.  However, not only am I my own person with my own worldview, communication style, and relational needs, I also have a real need to understand and work through disagreements.

I also explained previously that since we had so little in common, our daughter had become our sole focus and point of connection.  In some ways, it was a good thing as it brought us together for a season, but as we settled into our new life, for me, there was still such a lack of connection and relationship apart from the shared responsibilities and joys of parenting.

I found myself becoming isolated again.  As issues were arising again in the marriage, I didn’t know where to turn.  My pride wouldn’t let me say anything to our old community.  I felt (and believed the enemy’s lies) that I had my chance with the separation to get the major kinks worked out of the marriage, and the fact that some of the same issues were coming up again was my fault.  What a stupid thing to believe looking back!  But that’s what the devil does….He lies, tries to isolate us, and he sets us up.

Proverbs 16:18: “Pride comes before destruction; a haughty spirit before a fall.”  I looked up the word haughty – it means having a feeling of superiority, condescending, arrogant, and proud.  The definition of pride itself is – satisfaction with self; the happy satisfied feeling somebody experiences when having or achieving something that other people admire; believing you’re better than others.  Ouch.

1 Corinthians 10:12 says, “Therefore let anyone who thinks he stands – who feels sure that he has a steadfast mind and is standing firm – take heed lest he fall into sin.”

While I’ve certainly been guilty at times of pride, I’m not naturally a person who sees myself as better than others…I would err more on the side of not liking myself or viewing myself as inferior.  My struggle was more with self-sufficiency….and that is what happened for me during this season.  When my attempts to get back into counseling proved more difficult than I had hoped, I didn’t know how to ask for help and was perhaps even a little too proud to admit I needed help…but even more so, I think I was too rooted in shame from my past with an alcoholic father and the destructive patterns in the marriage.

Joyce Meyer describes shame as deeper than guilt over something we’ve done wrong – shame makes us feel bad about who we are.  When a person has a shame-based nature, as I did, it becomes the source or root of many complex inner problems like depression, loneliness, isolation, alienation, and confusion.

I also recently heard someone wise say the nature of deception is that you don’t know that you are deceived.   Because of my past and the years of trying to survive a difficult marriage that I had not really dealt with, I was becoming increasingly deceived.

In the middle of the storm I am about to describe, as my life was blowing up all around me, I came across a book that has really given me words for what I believe happened to me.  It is written by Beth Moore, one of the best Bible teachers out there in my opinion, and it is called When Godly People do Ungodly Things.  The entire book describes how Satan attacks sincere Believers and how those who genuinely love God can be drawn away.  If you haven’t read it, I highly recommend it….I just re-read it as I was preparing to write this part of my story.

Satan knows the Word of God and he knows how he is defeated – by the blood of the Lamb and the word of our testimonies.  Since there is nothing he can do about the blood of Jesus covering the redeemed, the dwelling places of His Holy Spirit (1 Cor. 16:19-20), he is out to destroy the testimony of the Believer in Christ. “Satan’s favorite prey is a person of Godly influence.”

Beth shares about two specific attacks in her own life that I can completely identify with.  Her words could have been my own, “I thought I was the only young woman in the whole Christian world who ever fell grievously into sin after sincerely devoting her life to vocational ministry.  I was completely devastated.  Totally shamed.”

I feel like my first “attack” of sorts came when I met, dated, and chose to marry my husband despite the red flags….and I’m about to describe the second attack on my life, my testimony, and my influence.

1 Peter 5:8-9 – “Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings.”

Satan knows he is a defeated foe.  However, he is doing everything he can between now and the end of the age, when Jesus comes back, to take out God’s people and destroy our testimony and our influence.

Charles Spurgeon said:

“There is nothing that Satan can do for his evil cause that he does not do.  We may be halfhearted, but he never is.  He is the very image of ceaseless industry and untiring earnestness.  He will do all that can be done in the time of his permitted rage.  We may be sure that he will never lose a day.”

2 Corinthians 11:2-3: “I am jealous for you with a godly jealousy.  I promised you to one husband, to Christ, so that I might present you as a pure virgin to him. But I am afraid that just as Eve was deceived by the serpent’s cunning, your minds may somehow be led astray from your sincere and pure devotion to Christ.”

I hate to admit that this is exactly what happened to me.  I’ve pulled a few excerpts from Beth’s book that describe how the enemy works and how he got me…

“The sufferings that are mentioned in 1 Peter 5 that believers are undergoing all over the world come in various forms.  Some of come in an unexpected, overwhelming season of temptation, not unlike the temptations Satan hurled at Christ, but one thing is for sure:  They are tailor-made to catch the believer off guard.  Many sincere believers fall before they even know what hit them.”

“How can a person who has consistently walked with God be so powerfully seduced to ungodliness?  Somewhere along the way, the godly person walked into a well-spun lie.  Lies are Satan’s stock in trade.  He “fathers” every deception (John 8:44) and seduction (2 Cor. 11:2-3).”

“When we receive Christ, we are made clean.  Ephesians 5:25-26 tells us that ‘Christ loved the church and gave Himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to Himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless.’  Satan so vehemently despises what Christ has done for mortals that one of his chief objectives is to make the clean feel unclean.  Oh how he desires to stain the beautiful bride of Christ.  Satan can’t make the bride do anything, so he does everything he can to get her to by corrupting thoughts and manipulating feelings.”

“If we have received Christ as our Savior, Satan is forced to work from the outside rather than the inside.  Thus, he manipulates outside influences to affect the inside decision-makers of the heart and mind.”

I was a prime target.  Awesome new life season, yet pulling away from old friends, struggling with self-sufficiency, pride and deception….vulnerable.

I was also trying to find my fit with my new job.  Without going into too much detail, it was a new business for me and on top of that, I was trying to figure out how to work with/for friends and how to balance business with friendship.  I was taking on more and more responsibility, handling scheduling, communication, managing staff and dealing with customers so the email communication between me and my boss was increasing as well as the meetings.  It was a lot to balance.

I was not getting much, if any, support at home, and I was also struggling with having to watch and face daily this family (our friends) that seemed to be everything I had always wanted.  The Bible also talks about the dangers of comparison and coveting….both are dangerous sins that I struggled with greatly during this season.

Again, Beth’s words could be my own:  “I did not plan to veer from the path.  Nothing could have been further from my mind.  I loved God with every ounce of my handicapped heartIf I had known then what I know now, I would have known I was a devout young woman sitting pretty for seduction.  I had several tangles with the devil before I allowed God to teach me how to defend myself.  I hate some of the places I’ve been and ways I had to learn, but I am here to testify that I am no longer easy prey.”

I’m sure you can tell by now where this is headed.  This is my story so I cannot speak for the man involved or judge his heart or motives in any way except to say that he was used meticulously by the enemy in his attack.  Satan’s ambush was calculated, timed perfectly, and he was in no hurry.

While Satan’s attack was targeted and the details were perfectly orchestrated, we also know from the book of Ecclesiastes that there is nothing new under the sun.  And now that I can see clearly, looking back, the situation is as old as time.

It all came about slowly.  First it was the increase in email communication and building a working relationship.  Early on, his wife was very involved, but shortly after I took over, her focus shifted almost completely to their home/family and her involvement in the business was minimal.  As he and I got to know each other better, there was some joking around.  While it was fun, I was mostly just trying to find the balance with the working relationship.

Pretty soon, the one-on-one meetings he was calling were increasing.  During this time, he sent a couple of suggestive messages, but quickly dismissed them as typos / sent in error.  I had no idea until much later that he was testing the waters.

Subtly, he waited for the perfect opportunity to take the relationship to the next level.  I remember it clearly.  My dad, only 58 years old at the time, had a minor heart attack – a completely clogged artery that he caught literally in the nick of time.  My husband was out of town when it happened, and he and his wife came by to check on me.  Later that night, he texted me to ask if I was ok….and he started asking questions….about my family and about me…..he showed genuine interest, care and concern.  Something my heart hadn’t felt in a very long time.  Somewhat innocently, I went along with it and began to open up.

My husband became increasingly checked out during this season….he was traveling a little for work and quite a bit for fun, whether it was hunting or golfing…he was often gone on the weekends leaving me and our daughter alone.

The communication increased again – work correspondence would often move into a personal conversation and we would email late into the evenings, although it still seemed harmless.

Then it happened.  My husband was out of town on a hunting trip.  His wife was also out of town.  It was a Friday evening and he texted me.  We joked around a bit and then he hit on me.  He made a joke about coming over.  I had no idea what was happening.  I was shocked.  He persisted…  I laughed off, dismissed it, and ended the conversation.

I remember calling my mom the next morning and telling her what had happened.  I was still in shock.  What had happened?  Weren’t they the perfect couple, the perfect family?  Didn’t they have it all?  I was a nobody….hurting, frustrated, wanting desperately to be seen, to be known, to be loved.  My mom advised me to ignore it, let it go, and be very careful.

It happened again the next night.  I laughed off again and tried to dismiss it.  Was he being serious?  Was he just playing around?  What was happening?  This was someone I trusted….someone who had been a spiritual leader in my life….someone I admired…and all of that aside, my boss.  I had known and been a part of their family for years now.  They helped me through my separation and I had lived in their home.  His wife was one of my best friends.  I loved her….she trusted me.  I loved their kids.  I was a role model and had spent time with their oldest.  Their youngest was just a few months older than our daughter…they were sure to be close friends.  I was practically running their business.  He was in the public eye…he had a reputation to uphold.

What was I supposed to do now?  I was terrified and felt trapped instantly.  The deeply loyal part of me wouldn’t let me say anything.  How could I?  I could handle this.  I was strong.  Nothing was going to happen anyway.  I couldn’t say anything….I felt responsible (obviously false responsibility!!).  I didn’t want to hurt his wife, their family, or him for that matter.  I didn’t want to lose my job.  What would happen?  And so….I decided to cover it….keep it secret…..handle it.  Big mistake.

The problem with that was that I couldn’t handle it.  Part of me craved the attention.  Little did I know I was already in over my head (remember the nature of deception) and my decision to keep it secret sealed my fate.  Looking back, I really believe that the only way out for me would have been to quit the job and completely walk away.

Galations 6:1 talks about getting “caught” in sin.  One of the definitions of the Greek word for “caught” or prolambano describes sin like this: “catching the individual by surprise, suddenly, without notice…before he is aware of what has happened.  After catching his prey off guard, then the enemy does all he can to make the victim feel completely trapped.”

I dismissed the first few passes, but truth is, I was hooked…..this was my “unexpected, tailor-made, overwhelming season of temptation” described earlier.  Once I decided to stay in it, I was powerless and truly felt trapped.  Lie, lie, lie!!!  It is through tears and knots in my stomach that I share this.  It grieves me so deeply.  I don’t want to recount it….I don’t want to go there.  It hurts to admit what I did.  But I choose to go there for deeper healing and freedom for myself and hopefully for others, for overcoming Satan by the word of my testimony, and to continue to forgive myself.

For the next couple of months, text conversations continued ….and continued to cross line after line.  We were in a full-blown emotional affair.

I can’t speak for him because I don’t know what was going on behind the scenes, but my husband was completely clueless….which made it even easier to go deeper and deeper.  I’ll address this piece later, but I can’t begin to explain the pain of being caught so deeply in sin, betraying everything you’ve ever known and believed….the very essence of who you are, and having the person that you are supposed to be one with not even notice. 

As these things go, unguarded thoughts became words and the words eventually became actions.  One thing lead to another and within a few short months, the affair became physical.

For the sake of length, I’m going to break here.  Stay tuned. Thanks for bearing with me.

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The Calm Before the Storm October 1, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — justmejesusandsippycups @ 8:05 pm

calm

The year and a half that followed moving back in was the best year of our marriage.  He was making an effort to be home and to engage in meals and activities together.  For the first time in our marriage, he agreed to let us host a small group in our home.  I had always wanted to have people in our home, and it was not something he was ever very open to.

We were both busy continuing to build our careers, and while we were not in counseling anymore, it felt a bit like a “honeymoon phase” being back together again.  Although we knew we wanted kids, he hadn’t been open to discussing it until now.  It was around this time that he decided we would stop preventing it from happening.  I say “he” because he was rarely open to discussing these types of things or planning/dreaming together…he avoided emotional closeness/intimacy.  If he did not agree about something, he would simply avoid the conversation or conflict in general.  He was very passive aggressive, which was immensely frustrating for someone like me who craves/thrives on emotional closeness and words of affirmation.

Either way, I was thrilled as I had always wanted a baby!  It took a few months to get pregnant, but it was an exciting time nonetheless. That following summer (2009), I had an opportunity to go to Paris for work/ministry. I felt pretty nauseous on the trip, but assumed it was just from traveling and jet lag. The week I returned, I found out I was pregnant.

And so, the preparation for becoming new parents began. However, in some aspects, the future became a bit unclear.  I had a desire in my heart to stay home or work from home, and he had been raised by a working mom…in fact, she was the breadwinner and also managed everything at home.  We hadn’t talked about it much since it was a bit of a touchy subject, and as I mentioned, he really didn’t like to talk about the future.  I have since learned that he has an avoidant attachment style, which makes intimate relationships nearly impossible.

Regardless, I did not feel like I would be able to continue in my current job (with the amount of responsibility I carried) and be the kind of mom I wanted to be. I worked closely with the founder and president of a growing international ministry, and my job required a lot of me and my time. So, we determined that I would take an indefinite maternity leave and go from there.

I left my job at the beginning of April, and our precious baby girl was born just a few weeks later.  And just like that, the thrill and journey of being new parents began.

Let me back up and cover a few details…  I mentioned previously that shortly after we got back together in 2008, we began hosting a small group in our home…something that had always been a desire of mine. This went well for a few months, but as life normalized again, my husband gradually settled back into old patterns and grew tired of hosting the group and a bit resentful about it. As I have also mentioned before, he was never a big fan of the church we attended. During this time, several families had left the church as a result of a couple of different disagreements and there had also been some red flags arise with some of the leadership / church politics.

One of the families who had left the church was the couple that I lived with during our separation and who had been friends and mentors to us. I was trying so hard to build our new family and future together that I agreed to use the natural transition of having a baby and starting a new season as a family as a natural transition out of the church as well.

Since there had been some disagreements between people we knew and respected and the church leadership that caused uncertainty and doubt, I agreed the timing was probably right to leave the church and agree on one together for the first time. We gave notice to our small group and a couple of months later, we left the church. We ended up going to a church that we had visited when we first moved to town and that my husband had been keen on. They were very family oriented and had a great children’s program, so while there were a few things lacking for me, I agreed it was a good place to begin our new season.

Also, after our friends/mentors left, they went through some changes as well. He was a musician who had been traveling and touring for the past few years. The falling out with the leadership at the former church forced some changes in their lives as well.  During this time, he transitioned from being on the road to opening a small business that quickly took off.

They also had a young and growing family and were in need of lots of administrative help with the business.  It seemed like a natural fit.  So…they offered me a part time position as the operations director as soon as I was ready to start working again.

Life seemed to be lining up perfectly.  We were totally overwhelmed with love for our baby girl and our new family. I absolutely loved being a new mama…everything about it! My husband was a great daddy, and in a lot of ways, she really brought us together for a season. Since we hadn’t built a strong foundation of relationship, she gave us common ground – an incredible life that we created together and the common goal of providing her the best possible care.

I stayed home for a couple of months, and then started my new part-time job working for our friends. I was home in the mornings, and then I would go to the office in the afternoons for a few hours.

For the first couple of months, our daughter went to work with me. When she became mobile and it was too difficult, my husband worked from home a couple of days a week, so we did our best to work our schedules out, so our need for outside childcare was minimal. I would arrange a babysitter a couple of days a week to come over when she got up from her nap for a couple of hours until I got home. I arranged the sitters, the schedule and worked out all of the details, and my husband agreed to fill in the gaps where needed since he was working from home. But soon, he began to get frustrated.

I knew in my gut that the tension would eventually come out somehow. While I was certainly not bringing home the salary that I was before we had our daughter, I was still working part-time and contributing. I was also working out all the childcare details according to what we had discussed and agreed upon and was able to be home with our daughter most of the time. However, he began to resent the fact that I was working and not making as much money as he thought I should be making.

As usual, communication about things we didn’t completely agree on became challenging. He was growing more resentful of having to fill in the gaps with our daughter on the days she would wake up early from a nap before the sitter would arrive or if anything would not go perfectly according to schedule, and the fact that he didn’t feel like I was getting paid enough for what I was doing.

I will be the first to admit there was some validity to his concerns, as I am the type to put my whole self into whatever I do. I did have more work than I could fit into my hours at the office, so I was increasingly answering emails, etc. at night after our daughter went to bed. However as was the pattern in the past, he would refuse to talk things through and resolve conflict in a healthy way. He was unwilling to work together to create a budget for our family or problem solve. He would only passively express frustration, which just made me feel like nothing I did was good enough. It was also his pattern after a long workday to fall into his chair and checkout into his various TV shows most evenings. It was a challenge to get him to engage in any type of conversation or activity after the baby was in bed. He just wanted to zone out in front of the TV (which had been an issue before the separation). So, I would sit with him, but if I wasn’t into a certain show, I would turn on my computer and try to get a few things done while he was watching TV.

Since we had hit some areas of tension that we couldn’t seem to make in progress in, I suggested we get back into some counseling. After all, we had been out for a while, we were parents now and our family had had been through some major life changes, communication seemed to be a bit of a challenge in this area, so it made perfect sense to me to go ahead and get some help getting back on the same page before things got worse. There were no major problems…we had just hit some communication bumps and needed help working through our differences before they escalated. Seemed perfectly logical to me. Plus, while I mentioned above that it was nice for us to have our daughter to connect over, it had gotten to the point that she was our only connection. I wanted and needed more.

The first couple of times I brought counseling up, he reasoned that we were fine and that was really unnecessary. I brought it up a couple more times, and he finally agreed to let me look into it. So I made a couple of calls to the counselor that had worked with us through the separation. I found out he was no longer working at the same place, but had taken a job as the counseling director at a local church. I made a couple of calls to the church, only to find out that his caseload was full and we wouldn’t be able to get in to see him easily at this time. So for the time being, I figured things weren’t that bad and decided to begin the search for a new counselor, although I knew it would be much more difficult to get my husband to agree to go to someone new.

Looking back, there is so much to be gleaned from this season. I have learned that we can never ignore our instincts – or what is also known as the “still small” voice of the Holy Spirit that dwells in us as Christians.  The Holy Spirit is one of the most awesome and mysterious gifts to us as born again believers.

In John 14:26, Jesus said, “But the Comforter (Counselor, Helper, Intercessor, Advocate, Strengthener, Standby), the Holy Spirit, Whom the Father will send in My name [in My place, to represent Me and act on My behalf], He will teach you all things. And He will cause you to recall (will remind you of, bring to your remembrance) everything I have told you.”

What an awesome promise!  When we look to Him and depend on Him, the Holy Spirit is the ultimate comforter, counselor, strengthener, helper, and guide…..but He also bridges the gap between us and God – He intercedes for us 24/7…check out this next verse!!

Romans 8:26-27 says, “So too the [Holy] Spirit comes to our aid and bears us up in our weakness; for we do not know what prayer to offer nor how to offer it worthily as we ought, but the Spirit Himself goes to meet our supplication and pleads in our behalf with unspeakable yearnings and groanings too deep for utterance.   And He Who searches the hearts of men knows what is in the mind of the [Holy] Spirit [what His intent is], because the Spirit intercedes and pleads [before God] in behalf of the saints according to and in harmony with God’s will.

When we cannot see, when we don’t know what to pray, when our perspectives are limited or we are hurting, He searches our hearts and helps connect us to the heart and will of God.  That is almost beyond my comprehension.

And what’s even crazier is the next verse in Romans that I cannot seem to get away from:

Romans 8:28 – “We are assured and know that [God being a partner in their labor] all things work together and are [fitting into a plan] for good to and for those who love God and are called according to [His] design and purpose.”

Please read the rest of chapter 8…it is so good, I really can’t comprehend it!!  When we are in Christ, we really CAN’T fail.

I so wish I would have leaned into the Holy Spirit in complete trust and dependence during this season of my life, fought for counseling, and even been willing to go alone.  But what’s unfathomable is that even in failure, God is constantly at work on behalf of those who love Him, weaving ALL things together for good, even our mistakes.

I have deeply grieved not obeying the promptings of the Holy Spirit during this and the following season of my life….mainly the loss of what He could have done and what could have been had I obeyed.  I have also grieved and continue to grieve the loss for my children, who now come from a “broken home”. However, in so many other ways, I would not trade what I have been through and the character it has developed in me and the opportunities it has created for redemption, ministry, and ultimately knowing Him more intimately and trusting Him more deeply.

There were some deeply broken places in me as a result of coming from an alcoholic home and simply from living in this fallen world that I’m not sure would have been reached any other way.  And although I don’t fully understand, I praise God that I have been delivered from a miserable, unequally yoked, and emotionally abusive marriage.  I have truly been given a second chance.  I trust God with my future and with my children….because I know without a doubt that He is a good beyond all comprehension.  He is a Redeemer and He delights in restoring His beloved….me and you!  Here are just a few of literally thousands of promises found in His Word…the depth of His love for His people is truly beyond comprehension….and I am HIS!!

Isaiah 54 –

Do not be afraid; you will not be put to shame. 

Do not fear disgrace; you will not be humiliated. 

You will forget the shame of your youth.

The Holy One of Israel is your Redeemer he is called God of all the earth.

“With everlasting kindness I will have compassion on you,” says the Lord your Redeemer….”my unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor my covenant of peace removed,”says the Lord, who has compassion on you.

Afflicted city, lashed by storms and not comforted, I will rebuild you with stones of turquoise, your foundations with lapis lazuli.  I will make your battlements of rubies, your gates of sparkling jewels, and all your walls of precious stones.  All your children will be taught by the Lord, and great will be their peace.

Isaiah 43 –

Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past.   See, I am doing a new thing!  Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?  I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.

I, even I, am he who blots out your transgressions, for my own sake, and remembers your sins no more.

Isaiah 61 –

Instead of your shame you will receive a double portion, and instead of disgrace you will rejoice in your inheritance. And so you will inherit a double portion in your land, and everlasting joy will be yours.

Zephaniah 3 –

Sing, Daughter Zion; shout aloud, Israel! Be glad and rejoice with all your heart, Daughter Jerusalem!  The Lord has taken away your punishment, he has turned back your enemy.  The Lord, the King of Israel, is with you; never again will you fear any harm.

Do not fear, Zion; do not let your hands hang limp.  The Lord your God is with you, the Mighty Warrior who saves.

He will take great delight in you; in his love he will no longer rebuke you, but will rejoice over you with singing.