Today on the show is Justin and Trisha Davis, founders of Refine Us Ministries, a ministry that focuses on helping to build healthy marriages and families. Today we’re going to hear their story. We’re going to hear what led to Justin having an affair, how Trisha forgave him, and where they are today.
Today I’m talking with my friends Carlos and Amanda Vargas about the “hell” season of their marriage (her words), and how they had to come to terms with unresolved sexual sin in their marriage and what it looked like to get on the path to healing.
I’ve known Amanda and Carlos for years, we are in-real-life friends, and I am inspired and grateful for their humility and honesty about their marriage and what they’ve gone through, and where they are now. To listen, click below.
An emotional affair [15:55]
Carlos on growing up with a dad in prison [19:00]
Why did Amanda stay in the relationship? [22:50]
Why did Carlos turn back to Amanda? [26:10]
The dangers of pornography [32:00]
Working towards a healthy marriage [34:40]
Counseling advice [38:10]
What to do if you struggle with pornography [39:21]
How to find an accountability group [44:05]
What does marriage look like now? [47:20]
Protecting your marriage [50:22]
Advice from Amanda and Carlos on affairs [54:15]
“So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth;
It shall not return to Me void,
But it shall accomplish what I please,
And it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it.”
Every Man’s Battle by Stephen by Arterburn, Fred Stoeker and Mike Yorkey
“I have got to find my identity in God. I have got to stop trying to find my identity in my husband and I need to start looking at my own life and say, “What are areas that I need to grow in?” [24:53]
“Turning from focusing on him and the things that he was doing wrong, accepting that it is out of my control to change him and that only the Holy Spirit can do that. And starting to focus on what God wanted to change, in my self, and my relationship and identity in God, is really what made me realize that I can stay and that God can work through me and through Carlos, and He can bring about redemption in our marriage. ” [25:40]
“When God says children are a blessing, they really are a blessing.” [28:50]
“I think that, pornography is one of the biggest leading causes to affairs.” [33:30]
“Be the person you are looking for, for somebody else.” [44:45]
“Let’s be honest about everything. If there is something that we aren’t telling each other, then that is something the enemy can use against us, to start something else. So we are really big on honesty, communication and boundaries.” [53:03]
“If you are finding your identity and putting your trust in God, then ultimately the outcome is up to Him.” [56:50]
“Do the hard work, and trust God to do the rest of it.” [57:08]
Listen to Episode 1 - Susan’s Story (an intro to The Complicated Heart Podcast) HERE.
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In today’s episode, which is part 1 in a new series on marriage, you’re going to hear from Allison Fallon, a woman who made the decision to leave her abusive husband. Read more below in the show notes.
An overview of Allison’s marriage [4:35]
When our bodies carry shame our brains don’t know how to communicate [8:00]
When marriage feels like a prison [12:28]
The lies we tell ourselves [17:40]
The moment Allison left [23:50]
The fears of leaving the relationship [31:09]
How do you know if a relationship is emotionally abusive? [36:00]
Allison’s relationship with God [51:50]
Allison’s transformational moment [55:56]
The slow pace of healing [58:55]
What to do if you are in an abusive relationship [1:03:00]
Own Your Life: Living with Deep Intention, Bold Faith, and Generous Love By Sally Clarkson
“…God’s kindness is intended to lead you to repentance...” Romans 2:4
“Writing is such an incredible powerful way for people to transform their own stories in their lives, I think it is valuable for anyone to try.” [3:43]
“The power of shame is that it doesn’t have words attached to it. It’s one of the most powerful things we feel. It dictates our behavior more then just about anything
“Our bodies hold truths our minds can’t yet understand” [11:30]
“Relationships are mirrors, they are reflecting us back to ourselves.” [16:10]
“Being honest with ourselves takes a ton of resilience to shame. Because, we have to look at our selves really honestly. It takes a lot of emotional heavy lifting. We’ve got to actually be willing to do our own work. To get over our selfs and to let our ego be crushed again and again. To face embarrassment and to learn what it feels like to be really lonely and not try to fill the space with just anything that’s there.” [18:17]
“Little girls will transfer all their power and identity to someone else and will hand the keys over to someone else really quickly and hop in the passengers seat. A woman has to sit in the drivers seat of her own life and you have to decide which direction you are going. You have to own your mistakes.” [20:10]
“The truth hurts, yes, but it is our only way to freedom, because its the only think that puts us back in touch with the reality of what is actually happening.” [24:50]
“No matter where you are, or what you are doing, or what kind of relationship you are in, you need to know that you have a choice. The minute you know you have choices, is the minute that find all freedom and power you have been looking for and waiting
“Anytime you are in a situation with someone who makes you feel like they are the answer to all your problems, they have the access, the money, the power, the whatever, to get you where you are trying to go. You know that you are being manipulated. You just know, it’s not true.” [33:13]
“Isolation and privacy are the absolutely enemy of growth” [38:35]
“If you are being physically abused, you need to make an exit plan ASAP.” [45:12] “The most loving thing we can do for anyone is to give them their process. It’s about making space for someone to be in process” [52:33]
“The pain that we are trying so hard to avoid is the medicine. It’s here to teach us and to heal us, if we can let it move through us.” [54:24]
“When you fall apart, you finally don’t have to hold it together anymore." [58:27]
“We have two choices, we can hold on and be miserable or surrender to the fire that purifies.” [58:37]
“The call of the human heart is to come back home to the father.” [1:02:43]
The Blessing: [1:04:48]
May you grow every day in the knowledge of Gods love for you.
May that knowledge bring you great healing.
And through that healing, may you become all you were intended to be.
Onsite - Onsite provides a safe, loving, family environment where guests can break the cycles that hold them back and rediscover themselves and their relationships.
Pre-order Allison’s book, Indestructible, at Amazon HERE.
In today’s episode I share my stories and thoughts on grief.
Scripture to Encourage:
“Jesus wept.” John 11:35
“You keep track of all my sorrows. You have collected all my tears in your bottle. You have recorded each one in your book.” Psalm 56:8
“...There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away. He who was seated on the throne said, ‘I am making everything new!” Revelation 21:4-5
“This is the gift of grief: The healing comfort experienced through the tender intimacy of shared vulnerability.” (Tweet that) [11:17]
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How Melanie helped me with my anxiety recently [4:05]
What is grief? [6:32]
Why is it so hard for so many of us to face reality? [9:30]
How do we know if we’ve made anxiety our God? [13:27]
Why is it important to mourn our losses? [15:45]
The question we ask every day, whether we know we do or not [24:33]
Where is the goodness of God when terrible things happen? [38:25]
What happens when we don’t grief? [43:16]
Unresolved Childhood Pain [45:45]
How to grief and mourn a loss. [48:15]
Experiencing God Bible Study by Henry & Richard Blackaby
Where is God When it Hurts? by Philip Yancey
"Can a mother forget the baby at her breast and have no compassion on the child she has borne? Though she may forget, I will not forget you!” Isaiah 49:15
“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28
“Grief is the process of letting go of our expectations.” [7:00]
“Grief is the process of facing reality.” [9:06]
“Our dreams are not necessarily Gods dreams for us.” [10:52]
“When we make our dreams into gods, we get into trouble.” [11:26]
“The adventure is to look with anticipation for where God is taking us, even it if takes us away from what we thought our dream would look like. That God’s goodness will lead us into something even better, then when we first thought.” [11:40]
“In Gods economy, grieving leads to wisdom.” [19:31]
“When you can say, “my identity is unchanging, because of who God has created me to be and my relationship with God, through Christ,” then it makes it easier to let go of situations.” [21:38]
“Part of the process of growing and maturing, is learning to tolerate that emotions won’t kill you.” [26:20]
“Life is suppose to be about the process of growing in the wisdom of the Lord.” [40:55]
“Tim Keller- defines wisdom in a great way. He says, “It’s the competence to deal with the complex realities of life.’” [41:25]
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Special Guest Amy Smoker:
A pastor’s wife for 15 years and a mother to 5, Amy Smoker believes in encouraging women. She’s a speaker, a lover of words and the Word, an avid reader, and a writer of actual letters with actual stamps. She’d like to say that she has a degree, but Hurricane Katrina washed away her college in her last semester. She’s no stranger to hard or sudden change; she moved nine times in the first ten years of her marriage, has stood on the foundation of her own hurricane-devastated house, and has known untimely loss. She understands that suffering and joy can run side-by-side like rails on the same train track and hopes that her words hold the hands of those who are aching. She counts it a great privilege to inspire and help women recognize the touch of the divine in the ordinary, in the easy, or in the difficult—wherever they might be. For right where we are, there He is.
Amy’s first loss and the devastating way she handled it, not knowing what else to do [5:55]
Amy’s second big loss [8:00]
Amy’s third traumatic loss [13:05]
Amy’s fourth crisis [17:12]
Amy’s fifth loss [18:43]
What Amy has learned through grief and lament [23:08]
The pathway to the Lord’s heart [24:30]
What Amy has to say to the woman who has suffered great devastation in her life. [39:02]
“As a mother comforts her child, so will I comfort you…” Isaiah 66:13
“A key to knowing Jesus, is needing Jesus.” [5:00]
“Grief is letting go of something you once had and that you can no longer have.” [23:25]
“We are not only taught to lament in the scriptures, we are invited to do it, because the Lord knows it is a pathway to His heart.” [24:30]
“Our emotions are the voice of our heart.” [29:54]
“I have never been low enough, that I didn’t have something I knew to be true of the Lord.” [34:18]
“When we experience the Lord through hard times, we come to know Him on a level that we can’t get by reading a book, or listening to a sermon or going to a conference.” [36:13]
This is the first episode of The Complicated Heart Podcast!
Episode Description: Why is this podcast called The Complicated Heart, and what's it about? In this episode, you'll hear the story of a complicated woman and how the thread of her life wove the lining of this podcast.
Just a heads up: this podcast isn’t for little ears, so make sure you aren’t playing it out loud around your kiddos!