Access Equals Freedom

Ben —  March 14, 2011 — 31 Comments

"The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it."

Saturday I drove to Alabama, at 5am for Kissy’s soccer tournament. She slept, I drove. It was kind of good, but over all I learned, I mean I was reminded that driving in the dark sucks. Actually, being in the dark sucks both literally and metaphorically. 6 years ago was a time in our marriage where both Kim and I were in “the dark.”

We were lost.

We were hurting.

There was a huge fight…

…and we were on the verge of destroying our marriage and family.

This huge fight was not between Kim and I, this was a much bigger fight. This was our Father fighting for His children, and in the end He wins.

So Kim and I also fought.

We fought for our marriage, we fought for our children, and we fought to protect our souls.

Before coming to this, we were completely caught up in the view of hiding our secrets and faults. We were naive to think that we could try and do this on our own, with no outside help or counsel. Fictional story lines in Movies, TV shows, magazines and even some of our really close friends influenced us to make decisions that did not help, but hinder our healing process. We were not on the right path, and we were continuing to spiral further downward. We were slaves to our own naivety, tied up by the bonds of the world.

“And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.” (Romans 12:2)

I fully believe God already knows what’s up, yet He waits for us to surrender our plans for His. He is like the sun rising in the rear view mirror, and we are driving as fast as we can away from it to try and keep that sunrise paralyzed and never peer over the horizon. We learned you can’t do this forever, and eventually you’ll run out of gas.

We sought out professional help, because we could not do this on our own. We realized this, not a moment too late because had we continued to follow the “worldly” ideal of what we should do, I would not be here sharing this right now. We opened up to some wise counsel, we gave that person access to our secrets and our faults, and most importantly we gave him access to our past before we were married. This allowed for him to counsel us with more understanding, which in turn allowed the healing process to begin individually as well as the journey of strengthening our marriage.

This type of transparency that allows for one to see you for who you really are, also allows them to be who you need them to be.

We were freed.


Who is one person that you allow that type of access to?

Do you struggle with giving in to God, and giving Him access? What about your spouse, is that also a struggle? If you’re in one, what about your community group?


31 responses to Access Equals Freedom

  1. >>Who is one person that you allow that type of access to?

    Jim McNally, my spiritual father/mentor. Love that guy.

    Ben these are good words. It is nice to be a part of a community and all that, but there is something very appropriate about having one person above you that will have total access to who and what you are. (apart from Jesus, of course.) Discipleship is one-on-one. Mentoring is one-on-one. It is said there is wisdom in the counsel of many, and this is true. But it will come down to that one person, that one individual, this side of Heaven, who really puts it on you to walk in that wise counsel.

    Good words, Ben. Good words.

  2. Ben, I’ll be honest. For years I’ve struggled with this. I grew up sweeping things under the rug, not really giving me a reason to be transparent and vulnerable because I really didn’t have to deal with or address conflict. This was “fine and all”… and then I met my wife. 🙂 Her experience/personality is the exact opposite. LOL. Needless to say, it has been a perfect storm of personalities…

    I read a book last year, “Love and War” (Eldredge) and one of the biggest takeaways I had was this: There is an enemy out there, and it is not your wife. (#hurtssogood)

    Right now, Jen and I have been entirely blessed to have an older couple at our church who reached out to us 4-5 months ago. They said, “We want to open our marriage up to you.” — we meet with them once a month.. no agenda… just whatever we want to bring to them and talk about. It has been encouraging and challenging at the same time.

  3. I’m so happy to see that you and wifey decided to get counseling. So many people don’t go that far and their marriage falls apart. So often, in my life I see things completely different than reality. My past comes back to haunt me and thing that are not true and/or right come up front stage. It’s always good to get a third person perspective.

    Also, now that we have children, they see us, and model our behavior. I want them to grow up believing that dad loved mom and fought hard to provide a good home.

  4. Thanks for being so open with the community here. This type of sharing is what helps others open the doors and let others in to the hurts and pain in their lives.

    • It’s kind of weird like that, what you fear so much as a couple, or even as an individual is what EVERYBODY else fears, so nobody opens up and nobody really “relates” because they all think the other couple(s) are perfect and they’re so imperfect.

      I put this out there, because I realize a lot of stuff I write/tweet about our family may seem like we are “that family” in that everything seems honky-dory. Even though right now we may be, we worked damn hard to get here and it wasn’t without trial and error.

  5. “I fully believe God already knows what’s up, yet He waits for us to surrender our plans for His.”

    Truth! This seems to be a theme coming up lately. I’m listening, God!

    I have 3 guys that I’ve given that deep intimate access to my life. I share my life, including all the things that aren’t pretty or easy to talk about. Up until a few years ago, I didn’t have this. I paid for it dearly.

    • Seems that’s the case for many of us, paying for it dearly or “learning the hard way,” but we learn…that’s what’s important. Glad you have those guys Tony 🙂

  6. April is the one person who has full access. I have a few people I know who have partial access, but its something I should work on.

    • One, even outside of my wife makes a difference. An older “mentor” figure is what I’ve been looking for as well. Somebody local, of course…can’t really do coffee over the webbernets.

  7. My wife has full access. I have a couple of guys I am close with that is an accountability group we set up just to assure we all stay the course as strong Christian Fathers.

    Thanks for being so transparent Ben. My wife and I had a patch like this in our marriage and we sought counsel. Best decision we ever made. No we are in the right place spiritually and mentally and never wish to look back at what used to be!

    In Alabama…that is my neck of the woods 🙂

  8. Where is the ‘like’ button?

  9. Great story, Ben. Thank you for being transparent and vulnerable. Marriage is awesome, but it is work.

    I’m a pretty open dude, but am learning to give L.K. access to my fears and faults. It definitely is freeing.

  10. I’m rejoicing with you both that your marriage survived this period..and that you’ve opened up to share this with people you don’t even know. I wish people would share these truths more openly when “in the thick of it”. I have a special girl in my life who speaks truth to me, especially when I don’t want to hear it. Such an amazing blessing!

    • Thank you Keri, Kim and I both love sharing our story (now), although it’s a little tougher in person, we hope to show that survival IS possible.

  11. My husband and I went through that “battle” for our marriage a few years ago. We realized then how vital full disclosure is for our relationship. It might be hard to talk about what we’re struggling with and how we’re feeling, but if we’re both committed to being vulnerable with one another we know we can get through it. I love to hear about couples who fight to stay together, because so many just shrug and walk away!!

    • Absolutely vital, and the fight is so worth it. It saddens me to see couple-friends who just walk away, there’s just much you want to do to help, but can’t.

  12. My wife has full access. And it so freeing.

  13. This is something I struggled with a lot growing up. I always put up a front, pretended things were better than they were and never sought out help. Since coming to Christ, there are a few guys who know everything about me – even those deep, dark secrets that I would rather no one know about. But through it, I definitely have found freedom.

  14. I have a really good friend with full access, but I grew up under a rug.

    Blogging has been good for me, because, before, I would never have told anyone about my faults or issues or problems, because it would show weakness. I was trying to hold up the world of my problems by myself.

    • I agree w/ the blogging aspect, it’s open my world to a whole new and awesome community who remind us that we don’t need to hold up anything on our own

      Thanks for the comment Kristin.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.