• Redefining Your Identity After Betrayal

    “…the Lord has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners…” Isaiah 61:1

    At the very heart of Revive Ministries is the Scripture Isaiah 61:1-3. Each verse captures what we pray women will experience as they seek their identity in Christ. All this month we have been talking about freedom, so today we wanted to focus on “binding up the brokenhearted and proclaiming freedom”. Today’s post is a little different from our usual weekly bit o’ encouragement, but we felt that it was important and relevant for so many of the women we encounter every day. 

    Over the years, we have met many women who have experienced betrayal in their marriages or relationships. It is precisely the kind of experience that turns one’s entire world upside down leaving deep questions about their own identity, and leaves wounds that are painful. The truth is, life is messy and painful and no one is exempt from brokenheartedness or disappointment. When we met our guest blogger Stephanie Broersma, and heard her story of being a broken bride made whole again through Christ, we knew we had to share it with you. Whether you yourself have been through the trauma of betrayal in your marriage, or maybe you know someone who has, you will be blessed and encouraged with Stephanie’s real-life insight, wisdom and humor. 

    Stephanie Broersma is the author of “Reclaimed: Finding Your Identity After Marital Betrayal” and the founder of Reclaimed Ministries. Her mission is to help others find wholeness and healing again after infidelity, through redefining their identity in Christ. 

    Below is an excerpt from her book that we are honored to share with you. Stephanie will also be our guest in a special episode of The Experience Revival Podcast, that comes out on Friday! In the podcast, you’ll hear more of Stephanie’s story and how Reclaimed Ministries came to be, learn how a traumatic relationship experience can shape your identity and how you can move past shame, anger and brokenness to gain confidence as you rebuild trust and self-worth in Christ. 

    A big thank you to Stephanie Broersma for her willingness and vulnerability to share her heart and her story with us! “Reclaimed: Finding Your Identity After Marital Betrayal” is available this month for purchase as an individual devotional or a group study, at

    Summer Shore, Stephanie Broersma, Melissa Campbell

    “Reclaimed: Finding Your Identity After Marital Betrayal” by Stephanie Broersma

    “It is critical to know who you are in Christ as you offer yourself to your marriage and other relationships.”

    Many women, scrambling to pick up the pieces of a broken heart after the confession or discovery of a marital affair, often state the same question: “Who am I?” 

    Everything a broken and devastated bride thought they knew about themselves suddenly becomes testimony in the courtroom of life, with their identity on the witness stand. “You’re not a good wife because your husband cheated on you and sought pleasure through a pornography addiction rather than his wife. You’re not pretty enough or skinny enough, so your husband went outside the marriage to seek beauty. How can you be a good friend or mom if you can’t keep your marriage whole?” 

    The majority of women walking through a confession have expressed how shattered their self image is after attempting to pick up the pieces of betrayal. I know this all too well. When my husband confessed to a ten year pornography addiction followed by multiple affairs, my entire being was crushed. Who I was no longer existed and everything I thought to be true was seen and felt as a lie. My complete existence was felt as a veil of ungodly beliefs and the Enemy had his firm hand on my identity, worth and my value. The command to kill my self worth was perfectly being executed by the maker of lies and his legions. The negative narrative that kept on repeating in my head was that my husband’s web of sin and consequences now defined the person I would be, if I could ever make it out alive. I felt as if the mistakes in our marriage would now identify how I approached relationships. Shame, embarrassment, filth and self disappointment weighed like a ton of bricks making it impossible to take a deep breath. 

    Your identity is not found in the sins of the past or web of consequences from the mistakes in your marriage. Your identity is found in the Risen Savior!”

    I continually wrestled with God about who I was now, and yet His gentle voice would quiet the wandering thoughts that consumed my every waking minute. What I learned in the months post confession was that if I couldn’t identify who I was in Christ, my faith would be crippled and from there every other relationship would fail. Securing my own relationship in Christ was key to healing my wounds before attempting to heal the “us” in our new marriage. 

    Knowing who you are in Christ is key to any relationship, especially your relationship with yourself. Your identity can’t walk out in confidence if you don’t understand the depth of God’s love for you. You can’t love well if you don’t experience His love first. Scripture reminds us of how much God loves us. 

    In 1 Peter 2:9 (NIV) it says, “But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His wonderful light.” 

    Our citizenship is awaiting us in Heaven. Abba, your Daddy, has given you “a crown of beauty, the oil of gladness, a garment of praise and an everlasting joy.” (Isaiah 61:3,7 NIV

    The negative narrative needs to stop cycling through your head and heart, and instead be replaced with Godly beliefs that speak truth and life. It takes discipline to silence the lies that influence and persuade the course of your life. The narrative we have with ourselves will determine the decisions we make in every relationship we share, in the circle of community we live in. This has been an incredible challenge for me as I battle with self worth, questions of identity, whether I’m good enough, and knowing my value as a cherished bride. The pornography addiction stripped all ideas of beauty from my mind. How am I to compete with airbrushed images and Hollywood fantasies? God clearly did not wire me to be that sexy, mischievous or exposed. But, let me tell you this much…I’ve since learned that’s not what my husband desires for me to be. 

    Having the clarity to separate the truth from lies has greatly increased my view of who I am. Knowing that I am accepted, secure and significant as a chosen, claimed, precious daughter of Christ’s is key to any pursuit of healing and wholeness. Speaking these truths out daily over yourself, your home and family is such a powerful tool against the Enemy. 

    You are not called to be weak. You are not of lesser value or diminished by another’s sinful actions. You are not defined by sin or the mistakes of your past. You are not unworthy to someone else’s love. You are not too far lost to be rescued by the Creator of the Universe. 

    You ARE enough. You ARE worthy. You ARE chosen. You ARE bought by the blood of Christ. You ARE forgiven. You ARE beautiful. You ARE redeemed. You ARE a child of God. It should be a daily discipline to silence the lies and shame of the Enemy, who is here to “kill, steal and destroy,” (John 10:10) God wants you to share in an intimate (in-to-me-see) relationship with Him as He’s already given you a place at His table. Take a seat, rest in His truth and know that you ARE His. 

    Are you ready to embrace your eternal identity? What do you currently see your image being rooted in? What evidence is there that Christ is working in your life? 

    “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” Romans 8:1 (NIV) 

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  • Who I Am In Christ Resource

    Recently, we had a chance to connect with our friend Stephanie Broersma. She has an incredible ministry called Reclaimed Ministry where she helps broken brides journey toward healing and recovery from marital betrayal. Stephanie shares our heart for helping women know their identity in Christ.

    We believe that knowing how much you are loved by God has the power to change everything. When you see yourself through the eyes of Christ and cherish the unique way in which you were created, the effect ripples out through your family, church and community.

    Because we are human and at times very broken, we sometimes need reminding and affirmation. So Stephanie has put together a great printable to help us all remember that in God’s kingdom, we are accepted, secure and significant. Our hope is that it will help remind you each day of who you are in Christ.

    Click the image below to download this free printable and put it somewhere that you will see it. You can post it on the mirror, or put a copy in your Bible to use for a daily devotional thought. However you use it, may you be blessed as you experience the love of God.

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  • God’s Favorite Ingredient

    Over the past several years, I have had the privilege of walking alongside some truly incredible women as they navigated different crises in their lives. I say privilege because while some of the themes of my own journey may grant me certain insight, the details of my own experience don’t fully mirror theirs. It would be easy for them to say I’m underqualified. Yet they allowed me in to pray with them, to hold and comfort their children, and to hold and comfort them. I witnessed their tenacity and resolve as they would straighten up, wipe the tears from their face and plow ahead because life does not slow down for grief.

    Often, when the hurt seemed to last too long, and there was no clear end in sight, I’d find myself wondering, “How do I speak hope into a situation where I cannot see God working? What can I possibly say that doesn’t fall woefully short of the magnitude of their circumstances? How is God going to redeem this for good?” When someone you love is in the trenches, it can challenge your faith in God’s timing and methodology, just as if you were going through it yourself. I craved reassurance that God was going to come through for my friend like He did for me.

    Recently, one friend in particular was especially on my heart when Revive Ministries had a chance to attend the She Speaks conference in North Carolina. I went with the expectation of learning more about writing and speaking, but did not anticipate finding the answer to these burning questions.

    Lysa TerKeurst, President of Proverbs 31 ministries, was the first main session speaker. She spoke from her new book that’s coming out soon called It’s Not Supposed To Be This Way. She tackles some of the really hard questions about walking a life of faith in a broken world. Lysa knows trial, heartache and pain in a very real way, and by God’s grace has held onto faith and hope, even in the darkest of shadows. I sat in the packed ballroom, on the edge of my seat, ears straining to hear a message of hope that I could relay to my friend, and tuck inside my own heart for when I needed it.

    Midway through her talk, Lysa referenced a phrase that talks about God’s light shining through the places we are broken and cracked. She acknowledged that it really is a lovely sentiment, but also posed the question “What do you do when there aren’t even cracked pieces of your life left to glue back together? What do you do when all that’s left is dust? You can’t glue dust!”

    Time stopped for a moment as her words echoed in my heart and mind. What do you do when all that’s left of your life is dust?

    Lysa gently reminded us that “God’s favorite ingredient is dust.” He breathes life into dust and creates new life. When living water is added to dust, it makes clay, and in the hands of the Potter, we become the work of His hand. Jesus spits into dust, making mud that he places on the eyes of a blind man healing him and giving him sight. (Genesis 2:7, Isaiah 64:8, John 9:1-11)

    Lysa said it beautifully, “Dust does not signify the end, it is often what must be present to begin what is brand new.”

    There is no situation that is so far gone, that our Creator cannot breathe life into it. There is no mess so great that our God cannot redeem it for purpose and beauty. I don’t know about you, but when the journey stretches on just a little longer than I want, when it is hard to discern how God could possibly rebuild from the ashes, remembering God’s favorite ingredient gives me renewed hope. It was the reassurance I had been craving, from God’s own Word, breathing life into me again.  I pray it will bolster your faith and give you hope too, for your own sake or for the sake of a dear friend.

    Note: We are not receiving any compensation for promoting Lysa’s book or Proverbs 31 Ministries-we just really love what they are doing and wanted to share with you! This is one little nugget of Lysa’s awesome talk at She Speaks! She has so much more to share about how God’s love and timing truly are perfect, in her book. You can get a sneak peek of It’s Not Supposed To Be This Way & pre-order your copy here

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