Secrets keep us sick.
Powerful and true words spoken by author and inspirational speaker, Catherine Fendig. In her book, Becoming a Well Woman, Fendig shares her story of seeking love in all the wrong places. Spinning on the “relationship turnstile,” she entered one bad relationship after the other. She’d been married and divorced five times. Addicted to alcohol, drugs, food, and sex to seek relief from childhood sexual abuse endured from age three to ten years old as well as raging, alcoholic parents. Impulsive decisions she made to escape being alone, Fendig says, “Desperation defined me.”
In her emptiness, she sought guidance from self-help books and New Age beliefs, but only found half-truths, not the whole truth. Then Fendig began studying the Bible, where she discovered true love, peace, and joy. She made God her Heavenly Husband and wore a wedding band, set a plate, and held conversations with Him at her dining table. This seemed strange until she saw how God filled every empty area of her life. Similar to the Samaritan woman married five times who met Jesus at the well 2,000 years ago (John 4), Fendig became “a well woman” through her relationship with the Lord.
Last month, I hosted Fendig on our Voices Against the Grain radio episode entitled “Way of the Well Woman.” We’re grateful for her authenticity and transparency shared in her book and during our show. Today, Fendig is happily married to her godly husband of 14 years and shares her story to help women who engage in unhealthy relationship patterns. Prior to developing her relationship with God, Fendig didn’t know how to break the patterns of poor choices with different men generating the same results. Then she learned the keys to living whole.
Here are a few takeaways she learned in her time of healing with God:
- There is healing in transparency. As Fendig said, “Secrets keep us sick.” Living in half-truths instead of the whole truth will not bring you full healing. Through sharing her story as well as receiving help from several spiritual mentors, she unlocked doors to Christian principles that revealed and affirmed her true identity in Christ Jesus.
- Don’t live in the fantasy of what could be (cognitive dissonance). Avoid staying in an unhealthy situation hoping it will improve. Instead, view the situation exactly for what it is. “When people show you who they are, believe them” (Maya Angelou).
- Mental gardening: weeding and seeding. Fendig suffered with depression and low self-esteem. She spoke life over herself by affirming what God says about us. “I am restored. I am forgiven. I am equipped. God loves me. I have a bright future.” She took every thought captive to Christ. (2 Corinthians 10:5)
- Hold on and wait for God’s best. When it comes, you’ll know what that is. God is our ultimate matchmaker. “There is no need to feel desperate. God has it all worked out,” Fendig says. Meanwhile, focus on filling your life with God. “But seek first the Kingdom of God and his righteousness.” (Matthew 6:33)
- The most important thing you can do is learn about God. Learn about what He promises us, learn about His nature. Develop a personal, intimate relationship with God. “I looked everywhere for love, but not in the Bible,” says Fendig. “We need to learn about God and His love.”
- God always goes before you. Remembering how God prepared Fendig to meet her godly husband, she says, “God always goes before you. He prepares you. It may not make sense, but be open to what life is showing you. His ways are not our ways.” (Isaiah 55:8)
Fendig is a “well woman” who knows her purpose and worth. She turned her hurts and insecurities over to her Heavenly Husband who taught her true love. Her story reminds us that the Lord is the same, today, and yesterday—even to the Samaritan woman at the well 2,000 years ago.