Alysha Miller on The Narrow Road with Jesus and The Road to South Africa
Hey, it’s your podcast host, Alysha Miller and here to share that episode 09 is a bit different this month!
this month’s resource:
As I gear up to leave for South Africa, I thought I’d share a bit about why I’m going, how I was led to the couple I’ll be interviewing (shared at the tail end, min 48:00) and sharing parts of my testimony as it ties in to God leading me there.
I’ll be sharing more on social media and posting from South Africa, so if you don’t follow there be sure to follow along @themarriageprojectco.
So, my testimony…where do I even begin?
Coming off of last month’s episode, Sex, Soul Ties and God’s Redeeming Love, I thought it fitting to continue in sharing my testimony as there are parallels to what was shared last month. But I’m sharing from a different perspective. I’ve been on the road to healing in singleness vs. learning how to navigate healing from past sexual sin in marriage.
On episode 8, Jessica and Chris shared so beautifully how the Lord has led them to work through those things together in marriage. What things? Sleeping together before marriage, the skewed view of sex that happens because of that, the damage from sleeping with multiple people and carrying those ties and memories into your marriage.
So what if you’re single and carry the weight of shame or hurt from an intimate, physical relationship outside of marriage? Can God bring healing only through a spouse and marriage? Definitely not! That can be one way to begin to heal but it isn’t marriage that heals any sort of scars from our past and I’m here as testament to that. It isn’t a spouse that brings healing, It’s found in a relationship with Jesus Christ! So whether you’re single, married or may even be married to someone who is contributing more to the hurt than to healing, rest assured in this…it is Jesus and Jesus alone who can bring true healing and begin to redeem the hurt parts of your heart accrued from past impulsive behavior or sexual trauma/abuse.
From an early age my innocence was stolen (not included in episode but important to note). I had a “boyfriend” take something from me that wasn’t his. What happened to me at a young age was not okay. It wasn’t until years later I realized that and acknowledged that. I always tried to explain it or excuse it. But the damage had been done. I was exposed to things I’d never been exposed to before. And sadly, that’s what I became used to all throughout high school and my early twenties — allowing poor and degrading treatment from men. To be honest, I really liked the attention I got from guys by acting sensually, provocatively. So I acted accordingly and for the next ten years, all I knew were hook ups and negative toxic relationship patterns.
It was a vicious cycle.
I didn’t know there was another option. I didn’t know a different type of guy, ones with integrity and decency, existed. Even if I did, my heart had become so hard, I probably wouldn’t have been drawn to them anyway. Again, it was a vicious cycle.
I was in two unhealthy “relationships” from age 15-21. One lasted four and a half years. It felt like a prison sentence that my impulsive behavior put me in. However, God was present and I finally had the strength to leave yet I used my new “freedom” to keep on down my own road. Then I had “the Vegas era” and that’s where I felt most at home…sin city, tells you where my heart was at. That described it, sin city.
I became obsessed with the idea of a certain type of relationship but it was an immature skewed view of “love” and an irrational, unrealistic one at that.
When I first discovered the Word of God personally I knew love for the first time. And that may sound weird but it isn’t, because Jesus is described as the Word. Read John 1 (1-14). Jesus was the love I’d been searching for. And through His Word and through the Holy Spirit, He is closer than any human relationship can get and this love is real and true and not broken. His love won’t hurt me.
To experience this kind of radical love, love in the purest form after a series of serious heartache and anxiety and sad tears, I began to cry more. But this time they were healing tears. And tears of repentance.
I share more about the road with Jesus I’ve been on since. And meeting Him at the cross.
I share how parts of my heart still want to resist and how that’s been the struggle all along. I’ve always resisted anything good for me and willingly opened myself up to the things that’d hurt me. But thank God for grace and His patience…
He’s taken me on what I call “the redemption tour” — meaning God has literally taken me back to places I once had really horrible memories and has retraced them with His loving thread of redemption, replacing them with good memories…Vegas and a couple specific incidents that happened there are included in this. A couple years back I had the coolest opportunity to attend a conference with a friend and we had the best worship experience in a church in Las Vegas. More tears fell as I realized God always knew the girl walk of shaming out of a hotel years ago would one day walk through church doors and lift her hands high in praise for all He’d redeemed!
Healing has come through God’s Word, community, and through the body of Christ. I understand some people have been hurt by the church but it was the church and the people in it that God used to help me through healing and continues to use. Their love and support, kindness, accountability, intentionality and care.
Also, for me specifically healing began through photography, giving me something to take the focus off me, literally — and discipleship.
However, it is Jesus who worked this all in. HE IS THE HEALER. It’s Jesus. Knowing Him intimately and letting Him in to the precious parts of your heart brings that first initial healing, and from there, more is added through other things. And He gives you the courage to say “yes” and the desire to do more for the Kingdom.
word to the husbands and wives:
You need to be okay with letting your spouse have another person in their life…and it’s Jesus.
There may be times, as women, we need to talk with you and need someone to listen. But other times, most times, we might need to walk through it first with Jesus. Understand and pray for her. And vice versa, wives to husbands.
I think it helps to have someone who asks really good questions with the intention to help and walk through it together and not to use those things against each other later as ammo in an argument.
Seek to understand, there may be a reason something sets the other off or makes the other respond the way they do.
Everyone’s different in how they communicate, so if you’re having a hard time conveying a shameful part from your past to your spouse or if it’s something you’ve never fully discussed or finding intimacy has been a hard spot in your marriage, try communicating what the root cause is in a way you know how, and as the Spirit leads.
I imagine if I had to convey the depths of my hurt and scars to a husband, I may have to write it down to explain some of the emotions. It’s hard for me to always put my feelings in words while speaking. I have to process first.
I’m a better writer than speaker but when it comes to my story I know it well and I’ll tell you anything if you ask.
I’m really an open book about my story and honest about every detail of my story and what I’ve been through, which is actually why I’m writing book. I love to write.
I think there’s a time and place for some of the details and want to keep some parts sacred. We don’t owe the internet everything. I share readily yet so far those moments have happened on a long drive or across a table. Which is why I love where the conversations for this podcast have taken place, across tables or in cars (there’s something about the road) and face to face for the more fragile parts.
For now, this is what I felt God led me to share. If one person finds Jesus and healing through Him because of it, praise Him. If the purpose was only to please Him, praise Him!
a few more episode notes/sermon notes on the subject:
Correction** I mention a verse being from Ephesians in the episode. It is actually from Philippians and the verses I’m referring to are Philippians 2:1-5.
God really ministered this to my heart last month as I was praying about what to say this month. Without the attitude and mind of Christ, we do not have the capability of living out verses 3-5.
By nature we are inclined to selfishness, impressing others, pride, looking out only for ourselves and not really taking an interest in others. I needed that reminder because I felt hurt by some things recently or treatment from others yet it’s unrealistic to expect this out of each other apart from Christ. Why it’s so important to put Him on daily and get in the Word. What comes from it is selflessness, humility and an interest in others.
Found this from one of my favorite pastors (Levi Lusko):
Sex everywhere and not a drop to drink.
Pineapple became the "most glamorous fruit in the world" - people hadn't ever seen it before. At the peak of the madness, a pineapple would be sold for $8,000. People wouldn't even eat them. They would display them until they rotted
A writer said today it's one of the least popular fruits. The only thing that has changed is our perspective. Similarly with sex. We were intended to only be with one person, how exotic to have the treasure, that secret thing with one person out of the billion others. No comparing, no previous images flashing.
This message is to bring the tree, to turn the water from bitter to sweet. Because from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil we go to the tree Jesus hung on. Sin and death were conquered.
He's the God of miracles.
John 4:14 - living water. He quenches the thirst.
what God gave me:
“Don’t gain information about each other’s pasts
to use it against each other in the future.”
“The Lord told me, ‘You have to break up with your past’.”
“Become comfortable in the presence of tears. Tears are healing.”
And the book of Hosea. Didn’t even touch on this (it’s in the book) and the correlation to my story. But oh, it’s so good. I love that book of the Bible and this verse says it all.