Open Letter to Critics of Lysa TerKeurst

Subject: Open Letter to Critics of Lysa TerKeurst
From: Shannon Hempel
Date: 20 Jun 2017

Since the day I read LysaTerKeurst's blog post publicly posting her pain, anguish, humiliation and grief due to the circumstances surrounding her separation from her husband, my heart has literally hurt for her. She could be anyone of us, including those women that are asking her to step down from her position of President of Proverbs 31 Ministries.

I am not a leader in the Christian world.
But I am a follower of Christ.
And I am a woman.
I am a wife and mother.
And I have walked her pain.

I wish I could take her into my living room, offer her a blanket, a cup of hot tea and just my presence so she knows that she isn't alone. There are many of us betrayed spouses out there. It is an unfathomable pain that no one can ever know unless you have been there. Statistics show that 41% of all marriages are touched by emotional and/or sexual infidelity. That number is astounding. The enemy is definitely looking to destroy marriages.

To ask her to step down from the position where she can use this the most is akin to stoning the woman who committed adultery in the Bible. Jesus was there with her when they wanted to do this. But Jesus's response was that whoever has not sinned, cast the first stone.

Those of you thinking she must have done something wrong to make her husband want to stray, you have no idea what you are saying. Affairs can happen to anyone. The spouse is never the cause of an affair. Affairs happen to couples who have healthy sex lives, to couples who don't. They happen to couples where the betrayed spouse has spent hours in counseling and on his/her knees in prayer for Satan to leave their husband's/wife's heart. No one is a perfect spouse. No marriage is without problems.

I will be honest and say that one year ago I was reading her blog posts and was actually jealous of her marriage. She and I are about the same age and have been married for about the same time.

Of course, I had no idea what was going on behind her closed doors, but I did know that my own marriage was in shambles and the trust in my own husband had been destroyed by his infidelity. I felt shame even though I'm not the one who cheated.

This is such a broken world and everyday Christians are seen as judgmental and holier than thou. What a time for God to use Lysa's circumstances to bring about hope, connection and restoration in other women's and men's lives who have also been traumatized by infidelity.

If I could sit down with Lysa right now, I would tell her that yes, I do know her pain. I feel her pain because I lived it. I know the anguish of separation and filing for divorce and begging God for the wisdom to know if I was doing the right thing.

I would also tell her that though she may not feel it yet, she is being used by God in the position of leadership she is in to help other women that are going through this very same thing this very moment.

I would tell her that though I have no idea how her story will end, I do know that our God is a mighty God. He can do the impossible.

He did the impossible with my husband and me. Our hearts were softened and we are working to reconciliation. We are building a new marriage, and we are both working so hard on the things that we as a couple were doing that was causing harm to our marriage.

All marriages are hard, even those marriages of the women and men that are criticizing Lysa's choices and recommending she step down from her leadership position.

That isn't necessarily what God wants her to do, and from what I know of Lysa through her books and blogs is that God is her savior and she will bring glory to Him through sharing her story. The "Christian community" could also show Jesus' grace in this time by being a support for her and not trying to tell her what to do or questioning what she did wrong for her husband to do this.

I am greatly saddened that there is anyone out there that would cast a stone at her. As women, we need to support each other and raise each other up. Especially in times as hard as what she is about to face.