Updated: Jul 27, 2021
By Amy Elaine Martinez
God's Brave Women - Amy's Story
What happens when we decide to stop bad behavior in its tracks and think of others more than ourselves? When we begin to believe we can change? When we finally get on our knees and dare to admit we can’t change on our own because we desperately need Jesus?
Transformation happens. I know because it happened in my life.
In a self-centered world, meeting our own needs first has become a priority. Scrolling through our favorite social media, we’re told to “do what feels good” in the moment. However, later we find out that feel good feeling only lasts until those around us experience the sting of our self-serving ways. Friendships fail and marriages get messy as our bad behavior displays itself one too many times. At some point, we all need an agent of change to step in and become our catalyst for transformation.
I hope my story reminds you that you are stronger than you know and helps you get your brave on to face the hard things life throws at you today. I hope it helps you do one of the bravest things you can do: tell the truth.
Once I was a girl who believed I could never change, that I was too far gone for grace.
Humility brought me to my knees and changed my reckless behavior. Grace invaded my failing marriage, redirected my family’s faith journey, and overflowed into an area of ministry I felt completely disqualified to enter.
Was it possible? Could I be… a cheater turned leader?
Bravery meant telling the truth even when it would hurt the man I loved dearly, yet so poorly. When infidelity reared its ugly head in my second marriage, I had a choice to make... stay the same and lose everything or realize that with God, this girl could change.
"When infidelity reared its ugly head in my second marriage, I had a choice to make... stay the same and lose everything or realize that with God, this girl could change."
Admitting to my husband that I’d almost fallen face first into the pit of infidelity did not feel brave in the moment. While I knew God had already changed me, I wasn’t at all confident He’d be able to change David’s mind. My husband was a man of absolutes, he had a hard line for integrity. Regrettably, I had crossed it.
You see before my man met Jesus, there was no forgiveness for this kind of bad behavior. My greatest fear was him walking away. Though I didn’t follow through with my almost affair, the glaring lack of integrity caused a deep rift in our marriage. For my husband, it was as if I’d committed the act; I could no longer be trusted with his heart since mine was so wretched. There was no justification for my waywardness. Only Jesus could make it just as if I’d never strayed.
My brave story began with this painfully pivotal moment:
Just as I was stepping into women’s leadership at our rather large church, God called me to the bravest act of my life when He asked me to be a truth-teller. First to myself, then to my husband, and ultimately to you.
As a writer and ministry leader, I knew I could never tell His story until I told mine. If I ever wanted to help women walk in the freedom of Christ, I had to be free to share the miraculous transformation God made in me.
"I knew I could never tell His story until I told mine. If I ever wanted to help women walk in the freedom of Christ, I had to be free to share the miraculous transformation God made in me."
For years, I was a woman who believed change was impossible because I was eternally flawed. Yet in my darkest days, I discovered that with God’s help and the transforming power of the Holy Spirit I could be faithful. Faithful to God, my husband, and even faithful to myself – no more sitting in shame, self-sabotaging the good life God intended for me to live.
"In my darkest days, I discovered that with God’s help and the transforming power of the Holy Spirit I could be faithful. Faithful to God, my husband, and even faithful to myself – no more sitting in shame, self-sabotaging the good life God intended for me to live."
Oh, that old familiar voice of shame, I heard it whisper as I sat down at the keyboard today. I hesitated to write about this part of my story – yet again.
I don’t want to be that girl... the one who cheated, but I am! I simultaneously love and hate this part of my story. It’s a conundrum of the ugliest and most beautiful, swirled together, both bitter and sweet.
CONFESSION: Yes, I cheated in my first marriage. But when the Enemy came for my second, I cheated sin and the sure death of my marriage and chose abundant life instead!
"Yes, I cheated in my first marriage. But when the Enemy came for my second, I cheated sin and the sure death of my marriage and chose abundant life instead!"
TRUTH: Years after I almost let sin win the day, I was still reeling from my almost betrayal. Together, God and I had done the hard, heart work, but no one knew it. Indeed, I had changed; however, I’d been stuffing my secret so long I’d become physically ill. Five years is a long time to keep a sinful secret. Suddenly one day, I knew God was telling me to stop the charades and come clean. To leave the outcome to Him. To trust my story to become meaningful in His hands.
Freedom and wholeness came when I stopped allowing shame to shut my mouth.
"Freedom and wholeness came when I stopped allowing shame to shut my mouth."
Speaking the truth of my sin out loud broke something in the heavenlies; immediately, I was set free. I had been forgiven the moment I confessed to the Lord, but I’d never been able to forgive myself. I’m telling you, girl; there’s a whole ’nother level of healing in humility and new-found freedom in forgiveness.
While the aftermath of this season in my marriage was extremely difficult, God saw us through. Overtime, I was able to step into full time ministry and share the powerful truths of God’s grace and the beauty of being broken and made whole again. With God, transformation is inevitable.
“Not one promise from God is empty of power. Nothing is impossible with God!”
(Luke 1:37 TPT)
Like David, Psalm 51 is the cry of my shattered heart because wholeness is found in God alone.
“Going through the motions doesn’t please you, a flawless performance is nothing to you. I learned God-worship when my pride was shattered. Heart-shattered lives ready for love don’t for a moment escape God’s notice.”
(Psalm 51:16-17 MSG)
Instead of pretending everything is okay, what I’ve learned is being brave means trusting our ugly truths to the grace-giving God who sees us and loves us still.
"Being brave means trusting our ugly truths to the grace-giving God who sees us and loves us still."
Not for a moment will He forsake us when we come broken before Him.
Now, I hear the Lord whispering, “You, sweet girl, are braver than you know.”
Make sure to enter the BRAVE WOMEN SERIES GIVEAWAY this week for a chance to win a $225 GIFT CARD OF YOUR CHOICE or the BRAVE WOMEN BUNDLE!
Every month until the end of the year, we will be featuring key women who have written for the series and shared their courageous God stories with us. We just love what He is up to with His Girls, and that includes you, our BRAVE READERS!
Enter this month's giveaway by clicking HERE for a chance to win one of TWO incredible prizes: https://kingsumo.com/g/ig0ujc/july-brave-women-series-giveaway
Winner 1: $225 Gift Card of Your Choice!
Winner 2: Brave Women Bundle (valued at over $200!) including:
* BRAVE accessory pouch from the Brave Women Boutique
* Grace Upon Grace Shirt from the Rooted Home Shop
* Just Breathe and Anchor My Soul by Andrea Bourgeois
* Women's Ministry with Purpose by Gena B. McCown
* Redeeming Money by Paul David Tripp
* Depth Journal by Jodi Rosser
* She Loves Truth by Patsy Burnette
* Shift by Abby McDonald
* Grit and Grace Sticker by Becky Gonzalez
* Relax and Restore Candle by Chesapeake Bay
* Noonday Necklace from Uganda
* Always Pray, and Never Give Up Bracelet by Joycuff
* It Is Well With My Soul Mug by Christian Art Gifts
* $15 Starbucks Card
This giveaway ends Friday at midnight, so make sure to enter now and tell a couple of BRAVE friends!
Brave Woman Manifesto
Make sure to check back next week as another courageous Sister shares her story!
And by the way...
You are Brave!
No matter what you are facing, God has made you in His image, which means you are full of His strength and power. I would love to connect with you more and give you a FREE gift - the BRAVE WOMAN MANIFESTO: Five Things to Tell Yourself When Life Gets Hard. Click HERE to sign up for my monthly newsletter and you’ll receive the FREE Manifesto, as well as recent blog posts, updated resources and personal details delivered only to my lovely email tribe.
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Amy Elaine Martinez is an inspirational speaker, podcast host, and gifted Bible teacher. Her ministry is devoted to helping women with heart-shattered lives become whole again in Christ. She recently moved from the beautiful mountains of Castle Rock, CO to play on the plains of historic Guthrie, OK.
She launched the Past to Power Podcast (formerly Real Victory Radio) in 2018 where you’ll hear how to Go Courageously & Live Victoriously in your everyday life!
Married 27 years to the love of her life, David, Amy Elaine is mom to Gabriel (22) and Sidney (25) and daughter-in-love, Riley. Her favorite new hobby is being YiaYia to her first grandchild and namesake, Raelynn Rose Elaine. Last, but not least, she’s a dog mom to an adorable Aussie, named Maverick.
Amy Elaine’s desire is to see women walk in wholeness and develop an intimate relationship with Jesus Christ. Living the victorious life is one of the major themes of her ministry.
If you want to know more about becoming A Broken Girl Made Whole, visit her website, AmyElaine.com to read her blog by the same name. There, you’ll learn more about taking your first Brave Steps to Becoming A Broken Girl Made Whole written just for you.