After deliberately stepping away from social media on Nov. 1, Naghmeh Abedini, wife of incarcerated U.S. Pastor Saeed Abedini in Iran, told Facebook supporters on Monday she will continue her public advocacy for her husband despite revelations about "very dark parts" of their marriage. She previously halted any public support of her spouse, citing continued psychological, physical, emotional and sexual abuse, especially his addiction to pornography.
"After a month of resting and healing and sitting at the feet of Jesus, today I felt led to share," began Abedini.
Pastor Abedini was imprisoned in Iran allegedly for endangering national security, though groups such as the American Center for Law and Justice have stated he is being punished for his Christian faith, cites an article from The Christian Post. He is an American and a former Muslim, who converted to Christianity in 2000.
"Three years ago, when Saeed was put in the Iranian prison for his faith, the Lord called me to get up and not only advocate for Saeed, but also to share the Gospel message and to advocate for the persecuted church. I was freed from so much fear and it was a step of faith for me to get up and move," she explained on Monday.
"When I did obey, I could see that I could do all things through Christ who strengthens me (Philippians 4:13). That by Grace of God I could get on airplanes. That by God's Grace I could speak in front of heads of governments, parliaments, the Congress, thousands of people and our president and I was able to open my mouth through the Grace of God and represent Christ and to share Christ with so many. It was overwhelming seeing how Jesus had become my strength through my utter weakness."
She said the truth is that she still loves her husband more than ever, and her advocacy for him has taken a new form of interceding on her knees. "The truth is I can not deny Saeed's love and passion for Jesus and that he continues to suffer in the Iranian prison because of his genuine love for Jesus and his refusal to deny Him."
"I can not deny the amazing dad he has been to our kids and the spiritual truths he poured into their life until the moment he was arrested. But at the same time I can not deny the very dark parts of our marriage and serious issues Saeed continues to struggle with," she added.
In her Facebook statement, the mother of two explained that she had to "turn off every voice including my own and only care about what Jesus was saying to me."
"A month ago, the Lord asked me to stop and sit. It took another step of faith to stop everything and just sit at the feet of Jesus and to hear from Him. It was freeing to see that by Grace of God none of the fame and attention or praises of men had gotten to me and that I could drop everything the moment my Savior told me to drop it and to go back to being a single mom in Boise, Idaho. It was freeing to let go of the FALSE SENSE of SECURITY that money was bringing into my life (through speaking engagements) and to know that the only thing that all I desperately needed was Jesus. That my true security rests in Jesus. That Jesus is my day to day provider," she wrote.
"I had to turn off every voice including my own and only care about what Jesus was saying to me. It was hard. With the news that came out recently (an email I had sent to prayer partners was leaked to media), stones were being thrown at me left and right and many religious leaders who saw me wounded and bleeding passed on by afraid to touch me or this whole mess/situation. It was hard, but Jesus kept telling me to be silent and to look to Him."
Abedini asked supporters to continue praying for her husband, but this time "not only for his physical chains, but also for "the spiritual chains that have bound him for so many years."
"Those chains that have stuck to him from the culture he was raised in (Middle East) and from his former religion (Islam). I believe that God will use Saeed's imprisonment to break Saeed of these chains and to refine him and use him as a vessel for the work that He has prepared for him," she continued.
Starting January 5, Abedini stated she is going to start another 21 days of prayer and fasting, to "draw closer to the Lord and sharing what He lays on my heart." She said she hoped her days of fasting will be a source of blessing and encouragement..
"I praise God for all of the ups and downs, excitements and disappointments, and for the many pains and tears. They have been good for me. They are a great tool to refine us and keep our eyes on Jesus," she stated.
She concluded her Facebook post with "With much Love in Jesus."
In 2008, Abedini became an ordained minister in the United States and in 2010, he was granted American citizenship, thus becoming a dual Iranian-American citizen. He had been living the past several years with his family in Boise, Idaho, where his wife grew up. The couple has two young children, and they are members of the Calvary Chapel church in Boise.