Boy, how I fell.
He laid out his terms, and they didn't include me. He said he "could no longer respect me as a woman, that I didn't contribute to his ultimate "personal legend"... He was going to leave the house and our mortgage; unless I was willing to move, then in turn, he would stay in the house and get roommates to cover the expenses. He already had roommates lined up and ready to move in! I had exactly one week to find other means of living. Outraged? Hardly. Devastated beyond human comprehension? Now your getting closer...
I looked for answers where I thought I could find them. Another really good friend, (shout out Big Dog :) ) asked me if I had prayed, and suggested the Love Dare book from Fireproof. What was with these guys and this book?I told him of course I pray; and I had already tried The Love Dare.
"It's pointless, hopeless and thankless; this marriage", I said.
I could tell he wasn't amused at my desire to give up so quickly. He asked me to get another book, The Power of A Praying Wife.... I told him I would put it on my reading list...soon... but we both knew I wouldn't...
Self pity was far more alluring to me than actually looking at the problem holistically; let alone spiritually. How could this be happening to me? Had I not suffered enough in my life?
I was no stranger to rejection. This hurt.
I called my girlfriend Tone, hyperventilating from crying hysterically for so many hours. I told her how empty I felt, how utterly I had lost my way, I could no longer find my way towards anything that even resembled peace. I told her I was tired of being thrown away...not measuring up...something in me was so flawed no one thought I was worth sticking around for. NO one, Not my mother who was gone too soon; not my father who never wanted to try to know me; my Grandma; not the many guys who had left me heartbroken, not some of my "friends"... no one stayed.
I knew I sounded like a self pitying crybaby but I was so broken down I didn't care.
I just wanted to cry until the hurt in my chest was numb.
She listened patiently, and in her amazingly soothing voice she told me that I would not like what she had to say.
Oh great, I thought.
'Do you pray?" She asked.
Here we go again, I thought. What was everyone's deal with this praying buisness? I didn't feel comfortable asking God to save my marriage.
We weren't exactly on speaking terms.
"Yeah, I mean, God's knows my heart...I am a good person Tone." I fumbled through an explanation.
"If you are lead by your heart, this is why your life is in turmoil. Do you know what God you serve?" She asked.
"Of course, girl. The same one you do!" I replied, more than slightly insulted.
"No, no...you don't, girl. You have made your husband your God. You do things to win his approval, others approval...but you don't make the one true God the priority in your life. You don't love God the way He loves you...yet you search fruitlessly for an Unconditional Love in everything ...but the one place you can truly find it...."
I wanted to argue. I wanted her to be wrong. But nothing out of her mouth was a lie. The first thing I think about when I wake up, and the last thing before I go to bed is.....ME. Even when I thought of my children or husband; it was ultimately self serving to try to hold onto these things like my life depended on it. When my marriage started crumbling; I clung to my children for salvation, and if anything ever were to happen to them...I am certain I would have given up.
More than anything, I was motivated by what served my own purpose.
But what I was calling a life... was falling apart. Without any explanation. Even when we tried to explain to others, we couldn't really pinpoint EXACTLY what was wrong with our marriage.It just wasn't working.
What is a marriage without Love?
What is Love... if not God?
All we had done was entered into a contract. Literally.
Nothing about that agreement had any motivation for serving a greater purpose for God. There can be no love without God. Only binding papers.
Which is exactly why I stopped enjoying love making...once I was married; the very thing I should have been saving for marriage all along. There was no God in our home; in our children's lives; and certainly not in our marriage.
As I sat there on my couch talking with my friend Tone, we prayed. That night, for the first time in a long time, I slept a peaceful sleep uninterupted by nightmares or worry. I decided I would go to church with her that Sunday.
For years, I have been bound by my insecurities, my self centered loathing... very few who know me have seen me bare faced and make-up free; far fewer have EVER seen my hair unkept. I have called out of work for a bad hair day.
Please believe it.
Not this Sunday. I was not allowed to call out because I wasn't cute that day. The BOSS was giving promotions...did I want to stay at the bottom entry level or advance to the Kingdom? I stood before that alter, my hair unkept, in plain clothes. In a room full of people, I was alone. It was just me and GOD and He spoke to me so clearly. HE SPOKE TO ME. There is no way on earth, that this preacher I have never seen, knew my darkest secrets, fears, doubts IN DETAIL. (events, skeptics ;-) he couldn't have known.) Things I never even said aloud. Ever! Yet HE spoke through this man, this stranger, directly to my soul...
HE said it was okay..
That years had been taken from me, but that I was free to forgive those who hurt me. That HE forgives me even though I can't forgive myself. That HE LOVES ME...and LOVE is a real feeling, not a metaphor... but complete and absolute!
The fact that I don't care one way or another what one may think about my revelation; is a testimony itself. I am no longer bound by my self centered desire to please others. I think most people who know me would say I am "sweet" ... "always smiling"..."a people pleaser" ...but what is this, if not selfishness? It is fueled by a desire to be liked, accepted by mans terms. Even if those terms cause God and ultimately, myself; pain. Being a "people pleaser" is the reason I was promiscuous at a young age. Being a "people pleaser" is the reason I have hidden my true opinion from my friends when I should have been giving honest advice. Being a "people pleaser" is the reason I invited and allowed pornography to defile the innocence of love making with my husband. Pleasing Man is the reason I have hated my own reflection and concealed it. All of these things have kept me running in circles looking for absolution in places I would never find it.but...WHEN I FOUND IT! ! !
It wasn't until I knew His Love that I was sure that the place I was trapped in all my life is surely a preview of Hell.
I don't want it. The Enemy can have it. I have spat him out the way he spit and chew on me my whole life...
When I was still bound; the misery blinders kept me only thinking of the glass half full. With the Light; I see how He was always there to keep one foot in front of the other when I was too lost, too weak to go it alone. He makes me strong. And proud. I hold my head high. I can see the blessings clearly; I had a family- an imperfect one, but a living breathing entity still, that can also grow and learn our purpose together. I am so thankful for His grace! If the only blessing He ever gave me was His love, I could never repay Him for showing me out that dark place.
I made it so complicated.
God is Love.
And everything makes sense.
Thanks for reading this guys. It is never easy to air your darkest secrets to the world. I did so because it is what He would have me to do for others who have been here where I was. I encourage feedback if you know what I mean when I say... HE IS AWESOME! Even if you don't know it, leave feedback if you want to know it.
There is an ending tomorrow. Please come back to read the final part. Love you guys!
- ▼ 2009 (18)