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Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Emerging from the Wreckage (... a godly wife, obedient to love like Christ)

My life, my husband would say “is a fire drill”, unorganized, frantic and exhausting. And over the years, I would say that his assessment has been true in a lot of cases. In some areas of my life, however, I am overboard organized, calm and energized. Today, I claim the latter description moving forward. These have been consuming years, we truly have been through a lot. As I look out my office window, as I write this, I see our Redwood trees, sturdy, yet flexible, and deliberate on that kind of growing. With branches extended out, waving in the breeze, new growth on the tips, and stretching greatly to the sky – my mirror image today. 

Less than a month ago, I had no idea where my life was headed, what I would salvage from the wreckage of my unorganized, frantic and exhausting existence. It was early July, and I laid flat to the ground, sobbing and confused – how could I be here, and not hear all that was going on in my life? How could I disconnect so easily? What could I possibly do or say to make up for my lack of interest in my own life? I was definitely not living for anyone in this household – I was on a collision course with enemy territory. You see, the enemy hates marriage, and he will do anything to destroy it. Those little comments running through my head that said, “why bother, he doesn’t love you anyway?” or “it won’t matter if you work later, he doesn’t miss you…” those are lies. And, I would go to God, and tell Him how unhappy I was. How much I was hurting, and at no time did I feel the need to consider the one in my life, who does not know God; and the only God he saw, was totally disconnecting and leaving him behind even more. 

The fact that today, was a wonderful day, one full of fun, laughter, hope and excitement with my husband, is a miracle. 

My journey is clear. Although I may not always understand why I am traveling a particular way, as long as I know it is God’s will for me to be there, I will faithfully and trustingly follow him. 

In the rearranging of my schedule, I promised God, that my marriage would come first (after Him of course); so life is much different than I had grown accustomed to. In this process of restoration and rebuilding, I have asked God to restore more than just my marriage. I have prayed for the restoration of me, the person that always did what she said, the woman of her word – integrity with myself. To boldly state what I will do, and not be afraid to pursue it; and boldly stating something because I am so afraid; knowing that I have the strength of God with me, I step out much more confident than ever before and go toward my fear anyway.

It is important to Chris that I work out, that I am healthy and getting that competitive, athletic edge I always had before. So, I started a regiment; not tough, but takes some effort. Two days a week, I walk the hill; a 3+ mile walk down 2nd Street, and over to East Avenue, which is all up hill – a definite work out. As I started down the hill for my walk this morning, I had my scripture in hand, Romans 4 and a friend’s blog (Steve Wickham) entry from today Joy in the Continuity of Prayer – Part 1 

I printed both out, so I could read it as I walk down the hill, and I could pray and concentrate on what I read on the way back up the hill.

On my walk, I met a neighbor... had the most amazing conversation. He is 86, Leo. A little rough around the edges, said he was a plumber; as we were chatting outside his house, two young kids walked by and Leo talked to them, they said “hi, have a nice day” and were on their way. He said "the young people just don't want to hear from us old people" you could see in his eyes that he just wanted to share himself; his experience, his trade, his heart..... my heart broke. We stood and talked for 20 minutes. He said, "you know the Lord!" It wasn’t a question, it was his observation. I responded, "yes, I live for the Lord." 

He told me about his wife, Nola, her heart condition and diabetes episodes with the paramedics coming to the house in the middle of the night (I met her too and their friend Jane). He spoke of his accomplishments, life in general, the neighborhood, which by the way “I have lived here for 55 years, amazing, huh?” he went on. He attends Three Crosses; He started to tear up as he talked about the Lord - as I said, rough around the edges, a plumber (construction-type); share some illness concerns - He says, "you go, you have a walk to complete, but promise you'll come back - I know God brought you here." I asked if I could pray for his health and just in general. We shared quite a bit in those 20 minutes. Before I walked away he whispered "your husband - do it quietly... you, me and God got it covered, he will know our Lord".

Thank You Lord for blessing my life in ways that I never knew could be present. When in the past, I would have been one of the young kids too busy to hear an old folk share.

Additions later... 
I shared this privately with others... but knowing my lovely ladies who commented here, I thought you might find something in it. 

When complaining is directed at me.... in general or about me. I nod, but I am not nodding in agreement with what they say, 
I am nodding in agreement with who God says I am

"I am a mighty woman of God. I am lead to the most amazing situations through my days on earth. No matter what I am going through, my Christ went through the worst. My job is to unconditionally love a man who does not know Christ, and see Christ in me. I am a mighty woman of God, and He strengthens me through every uncomfortable moment, attack or disapproval by anyone else - for that is the enemy - looking for the weak spot to jump in and take me down. I will not be moved. I am on solid ground, here. God has my front, my back and all sides completely. Every arrow that comes to me, bounces back to slap the enemy in the face - take that... " 

or something along this line. It varies depending on how pissed off I am, or how hurt I am.

When anyone is negative, focuses on the negative... yada yada... 
Today, I FOCUS ON WHAT GOD GAVE ME. I wake up, praising that I get to spend eternity (which is a lot longer than my life here); my husband has pain that I will never know. Guilt that will not go away with his ways, and I know that God in him will transform him, so I pray diligently that the Lord will catch him... take his bitterness and turn it into tenderness. My God will take the pain of my husband and make him whole again. I am only unequally yoked in my marriage, but the husband I treasure is the one who died for me - who takes the hits for me every day, seen and unseen. My job, is to love my husband, like Christ loves me. And, who can turn that away?

There is so much wisdom in our lessons; I pray that the grieving is minor; and through your journey God is blessing your honesty and all the giving that is ushered my way from my God. 

And know that I am hearing God. It is hard, because a big part of me wants to just start over and have a life without all the riff and strife. My heart has been broken so much, and it is a daily exercise to seek God and to lay the words or looks or whatever feels wrong with my marriage at His feet. Through my pain, I administered pain to my husband too. Over the years, my disconnection has been deep wounds and wounds that were representative of Christ to him; and my entire desire is to wipe that from existence to create a new Christ for him in my example. The enemy works hard in my house... but I will not be moved. 

During my walk on Saturday as I walked home after meeting Leo, I was in tears, I felt so much grief and loss for a life I so wanted - a husband who adores me, edifies me, supports my every move... but as I did, I was released. What God has in store is greater. My life is being played out here, for a life I will truly live in eternity. Worshiping and loving in ways that tease the senses now.


  1. Thank you, Shawn as always... I am listening & asking for God to work in me, my heart & you keep showing up, please keep writing & sharing, so I don't forget because I am drowning & I just want to give in. I know what I am supposed to do but I am growing tired & scared but I know I have to have in hang in there!There is a reason for all of this. How can I bolster myself a little more daily? A firmer stance? Edify is it?

  2. God will keep showing up... He loves you so much, He wants you to hear, to respond....

    Praying for strength and the courage to keep going even through all the fear.

  3. (another posting of my article)