I struggled with so many different thoughts ... trying to walk in faith when everything happening around me was in total conflict with what God had placed in my heart many years ago. I have often spoken of the dream God shared with me ... a dream I have seen coming to fruition little by little ... piece by piece ... bit by bit ... over the course of the past year or so. Then, when I hit this stone wall in my life, I could not seem to understand in my feeble mind how I could possibly walk in faith for the dream to become a reality in face of the adversities unfolding in my life daily. How do you hold on when what you see tells you everything around you is falling apart? How do you walk in faith when what you are going through is in complete controversy to what you feel God has told you? How do you hold on but move forward too?
The answer lies in 2 Corinthians 4:18 which says, "while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal." Quite a tall order! I have been striving to remember exactly this and to act on it whenever the enemy attacks my mind. It has been and will continue to be a second by second struggle, and one in which I only battle one second at a time. Trying to look past this one second I am now in ... to catch a glimpse ahead ... is far too overwhelming and very misleading. Second by second it is, and I am content to only know what lies within this second.
My family is my most cherished relationship in this world ... second only to my personal relationship with Christ. I will do whatever to salvage it, short of sinning or inflicting unnecessary pain on others. However, I think there comes a time when we do not necessarily have to admit defeat as much as we have to just step back and put distance between us and the ever occurring obstacles in our path. I was ready to do just this. As I planned strategically what I needed to do emotionally and physically to put distance between me and the barriers in my life, God simply spoke and said, "One more time reach out. Do not hold back how you feel emotionally! Do not allow a sense of pride to defeat what you are trying to do ... save your marriage. Speak firmly and decisively, but open the door for compromise." At first I rejected these thoughts all together. I felt I had compromised as much as I was going to ... I had given and given to where I had nothing left to give. I saw no point in opening a door again which would only bring further conflict and turmoil. We both were tired and worn out! I felt we were about as battle-ravaged as we could humanly be and still maintain our daily routines in life.
If you know anything about me at all, you know how much I love Christ. I value His input in my daily life. My greatest desire is to glorify Him in all things ... manner, speech, emotions ... you name it! Though I fall very short of this more times than not and I have to repent and seek his unending forgiveness, it is still my highest priority in life. I was struggling so much with doing as He desired me to do and not doing what I felt was useless. Then my famous words, "Who is lying here ... me or Christ?" resonated in my heart and mind. When we doubt what Christ tells us or do not believe on His Word, are we not in essence saying He is lying? It does not get any bigger than this. Either I believe my thoughts and act on them, or I believe His Word and act on them.
Sometimes when we are struggling to do as we know we are to do, God will intervene and make the way for us. Unbeknownst to us, He is guiding us and leading us in ways to accommodate His desires for us. He knows what we struggle with ... no one knows your heart better than Him ... He gave it to you! As He would have it, I stayed home Friday. He put everything into place and the situation just played itself out. Of course, I had to act on it ... which I did ... but He maneuvered the scenes and was director behind the play. When the door opened for me to do as He desired me to do ... choking on every word, believe me ... I again commenced to start a dialogue with my husband to try to work our issues out.
It was a very emotional scene, to say the least, and I struggled with every syllable that came out of my mouth. I have never been good at speaking my heart's desires ... sharing my innermost thoughts ... being able to confront head-on what needed to be resolved ... or articulating my speech in such a way that it came across as loving, kind, and considerate. I always come across as harsh, demanding, and a bit overbearing at times. I do not mean to be this way, and I am diligently working on it, but it has never been my forte! My heart and mind are saying one thing, but my speech and mannerism are conveying something totally different.
I finally got out what I felt needed to be said ... outlining how the situation was effecting my life and our marriage ... how I could not see a workable solution ... how I hated to leave my marriage and the dream of being his wife which I have carried around in my heart since forever ... but also how I stood firm on certain things and we could either compromise or move on. I put the ball in his court knowing, from past conversations, just how determined he was in not relenting.
You know, God is awesome! There are no words to describe what He can and will do in the hearts of others ... in situations ... in resolving the impossible if we will only do as He instructs. Without a lot of further ado, I am very happy to share that my husband and I found a compromise which is workable for both of us, and we are committed to doing everything possible to save our marriage. We love each other too much ... and have for far too long ... to simply allow Satan to win this easily. We have recognized the battles which still lie ahead, but at least we have a platform now in which to work from.
When I think of how I struggled to do as He wanted me to do ... how I came so close to not doing it ... how I was so tempted to simply shrugging it off and doing things my way ... it makes me physically ill. How many battles have we lost in life for this very reason? We truly have to learn to talk less and listen more. We have to know we do not have all the answers, and there are others who know so much more than us. We are not always right. In this instance there was no right or wrong but a separation in belief. The only person who can work this out is Christ, but I had to be willing to shut up, listen, and do as instructed. This was a huge order for me. It goes against 58 years of doing just the opposite. I am so glad I listened and we have peace in our hearts tonight.
Before I close ... Just for clarification purposes ... there are some things I wish to share in the hopes they will speak truth to some. First off, I want to say thank you. Thank you to those who were praying ... thank you to those who corresponded with me ... thank you to those who genuinely cared and was pulling for us. God heard your prayers, and I am in awe at the kindness of some.
I knew when I shared what I did that I was leaving myself wide open to criticism ... to gossip ... to ridicule ... and to people simply being hurtful and uncaring. I was not in any way insinuating I was automatically right in this situation and my husband was automatically wrong. It was not a podium for others to cast opinions negatively. I simply felt a need to share. Writing has always been my way of dealing with issues in my life. I knew gossip would abound as days drew out, so I felt it was good to simply share the truth from the get-go and hopefully stop speculations and untruths. I found this not to be the case. I am mature enough to know people are going to use the pain and hardships of others as a grounds for gossip. I also know that no matter whether I had shared or not, people will add to the truth to dramatize it more ... people will delete from it what does not allow it to be the story they desire to share ... and people will create their own story for the effects of drama. I knew all this going in. But, there was more support and care shown than not. This is what matters the most. As for the other stuff, well this is between you, your conscience, and God. We all have to answer for what we do in life, and I pray you realize sooner rather than later how God adhorrs gossip and back-biting.
My heart is full tonight as I end this saga of my life and start to focus on my many blessings. I know there are still many obstacles lying ahead and hurdles we must overcome, but I am just as sure of His presence in our lives and His love carrying us through. May you realize the same when you are dealt with unkindly by life's realities. God bless and have a great evening!