All day long today a conversation from night before last has been rolling in my head. And actually it wasn’t a real conversation, just some text messages between me and a friend.
I’m sure that it is conspicuously noticeable that I have been almost silent about Mister on the blog since I changed to WordPress. And that is totally by design. He and I. We are where we are and there is plenty of work to do. But things are shifting and I am trying really hard to focus on the positives of the situation and not so much on the things that are taking too long for my liking…
That being said, this friend sent me a text about her own situation. That then led to her asking me to reconsider my position on Mister and our situation. Her concern, I totally get. Because her situation is in many ways eerily similar to ours – with the exception of the last few months (but I digress). She asked me if I have consulted my “spiritual authorities” on the choice I have made both immediately and long-term regarding moving forward as a couple.
My answer in short was: no.
Her response was to ask if I don’t believe there is safety in that – especially since the choice is ‘huge’ and if this is something God has called me to do He would only confirm it through those around me, especially those in leadership over me…
My response in a nutshell was that while I appreciate all that, I’m not at this point willing to give my life over to others for instruction or permission. Because at the end of the day the Lord is the one I’m interested in pleasing.
It was really a bit awkward. But it really made me think.
Am I now or have I been remiss in my lack of interest in popular opinion, even that of my Pastor? Do I really need to rely on someone else to give me the go-ahead with a decision that is intensely personal and private? Is there any sort of ‘authority’ in my life who even knows me or my situation well enough to speak to it? And if there were, would I invite them to do so to begin with?
I know that scripture says there is safety in counsel, but does that mean it has to be a preacher or a ‘spiritual authority’ or can that not be a circle of peers whom I trust to pray with and for me and to simply ask me the tough questions? And if that’s the case, then I’ve done that all along. And those women are holding me accountable and up in the way that I believe reflects a heart that is for me and us and more than that, for God.
And really. With all due respect, since when does a theology degree count someone more capable of hearing God on my behalf than myself? Since when does a divinity degree trump personal, intimate relationship with Jehovah? And further, since when is God obligated to share with other people what He requires of me? I mean, don’t get me wrong. He just might choose to do that. But if He doesn’t, does that give me the freedom to not follow what I know is a clear directive to ME?
I dunno. I guess it just hit a bit of a nerve because I struggle with the idea that in my refusal to seek approval I am somehow being prideful. But as I’ve hashed this out the last couple days I can honestly say that it isn’t pride that leads me to keep my business to myself and my decisions between me and God. It is the fact that I’m aware that I’ve asked God to teach me about Himself on a level most people never seek and will never be required to experience. And that doesn’t mean that I’m somehow on a greater, more important spiritual path than anybody else. It just means its different. And it’s the sort of different that I know most people around me cannot speak to, because most of the last few years of my life have never been their reality.
I have people in my life that I respect and whose opinions I value. And they are NOT in favor of Mister. Never have been. My answer to them then is the same as my answer to my friend now: “I understand the concern. I’m not saying that you’re wrong. I see very plainly where he is and the impact of that circumstance on my life. I’m not blind in this thing. But that doesn’t change that God has asked me to do this. I can’t tell God no because you don’t agree. As much as I love you and as much as I want the support, my first and only responsibility is to honor God to the best of my ability.”
The fact of the matter is that I know His Voice. Every counsel that has been given to me – however unsolicited it’s been – has been considered prayed over and humbly sifted through. I’ve asked God every step of the way to show me plainly and to turn me around if I’m the one who’s wrong thinking I’m right. I’ve asked for confirmation from His word. I’ve asked for proof positive that I’m doin as He desires. Cuz really. I’m willing to fail at lots of things, but this thing of love and family and life. I’m not willing to fail at that. I know that damage that comes from that kinda failure and I can say I would never willingly take anyone down that road for the sake of feeling ‘in love’ or being too proud to walk away if I’ve been wrong. The lives that would affect matter too much for me to be any other way than certain…
It was such an awkward conversation. Such a strange moment. It’s been a minute since I’ve drawn such a line in the sand concerning my life choices… It was met with that cryptic ‘I don’t know what else to say except that I’ll pray for you.’ … *sigh*
My response was as gentle and direct as I could find the words to make it; I’m not sure where that leaves our friendship right now. But I do know that I stand by my original position. My responsibility is not to ask permission to obey God’s instruction.Nor is it to take inventory of those around me hoping they’ll tell me it’s ok. At the end of the day, none of the people I could poll – preacher, deacons, elders, and parents included – are going to answer to God for my obedience or lack thereof. I cannot face Adonai and be all ‘I know what You said, but they didn’t agree. I figured I better follow them so I wouldn’t be considered foolish.’ Because the answer would be unpleasant, I’m sure.
At the start of my journey the Lord spoke plainly to me that I would serve Him or man but that I couldn’t serve both. He told me to choose. And I did. I chose Him then. I choose Him now. So I guess that if this is the start of friendships changing or being lost because I refuse to walk in the wisdom of man and insist on clinging to the truth of Jehovah for my life as He has revealed, then I’ll roll with it…
Better an offended friend than an angry God.
But it still makes me sad, still hurts my feelings just a lil’ bit…
This song. Did I mention I think it’s gonna be my anthem for a nice little while?
Yep. I think this will be on repeat for quite some time…