Funny thing, this thing of healing.
This is probably the most conflicted place I’ve ever been in my life. Far fewer fights, far less volatile time together. Far less tension and animosity. But still a whole lotta fear. Still a lot of doubt and a lot of skittishness. Still a lot of uncertainty.
He’s afraid I can’t forgive him for real. Afraid it’s been too much. Afraid I’m gonna be angry forever. Afraid that the woman he loves more than life and that he’s called bi-polar recently has totally eclipsed the one who was a lot more easy going and a lot less unpredictable emotionally. Afraid that I don’t love him anymore.
That’s real. And even though he doesn’t really give me credit for understanding, credit for being aware of that reality, I’m extremely cognizant of what a vulnerable uncomfortable position he’s in with me right now. His fears are valid. More than valid, to be honest.
The same fears. They are mine too.
Not sure it hasn’t been too much. Not sure I can really forgive him this go round. Frustrated with the intensity and tenacity of an anger I’ve never known. Afraid that the me I’ve always been has been totally eclipsed by a woman who many days borders on spiteful and callous, one who’s heart just seems to get harder in some respects as opposed to softer. Afraid of this new terrain emotionally. Vulnerabilty, openness, trust, transparency. All things that on a good day, take time for me to give myself over to….
But I know that it’s now or never. I know that this is life or death for us. I know in my spirit that in the midst of the pain was the least of our worries. It’s the aftermath that will tell the story. It’s how we navigate this re-learning and re-negotiating that will determine sucess or failure. My willingness to submit to God and endure this process. That’s what will make or break this deal. (I say ‘my willingness’ because at this point, he is becoming the man I’ve been hoping to see for a long time.) It’s not him who’ll quit on us. It’s me.
And because I know me, that makes me nervous. I have become a woman who wants God first and most. But this has challenged that growth. There are many many days where all I want is freedom. And it’s not because there’s no change. Not because I just don’t see it being right. I DO see it. I just dont really care to work that hard anymore.
I am honest enough to say what most Believers believe is taboo: this past year has made me question God’s love for me and His goodness to me. It’s made me doubt His heart for me. Because why would the result of obedience and faithfulness be this? How is it that acting in righteousness yields a Lifetime movie as my reality? Sounds both funny and pitiful at the same time. But it’s true to my heart in this. I have struggled, and in some ways, am still struggling to make heads or tails of His heart for me. His heart for Sweetheart is plain to me – because He is very clearly going after him at all costs. He wants him and He refuses to not get him. That’s beautiful.
But it leaves me feeling like: what about me? Who’s fighting for me in this? Who has my back? Who’s protecting me? Who’s takin’ up my cause, striving for my victory in all this?
The big picture in this is not easy. Selflessness is more than theory right now. And spiritual maturity is straight up application; no more classroom simulations. This is the realest of real life that has ever come my way and the depth of this thing just takes my breath away.
Walking away is far easier than cutting the road thru this particular terrain.
Except, I love him. And more than that, I love my Jesus.
If I were to leave, it would not help me to heal. It would just numb the pain. It wouldn’t help me to trust. It would just make it irrelevant. It wouldn’t make me better; in fact it would probably make me worse…
For all the foolishness, there has been some profound transformation set in motion in us both. Friendship and authenticity and love abound. I push away and he holds on tight. I lash out and he stands firm. I flat refuse. And he won’t budge. And somewhere in that, in spite of the unexpected and unpredictable emotions that creep up when I’m alone with my own thoughts too long, love – new love, fresh love – is taking shape…
I see the circumstance, what has become an immutable reality and I rail at God. I beg for freedom. And He steadfastly, resolutey, absolutely says: ‘You need this to be right. Trust Me.’
I see my man. I beg God to fix it, to make it right, to show me that He really is at work.
Little by little and slowly but surely, God is chipping away at my heart. Pouring salve over my spirit. Teaching me to give in spite of all the other. Guiding me to a love that transcends the depth of my hurt and my uncertainty. Showing me that one poorly consider decision (or even a series of them) does not have to be the defining character of a person, relationship, or life. All things can be made new.
The conflict that rages within me so often these days is not really about hurting versus not hurting. It’s about spirit waging war against the flesh. It’s about being taught, trained, and required to learn to willingly submit to a Higher Authority than my own entitlements and somebody-ness.
It’s about righteousness vs. rightness.
When it comes right down to it, others above self is the right way to live. Phillipians says it plainly. Love is the deciding factor, not any external influence on emotion. 1 Corinthians is clear on that. Obedience is the key; listening to the Lord and following His instruction- even in the face of the war it sometimes brings. It moves God like nothing else, His people’s response to His voice. 1 Samuel 15:22…
Righteousness isn’t confusing. It is plain, the standard set before us. Very clear. It is the learning of righteousness in the face of our own humanity that presents the challenge.
As I walk this out day by day, I’m learning probably the most valuable lesson I will ever know in my life: God’s goodness in this to me has nothing to do with changing the circumstance. It has everything to do with Him showing me that He is bigger than even the depths of what I know is my own murky, absolutely dirty humanity.
He is reaching down deep, waaaaay deep and pulling out of me what He’s wanted all along. Strong character rooted in humility and love and fierce obedience that could only have been born of adversity much too powerful for me to even imagine myself capable of overcoming simply by my own strength of will.
“I Am more powerful than the depths of your own wrong thinking and pride. I Am greater than your most deeply-rooted wrong thinking. I have the power to change even the most wayward of perspectives. If you, in your pain, can be re-shaped to reflect My nature, cannot I do anything which I purpose or desire?”
If you’ve ever been taken to the end of yourself. The literal end of you, then you know the profundity of that word. If ever you have found that even with grace, you’ve got no more and that quite literally God has to give a fresh portion EVERY DAY – sometimes multiple times a day, then you know the beauty and the power of a God so mighty that even YOU can’t stop His work in your spirit…
Doesn’t make the conflict any less daunting, but it surely does put it in perspective. And it requires personal accountability to keep going even when quitting is the easier option…
Beauty for ashes, in more ways than I can fathom…