(con't. from Days 27 & 28) She's gonna' blow!
Suddenly, the winds of change began to blow through my life, picking up in intensity over several years. The earth rumbled and quaked under the core of my dry and crusty heart. My life seemed to be crumbling inward, and I was helpless to stop the destruction!
"Helpless, failure, inadequate, unloved" were some of the words the enemy of my soul continually whispered into my broken places. The seeds of lies had taken root. Destructive fruit had grown in the weed patches of my heart garden. My faith was severely tested as I doubted the goodness of God toward me.
...if God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare His own Son, but gave Him up for us all - how will He not also, along with Him, graciously give us all things? Romans 8:31-32
The landscape of family I had envisioned at a young age was structured, manicured and flawless. I had somehow believed a perception that if I worked the "Christian family formula" as prescribed in sermons and radio talk shows, I'd achieve the "right answer" - the happy Christian family reproduced into the next generation.
The reality of our family was not so; it was messy, difficult, and frankly a disappointment to my heart. Daily, I asked myself, and God, "How did we get here?" I tried to do it all right. The desire of my heart was to be the very best wife and mom I could possibly be. My prayers were full of requests for Father to help me to love well, and to forgive my shortfalls.
But our family was broken. Relationships were torn. Anger, bitterness and resentment threatened to tear us limb from limb. Church and faith and belief became a point of further contention and division...the prowling lion was licking his lips.
Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. Who is he that condemns? Christ Jesus, who died - more than that, who was raised to life - is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. Romans 8:33-34
Our oldest seed was preparing to graduate from high school. Plans to send him off to college had been made. Another two years and we would be repeating the scenario with our youngest.
Reality was setting in; the years of parenting from within our home were coming to a close. Easily within sight was the empty nest. STFM and I would soon come full circle to where we started - just us.
The reality of "just us" was a scary thought, which was unfortunate. Our goal in parenting had been to raise our seeds to maturity and independence, send them flying successfully from the nest and then celebrate our free-bird status. Unfortunate for us, we could barely speak a civil word to one another.
The stuff of life pounded hard, change rocked my stability, everything was beyond my ability to control. With every painful circumstance, I continued to try to stuff it all down, but I had reached maximum capacity. The rocky core of my heart began to bubble hot and suddenly without warning the volcano blew. Years of unresolved feelings, hurt, anger, frustration spewed forth in red hot tears.
STFM and I sat in a counselor's office. I had been referred to Dr. Doug by our pastor and his wife. It surely was a miracle we were sitting there for an appointment together. I had no faith STFM would attend and participate. We were so emotionally and spiritually detached from one another. It all seemed hopeless.
Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? Romans 8:35
The counselor asked me (sitting at one end of the couch) to tell STFM (sitting at the other end) how much it meant to me that he was there. I opened my mouth to speak, but only tears (and snot) flowed. I wasn't sure I would ever be able to stop.
Our counselor leaned toward STFM and stated rather directly, "There's a box of tissue next to you. Get a tissue for your wife, scoot over close to her, put your arms around her and hold her while she cries."
The ugly consequence of the vow I made so many years before, STFM had never learned to console his wife through the heartache and the tears. My sinful passive-aggressive behavior, a vow carelessly tossed out in anger, robbed us of an emotionally balanced relationship.
No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. Romans 8:37
It's been a few years now. We're still working on our relationship; daily growing in intimacy with one another and with God. Over these last few years, we've laughed a lot and we've shed quite a few tears - both of us - and we're healthier for it.
For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:38-39
Blessings of GREAT JOY on your amazing adventure journey with Jesus!