Yesterday was a very bleak day for me. Actually, the past couple days have been pretty horrible. I cannot really explain it other than to say that I think that same spirit of oppression which harrassed us earlier in the year was back. It was like we (me and my son) went from being OK, feeling OK, to feeling downright depressed. And, I don't mean just depressed -- I mean black depression -- the kind that just sinks you overnight and sucks you down into a really dark and deep place spiritually.
I felt it first, but I didn't put tw0-and-two together. I just started to notice that I was getting really irritable, popping off quickly, even at the tiniest things. My son's attitude was also affected. He was acting like he was numb, just numb, and not caring about anyone or anything. I snapped at my Mom, at my son, and even at the Lord. I was plain right disagreeable for a couple days.
Now I know you may be saying, "Welcome to my world, Carol...I get this way every month!" Yes, I can get irritable too, especially right before my period. But, this was different. This was for no apparent reason, it was just a black and dark and very nasty feeling bundled up inside of us.
It came to a head on Thursday morning. I just lost it with my son, gave him the sternest talking to, and said some really horrible things to him. These things were coming out of my mouth, but they were not me, not even truth or reality. They were just mean things streaming from my mouth. I stopped it as soon as I realized what was happening, and then was swarmed with guilt like you cannot imagine. I spent the rest of the day in despair, feeling like the most worthless person ever.
Later in the evening, I took my son aside and sat down with him and told him that I thought what had happened was a spiritual attack of the worst kind. I had taken some time to think it over, and knew then that what I had said had some truth in it, but the words were simply not me. I mean, they were not me. He and I have a really good relationship so we are very genuine when it comes to repentance and such. I asked for his forgiveness, and he gave it. He is such a great boy.
Yesterday, I sat at home, befuddled. I felt lost and estranged and all alone. My DH was gone all day (and did not return until 10:30 p.m.) I was left alone without any concern to my well-being. Granted, I am a big girl, and I can fend for myself. It was just this awful feeling like I was waiting for someone to show up, and they forgot to come by. So I waited, and I waited, and I waited. I waited some more, until about 4:30 p.m. I asked my son, who in 16 year old fashion, told me that Dad had said he would be home "after dinner." I was tired of sitting around and waiting, so I got up and took us to the movies (a big splurge). I just needed to do "something."
When we got home to a dark house, no lights on except for the one I left on in the living room, the sad eeriness of the house cried out to me. I realized then that this was what was left of my former life. I may still be living in my home, but it is no home any longer. I am living here because there is no other place for me to go. It is no longer a happy place, a place with laughter and joy -- no, it is a dark, depressing and at times a frightfully scary place.
My son has asked to move away from our home, to leave it now. He tells me almost daily that he wants to move today. This is not like him, not at all. He is very sensitive, as am I, but this is not something he would normally say. I have told him that I want to move as well, but that until I get a job, we cannot leave our home.
So the days plod on, and the days are dark at times. I have studied more about spiritual oppression and have learned that there is a spirit here in our home. It is here, and it will not leave. I have done what I can, stood on my authority, claimed Jesus, etc., and it simply will not go. I have prayed over it, and the Lord has assured me that we are safe, but has told me also that this spirit will not leave our home. I believe this is why He has continually said that we must move -- we must move, we must go.
As I thought about all this, and some other things that came to light yesterday, I again was confronted with the truth of what is happening in my life. I told my son how hard this was for me -- in my attempt at repenting from my words -- and that no one can understand how difficult it is to leave your home, and the husband you love. I love my husband, even with all that has gone on, and even with the truth still staring me in the face. I have had to accept so much truth, so many things that I didn't want to accept. I did it, with the Grace of God, with His help, only with His help. He enabled me to see the truth, to accept it, and to deal with it (process it).
Everyone is supportive of me, of my decision to separate, but the timing of it (why I delay, why I wait, etc.) is constantly an issue. My family wants me to move on, to make things final. I want that as well, but there is this part of me that is still waiting, still longing for reconciliation. I think the issue is this: I am reconciled. I am on friendly terms with my DH. What I am longing for is restoration -- it is something completely different.
I got out my DivorceCare book yesterday evening and looked through it again. I went to three or four sessions before I stopped going. It was all too much, too soon for me. I couldn't deal with the attitude of the hosts, the tape seeming to accept divorce as the only option, etc. I couldn't stomach the pain, the suffering, and the sorrow of the other women who were there. They were in deep sorrow, and I was living on the Grace of God, believing that everything would be OK. It is truth, I know they spotted it, and I know they thought "Oh, she hasn't crashed yet." They would have been correct, too. I didn't crash. I was living on a high, a spiritual high, a high that had held me up and lifted me and carried me through all the sorrow and grief. God had tempered my sorrow for a long time, He had spared me so much grief. I got tastings of it, just a touch, enough to devastate me, but not enough to destroy me.
These other ladies, well, they were in that destruction spot, that place of utter destruction. I didn't fit in, and I didn't want to go through it. I stopped going, and put that course and the book aside. But, last night, something made me take it out again and look it over. I looked through the latter chapters and discovered that what the course was really saying was pretty right on Biblically-speaking. I guess I just took what was being said as being too off-the-cuff, not serious enough, not Biblical. I didn't stick around long enough to really see the grit of it -- the truth that said there is no real reason for divorce and that God hates it (just as I believe). Then it gently states that it is "permitted" in the case of adultery or abandonment. The reasons most people divorce are considered to be non-Biblical (we grew apart, we have different interests now). Their stated position on marriage is 100% from the Word of God -- until death.
The key thing for me was that there was a chapter on reconciliation. I read it, thinking I already knew what was in it, only to have my eyes opened. Reconciliation doesn't mean restoration. To be reconciled is to come to an agreement; restored means to be brought back to a previous position. I can be reconciled to my husband without being restored to him as his wife. This is the long and hard rub of it -- right where I am sitting now. I am waiting to be restored as his wife; yet, this is not what he wants from me. He is looking for "the perfect person," and is seeking out other women, hoping to find "Ms. Right." The problem is that I am still here, still married, still bound to him as a wife, and I am waiting to be recognized as such. He will say that I am the one who wants to be single, that I am the one who wants the divorce. Yes, and no. I want to be free from this oppression, from this place of dishonor. I want to be restored to my rightful place as a wife (Biblically speaking). I want this, but I am not willing to look at sin and adultery and turn aside. I cannot do this -- the Bible forbids us to condone sin, even when it is comitted by someone we love. We are to lovingly correct them, encourage them to seek repentance and such. But, if they choose to willingly continue in sin, then we are told to look away, to walk away, to not stand in sin's midst.
This has been my position all along. It is a lonely place to stand, to stand alone on the Word of God. I don't want to stand here. I don't want to watch anymore. I don't want to live day in and day out with the knowledge that my husband is seeking a new mate. I don't want this to be the end of my life, the end of my marriage. I don't want this to come to pass; but, this is where I am, and this is what has transpired. All fault aside, all arguments ceased -- the truth remains: I am standing here, standing by God's Holy Word, and am waiting to be restored to my rightful place as a wife. I am still here. I have not engaged in sinful lusts and pursuits. No, I have stood here, made the most of a pretty rotten situation, and watched as someone I love pursues other women, other enjoyments, other pasttimes. Me and my son, we are left overs from the old life. We are trash, nothing more, just spoiled and rotten left overs.
The problem is this -- Biblically speaking -- we are the ones who are doing what God's Word says to do. We are showing ourselves faithful, true, and dependent upon God. What a terribly lonely place to be, and my heart is so filled with longing and sorrow. I barely can keep it in, I barely can keep it covered any more.
This all aside, I think what has been happening, all of it is this: The Lord has told me what will be. There will be no restoration for me. The time I take to long for it, only lengthens the entire grieving process. I am ready to move on, but then I look back and I see what was and I see my husband, whom I still love, and I cannot move forward. I just cannot walk away from him, no matter what he has done, no matter what he is presently doing.
Proverbs 31: 10-31
10 Who can find a virtuous wife?
For her worth is far above rubies.
11 The heart of her husband safely trusts her;
So he will have no lack of gain.
12 She does him good and not evil
All the days of her life.
13 She seeks wool and flax,
And willingly works with her hands.
14 She is like the merchant ships,
She brings her food from afar.
15 She also rises while it is yet night,
And provides food for her household,
And a portion for her maidservants.
16 She considers a field and buys it;
From her profits she plants a vineyard.
17 She girds herself with strength,
And strengthens her arms.
18 She perceives that her merchandise is good,
And her lamp does not go out by night.
19 She stretches out her hands to the distaff,
And her hand holds the spindle.
20 She extends her hand to the poor,
Yes, she reaches out her hands to the needy.
21 She is not afraid of snow for her household,
For all her household is clothed with scarlet.
22 She makes tapestry for herself;
Her clothing is fine linen and purple.
23 Her husband is known in the gates,
When he sits among the elders of the land.
24 She makes linen garments and sells them,
And supplies sashes for the merchants.
25 Strength and honor are her clothing;
She shall rejoice in time to come.
26 She opens her mouth with wisdom,
And on her tongue is the law of kindness.
27 She watches over the ways of her household,
And does not eat the bread of idleness.
28 Her children rise up and call her blessed;
Her husband also, and he praises her:
29 “ Many daughters have done well,
But you excel them all.”
30 Charm is deceitful and beauty is passing,
But a woman who fears the LORD, she shall be praised.
31 Give her of the fruit of her hands,
And let her own works praise her in the gates.
I think this is my Garden period, that period of time when I have found myself all alone, sitting in the Garden -- right before the moment of sacrifice. You were in that place as well, where everyone deserted you, where you pleaded with God to find ANOTHER way. I am here as well, though not contemplating the CROSS. But perhaps I am. Perhaps this is my cross -- my cross to pick up and bear. Perhaps this is the moment when I am being asked to go it alone, to pick up this burden and carry it on. Perhaps this is my time to choose. I have certainly chosen before, but not like this, not this way. This is the time when everything else is left behind, and I must either sit here alone in the garden, or go forward with my cross, my cross of shame and guilt and sacrifice, and follow you.
I choose to follow you. I will pick up this cross and I will follow you. I will go where you send me, and I will live my life to your Glory and Praise.