June 6, 2010

Restoration after an offense

I just blogged about being sent to time out and am now blogging about being restored. As stated a few minutes ago, the Lord chose a time out for me so that I would stop doing a particular thing. This is a thing that He and I have discussed numerous times before so please know that I didn't get a time out on the first offense. Nope, in my case, it was probably about the twentieth time -- and after many, many warnings. Yes, I am hard headed.

I recognized the time out feeling -- being isolated, not in close fellowship with the Lord. I wasn't completely chastised and cut off, just sent into a quiet zone for a short while. I could tell that something had happened to me, I just didn't put two-and-two together right away (ok, I am slow too!) The good news is that I have confessed my broken vow and the Lord has forgiven me. The next big step is to learn from that mistake and make sure never to do it again.

So now I am back on to newer pastures, and fresh streams of living water -- so to speak.

I don't know how many times I have done this in the past, but I think a million would be a good number to start. I am hard headed, stubborn, willful. I am a mule, stubborn and not always agreeable to move. I am content, I am complacent, so often I will say "sure, whatever you want, Lord;" but then I will not budge, I simply will not go. Why, I don't know. My head knows I need to go where He is leading me, but my heart just says "no, I don't want to go there today." I don't even think it is that I don't want to go there -- it is just more like "not today, not now."

This behavior tires the Lord; after all, He is trying to reorganize my life, help me recover from my marriage crisis, and generally enable me to be at peace. Sounds really good, doesn't it? I mean, the Lord is Gracious and Kind to me, He has provided everything I need for a good life; and He is comforting me, helping me to accept and understand heartache, etc. Why don't I respond with a hearty "Yes, Lord -- I will do it!" attitude? Because I am afraid of the unknown. Yes, this is my deep, dark and downright dirty little secret. For all my bravado and faith-talking, I am a scared little girl who doesn't want to go anywhere on her own. I say I want to go on my own, but I don't really want to do it. I don't want to be single. I don't want to be divorced. I don't want to be solely responsible for everything (finances, job, home, car, insurance, etc.) In short, I want someone else to take care of me, because that is how my life has been for the past twenty-five (almost twenty-six years). I am not my "own person" as some women are -- I am a dependent wife, submissive, and agreeable to allowing my husband to be the head of the household. It was the way I was raised, and it is the way my mind works now (after years of Bible study on the matter too).

The Lord, however, has not called me to remain in my marriage due to ongoing sin. I am not to remain because this sin is affecting me greatly. I need to walk away from it (Biblically and physically). It is Biblical to do so -- to patiently wait, with compassion for a loved one to turn from deep sin. At some point, though, the hard door must close so that the loved one understands that fellowship can no longer take place UNLESS there is full repentance.

I have been patiently waiting for my husband to return to me. The Lord tells me this all the time, that I am waiting for him to come back to me and my son. I know that I must go; I know that I must leave; and I know that I must set up myself as a single Mom. The problem for me is that I simply do not want to do this. Nope, no matter what the offense on my husband's part, I simply do not want to close that door. I love him, warts and all, and I want him to be reconciled with the Lord and with his family. I want a better life, that is for sure. I want a different life, one that is pleasing to the Lord. But, I also want a complete life, a life that allows me to keep my vow to the Lord. I have been counseled on this point greatly -- that I am not the one to break my marriage vow. However, in my mind, the vow has been broken and since two flesh are one -- I have broken the vow by being in relationship. It may not be Biblical, but the Lord knows what I am saying to Him. I am trying desperately to do the right thing, and to be honorable before the Lord. In short, I want PERFECTION. I want everything to be restored, not as it was, but as it should be. I want the perfection of Grace to touch my heart, my mind, and my marriage. I want God to restore my marriage, and up until now, the answer was NO.

So the Lord and I have been at an impasse for six months now. It was easier when my husband was fully engulfed in doing what he wanted. The proof was all around me, evidence laying in front of my eyes, and I was devastated daily. I only wanted one thing: to be freed from the sin and the ravages of it's pernicious desires. I wanted to be liberated from the whole awful mess, and if that meant legal separate or divorce, so be it.

Six months later, we are living in this weird place, quasi-normal; but, still not good or perfect or even in anything resembling a marriage. The tension is gone, the crying and yelling has ceased. We are reconciled as friends only. I go my way; he goes his. The hard part is that our life was so entwined for so long that it is hard to live this way. I cannot go over to my parents for dinner without thinking what my dh will eat here at home. If he goes out, I cannot help but wonder when he will come home. I go to Walmart and ask him if he needs anything -- he calls to ask me if I need anything from Target. You see -- it is weird, just plain weird.

My friends who have counseled me to walk away (Biblically speaking), think we are WEIRD. My DH goes to church every week, takes communion, and sits right with us. He doesn't interact with others, but he comes with us. They see it as strange. Why isn't he confessing his sin? Why hasn't he sought the Pastor for counseling? He just comes and listens to the message, sings to the Lord, and then goes home.

My friends want me to move out, go live with my parents, or find some room. I cannot do this -- I have too many responsibilities. I still manage some aspects of my old business, and I still work with my DH on some client needs. I have three cats. I have a son who has two pianos, two guitars and amplifiers. I have two cellos, and a violin. Our life is music, church, chamber, church, home, computers and work. We are entrenched in this home, and we cannot simply move without finding a place large enough to accommodate all our things. Granted, some things have to go, but these are all things the Lord knows are key components to our lives, and He has not asked us to give them up.

So we are waiting for a home, a new home, a place where we can move all our stuff, and begin fresh. This home has not come to pass. A job has not come to pass. My desire for a new life has not come to pass, and I am stuck wondering why? Is it me? Yes. Is it because I do not want it? No. Is it because I am afraid of trusting the Lord for His provision? No. Is it because I don't want to see my marriage end? Yes. Is it because I don't believe that this is the Lord's will? No.

I know that this is the Lord's will for me. I know that He will provide what I need. The reason none of this has come to pass is simply because I don't want it to come to pass...just yet. I am still waiting for my husband to return to me, and until he does, I don't want to walk away from him. I am fiercely loyal. I can be defiantly bold and unmovable. The Lord loves these qualities in me, He just wants me to submit them to His authority.

In closing, I am no longer in time out. I understand what is what, and know what I must do. I cannot change my heart on this matter, but I can submit my heart and my loyalty and boldness to the Lord. I can ask for the Grace to follow Him and the Grace to walk away. I cannot do it on my own; I can only do it with the Lord's Grace.

May God be praised forevermore. He alone is worthy to be praised.

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