December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas 2010

I am up this chilly morning, and sitting here blogging while I await my 17 year old's arrival from bed.  I remember the mornings when he would be the first up, barely before the crack of dawn, and how I would struggle to get out of bed and get our morning going.  Now, I can barely get him up!  My how the times have changed.

Last evening we spent the time with my parents.  Church was good, and my son played piano along with the Praise Band.  The service was packed, and it was nice to see most of the people we know (including our neighbors and their entire family -- PTL!)  Afterwards, we went to my parents for a light dinner, and then opened gifts.  It was very nice.  My folks gave each other lovely gifts, and it was so sweet to see my parents together.  They have been married 54 years, and though they don't always get along (and argue at times), they love one another deeply, and are committed to one another.  My Dad was cute -- he had bought my Mom two cards, because he sealed the first one without putting the Starbucks card in it.  So he went and got her a second one.

My son and I got some nice things too, and we had some good laughs.  I am blessed to have such wonderful parents.  They love us completely, and rely on us a lot.  I am blessed to be able to help them out, and to live so close to them.  I have talked long about moving away, about starting over, and about seeking my own way (under the Lord's provision), but it seems that the Lord has chosen for us to remain right where we are for now.  My parents need us, and I have always known this, but with the stress from my marriage, and my husband's family ordeal, it had become intolerable for me to stay here in Phoenix.  God's Grace has kept me here, and His provision has made it possible for me to survive and keep myself together.

As I look into the future, I have great hope for His continued provision.  I know that He has everything I need in His hand, and that He will provide in His time.  I am waiting with expectation, which is what the Bible tells us we are to do.  We are to believe in His Provision and Timing, and then wait with the attitude that what we need is on it's way.  We are to look forward to it, to anticipate it's arrival, and then be expectant -- celebratory ahead of time.  This gives God honor and helps us to be faithful -- hopeful -- and gracious receivers of His Manifold Blessings.  It is hard sometimes, especially when LIFE hits you hard or you are struggling with illness, physical infirmity, poverty, or oppression.  It is hard to keep your chin up, and remain hopeful.  The key is to focus on Jesus, and to know that He is God.  It works, try it -- you will see that in Jesus, everything is as the Word promises, and everything will be just as it has been proclaimed.

My goals have not really changed, though my eyes have been opened to see what God is doing for us.  I have been looking to where He asked me to look, waiting for opportunity to move, and thinking positively that He would open a door for us there.  I have applied many times, and scope out the entire scene.  I have my ducks in a row, and yet, God has chosen to keep us here, and to provide a way for us now.  What does this mean for me?  I am uncertain, but I think it means that God has determined my life and that He knows exactly what needs to be now, and tomorrow, and into the future.  I am resting in Him, therefore, whether I go or stay, God is my source and my provision.

Many times the Lord has said to me that He has provided what I need already.  Of course, I look to my hand and I see the deficiency of it.  I am missing some key items like steady work, but I do have many things I need already in hand.  I have a roof over my head, and I have family around me.  I have PT work, and I have savings now set aside for some major purchases and outstanding bills.  I have school under wraps, and my son's school is all set to begin.  I have a blessed church family, and my son is involved there.  I am good.  I have everything I need right here, yet still it is not PERFECT according to my definition of perfect.  My marriage is gone, and every day that I remain living together with my husband who no longer desires anything from me except for provision (food, clothing, and shelter), it smacks me hard.  He spends more time developing work relationships and relationships with other women, then he does with me or his son.  He is a casual border in our home, rarely paying for his own way, and living off the blessings of God.  We speak minimally to one another, just the facts, and even then not much esle is said.  He complains a lot, and doesn't like how I choose to deal with our now almost grown son.  He thinks I let him slide, get away with too much, and generally indulge him.  I see it differently.  I see it as relationship maturity, whereby our son no longer needs his daily life managed.  He is responsible for his own mistakes now, and I have to let him make them.  Of course, I don't want to see him get hurt, but managing his time to the extent that my husband would like, is simply controlling him, and that time is gone.  I will not do that to my son, I will not let him be manipulated and controlled, and set up a pattern of such for his life.  No, he is a fine young man; a man who loves God, and who is endeavoring to figure out God's will in his life.  He is young; yes, this is true, but he is also a good boy.  He has no vices (well, none that his mother wants to know about), and he is active at church.  He is good, and I am blessed by his loving attitude, and willing spirit.

My life is relatively calm.  I have work to do, and money coming in now.  I still am seeking a FT job, but this has not come to pass yet, either here in Phoenix or elsewhere.  I believe that a job is on the horizon, and that it is just a matter of God's timing and provision.  I am waiting patiently with expectation, and it will come when God is ready, when I am ready, and when everything is working together for my good (to accomplish His will in my life).  Until then, I must wait.

I am uncertain whether we will remain in this home or move out.  I do have the money now to move out, but not the full income to support us.  We remain here, in this unpleasant state for this time until God chooses to move us away.  I have finally accepted that after 15 months, my husband's feelings and intentions regarding our marriage are consistent to what he said --  that he no longer wanted to be in relationship with me.  I have waited for him to return.  I have been kind, and have provided a good home, a gentle response (no yelling, no arguing, nothing but gentle words), and I have demonstrated my faithfulness by remaining his wife.  I have provided what I could to make our home better, more functional, and more pleasing.  I have remained true, yet he has not.  He has continue to remain in fellowship with his old girlfriend.  Though he maintains they are friends, I have found out that her marriage is not good, and that her husband thinks she is having an affair.  I see this as indicative of what has taken place.  She has turned away from her husband to mine, and my husband has turned away from me to her.  They haven't met officially, but they share emails, FB, and phone calls.  This is what happens, this is how marriages unravel slowly, and how hearts are broken and lives destroyed.  It is not always a one-night stand, a fling in the sack.  It often is relationship based, and begins with friendship.  Our Pastor has talked about this, how vitally important it is for men to have male friends and women to have women friends.  It is not safe for men to have intimate female friends, and vice versa.  This is Satan's way of undermining the integrity of marriage.  I am a victim, first hand, and I can tell you that I think this kind of deterioration is far worse than an out-and-out extra marital affair.  That kind may smack hard, but the end comes quickly.  This kind is the slow death of a love, and it is like watching someone you care about die from a lingering terminal illness.  It is sad, and it rips at you daily.

Yet over the course of these many months, I have found my strength in the Lord, and I have come to depend on Him.  I have found that His Hand is good and that His blessings are complete.  I lack nothing today, and I know that tomorrow will be the same.  God has provided everything I need to live a single life, and He has helped change my mind, my heart, and my soul so that I can accept living on my own.  I am ready to begin this life, and ready to say good bye to what I thought would be the only life I would live. Now, I see the potential for God's choice for me, and I am excited about what He desires for me.  I can no longer live in the past, and I am eager to embrace His future.  Does this mean that I can casually walk away from my marriage?  No, of course not. It does mean that I can walk away and know that through this entire process, I have given everything possible to keep this relationship alive (at least my side of it).  I have acted fairly, and been true to my vows.  I can walk away now knowing that I did my best, tried my hardest, and gave my all.  It wasn't enough, and that is what I will have to live with for the rest of my life.  Failed marriage is not what I wanted on my marque.  Nope, I never even considered it when I got married initially.  I would never have seen this one coming at me, but here it is.  I accept it now, and I walk on.  God has it all in His hand, and it will be good.

As I think of the Gift of Jesus this Christmas Season, I am reminded of all that He has done for us.  I am blessed to know my God, and to be in relationship with Him.  I am a child of His Grace and Mercy, and I thank Him for His life, and His blessings on me and my family.  I thank you, Jesus for your gift of life and your rich blessing of eternity.  You are the REASON FOR THIS SEASON, and I give you all the Praise.

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