Thursday, December 22, 2005

Growing Up, Holding On, Being Redeemed

Having an "adult" child is cool. I love it. It's still quite odd-feeling but, mostly, it's great. He's still a teenager and, in actuality, has quite a ways to go before reaching REAL adulthood. But then, "let he who is without sin cast the first stone".(ha)I'm at least wise enough to know that reminding him that he's still a child and dependent on me does little in the way of encouraging him toward complete independence and manhood. This, to me, seems to be one of the greatest differences between how things used to be and how they are now; he is allowed more freedom with which to completely screw up his life. Not that I think he will screw up but he can choose to make the most of his opportunities or squander them. It appears to me that he has absolutely NO notion of the influence he has on others or the ramifications of his specific choices. I think the difference between my attitude toward this and ALOT of other parents I know is that I, for some unknown reason, find this to be completely normal. Or at least WELL within the range of what IS normal for a young man his age. I also discovered a few years back that the easiest way to get him to make a good decision is to allow him the opportunity to work through the process of a bad decision by making decisions on his own. So, I've been preparing for this time.

Another thing I have going for me in the way of remaining calm and collected during this time with him is the life experience of the last 6 years with Tdub. I am absolutely positive that God does work and move on our behalf and that His plans for us are for good, not evil. I absolutely believe that even when things look desperate, God is in control. I know these things because I have lived them. Our marriage is a miracle. It was not an immediate miracle like the water-to-wine thing, but it IS a miracle nonetheless.

I have not spoken here of the desperate times we went through or the circumstances surrounding my discovery of Tdub's issues. I dare not even mention the "word" which gave me Biblical grounds for leaving the marriage. Maybe one day I'll write all that down, but not in a format like this and not unless I feel specifically moved by God to do so. Just know that it was heavy, dark, cold, and long.

The darkness lasted about 31/2 years. I felt that God was far from me, as if I cried out to Him in vain. As if I were destined for suffering and pain, always wanting just a little more from life than I'd ever be able to achieve. But I held on. For the first time in my life, I learned to hold on to God and I didn't let go. I learned to TRUST in Him when I could not see a clear way through. My now 18-yr.-old son watched me struggling, suffering, and holding on. He told me at one point that he didn't understand why I was staying THIS time when I'd left the first time. I was honest with him and told him that maybe if I'd been trusting God as I should have back then (with his dad) I'd have been able to hold on then as well. I apologized to him for leaving his dad and asked him to trust that I was doing the right thing this time. His reply was, "No Mom, I don't think you should be with Dad. That's not what I mean." Then I knew what he meant. He just wanted my hurt to stop. I asked him then to please just trust me and trust in God most of all. I told him that I knew that God had a plan and was working things for our good. And he said "okay". He didn't like it much, but he agreed. He was about 15 at that time.

I can't help but believe that these experiences, this testament to faith played out before his eyes has had to have had an impact on him. He, being the oldest, has probably had as close a perspective as anyone could outside the two of us, concerning the progression of this marriage. Believe me, there have been some ugly, ugly times. As many instigated by me and my poor choices in dealing with pain as by Tdub and his natural resistance to dealing with his. And yet, God was in every bit of it. I'm convinced.

I've shared this with Tdub before so I know it won't offend him. But I SO admire guys like Ben, Randy, and Rob. These guys are all single and struggling with same sex desires which are at odds with their desires for traditional families. And they have HOPE and a FUTURE because they are seeking God and determined to find those desires fulfilled in Him, at His leisure, in His time. They are not forcing themselves into lives they aren't quite ready for but stepping slowly, surely, and yet boldly forward in their quest for holiness and the fullness that awaits them.

I did not intend to write this sort of post. Goodness. But maybe someone needed to hear it or more likely I just needed to write it. *whew* OH...I feel I should mention, the "word" that gave me grounds for leaving is NOT homosexuality. Gayness or homosexuality are NOT my enemy any more than my gay friends are my enemies. In fact, while I am passionate about the things I speak of here regarding gay issues, etc., I don't consider our story a story about homosexuality at all. It's a story about redemption. About God's ability to redeem any and all situations for His good and His glory. Redeemed, redeemed, his child and forever I am.



emery said...

If your life was perfect on this earth, then you couldn't really have been valuing the eternal that much, huh? ;-) I think lives of faith are meant to be messy... they are not comfortable or natural in this world. One of the biggest challenges of western Christians is that we spend more time trying to find earthly comforts than bravely and faithfully roughing this world's storms in preference of heavenly treasures.

You guys live far too far away! :-)

Anonymous said...

I read this:

I dare not even mention the "word" which gave me Biblical grounds for leaving the marriage.

And I immediately thought of this:
if I would write this stuff down,
(which i'm just still just afraid of--you know how i feel about the power of words)

(Your husband wrote that a few months back.)

I'll tell you a story. Maybe it will help, maybe not. My father-in-law was in the hospital. End stage lung cancer. A physician came into the waiting room and said to my mother-in-law, "At this point I think you need to talk to your husband about home hospice care."

She said "I can't do that. You know what happens when you say the word 'hospice'!"

Do words really have power? Is that why they're scary? Do the words change anything?


grace said...

Emery: I agree with you totally and I've learned to be thankful for the storms. I keep trying to think of a time when I've made significant growth without some sort of challenge. Just can't think of it. And for your information "mr. world traveler" we are the ones who STILL live in TEXAS! I suggest it is YOU who live much too far away!

Kurt: Thanks for your thought-provoking comment. I do know that words have the power to inflict hurt but beyond that, I'm not so sure. It depends on the context, doesn't it?? Will have to think about that. And yet...even as an inflictor of pain words can only do that if we allow them to. So...I guess words have the power we give them. Will think more on that!