Friday, July 29, 2005

Forgiveness

I talked with our family therapist yesterday. (how many of you can say you have one of those???) :) I don't go very often....maybe twice a year. But he's just so awesome and it always does me good whether I need it or not. *chuckle* His specialty (and our reason for meeting him in the first place) is same sex attraction or more generally sexual addictions of all stripes. My husband goes off and on. A pattern has emerged over the course of the last 5 years regarding my husband and therapy. I think this is pretty typical no matter what your struggle. It happens like this:

1) big issue/turmoil/problem arises
2) regular therapy/group attendance ensues
3) big issue/turmoil/problem is dealt with/resolved/understood or whatever
4) therapy tapers off and stops entirely
5) growth occurs, life goes on, and then growth eventually plateaus

Then....back to number 1, wash, rinse, repeat.

The good news is, my husband and I are both open and receptive to the guideance and leadership of the therapist. Of course, he's Christ-centered....but in this amazingly REAL way. He doesn't sugar-coat things or give you anything but the absolute truth of the matter. As in, this basically sucks, yes, but here are some things you can try and I'll see you next time and you can tell me how that's working for you.

We talked about alot of things yesterday and I brought up the forgiveness question again. I've talked about this with him (and his wife, actually) before. It's something I think about quite a bit because even though I know I've forgiven my husband, it seems like it keeps coming back and I have to forgive him over and over again for the same stupid thing. Basically, the breaking of faith and trust of the marriage in the first place. And then I get all self-absorbed and pitiful about it like I was last week. He gave me a copy of this prayer and said I should repeat it out loud whenever I feel necessary.

Father in Heaven, today I choose to forgive (name of offender) for (list of ways offender harmed you). Lord, I release this person into Your hands to deal with as You choose. I will not seek revenge. I release to you my anger over what they did, and I ask you to heal my wounded emotions. I ask that You grant (name of offender) the grace to repent and be reconciled to You.

He also told me that I think too much inside my head and have some negative thought patterns that need to be broken. He suggested I start writing a blog. Hah.

grace

Thursday, July 28, 2005

All better now. (pretty much)

I've come over the hump so to speak from that last little downer I was on. Basically, I think I'd just had too much time on my hands for the past week. Which is unusual. Things are quickly back to the level of activity we maintain constantly around here.

I've been busy this week working with a small group of teens on these little dramas we will take down and present at a camp for abused/neglected kids next week. I'm helping decorate a wedding for most of the weekend. So....no time to wallow in self-pity....which is good, very good. I'm not actually a "wallowing" sort of person but you probably wouldn't know it from reading this blog. I think everything I've written so far has some sort of "negative" conotation to it. Maybe I just started it in during a down cycle and that will improve.

The end of summer is typically a down time for me. Not because school is about to start. I'm usually pretty excited and ready for school to start. But several things begin to happen at this time.
1) the boys are done with all their camps, activities, etc. and have way too much free time on their hands here at home which destroys the state of things in the house
2) I tend to focus on the things I didn't get accomplished during the off time as opposed to all the things I DID
3) I start to get overwhelmed with all that needs to be done in order to get things ready for school to start again.
4) It's just so dang HOT you can't enjoy anything outside anymore.

Well, what do you know, more wallowing! ha! oh well. But I do feel I wallowed in a more positive spirit this time. So that's improvement.

Monday, July 25, 2005

Wounds and Trust

The climate is reasonably settled in the household right now. One look at the list I put in my description gives you a glimpse of the multitude of issues we weather through just constantly. We all grow weary from time to time, and that's even when there's nothing "brewing", no specific trials or emotional upheavals current.

The thing I personally struggle with most often, and I guess currently since I'm thinking about it again, is this sort of mortal wound. Remember in "Lord of the Rings", how Frodo had that wound from the Wraith King, and even after things were set right in the end, it kept bothering him? It would ache and never seem to completely heal. Which seemed to be the reason he floated on off to the undying lands with Bilbo and the elves. Where's that boat when you need it?

I have forgiven my husband for breaking the trust of our marriage. And yet, it still aches sometimes that it ever even happened in the first place. That there ever was deception. Here's the kicker....and it makes me so angry with myself. He's healed to the point of being able to share his struggle with others. (not from microphone or podium or anything like that....but just with a few close friends and it's happened over the course of time and naturally in conversations) This is HUGE. This is a major turning point for someone in his position. Because hiding and deceiving people about it becomes such second nature to survival (for lots of reasons that are very understandable).

The kicker is....I am so HUMAN and weak that now, instead of being joyful over the growth he's accomplished, which ultimately benefits me more than anyone else, I am actually hurt in this twisted way because he didn't trust me enough in the beginning to share and instead decieved me. I've been instrumental (according to him) in bringing him to a place of healing....he says he wouldn't have come to this point without my support, guideance, and encouragement. And yet, I still get hurt that he chose to lie to me and cause all this pain and upheaval and basically destroy a marriage before it ever even began. And I guess it hurts because I trusted him....we'd both been through really bad first marriages, and this was supposed to be different. I knew it wasn't going to be perfect....but goodness!

I know I need to just get past it (again) but I seem to always forget how I do that. Maybe putting it on this page will help. I feel very selfish and self-absorbed right now. I hate that.

grace

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Saturday, July 23, 2005

A Higher Love

God's ways are higher than mine, his thoughts higher than my thoughts, I know that, and yet I'm so confined to my humanity that I can't help but try and attribute Him with my own humanity in order to understand Him.

Last night, for the first time ever, really, I felt the shear panic and beginning of heartache that would occur if something happened (something akin to death or kidnapping) to one of my sons. It turned out to be a communication error for the most part. And yet, for that brief hour when all friends (his, not mine) were searching and various scenarios had begun to play out in all our minds, I felt the beginning of a grief and sorrow that there are no words to communicate.

I've told my oldest that having him has taught me more about the way God loves me than anything. I beleive that it must be part of His grand design in the way He set up the whole parenting thing. Son #1 will soon leave for college so I've been through a wide range of lessons from God through parenting opportunities with him. These last few years, learning to let go, allowing him freedoms of adulthood, being involved without controlling, allowing for natural consequences to occur, have been rich with analogy to my own relationship with Christ.

Last night gave me yet another analogy to draw upon. God's heartache for His lost children. Loving us enough to give us free will in the first place...the will to reject Him, hide from Him, put ourselves in compromising situations, all of it. It's an incredible love. I realize that my love for my own sons is merely a shadow of what He has for me.

Ephisians 3:17,18,19
And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.

grace

Friday, July 22, 2005

Not Safe But Good

I think my favorite description of God is one from "The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe". The four children have gotten into Narnia and are being caught up on the state of things by Mr. and Mrs. Beaver. They tell them about the lion, Aslan, (God's representation in Narnia). I think it's Lucy who asks, "Is he quite safe?" or something like that (I don't have the book right beside me) and Mr. Beaver replies, "Oh no, he's not safe, not safe at all. But he's good."

Many seem to have great difficulty with the God of the Bible because of what they say are contradictions presented throughout. I love those very things and desire to understand them. Those "contradictions" are the heart of the very Gospel itself. Divine paradox. If it could all be perfectly explained and we could completely understand it, He wouldn't be a very great God then, would He? He challenges me to understand and promises me that one day I will.

I know EXACTLY where I'll be sitting on December 9th, hopefully at one of the very first showings....is that a weekend???

'The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe' Teaser Trailer

grace

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Heaven and Hell

I've been really annoyed lately by how caught up in heaven and hell we seem to get. Particularly at church in our teachings to little ones. I'd so much prefer that my boys desire Christ, long to be more like him, ache for his goodness....than to make a decision for him based on where you go when you die. Or worse yet, just to avoid a bad place. That has actually (for me) so very little to do with anything about being a Christian. It's decisions, choices, an actual purposeful bent toward becoming more like Jesus, that drive me (or should). Not that I don't often long for His heavenly kingdom to come on down, show up, save the day, rescue me from all evil....that sort of thing. But if that's my motivation for serving Him (which really means serving others) then what real spiritual maturity can come out of that?

He said "Deny yourself, pick up your cross, and follow me." Nothing mentioned there that really even sounds all that pleasant....and for me, doing that very thing has been not only unpleasant but downright painful for the past several years. And yet, it's been good spiritually. Spiritual truths have never seemed more real to me. Heaven, actually, has never seemed more real. God's kingdom is an absolute reality to me now like never before. But not in a "can't wait to get there someday" sort of way....in a here and now way. His kingdom, His truth, is all around me, here, on this earth.

More later.
grace

Monday, July 18, 2005

Beginning

It's gotten to the point that I can't count the number of times it's been suggested to me to start my own blog. And so....here we go. There's alot of crap in my life. And alot of good. More GRACE than anything else, I can assure you. I'm not sure what will be accomplished by doing this and it feels stupid to self publish like this as some form of therapy or whatever. I mean, it's seems like that's what most people do with these things. Push their thoughts out there to 1) get them out of themselves 2) let the whole world read it should they choose. That's the part that seems odd to me. And yet, it does somehow validate the thoughts....the fact that someone else might actually read them and relate to them in some way. There's still something about it that smacks of Judge Judy or that other sort of show....what is it....uh.....oh yeah....Maury Povich. I think that sort of airing of your family secrets or personal disputes is just plain tacky. It shows how low we've bottomed to as a society that those things even exist. But then, they watched galdiators kill each other and lions eating Christians for entertainment way back when so I guess we're actually at least maintaining the status quo. We watch people slash and kill each other verbally/emotionally and they watched a physical version of it.

We're all rotten to the core. :) I'm obviously on a bit of a downside in life right now....hence, taking the time to even do this. I'll swing back around eventually and maybe talk about some of the crap in a more positive light.

Right now, I'm sustained for a little longer by these thoughts from C.S. Lewis.

"Being in love is not merely a feeling. It is a deep unity, maintained by the will and deliberately strenthened by habit; reinforced by (in Christian marriages) the grace which both partners ask, and receive from God. They can have this love for each other even at those moments when they do not like each other."

grace

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