Saturday, December 27, 2008

Some times you just have to say 'Thank You'

Last night I was a little restless and could not sleep and to clear my mind I decided to focus on what I was grateful on ‘this’ day.

Thank you God for keeping me safe.

Thank you God for preserving my peace of mind.

Thank you God for preventing bitterness from taking root in my heart.

Thank you God for giving me grace.

Thank you God for giving me clarity of thought.

Thank you God for giving me the opportunity to learn patience and trust in YOU through faith.

Thank you God for maturing my spirit to extend forgiveness and accept being forgiven.

Thank you God for each new day.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas 2008

It’s year 3 of the marital madness and on this Christmas day I say “Praise God – I am still standing!  And happy and healthy.”  My happiness and joy are not circumstance dependent J  Thank God I learned that lesson years ago.

It has been a year of growth and change, but no resolution of the marital stuff.  I am feeling well and told I am looking well.  I am looking forward to more positive changes in 2009.  Fabulous!!  Who could ask for more?  I still get asked “Shouldn’t you force things?  –you deserve better” or my other favorite “You deserve some happiness too.”

I find it funny that people so quickly assume that all happiness is dependent on an intimate relationship.  If you follow that train of thought every single person must be miserable (lol – it’s ludicrous).  Besides I believe the new trend is ‘serial hooking up’ and not even dating, so am I being encouraged to jump on that train….I hope not I still believe in marriage and real intimacy.

The other thing is I still tell my husband he has my full support in achieving what he wants for himself.  Of course, I have learned you can lead a horse to water but you can’t make him drink.  And what makes people assume he’s happier than I am????  Because he has resumed his life as single man?  That would be odd…all the studies say married men live longer.  Stand us side-by-side and you judge.  I am not convinced it’s all he thought it would be…although some appearances can be deceiving 

We’ve both been laid off recently so the cost of a divorce has just gone up (actually our resources have gone down) – 2 years ago it would have been more profitable.  We had jobs and our real estate had better value.  What a mess – this is why I blog. 

In the meantime, I pray for us all.  I am still certain God has a plan and is taking me (and most likely Steven too) somewhere with this madness.  I am not sure where we will end up but I am 100% certain that in the end God will get the glory.

Glad Tidings to you all J


Saturday, May 24, 2008

A Better Way

(Posted on a Divorce Support Site 5-24-2008)

Hi Misty, BTW - I am not crazy - I just think that in the best of all possible worlds there has to be a better way than what we see today.  I see a lot of Christians who in practice accept the world's definition of marriage - not in all cases, but in some whether it's their own marriage or someone else's marriage.  (And I don't even think they are aware of how much they have bought into the secular view of marriage.)

Consequently, when you are weary of the battle and want to walk away from the offending spouse or unhappy marriage - there is not adequate support to help you stand in faith. There is support however to alleviate your pain and look for greener pastures. I also apologize if my comments make any one feel judged I am thinking out loud and trying to make sense of this divorce madness -so don't take it personally - we all do what we believe we have to do.

I think you have hit on something our society really needs to grapple with...maybe there should be a better distinction between marriage as a sacred relationship and marriage as a "domestic partnership". I think if that if we take your approach to this and really work through the forgiveness and healing to restore a "sacred" marriage everyone ends up better off because of the depth of forgiveness, healing and reconciliation that has to take place for there to be restoration of the relationship. Think of what that models for children and others (including the offending spouse). For this type of marriage to thrive "no fault divorce" should be eliminated - most of the hardship should be borne by the spouse who violates the agreement whether through abandonment, adultery (allow some exclusions for real illness and other mental health issues).  There should also be some way to encourage more harmony in "sacred" marriages.  Apply the rules of covenant marriages to these unions and any desired dissolution.  This type of marriage recognizes that God has a work for those whom HE has joined together.

A domestic partnership is just that - a relationship where an end other than death is possible and acceptable - mandate better bookkeeping so that the division of assets is simpler; predefines the custodial responsibilities and relationships before children are born.  This approach will keep the lawyers busy (so they won't really lose money as a result of fewer "divorces" which is why the courts are so clogged with divorces now).  This type of "domestic partnership" would be strictly about "happiness,” "companionship" and "self-satisfaction.”  (Lots of bookkeeping but a simpler ending).

I assume God has a plan for whatever pain and loss I am enduring in my marital strife and divorce - I am really beginning consider more involvement with the Divorce Reform organizations - maybe God is preparing me to be an advocate :)

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Follow and Then Follow Some More

Have you ever been hurt so deeply that you can’t even cry? I find myself surprised that I cannot muster the tears that most would believe my situation warrants. The drama. The pain. The prolonged non-resolution…..

You know you think by the time you are 40-something God has set you on a path and in your mature wisdom you have agreed to follow it. AND then in the midst - ‘stuff’ you never expected or foresaw show up in your life. If you are lucky – it is unexpected success and joy. If you are really lucky – it is challenge and pain and the realization that there is NOTHING greater than God in your life. In spite of it all – I never cease to remember that God has a plan for my life and that HE is going somewhere (God only knows where J) but some where with this chaos and madness.

My spouse and I are 3 years into this sad drama and no closer to resolution than we were when I moved out 18 months ago. I have gotten very comfortable in my new life without him so reconciliation seems unrealistic and he has not appropriately followed through on the dissolution (it is after all about masculine leadership in the family – for me anyway). So we live in a gray area – I have resumed wearing my wedding ring as a reminder that marriage is sacred and until it is resolved legally and spiritually by my spouse - we are bound no matter how sad the state of our bondage. Recently, I found myself trying to explain to a friend with a secular understanding of marriage why I have not “forced” the dissolution (truthfully it’s not possible), but mid-sentence I realized I was explaining a sacred relationship to someone with only a worldly/popular understanding of marriage. So I shut-up – there is no need to explain – God’s Will –will be done.

The joy – God is forever giving us sign posts – we just have to pay attention so we can recognize that we have not been forsaken by HIM. For me, this week it was Myles, Risa, and Lloyd. Myles, dear beloved Myles (he’s a little older and wiser – praise God for a godly surrendered man) Myles shared with me that while your 40’s FEEL great – God will test you to see if you really understand surrender. And that you can and will follow HIS word in the face of your fears. Bless you Myles!! Risa, my darling Risa Mae (surprising how many people still believe Mae is her middle name - it’s a name I stuck her with because of her genuine southern warmth and authenticity). This week she shared with me how her prayer life is blossoming – literally on fire. She prayed for me. I have no rent money this month – yet her words of comfort and faith calmed my soul and stilled my racing mind enough for me to focus on the billable work I do have – we prayed via instant messenger – after 20 years of friendship we use the tools at hand J AND Pastor Lloyd Harrison – Oh my soul!! Lloyd is a family friend – always around Uncle Booney and my recently deceased Aunt Erine’s (Edwina – we always had her name wrong) kids. He’s a senior pastor at Willow Street Church of God It was visitors’ day at the church today so I went with my Uncle and Cousins. What a message – “The Cure for Carnality” First let me say I say I was tickled pink (almost fuchsia) by what a dynamic speaker he is – then the message was so appropriate for the week I have had and where I am in my marital strife. His sermon was about relationships and the friends who really love you and stand by you through the good and bad. It was also about discernment – an uncomfortable concept – if you don’t want to confront the depth or quality of your relationships. Thank You Pastor Lloyd. His message focused on Proverbs Chapter 13:20-21 with some excursions to Corinthians and Galatians. I say “Buy the Tape” What a message – Lloyd thank you for sharing and being “authentic”.

OK – back to seeking income. Still the good news is I know where I stand and I can stand there unafraid. Notice I did not say without anxiety – my flesh will always respond to anxiety – its natural. Some moments – I am out of my mind with anxiety. I go to ground in prayer. My heart and relationship with God with remind to tell my flesh to be still – while I turn to God for real, lasting answers.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Prayer for an Amicable Divorce

Dear God,

Eight years ago you joined us in love and commitment

Today we stand before you having failed to live a married life of love and service to you and each other

Unable to jointly see any way back to fulfilling the pledges we made to you and each other

We now seek your forgiveness and mercy as we tear asunder what you joined together

Our disobedience is painful, our hearts are broken, our minds in turmoil

Calm our hearts and clear our thoughts when the destructive forces make us behave hatefully toward each – grant us a spirit of Christian reconciliation so that we can move forward in our actions in a way that recognizes your power to heal and bring peace.

I wrote this almost 2 years ago....while I was still living in the house with my husband. At the time I knew we were in crisis, but I was unaware of the magnitude of the destructive choices and forces that were impacting my life and my marriage. I wrote this prayer because his whole thing was "let's have an amicable divorce." Yet there was belligerence and hostility from both sides. My hostility mostly from a sense of betrayal and disappointment. His from.......I have my own ideas but I'll let him say if and when he is able to articulate the reasons for his hostility and anger. Two years later, I am calmer and healthier, still not divorced but clearly standing in my own values which gives me a certain amount of peace and contentment. I assume that he is also standing in his own values - at some point he will follow through on his desire to end our marriage.I am still waiting for amicable and fair. I hope to see my spouse's plans completed with my values intact and uncompromised.

Ps 27:14
Wait on the Lord : be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the Lord.KJV

Sunday, January 13, 2008

It's Not Trivial

Most of the time when I write for my blog, I am in a very positive space and feeling at peace and optimistic. That is not always the case – this season has turned my life upside down – sometimes the hurt and injustice give me a different voice (BTW- both voices are valid and real).. On occasion, I post to a divorce recovery group – and the following was my response to someone else who has been traumatized by infidelity and divorce:


Ok....this may be a little bit of a rant but my feelings on this subject are pretty raw. And I think as a society we need to reach a tipping point where infidelity is not so casually accepted. And it is accepted or at least tolerated. Maybe a more honest view of the impact of infidelity will go a long way toward reducing the divorce rate and
strengthening marriage.

There is a difference between stagnating bitterness (which is what we want to avoid) and minimizing the destruction that came into our lives because of not only our spouse's selfishness but because they found someone equally selfish to complete their act of betrayal. I think ... in all of our christian goodness we seek to be forgiving of the adulterers who created painful situations in our life. Be nice, don't be angry - I say feel what you feel. (You don't have to act on it, but if you need to feel angry feel angry). No voodoo dolls and such but acknowledging that your life plan was altered without your consent - that's just truth. I also think there is a difference between a foolish one night stand (ok - even a few weeks) and building what you expect to be
a lasting relationship with someone who is unavailable (if the person is married - they are unavailable).

And it is certainly wise to say don't focus on 'them'. However, I think there needs to be some REAL acknowledgment that the cheating spouse and their companion committed a serious violation. This is not to say - that the people we speak of should be punished but certainly the call is for some 'movement' (stigma) to be associated so that an effective deterrent exists. The destruction wrought by their "friendship" "love" "lust" or whatever they choose to call it is real and the impact goes beyond - it is not trivial. You cannot pretend it did not happen or that it was not a significant
contribution to the demise of your marriage.

Friend, I understand how you feel. I think it is offensive for them to pretend that the life they share now was not borne out of betrayal and deceit. I could at least respect someone who says "Yes my husband and I are better people now, but once upon a time... " In my case, the skank misunderstood our current marital crisis as an indication that our marriage was over and it was therefore "not wrong" to be my husband's close friend (mistress).  Of course, on some level she knew she was wrong - hence she kept their relationship secret from EVERYONE, not one of her close friends knew how frequently or too what extent she was in contact with my husband.

I told my spouse recently - that he made the mistake of getting involved with a woman who wanted my life - and in getting involved with her I guess he was trying to give my life to her. Unfortunately, for both of them - my life was not his to give (at least not for free). It is my life past and present. I am doing good things with my present and
expect to be financially compensated for my past (and stolen future - retirement funds, vacation weeks, etc). They are free to have whatever life they can build together but it will not be built on my back.

My hope that stories like ours are shared honestly with young people - so they have the option of making better choices. I was always told married men/women were off limits - at this point I know that tidbit of information was not passed on to everyone. Ed Young also has a really good series on this topic.