“For He Himself is our peace, who has made both one, and has broken down the middle wall of separation.” Ephesians 2:14
One thing I’m grateful for is that I’m no longer led by my emotions and the emotions of others. I led a very reactive lifestyle. For instance, something would happen and I’d have a million logical reasons WHY the person did this or that. I love how I magically knew the inner workings of everyone’s mind! Just lovely! So, I’d assume x or y, and then I would react to that assumption. Many other times I’d just project my own feelings on to some unsuspecting person. All the same, I’d be tossed to and fro.
At the same time I kept my feelings guarded and would go around preaching “honest and open” communication. In honesty, I didn’t know I wasn’t being open most of the time. I didn’t know I was being reactive and impulsive. I didn’t know I was as guarded as I was. I was stuffing down a lot of hurt too, so that compounded my deception.
I’m free of that now! Very liberating.
I have a choice on how I react to things. Life is more about acting, than reacting. It’s fun to not lean on my own flawed understanding. Now, I just trust in God and stop analyzing this or that. The last 2 years of my life would not have happened had I stopped and said how I was really feeling and asked everyone around me what is it they were really attempting to communicate. I’m thankful I’m free from condemnation, because I could beat myself up forever just thinking about my mistakes. Plus, God will work it all out for my good and His glory in the end.
1 – suppose, presume, think, believe, imagine, assume, surmise; informal guess, reckon, figure.
2 – anticipate, await, look for, hope for, look forward to; contemplate, bargain for/on, bank on; predict, forecast, envision.
3 – require, ask for, call for, want, insist on, demand.
* to wait for; to await
* to look for; to look forward to, as to something that is believed to be about to happen or come; to look for with confidence; to anticipate
* to wait; to stay
When You did awesome things which we did not expect,
You came down, the mountains quaked at Your presence.
For from days of old they have not heard or perceived by ear,
Nor has the eye seen a God besides You,
Who acts in behalf of the one who waits for Him.
You meet him who rejoices in doing righteousness,
Who remembers You in Your ways.
My soul, wait only upon God and silently submit to Him; for my hope and expectation are from Him.
He only is my Rock and my Salvation; He is my Defense and my Fortress, I shall not be moved.
With God rests my salvation and my glory; He is my Rock of unyielding strength and impenetrable hardness, and my refuge is in God!
I wait for the Lord, I expectantly wait, and in His word do I hope.
I am looking and waiting for the Lord more than watchmen for the morning, I say, more than watchmen for the morning.
O Israel, hope in the Lord! For with the Lord there is mercy and loving-kindness, and with Him is plenteous redemption.
“Expect! Expect!” has played in my mind and heart for nearly two weeks now. It gets me through my days and keeps my hope alive. It reminds me of Isaiah 42:9, “Behold, the former things have come to pass, and new things I declare; before they spring forth I tell you of them.” Plus John 13:19 when Jesus says, “For now I am telling you before it comes to pass, so that when it does occur, you may believe that I am He.” It’s as if God is telling me to “be ready because X is happening now – your season has changed – everything you’ve prayed is going to manifest in your life.” Once it happens and I see it, my faith is strengthened and perfected. We can’t just wait around outside of the “promised land” forever! I’m the poster child for attracting naysayers and let’s just say I have a great cloud of witnesses watching me.
I was reading in a book about discouragement. How the closer we get to victory, the enemy will try harder to discourage us – to strip away our confidence. It’s at this crucial time that we must tell our minds and emotions to stop worrying and put our hope in The Lord.
Israel, put your hope in the Lord, for with the Lord is unfailing love and with him is full redemption. // Psalm 130:7
God is bigger than anything that I face. I can’t give up now! I’m making it a point to praise and worship nonstop until I see what I’ve expected!
Remember what God told Joshua – to not be afraid or discouraged and not to let God’s Word depart from his mouth. He’s telling us the same thing today.
I have been really hearing Expect and Be Ready. I’m hearing: don’t forget. When things are going well, I won’t imitate the children of Israel that kept forgetting God. I’m going to remember where God has brought me from and why I was there in the first place. And this::
He went out to meet Asa and said to him, “Listen to me, Asa and all Judah and Benjamin. The Lord is with you when you are with him. If you seek him, he will be found by you, but if you forsake him, he will forsake you. // 2 Chronicles 15:2
Read what’s in bold again! The key to it all is this: as long as I am with God, He is with me. If I walk away from Him, He’s walking away from me. I can do nothing without Jesus. NOTHING! I won’t even attempt to do that again. I keep hearing God tell me to Expect and Be Ready and not to forget Him.
In fact, I’m putting up signs and scriptures all around myself to remind myself not to forget! I’m leaving my journal out – the one where I’ve recorded the painful months of separation. It has a blue butterfly on it – every time I see a butterfly or even the color blue, I hope I connect to God and praise Him for dealing so well with me! God is good!
Anger is something I haven’t heard many people sit and have a dialog about. In fact, the few times I’ve heard anger talked about it was always from the perspective of not being angry – ever – for any reason. Yeah, okay.
Be angry, and yet do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and do not give the devil an opportunity. Ephesians 4: 26-27
It’s clear that being angry is okay. But it’s not okay to sin because of anger and certainly foolish to not let the anger go. I made the mistake of staying angry. I had a pretty neat excuse: I thought it was “righteous anger.” That’s defined as being angry about something that God is also angered and offended by. See, I was angry that some church folk were blatantly disrespecting me and my marriage. Instead of being angry, praying for those lost people, giving it completely to God and letting it GO, I kinda didn’t do that. Seriously, choosing to stay angry is like saying, ‘Welcome, devil, into my home. Please have your way in my life.’
Eventually I did let go and started praying for my enemies instead of resenting them. But, although I forgave the offenders, I still had anger in certain settings. Why? Because my anger wasn’t coming from what was happening or what could happen, it was because I was repaying what DID happen and something that would NEVER happen again. I would be somewhere and foolishly think about what happened and be upset at myself for letting it happen in the first place. I would condemn myself over and over for my involvement or lack of standing up for myself, or what-have-you, over and over. The anger was really fear. Fear that the same scenario would happen over and over and I’d hate myself for not protecting myself.
After lots of growth and reflection, I’ve come to realize that many times anger is actually rooted in fear:
fear of rejection
fear of being mistreated
fear of abandonment
fear of being inadequate
fear of being fake
fear of disappointment
fear of failure
fear of making a mistake
fear of others discovering that I’m not perfect
fear of conflict
fear of hurting others
fear of self-promotion
fear of not doing the right thing
fear of offending someone
fear of being taken for granted
fear of being taken advantage of
fear of pain
fear of looking lost or aimless
fear of disapproval
Those are just a list of my (conquered) personal fears… the list could go on and on. In order to combat that horrible feeling of fear and the SHAME that went along with all that(!), I put up walls. Mainly anger as my wall. And pride as another. Honestly, it’s only by God’s grace that He opened my eyes. I wish I could offer a list of steps that I went through to get over it all, but there really isn’t one. I just fell on my face before God and started reading my bible. As I read I could see myself in nearly everyone who was warring against God or His people. I could see myself in the bitter, angry, jealous, and self-righteous ones and didn’t want my character associated with them anymore. Then as I prayed, I slowly surrendered every weight to God until I didn’t have any anymore. It wasn’t easy, but it was worth it.
I pray that if anyone reading this is struggling with anger, stop and ask yourself what are you really angry about. If it’s not something that angers God, it’s probably fear based. It’s easier to acknowledge that you’re afraid and combat that, than to let your anger destroy relationships around you and bring the very things you fear upon you anyhow. Just my two cents.
The long and short of what’s been going on in my life is this – my husband and I are separated. Yes, I’m probably 99.9% responsible. No, I don’t want a divorce. All I really want is him.
Although this is something I wouldn’t wish upon my worst enemy, some good has come out of our time apart; mainly changes in my heart. I was so filled with pride and bitterness that there was probably no other way I’d have come face to face with my heart’s condition. None. For months earlier I kept feeling like I couldn’t take it anymore. The it was the weight of all that I was carrying, but I didn’t know it was with me. I’ve used this time to deal with the yuck that was hiding in my heart. I’m a better, healthier person now. I’m so grateful for that. It was so hard trying to keep walls up to “protect” myself from the world for the 2 years I dealt with that. I’m never submitting to that yolk of slavery again.
Before the separation I tried to see a therapist to figure out what was wrong with me… that didn’t help at all! My husband and I ended up seeing one together and she just made me more upset by focusing on the past, instead of addressing anything going on with me in the now! The biggest mistake I made was walking away – leaving. I never meant to abandon my husband like I did. I honestly thought we’d be apart for a week or two and then be back united as one. That didn’t happen.
Anyhow, despite every single obstacle around me and all that’s transpired, I have faith that God will save my marriage and create a happy, loving union between my husband and myself. I’m sure there are many people out there that think I’ve lost my mind, so that’s all I’m saying about that. We’ll just see together how God upholds His Word.
I guess you’re welcome to journey with me as I discuss my failures, how I’ve grown and give advice for those in marriages where things look so dark. There is hope! Being separated and on the brink of a pending divorce is horrible in many ways. It’s like ripping out your heart.
Glancing away from Christ for just a second is too long. Obviously I stopped looking at Christ when I stopped blogging! I couldn’t be such a hypocrite as to blog about God while dabbling in nearly everything God tells us not to do! That should have warned me about what was going on in my heart, but unfortunately it wasn’t enough. If anyone reads this, hopefully you can learn from my mistakes! Let’s watch me fall into favor once more!