Impatience Leads To Dissatisfaction

I’m so stupid.

It’s my third week of unemployment and I’ve reverted back to my old ways. It took less than a week to screw up my sleeping patterns. I stay up later which, in turn, causes me to sleep later. I typically get out of bed around 10:30 every morning…sometimes later.

I feel extremely down.

Now that I have no where to be and no schedule to keep, that gives me more time to focus on my miserable marriage and all my failures at life. Yeah, I’ve been trying to work on my house, but I’m running out of supplies…paint, brushes, etc. and now don’t have the luxury of buying more because…

…money.

Everything I do in life is wrong. If I make the right decision I manage to counteract it with a wrong one…

…eventually.

I don’t think I’m capable of being happy in this life. That seems to be the pattern.

I feel so sad.

I shouldn’t have quit my job. My husband said what I wanted to hear and so I quit…just like that. He wasn’t thinking about what kind of negative impact that would have on me. He either doesn’t care or that shit just never occurs to him. God led me to that job and I went and threw it away because why? …they wouldn’t let me go back to three days a week? ..because I knew Merry made more money than me for doing the same exact job? They seem like good reasons but now I have no money. I should have just sucked it up despite the bodily pain and frustrations and waited until God had something else for me. My original plan was to stay there until my work-space at home was complete. Then I could start producing artwork again and make some money that way.

But…no. 

Instead I got impatient and threw away a steady income.

Idiot. 

There are no other places where I can go and make what I was making at this place. Besides the fact that I can’t bring myself to seek work at an unfamiliar place because…

…social anxiety.

My job was at a very small and familiar company where I knew everyone and was comfortable. The only reason I got this job was because THEY asked ME. I’m no go-getter. I hate unfamiliar territory and the uncertainty of the unknown. Too much anxiety to put myself out there like that. Besides, I ain’t gonna work at Walmart. This company ruined me for other places. They were extremely laid back and I could typically zone out with my headset while doing my work. They had a lot of positives and I chose to focus on a couple unfavorable facts.

So now…here I am… Back to being a miserable, broke, dumb-ass who has no purpose in life. Too hard on myself? Maybe. Perhaps I just need more time to adjust. After re-reading “Here I Go” I tend to still agree with everything I wrote. But the concerns I spoke of seem to be coming to fruition. I know myself too well.

More On Tongues…Again

How quickly I forget.

I just came across this video on YouTube and soon realized I had posted this very video in a much older post about struggling to understand the gift of tongues. Now, after watching it a few years later, I’m hearing it with newer ears. This video corrects me on my suspected misinterpretation of 1 Corinthians 12:30 (from Afterthought to ‘Inadequate’). That verse was speaking of a certain type of tongue…there are about four. And yes, I do believe all spirit filled believers CAN speak in tongues. I still don’t because I have yet to yield myself fully to it and I’m still not sure how, and it’s not from a lack of trying. It’s like there is a wall in my way. As I wrote in an update on 3/3/2018 in a post entitled “Deception Unveiled?” (not a recommended read)…

“…I still don’t speak in tongues, but I’ve also since become aware that I’m holding myself back by not “yielding” as John suggested in the above video. Derek Prince has also shared similar thoughts that line up with this. All the gifts are available to all believers whenever the Spirit wills it. I just have to be open to receiving it. I’m sure I’ll get there…”

This is the same conclusion I had already come to years ago. How many times must I circle around this mountain?!?!

OH…BUT HOLD ON!….

I almost forgot about the baptism in the Holy Spirit…Don’t I need that first? In this video, John Bevere talks about being “filled” with the Holy Spirit but he never mentions being baptized in the Holy Spirit…So what did he mean?!?!

Long, frustrated siiiiiiiigh…

I’m so tired.

This is the last post I care to make on this subject until I am finally operating in this gift.

 

 

Afterthought to ‘Inadequate’

(I also added this to the end of ‘Inadequate’, but I thought I’d publish it separately, as well.)

AFTERTHOUGHT…

After rewriting about my experience of becoming born again, I find myself wondering if that experience was indeed a baptism in the Holy Spirit? Did I receive Jesus AND become baptized in the Holy Spirit simultaneously? Did I just not understand what had happened because I was so young and had no one to help teach me?

…But I had no evidence of speaking in tongues…is that the only evidence there is of being baptized in the Holy Spirit? So many questions…

It does say in 1 Corinthians 12…

“… 27 Now you are the body of Christ, and each of you is a member of it. 28 And in the church God has appointed first of all apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then workers of miracles, and those with gifts of healing, helping, administration, and various tongues. 29 Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Do all work miracles? 30 Do all have gifts of healing?

DO ALL SPEAK IN TONGUES?

Do all interpret? 31 But eagerly desire the greater gifts.

And now I will show you a way that is beyond comparison.”

Reading this confuses me a bit since it seems to imply that not everyone will speak in tongues, or at least that’s how I seem to be interpreting it to mean. It’s often taught in the church that speaking in tongues is evidence of the baptism in the Holy Spirit. The first baptism in the Holy Spirit was on Pentecost in the book of Acts and EVERYONE spoke in tongues that day. Also, in Acts 19: 6, tongues and prophesy seem to be the immediate evidence…

“… 5 On hearing this, they were baptized into the name of the Lord Jesus. 6 And when Paul laid his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came upon them, and they spoke in tongues and prophesied…”

Soooo….

I came across this article and I think it further answers my questions…

https://bibleresources.org/baptism-in-the-holy-spirit/

I think the following excerpt from the link above describes me well and I have been asking my Heavenly Father for this baptism. I will not stop asking until I finally receive this promise.

“…The baptism in the Holy Spirit is a crisis experience just as our initial conversion experience was. We cannot be gradually baptized in the Holy Ghost, just as we cannot be gradually baptized in water. Certainly we can be gradually filled with God’s Spirit, but one day that “filling” will spill over into a baptism or complete immersion in the Holy Ghost. Many believe they need not ask for this experience because they think they receive the Holy Spirit at conversion. While this is true in the sense that the Holy Spirit comes upon us, and in us, to plant the seed of life in Christ, it is not true that we are completely filled with His Spirit unless we ask for it. “…How much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?” (Luke 11:13).

Many people have been “born again” and have the Holy Spirit working in their lives, but have never received the baptism in the Holy Ghost which equips them for service and gives them the power needed to overcome in Christ…”

 

 

Born Again

I’ve posted about this before, but it’s good to repeatedly speak of what God has done…

I was nine years old when it happened. I remember sitting in my dad’s car listening to him tell me about Jesus. He was dropping me back off at home after another Sunday visit (my mother had full custody). Before I got out of the car to go inside he told me about how if I ask Jesus to come into my heart,

                         He will.

I honestly can’t remember details of this talk, but that night after I had gone to bed, I remembered what Dad had said earlier in the day. As I lay on my belly with my little cheek pressed against the pillow, I began to pray to Jesus. I told Him how I wanted Him in my life. I asked Him to

        “PLEASE come into my heart.”

The more I prayed the deeper the sincerity became until I was

         sobbing UNCONTROLLABLY

into a now wet pillow, pleading with Him to come into my heart. I remember feeling COMPLETELY desperate for Him.

         SUDDENLY,

a powerful energy I’d never felt before entered into my back,

        went directly into my heart

and then spread throughout my body. At the time I believe I referred to it as

       “a giant gush of love.”

I know now it was the Holy Spirit. Jesus LITERALLY came into my heart! The peace was immediate and I went right to sleep. The next day I remember standing out in my yard, raising my hands up to the sky and hoping for that feeling to happen again, but it never did.

        But I knew Jesus was with me.

I remember all this like it was yesterday. I was a child crying out to Jesus with a sincerity that couldn’t have been any purer. I was not expecting to feel anything that night. Didn’t know I COULD expect to feel anything. I didn’t even know about the Holy Spirit! All I knew was that I needed Jesus. I didn’t need any proof of His existence.

   I just knew that I knew that I knew.

I wanted Him in my life. I asked Him to come into my heart. With my face pressed into my pillow I sobbed with a desperation that could have only come from a deep, inner knowing that my heart was incomplete. How could I be aware of such a thing at the tender age of nine? Perhaps because I had not yet been jaded by this fallen world?…I really don’t know. My dad used to tell me a lot of things as a kid, most of which I could not understand, but when he simply told me about Jesus I knew it was true. It was the one time he managed to relay something to me in terms I could grasp. Imagine my surprise when God literally entered the depths of my heart upon an innocent child’s request. A most pleasant surprise indeed.

         So sudden!

     So unexpected!

And the peace was immediate. Lying on my little belly, crying out to Jesus to come into my heart and then Him responding in the most literal of ways. The energy was immense! It shot right through my back, directly into my heart (just like I had asked) and then spread throughout my entire tiny frame with such warmth and love…well, it’s beyond words. After that I knew without a doubt that Jesus was with me. I had been sealed by the Holy Spirit.

Ephesians 1:13-14

13 In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, 14 who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory.

My brother once suggested that is was merely endorphins I felt that night…nothing supernatural. But no, big brother, that was not the work of endorphins…especially when one is not expecting to feel anything but the wetness of her tear stained pillow.

Inadequate

I need to be baptized in the Holy Spirit. I do believe that’s what is missing. Can’t understand why I haven’t received this promise of God. It’s by grace that He freely gives yet I can’t help but think it’s me.

I feel inadequate as a Christian without this anointing in my life; as though I’m an artist without any hands to create.

I lack.

It’s like I’ve been trying to do it on my own; using whatever I have in the natural to accomplish what only the Father can do through me by His power…His anointing. I have yet to receive His power and I desperately need it. I became born again 35 years ago. I know I received the Holy Spirit then but I have not been baptized in the Holy Spirit. There is a difference. I want to be able to pray in the Spirit but I am still not able. What’s wrong with me?

Am I under a curse? Is my husband under a curse? I do think we are both under a curse. I feel there is something blocking me from fully receiving all the Father has to give. I feel so frustrated and useless. I want ALL the Father has to give. I want to be baptized in the Holy Spirit AND in fire. I want Him to burn up and relinquish all the “gunk” right out of me. I want to be able to operate in all the gifts, as the Spirit wills. I want to be useful in the kingdom.

I will not stop seeking. I will not stop asking. I will stay hungry for all God has for me. I will receive because God is faithful and keeps all His promises.

 

AFTERTHOUGHT…

After rewriting about my experience of becoming born again, I find myself wondering if that experience was indeed a baptism in the Holy Spirit? Did I receive Jesus AND become baptized in the Holy Spirit simultaneously? Did I just not understand what had happened because I was so young and had no one to help teach me?

…But I had no evidence of speaking in tongues…is that the only evidence there is of being baptized in the Holy Spirit? So many questions…

It does say in 1 Corinthians 12…

“… 27 Now you are the body of Christ, and each of you is a member of it. 28 And in the church God has appointed first of all apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then workers of miracles, and those with gifts of healing, helping, administration, and various tongues. 29 Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Do all work miracles? 30 Do all have gifts of healing?

DO ALL SPEAK IN TONGUES?

Do all interpret? 31 But eagerly desire the greater gifts.

And now I will show you a way that is beyond comparison.”

Reading this confuses me a bit since it seems to imply that not everyone will speak in tongues, or at least that’s how I seem to be interpreting it to mean. It’s often taught in the church that speaking in tongues is evidence of the baptism in the Holy Spirit. The first baptism in the Holy Spirit was on Pentecost in the book of Acts and EVERYONE spoke in tongues that day. Also, in Acts 19: 6, tongues and prophesy seem to be the immediate evidence…

“… 5 On hearing this, they were baptized into the name of the Lord Jesus. 6 And when Paul laid his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came upon them, and they spoke in tongues and prophesied…”

I came across this article and I think it further answers my questions…

https://bibleresources.org/baptism-in-the-holy-spirit/

I think this excerpt from the above link describes me well and I have been asking my Heavenly Father for this baptism. I will not stop asking until I finally receive this promise.

“…The baptism in the Holy Spirit is a crisis experience just as our initial conversion experience was. We cannot be gradually baptized in the Holy Ghost, just as we cannot be gradually baptized in water. Certainly we can be gradually filled with God’s Spirit, but one day that “filling” will spill over into a baptism or complete immersion in the Holy Ghost. Many believe they need not ask for this experience because they think they receive the Holy Spirit at conversion. While this is true in the sense that the Holy Spirit comes upon us, and in us, to plant the seed of life in Christ, it is not true that we are completely filled with His Spirit unless we ask for it. “…How much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?” (Luke 11:13).

Many people have been “born again” and have the Holy Spirit working in their lives, but have never received the baptism in the Holy Ghost which equips them for service and gives them the power needed to overcome in Christ…”

 

 

Thankful For Jesus

 

“…Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”   

-Matthew 11:28-30

 

Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
    and do not lean on your own understanding.
In all your ways acknowledge him,
    and he will make straight your paths.

-Proverbs 3:5-6 

Here I Go

I gave my two weeks notice yesterday.

I hadn’t planned on giving it so soon but, after a mass secretion of tears and a talking-to with my husband, we decided it probably best to just get out of there. Although I have a peace about my decision I still feel sad at the same time. I wish I could have gone back to three days a week. I can handle three, as I said to Mike yesterday at the end of the work day. I wanted to be sure I spoke with him before I left to make sure we were on the same page as to when my official last day would be. I also just wanted to have a nice chat.

So I told him I didn’t want to leave on a bad note, to which he responded in such a way as to imply “Don’t be silly!” And I’m not leaving on a bad note, which is good. We had a good talk. I started off by thanking him for my time there. I said how I had reflected a bit and understand why he can’t let me go back to three days a week. Said I can see how it would be more beneficial to him to hire someone who is willing to work full time (no response from him…crickets…but he does that sometimes; super awkward).

I spoke of how this job has been good for me to which he emphatically replied,

          “Oh, I agree!”

I mentioned how it has helped me get out of a “self-destructive rut” by giving me a much needed routine, but I feel it’s now time to move on. I cannot physically or mentally handle more than three days a week; it has become too much. Even Rick says,

                           “Your not wired that way.”

And I suppose he’s right. I’m an artist. I don’t adhere well to what’s considered a normal work week…working for someone else. I get restless.

Mike asked me what I would do now and I told him my home plans and how I need to “get my house in order.” Not sure if he understood…you know, because crickets (and his wife, Kathy, must not relay our private conversations back to him?) I said that I do hope he will still call me for vinyl work as he has in the past to which he responded, “Of course!” So, that’s good. Before they hired me as an employee I would sometimes do side work for them on my own…good money when it can be had.

So, today is Friday, the day of the week I don’t work, and my body hurts. I have aches in my wrists and arms from all the folding of corrugated plastic boxes I’ve been working on most of the week. My lower back hurts as well…too much standing. I suppose it’s good that I only have two weeks left, but I’m still sad. I’m afraid to lose the routine. I seem to do better when someone else is expecting me someplace. I want to be able to do the same for myself as I’ve done for others. I’m just nervous because I’ve yet to master this thing called self-discipline. I need to finally show myself and God that I CAN make a schedule for myself and keep it. But I do think having followed a schedule for the last fourteen months has been good training. As my co-worker and friend, Laura, put it…

“I think this job has been a stepping stone for you.”

I just thought a three day work week would have helped me stay on track as far as going to bed early and getting up early. I’m worried about losing this structure. And, to be honest, I’m sad about not being around my co-workers anymore. I’ll miss the camaraderie. As an introvert, I have found this job to be quite beneficial as far having to interact with people on a regular basis (especially my two lovely friends that I like to hang out with at break times and lunch). This has kept me from withdrawing from life; hence the “self-destructive rut” comment mentioned earlier.

There’s still a part of me hoping they will tell me they’ve changed their minds; that they’ve thought some more on it and would I still like to work for them three days a week?

Oh, Lord Jesus, please help me with this. Let Your will be done in my situation; in my life. Please help me to do what I need to do for myself regardless of this outcome. I just want to do the right thing. Perhaps if I still stayed on for three days a week that wouldn’t be completely stepping out in faith; I’d be putting my faith into a false sense of security instead of letting go and giving it all to You? All I know is that I want Your best for me, not mine…whatever that looks like. I want to receive all You have for me, Lord, so…

here I go.

Biding My Time

Spoke to Kathy first thing Monday morning. Asked if I could go back to three days a week. She said they’d have to discuss it. It took until the end of today for anyone to tell me the verdict. Her husband, Mike, called me into his office at the end of the work day.

“So Jon tells me you want to go back to three days a week”

             ….he said.

I’ll just cut to the chase…He won’t let me go back to three days a week. Says the circumstances have changed. Says they’re busy now. I guess they’d rather lose me altogether and try to hire someone willing to work full time rather than let me only work three days a week. Apparently I’m not worth it to them (that was my take anyway) and I suppose I get it…it’s only business. But still, it doesn’t make me feel too great. I didn’t have too much to say; was too busy trying like hell to hold back the tears (wasn’t very successful). I learned a valuable lesson; your bosses are NEVER your friends. No matter how nice they may be or how safe you feel confiding in them or even laughing with them…at the end of the day..they are still only your boss, NOT your friend.

Whatever. I was never meant to be a factory worker anyway. I knew this was just temporary. But my heart is still heavy regardless…I will miss my new friends.

Now I’m just biding my time until I can use my insurance to get my eyes checked…then I’m gone.

Doggy Snouts

“Part-timers make less than full-timers.”

I had no idea of this fact. Why didn’t I know this?!?!

Back in July two new people had been hired and as I worked along side one of them we got to talking about all sorts of things. Among the many things I learned about this new-comer, one of them was how much she made at her old job of twenty years.

“They used to make up to 23-24 bucks an hour at Sam’s Club, but new management is pushing them all out. I had to take a $7 pay cut to work here.”

Without even realizing what she had just told me I empathized with her and said how much that must suck. It wasn’t until the next morning as I was slowly waking that my eyes suddenly popped wide open with the realization of what she had actually said! That’s when I did a little math and came to the conclusion that she made $2.50 to $3.50 more an hour than me!

“But that’s not fair!”

                                         …I thought to myself.

Then I tried to rationalize it… Well, let’s see… she had bargaining chips, a way to haggle. She had twenty years of employment under her belt and maybe she can even drive the forklift? Or maybe it’s because they’re friends? All these thoughts were racing through my mind as I struggled to make sense of this CLEAR injustice!

And then, one day as we were working along side each other, it somehow came up again.

“I’m sure you make more than me”

                                                                    …she said, looking across at me with certainty as we folded a giant cardboard box together.

“Well, actually…..”

I then explained to her how I came to the realization of what she had actually shared with me previously. When I gave her my estimated numbers she corrected me and told me exactly what she makes…$1.50 more an hour than me. That’s $2.50 more an hour to start than I first made when I started. She was very apologetic about having told me this. She insisted it was done innocently (yes, innocent…but still a rookie mistake). I told her not to feel bad, that I know she didn’t mean to spill the beans and not to worry about it.

“Is this going to be a problem for you?”

                                                                          …and I said,

“Wouldn’t it be for you?!?!”

                                         …OK, I didn’t really say that…but I should have…

                                                           …what I really said was…

“Well, it IS messing with my head.”

But I told her not to worry about it. She even said she wondered if she should maybe tell them what she had accidentally done, but I told her not to.

So, for the last two months I’ve been torturing myself with thoughts of injustice. “We do the same job yet they make more money than me?!? That’s so not fair!” Then two weeks ago, first thing in the morning, I LOST IT. Found out I had assembled some boxes wrong and had to re-do them. It wasn’t really a big deal but I made it into one; throwing a little temper tantrum as I re-did each box. My supervisor came over and I immediately lost my shit; started crying like the big ‘ol baby that I am. He was pretty awesome about it though….I must say. I now call him Mr. Zen. He explained to me, with the calmest voice I’ve ever heard, how he’s messed up stuff before that wasn’t salvageable and it’s OK.

“It’s NOT OK!”

                          …I cried.

I continued on about how stupid I am because I can’t even put a simple box together correctly and what the hell am I even doing here?!?! I’m 44 years old and I work in a factory and no wonder I’m one of the lowest payed people here (yup…I went there). He continued to calm me down with the coolest, zennest (shut up. It’s a word now) voice by insisting I’m not stupid and it was an easy mistake to make and it’s still fixable…no money lost. I apologized for my melt down and said it’s obviously more than this stupid mistake that has me so upset…He concurred.

So, as you can see, I wasn’t coping well with my new found knowledge of this wage gap. I had this speech rehearsed in my mind about how I was going to ask for more money without telling on my co-worker (no need to throw anyone under the bus). I was simply going to mention how I initially thought I’d only be working this job for 2 months since that was what I was originally hired for; a part-time, summer job. I figured three days a week would still give me time to work on my house the rest of the week (the downstairs tenants had just FINALLY moved out and, more than a year later, the place STILL needs A LOT of work). But then the part-time only lasted a week and I graciously gave up my entire summer to work full-time to help y’all out instead of getting much needed work on my house done and it never even occurred to me to negotiate my pay because I thought it was only a temporary job anyway but I ended up staying on and, ALSO, I HAD NO IDEA I’d be working major machinery and yada yada yada.

Yeah, that speech never happened. For two days in a row I could not work up the guts to speak to them. The other day I sat in my car after work for a good half hour trying to get up the nerve to go back inside to give this persuasive speech of mine…

BUT I JUST.

COULDN’T.

DO IT.

Then Rick ended up calling me as I sat in my car, now crying because, poor me.

“Never show your weakness.”

                                                            …he said.

So I took my puffy, red face home to cry some more. What triggered the upset on this day was from being asked to work Friday because they were really busy. I agreed even though I desperately did not want to! They had already gotten me to give up my three day work week for four which would qualify me for health insurance (30 hours a week is required to qualify).

My heart sank that day.

Not only would I be losing $100 a week to this racket called Health Insurance, but now I’d be committed to four days a week. Up until that point I had been happy as a clam, quite content with the money I was making as long as no one officially offered me health insurance. I was even willing to work extra days when needed because it was still on my terms. But apparently that was too confusing and they wanted to lock me down for four (he originally tried for five). So I struggled a REALLY LONG TIME with that one. I only took the insurance for my husband but it was difficult losing $400 a month. It feels like I’m just flushing money down the toilet, but once it was officially offered I felt I had the responsibility to take it.

So, yesterday it all came to a head. I went into the office to pet Ivory the dog. I could feel the emotion welling up inside and Kathy soon asked if I was OK. I said no and ended up letting it all out (but not the stupid speech I had planned. That would have been, well… stupid) I just sort of said how I didn’t feel I had any incentive to work on Friday and that I had a strong hunch that the new people were making more money than me. She then tells me…

“Part-timers make less than full-timers.”

Oh man, how I wish I had known that!!! I feel so stupid now. All those weeks of unnecessary self-torture. I still don’t understand how we could be doing the exact same job, side by side, yet they make more than me. But after some reflection I suppose it’s fair since I don’t have to be there five days a week. But for me, four FEELS like five just the same! But I digress….

She also pointed out the sweet bonuses I get twice a year. She had a good point (and a friend at work had also pointed this fact out earlier, but at the time I still couldn’t see it. Guess I was blinded by the CLEAR injustice of it all). I have since done the math. Those bonuses ARE quite generous. It pretty much balances out. So yeah, did I mention how stupid I now feel?

Anyway, she told me to stay home on Friday and get some rest and let her know what I want to do come Monday. She said if this job has become too much for me mentally then it’s not worth it. My health is more important, which is also what Rick has said to me (he also said I got a taste of money and got greedy…I think there may be some truth to that!). All of this was followed up with a big ‘ol hug (she’s good for those). And I know they’re both right, it’s more important to get my own house in order than to live in misery and ruin my health. And, I have to say, while walking away from that conversation I physically felt a heaviness I can only describe as the release of actual stress leaving my body. That says a lot.

So, yeah…I need a home.

I’m tired of just existing in a space. It’s been a decade of this and I can’t handle living this way anymore.

This job has taken all my energy away so that when I am home I’m too tired and unmotivated to get anything done. My marriage has been an ongoing struggle and the downstairs of my house is far from the goal of livable.

I’m breaking down mentally AND physically. My body hurts from this job. The long hours of standing all day and other physical exertions required are wreaking havoc on my body. I have a lot of pain. My chiropractor agreed with my thought of returning to a three day work week…”doctor’s orders” he said. I just can’t handle more than that…it pulls me away from what needs to get done and it wears me down.

I was considering leaving all together but I don’t want to go back to having zero income….that would be stupid. But, a three day work week would still be doable until Rick can get my work-space built. Then I can start producing art and make some real money (you know, because I’m so greedy). But, until then, I appreciate the routine and discipline of having to be someplace.

So, of course I have to drop the health insurance, but we’ll figure it out. I have to trust God that He has this all worked out. I do feel this has all been an important season in my life and perhaps it’s coming to an end, resulting in the bearing of good fruit (pruning always comes first). I’ve definitely learned some big lessons in all of this. One of them being, don’t let stuff build up inside you to the point of emotional breakdown…but, IF YOU DO, make sure there’s an awesome dog close by to comfort you in your distress. There’s nothing like looking into Ivory’s big, round eyes of concern as she tickles your sad countenance with her whiskered, doggy snout.

15 Years Today…Miracle?

Miracle? Nah, just unwilling to give up on this thing called marriage. It’s far from perfect but I’m not willing to let go of fifteen years of living, regardless of how difficult it has been.

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“What if my willingness to stay in this thing and keep pushing through these trials will eventually bring BREAKTHROUGH because I didn’t give up?”

Church Attendance: To Go Or Not To Go

Still struggling with the whole church attendance thing. I woke up in time this morning. I could have gotten up but I instead chose to stay in bed despite not feeling tired. I even made sure my clothes were laid out the night before (nothin’ fancy…I’m a jeans and t-shirt kind of gal for the most part).

But now I feel guilty.

I wish I could figure this out! I wish I was still hungry for that place. I used to not feel right if I missed a Sunday. I needed to start my week out “right.” I used to be able to raise my arms up high during worship, too, but lately it’s as if they’re glued to my sides. I’m still hungry for God but the thought of having to go to the actual church building full of people leaves a lot to be desired for me these days. Is that sin? Am I to go regardless of how I feel? I tend to think so but I’m torn and I’m still asking God to set me straight on all this weekly church going business.

Maybe I’ve done all the growing I can possibly do there (despite their new home “grow groups”). Or maybe because my life’s circumstances haven’t changed I’m growing weary? I admit it would be nice if I didn’t have to go alone. It would be nice if I had a husband who loved the Lord and was an encouragement in my walk with God. But whatever the reason, I just don’t have that need, that yearning, to be there every single week like I once had. It’s been five years and I’ve changed a lot and I’ve learned a lot in that time. Now I’m at a place where I can’t seem to look past certain teachings and views among the pastoral staff and fellow brethren.

But I do try.

Yet it seems there are certain themes I can’t look past and I wonder why these things don’t bother them the way they do me. I don’t want to feel divided. I love a lot of the people there but I can’t have the kind of discussions that I’m looking to have. I need more and it seems we are on different pages of different books at times. I sometimes wonder if we’re reading from the same bible! I’m not into “faking it till I make it.” I’m not into “forcing the gift of tongues” until it becomes an actual real gift. That kind of defeats the idea of what a gift is…doesn’t it?

Gah!

Were we ever really a family? I guess. Technically they are my brothers and sisters in Christ, but it’s as if I was never even there. It kind of feels as though my absence means nothing. I haven’t left any kind of a dent there in my absence. The wheels will still keep turning whether I’m there or not. And that’s fine. I don’t expect the place to cave in on itself because Amazing Mindy isn’t there to keep it structurally sound. All I’m saying is people are funny. People come and go and the world keeps ah-turnin’.

Upon attending, I tend to feel more annoyed (or perhaps frustrated is a better choice of word) these days than I do nourished and encouraged. And isn’t that the point of going to church? To be lifted up and encouraged by fellow believers? Yet I still feel bad for not forcing myself to go today. I’ve been averaging about once or twice a month at this point. I just want to please God and be right with Him but am still confused on what He wants from me…meaning, does He want my heart completely in it or just my body in physical attendance? I suspect the latter? Shouldn’t obedience override feelings?

Can’t get past the feelings.

There was a time when I did force myself to go despite not “feeling” like it and usually I would be glad that I ended up going. But that doesn’t seem to be the case anymore. Even when I didn’t really want to go my heart was still in it to make myself go, if that makes any sense whatsoever. But lately, when I make myself go regardless of how I feel, I end up wishing that I had stayed home after all.

Well, regardless of whether going by feelings is right or wrong, I’m not the type to do something if it’s not genuine. Perhaps God wired me that way and so I should just keep plugging away at trying to figure this thing out. I’m still seeking the Lord. That hasn’t stopped. And I have great conversations about God at work with my two new believing friends. So I guess I’ll just accept His forgiveness today if indeed I did sin by not going, and I’ll try to go next week. In the mean time I hope to receive an answer directly from Him on this whole mess in which I seem to find myself swirling.

The Return

Finally went back to church today. It was good. Lots of warm welcomes and hugs. No condemnation. Only one person came off a bit annoying by making a little too much of my return…wanting to make sure I understood how good it was to see me back, as if I had “back-slidden” but, praise the Lord! She’s back! I wouldn’t have expected any less from this particular individual, but I digress (I’m sure she truly means well)… Anywho, it was nice to catch up with everyone.

I even went up to someone I’d never seen before to say hi. I have to admit that this is not something I would normally do (not a go-getter by nature) but I had locked eyes with her earlier and wondered to myself if this person could be an angel in disguise. I know that may sound strange but the bible does say that we may have entertained angels without ever knowing. I’d hate to miss the chance to greet an angel incognito! I was compelled to say hello when I saw her sitting alone. So I said that I don’t usually come up to people I don’t know because I’m shy but I wanted to say hi. She was very nice. An older looking woman. Her name was Jean and it turned out to be her very first visit, so I’m glad I said hello. And I think she was, too. I have a feeling that no one else would have approached her and she was there by herself.

Anyways, the message was given by someone I refer to as LB (Little Brother) and he did a great job. Music at the beginning was great, as well. Since it was Palm Sunday all the songs were centered around Jesus, which was much appreciated. Told myself I wasn’t going to cry on my way there when I realized I’d forgotten to bring a paper towel with me. That’s always been the norm with me since I typically cry during worship and paper towels are far sturdier than tissues. But, yeah, I thought to myself “Nah. I won’t cry today.”

WRONG.

I cried. Which is a good thing, actually. Really felt the presence of the Holy Spirit. Made my lip quiver.

Oh, and Martha (the pastor’s wife and assistant pastor) told me she had a dream about me last night. Said I was wearing lipstick and makeup (I almost NEVER wear makeup unless it’s a wedding…too much work) and I looked really beautiful. Then I wiped it all off and said that I didn’t want to be beautiful. Told my husband about it after church and he said, “That sounds about right.”

I figure I’ll probably keep coming back, but not next week. I know, I know, it’ll be Easter but I just can’t stand being squished like sardines in a can and that’s what it’s like there every year.

Maybe it IS me. Maybe it’s not. Maybe it’s both.

This is the longest I’ve ever not gone to church since I started attending back in the spring of 2014. It feels like it’s going on about six weeks now? Been trying to evaluate just why it is I go there in the first place. I know why I started to go five years ago, but why do I go now?

Is it to specifically be around other Christians?

Is it a worship thing?

      …Or an obedience thing? …but shouldn’t my heart be right?

Does God want me to go JUST to go?

Am I sinning by missing so many Sundays in a row?

According to my pastor my absence shows “the breakdown of the value of commitment” and it’s “an indicator that something’s amiss.” …”It’s not good! It’s not good!” (taken from a sermon I listened to online because I was trying to catch up on what I’ve missed)

Yes. Something truly IS amiss. But is it ALL ME?

I just don’t know anymore. I’ve been feeling frustrated for some time now about certain things and I just can’t seem to make myself go there. Lately, the act of going feels forced; not genuine. A couple weeks ago, the night before church, I began to feel extremely anxious and sick over the thought of going. And I don’t want to go if my heart isn’t right. That’s just who I am….or is that a lame excuse and I’m really just not committed to my God anymore? Well, I don’t see it that way, even if the leadership of my church might. I haven’t turned my back on God and I’m thankful for His patience and understanding and so glad He’ll always meet me right where I’m at…no shaming needed.

I admit I haven’t been up for the social aspect of it, either.  My least favorite part of service is that awkward fifteen minute break between worship and the message. I’m not an extremely extroverted kind of gal and I’m tired of trying to rewire myself to be someone I am not. I tried the food pantry thing…that lasted MAYBE a year. Then I tried the soup kitchen thing…that lasted maybe two. I cleaned bathrooms for three and a half years until, like I said earlier, my heart wasn’t in it anymore. Of course, getting a full time job made it rather difficult continuing with the bathrooms every weekend. It became too much. But, in all those things, I learned a lot about myself and grew because of it. BUT, walking into a crowded room whilst being in desperate need of finding my seat so I am “safe” has never truly left me. I was told once to “get over myself” when I tried to talk about the social anxiety I, at times, struggle with. And I have been trying to push through it almost every Sunday for five years now.

And what’s with this guilt thing? Why is it I feel so guilty for not going? Is it because I feel I’m letting God down or people? I know I fall so short from who God intended me to be. I’m very aware of all that I lack. I fail every day. I’m always concerned about being RIGHT with Him and I’m having trouble separating works from grace and understanding if I’m acceptable to Him just as I am. I’m still trying to wrap my head around what God’s grace truly means and how deep His love goes. I know I could be and do so much more if only I could receive much needed deliverance from God only knows what. I need Him to remove this barrier that keeps me from freely receiving all that He has for me. In my head I know He could do it anytime through anyone or even NO one. Yet I still long to attend an Encounter Ministries meeting. Go figure.

I’ve been feeling quite alone there, which wasn’t always the case, or maybe it was but my focus was on other things at the time. Or perhaps it’s just always been due to my own insecurities. Well, whatever the case, despite myself, I’ve grown quite a bit since I started attending this church. I’m not the same broken person I was when I first walked through those church doors. And that’s a good thing! And that’s also thanks TO this church, so don’t think that has gone unrecognized! But now I feel farther away from the mindsets of everyone else there. We just don’t seem to be on the same page. I don’t understand how, if we all have the same Holy Spirit living inside us, we don’t all share the same theology?

If there is only one truth, the ABSOLUTE truth, then why can’t we all agree on

         WHAT.

            IT.

               IS?!?!

There are many things I strongly disagree with but can’t talk to anyone about because I’m just told why I’m wrong. It almost comes across as though they are on a level of understanding I just haven’t reached and I’m just the silly rabbit who didn’t know Trix were for kids. Even trying to explain my absence from church was quickly interjected with a “it’s demonic” comment. It was rather insulting, to be honest. I’m tired of trying to reach out and talk to them about things because they speak in such a way that, by the end of the conversation, I walk away without any peace or conclusion (not every time but many a time) and sometimes even more confusion. Up until now, I’ve tried to not let it affect my attendance and I don’t want to ever assume that I’m right and they’re wrong. We all believe in Jesus Christ. That’s what should matter the most…right? I don’t want to be guilty of an arrogant attitude or of being “unteachable” as some there like to say. But these inner struggles have been present within me since mid 2016 and I continue to pray about it all, yet have not found peace in any of it.

There’s been times when I felt “brushed off” when I needed to hear their take on things I felt were important. Instead I got zero response after I was told they’d definitely check it out and let me know their thoughts. They don’t see me as someone who has discernment, in my opinion. When I say I feel the Holy Spirit warning me of something I’m told that’s not the Holy Spirit but my own fears. And it doesn’t help that I struggle to find the right words to express my thoughts and end up fumbling what it is I need to convey. What’s also frustrating is that one of the sermons was about the gift of discernment and approaching leadership when something doesn’t feel right. I don’t feel safe to do that very thing.

I don’t feel a deep connection with anyone there, it’s just a surface kind of thing. I do love many there but I just don’t feel understood. I am most definitely misunderstood many a time and I wish they could all truly know the real me. But I don’t feel as though I can truly be myself there.

Reading this back I see how I would be called out on how many times I’ve said “I” or “I feel.” Yup. It’s ALL ABOUT ME.

Maybe it IS me.

Maybe it’s not.

Maybe it’s both.

DISCLAIMER: Of course I don’t believe anyone there is purposefully trying to come off in the ways I’ve expressed and that my feelings and interpretations could all very well be ON ME and no one else.

I pray for the baptism of the Holy Spirit and FIRE for myself and anyone in my church who has also not yet received these promises of God Almighty. May the Lord remove everything in me that needs to go and may He bless the leadership of my church as well as fellow churchgoers and open their eyes to anything they may currently be blind to, as well as myself, in the Lord Jesus Christ’s name. Amen.

Eternal Perspective

It’s amazing how much hairstylists know about us, isn’t it ?!?! I mean, they have all the dirt on everyone! Even more than bartenders, in my opinion. For some reason, once we sit in that magical chair, we suddenly have a case of verbal diarrhea. I don’t know what kind of witchcraft my particular hairstylist is into but I’m seriously considering buying a Flowbee.

This last visit began with her telling me,

“So you know I left him, right?”

And thus began the saga of her marriage and divorce (which is still in litigation, by the way). We shared similar experiences as far as living in a marriage without affection. The only difference is that, it turns out, her husband was a narcissist dink who withheld affection out of manipulation and spite. My husband is far from a narcissist and he doesn’t intentionally withhold affection out of some twisted agenda. Affection just doesn’t come naturally to him. He shows his love through working…through “doing”.

So the topic of “leaving our husbands” comes up and I basically said that I didn’t feel the Lord was prompting me to leave, so I’m still in it. And it wouldn’t be so simple for me to leave anyway. I don’t have the financial means like she has, being a salon owner and all. But she would keep responding to almost everything I said with, “I thought that, too.” So annoying, but I understand she’s on a major “happy buzz” being only three and half weeks into this new life of freedom. She’s actually glowing and that may be due to the dozen roses I can see on her desk from her new love interest….But I digress….She kept mentioning that she stayed in her marriage as long as she did (8 or 9 years) because of her faith in God. So when I chimed back in about my own situation, I said that I know God can do anything; He can restore my marriage…He can change my heart and my husband’s as well. Her response?

LAUGHTER.

As she was diffusing my amazeball curls, I watched her reflection laugh at me while saying, “I can’t believe you really think that!”

WOW. Really?!?!

When I appeared slightly offended she tried to make sure she understood what I was saying; to make sure I haven’t been waiting endlessly for God to change my husband. I said God can change MY heart for my husband AND vice versa.

GOD. CAN. DO. ANYTHING.

I’m not angry. I think it’s rather sad, actually, that she doesn’t realize

just

how

big

our God is! She clearly has a different outlook on life than I do; a different worldview. She talks about her “faith” but, from the sounds of it, she doesn’t really know Him. My God is a BIG God. Could I have walked away from my marriage a long time ago? SURE! But this life was never meant to be all about us and our own wants and comforts. Yes, God does care about the desires of our own hearts, but He also knows what is best for us in the long-run. He exists outside of time. He can see far ahead and knows just what needs to happen when and where in order for His perfect plan to come to fruition. What if my willingness to stay in this thing and keep pushing through these trials will eventually bring BREAKTHROUGH because I didn’t give up? What if, by my staying, Rick gains true salvation and revelation because I persevered; because I stayed and continued to grow in my own walk with the Lord? What if my own life wasn’t ever about me but meant to be a light for someone else?

What if?

By my staying, God is able to prune me while I learn about my OWN character flaws…and believe me, there are PAH-lenty. What if a tenderness and a patience I never demonstrated before in our marriage suddenly becomes the fruit produced from my own pruning? Could that be what sparks a change in Rick’s own walk? And how amazing would it be for God Almighty to be glorified through the restoration of our marriage?!?!

I’m trying to grow in the Lord and become all He meant me to be since before the beginning of time. It’s difficult to grow when you walk AWAY from the fire. How can you become refined when you walk away from the fire? How do you become stronger when you give up on something because you just don’t want to stay in it anymore? What if, by my staying and striving to seek God through it all, THAT is what makes the difference in Rick’s life? Isn’t he worth it? And isn’t marriage more than just wanting what you can get from your spouse? Isn’t marriage a covenant which means a whole lot more than whether the other person makes you happy enough?

Yes, I’ve been through a lot of deep, deep sadness. I had another bout of uncontrollable sobs a few days ago. I went to bed having cried most of the night. Then I woke up in the middle of the night crying. I couldn’t stop. I tried to hide in the bathroom but I still woke Rick up. The next morning he called to check on me and I was still crying. I begged him to “please try and hug me more.” And he did when he got home (it was also Valentine’s Day). He hugged me…once…and that was it, but we did go out to dinner. It’s hard to live this way. I bottle it all up and then, after some time, it slowly makes its way back up to the surface and I break down all over again. This has been the cycle for YEARS. But I CHOOSE to persevere until the Lord clearly shows me it’s time to do something else. If He wants me to leave I will know on the Lord’s timing, not mine. And that’s what I told my hairstylist. Because if I make some hasty decision based on my own feelings, I fear I may miss something big that God already has planned. I don’t want to miss out on what God has for me because I just couldn’t wait anymore. And besides, nothing I could choose to do on my own could ever compare to what God can do for me.

Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.

-Proverbs 3:5-6

The bible doesn’t speak of perseverance for nothing…

Not only that, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.…

-Romans 5:3-4

It encourages us to to stay strong; to not not grow weary or lose heart.

The one who sows to please his flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; but the one who sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life. Let us not grow weary in well-doing, for in due time we will reap a harvest, if we do not give up.

-Galatians 6:8-9

Even if it takes my whole life for Rick to receive true revelation from God…my rewards are ETERNAL. So I will continue to live with an eternal perspective, not a “I want to be happy NOW” perspective. But PLEASE don’t misunderstand me…Not saying she shouldn’t have left her husband. That’s not what I’m saying at all! Besides the fact that it sounds like HE’S the one who left first and HE wanted the divorce, she did all she could to stay in it and she most definitely seems better off without him…and it shows!

There’s no one-size-fits-all answer for everyone. And if abuse, whether verbal/emotional or physical is involved, one should NEVER stay in something so toxic (had to throw that disclaimer in). Her circumstances are far different from mine and I most definitely want happiness for her AND her daughter, just as I hope happiness for myself as well. My point here has always been about her (and most people for that matter) misunderstanding of who our Creator is and just what He can really do…if we let Him while doing our part. I pray she has an encounter with the Lord Jesus like she never thought possible. My hope is for her to experience the reality of who God REALLY is. That’s my hope for everyone.

We now live in a world of social media; a world of “look at me” profiles on facebook and twitter and insta-me. A world driven by self-love mantras and me-first attitudes. It’s easy to become jealous by what we see posted by people who seem to have it all together (preaching to myself right now). Just remember that there’s always more to a profile than meets the eye. Having great pictures and positive posts or nice profile pics doesn’t mean they are truly happy on the inside. They are choosing to represent themselves in the way by which they want to be perceived…and we’re all guilty of it at one time or another.

There’s so much more to this life than our own happiness and selfish desires. More to life than our own personal gain. Remember also that if Jesus had lived on this earth to only satisfy His own desires of happiness, He never would have given Himself up as the final sacrifice for all mankind. There would be no salvation for any of us today. Without Him we would have nothing to live for. The question is, how do you define living?

Thank you, Jesus.

Tee Hee

A Heart Over My Head

I had seen it right before I pulled into my space.

“Oh! A butterfly!”…

I said to myself as I quickly stopped short. But then in a split second decision I decided that I may just miss him and that he was probably dying anyway as it is unusual for a butterfly to be sitting on a parking space, so I parked my car. Well, when I went over and picked up this Monarch butterfly I soon realized he had been slightly smushed (only due to someone else pointing that fact out to me).

“It was because of me?!?!”

As I gently cradled him in my murderous hands I could see his antennae still moving ever so slightly. If only I had pulled into the spot next to him he could have died peacefully in his last hours of life! Now, because of me, he was suffering. I was horrified that I had done such a thing.

“I killed him!”

On my way into church I laid him underneath a flowering bush but the sadness was welling up deep inside of me and soon enough I was sobbing silently to myself in my seat during worship. I cried to my Heavenly Father about how silly I am for being so deeply affected by a pretty, stupid bug.

“It’s just a bug!”

Why was I so desperately sad? As I sat, soaking in my puddle of woe, it felt as though a heavy blanket of sorrow had been draped over me; all I could do was cry. I felt small; childlike. In fact, I couldn’t STOP crying and when break time came I was soon surrounded by three amazing friends. One whom I think of as a little brother came over and put his arm around me and said the perfect prayer. Another came over because she said she saw a heart over my head.

A heart.

That says it all. I had been asking God why I care so much. What came to me was that that’s the way He made me; the way He wired me. I have a sensitive heart for all of His creations. I have a sensitive heart, period. When I asked why I cared so much about a “stupid bug” another one had said because it is one of God’s creations. Yup, confirmation. It was nice to be surrounded by so much love and prayer. We all soon agreed that this was meant to help draw something out of me that morning. That perhaps I just needed to cry.

Now fast forward to next Sunday morning. I had a dream right before I got up for church. In this dream it was around dawn and I found myself walking towards the warm, orangey glow of the morning sun warming the colorfully patterned curtains of a window. As I stood in front of this window a butterfly came fluttering through these curtains. I gasped with excitement for I knew that if I held out my hands it would land in them…and that’s exactly what it did! Its wings were floppy and brightly colored with similar colors of the Monarch but with a very different pattern. And it seemed to have more than two wings. It looked very similar to a flower with long floppy petals. Then another one came flying through the window and this one had the head of a white, fluffy kitten! The wings came out from where the ears would have been and then I noticed this “kitterfly” also had the body of a kitten, too! Upon further inspection (because how could it possibly fly with all that weight attached?) I noticed its body somehow seemed to be without a skeletal structure and was sort of translucent as a warm yellowy glow could be seen through its white fluffiness of a body.

It was a very cool dream and I do believe it was from the Lord. To experience this dream the following Sunday was no coincidence. The one true God of all creation chose to comfort me and I am so very grateful.

It’s Nice To Be Busy

Haven’t had time to write since I got a job…not a bad thing! It’s great to have a routine and a reason to get up every day.

Anyways, job is going great. Even got a raise two months in! Was hired for part-time but that only lasted my first week there. I’ve worked full-time all summer until today, that is. Now I can finally get some much needed work done on my house since I’m back to part-time.

As for home life, still not experiencing marital bliss but at least SHE is out of the picture. But he isn’t giving her the cold shoulder for my sake. It’s only because he knows she was using again and this is his way of “punishing” her. Has nothing to do with me, although I’m sure my flip-outs contributed a bit. But at least she is gone.

Started writing something a while back but just haven’t had time to work on it. Funny how having a job will do that. Not complaining!

That’s all for now.

The ‘B’ Saga Continues…

She was upstairs today.

It’s partly my fault. I thought it was OK to leave the door to the downstairs unlocked, in my own home, on my way to work. You see, there’s this really awesome, gigantic refrigerator downstairs that my tenants left behind. I like to keep my lunch in it overnight and then grab it on the way out as I’m leaving for work. So, in my morning rush of a new routine I’ve created, I go down the stairs and then through the bedroom door (which has locks on both sides). We used to keep it closed at all times. Our house is really a one family home but we divided it up in a way where the tenants had the downstairs and we had the upstairs. But now, PRAISE THE LORD, I have the whole house back to myself. So yeah, in the morning I go through this door and close it behind me. But I obviously can’t bolt it from the other side because I like to go out the door of the downstairs kitchen after picking up my lunch from the awesome fridge. It’s easier and it’s quicker and I thought it would be fine. I did think about it for a second…you know, leaving it unlocked with HER staying down there. But I gave her the benefit of the doubt and figured that maybe Rick would notice the door was unlocked when he left an hour later, but that didn’t happen. And I immediately forgot all about it.

So fast forward to when I’m trying to pull into my driveway after work and the gym only to find a car already in my driveway, parked at the end of it. I couldn’t pull in. Had to wait for this person to back out. Had no idea who she was. Then right when I pull in I see B walking out from the back of my house. I motion for her to open my passenger side door so I can say hi to her. She’s all done up in her fish net stockings, pink mini-skirt and blue eyeliner (is blue eyeliner back in style? Haven’t seen that shit since the eighties!) Anyways, I ask if she’s OK and she says yes, halfheartedly. “Trying to stay positive,” she says and then mentions how she doesn’t know how she’s going to get a ride for her mom’s doctor appointment. I ask when it is and she says she doesn’t know, yada, yada, yada (any Seinfeld fans out there?) Then she leaves with this girl that’s been waiting for her in the car.

There’s a lot I could have said to her in that moment but I was real tired form a long day and couldn’t think of anything but going inside to take a shower. But I COULD have mentioned to her how it’s not OK to tell my husband she’s coming over the night before and then never show up. He left the back slider unlocked for her ALL NIGHT. Anyone could have walked right into my house, not to mention how disrespectful it is to tell someone you are coming over only to not show up or even call. We don’t need this BS. My home is not meant for her to come and go whenever she pleases. That’s not how this works.

But I digress…

So I go upstairs and take my shower. Wash my hair. Ahh. Felt so good! Especially on such a humid day. Get out and look for my hairbrush I like to use on wet hair and am baffled to discover it’s no where to be found. Then I suspected it was probably downstairs. Thought Rick may have lent it to her so I trudge down the stairs and head to the bathroom and, sure enough, there it is! I also find one of my towels and a TON of her shit in there as well as the back room where she sleeps sometimes. It totally looks like she lives here!

Rick soon calls me to ask if I want anything at the store and I say “Yeah. How about another brush to replace the one you gave B.” He had no idea what I was talking about! THAT’S when I freaked out! She took it upon herself to go upstairs into my home, my personal space, and help herself to some things. She’s never been upstairs. I don’t let her up there. It hasn’t been worthy of guests in a very long time due to many factors that I’ve discussed in previous posts.  I was horrified at the thought of her poking around up there uninvited. She was in my horrid mess of a bathroom. She was in our bedroom! She took Rick’s phone charger that was next to the bed. She took a brush from the bathroom. I checked to make sure nothing else was missing because, you know…DRUG ADDICT. Rick rushed home without buying anything at the store in a panic. He was afraid she had taken stuff as well and needed to check. But, no…nothing else was missing. He said her text made sense now. She had texted him earlier that she had borrowed a charger and he thought she must have been referring to a friend. He said she knew he was mad at her for not showing up last night and wouldn’t give him any straight answers as to where she had been all night. Sounds like she’s using again. I honestly couldn’t tell by talking to her if she was messed up. I don’t know her well enough to compare how she is to other times. But he was pissed. Gathered up most of her stuff and put it in his car. He then locked the back door.

We’ll see what happens when she tries to come back to find she can’t get in. Sorry, but her coming upstairs and poking around like that just AIN’T KOSHER. I do not want her in my home when neither of us are here anymore. Actually, don’t think I want her back here, PERIOD. I don’t trust her and doing what she did violated the little trust she was slowly building with me. I knew this would turn into a shit show. I knew she would take advantage of this situation and start thinking she could come and go whenever she wants. I told him that. I kept saying, “She lives here!” And he would insist that she didn’t. Well, no more. The only thing I’m willing to do for her now is to give her a ride to rehab.

Purposely Pursue Love

I heard Joyce Meyer say once,

“Love is not a feeling but a decision we make on how we choose to treat other people.”

This seems to fit right in with my current theme on intentionality. In this fallen world we struggle with our own selfish, fleshly wants and desires. But when we believe in Jesus and receive His Holy Spirit we become free from sin. That doesn’t mean we will never sin, though! It just means we are no longer a slave to it. We can intentionally make the choice not to sin. Sin always begins in our mind first. The choice we make on whether or not to entertain this thought dictates the outcome of sinful action or taking the thought captive right then and there. Sometimes, though, I think my mouth works faster than my thought process! (I’m sure that really isn’t true but merely an excuse.) Anyways, I’ve been thinking a lot about this idea of intentionality and it doesn’t just pertain to sin. When I read what it says on love in 1 Corinthians 13…

Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things….

I can’t help but feel I need to be intentionally purposeful in all my actions until it one day becomes effortless, (if that’s even possible). I mean, the goal of the Christian life is to become like Jesus but that most certainly does not happen over night! (Although…after reading ‘Tortured for Christ’ it would appear that many NEW believers showed astounding acts of love to their torturers which, in turn, led them to Christ.) Anyways, I’m sure I will be striving toward this goal until the day I die. BUT, the more I practice the more my heart will change by the grace of God, which is a gift. Yes. God’s grace is a gift.

Galatians 5: 22-24 speaks of the fruits of the Spirit…

22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. 24 And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.

And that’s what God will judge us (as believers) on…the fruit we produce throughout our walk with Him. I’m concerned over this fact because for many years I wasn’t producing anything but selfish thorns and weeds, in my opinion. Now that I’m more aware of what’s important in God’s eyes I want to please Him. Thank God for His patience and mercy because I fear my growth has been agonizingly slow! And sometimes I take many steps backwards rather than forward.

In my marriage I am especially guilty of being ‘irritable and resentful.’ Self-control seems to elude me at times as well as gentleness and kindness. I’m sure there are more desirable fruits I lack but it would take too long to list them here, I’M SURE. I think about the state of my marriage and if this is a test.

  • What if my staying in it is necessary to grow into the faithful Jesus follower I’m meant to be?

  • What if this marriage is meant to test my faith? Perhaps this is a general rule for all marriages.

  • What if all of this isn’t even about me but about showing the love of Christ to Rick? If I leave…if I give up does that mean I failed the test?

  • Am I meant to strive through these circumstances until I learn how to lean entirely on God to the point of overcoming this battle I find myself in?

  • If I can’t show love to my own husband then what does that say about me?

I’m not sure I can say I’m trying my best to intentionally show him love because I do believe I decided in my heart that I didn’t want to try anymore. How do I stay in something I believe my heart walked out on a long time ago? Only God can fix my hardened heart. Only God can heal the pain I’ve allowed to solidify around my heart like a fortress of protection, of self-preservation.

I really don’t know what the answer is.

All I know is that I’m supposed to pursue love as it says in 1 Corinthians 14:1. We are to earnestly desire the spiritual gifts God wants to give us BUT without love they are worthless! The first and most important piece to becoming and receiving all God has for us is choosing love over all else. Love, with a Godly wisdom, should always come first in all we do. I say this only because God’s Word says so. “Pursue love.” It doesn’t say seek all the gifts and then love. Love is indeed an action and not just a feeling. I actually think it’s more an action than it ever was a feeling. Just look at how Jesus suffered for us. Do you think he was feeling all lovey dovey on that cross?!?! NO! He had to prepare Himself for what He was about to do for all mankind. He even asked His Heavenly Father…

42 saying, “Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me. Nevertheless, not my will, but yours, be done.”

Now that’s what I call an intentional act of love! So I will intentionally try to show love to others in whatever form required for that particular circumstance. I know I’m far from perfect. And I’m guilty of knowing what I should do when the Holy Spirit softly nudges me only to choose to look the other way out of fear, doubt, or just plain laziness. I’m sure I will fall many, many more times which saddens me. But as long as I continue to get back up and sincerely repent AND keep trying, I am sure the Lord will bless my diligence however He sees fit. His grace is sufficient.

Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is perfected in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly in my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest on me. 10 That is why, for the sake of Christ, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.…

 

Intentionality

Don’t know how to begin this. I suppose it was back in March when I came across private Facebook messages between Rick and this girl named… we’ll just call her B. Messages like, “Can I borrow some money? I need shoes (heels) for a wedding” or “Thanks for my new airbrush” and him saying “I’ll make you a star. LOL” (funny because he use to say that to me when we first met) or “Wanna get something to eat together later?” and him saying OK. I had no idea who this person was and I was immediately upset by what I was reading. I chose not to say anything and instead continued to check his messages. He wasn’t aware at the time that I was seeing any of this. I then heard his phone go off one night and glanced at it to see that it was HER. I could only see part of the message which read something like, “So I’m sitting at McDonald’s all by myself…” Again, I didn’t say anything. I wanted to see if he would respond to her text. I went back into the bedroom when I saw that he was in there because I knew he was on his phone. When I walked in he pretended to adjust the bed covers as though he were stalling, waiting for me to leave so he could check his phone again. It was clear that he didn’t want me to see him texting. I later asked who he was talking to and he said some guy who wanted him to play pool. Pretty sure that was BS. But maybe that guy did call as well. I really don’t know. All I do know is that he never mentioned HER. But I still chose to keep it to myself and keep an eye on things. But after a few weeks of continually seeing them talking through messenger and seeing that she was texting him ALL THE TIME, and seeing pics of her on Facebook at our land, I finally confronted him. I asked what the deal was with him and this girl, B. He played dumb which pissed me off even more. He was laughing like it was no big deal. Said he had mentioned her to me before. Maybe he had A LONG TIME AGO in passing, but I had no idea how involved their friendship had become. I thought she was just some girl he knew from the Rod and that was it. I also demanded the password to his phone that night of the confrontation to which he has, still to this day, never given me. So, here’s the deal…

She is a drug addict. She has no home. Her family is of no help. She has no ID, no job, and her boyfriend is now in jail. So Rick has taken it upon himself to be her “go-to” whenever she needs a ride, food, and whatever else. She texts him just about everyday…”come get me,” I’m going to kill myself” “where are you” type of stuff. She talks to him more than I do.

I felt betrayed by him. He was keeping this from me which didn’t make it look very good. I know nothing is going on between them but I feel this relationship he’s developed with a 25 (now 26) year old girl is inappropriate, seeing that he is a 55 year old married man. It’s especially inappropriate when you keep it from your wife!

He wants to help her…to save her. Now he’s been bringing her to our house to sleep. The first time he brought her home was because she was acting incoherent at our land. Who knows what she was on (he has found needles in her car). She had no place to go and he wouldn’t let her drive. I was furious, to say the least, considering how I had JUST found out about her. I have no room upstairs (where we live) and I never let anyone up there anyway because I stopped caring about keeping it nice a long time ago. So, since the tenants had moved out, I was able to make a makeshift bed for her downstairs. I found a small feather-type bed I had forgotten about in the closet. I was fuming the whole time I was trying to scrounge up blankets and a pillow for her. I was angry at him, not her, but I still had to struggle with the idea of showing her kindness regardless. I want to be Christ-like and felt awful at how far from that I actually was. Anyways, if I hadn’t helped he would have given her disgusting blankets covered in cat hair for a pillow with nothing soft to lay on. So, even though I was pissed I still cared that she be comfortable…I guess I’m not ALL bad. It took a while for me to calm down enough to say hi to her and offer her a banana. I was able to show her kindness in the end. Some of my cats came down with me which helped break the ice. But I had to be extremely intentional about doing the right thing in that situation because a heart of compassion was not coming to me naturally…I struggle with that fact every time he brings her around or talks to her or goes to rescue her from somewhere.

Problem is, this has become a regular thing. She has now stayed here at least ten times and he’s actually on his way to get her again…RIGHT NOW. He left almost four hours ago and still isn’t home. He jumps every time she needs a ride. He has driven to Portsmouth the last three days in a row for this girl and that’s where he went again tonight. Portsmouth is about an hour and fifteen minutes away. You see, her mom just had a stroke and they transferred her to Portsmouth Hospital. They think she might have brain cancer or a blood clot or something. He drove B there (ON JULY 10th, OUR 14th WEDDING ANNIVERSARY) and I tagged along so I could still go out for dinner. He took her there because apparently her family sucks and won’t give her rides or let her stay with them. No idea why.

The weekend before, she texted him that she was going to kill herself. He called her and she said she had taken a bunch of pills in a sleepy voice before the phone disconnected. He asked me what he should do. I told him “You call 911! That’s what you do when someone says that!” Tough shit if she wasn’t serious. So he called 911 and was frantically trying to give them directions on how to get to this place he had dropped her off at the day before. I guess it was her boyfriend’s grandmother’s house. This ordeal lasted from ten at night until three in the morning (I missed church the next day because I was too tired). She had been texting him all night but he didn’t see any of them until about ten o’clock. The ambulance picked her up and brought her to Concord Hospital where they did nothing for her, but I really don’t know what happened. She probably bullshitted her way out of it. And who do you think went to pick her up the next day? You guessed it. Rick. He brought her back to our house where she slept for hours and hours.

I’m tired of this situation. He’s all about B. He talks about her all the time and seems fully invested in always being there for her. And how much of an asshole am I? I’m torn between being furious with him for this relationship he has with her and wanting to show the love of Christ because she has no one and now her mother is sick. I just want it to be someone other than my husband that she relies on. We already have enough problems in this marriage. This is just making it worse. And now she’s going to be downstairs again which makes it difficult and awkward for me to go down there tomorrow to work on the place. I need to be down there sanding the woodwork and getting it ready for paint.

Do I sound like a complete and utter ogre for being at all angry that my husband has taken this broken girl under his wing? Do I sound selfish and disgusting for how I feel or is there any validation to this struggle I find myself in? If this is a test from God on how to treat others I suppose I’m failing, but this whole thing is uncomfortable and awkward and I’m doing the best I can considering the elements to this entire situation.

I’m trying to better myself by working at this new summer job and working on the house and trying to go to the gym (which I’ve only managed to go to once because I’m so tired from getting up at 6:30…something my body just isn’t used to). I need to get into a schedule but her presence makes it hard for me to do what I need to do for myself. This whole thing is messed up. If I show how pissed I am every time he jumps through hoops for her I’m the bad guy because he says,”What am I supposed to do? Just let her sleep on the street?” Of course I don’t want that for her but she’s got my husband all worked up when she threatens suicide and he’s willing to “rescue” her at all hours of the day or night when he needs to be sleeping because he has to go to work the next day. But none of that seems to matter to him. I also feel she’s being manipulative with the threats of suicide. Even her family says nonchalantly that “She always says that.”

And how much money has he spent on her in gas, food and whatever else? He’s taken her to drug clinics, hospitals and boyfriend’s grandmother’s houses. He’s picked her up whenever she says “come get me” like she’s his girlfriend. He’s even taken her to the store to get tampons! I feel like she has become priority in his life and I’m not OK with it.  I was hoping that trip to the hospital would have been the answer. I thought they would keep her because she tried to “kill herself” but that went no where.  We told her about a rehab just for women that is free (they never turn anyone away) where she wouldn’t have to worry about where she was going to sleep or what she was going to eat. It’s a great program run by genuine, loving people who really care. She’s not interested. If she doesn’t want to do anything to improve her life why are we enabling her to live a life without direction…or should I say, why is HE allowing her to stay here without any kind of a plan to improve her situation?

At this point I just want a separation. I don’t want to be in this marriage anymore. I feel like I’ve lost myself…like my soul has died. I want to be me. I want to be happy and free to be who God has always intended me to be. But I can’t. Not in this marriage. We bring the worst out in each other…not the best. I don’t like who I’ve become. I have no joy. We don’t enjoy each other and I’m tired of being angry all the time. I’m tired of fighting. I’m tired of being in a marriage without affection. I do feel that I’m in a loveless marriage. I can’t live this way anymore. But as of right now, I have no other options. I still ask the Lord to change my heart and to let His will be done and not mine. I ask the Lord to guide me and direct me. I will continue to wait on the Lord and hope that my diligence pays off.

P.S.

I think the mom is going to be OK, well, as OK as one can be after a stroke. It’s a shame no one noticed until about a week later, though. Sad. Pretty sure it was just a stroke and nothing more than that…no tumors or blood clots. She will need assisted living now or at least help at home. Maybe B will be able to stay with her mom now that this has happened. I hope.

UPDATE

9:30ish pm… 7/13/2018…

She’s back. Rick was at the Rod & Gun club (like he always is on a Friday night) when he left there to go get her and bring her back here. Guess she wanted him to drive her to Hopkinton (boyfriend’s grandmother’s house) but he said no because he didn’t feel like it. But I think we all know he’ll be taking her there tomorrow. Anyways, her brother apparently won’t let her stay at the trailer with her mom. He lives there too and is constantly kicking her out even though it’s her mother’s trailer. And her mom never stands up for her. So now she’s downstairs taking a shower. So, once again, Rick drops what he’s doing to go get her.  And then he went back to the Rod.

…7/15…

Surprisingly, he has not taken her to Hopkinton..yet.

Spontaneous Human Combustion

So there’s something I need to talk about but I just don’t have the time right now to focus on what I need to say and how I want to say it. But if I don’t get the words out of me soon I may blow up.

UPDATE (7/11/18)

Was able to confide in a friend today. Vented a bit, received some validation and got some much needed prayer. Feeling a little better (for now). Still intend on writing it all out when I have the time.

Still In It

I’m still in it.

Still praying for God to change my heart…to soften it.

Still praying for God to show me what I can’t see, or maybe don’t want to see about myself.

Still trying to put my focus on Jesus when I catch myself focusing on all that is wrong.

Hoping the Lord gives me a hope that things will get better or at least how to cope if things never do.

Trying to take care of myself again by accepting a part-time summer job offer (far from exciting but it’ll do me some good).

Trying to eat better but finding it rather difficult given my addiction to chocolate cream pie and mozzarella sticks. I did just finish two back to back cleanses, though. A six day colon cleanse followed by a five day liver cleanse. Was surprised to see so many liver stones come out of me! Still need to exercise but haven’t quite made it to the gym yet…it’s on the agenda…BABY STEPS.

Don’t know what my future looks like but I can’t worry about it…just gonna take little baby steps so as not to get overwhelmed with life. Letting Jesus carry me (or doing my best to learn HOW to let Jesus carry me). Can’t help but feel I’m failing this test called marriage and all I can seem to see is how far I fall short from being Christ-like.

ANYWAYS…I read this article a year ago…

‘the one thing guaranteed to end all marriages’

I still find it to be a good read, although my type of hardened heart doesn’t match her description. But that doesn’t mean none of what she writes is relevant. I actually thought it was one of the better articles on marriage that I have seen so I’m sharing it here.

http://www.megmariewallace.com/the-one-thing-guaranteed-to-end-all-marriages/

On another note…

I’m tired of talking about my problems on here. Not sure how I feel about the amount of personal stuff I’ve shared. Granted, I have held back out of respect to my husband but I sometimes wonder if I held back enough? Have I sinned by sharing our personal issues in a public way? He never reads anything I write anyway nor has he ever asked about what I write. It’s just the principle of the matter.

His lack of interest is a bit disheartening. I thought maybe he’d become curious and look for himself only to discover just how deep my pain goes, but it has never happened. Maybe that’s why I share what I do…I subconsciously hope he’ll see it.

Anything that I have shared on here was in an attempt to somehow release my pain. It was also in the hope that maybe someone was out there who could relate and benefit from knowing they’re not alone. As far as holding back what I share, a couple unpublished drafts come to my mind which reveal truths I’m not willing to expose on a blog. I’m not out to hurt anyone which is why I recently switched my latest entry to private because it came across as shaming certain people whom I know. I don’t want to be that kind of a person, so I’ll keep that one private and consider it part of my diary. But I also realize very few people read this blog and I’ve never expected to have a large following anyway. Just questioning whether or not I should continue.

Response To A Mentor

I hope you know how much I love you..how much I treasure you.

To answer your question as far as whether you do to me what you were doing to Melody… YES. You expect me to respond in a certain way…in YOUR way. YES. There is something going on in me that you are not able to see. But don’t feel too bad, most people don’t understand my daily struggles. What’s hard for me isn’t for most.

I know you love me and are just trying to help but you can come off a bit pushy and forceful at times. I can’t be pushed into doing something I’m not ready to do. While I agree with some of what you suggested, I do not agree with all of what you said. Perhaps separation is the right move but until you had spoken those words out loud it hadn’t even been a possible consideration for me. Up until then I just thought I had to hang in there because I made a vow. I need time to digest this and time to talk to God about it. And I am most certainly not about to move onto someone’s couch for six months (one of your suggestions) with no other place to go and no money or job. I’m not in a position where I can just leave and at one time, while sitting in your kitchen, you told me that because of that fact I should wait on the Lord until He makes a way. Now it seems you want me to live on someone’s couch for six months regardless of the fact that I have nothing. Besides, I did that once before and it was the worst time of my life. At the age of 22 I was homeless and jobless, living on someone’s couch for six months. It was HELL. I’m not about to do that to myself at the age of 42. You don’t understand what that would do to me…not to mention the fact that I would have to be away from my beloved cats who love me right back. That is NOT the answer or viable option in my case.

When I told Sarah where I was currently at she simply responded, “Well, at some point you may be ready for the next step. Little by little.” That’s all I needed to hear. That’s how I feel God is dealing with me in this…little by little. I gave you the same update and you said it would be up to me and what do I want…it felt like you were simplifying my situation, as though what I need to do is simple, but it’s not.

It feels like you are not taking certain factors into consideration. You have to realize how I ended up with Rick in the first place…You have to understand the struggles I’ve had since middle school with fear and social anxiety and depression that has, on many an occasion, crippled me from being able to do for myself what most other people never have issues with. Bottom line, Rick has been supporting me for fifteen years now. Familiarity can become a comfort. He’s provided me with an environment where I don’t have to have any responsibilities and of course I let him and lost myself in the process due to so much time hiding away…safe in my bubble. My mother used to take care of everything I was too afraid to do for myself, and then she dropped me without any preparation for the real world. Rick has since taken over that role. He is my enabler. I am WELL aware of that fact. I am extremely self aware of all my faults and shortcomings and failures and I am not looking for advice on “what I should do.”

I need deliverance and I already told this to Dick in class. And so far it hasn’t happened overnight. I’ve been stuck in a rut and it’s hard to crawl out, especially when it has been going on for years. I lack self-confidence and I lost ambition and drive a long time ago. I feel pretty low but I know God is still working on me… slowly. Last week Putty used this game, pick-up-sticks, as an example of how God removes our strongholds one stick at a time until He gets deep down underneath to the main root of the problem. That’s how I feel He’s dealing with me. Unfortunately I have slidden backwards after some progress due to the loss of hope and the feeling that I had nothing to look forward to anymore.

I’ve said to Rick what I needed to say. He’s well aware of how I feel and it no longer feels like a heavy secret I’m carrying around. At least that burden has lifted. God knows my issues and what I need and what I can and can’t emotionally and mentally handle at this time. I’m trusting Him to guide me through this.

Eye Of The Storm

So it’s back to “business as usual” as though nothing ever happened. It’s as though we never had any volatile conversations. Whatever. I need a break anyway. Friday is his birthday and we’re going to a comedy show in Boston. I bought the tickets in December and there were soooo many times I wondered if we would even make it, considering the state of our marriage. But we are definitely going which is good because we never go anywhere and the tickets are non-refundable AND I’ve been looking forward to finally laughing. Jo Koy cracks me up…I’ll be sure to have my inhaler on standby.

As of today he seems to be in a good mood and he thinks he may have made some good connections as far as getting into the “new place.” We’ll see. I stopped listening years ago.

But if we DID actually get into the place, finally moving into a new, bigger space that we don’t have to share with anyone else would be nice. A new environment is desperately needed for my sanity. Still don’t know if that would help our relationship but it would help the overall mood…for a while anyway. A new space would be uplifting in many respects, but it’s not going to magically fix the main issues.

I’m not going to stress about it anymore. I’m just going to trust God and let things unfold in His timing, not mine. I do believe anything is possible with God and I’m just going to rest in the eye of this storm. And when the wind starts to pick up again perhaps I’ll be better at fixing my eyes on Jesus instead of focusing on the chaos.

UPDATE 4/24/2018

So it turns out our tenants downstairs are moving out next month. They bought a house. So I can finally move back downstairs which means I’ll finally have a decent kitchen, a bath tub and my laundry room back…no more having to go to the laundromat. But we still have to rent out the upstairs (where we currently reside) in order to help pay for the mortgage. I was hoping we would have the entire house back to ourselves in order to have some space from each other, but that’s just not possible.

I’m So Tired

I tried handwriting (journal style) but am finding it hard to read back, so I’m typing out what I wrote on April 2, 2018. So the last three post entries are sort of out of order…

April 2, 2018

Dear Lord,

What do you want of me? What kind of marriage are You OK with me having? What do You want for me, for us, for my life? I’m so confused and hurt and sad and I don’t want to live this way anymore…but I’m so used to and conditioned to living this way that I don’t know how else to be. I’m so lost. I don’t know who I am or what I want. I don’t know how to stand on my own. I need Your help. Please help me. I love You, Lord. I want to be dependent on You, Lord, like You told me so long ago. Please help me and show me how to do that. You know what I need in exactly the way I need it. Please help. I feel so lost.

—-Trying to remember everything that came out on Friday (Good Friday)…….it started with me asking him why I was even included in a deal he made with someone because I don’t airbrush anymore. It was making me angry because I still don’t feel up to it. His reaction made me react. I became a hysterical, sobbing mess as I paced from room to room. Even hyperventilated a bit. 

I told him things like…

This was all said in a crazy, hysterical, panicky way. I felt almost outside of myself. His response was disappointing. Yes. He held me a bit at the end as I sobbed. It was nice but I knew he wouldn’t do it again so I didn’t want to like it too much. I have to have an emotional breakdown in order to be held by him.

He threw out different options such as…

  • Maybe he’ll just let Fonzie (we owe him $50,000 from a loan he gave us a loooong time ago) take the place (our land)
  • Maybe he’ll go to the Vineyard where his cousin has a turn-key garage he could run (that made me sob harder at the thought of him leaving me)
  • He said he clearly aggravates me and maybe I just need to be alone for a while (that was more aimed at me living downstairs and having my own space where I could paint)

 

Then he left for the Rod as usual…

I honestly don’t know where that leaves us. We haven’t talked about anything since. And on Easter he went to the Rod again while I sat at home and cried all night BECAUSE I didn’t think he’d actually go there on EASTER. That really hurt my feelings deeply. I don’t think he wants to be in this marriage anymore. I’m a burden…someone he just supports.

 

What The Hell Happens Now?

(April 1, 2018… 1 pm) It’s Easter Sunday and I’m home alone. Didn’t want to go to Todd’s. Can’t deal with family right now. Everything I’ve been avoiding saying to Rick all came out in a hysterical display on Good Friday. Didn’t want it to come out the way it did but I guess that’s the only way it could.  Afterwards he actually held me for a bit as I sobbed. It felt so nice to have him hold me but I was afraid to give in to it because I knew he wouldn’t hug me again after that. It takes a complete melt down to get him to respond to me that way. Hugs don’t exist in his world.

I don’t know what’s going to happen now. I’m afraid my marriage is going to end. I don’t know how he feels about me anymore. I love him or I wouldn’t feel so sad right now, but I don’t know how to continue on. I don’t think the things that I need changed will ever actually change. I’m sad and scared about my future.

(7:47 pm) Wow. He actually went to the Rod and Gun Club on Easter. Thought maybe he’d actually stay home since it was Easter and I had cried about how he’s always over there, but I was wrong. He did make a pork roast and some squash before he left, though. How long do I wait for him to get back or should I just eat alone? I guess this marriage really is all it will ever be. I guess it really is over and it hurts my heart.

He Doesn’t Love Me Anymore

Just trying to figure out when it was that he stopped loving me. And I’m not blaming him…well, not entirely. I’m sure I play a part. But his lack of affection and communication has left me hardened. Too many years of this inability to give me what I need emotionally has left me unable to push through it anymore. I can no longer live this way. So what do I do now?

I discovered a few weeks ago that he’s been keeping things from me for who knows how long? I finally asked him about it the other night. He admitted to some stuff but it took a lot of prodding and it never felt like he was being completely honest. I have a feeling there’s more but I can’t prove it. I used to trust him wholeheartedly. My heart feels betrayed. I thought he was the most honest and trustworthy man on the planet. Now that’s gone. If I can’t trust him I feel as though I can’t trust anyone. If he of all people can become someone I never knew then that is true for the rest of humanity.

So when did he stop loving me? Was it when he went from spending a couple nights a week at the Rod to three or four? Or was it when he started going just about every night of the week? He says to me yesterday that he’s invited me to go with him a few times but I never do, as if that would have fixed everything. He knows I hate it there. Just the thought of the anxiety caused by walking into a dark, smokey room full of people I don’t know is enough to keep me home. He knows I hate bars and smoke and drinking and drama. He loves all of that. Those people have become his family and I’ve become something that he supports financially. Our home isn’t a home. It’s just a dwelling where we eat and sleep. It’s filthy now but it wasn’t always so. As the years went on the frustration and continuous disappointment grew and all hope of the future we had dreamed of together eventually faded and died.

We had fun in the beginning. We used to ride our motorcycles together. We went to the Vineyard and, after moving up here, we had the same friends we hung out with. But that fell apart. The friends moved away and he started going to the Rod and Gun Club. Lots of things happened in between. I eventually found a church I love. I’ve been going there for four years now. They are my family and support. So as you can see my husband and I have separate interests and separate lives.

I feel like it’s over.  Yesterday on the phone (a continued discussion from the night before) when I said I was screwed because I have nothing…no money, no job, no place to go, he said (right after asking me if I wanted a separation), “I’ll always make sure you’re taken care of.” That tells me he doesn’t want to try anymore. He said to me that he’s not good enough for me. That was a ridiculous statement. That’s something you say when you want to make yourself feel better. That’s something you say when you don’t have the courage to admit the truth. He said a lot of other things that were equally insulting. I feel lost. I feel sad and panicked. I have nothing to show for my almost forty-three years on this planet. I wasted my life. I gave up and I don’t know how I will ever make it at this point. I’m afraid.

I thought we’d be in the new house by now but the capped foundation still sits there and inside sits stuff that will never fill this pipe dream of a home.

HPIM0355.JPG

Foundation was poured on my birthday of 2006.

In 2008 I received my inheritance of $44,000, most of which went into putting up this atrocity of a garage. It was so massive that people often thought it was the house. The garage serves its purpose for him but the upstairs has been unfinished since the garage went up…no walls…no wiring…it just sits there.

 

I stopped listening a long time ago when he would say we’d be in the upstairs of the garage by summer. It gets old after ten years of hearing something that never comes to fruition. So much for my dream art studio. I thought we were going to live our dream but instead it all went to shit. I even buried my beloved cat, Whiskers, under one of the trees on that land. He was so special to me. He lived nineteen years and I wanted him buried where I knew I would be living for the rest of my life. So his decayed body lies there, all alone, waiting for me to look out over his final resting place from my balcony some day that will never come. Breaks my heart.

Whatever joy I used to have has been long gone. I’m used to this miserable world I’ve grown accustom to. I know it’s slowly killing me but I’m used to it. Sound insane? I’ve become paralyzed to any sort of action which requires putting myself out there in the world. I’m safe in my bubble, at home with my cats. But it’s not satisfying…just comfortable. I need to change it but I don’t know where or how to start. Maybe going to the gym could be a start I suppose. Start taking care of my body and maybe I’ll start to feel more confident which would help me take other steps. I guess that’s where I should start. Sounds easy enough…so why isn’t it?

Oh Lord God…Heavenly Father….I need YOU. Please help me. My eyes hurt from crying.

Motives

We have a huge drug problem in my town and a lot of people are down and out. It’s not unusual to see some of these people hanging outside of stores hoping for hand outs. Last week I was walking into Walgreens and passed this guy on the way in. He looked to be in his mid-twenties. He was standing up against the brick wall in his winter gear with a backpack.

After entering the store I found myself thinking about how I should give him five dollars. Not sure why. I’m not rich myself and usually don’t have any cash on me. But on this day I knew I had two five dollar bills. This stranger hadn’t spoken to me or asked me for anything but I felt like maybe the Holy Spirit was suggesting the idea. I imagined this scenario of me telling him how (as I’m handing him the money) I felt like the Lord wanted me to give him this five dollars. Well, upon leaving the store I looked down as I passed him and avoided eye contact. After all, he’s a strange guy and men in general (especially strangers) make me nervous. But as I was walking away I heard him ask me, “Do you have 50 cents?”

“50 cents?” I repeated. Who the hell asks for so little? It’s probably a ploy in hopes of receiving more. But it doesn’t really matter if his motives were sneaky. Only matters what mine were and I wanted to be obedient to God, so I pulled out the five and said “This is for you.”

“Oh, thank you!” he said as he immediately walked away. I wanted to say more to him but he was off and running like a race horse out of the gate. I wanted to say the words I had imagined in my head just moments earlier but there didn’t seem to be any time. Those four measly words were all I managed to squeeze out of my mouth. I felt like I had, once again, missed another opportunity to share the gospel. I’m just not good at this stuff! A street evangelist I am not.

Hope the Lord blesses me for my obedience anyway. My heart was right. Maybe it wasn’t even about him but about my willingness to step out in faith? Who knows? Well, God knows. And He can work with anything. Maybe my actions meant something to this guy that I’ll never know about here on Earth…

Either that or he went to buy heroin.

Sigh.

Desperate Enough

“Because I don’t want you to be dependent on anyone but Me.”

That is what I heard God say to me in my most desperate and sincere state. I remember it like it was yesterday. I was about 25 years of age, kneeling on my living room floor as I hysterically cried out to God,

“WHY?!?!”

You know, I often hear it said that we should never ask God why. They say that’s the wrong question and that He won’t answer you, but He sure did when I asked the so-called taboo. And His voice wasn’t some thunderous, audible sound that pierced the heavenlies. It was my own familiar voice inside my head.

“So how do you know it was God?” you may be asking.

Because His answer was instant and most unexpected. Because I knew it wasn’t me saying it. Because the peace I felt was immediate. Because I knew that I knew that I knew. My tears ceased and I felt a calm. My Heavenly Father had just spoken to me in my time of need…out of desperation. That was enough to relax my body and soul. And I wasn’t asking Him in expectation of an answer. It hadn’t occurred to me that I would or could receive one. But when I heard those words,

“Because I don’t want you to be dependent on anyone but Me,”

I knew without a doubt that I would be OK…that God would take care of all my needs. And why wouldn’t I? There’s no assurance like the one that comes from a direct response from God Almighty! And what a God thing to say, right?!?! His response made me realize that I had been putting all of my hopes and needs in everyone else BUT Him. And you know what happened after that night? My needs were met the very next day.

Those were the first and only words I ever heard my Heavenly Father speak to me. I know He speaks to me in other ways but I’ve never experienced His response in such a direct manner since I was a broken heap on my living room floor, devastated and lost and panicked about what was to become of me. I think He responded to me then in such a personal way BECAUSE I was just desperate enough. I think my level of desperation and sincerity broke through a realm I can’t see or feel. I don’t know how else to explain it. I would love to hear Him again like I did that night. I’m pretty sure I’m hindering His ability to move in my life due to bitterness, anger, and resentment. I heard it said once that there are laws that govern the way the power of God flows and I believe this to be so true. I think many times we can block ourselves from receiving all that God has for us due to our own stubbornness.

CAN God do anything? Sure He can! (Except in making a square circle or a one-ended stick…we’re talking about logic right now so work with me.) After all, our God is full of mercy and grace and He deals with each one of us uniquely because we are all different. But, for me, I know I need to let go of certain attitudes despite my current environment. UGH! Why does it have to be so damn hard?!?! Oh how I want to tap into that direct line I managed to unintentionally hack almost twenty years ago. I want to feel that assurance and calm because my Creator plainly and directly just spoke to me. (Oh, God, please have mercy on me for I am trying. I may keep falling but I keep getting back up to try again. And sometimes I may stay down for a little too long out of stubbornness but I always get up again…eventually.)

So, if there is a “secret” to hearing God, that might be it…You have to be desperate enough…raw and sincere enough in your pursuit. The scriptures do say to seek Him with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength. Maybe that’s the key. We have to yield to Him but more often than not we try to figure out how to fix things ourselves instead of relying on Him, the One Who knows all and sees all.

Guard Your Heart

Apparently I posted this about 5 years ago on Facebook. Funny how I seem to be experiencing the very thing Derek Prince spoke of here. My heart needs a good cleaning. Thankful for the Lord’s grace and patience. Sanctification is truly a process.

Guard Your Heart

Proverbs 4:23
Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life. NIV

There is one area of your personality that is more important than any other and that is your heart. The state of your heart will determine the course of your life. You are advised and admonished by God to guard your heart more than all else. It’s the most important thing that’s committed to your keeping, the condition of your own heart.

I remember many years ago in a country in East Africa, when I was serving as a principal at a college for training teachers, on the wall on the dormitory of my students, one of them had written that Scripture up in her own particular language. And I read it in that language and translated it literally, and it has stayed with me ever since. It says, “Guard your heart with all your strength, for all the things there are in life come out of it.”

Everything in your life ultimately proceeds out of your heart. The condition of your heart is going to determine the condition of your life. Guard it with all your strength. Don’t let any evil in; don’t make room for unbelief, for bitterness, for fear, for anxiety, because if there are bitter things in your heart, then there will be bitterness in your life. But if your heart is pure and clean, if your heart is filled with faith and love and with truth and with righteousness, then the course of your life will be a course of success.

So, remember that. Guard your heart with all your strength for all the things there are in life come out of it.

—Derek Prince