Teach Me

Today, I am in need of some advice and I would appreciate any given. I’ve come to really trust a lot of you guys

When I say that I’ve forgiven T and Chef, I really have. I no longer feel any bitterness or anger towards either of them. T feels free now to call/text me about questions she has about the Lord, or her familial problems, and I’m getting the same kinds of calls/texts from Chef. None of that bothers me at all. I love talking about my God. Where I’m confused is, is this some ploy from satan?

I posted this scripture last time I wrote, and since then I’ve been wondering if there is a loophole to it.

17 Never pay back evil for evil to anyone. [o]Respect what is right in the sight of all men. 18 If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men. 19 Never take your own revenge, beloved, but [p]leave room for the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord. 20 “But if your enemy is hungry, feed him, and if he is thirsty, give him a drink; for in so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.” 21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. Romans 12:17-21

Okay. That is what I’ve been doing lately, and the more I do it, the more Chef and T communicate with me. In fact, Chef seems to want to see me every day now, and I hear from T almost every day now too. She started crying when she apologized to me in person, and my heart hurt for her because she just seems like a lost little girl, holding on to Chef like a plank of wood in the middle of an ocean. Now that I’ve really spoken with her, I see how the church she was raised in has really, really let her down. She’s been taught to accept what preachers/pastors say without checking any of it against the Word of God. I always abhor that. No matter what you hear and how much it makes sense, you must always see what the Bible says. She was raised in the Prosperity kind of doctrines, where money is the goal…not righteousness. And if you are not successful, healed, etc., then you just didn’t have enough faith. I HATE that kind of doctrine and every time I hear her try to explain how she sees God, I’m broken for her. In her mind, she’s going straight to hell because she’s displeased her vengeful God. She doesn’t understand grace at all.

Chef and I went to his first counseling session, and I was surprised because he didn’t try to sugar coat any of what has been happening. This is big for him, and though I got sick of hearing about his motorcycle club stuff, he really was trying to be truthful. I was impressed, and it gave me a little hope for him. Instead of fleeing whenever I mention God, he actually asks questions now and seems to be listening to the answers. As we all know, changing the behaviors takes time and effort, but every long journey starts out with the first step. And I think, at least for the moment, he might have taken his first step. That is an answer to one of my prayers.

Where the problem for me is, I’ve been praying that God get Chef out of my heart, and while I’ve felt distantly fond of him, this morning I woke up wondering if I’m supposed to be praying for the restoration of my marriage, not for a quick, painless divorce. I woke up at 2am and that was the first thing I thought. 😦  I seriously can’t imagine him being able to change enough that I can come back. But that is me judging him, isn’t it? And then I wonder if because I’ve been spending some time with both of them, maybe I’m being roped into some weird triangle thing that I shouldn’t be involved in. But I also have noticed that Chef is starting to be somewhat critical of T, and is now trying to lay down new foundations for our relationship. At least, that’s the way it is looking to me. I question his motives, of course, but it really is something different from what I’ve come to expect from him. I’ve been stand-offish about this because at this very moment, he still is living with T. So, where is the line in the sand? Also, I can’t really say I miss a lot of stuff about our marriage anymore. Yes, I was happy. But, I was also very overworked in the peace-keeping areas.

Chef has been extremely hateful and angry at two of our kids — Rebekkah (whose birthday is today!!) and DJ. That alone makes reconciliation impossible at the moment. And I see years of marriage counseling in our future should we decide to try again. Rebekkah and DJ, who are super protective of their mom, want me to refuse to communicate with him at all, but I don’t feel that the Lord wants me to. They don’t get how I could possibly feel motherly about T, and yet I just do.

I guess I would just like some advice from other people, because I’m conflicted in what I should be doing. I’ve prayed that God’s will be done in this matter, but I’m a tiny bit afraid His will might be healing our marriage instead of just letting me move on with my life without him. Would you guys pray, too?

Any insights would be appreciated because as always, I want my motives to be without question godly, and my God’s will be done, not mine.

 

Thank you all!!

— Bird

 

My Glass House Moments – It Isn’t Easy Being Me

Are you guys sick of hearing about the lessons I’m learning? LOL! Well, as this is my journal through this latest trial in my life, get comfortable with watching me stumble, fall, and then get up again. It is just what I do!

Yesterday, out of a desperate need for money for both of us, Chef agreed to let me sell some stuff that we had owned and split the money. It was a gracious offer, and I appreciate it. And during that process, he told me two things that really stuck out to me, and that is what I’m writing about today.

As all of you know, when Chef and I first split up, I was a mess. I was praying, but not really believing that God was hearing me, or trusting that He was in charge of all that I was going through. I already have extreme insomnia problems, so I was doubling up on the ambien so I could just sleep my way through the process, and then when those would run out, I would drink vodka like it was going out of style. Of course, as a Christian, this is very shameful behavior, and I hope no one takes my survival skills to heart. I am woefully weak when it comes to extreme emotions. All I did was make bigger messes, because on the ambien (which obviously wasn’t making me sleep), I wrote terrible, angry messages to both Chef and his new girlfriend, T. The vodka didn’t do that to me, so it was better to not refill the ambien prescription, because I was very ashamed that I hadn’t handled all of that better. Thank the Lord for His grace and mercy, and I’ve been forgiven for all of that. And I’ve forgiven myself as well. But I had planted some weeds in my garden, and yesterday I got a tiny taste of what I’d grown there.

Chef had lots and lots of things to say, but really, I’ve heard all of this stuff before, and I have a filter in my brain to catch the manipulative stuff. He seems hard pressed to hurt my conscience because T, his girlfriend, is, in his words, innocent, naive, and very hurt by what I said to her. He knows very well that I love the Lord, have a conscience, and I hate when I hurt my Lord’s reputation, which I’m sure that I did when dealing with him and T. Where I should have been silent, I was angry and bitter. When I should have walked away and let the Lord handle the vengeance, I instead sent angry texts messages calling her an adulteress and a home-wrecker. Now, yes. They are living in adultery, and my family is wrecked. But the thing to remember here is that even though I was the hurt party in this, I am still not allowed to sit in judgement of anyone else’s life.  And for that, I have apologized to both God, Chef, and T a while back. But evidently, T has been holding on with a firm grasp to the adultery things I accused her of, and was refusing to forgive me. ….Really….lol.

I listened for a while as Chef tried to convince me that T was a very good, devout Christian girl who just wants to be his friend because she loves him and doesn’t want him to be alone. When I would mention that you stop being a “good friend” the minute you sleep with someone, he would get angry and accuse me of trying to undermine the special friend relationship they had. Finally, that nonsense ended when I  told him that I don’t care about words — I’m seeing the fruit they are both producing, and that is not a crop either of them should be proud of. But, I forgive them both, and I’m trusting the Lord to do what is right in my life, and leaving them to their own specific lessons from the Lord. After that, for a bit, things were peaceful again because I wouldn’t talk about anything other than the happy times when the kids were little. And believe it or not, none of the conversation bothered me at all. No jealousy, no anger, no grief, no pain. Just a peaceful, breezy afternoon cleaning up things and taking pictures to put on Craigslist.

 

Towards the end of the time together, though, Chef brought up another one of T’s complaints, and this one really struck a chord in me. Her other complaint was that she was ashamed that such a poor Christian as me would write a public blog about God. 😮  I took a minute to wrap my brain around that, and for a few minutes I really took a minute to reflect on it. Then, I asked Chef if she has ever read my blog. He said no, they don’t own a computer. Again. Really? How can you judge my work if you haven’t seen it???

Here’s a couple of things I want to say about all of this. I am writing a blog from my own viewpoint, so of course, other people may see some things differently, and I accept that. I try to write as honestly as I can, even the gnarly things that I do. I never want to give my God a black eye, but I also don’t want to lie and make people believe that Christians have these roses and rainbows kinds of lives or that we never mess up in really, really massive ways. But if I didn’t write about all of the trials and tribulations, and the pain and misery that tends to walk hand in hand with those problems, then what value is there in the joy of seeing just how the Lord brought you through it? How do you share the lessons you are learning without explaining how you’ve failed? How do expect people to understand just how merciful our God is if you don’t explain why you needed that mercy? I was angry when I wrote a few posts, but I was very honest. I was hurt, lonely, betrayed, angry, and somewhat bitter. But I was truthful and I owned my own crap.

No. Being a real Christian isn’t a walk in the park, and it isn’t for the weak, but we should always be truly self-aware and honest, both with ourselves and with each other.

So, my answer to both Chef and T is this: I am working through this trial the same as any other person in this world would. I’ve made lots of mistakes, but I’ve also have repented for them. Repentance is not just asking for forgiveness but it also literally means to stop, turn around, and go the other way. There is no forgiveness without repentance. I’m probably going to make tons more mistakes, and as the Lord convicts me, I will repent of those too.

If only perfect Christians were allowed to share His Word, no one would be up to the task. I’ve forgiven both of you even though neither of you have apologized and repented of what you have done to me, the kids, our friends, and even our pets. If you have issues with me writing a blog, too bad, so sad. I feel like the Lord wants me doing this. You can always start your own blog and share the things that you two want to share, but until you’ve read mine, your opinions seem silly to me, especially since you are living together, claiming to be Christians, and not married to one another. Glass houses, people. They are hard to keep clean! I’m harder on myself than I am on either of you most of the time, and I hope that God continues to work in all of our lives. He loves all of us the same, and He wants good things for those who love Him.

— Bird