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Archive for August, 2008

 

 

“GRIEF, ENVY AND STRIFE ARE POISON TO THE BONES…”  Proverbs

I admit that I struggle with trusting others.  The myriad of GOOD reasons is absolutely not important.
Besides it taking me a few weeks to spell it out, the DRAMA is not nearly as interesting as being guided to a new awareness.  And, I’m more than ready for that.

The Holy Spirit led me years ago to the scripture that quotes Jesus saying, “Fear is useless, what is needed is trust.”  Mark 5:36

Though that is a wonderful awareness, I have applied it more to my yo-yo finances and the raising of teenage sons as a single mom, and even survived hearing “this crime could result in the death sentence,” when my younger son found himself with the wrong guys at the wrong time in the wrong place.  I marvel at how GOOD God is when I reflect on how He saved AND changed my son’s life.  My son has grown to be strong in faith and character and is an incredible father…as is my older son.  I marvel at that!!!  And feel more than blessed.

So, now the lesson continues…with almost 9.5 years of marriage under our belts, my husband is growing weary of my lack of trust.  I could…once again…give a myriad of reasons for clinging so dearly to my accusations…those STINGS and hurts that somehow I remember but he doesn’t.

But, I’d rather explore a fascinating challenge that presented itself recently during a coaching session. 

WHAT IS THE PAYOFF FOR NOT LETTING GO…FOR NOT TRUSTING?  Maybe I should add to that, what is the payoff for not FORGIVING and letting go of the hurts.

One thing I realize, I love my husband.  I respect his work ethic…his conscientiousness, his devotion and loyalty to his clients.  He works hard, saves religiously, is fiscally responsible and is fore thinking.  He is growing in his faith and personal relationship with God…a quality that is increasingly more important to me.  He’s a loner, but enjoys being the life of the party…and a good party with friends delights him.

So, what IS the payoff?  Is it worth blinding myself to his qualities and gagging my praise and appreciation?   I’m no idiot, so off the top of my head I can quickly say “NO”.  But, in the midst of a challenge…a trust challenge…I fail miserably.    The payoff is…again from the top of my head…that I don’t have to be wrong, that I can protect myself from the “inevitable” or the common “man stuff…all guys mess around.”  I can protect myself from being hurt, I can be RIGHT.  Or maybe it’s easier to be angry and disappointed…that way I don’t have to expect anything good and be disappointed.  And, as would be with any good story, the EVENTS over the last 9.5 years as seen through the lens of “WHAT???” have been interpreted as attacks, so I’m justified.  I have a RIGHT to not trust…right???  I could DEAD RIGHT…SO COULD MY MARRIAGE…be DEAD that is!

What a dilemma.  And the TRUTH IS… “Fear is useless, what is needed is trust.”  And I haven’t got a CLUE how to translate that into my relationship.  I haven’t a clue what that looks like, smells like, taste like, sounds like or FEELS LIKE. 

When I trust my husband…when I follow the description of LOVE from 1 Chronicles:
Love is patient and kind, never puffed up, not easily offended, quick to forgive, quick to see the best in each other.   This is how I can respond through the Spirit…

When other women openly flirt with him in front of me and he’s obviously flattered by it…
I can be confident that he is loyal to me and allow him to be flattered.  I can know that he will protect our relationship; that “personal time” does not turn into infidelity.

When he says hurtful and critical things to me…
I can hear “blah, blah, blah” and know he’s just in one of his “Mr. Hyde” moods and doesn’t really mean it.

When he …as I imagine…seeks “private time”…
I don’t have to read it as rejection.  I can make sure I’m expressing my needs, and know that our intimacy…an open, trusting relationship…is far more important and far more real.  I don’t have to DEMAND what is already being so freely given.

When I reach to kiss him and he gives me a peck…and “air” peck, at that…
I can equate it with him learning how to HUG.  He has learned to be a good hugger and he enjoys and appreciates it!

When I reach for him to cuddle at night and he pushes me away…
I can give him his space and respect that he doesn’t LIKE being touched unsolicited…by ANYONE.

When I remember hurtful things he has said or done over the years…
I can pray…ask You, Father God, to forgive us both for not knowing how hurtful we can be to each other.  Ask YOU, Father God, to enable me to let it go and ask my husband  to forgive me for MAKING HIM WRONG.

When I find myself BAWKING, being angry, stomping my feet, hands on my hips, spewing out transgressions…
I can pause.  Be still.  Be aware of the pain.  Stay awake!  Acknowledge that it…the pain…has been there for years.  Acknowledge that I am afraid.  Stay with the pain and COMFORT myself by respecting that I’m afraid, and, at the same time, BE CONSCIOUS that I DON’T HAVE TO LIVE WITH THE FEAR!  CHOOSE JOY.  Choose NOT to control the outcome and believe that God is working all things to my good.

When I find myself in my HEAD, saying all the “right things” and my HEART far from the TRUTH…
I can forgive myself.  I can let the tears come and release the hurt.  I can comfort myself without judgment and acknowledge my insecurities and my lack of confidence.  I can ask YOU, Father God, to enable me to BE the truth that you have so patiently and consistently taught me…”Fear is useless, what is needed is trust.”  I can trust YOU.

Whatever the “payoff” is for not trusting, it is not worth losing the LOVE AND JOY of Your promise, Holy Father.  You promised that YOU would CAUSE us to be as two cedars deeply and firmly rooted besides LIVING waters.  YOU promised that we would prosper and that our prosperity would be a blessing to others.  YOU promised that our home would be a refuge. 
Prosperity…meaning spiritual, financial, physical  and emotional maturity…authentic and fruitful;  refuge…meaning TRUST, safety, peace, joy, love, laughter and REST…not only for us, but those around us.
CAUSE:  a person or thing that ACTS, HAPPENS, OR EXISTS in such a way that some specific thing happens as a result…the producer of an effect.
 
 

 

 

 

I can’t imagine how wonderful these gifts really are, but I’m willing to imagine, feel, taste, see, hear and touch God’s best.  There is no amount of being “DEAD RIGHT” that is worth NOT RECEIVING God’s promise…having a “DEAD MARRIAGE”.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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My cousin sent me this “Daily Devotional” by Rick Warren.  As usual on a demanding day, I plopped it into my Outlook file for a closer look some day.  Well, today was that day…and it came on the heels of my husband telling me that he has grown weary of my lack of trust.  Hearing that didn’t exactly BUILD my confidence!! 

As I was looking for something else, I came across this devotional and it hit home.  You can read my story around this under “He Said – She Said”… “Dead Right!!…Dead Marriage??”

 

 

How to Let Go of Past Hurts
by Rick Warren

Dear friends, never avenge yourselves. Leave that to God. For it is written, “I will take vengeance; I will repay those who deserve it,” says the Lord. Romans 12:19 (NLT)

*** *** *** ***

First, relinquish your right to get even. Leave that up to God; he’ll take care of it (Romans 12:19). I’ve been married for thirty years and I’m ashamed to say, I’ve hurt my wife many times. But after thirty years, we’re still together and more in love than ever before. Why? Because it’s not hurt that destroys relationships, it’s an unwillingness to forgive. We’re human; we’re going to hurt each other. But the question is, will you give up your right to get even? And will you offer forgiveness? When you do, any hurt can be overcome.

Second, respond to evil with good. How can you tell when you’ve released somebody, when you’ve completely forgiven them? You can actually pray for God to bless the person who hurt you. The Bible says we should overcome evil with good, praying for those who hurt us (Romans 12:21; Matthew 5:44).

Third, repeat these steps as long as necessary. Forgiveness is rarely a one-time shot. When somebody hurts you, we tend to think about it over and over and over. How often do you have to forgive the person? The Apostle Peter once asked Jesus, “‘Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother when he sins against me? Up to seven times?’ Jesus answered, ‘I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times’” (Mathew 18:21-22 NIV). In other words, it needs to be continual, limitless; we shouldn’t even try to count the times we forgive, just as Jesus doesn’t count the times he forgives us.

Fourth, begin telling others about God’s forgiveness. The Bible says, “For God was in Christ, reconciling the world to himself, no longer counting people’s sins against them. This is the wonderful message he has given us to tell others. We are Christ’s ambassadors, and God is using us to speak to you. We urge you, as though Christ himself were here pleading with you, “Be reconciled to God!” (2 Corinthians 5:19-20 NLT).

 

© 2008 Purpose Driven Life. All rights reserved.Rick Warren is the founding pastor of

 

Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, Calif., one of America’s largest and best-known churches. In addition, Rick is author of the New York Times bestseller The Purpose Driven Life and The Purpose Driven Church, which was named one of the 100 Christian books that changed the 20th Century. He is also founder of Pastors.com, a global Internet community for ministers.

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