And all through this, God is teaching me: to watch my words, to control my mouth. To have compassion, to understand where others are coming from. He’s teaching me to reach out to other people, those who are hurting and meet them, with compassion, in their needs. He is teaching me that my heart should break for what breaks His. I was selfish, un-motivated. I was a brat. It’s been suggested, yes by a friend, in humor….that I should get a t-shirt that proclaims: Recovering Princess
But, oh how there is truth in humor, right? It’s not all about me. How had I learned to be such a brat over the years, when had the road twisted so sharply, yet so subtley that I became something that God never intended for me to be? It was a slow process, insidious. Before I knew it, I was not a Proverbs 31 kind of wife, nor woman. I wasn’t respectful, far from loving, though I proclaimed love and yes, I did, and do, love with my husband.
Indeed, because I love God more now than I did, before this whole mess of a marriage blew wide open, I also love my husband more now too. You see, I see him through Gods eyes. I see him as God sees him. I love him as God loves him. I forgive him as God forgives him. There is no contact with Terry. He’s still gone. A prodigal in a far country. He wanders and I stand. Now, unflinchingly. Unmoving. No longer do my steps falter. I wear my rings, day and night. I do this, not by my own doing, but by the strength of the Holy Spirit who indwells me. Through the love and leading of my Heavenly Father, who had a plan for me all along and it is this….. that I should live for Him, walk obediently in His way, pay attention to His direction and to love my husband, and stand…and stand firm for the restoration of our marriage. Two things (you say, what….only two?) Well for right now.
A prophetic dream. Yes, God does speak through dreams. Remember, God does not change. What He did eons ago, and how He moved in the hearts, minds and lives of those He called….He can, He will and He does do now!
Back in 2008, I had a dream one night. Clear as anything, I can still see it in my minds eye as if it had only just happened. The scene was the prairie, only totally, completely barren….nothing but flat land and dirt for as far as the eye could see. There was a farm house. A 2-story, clapboard house. Three wooden steps led up to the covered, wrap-around deck. It was weathered, but in good repair, and not unlike a home I wouldn’t mind having right now. But, that’s another story.
In front of this house, about a couple hundred feet away are two, grown, mature Oak trees. Big trees too. They are both ablaze, fully engulfed in flames. In the wind, one breaks loose and goes rolling and tumbling out of control. Right toward the farmhouse! At the last minute, just before it’s about to crash into the abode, it turns a sharp 90-degree turn to the right, and the house is saved.
I woke up.
Now, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to discern that the trees are Terry and I. Both ablaze in sin. The house is our marriage, our home. The tree that is Terry breaks free and rolls out of control. Now that tree could roll anywhere. It has the whole, entire prairie and nothing to stop it. There is only the house. And it just happens to be on a direct and imminent collision course with the only thing on the entire plain? And at the last minute, the house is spared. Now, you tell me that God doesn’t speak through dreams. Your weak rationalizations won’t work on this gal, to be sure.
There was yet another dream, this in 2009 wherein God showed me the path, or the way, the road that He has for me. Basically, the way I should go, which is perfect. The Bible says so. This one too, I can still see plain as day and if I were an artist, I would paint it.
There is a road….it’s paved. Picture yourself standing on this road and looking off toward the horizon. You’re in the center of the street. Paved, clean…..so clean you could roller skate on this road and not have to worry one bit about tripping over a pebble or stick, or crack. The road stretches to the horizon. Clean, straight, level, 2-lanes wide. On either side of the road is open pasture land. Green and grassy, flat. Low hills flank the pastures, indeed there are hills toward the horizon as well. The sky is blue and clear, the sunshine warm on my face. And one other thing…. curbs.
Which just goes to prove that God DOES have a sense of humor. He put curbs on my road to help keep me walking in His way. Basically, if I’m going to wander around in the pasture for a bit, it’s going to take some extra effort to leave His road.
In the dream, I had wanted to take a short cut to get to where I was going, which was home. My family was there: Terry and Kathy. I had wanted to take a quicker way….out in the middle of nowhere appeared a small railroad station, with a comically large, old, dirty, noisily belching steam….locomotive sitting there. I had wanted to get on board and take the quicker, easier way home. I argued with God in my dream, or so it seemed. “Lord, this train…it’s right here, I’ll get there faster!” He said, “No”, and had me cross the track, in front of the engine, and that’s when I saw the road He had prepared for me: clean, level, even paved…..complete with curbs and those country livin’ pastures that He knows I love so much.
And He spoke again, “Why take a short cut when you’re already halfway there.” Indeed, I only had a mile to go…..to be home again. Then…I woke up.
As I continued to struggle with Standing. For you see, God wanted me to Stand. And I thought, Lord, I’m divorced. Who knows what great guy is waiting out there for me! And at that point, I had no idea about Gods position on covenants and marriage, and how marriage is a symbol of the relationship between God and His Church. I had no idea how strongly He felt about vows. And that He means serious business about such things. I also had no idea about adultery. And how, for Terry or I to be married to anyone else is adultery, and continual sin against God.
Now, having the blindness taken from my own eyes, I discovered that I am bound by my covenant of marriage till death we do part. I am still married in Gods eyes. According to His will, His plan, His rules. I am married. So is Terry. To me. So….now we venture into adultery, or as the websites call it: marriage to someone else after divorce = Legalized Adultery. But that’s according to the worlds standards, and we, as Gods children are called to a higher standard. We answer to Him, not to some states arbitrary laws. The easy-out way of the world should not be our way. That is not Gods way and He has very strong feelings, albeit…consequences for His children who venture into those very deep, and treacherous waters. But that’s a post for another time.
So, He said….Stand.
And I argued.
And He said… Stand.
And I pleaded.
And He said…Stand.
And I wandered, insisting on having my own way.
And He said…Stand.
So, I stood.
Then I wandered.
And again, He said patiently….Stand.
And then, a corner was turned. I’m not sure when, or how, it happened. It may have been when Lee Stroebels wife said, in the video…..”I could’ve given up on my husband a thousand times. But I didn’t.”
Or a friend of her’s who responded: “No one is beyond hope.”
Now because He’s tenacious…..and if you arm wrestle with God, we all know who will win…..He has given me, or better yet…..He has developed within me…..something I call: Gumption. Is that the correct spelling? Or, call it guts. Or call it….Strength. Or call it Courage, Ability, Insight, Power, Confidence. All gifts from Him. Oh, not in myself, not at all, but in Him. It is all about Him. And well it should be. He is, after all, God….and we…are not.
Joyce Meyer once said that God reminds her all the time that she is “nothing and nobody without Him”. And, ain’t it the truth, sister! And now, by the grace, power, mercy, strength and faithfulness of God……….I stand, unwavering. I shout and proclaim the Word of God. He who speaks of things that do not exist, as if they did. Well, brother…..so….do….I. I proclaim and speak His Words, His promises….for His glory….it’s all for His glory and our good. Amen! He alone is the one who has the power to bring down strongholds! He alone is the one who can break chains of iron! He alone, can bring down the walls…..crumbling, leaning walls! He brings down, in order to lift back up. Amen, and amen!
One last thought for the day……back when I was in my Stand Or Not To Stand that is the question, phase. I was on my way to church one Sunday morning, and as I was in the habit of stopping at Basha’s bakery for some righteously good donuts….I was parking the car in the nearly empty, early morning parking lot, and crying out to God that I was sick and tired of waiting, I didn’t know what to do, maybe God….just maybe you have a better way for me? I pleaded. I was being whipped back and forth between heeding the call of my God, or succumbing to the easy-out, worlds way, deceptions of the devil……..for the umpteenth time. I quickly ended my prayer….or ranting and raving with God time, and went into the store. I got my donuts and headed back out to the car. I had to walk behind a single, solitary car to get to my own vehicle. My purse in one hand, my other hand clutched at the bag of donuts that I would snark down before getting to church.
One, solitary car to pass to get to my car. I noticed the car, but more so I noticed it’s license plate:
Never Give Up. God even uses Chevy to get His word out. His motto just might be: Whatever It Takes.
Thank you, Lord.