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Archive for the ‘christianity’ Category

I’ve known friends who have had major events change the routine of their daily life and I’ve often wondered how they establish a new normal. Well, this is what I am now experiencing first hand.

Amazingly, it is not as difficult as I thought it would be. Granted, it is not easy. It is tragic in all sense of the word. But it is also a time of new beginnings.

I feel it and so do the kids.

I see beauty in the outcome and sadness in the death, but my Father has been teaching me that there’s beauty in the process. That while a healed and whole family is a marvelous thing to behold, the process that got us there is where He is most glorified and where He draws us to Himself. Dreams die and plans change and seasons end, but He is not done yet.

As for my husband, he has moved out of his friend’s house and is now living with another woman. I have no idea what his relationship is to her, and I don’t want to know. This decision he made regarding his living arrangements further convinces me that I made the right choice in ending the nightmare my marriage had become. I still have hope that one day, his eyes will be opened to all he has lost and all he has done to cause that loss. Then maybe, he will be able to receive the help he needs. But until then, with God’s grace, I am moving forward towards health for myself and my children.

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The minutes before someone is about to experience an unexpected life changing event . . . Is there any warning? A sense of foreboding? A flutter of the heart? Does the sun shine brighter or the night seem darker?

Even with 20/20 hindsight, I can not say there was a moment when I KNEW something was about to happen. That the thing which would change everything was about to assault me as I walked through the door that evening.

Maybe my mind was too preoccupied with all that still needed to be done at home after a long work week. Maybe it was the feeling of being thrown off balance when I came home to an empty house. Where was everyone? No note, no text, no voicemail.

As I stood in the middle of the empty stillness, so foreign to my usually bustling home, I immediately heard the insistent and unmistakeable beeping of an electronic device. I made my way through each room until I found it. My husband’s Blackberry. Usually locked and password protected . . . But not tonight.

My hands were trembling, and my conscience questioning as I fumbled with the phone, pressing multiple buttons trying to figure out how to open it. Not sure what I would find as I quickly scanned through the texts and e-mails, but in a matter of moments, my trembling hands turned into full body shakes.

Elaine.”

There were more messages than I could count that were either from her or to her.

Someone whose name he had never even mentioned to me, but apparently was communicating with daily.

My emotions were spinning and swirling with the power of a hurricane, but my mind was functioning in the eye of the storm as clarity of thought possessed me. Not knowing how much time I had before everyone came home, and knowing that I had to be sure before I confronted, I began forwarding the e-mails to myself.

I knew I wouldn’t have the opportunity to read the e-mails thoroughly until the following day when I was alone, but before I did, I wanted to give him one chance to explain.

***

It was a simple question. Asked that night before bed.

“Who is Elaine?”

My husband blinked several times in surprise, but recovered his composure quickly as he responded nonchalantly,

“Oh, just a friend that I met through work.”

“Is there anything I should know about her?” I asked, making direct eye contact as I spoke.

“What do you want to know about her? . . .”

I shrugged my shoulders.

“She’s someone who I met through work and we have been exchanging prayer requests.”

And with that, he rolled over, turned out the light and ended the conversation.

***

The following morning, during my first moment alone, I opened my inbox and began reading. The endearments, the familiarity, the inside jokes. It was obvious this was more than a casual friendship. And, of course, there was not a single “prayer request” to be found.

(to be continued)

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” ‘I will not let You go until You bless me,’ was the tenacious, passionate motto of my youth. It was the ultimate challenge to God of how much I really wanted the things I said I did.”

I read these words from the blog “Mindspace” and everything stopped as I thought of the implication these words had for me. Yes, I have spent years praying for my marriage, but God knows my heart, and He knows I have not prayed for my husband with conviction, passion or faith in a long, (long) time.

“God then challenged me to acknowledge that as long as I didn’t pray for my husband, I had no right to complain, or be dissatisfied, or demand change . . . “

“It was like God was saying, ‘What kind of marriage do you really want? What kind of man are you really seeking for in your husband? How serious are you? How much do you really want it? Enough to go to therapy, read books on marriage and self improvement . . . But how about pray? You complain, analyze, are disappointed, disillusioned, ready to give up . . . while it is much more work to trust God’s timing, to stand your ground, to stay alert to Satan’s lies . . . Pray. Pray for the fathers you never had, the intimacy you’ve never seen modeled, the honesty and wholeness that is foreign to both of your families of origin.’ “

“He challenged me  to never open my mouth and complain if I am not willing to spend even a fraction of that time on my knees praying.”

” . . . And so I will pray. Not just for the sake of myself and my husband, but for my children, the new generation, I am praying for a new family history, a break in the sin of the forefathers, and a new level of health and wholeness for my family.” ~ Mindspace

Wow, huh? I am humbled by her words. How can I not be when they cut to the core of everything?

” . . . And so I will pray.”

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Wishing this couch wasn’t so familiar to me as I settle in with a box of Kleenex, anticipating an emotional hour spent sharing the events of my week.

“I just want you to sit and listen while I read something to you“, my therapist announced unexpectedly. With no preface, she began reading:

Narcissistic wounding starts early in life to children whose parents are insecure, abusive, addictive, or have narcissistic patterns themselves . . . People with narcissistic traits process information, emotions and unresolved pain to make up for what they did not have in childhood.”

“Narcissistic injury happens to the child when his emotional needs are not  met . . . They learn how manipulation and using guilt gets what they want.”

They cannot tolerate negative emotional distress and turn it on others in blame, rather than looking within to see their own part of the problem . . . They deny and rationalize their own contribution to the problems to preserve their own internal fantasy of being good and right.”

“They are super sensitive to criticism and either attack the other person or leave the scene. This blaming the person who gives criticism helps the person with narcissistic defenses avoid feeling guilt, shame and depression, but it also keeps them from taking responsibility for learning from their mistakes and ultimately from growing up.”

“They seek refuge in being seen as the good guy and try to gain approval and recognition from others . . . Constantly seeking attention and approval puts them in the precarious position of always needing something from yet someone else.”

“As they believe they are right and others are wrong, they rarely admit faults in themselves . . . They believe they have the right to do whatever it takes to get short term gratification without suffering any consequences . . .They have little or no remorse for the pain they caused the other person, only anger that they did to get away with their behavior.”

“Family members learn to back off from confronting their bad behavior in attempt to not ‘hurt their feelings’ . . . Criticism of their behavior or trying to get them to see what they are doing only causes them to entrench further into defensiveness.”

“When found out in wrong doing, they get evasive, lie or get angry . . . They would rather threaten their relationship than face humiliation, embarrassment or injury to their self esteem.”

“The narcissism defenses of becoming angry, shutting down, minimizing and distancing keep them feeling safe in the moment . . . People with severe narcissistic traits do not change because they do not believe that they have a problem . . . They CAN NOT see the damage that they inflict on others.”

CHARACTERISTICS OF THE NARCISSIST

* Uses emotional blackmail to get what he wants
* Has poor insight and can not see the impact his selfish behavior has on others
* Wants to control what you do and say – tries to micromanage
* Is unable to see things from any point of view other than his own
* Ignores your feelings and calls you overly sensitive if you express feelings
* Does not expect to be penalized for failure to follow directions or conform to guidelines
* Neglects the family to impress others
* Is overly involved with his own hobbies

She looked up from the screen of the tablet from which she was reading and asked, “Does this sound like anyone you know?” I nodded, speechless.

“I’ve always doubted the diagnosis of ADD for your husband, and even though it might be accurate, this sure seems to describe him as well, doesn’t it?” Again I could only nod, dumbfounded.

But what does this mean? Then I realized . . . my husband may have multiple issues which could explain his behavior, and that are blindingly evident to those closest to him, but it really is quite irrelevant until he sees that he has issues which need to be addressed and until he wants to resolve them.

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Often times, the things I know, the things of which I am certain, are outnumbered by all the things in my world which make no sense.

I am in one of those seasons now.

I have literally poured my life into my children, yet today, this family seems to show no evidence of that. And while there is no tangible comfort for me right now, I stand before God, in all my weakness and weariness, holding the only thing I have . . . . His strength.

Realizing that acknowledging is not the same as approving and that I must walk the painful road of maintaining God’s standards while I continue to love (ALL) my children.

Following God’s example, loving my wayward ones, always making room for the way back, without changing the standards of my own convictions.

Remembering that I am the right parent for my child because I know first hand the restoration of sexual brokenness through a relationship with Jesus.

Knowing that my child is not a mystery – that God has their instruction manual . . . And that God knows my heart, my motives and my dreams for these children. My children . . . my legacy.

Hebrews 12:12 So take a new grip with your tired hands and stand firm on your shaky legs. Mark out a straight path for your feet. Then those who follow you, though they are weak and lame, will not stumble and fall but will become strong.

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My favorite song right now:

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– Five children
– Four sons
– Two questioning their sexual orientation

How does this happen? . . . Can someone please explain this to me? . . .

How. Does. This. Happen?

***

My husband didn’t believe me. He compared our son to himself. Our son had mostly female friends, which my husband found completely normal. Especially since he often said he couldn’t relate to men himself and used that to justify his own many female friendships. I then sent my husband a copy of the e-mail.

I had to.

There was no denying the facts when he read our son’s own words saying he considered himself a gay atheist.

My husband agreed that we had to confront. We sat down with our son and told him “we knew”.
Our son began to cry.
I did too.
The phone rang.
My husband answered it.
He took the phone to the bedroom and stayed there for the rest of the evening.

So much damage. My son could barely speak through his tears as he sobbed of how hurt my husband’s actions were to him. How he wanted to be nothing like his father when he was grown.

My son and I spoke of the faith he had been raised to believe, but now discarded, because “God wasn’t real. For if He was, He wouldn’t create a boy who liked other boys, and then call it sin.” He confessed that he now calls himself an atheist, but feels like a sinner everyday.

We spoke of the fear that fueled the lies. He knew that he was loved, but was sure I “loved God more” and that my faith would force me to choose my God over my son.

So much heartbreak.

So much need for healing.

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