As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it. -- Isaiah 55:10-11

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

An Honest Letter from This Side of the "Fail" Line--Part 5

Being Loved On

So, now that I’ve given all the ways that people have hurt us and isolated us, let me tell you how people have embraced us. I don’t want this to simply be a vent. It is meant to educate and inform.

Some helpful things people have done:

1. Just love us with no ulterior motives. Do you have any clue how nice it is to have a play date without someone using it as an excuse to get us trapped so they can ask questions?

2. One couple chose not to tell me all the things Rob needs to do or be. Instead, this couple took responsibility and talked to Rob themselves.

3. Game night where it was really about “being there” and caring with no questions—unless you want to talk—or lectures (so sick of lectures on what needs to be done and how from people who don’t even know what’s wrong and no real idea how to fix it).

4. “A book that helped me.”—Not the, “You need to read this,” thing, but simply, “I have this book. It helped me (and how). If you want to read it, you’re welcome to it.” Non-threatening, non-judgmental, just offering some hope and help.

5. Grace. I have a friend who fully believes in marriage and fully believes all efforts should be made to save it, but when I said, “I don’t know if I can stay if things don’t change,” instead of telling me how I was failing to have faith or just needed to make up my mind and do it, he said, “Then you know there will be consequences. You know it’ll impact the kids. You know you are going to have to pray through that and seek God to walk through it with healing for all of you. You know you are going to have to have the wisdom to let God lead you through to the other side to where the healing is.” Yes. Healing. That is the pursuit.

You know what he didn’t do? He didn’t tell me how screwed up my kids would be. He didn’t lay some heavy burden on me about how it’s my responsibility to make sure everyone came through okay. He didn’t tell me how I would end up losing my ministry and my life purpose if I got a divorce or didn’t perform just right and get everyone to harbor safe and sound. In fact, he didn’t try to scare me into performing at all. He didn’t dump fear on me in any way.

What he said was simple: sometimes humans fail, and he wanted to know if I trust God to cover us all even if we fail. Did I believe in grace to cover me and my family when I simply wasn’t good enough to fulfill the law? Yes, I do. Sadly, it seems a large number in the church don’t.

6. Believe God can heal…even when it doesn’t look like the box we think it should, or in the time frame we want it to be in. I won’t try to explain it. I’ll just say I trust God to heal according to His perfect love.

7. Understand that sometimes a season of separation is better than a lifetime of divorce.

8. Be hopeful without being pushy. We don’t need anyone telling us what God is doing. We see it every day. We know better than y’all.

Continued in Part 6--What Now?

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