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 4


Someone said this week, “At some point y’all are going to have to choose if you are going to work on this marriage.” I thought that was one of the dumbest things I’ve ever heard. If we weren’t choosing to give God a chance to heal us so we could salvage this marriage, I would have filed for divorce June 28th, the day after Rob decided to move out. The fact that no papers have been signed and we are still talking speaks volumes. It’s just not saying what the law-pushers want to hear.

And that leads me to one more thing. I’ve been accused of being a quitter, of being faithless, of not warring for my marriage. I have stood for 19 years and prayed for healing for Rob and us the whole time. None of you have a clue what has gone on in our home, and you have no idea what I’ve stood through or how I’ve battled. If standing on my own for 17 years while coming under direct fire from within the church from people I’ve tried to get help from and for 2 years with some specifically chosen warriors is quitting, then yep, I’m a quitter. May God have mercy on my soul because I’m sure not finding much of it among His people.

Now, the question that seems to be on people’s minds is what exactly is going on, where are we, and when are we moving back in together. This is the deal we made when Rob moved out:

1. I would not file for divorce before June 1, 2011. I know the healing we need is going to take some time, and before someone argues semantics, yes, I know God can and does heal instantly. However, part of the healing is learning to live differently. Being healed and acting the same way will only get us back where we were. We need to learn new habits and behaviors. We are willing to give it time.

2. Our goal is to create a solid foundation for co-parenting. Yeah, I know that is going to really hit some of you wrong. Don’t care.

3. Seek God in building a real friendship and marriage that has never existed. I know, so many of y’all think we are deceived and make excuses and all your “I don’t want to believe all that” stuff. Again, don’t care. We’ve been here. We know the truth. The truth—not religious comfort zones—make us free.

So, if we have neither filed for divorce or moved back in together by July 1st of next year, you are welcome to ask questions. Until then, you are welcome to pray.

Ah, yes, I nearly forgot. Some of you have been all over the fact we are getting along without fighting, and “that must mean every thing is fine.” That makes us laugh. Most folks have always seen us as the couple to be because of “how well we get along”. If being nice wasn’t enough before, what makes you think it is now? Have you not figured out yet that we can do a good show? And may I also suggest you consider the people of the opposite sex that you see at the store, office, or school with whom you get along fine a few hours a day but would drive you crazy if you saw them all the time or had to live with them? But let me guess. We are supposed to be different because we’re married. So saith the religious comfort zone….

I do have to say that not everyone has been so religious, judgmental, and in some cases, flat out condemning. There are considerable people who have loved on us, given us room to laugh, not felt the need to fix us, and just let our kids have fun. And, yes, most of them are Christians. A few are simply compassionate because of God’s grace. Most have been here themselves and fully understand. Sadly, their story sounds a lot like ours. In a few cases, instead of finding compassion and healing in the church, they had to leave because the lack of caring, the cold looks, and the obvious whispers only inflicted more pain.

As I said, we have four friends who know what is going on within our home. We all have one purpose: healing. But none of us are focusing on healing the marriage. The marriage isn’t sick. The marriage is a thing, an institution, that is only as healthy and whole as its members. Our goal is healing…of the individuals…because after all Jesus died for the people, not the marriage. I know that is shocking to some in the church who have the, “Save the marriage at all costs!” mentality, but really, Jesus died for people.

And for those who are all warped out of shape about that fact, let me put this as simply as possible. If the individuals heal, the marriage can heal. If the individuals don’t, the marriage won’t, and Rob and I both agree we’d rather get a divorce than to walk back into that perverted and twisted perform-to-look-good joke of an institution built on lies and sand. So, it is all about the healing of the individuals with no regard to the institution at this point. I know. Shockingly outside the religious boundaries of good Christianity. However, we are getting used to being shocking.

And some people love us anyway.

Continued in Part 5--Being Loved On

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