Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Exit Pigpen, Enter Plan B

My BC (before Christ) nature was that of a wallow-er.  I could wallow in self-pity for weeks/months on end.  My husband would say to me, "Will you get over it already!" And my reply was always the same, "Leave me alone. I just want to wallow in it."


And wallow I did.  Oh woe-ezz me!

How easy, after 31 years of having the mind of Christ, did I slip back into my old nature. Wow...please forgive me, LORD.

I have been wallowing lately.  Oddly, there seems to be comfort in that. I guess because it it's so familiar to this old soul of mine. And everything in me wants the familiar right now.

OK, Diane, it's time to get out of the pig sty!  Enough of the old-familiar slop!  Jump back into the Arms of Truth!  Back into positional Truth!  (Thank you, wise-hearted Betty!!!)


"...according to The Power that works within us."  That Power is The Holy Spirit - the same Spirit Who raised Jesus Christ from the grave.  Resurrection Power resides in me, and He will do far more abundantly, above anything I can ask or even imagine.  

Oh, thank You, LORD!  Help me to stop the familiar wallowing and see that a new day has dawned. You give me a future and a hope. Your Resurrection Power will cause me to come alive once again.  You will cause this to work for good in my life so that You will be glorified. 

You were not surprised by this. Before I even knew I had a need for a Plan B for my life, You had a new plan already blue-printed out.  All this destruction will be changed into great purpose, according to Your plan. This is not in vain!  Hear that soul? This will not be in vain!  It will not be, in Jesus' Name!

Just like a pig who wallows in her muddy sty eventually becomes food to nourish our bodies, God will cause my muck-and-mire life to be the same - "food" to nourish someone else's soul.  After all, isn't that what testimonies do?

Thank You, Lord Jesus, for Your loving kick-in-the-butt. Thank You for a friend to encourage me back into positional Truth!  I sure did need it!  I love You, my Lord!  And you, too, Betty!

Because of Him and Unto Him,












Friday, May 23, 2014

New Position = Hope?

Meredith on the Grey’s Anatomy TV show asked, “Does your new position give you hope?”

That question grabbed at me, so here I am – writing.

And contemplating.

Hhmmm…

Does my "new" position give me hope?

Hhmmm…

Hope? 

No.

Because changing “positions” in life isn’t where my hope lies.  My hope lies in Jesus Christ and Him Alone – regardless of any “positions” I may find myself in.
Now may The God of Hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.          ~ Romans 15:13
Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us. ~Romans 5:5 Hope deferred makes the heart sick,
 but when the desire comes, it is a tree of life. ~Proverbs 13:12 My flesh also will rest in hope. ~Psalm 16:9b  
And now abide faith, hope, love, these three… ~I Corth. 13:13 Looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ... ~Titus 2:13
 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, Who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead...                ~I Peter 1:3
For whatever things were written before were written for our learning, that we through the patience and comfort of The Scriptures might have hope. ~Romans 15:4 There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called in one hope of your calling... ~Eph. 4:4 
“And now, Lord, what do I wait for?  My hope is in You. ~Psalm 39:7


Oh, I'm hopeful that this "new" position in life will turn out to be one that will give all glory and honor unto Jesus. 

Because of Him and Unto Him,



    



Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Diabolical Deception

In 40 years of marriage we only went on two vacations.  The first one was after my husband had repented and gave his heart back to The LORD when we were young parents.  He had been backslidden for about 4 years.  His repentance was very dramatic - truly, a testimony to the Glory of our God. 

Shortly thereafter, we rented a cabin on a lake in New Hampshire with friends of ours.

The Saturday morning of our drive up to New Hampshire, we stopped at the Christian bookstore to get some “driving music”.  Back in the car, my husband popped in a cassette of DeGarmo and Key.  The first song that played was Casual Christian. 

This is the chorus of the song: 



I don't wanna be, I don't wanna be a casual Christian

I don't wanna live, I don't wanna live a lukewarm life

But I wanna light up the night

With an everlasting light

I don't wanna live the casual Christian life



We listened to the song. As it came to an end, surprisingly Joe rewound it.  We listened to it a second time.  On the third time around, I was in awe as I sat in the passenger seat next to my non-emotional husband.  He was singing at the top of his lungs with tears pouring down his face.  He could barely drive.  It was a God-moment.

Yep.  That was Joe’s song. It was his declaration. And he lived up to it.  Every free moment after work, from that day on, was spent in ministry and living a life of faith.

What’s so scary in this day and age is that Jesus has forewarned us “even the elect will be deceived”. (Matt. 24:24-25)

WILL BE.

Nope, no one is safe from backsliding. Be not deceived - no one - not me, not you, not my husband. Not the elect.  We must work diligently to guard our hearts and minds – our very lives and eternal homes depend on it.
Keep (guard, protect) your heart with all diligence, for out of it spring the issues of life.    ~ Prov. 4:23
                                              
Torment is the only result of sin.  So when sin calls, when she beckons with her sultry lies, turn away!  Deception is cunning.  Diabolical.  Not easily recognized.  So, we must cast down the vain imaginations that dare to exult themselves above God!  (II Corth. 10:5)
No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.              ~ I Corth. 10:13
God provides an avenue of escape when the temptation to sin comes a knocking. Look for it. And follow that path. My husband’s adulteries, lies, and deceptions all began with a thought. One thought that was not cast down gave birth to others, which gave birth to sin, which has led to destruction. 
Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am tempted by God”; for God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He Himself tempt anyone. But, each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed. Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death. ~ James 1:13-15

Yep. The lure of sin is nothing other than a diabolical deception designed to slowly entice you away from your relationship with The LORD. (Isaiah 59:1-3).

Then SNAP!  You’re caught in its trap.



Oh, Father, grant unto me - clearly - the avenues of escape when I am enticed to sin.  May I speedily cast down ungodly thoughts and give no place to them.  Thank You, my LORD, God. Thank You.

Because of Him and Unto Him,


Thursday, May 15, 2014

True Grit






Well-meaning friends - who only desire the best for me I'm sure - seem to be upset with my decision to settle with my husband. Because of their own horror-story divorces, they are...um...very vocal.

But, their experiences are theirs.

Mine is mine. 

Since every human being is different, every marriage is like-wise. It seems to me then that so would each divorce and settlement be different.

I didn't act swift enough - according to their opinions - in securing a lawyer. Meanwhile, I live according to Prov. 3:5-6:

Trust in The LORD with all your heart,
and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways acknowledge Him
and He shall direct your paths.

When The LORD so directed, I acted promptly. And He has provided me with an excellent attorney.  (And she is a wonderful human being to boot!)

Now, it seems, I'm not living up to their expectations for a settlement.  I consistently hear how wrong I am.

I cannot be, no will not be, anyone else but who I am.  I've been ridiculed (in public, no less), yelled at, and truly frowned upon with head-shaking and all, which has caused me to second-guess myself.

I read in the DivorceCare.org devotional this morning that I should not make decisions based on the approval of others.  

Yes! Validation!

I'm assuming, since the Divorce Care Ministry put that in their book, I'm not the only one who is experiencing/has experienced these same reactions from the well-meaning.

Separation and divorce is such a heartbreaking, confusing, fear-filled time in life. So many decisions must be made while in crisis mode.  I have made my settlement decision based on who I am and how I believe The LORD is directing me.   Who I am is based on Micah 6:8:

He has shown you, O man, what is good;
And what does the LORD require of you
But to act justly,
To love mercy,
And to walk humbly with your God?

I do believe I am being just and merciful to my husband and by doing so I am walking humbly with God, acknowledging that His way is right, not mine or anyone else's. Does my flesh ever want to do what is right in the eyes of those who have gone before me on this horrowing journey?  Yes, it is most tempting, but I am working very hard at not being ruled by my flesh, but to walk and make decisions by The Spirit of God. 

And by The Spirit Alone. 

When I graduated 6th grade, my mother wrote in my autograph book, "To thine own self be true".  That word is my foundation for that which I'm faced with now, with decisions I must make, and with a heart that wants to remain pure before my God.

Not my will, but His will be done.

Most of those (and possibly all) who are in opposition to my choices, don't read my blog, so I guess I'm preaching to the choir so to speak. 

No, I'm not...I'm preaching to myself.  

I'm reassuring myself that I am doing what's right according to God's Heart.  I'm reassuring myself that I am being true to myself - to who God created me to be.

Thank YOU, precious readers, for allowing me this space to do that. With pressure on, I need to keep reassuring myself. 

Mom, I've never forgotten your words.  If they were for a time such as this, thank you for this firm foundation for me to stand on today. May you be proud of me as I stand true to my own self regardless of the opposition. 

Because of Him and Unto Him,










Wednesday, May 14, 2014

One for Forty

You can never fully understand the depths that infidelity and divorce tears a soul apart until you have experienced it. 

In googling for some kind of divorce support group near where I live, I came across DivorceCare.org.  I ordered a devotional and CD series.  It has been a Godsend in understanding all that I am experiencing. 

I’ve come to learn that all the emotional highs and lows, lack of energy, lack of focus, inability to make very simple decisions, the feeling of not knowing who I am any longer is a “normalpart of the grieving process.  And grieving I am.

Two things from the devotional and CD's so far have really ministered to me:
  1. “Separation is not a separation of two people.  It’s a violent tearing of two souls who had been one.”
Yes!  Yes!  That's what it is!  I've been violently torn in half.

On Mother's Day, Alece and I went to Michael’s restaurant for dinner (Michael is a sous chef).  I had to use the bathroom but went into a mild melt down as I kept thinking and blubbered through my tears, “I don't know how to do this without Daddy.”  My daughter was confused, “Don't know how to do what - go to the bathroom?!” 

I knew it sounded crazy, so I’ve been beseeching God for an answer to what is wrong with me that I felt I couldn’t do things without my husband, even going to the bathroom out in public.  

Now, I understand. Thank You, LORD, for that! 

Because we truly were one for 40 years and have now been violently torn in half, I'm no longer a whole. I'm a half.  I will learn to adjust accordingly, but for now, it's like my right side was blown off and I'm trying to walk and do with only half a body. I haven't figured out how to do it all yet.
But, from the beginning of the creation, God made them male and female. For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh; so then they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate.”                                                       ~ Jesus Christ, as recorded in Mark 10:6-10 
   2.  "Your grief is a way of honoring what your marriage meant."   

“…honoring what your marriage meant”…

In a few weeks, I will be celebrating 40 years of marriage.  No, I certainly won’t be celebrating, but I will, hopefully, be able to honor what my marriage meant to me.

What does it mean to me?

….hmmm…

I’ve always truly believed that my husband and I were one and that our marriage was a covenant (never to be broken) between God Almighty and us.

I always believed that my marriage was for better or for worse, till death do us part. And a workaholic's lifestyle is part of the "for worse".  

When my husband asked me to marry him, he said, “Think about it before you answer, because we will never get divorced."  I always believed divorce was not an option - not because my husband said so, but because of the covenant we made with God - therefore, forgiving and choosing not to remember the wrongs became my way of life.

My husband is a workaholic, so we didn't spend as much time together as most couples do over a 40 year span; but in our time together, we did everything together - as one.  Right up to the end.

Our “oneness” conceived three exceptional children who have grown into self-sufficient adults we are proud of.

I was faithful to the end because I honor the sanctity of marriage. 

On June 21st I will choose to remember the good, and be grateful for those times.  I will choose to honor the God-ordained sanctity of marriage and the blessing for having been married and faithful for 40 years.  

The good, the bad, and the ugly -  It was ours together 
Thank you, DivorceCare.org for validating all that I am experiencing.  Thank You, My LORD, my God, for allowing me 40 years of marriage with the husband of my youth. Truly, I  have been blessed.  

Because of Him and Unto Him,  




Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Oh, The Strength of His Might

Empowered.

Over the years, I've heard women say, "I am empowered." 

And I would think that's great.  But, honestly, experientially, I didn't have a clue what they were talking about. 

Until yesterday.

Paul reminds me in God's Holy Word that He would grant me, according to the riches of God's Glory, to be strengthened with might, through His Spirit, in my inner man. (Eph. 3:16)



And that is what I experienced yesterday. 

An infusion.  Into my inner man.

An infusion of The Holy Spirit's Might into my being.

It was almost an "out of body" experience.  I felt like I was standing to the side watching a supernatural God-moment once again in my life. Oh, what joy that brings my soul.

I was BOLD.

Authoritative. 

Declaring what I will accept and no less.  

I stood up for my children. 

I stood up for righteousness sake. I stood up and declared that I knew about his unrighteous, unholy lifestyle. 

And because I have now have that knowledge, I'm in the driver's seat of this divorce.  I'm no longer his victim.  I'm no longer this scared woman who needs a husband to "take care of me".  

My God has proven over and over that He is my Husband, that He has my back, that He will take care of me, and He will supply my needs.  All of them.

Yes, I am empowered. 

But more so, I'm ever so grateful to The Holy Spirit. 

My heart bows before The King of Glory - the King of Holiness - and says, "Thank You. Thank You for this glorious testimony to the Truth of Your Word, the Truth of Your Character. May You continue to be glorified throughout this process of bringing this unholy alliance to a conclusion."  

To all who have been praying for me, I am ever so grateful for you.  From the bottom of my heart, thank you. 

Because of Him and Unto Him, 


  


Thursday, May 1, 2014

The Nots of Love

Lately, I've been meditating on what Love is.  I know what it is NOT:



It is not selfish; it is not self-serving; it is not about me, myself, and I; it is not putting your selfish desires ahead of others; it is not an unbalanced seesaw.  

Extravagant Love lives and reigns in my being.  Caring about the shock and hurt my husband's lifestyle has caused others cuts just as deep as the wounds of his betrayal, infidelities, and deceptions. I care deeply about all the people who have been affected by what I've found to be true about my husband. 

Our family.

Our friends.

The businesses we frequent.  

My husband's choices even affects the economy of all the businesses we had patronized as a couple.

Our favorite vineyards.  Wine clubs have to be canceled.  

Our local cleaners has lost a lot of business because I no longer need his services for my husband's clothes.

The restaurants that we frequented on the weekends.  Not only the business of the restaurant, but also the waiters/waitresses that would serve us are losing out. 

The landscaping company that so beautifully tends to our property.  I can no longer afford much more than a cut and weed.

The Organically Green company that comes each season to spray the property against ticks.  I had to cancel them.

My local food stores and CVS's - not spending as much money as I did when I had two to purchase for.

And I have to face these people.  I have to make the calls. I have to explain...

And my husband just gets to walk away - from me, his children, our life, and our community. No explanations of any kind to any of us. No facing the music.  No accepting responsibility for the losses his sinful choices have caused.  No looking into the eyes of those who cared deeply for him to see their pain, confusion, and disgust.

I look into their eyes. Their reactions cause my heart to shudder because I know my news is causing them pain.  I lie in bed seeing their shocked faces as I try to drift off to sleep.

Nope. That is most definitely not Love. 

And I'm at the place that I want that kind of "love" far away from me.  

Extravagant Love have Your way in me. Fill me to overflowing with compassion and empathy. Fill me to overflowing with Your Love that will keep no records of wrong, a Love that will allow me to bless and not curse, and will allow me the grace to forgive and forgive and forgive.  May I continue to be a beacon of Your Extravagant Love, as You shine through me like a lighthouse.  May Your Extravagant Love overcome all the "nots of love" that have invaded my family's lives and touched my community.  

Let it be so.

Because of Him and Unto Him,