Thursday, February 25, 2016

A Napkin Holder?? Really?!

Very shortly after getting the shock of my life regarding my husband's "other" life with his "other" family, my daughter and I went to my son's restaurant for dinner.  Michael is a sous chef in a Southampton restaurant called Red Bar Brasserie.  

Sitting at the table, in non-function mode, I had to use the ladies' room. I could not budge from my seat.  Alece kept saying, "Go, Ma."  Unable to move, these words finally came out of my mouth, "I don't know how to do this."

"Do what, Ma?"

"Go to the bathroom."

"You don't know how to go to the bathroom?!" my perplexed daughter asked.

"No, not without your father."

I think the severity of my state of mind was clearly brought into focus for both of us.

Yesterday, almost two-and-a-half years later, I purchased a new napkin holder.  A simple little thing as that.  It was to replace the 42-year-old one that has serviced our family since we were first married.

I took the napkins out of the old and put them into the new.  And there I stood, with the old in hand.  It all seemed very symbolic.

Again, I couldn't move from my counter-top space.  I found myself saying, out loud, "I don't know how to do this" all over again. An eruption of emotion followed.  Ready as I was to purchase a NEW napkin holder (symbolic of my now NEW life), I realized I was not ready to throw the OLD out.  Not yet.

With water running and mixing with my salty tears, I most carefully cleaned my very old wooden napkin holder as if it were a precious artifact. It IS symbolic.  It was purchased as part of my new married life with my forever life's partner.  Yesterday, it was a symbol of both commitment and broken covenant.

Standing at the sink, I also found myself saying yesterday, "Diane, a napkin holder?? Really?!"

Really.  I know God's Word tells me that I cannot put new wine into old wineskins.  I know the time has come for my old, trusted, valued napkin holder to be replaced. And on the counter it is.

In my heart it is not.  I don't know that it ever will be.  For now, it's laying in the bottom drawer of my dresser where a portion of my heart resides. Closed off and hidden from view.

Agape doesn't throw people away like the trash.  Agape doesn't throw napkin holders into the trash. Not when they represent a family's lifetime.

Because of Him and Unto Him,


Anonymous said...

Diane, I am SO very sorry for your on-going hurts and disappointments. It is almost like these little things rise up and surprise you and then hold you hostage to a state of continual mourning, isn't it? That IS hard! Sort of like sneak attacks that paralyze!

Of course everyone reacts differently, but I think I would have gladly tossed that little napkin holder in the garbage and thanked God for the beautiful new beginning HE has and is giving to me. Putting on the Garment of Praise often means you gotta remove the old rags first, right?

I DO remember dealing with extreme disappointment myself when my husband decided to "move in" with a girlfriend I didn't know existed. He did not interact with the children. He did not provide support. He came into the house when we were gone and took more than half of everything! He not only left me, but he left his children as well. Everyone was raw. Things we needed to run the household were missing. He took...took...took! That was so hurtful. Financially I had to pick up extra work. We were all reeling because now we had to move as well! God Spoke..."I will be your Glory, I will be your Shield, and I will be the lifter up of your head".

The lies of the enemy go down deep as wounds. And they come... All the "if-onlys". All the shared memories....all the items that connected me with another time. Especially my bed. I couldn't afford to replace it and there was no other place for me to sleep. I had 4 kids still at home.

There were lots of little triggers. The message that riddled my whole being was that I had "been thrown away"! For me, healing came more quickly than it has seemed to come for you.

God dealt with me with a no-nonsense approach. "Nancy, who are you going to let be GOD in your Life?" Me or this stuff and all the related circumstances?" As I held each thing up to God, I gave the thing, everything it represented to GOD and then began moving them along.

I didn't view it as throwing "someone" away. William managed that on his own. I decided to ask God to help me disconnect emotionally. That way, if the item was something I needed to function, or if it was something that I had previously purchased, enjoyed, loved or found useful, I thanked God I had it and took the attitude, "Good, now it's mine!"

No, not All of my past with William was bad, but I knew I could not stay in "what was" and allow my emotions to be defined. I had to refuse to be drawn into unproductive sadness or mourning any longer. You know, I even gave away my wedding ring to a couple who didn't have one. It was nice to see it Repurposed. None of my kids wanted it. LOL!

Betty Draper said...

I know only God's grace and strength was how you could write so well about a napkin holder. It drew me in right away and the tears started to flow and I prayed, God help my friend. He has brought you so far and of course He will never neglect or dump you for another. But it is hard at times to stay in that mind set when the old is still around. I say that because you are moving forward at the speed God wants you to move. So my friend, I applaud you for moving that napkin holder from the kitchen to the drawer, out of sight physically but not out of your heart. Beautiful.

Floyd Samons said...

Sorry, Diane. This fallen world is shot through with pain and sorrow. Glad you do have the joy of the Lord in your soul. I respect your honesty and not hiding from pain. It's those that block it or hide from it that never get over it. Our Father will see you through this valley, sister. Praying for you.

Jennifer Dougan said...

This is so powerful, Diane. Thank you for letting us into your heart aches.

No words from me to fix this right now, just a quiet listening. If we were in the same space right now, I'd hug you, cry with you a bit, and keep listening.

Jennifer Dougan

Diane Ronzino said...

Oh, Nancy, how I appreciate your words and your own story. Surely, we belong to a specific kind of sisterhood now. I, too, am sorry for all you have gone through.

In the past year, My Father had done such deep, deep inner healing in me. He continuously (almost daily) heals, delivers, and frees me. I’m free-er now than I ever was in my whole life! It’s been a marvelous year in that respect. God is healing me layer by layer.

I did not write this post from a place of distraught-ness. You are right in that sometimes these emotions spring up when we least expect them to, as in the case of this little napkin holder.

I will not throw things of my past 44 years with Joe away, as I do not have anger or bitterness in my heart. The sentimentality of the napkin holder represents my life with my children as well as my husband. I don’t know that I will ever throw it away.

It’s not a question of just letting go, as I’m very much in “limbo” as my attorney calls it. Nothing has changed from a legal standpoint. I am still married. Nothing has come to a conclusion. Therefore, I am limited, at this point in time, in what I can actually letting go of. I’m living on my own but not free to do much else until this all gets settled legally.

I would rather cling to the good of my life, than have it ripped from the fiber of who I am because I’m only thinking of the horror of it all or because I’m bitter or angry. I am not. Therefore, I’m not eager to throw all the memories away. They will be with me until I go Home. God’s healing and freedom is a process, not just a choice to walk away from it all. I desire to be whole and healthy, which is happening. I am letting go - step by step, as The LORD leads me.

I have a deep, intimate relationship with my Father and I am going at His pace, not my own. This is how He is dealing with me. I’m taking this “limbo” time to heal. I will not go ahead of my Father’s leading.

It seems as though some want me to jump into some kind of “new” life. “Let go and move on” I’ve been told over and over again. I would much rather go at a slower pace - becoming healed, delivered, and free, than to make a decision and turn my back into some kind of new life where there will be no healing or deliverance or freedom because I’m too busy in my “new” life. That is what most people do. But, I am not most people. I bow my heart to The LORD and this is how He is choosing to walk me through this fire. I’m holding His Hand, as He walks two steps ahead of me, leading me.

Sometime in the future, I will be fully immersed in a new life. Right now, it’s only part-way. AGAPE does not throw people away. I will not do - in my heart - what my husband did to me. I will not throw him into a “trash pile” in my heart. I’m a better man than he.

Diane Ronzino said...

Oh, Betty, how you seem to know me. Truly, we are kindred spirits. Thank you for understanding. Thank you for the Wisdom that reigns within you, my wise-hearted sister!

Diane Ronzino said...

Thank you, Floyd, I so appreciate all the prayers. I thank you for journeying with me down this path I'm led on. I appreciate your kindness and heart.

Diane Ronzino said...

Oh, Jennifer...thank you...your words are tender and I so appreciate them. Our Father has been awesome to me. I know you would do that if you were here with me. I feel the love!