Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Digging Deep and Facing Truth

Unless I go away, the Advocate will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you. When he comes, he will prove the world to be in the wrong about sin and righteousness and judgment. John 16:7-8

Have you ever been doing something wrong and never even realized it?

This week I got my husband back. If you‘ve been following my blog, you’ve probably picked up on the various comments about his struggle these past months. All of the anniversaries of both boys squish together from the end of summer to the beginning of winter. So my husband struggled and rallied and struggled some more this fall as we traversed through Andrew’s 16th birthday, Peter’s birthday, Andrew’s passing and Peter’s passing.

It was hard – on both of us. We each wrestled through the season in our own way, matching our individual personalities. The strain of emotional distance and disconnect in our relationship piled on top of the intense weight of grief.

But this week, using his own words, “the clouds finally broke” apart for my husband. He could feel again. He could breathe again. He truly felt a physical change occur. Praise God!

The morning after his sharing with me which led to an intense, healing conversation way overdue, I grabbed my journal to process my thoughts with God. There are times I write to record events and lessons God has shown me. But sometimes God uses the process of writing itself to teach me. I’ll start writing on a topic and the Holy Spirit starts talking. He brings things to my remembrance, recalls scriptures I’ve learned, and by the end has created a new realization I did not understand before I picked up the pen or hit the keyboard.

As I started recording my relief and gratitude to God for the release of my husband, the Holy Spirit took over. Before I had time to recognize I was being corrected, he gently revealed to me doubts and lies I’d been living by the past few months. He convicted me of actions stemming from those beliefs. At one point I simply sat back and stared at what I’d just written. The truth stared at me in black and white.

As I poured out my gratitude to God, the Holy Spirit showed me the depth of my surprise and relief over my husband’s release. I realized I had not really believed it would come. I had doubted my husband’s commitment to God. I’d doubted God’s power to reach him. The proof evidenced in my actions.

I certainly complained enough the past few months. I’d processed through things with friends I could trust. I asked others to pray. I turned to God for strength and grace when I felt abandoned and hurt. I relied on God to endure. But, I had to admit, I did not expect God to change the situation or diligently fight for my husband. And the Holy Spirit showed me the reason: I wasn’t sure I’d win.

Personally, I still struggle to understand how God’s sovereignty fits with free will in various aspects of life. But instead of recognizing my need to wrestle through the concept for this situation, I allowed self focus to consume me. My eyes rested on the ways I felt unsupported. Then I brought the resulting symptoms like self protectionism, resentment, and loneliness to God. I think deep down I recognized the fears but I didn’t deal with them. I never dug deep enough to find the core reasoning for what I felt.

Once I faced the truth of my doubt and distrust, this is what I prayerfully wrote:

Father, sometimes I don’t even realize my doubts and lack of trust until you bring the answer I deep down feared would never come. Holy Spirit help me to recognize my weaknesses and doubts, not just in my feelings and responses – to control my attitude, but to intentionally deal with them. To face them, acknowledge them, call them what they are and deal with them – wrestling until I’m free. I don’t want their interference. I want nothing between us.

Forgive me for doubting you, for doubting my husband. Thank you for working on his behalf, on our behalf, even in spite of my complaining attitude and lack of support or help. Bring this to my remembrance next time so I can/will rise to fight on his behalf, on our behalf. In Jesus Name…

Friend, I share all of this with you not just for my own accountability, but to challenge you as well. With what issue are you struggling? What fears consume you? Rather than worrying the problem, can I challenge you to focus on the answer?

I worried about my husband’s faith. I feared his struggle would always consume him and thus our relationship. I processed and vented and complained to my closest friends and God as well. I asked others to pray. But I did not diligently fight myself – not on the real issues.

Will you learn from my experience and dig deep to the core of your fears? Do you doubt God is powerful enough? Do you doubt God loves you enough? Do you fear God’s desire for you is not good?

Those are the issues I should have faced. Those are the questions I needed to answer. The truth I needed to walk in was MORE than God is with me. I clung to his presence but doubted his power. I grasped his love for me but ignored that same love for my husband. I needed to open the door WIDE to God and all he was and is.

Can you do that in your situation? Can you bring ALL of who God is to your struggle? I pray you will take the time to dig deep, grasp the truth, and then stand and FIGHT!

I no longer want to live my life on the sidelines and then be surprised at the victory. I want to help make it happen. I can’t just deal with my feelings, I have to intentionally pursue and possibly correct the beliefs that cause them. If I truly believe God is who He is, it’s time to act like it.

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