Right Relations / You said ‘I do’ / My marriage testimony /Commitment

Here is the continued work on ‘Right Relations’

I have written a little about Adam and Eve. The first couple God created and joined together. I guess it was a matter of choice for Adam or Eve; they were the only two living in the Garden of Paradise. Today we have a lot more to choose from when seeking out a mate. Too many of us have chosen to test the waters and date around, and I am using the term date loosely. We even have brothers and sisters in Christ who are what some call, ‘Shacking up.’ This is not God’s way, and it should not be acceptable within the church. Then there are those who get married because they feel pressured to do the right thing. They say they love the person they are with but they are not sure if it is going to work out so they would rather wait. Then there are the couples who before getting married sign a prenuptial agreement. This is a big red flag to me that says there is no real commitment; it is more like a lease to own arrangement. ‘Till death do us part’, has given way to until you do something I don’t like, then I am out the door. Then there is the grass is greener on the other side and you see something you like better than what you have. I know too many of us have been divorced. I am not saying that there are not marriages that needed to end, because there are. My marriage is included in that group. It was not that it was not a happy marriage or that I did not love him. I did love him and when I said ‘I do, I meant it not only to my husband but to God. We were supposed to be married in October of ‘95’.  The date changed to July, not because I was pregnant or that this was my idea. I had gotten off work and I was informed that the upcoming Saturday is when we were going to be married. I was utterly confused, Robert told me that he had discussed it with our Pastor and that there was no reason to wait till October. My response was, ‘Yes there is.’ I was still planning a wedding in October I had friends who would fly from California to Missouri, to be in my wedding, and my father was going to be driving up from Texas. He told me we could have a big wedding on our anniversary and they could come then. Then he told me it was already set with the church. He followed up with, ‘Don’t you love me, and aren’t we getting married anyway?’ I foolishly agreed, thinking this was my first act of submission to my husband.

I look at the wedding video and it is more like a funeral procession and the only one smiling was Robert. By this time it was too late, I had said ‘I do’, and I believed in till deaths do you part. Then I got pregnant immediately after the wedding. I had an instant family. He was thrilled of the news of a baby. To be honest I was not so sure. In the beginning he was sweet and attentive. He knew all the right words to say and I felt happy to be with him. Then by the time I was a few months pregnant, we moved two hours away and it did not take long for things to change. We had moved back to his old stomping grounds. The abuse, drugs and cheating began. By the time I had my daughter, I had been in every room in the ER. The shame I felt when he would leer at the doctor as he examined, like the doctor was doing something wrong made me feel like such a disgrace. The sad part was in the little town we lived in I was the bad guy. He would call the police after beating me and they would try to arrest me! Thankfully they didn’t when I pointed out that I was not only hurt but pregnant, and that I was raised in California, ‘Sue capitol, USA’. That if they arrested a pregnant woman who had just been beaten I would go public. They would leave and do nothing to him. Meanwhile he also had a number of girlfriends he cheated on me with. I know what you are thinking, ‘Why didn’t you leave?’ I know I had every right to leave, but if my marriage was going to end it was not going to be because I ran away. I had made a covenant with God, and I care more about my relationship with Him than what people thought. Not that there were many who actually cared about me in our community or our church. Thankfully there were a few. When my daughter was born, things did not get better. Within less than a week of being home from the hospital, I was being taken by ambulance to the hospital. He had punched me so hard in my stomach which had been staple after having an emergency C-section. Nurses started making visits to my home unannounced to check on me. I guess they figured out what was going on. We started going to counseling. All but three women from our church had turned on me. I started hearing that my husband would have to cheat or beat me if I was a better Christian wife. More and more damage was being done to both my body and my spirit.

The counselor began meeting with us separately and asked if I wanted to go to a shelter. A part of me wanted to go, but I said no because if I did there would be one less bed for a woman who was in worse shape than myself, that somehow I would get by. Then one of his friends was over one night, and he was the only one of my husband’s friends who was not a drunk or an addict. Houston was the only good friend Robert had. He was spending the night and had heard what Robert was doing to me in the bedroom. He asked to get me and my daughter out, that he would protect me and my daughter. This time I had to refuse for his safety. I told him that where we lived a black man taking a white woman out of her husband’s house was very likely to find a cross burning in his yard. So once again I said that I would be okay somehow.

The last six months of our marriage I wanted to run so far away. I even wanted to kill myself. Yet I prayed this prayer every day, “Father, only You know what is in my husband’s heart and only you can set me free from his abuse. If there is any chance he will repent and stop abusing me, I will forgive him. I will be everything Your Word says a wife is to be to her husband. You also know if this marriage is going to kill me, and if this is the case, set me free. I am trusting You with my life and the life of my daughter.’ I prayed this over and over again till six months had passed, and it was the weekend of my birthday. He had decided we were going to drive the two hours it took to visit his mother. I had to be the one to drive and it was raining so hard I could not see more than a car length ahead. A two hour drive had doubled. The verbal abuse I endured throughout the drive had worn me down. I was ready to drop him off and leave him behind. The rain may have stopped by the time we got to his mother’s house but his issue with control was in full gear and he refuse to get out of the car. He had my stepdaughter get out and go to grandma. I felt trapped. I wanted him out of the car. I wanted to take my daughter and leave. Next thing I know there is a tap on my window to roll the window down. It was my mother in-law.  She ordered Robert out of the car and told me to sit and listen. She had some not so nice things to say about her son, nothing I disagreed with. Then she pointed out that my step mother did not have a decent mother or father and that I was her only hope. She played her hand well. She got to me using my stepdaughter. She told me I did not have to spend time with my husband but I was to get my rear into her place and that she was making me dinner the next night. I made it through Labor Day weekend to come home on my birthday. Little did I know it, I was about to get a present from God.

Robert told me he was leaving. I asked him if he had someone picking him up because he was not going to take my car. Now we did not have a telephone of any kind. We had to use a payphone next to the community center in the apartment complex where we lived. We had not been home long enough for him to go outside and use it, so when he told me his friend was on his way, I knew he had already planned this. So to be clear I asked him, ‘You are really leaving, and you don’t live here anymore?’ He said yes. I had so much peace and I was actually smiling, which really confused him. He asked me, ‘Why I wasn’t crying?’ My response was, ‘You just gave me the best birthday present, because I don’t have to allow your friends in my house, I don’t have to put up with the pain. I am free!’ I neatly carried all of his belongings out the door and felt like the sun had come out for the first time in months. God had answered my prayers. You see my commitment to God and His faithfulness kept me alive. I might have been banged up, but I lived and He set me free. I don’t mean to say every woman in an abusive relationship has t stay because she is married to her abuser and this also goes for the men who are abused. Get out, and get to safety. I was young and dumb, and it is only by the grace of God that I lived.

Back to beginning of the end of my marriage, we separated back in September of ‘96’. He then began telling everyone, that our daughter was not his, and that I tricked him into marrying me. It took a number of times for him to submit to a DNA test, and how I got him to do that is a story for another day. Then after all of this he refused to give me a divorce. My attorney had told me that unless I needed the divorce to remarry don’t fight him, because he would win and I would be spending money I didn’t have. So I told him he could keep the marriage license I was done.  Then later he finally served me with divorce papers and we were divorced on Valentine’s Day 2000.

God had helped me keep my commitment to Him, and gave me the freedom I needed. I thank God that what He sets free is free indeed. Since then I have had many more tails and tribulations, and if you know the story of what was done to me regarding my daughter which you can read about in ‘Relations Restored’, you can see that God’s commitment to us never fails. Yes my marriage ended but my relationship with Jesus is so much better than it ever was. That is one commitment I will never regret. I could have turned my back on God while I was married, with all the abuse and anger. The betrayal of my husband cheating on me. I could have blamed God, all of this would have been easy to do. I was just learning the meaning of commitment during this trial in my life. You don’t know how many times I had turned away, angry, bitter and filled with rage. I would have liked to say when my marriage ended that all of that baggage left with him, but there were things lodged into my heart. Even though I had a commitment with God and I trusted him with my physical life, there are still things that I have not let go of and anger and trust issues that I deal with today.

My husband had not been the first to abuse me or cheat on me and he was not the last. I just learned as soon as it was going in that direction to get out and start over, until the day I got tired and stopped trying to find a relationship. I did realize though that until my life is right with God no earthly relationship will ever be right completely. I am not against relationships or marriage. I just think it is more important for me to work on my relationship with Jesus, and with myself. This way I will be the person that God wants me to be. I am just no her yet, but I will be. I am learning trust hope, love and faith are things I cannot live without, I just have to learn how to get them and let go of all the pain and bitterness. I know I am not alone on this journey, and that there is still a long road to travel but we will get there.

Once again I am asking for testimonies on relationships. They don’t have to be tragic or abusive. I would love to read some testimonies on some relationships that have endured whatever the world has thrown their way and are just as much in love to day as the day they first said, “I do’.

Advertisements

Thankful February 22, 2018

Yesterday was an interesting day here in the little town of Bridgeport, Texas. First we had an ice storm move in, so I had to leave work after only working 2 hours and as desperately as I need every penny and cannot afford to miss work, I knew if I did not leave when I did I could end up missing a lot more work than a day or two. So I warm up my car and scrape off the ice that was already covering my windshield and head home. I didn’t make it out of the driveway of the apartment complex where my client lives before my windows were icing up, so I stopped and scraped the ice off again. I didn’t make it a block before the ice on my windows would not be moved by my windshield wipers, and unfortunately the road I was on there was no where I could safely pull over and since there were cars behind me I had to slowly trudge along using the lights on the car ahead of me to make sure I was on my side of the roan. A five minute drive turned into a 20 minute one, but thankfully I made it home safely without any incident. Thankful to be home safe and warm a power surge hit. Electricity went out. I was told ice on the power lines were to blame. Thankful to own thermals and sweats I layered up. Reports of accidents and hearing sirens from ambulances I was thankful to be home safe. Hours later still no electricity I was thankful for my little French press. I had decided to see if any work was being done to fix the electric for the apartments I live in and to see how other neighbors were doing. One neighbor said they were dealing without having power but they sure wanted some coffee. I told them I had a French press and could make them coffee. All I needed to do was boil some water and thankfully our stoves are gas. So they brought over some coffee and their coffee pot. So thanks to my little press we had coffee and they could take some home. Just as I finished pouring the coffee into their pot the lights came on. They took their coffee home and I went to blowing out candles. The second I blew out the last candle there was a loud bang. The transformer blew. Once again we were in the dark. It was hours later before it finally got fixed and the electricity came back on.

There are many lessons that can be learned from this day.

1 The true source of power comes from God alone. Jesus told His disciples He had to return home but that He would send us His Helper. This being his Holy Spirit.

John 14:26  (NKJV) But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you.

2 That even in the darkest hours of our lives when there is little light or none can be seen at all He is with us.

John 8:12  (ESV) Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”

There are many more I could share with you but today the one that is important to me is this. Be thankful always. Not only when the sun is shining and you are happy and do not have any worries. James tells us to count it all joy when we face trials and tribulations.

Ephesians 5:20 giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ,

Colossians 3:16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.

Knocked down again

Yesterday I wrote https://emotionalpeace.wordpress.com/2017/07/30/knocked-down-but-back-up-again/comment-page-1/#comment-2521 Knocked down but back up again. Well since then I have come down with a stomach bug, came home from getting a Sprite to calm my stomach only to spill it all over my living room floor. When I went to get a mop to clean it up I slipped and fell landing face first hurting my knee and wrist which was finally feeling better from a fall I took a couple of weeks ago when I got tripped by a dog.

So here is my question and thought for today –

Q: What do you do when you fall and no one is there to help you up?

To be honest when I fell I cried and yelled at first, but there was no one but me to clean up the spilled soda, so I had no choice but to make myself get up and mop up the mess. I then got some ice packs and and laid on the couch. One of my fears is that one day I will fall and not be able to make myself get up and since I live alone I wonder how long will I lay on the floor till help comes. For me it could be days since I do not get frequent visitors. My concern is not for me alone. I work as a home caregiver now and my job is to not only cook and clean for my clients but companionship and to be able to call for medical help if there is a need. I have had clients who have wonderful families who check on them on a regular basis but I have also had clients that have no one. These are the ones my heart has empathy for since I know what it is like to be alone and not in the greatest health. A friend of mine asked her pastor once if the church did anything for the the home bound people in the area and he replied no because if they wanted to hear the Word they would find a way to make it to church. She pointed out that if they made cds of the sermons these people would appreciate being able to hear the message and feel cared for. He did not agree. I often take a meal to any of my neighbors knowing how nice it is to just to be thought of or picked a flower and gave it to them just to brighten their day. It is not much and I am limited in what I can do but I do this because I know what it feels like to be not only alone but to feel lonely and unimportant at times. Yesterday my next door neighbor knowing I didn’t feel well brought me flowers from her flower bed and I am thankful for her thoughtfulness. Sometimes we will get knocked down and are not able to immediately get back up. It hurts and can be terrifying. We can lay there while fear overcomes us and we drown in loneliness. The other option is to breathe and take moment to clear your thoughts. Being afraid is not going to get you back up and you might be alone without physical help but Jesus is always with you even when you are fallen. It hurt like hell getting up after I fell and mopping up the mess did not make any part of me feel better, but this time I got up. I wasn’t happy and a few colorful words did escape my mouth as I cleaned up the mess and yes now I am resting giving my body a chance to heal up but tomorrow will come and I will get back up and do it allover again. Hopefully without falling or being sick. i have to hold on to hope and not give into fear and trust no matter how bad it gets God is always for me.

Proverbs 24:16
For a righteous man falls seven times, and rises again, But the wicked stumble in time of calamity.

Knocked down but back up again

A while back I wrote about the tree that fell down in the playground at my apartment and how they had to cut the rest of it down.

IMG_0001

This beautiful tree lost a huge branch.

IMG_0006

IMG_0003

So it had to be cut down because it was rotting on the inside.

IMG_0005 (2)

IMG_0012

IMG_0053

IMG_0021 (1)

IMG_0002

So to recap, large branch fell causing the tree to be cut down, chopped and ground to nothing. This tree is gone, or is it?

Here where a tree had fallen and was cut down to nothing is life shooting up out of the ground.

Many times in our lives we feel the pruning sheers of life cutting away at us. For some of us we feel like we are cut down to nothing and there is nothing left. Yet looking at this tree sprouting out up from the ground I am reminded that even when you seem to have lost it all and there is nothing left, do not give up and hold onto hope.

Job 14:7 For there is hope of a tree, if it be cut down, that it will sprout again, and that the tender branch thereof will not cease.

 

Righteous anger or just plain anger?

How do you know if your anger is righteous or if you are just plain angry? I know of many who will justify not only their anger but what is done in anger, and some that will even use scripture to give just cause. Yet is this right?

Along with fighting depression I have a major battle with anger. I have been told I am right to be angry for the things that have been done to me. That they understand why I have reacted in anger and that it was okay because I was hurt. Something inside of me says this is wrong. There is no excuse that I can give for any outburst of anger that I have had. No matter how minimal the damage I may have done when I have been angry I have still caused damage. Even if it was just my words and that I shot off my mouth, Wrong is wrong. Almost everything I have ever broken when I have been angry has belonged to me, It dos not matter if I threw an object and it shattered or I tore up clothes or burnt pictures. The damage cannot be undone. This damage is not as bad as the words that have come out of my mouth, and the cursing that I have done. Even the hateful thoughts are wrong. For it starts as a thought, then comes out in either physical actions or words and both can do irreversible damage.

They say to be careful with a cornered animal because you do not know how it will react or how bad it can hurt you. I used to be that cornered animal, and all the pain that was inflicted upon me to make me cower in fear. To control and manipulate me would eventually back me into a corner where I felt the only way to survive was to fight back with all that was left within me. The saying dynamite comes in small packages was one I used quite a bit yet I out my own spin on it. I would say, ‘Dynamite comes in small packages but nitro comes in smaller and has a bigger bang. Call me Nitro.’ That was when I was proud to be angry. I had every reason to be yet the person who I hurt the most was myself.

I thank God that I am not that woman any more. Yet I still fight the anger that sometimes still boils to a rage inside of me. The difference now is that I know it is wrong and I can acknowledge that the words or even the thoughts I have when I get angry like this are wrong. One saying I can agree with today is, ‘Two wrongs do not make a right.’

So how do I know my anger is not righteous? For one reason is because a hatred begins to burn inside. Then condemning and hate filled thoughts fill my mind. No one even has to be around, just a thought of something that upsets me pops into my head and a fuse gets lit and the anger begins. Thankfully this is not an everyday occurrence but when my body’s pain level rises I have noticed my level of agitation lowers and I become more irritable. Why share any of this with anyone? I learned a while back that by putting things out into the light exposes the darkness hidden within me. Then the darkness has to flee. Scripture tells us to take every thought captive. I believe this is good because not every thought that passes through our minds are good. We are to rid ourselves of the damaging thoughts and keep the ones that keep us focused on Jesus Christ. I would like to say that the war on my anger has been won, but I still have my battles. There are battles I have won and there are battles in which I lost. I thankfully get a reprieve from these battles but then the war rages on and the fight begins again. The thing I am learning is that I do not fight anger with anger and I definitely do not fight it with hate. I start with myself and acknowledge any wrong on my part and then repent and ask God for His mercy and to help change me into a more loving person, that can be loving and merciful to those who seek to do me harm. Learning that these people are just being used as weapons and that the real enemy is not human, and is nor the terrible and painful events in ones life. The really enemy will wear any disguise that will help him do the most damage. He will twist your hurt and pain and try to make you his puppet. Something I have learned is that he only has the power over me that I give him. Will I still feel pain? Yes, I will. Can this body die? Yes it will. James told us to count it all joy when we face various trials and tribulations. How can we do this?We turn to God. We believe Jesus. We allow His Holy Spirit to help and comfort us. We cry out to God. We tell Him how we are feeling and we pour out our tears at His feet.

I have not yet reached the goal but I get up each day and press forward. There are days I lay down weakened by my body, my mind and this life. Then the nest day comes and it is back on my feet, even if I do not feel like it. Of course that is when I think God has a cattle prod and gives me a loving jab. Yet I know those jabs are because He loves me and He does not want me to fall to the wayside. So I do no fight like I used to. I am learning that not only do I need to turn my cheek but as much as it pains me to offer up the other one. The battle is the Lord’s, I need to just trust in Him.

I am not my race and I am not my gender

With so much division and hate in this world this came to me. Some may not like what I have written but here it is.

I am a Christian

I was born a baby girl and grew into a woman. I have lived through many things. I have had good day and many bad days. I was molested and abused. Was this because I was born a girl or that I am half Japanese or an eighth Blackfoot or the rest of the mix German, Irish, and English. I do not think any of that was a contributor to the wrongs I have lived through. Girls are not the only ones who have been molested. Many boys have been molested. So sex does not determine who the victim will be. I have heard that these pedophiles are all homosexual. I have known many homosexuals in my life and not one of them ever hurt a child. The one who molested me was a male.  Even the men who have had boys for their victims are not doing so because they might be gay, it is because they are monsters. They prey on the weak, ones who they can control, manipulate and intimidate. These victims are not chosen because of their race or religion but because like a mouse is prey for a cat that is what I can compare a child who has been a victim to this terrible deed. (As I am writing this I am doing my best not to use profanity not because it is not a profane act but because I do not want to give it power over me anymore.)

Was I molested because of what I wore? I remember when I was growing up and this was back in the 70’s there was a rape case where the rapist was not found guilty because the woman was wearing jeans. I have tried to find this case but the only one I could find is a case in Italy that happened in 1999. Back to what  a victim is wearing. I could walk down the street naked and that does not give anyone permission to rape or molest me. It does not matter what color my skin is or what your skin is if you have been raped or molested it is not because of this. Your attacker is the one who is wrong.

Wrong doings have been happening since Adam and Eve were kicked out of Eden because they sinned. Cain killed Abel and many other murders and crimes have been committed. Hebrews were slaves in Egypt. Slavery has not been kept to one race. One person or group has always sought power and dominion over another person. People’s lands have been stolen. People have been sold by their own people and this has happened in every country. Men and women have been at war with each other for what seems like forever. God has used women throughout the Bible. It was through Sarah that Abraham would be given the son God had promised. Deborah was not only a woman and a wife but a Judge over Israel. She did not hesitate to go out in battle, and she fought on the front lines. Esther an orphan marries the king and becomes a queen who saves her people. Mary gives birth to Jesus and is there when He is crucified. Anna was a prophetess. The church is called His bride. Women have value but too many have looked for recognition from the world. Demanding their rights they have no problem ending the life of unborn children, stating, ‘My body, my choice.’

I used to read a series of books by Laurel K. Hamilton in which her main character Anita Blake say, ‘Humans are the worst monsters.’ As I look around this world I could easily agree with her. We can blame the devil all we want but it is our choices and our actions. Yes you have suffered at another’s hands, but does that give you a right to hurt another. We spread hate and prejudice like butter on toast. We demand our rights while trampling all over another’s.

One of the best things I have found in Christ is that God does not see me in a limited view determined by man (People, male or female.) He does not limit me to my sex or to my race (as mixed as that is). He sees His child who He loves. A child He sent His Son to die for. A child He adopted into His family because I am special to Him. I am His, I am a Christian. No matter what was done to me or what I have done I am forgiven and I am loved. This is also you, if you have received Jesus as your Lord and Savior.