Sunday, December 27, 2015

Of death, trust, and fear

I've been home with my parents visiting for about a week now, with one more week to go.  I simply couldn't face the idea of Christmas spent with my husband, who no longer wants to be my husband, pretending that everything is ok so my kids could have a good day.  Maybe it was selfish to take them away for two weeks over Christmas and New Years.  Maybe it wasn't.  Either way, it has meant that I'm not dealing with the death of my marriage alone.  And for that, I am grateful.

I wish I could express how stormy my heart is right now.  I'm riding this crazy ocean of peaks and valleys, and the waves of grief are tossing me around pretty intensely.  In one moment I feel like my heart will never recover, in the next I feel like of course God hates divorce, but perhaps He will use this to bring someone stable and Godly into our lives way down the road.  In one moment I feel completely hopeless and fearful, in the next I remember all of the little ways God has shown His care and provision along the way.  I feel intense anger for the instability my kids will now have to face, and intense gratitude for their uncle, godfather, grandpa, and friends who will be there to pick up the slack and show them what a Godly man looks like and how how a husband and a father should be expected to be.  It's a giant mess, basically.  My heart.  Full of contradictory and ridiculous thoughts and feelings.

One thing I know for sure is that I'm in the overwhelming process of mourning.

I'm mourning the loss of a husband that I have loved for eight years.  I'm mourning the loss of the instinctive trust I put in people because of my husband's infidelity.  I'm mourning the loss of a stable family for my kids, and the knowledge that both parents will be there when they go to sleep and when they wake every day.  I'm mourning the loss of the man I used to know, who has been replaced by a complete stranger who is bitter and hateful and cruel.  I'm mourning the girl I used to be, full of life and spirit and confidence.  I'm mourning for my husband's heart, because I'm watching it turn to stone and ice right in front of me.  I'm mourning the loss of a lot of things.

It feels overwhelming and scary.

It appears that the Lord is going to use this situation to ask me to learn how to do something that I've never done particularly well: trust that even though nothing is stable, and I have no idea what the future holds, that He will take care of me.  I hate not knowing what is going to happen.  I hate surprises.  I hate mystery.  I want to know what lies ahead of me both literally and figuratively.

That's a luxury I no longer have.

You have no idea the level of anxiety that produces in me.

I believe that this isn't what God wants.  I believe that He means it when He says that no man should separate what He has joined together.  I believe that He mourns with me, that He would have restoration and healing where the devil would kill and destroy.  I believe that this is not His will, but that He will absolutely bring me through it and bring good out of it.  This is a situation brought on by sin and unforgiveness, selfishness, and lies.  None of those things come from the Lord, so I can't blame Him for this mess.  I blame myself.  I blame my husband.  I blame the devil.  But I don't blame God.  He has made sure I've seen His hand and His mercies along the way.  I believe He is reminding me that even if I can't see where this road will take me, that He does, and He is already preparing the way.  That my kids and I will be ok.  Better than ok.  Maybe not now, but some day down the road.

I never thought that my life would hold this.  I never thought my husband was capable of any of this. It breaks my heart to watch the man that I love give up everything that made him good and amazing and kind.  It breaks my heart that my actions had any part in helping him along this crappy dark road. But I can't take responsibility for anyone's heart but my own.  I can't do anything for his but pray. Pray and tell myself that this isn't a nightmare, it's reality, and I can't ignore that it's not going to work out the way I hoped it would.

I'm struggling to trust the Lord.  I'm struggling to believe with my heart what I know with my mind. God isn't like my husband.  He is never fickle.  He is never cruel.  He will never leave me or forsake me, no matter how screwed up or depressed or broken I am.  He will never withhold forgiveness or the chance for redemption.  He is not going to leave me hanging with just the bare minimum amount of effort or provision that He has legally required Himself to provide.

He is abundant and great.  Loving and kind.  Merciful and just.  He has hope and a future for me no matter how bleak it looks in the moment.  My Daddy will work even this for good, because He loves me, and I love Him.  I just keep praying that He will help my unbelief.  Take away my ever-growing trust issues and help grow my heart in trust and the knowledge that He is bigger than all of this garbage.

I have a lot of fear.  I'm scared of what this will do to my kids.  I'm worried that their lives will be unstable and scary, that they will feel responsible no matter how many times I tell them otherwise.  I fear the probable poverty that they and I will now live in, and the struggles that will bring to them.  I am incredibly scared of dying alone.  That no one will ever find me worth loving the way I have always hoped to be loved.  I worry that my daughter will never fully trust her future husband to stand by her no matter how hard life is because her father didn't stand by her mom when things went from better to worse.  I worry that my son will not feel the weight of his responsibility and the weight and holiness of his marriage vows and quit when it feels like there's just not enough in it for him anymore.  I worry and worry and worry.  Worst case scenarios play like a silent film in my head almost constantly.

I don't yet know how to surrender all of those fears to the Lord.  I don't know how to loosen the death-grip I hold them with.  I don't know how to get over any of this.  Or even how to start.

I suppose I now have plenty of opportunities to learn, and for the Lord to show me how to trust Him and how to give it all to Him.  I just need to remind myself that I'd do anything, and I will do anything to make sure that my children's lives are beautiful no matter what happens.  And I don't possess even a fraction of the love of my Heavenly Father.  So how much more will He do anything for me and my kids?  I wish that there were no ashes for Him to create beauty from, but I know that He will.  I'm choosing to believe that He will.

Lord, help my unbelief.

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