The Anti-love Story

This post is originally from February 2011

I chuckled when I discovered that my non-fiction book: “Lessons from the Trenches: Staying in a Difficult Marriage” did not make the cut in the Women of Faith/Westbow competition.

It looks like most of the finalists were romance. Yes, we all want romance. Who wants reality?

A few months back when I was working on the book, a bride-to-be and her mother were sitting down at a table next to me planning for a wedding. The irony of that struck me. She has stars in her eyes, dreams in her heart and confidence in the power of love that will sustain her till she is old and grey through whatever comes their way. It’s a dream we all buy into, isn’t it?

That’s why Disney has made so much money. Why my daughter loves to watch movies about Cinderella, Beauty and the Beast, The Little Mermaid . . . we are raised from early on in the good ol’ US of A to believe that the pursuit of happiness means “happily ever after.”

And no one could tell us it’s a myth. Yet it’s as much a deception as the prosperity gospel that promises that God desires us all to be wealthy and healthy and anything less is an abomination to the faith.

Hosea was told to marry a prostitute and repeatedly take her back as an example to the Israel of how they were treating God. How Hosea’s heart must have been crushed over and over. Now maybe he was a less than stellar example of manhood. We really don’t know. But it had to be a blow to his pride to have his wife repeatedly seek her “entertainment” with other men.

Most women feel shamed and slighted even when a husband chooses to stimulate himself through pornography. It’s like they are not enough to hold his interest, to satisfy his needs. Actually it has nothing to do with that – but tell that to a woman’s hurting heart.

We women long to be the center of our husband’s love. After Jesus, we want to be important, secure, protected, cherished. And we crash inwardly when that is withheld from us for whatever reason.

The enemy is behind all these lies that we have bought into and we are gullible enough to keep pursuing the myth.

Valentine’s Day is right around the corner.  I remember one where I got a dozen red roses. I still have the vase. It’s in my bathroom with silk roses. A mockery of the promise of vibrant love that turned plastic. The diamond I had been given one year, I ended up giving back. I then got it as a necklace, I was too hurt and afraid to wear. Last year due to our financially difficulties I finally sold it to help buy groceries. I put it to better use than sitting in a drawer where it had been for 20+ years, another reminder of pain and sorrow. I still have my wedding ring, although it too feels like a mockery of promises made and unkept.

So reality sucks, doesn’t it? When we have been hurt, abandoned, criticized, abused. . . Valentine’s Day doesn’t seem like a nice holiday. It mocks us and reminds us of our loss and maybe even brings us to grieve again those childhood dreams.

I’m still married in spite of all that. I’m walking in obedience to my Lord in the midst of my pain and struggle. My girlfriend said that my book is not an “un-romance” but rather a look at the most important romance of all – of me and my Jesus. The God who pursued me and gave me more than diamonds. He gave His life to redeem mine. That is true love and it is eternal and far more secure than what any human on earth can give.

God pursued redeemed my life

So, this Valentine’s Day, I do wish you love and joy. But I pray that you ultimately are finding that in the arms of a Savior who desires you more than any human ever could. He will never leave or forsake you and He will walk with you through the pain of the other disappointments that this life dishes out. This world is not my home. Someday I will have all the hearts and flowers and a place to live beyond compare that my Lord is building for me – and for you.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Blessings

Living in the Grey

This post was originally written January 2011.

One of my favorite books to read to my son when he was a baby was Dr. Seuss, “My Many Colored Days.” It’s a simple book that looks at colors and moods. Our copy didn’t survive three children; it was well loved and worn.

The pages that struck me the most where these: “Grey day, I look, but nothing moves today.” It had a grey owl. Amidst all these vibrant colors– there was a grey day.

I’ve had many “grey” days lately as I’ve struggled with depression and just the chronic nature of my life circumstances. Winter doesn’t help either does it? Without the sun shining much, many days truly are grey.

But as much as we like color, don’t we often wish that life were more black and white? We can read Scripture and find some clear indications on how we should live. .. but then there are the grey areas where Scripture is not so clear and doesn’t speak to an issue.

Should we move to this house?

Should we accept this job offer?

Do we continue that relationship with a toxic person?

Which diet or exercise plan do we embark on?

Should we go on an anti-depressant or gut it out?

Is this the best church for our family to attend?

How about this: Do I have grounds for divorce? How far do we have to submit to our husbands? How do we love someone who is abusive to us? Where is the line between healthy boundaries and sacrificial living? Do we have free-will or is everything for-ordained?

Grey. Cloudy. Oft-debated issues. Dr. Seuss took into account having “mixed up days” as well. . . but it was okay, because we all go back to being ourselves in the end.

But grey is a horse of a different color, isn’t it? There’s nothing definitive there. We might find some guidelines, but ultimately even prevailing wisdom isn’t always what God is calling us to.

Missionaries who sell all they have to move to a foreign land and live off sometimes unstable donations of their supporters. Wise? Only in God’s economy.

The wife who stays in a loveless marriage with a recalcitrant spouse who neglects her and doesn’t provide well. Wise? Maybe, in God’s economy.

The woman who serves and serves and serves and rarely ever takes. Is she being used and unable to say ‘no” or is she fulfilling God’s calling in her life?

Do you struggle with the grey areas? I do. Sometimes I want the line drawn more clearly, yet God calls us to lean into Him during the grey, and listen and heed HIS voice above even worldly wisdom. And then obey. Someday He will make it all clear.

Where is your grey area? Where do you struggle to hear God in the grey?  Just know – He IS there with you.

Courage: Word of the Year

This was originally posted on another blog January 2011.

A month ago I wrote about accidental living and having a mission and a vision for your life. I also mentioned a “word of the year.”

Courage. Don't be afraid. trust god
outside comfort zone

I’ve not posted for a few weeks because I was finishing up my book, to submit to a contest, and so I can renew my pursuit of a literary agent. I finished it and am deeply grateful for the help of my amazing editors who spend time and energy into making me a better writer.

I was also pondering my “word for the year” and it is COURAGE. Yup. Someone said that was a dangerous word because God would give me more reasons to have courage. Maybe so. Kind of like praying for patience–be careful what you pray for, right?

I already knew that going into this year I was going to have to face down some of those deep fears that could potentially keep me from my desire to be published. See, it’s one thing to sit alone and write a book and maybe show it to a few people and get some good feedback because they actually like me to begin with. It’s entirely another thing to put it out there where ANYONE could read it. It’s another to consider the other aspects of marketing a book that would put ME out there as well.

Those who know me understand that I have no problem talking. I love to talk. I love to teach. But I have deep set insecurities (just like so many of us) that would keep me from possibly speaking out on THIS topic especially. There is fear of exposure. Fear of being told I’m doing my marriage wrong or that I’m a failure.

Ah, the vagaries of being human.

I also need courage as a mom and wife. When I want to run and hide from the challenges I face, I need to have courage to stand up and make the decisions that might make my son angry. Then I have to face that rage. I don’t like rage. Or maybe I have to face my husband’s verbal or emotional abuse if I challenge him on something and he dislikes it.

Courage. Strong word for a weak person who simply wants to walk in a way that would honor my God.  But in Psalm 31:24, it says: “Be strong and courageous, all you who put your hope in the LORD” (NASB).  Courage. It doesn’t mean I won’t be afraid. It will simply mean that when the choice comes, I can stand firm in who God made me in Christ Jesus, and do what He is calling me to do, even if it takes me out of my comfort zone.  Like Daniel in the lion’s den, I need to simply move forward in the face of my fear and in confidence in Christ, whether I feel like it or not. And then trust Him with the results.

I am grateful that God does not leave me to do this on my own. I’m grateful for the power of His Holy Spirit within me to enable me. I’m grateful for the people He has placed along the way to encourage and pray when those moments come.

So my word for the year is courage. If you were to select a word for this year for yourself, what would it be?

I Still Believe in Romance

Originally published August 2012.

Sometimes I want to curse the fantasy of romance and happily-ever-after. Starry-eyed brides and flowers and first kisses and passionate sex between a husband and wife.

Is this stuff for real?

It’s not my reality. I wanted to be cherished and loved but my family of origin (FOO) led me to believe that no one would ever love me (guess that included them?) and that I was unworthy of such affection and care.

Don’t feel too sorry for me. I’m not stating that for pity.

When I was fifteen, after years of yearning for God and wondering if I should become a nun  so I could pursue that elusive deity (I was Catholic then), I found out that Jesus wanted a personal relationship with me. ME? The girl who was too heavy, wore glasses and whose hair was uncontrollably curly. The ugly one? The one boys only wanted as a “friend” but never to date? The one no-one would love?

Yup. Me. Jesus wanted a relationship with me – because HE loved me.

He may not open car doors or take me to dinner –but he opened up the door to heaven and intimacy with the Almighty Holy God.

The God who created a universe and makes flowers bloom. To show His beauty. To show His love – to me.

Me?

I still ended up getting the short end of the stick when it came to a human relationship with a man. I thought I was getting a godly man but I was deceived by accepting some of the behaviors that were “normal” in my FOO. Like insults and withholding love and emotional, financial and verbal abuse. I didn’t know it could be different or that I deserved better.

I know others who have good marriages. Love. A husband who pursues God and seeks to try to love their wives and serve them. It makes me want to cry. Cry because of the beauty of that kind of love. Cry because I don’t have that. Cry because my heart still so longs to be the recipient of a man’s adoration, affection, encouragement and partnership in this life. Cry because my successes get shared with friends who cannot be there daily. Cry because what I have is not what I was created for.

Men, if you read this, realize that for a woman like me, looks are not everything.  A man who has a heart for God is far more attractive than the buffest model. A man of godly character who treats a woman right – is worth gold.

At times I’ve blamed God my lack of human, romantic love. Yet I made choices, the best I could at the time. God has always been there, faithful and loving me through my good and bad days and somehow still uses me for HIS glory and plan here on earth.

I try to be brutally honest with you about my struggle so you can find someone who understands and “gets” how hard it is to be in a difficult marriage. To maybe be abused, lonely and wanting more. So much more. But denied that reality in the human realm.

I also write inspirational romances because I still believe it exists and the only way I can experience that – is through my characters as they struggle and overcome their challenges by the grace of God. And find love.

I’ve not come to that kind of ending but someday I will. I will have eternity with Jesus. He did lay His life down for me. He inscribed me on the palm of his hand – better than a tattoo with my name somewhere on a man’s body! He woos me gently and never condemns me. He gives me flowers. He gave me children (a mixed blessing some days!).

I’ve gone through times where I could not read romances because I felt so bad with longing for what I couldn’t have. Now I find comfort in them knowing that God is the lover of my soul.

How about you? Do you still believe in romance?

No Gift?

I originally wrote this in December of 2010 and posted it in another blog then.

I’ve been feeling a bit blue this Christmas. Financially things are worse than ever. My marriage isn’t good and I’m just feeling depressed about the fact that my difficult challenges in my marriage, are unlikely to change any time soon.

Christmas. Jesus. No gifts but Him

I also know that while there are gifts under the tree for my kids, and even something for my husband, there is nothing for me. Nada. And as I didn’t get anything for my birthday or anniversary from my husband, I doubt there will be anything under the tree with my name on it.

Waaah. Big baby, aren’t I?  I love to give gifts and yes, I do enjoy receiving at least SOME token that someone thought of me. Not to be. So kick me in the behind for having a pity party.

Because this isn’t my birthday anyway. This is the anniversary of the birth of Jesus Christ.  A holy day set aside to remember that the Creator of the Universe deigned to come down in human flesh and endure life on this planet, to safe ungrateful, rude, sinful, selfish, human beings.

Like me.

So instead of moaning about what I won’t get for Christmas, or that I couldn’t enjoy buying and wrapping gifts for people who have blessed me this year. . . I need to think differently. What instead do I have to offer the God who has sacrificially suffered, died and then rose again, simply to have a relationship with me?

My heart is really all I have. I can do a million things for Jesus but not have them mean anything if my heart is not fully devoted to Him.

How do I do that? By spending time with Him. By giving Him all of who I am, my thoughts, my dreams, my desires. Laying that at His feet to do with as He wills. He is my sovereign King.

So this Christmas, I will not be sleeping in. I will be spending time in the quiet, in the solitude, to simply be. Be with the One who loves me more than any human on earth.

And in so doing, I will find my greatest treasure and joy.

Treasures

This was originally posted December 2010 in another blog.

The holiday season is officially upon us. Some have engaged in the madness of Black Friday and others have engaged in a flurry of decorating and baking. The pressure to get out cards and buy gifts and attend every concert can be a bit overwhelming.

I have the addition of a child with a birthday this month too, and I don’t want her day of celebration to get lost in the rush to Christmas. After all – her birth is special to me and the fact that God allowed her to live through a medical crisis after birth, makes the gift of my daughter even more precious.

So, I have to learn to say “no”. I’ve done this in previous years as well. The world will not stop if I fail to go to my mother’s Christmas concert. The musical being put on in town looks delightful, but one more night away from home will not necessarily fill my cup. Yes, I do have some commitments and I am delighted to be able to serve and use my gifts, but I’m trying to be very careful about that. I want moments where we are simply home. To play Uno, or Jenga or maybe watch “Charlie Brown Christmas,” with my kids. They have already given thumbs down to my favorite, “White Christmas” so I might not get my Danny Kaye fix this year.

I have little money, energy or time to simply be home and ‘create”. I used to always make our Christmas cards. Not doing it this year. Sorry, it doesn’t mean that I don’t like you. Honest. Supplies, time and stress? Not going there. I would have had that done before Thanksgiving if I were going to do it anyway. You and I will both live as I know a card from me will not make your Christmas any richer.

The economy is hard and many are cutting back. Can you do that and be okay with it? To realize that relationships are more important than things? I’m not saying I don’t like presents, I do! However, I am finding as I grow older, that there is something precious in time spent with a friend. Or writing a note to someone to express how I feel about them. Those kinds of things build into people and the impact of that can go on beyond a mere box wrapped in shiny paper and a bow. So I want to challenge you – in the next few short weeks – how can you rest and reflect more on Christ’s birth? How can you find time to simply enjoy holy moments with God – and with others?

Consider Mary’s response to the marvelous and confusing events surrounding Jesus’s birth: But Mary treasured up all these things, pondering them in her heart. (Luk 2:19 ESV)

Treasures need to be sought after and cherished. I love the quiet of early mornings while the house is still asleep – the lights of the Christmas tree and peace. I need to make these moments count and not get distracted with other things. In the midst of the challenges and disappointment of life, my prayer is that you will find moments during this advent season to treasure Christ.

Thanks be to God for his inexpressible gift! (2Co 9:15 ESV)

A Faithful God

This was originally published in November 2010.

While I know that Thanksgiving is a great time to meditate on all God has done that we should be grateful for, I am seeking to find daily more and more ways to recognize and live in the light of His faithfulness to me.

There are a multitude of attributes that we can seek to praise and worship God for. One of the ones that seems core for me and foundational in my relationship with Him, is His faithfulness. It’s funny to me with years of singing, that when my son was born, the only song that I could remember in the middle of the night was “Great is Thy Faithfulness.”

Maybe it’s important to me because others around me have not been faithful to meet my emotional or even my physical needs. Yet God has repeatedly, through the years of my walking with Him, provided in amazing ways.

I am not always fond of His timing, like when it comes to checks arriving (or not) in the mail. It is humbling to admit that sometimes my emotions fluctuate with my bank balance. However, God doesn’t want my security to be in finances. As He continually leads and affirms my step into the world of writing, I am blown away by the words of affirmation He brings to me out of the blue. It is humbling to admit how easily discouraged I can be and how quickly the enemy can try to convince me that I have nothing worthwhile to bring to you, the reader. It’s only words and not very good ones at that, he will tell me.  Then someone will post a comment on a blog or my fan page or in an email that tells me that what I am doing IS making a difference – to them.  Or when loneliness overwhelms, and a friend calls or I get one of those priceless letters in the mail filled with affirmation. Or someone gives me a hug at church or thanks me for ministering to them when I didn’t even realize I had been doing.

This week something happened that surprised me. This fall I got a free tickets to three different events/conferences and somehow the money appeared for me to go.  My wi/fi on my laptop was repaired I won a contest through facebook that blew me away with the extravagance of God – toward me. Totally unnecessary – but the very fact that it was so out of the ordinary, reminded me again of God’s faithfulness.

I remember years ago studying the book of Ephesians at church. I have written in my Bible, at the beginning of that book that the word charis means “extravagant grace love.” It appears repeatedly throughout this book of the Bible.  Okay, but I thought we were talking about faithfulness here? Stick with me.

For this reason, because I have heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love toward all the saints, I do not cease to give thanks for you , remembering you in my prayers, that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him, having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to the working of his great might (Eph 1:15-19)

The word “grace” doesn’t appear in these verses – but can you hear it?  What can be more faithful than a God would give us knowledge of Himself?  To be honest, this verse is truncated. There is more before and after and I would encourage you to read the entire chapter and ask yourself – how does this tell me God loves me and is faithful to me?

Faithfulness is an expression of God’s extravagant grace love.  I am not always faithful. I can be self absorbed, angry, and at times doubt that God can and will come through for me.  Then I consider how God has saved me from my sin and how Christ has walked with me through so much throughout the years, and continues to do so even now.  When I see that God has sustained me and even been able to use me to serve Himself and minister to others, I’m blown away by His faithfulness to one such as I.  Extravagant grace love is shown with every unexpected gift, every word of affirmation, every day I find that I am alive and able to get up and care for my family.

I want to offer you today a taste of God’s faithfulness. If you go back and read that verse, imagine me praying this over you (because I have done so!). Where the “you” is bolded, insert your name. I may not know your name – but God does. It’s a part of His faithfulness that He can transcend the computer technology and take this prayer from His word, and my heart – and birth extravagant grace love in your life.

Great is Your faithfulness, Oh God my Father!

There is no shadow of turning with You,

Thou changest not, Thy compassions they fail not,

Great is Your faithfulness, Lord unto me.

Glory Baby

This was originally posted elsewhere in October of 2010

Seven years ago I was newly pregnant and excited that we would have our third child. Maybe a girl this time? I was leading a ministry to women and it had been a tough few months with the team. I decided not to tell them about the baby until the December meeting when we made those kinds of announcements. What a fun surprise!

The Monday before Thanksgiving I started to spot. We packed up the kiddos and ran into the doctor’s office. A good friend watched my boys. I had an ultrasound right away and we found out that we had lost the baby. Eight weeks and this child was gone. A blighted ovum they called it.

No. It as a person from the moment of conception.

We had no insurance and decided to wait for my body to ‘deliver’ naturally. It took four weeks. Four weeks of knowing I carried within me the death of a child and all the dreams that die with it. Only a handful of people even knew I was pregnant. How do you tell people you have miscarried when they didn’t even know you were expecting?

I finally told my gals on the team through an article in our newsletter for our meetings. Cowardly? Maybe. Heading into our final Christmas meeting I got a disturbing call from my church. We were to reschedule the meeting. Seriously? Find a new place in five days to move 40 women and about 80 kids? Impossible. I ended up on the phone with my pastor. I respect him greatly and on that day I let loose. All the grief and sorrow of this baby combined with the holidays and stress of a difficult season in leadership and now this? I let him have it and then quickly apologized. Then I shared that we had lost a baby and hormones and grief might be amplifying my anger.

We worked things out for that meeting to everyone’s satisfaction. It was a tough meeting with great strains and heavy demands on me personally. One perceptive woman came up to me and asked me if I was okay. Bless her heart. I shared about the miscarriage. Seven years later I still remember her kindness to me. She sent me a huge bouquet of flowers. Extravagantly beautiful lilies with bright colors. Not the kind of flowers you find in Wisconsin in December.

Every day I looked at those flowers in my kitchen and felt God’s extravagant love – to me.

I was scolded by some for not sharing my pain. “How dare you not tell me you lost your baby!” Really? This was a team member who had not made the last few months easy.  I then called a friend who I knew had miscarried to whine. “Am I wrong to expect some compassion from people?” Her response: “Yes, you are.” Needless to say I never called her again for support in my grief process.

Still there were the flowers. As I reflect back on seven years ago and all the grief and pain and loss and the lack of support from so many people, even my husband. (“It wasn’t really a baby,” was his comment. He’s lucky he’s still alive today himself.) I try to focus instead on the flowers. One person, who barely knew me, extended such amazing love to me in my time of grief.  I think I’m going to send her a note today to thank her again.

It’s a reminder to us all. Sometimes it is simply a kind word. Or a letter. Or maybe flowers to someone you hardly know, that might make all the difference in someone’s pain and grief and the trials and struggles in life, even years later. In this day and age we often forget the power of those simple expressions of care.

My baby is in heaven. We call it our “Glory Baby.” He or she is safe in the arms of Jesus. Free from a sinful world that reared its ugly head in my time of loss. Yet God still shone through in the understanding of my pastor when I melted down (we still work together and it’s great!), and in my memory of that one woman who I have not seen in years, who loved me right where I was at.

My heart goes out to any of you who are remembering lost loved ones during this holiday season. May you have good memories and even if you have tears, may you experience the love and kindness of God in amazing ways.

Broken Promises

Originally posted July 2012.

We get married and promise to love and honor and cherish. A man promises to provide and take care of his wife. To love her as Christ loves the church.

We marry and make promises

For many of us, that is not our reality.

Now to be sure, we fail as well as wives. We have our sinful tendencies and it is hard to humble oneself to apologize to a spouse who may use that against you in the future. At least that’s the way it is for me. But I apologize anyway.

Some have said I have a reason to divorce because of the broken marriage covenant. My spouse has abandoned the marriage bed (years ago) and treats me with derision and contempt and is financially and emotionally abusive (after 21 years of marriage he knows exactly where to strike).

And just when I think I’m doing well, satan will use my spouse to try to derail me from the ministry that God has called me to in the midst of my difficult circumstances.

See, my husband has broken the marriage covenant but that doesn’t necessitate divorce. I joked with one dear friend of mine that I was sold a false bill of goods on my wedding day and why isn’t there a lemon law for husbands? He led me to believe he would love, provide and care for me. But he has refused to do so.

Broken promises often negate a contract. But marriage is a covenant. And God shows in His word that many times when He has covenanted with his people – they have broken their end of the agreement. God has stayed faithful. Sometimes there have been consequences – but He has never abandoned the people He has called to Himself.

By extraction, as His child, He will never abandon me. That’s one of His promises. He will provide for me. And He has. He will be good even when I cannot see it or I feel pain. He never promises wealth or a life free of suffering. He promises to be with us always.

My spouse may not keep his promises but I am, with Christ’s help, trying to keep mine. I will treat him respect even when he as failed to earn that. He is an image bearer of God and for that alone He deserves to be treated with respect. And I want to model that for my kids. “Love your enemies” is hard when that “enemy” lives in your home.

I do all of this to honor Christ and HE has sustained me! He has provided. He has been faithful to His promises to me. He loves and cherishes me in ways my husband is unable or unwilling to do. I can entrust Him with the future of my marriage. He has blessed me with church leadership and dear safe friends to encourage me on the path as well. I often need Jesus with skin on – and just at that moment He has been there providing that.

Can you trust God to keep His promises to you? Will your life give testimony to that as you lean on Him in your struggles? I hope so!

Money, Money, Money

First posted July 2012.

About two years ago or so, I visited a local non-profit agency in my town that helps people who are abused or disadvantaged. I presented my marriage situation to the young lady who simply said: “There’s nothing we can do to help you with financial abuse unless you divorce.”

Ouch.

Nothing to be done. Unless I divorce.

She explained that then they can garnish wages and he owes me money for suspending my career to raise our three children. I divorce and he has to support me via court order and my life will be better.

How many more lies do I need to hear?

My husband is self-employed. He can hide money in trusts. He can bankrupt himself. They could never garnish his wages. He’s wily and controlling. We didn’t own a home and had no assets or savings.

There will never be a “happily ever after” as long as he is in the picture (barring a miracle from God) – and divorce does not remove him from my life or that of my children.

And he is still their father. For better or for worse.

Most of the attention regarding abuse is on the physical. I have people tell me that verbal abuse is even worse. You heal from bruises but words stick deep inside your heart and continue to do damage. I’m not denying the truth of any of that. Emotional abuse is twisted and can make you feel unwanted and crazy (yeah, like none of the rest does?). In the end it’s all emotional abuse and control. But financial or economic abuse is a very twisted animal in its own right and not many talk about that.

So often people will say, “just leave.”  As if that’s the easiest thing in the world.

I want to honor God. I want to honor my vows even if my spouse is unworthy of that kind of commitment.  Is that a bad thing?

No. It’s not.

Is it an easy thing?

No. It’s not.

But let me tell you what I have learned even through the ups and downs of our financial picture and my husband’s  irresponsible financial choices – which of course he blames me for (since I insist on having gas for the car and food and clothing for the kids).

God has been faithful. HE is my provider. I’ll be honest. I get panic attacks when I look at my bank balance. I am afraid whenever I have to ask for money from my spouse because it is never given to me cheerfully or in love – but always with blame and accusation.

I don’t know what your situation is.

Just know – you are not alone and God sees it all. There have been days I called a trusted friend and said “Remind me again that God is faithful.” And she does that because I need to hear it and be reminded once again that the God of the Bible is THE one in whom I can place my trust. HE is my hope and my salvation and He will sustain and lead me in the path I should take.

Once I emailed someone in pain and asked for the reminder of God’s faithfulness and was told I lacked faith. I have faith but sometimes I doubt. It is human to do so. We don’t need to beat ourselves up when we need the assurance of the truth of Scripture.

Someday I may have to force a separation, but I want to do that from a position of strength, not weakness. God has yet to open the door for that financial independence from my husband. But I’m more at peace now in the waiting. More hopeful and trusting in HIM, because of what I have had to endure that has forced me to lean on him and not my spouse.

So let me remind you. God is faithful. He sees your pain and struggle. You can trust in Him.

God is faithful You can trust him