I’m a casualty in my husband Chef’s War Against Time, and I’m the one who gave him the gun, loaded the ammunition, and stood in the line of fire.
I was going to write about my husband, Chef today, and how the man is making me insane with his moody, mid-life crisis, his methods he’s chosen to “heal” himself of his fears of aging with, and the general disarray that happens during those parts of a relationship that you have to decide to stand strong through, even when every thing in you wants to run away and hide or hire a hitman. Add into it that your partner is just metaphorically lying on the ground in the fetal position, sucking his thumb, refusing to participate, and you make for a pretty un-happy relationship, even for people who truly love each other like Chef and I do.
The problem was that while I wanted to say all this stuff about Chef and his stupid War Against Time, I also didn’t want anyone to agree with me or say anything bad about Chef. I wanted to vent about the unfairness of things right now, but then kick any one else’s ass if they tried to make me feel better by even hinting that Chef was anything but magnificent. How do you like that for a Catch-22?? Nothing like setting a trap for people to wander into! I’m just not going to do that. It would have just been a diversion from the truth, for me. The truth is that while God is merciful with me to amazing degrees, He is letting me reap a garden of crap I’ve been sowing in my own marriage, and in my precious husband’s relationship with his God for a long time now. I’m getting a sound spiritual spanking…
About six months ago, when all of this nonsense started to rear its ugly head in Chef’s mind, the Lord showed me in the early morning hours that I was getting ready to enter a dark period in my marriage. He awoke me from a sound sleep…something He has rarely ever done in my life. His message was extremely, and terrifyingly clear and direct — stay out of His way. He and Chef were going to go through something together. If I tried to help, I would make things worse. Me being me, though, there have been times that sheer panic has made me try to ease my own fears by attempting to mitigate just a little bit…And true to His word, I’m finding that every time I’ve tried to interfere with whatever is going on with Chef even in the tiniest way, the situation will veer completely out of my control. And in ways I would never have imagined. And for a girl who can usually kind of predict which direction a situation is probably going to take, this is very unnerving and scary..God just isn’t going to let me control this, and that’s that. Period.
And here is why I’m being spanked by God:
It occurs to me that my husband, though a Christian, has not spiritually matured much over all of these years like a child of God is supposed to, and I am the one that is mainly responsible for that. He used to teasingly call me God’s favorite, which I’ve always hated. Right there should have been the first clue to me. But I can be blind to what I don’t want to see, same as anyone else. Chef never really has read much of the bible depending instead on me to find what he passingly is looking for, and he is rarely ever showing any hunger for the word of God. All the bible stories have been told to him by me, or he learned in Catholic school as a small child.. The few times that we’ve prayed together, I did most of the talking, and he would just say “amen”. Prayers he would like made are given to me to handle, like paying the electric bill. In other words, I am responsible for inserting myself into His relationship with the Lord, and maintaining control of it. I’ve encouraged Chef to depend on me, and now that he is in the midst of a storm in life that puts me on the opposing side of his decisions, he doesn’t know how to take care of himself. Spiritually, he’s like a newborn babe. Yes. I blew it. My intentions were right, and my motivations were okay for the most part, but I know better than to meddle in other people’s relationships, and yet I did just that in my husband’s most important one. I have this guilt in me that most of this horror show that is going on with my Chef is God’s trying to forge a personal relationship with His son that I never allowed to happen. He’s having to break down spiritual bones and reset them in Chef. I caused this discipline to have to be administered.
I can see that the Lord is dealing with Chef…without my help…and I can also see that He wants me focused on writing, getting closer to Him, and most of all, trusting that God knows how to handle His own business with His child that He loves. The Lord wants me to feel powerless in this because I’ve spent all these years struggling to maintain all the power in every relationship that could hurt me, but this time I’m just going to have to trust the Lord. It is one thing to say you trust God; it is a whole different one to have to actually do it, especially with something that is so precious to you.
Hard, hard lesson for me. Trust is just the Achilles‘s Heel in my life. It doesn’t come easy, and can rapidly vanish at the whisper that I might be hurt beyond what I can recover from. It took me a decade to trust that this man Chef wasn’t going to hurt me like all the rest, and now here’s God asking me to sacrifice that hard-earned security and stability, like Abraham was asked to do with his son? My flesh is just in agony over releasing my control over this situation. See, people, I can suck on a daily basis, just like anyone else. I will never “arrive” to the point that there isn’t yet another shortcoming God will deal with me about. That is what life is. Like gold, I am being refined by fire, and it will continue this way until I am completed and called home. Happiness doesn’t outweigh God’s purposes. Neither does stability, security, and all the other things we desire from life. He’ll break us to save us.
He never said that any of this was going to be easy.
As usual, I’ll have to defer to God’s will in this, but I think this is the hardest lesson I’ve had to go through in my life. And yes, I include my sad childhood in that equation.
There is great mercy and peace for me here, too, though. I will say this one thing — I don’t know that I’ve ever heard God’s voice more clearly than I did those six months ago, and over this dark time, I keep thinking that it was kind of God to tell me to prepare for this battle, and to even show me how to not completely mess up the whole plan by just doing what I always do. To me, His mercy shows through by His clear warning and His clear directions on what I should be doing myself through all of this. Most of the attacks from satan, I don’t receive warnings beforehand. My orders were simple yet excruciating: I had a specific order to be quiet. I was told to not take these things to heart personally, not to preach to or at him, pray alone for him, and to be only gentle, merciful, compassionate. slow to anger but quick to forgive. I was to set boundaries about what I would be drawn into, but not to manipulate him in to confrontations because I want to vent some of my own angers and insecurities, and to stay away from being sucked into his moods. I was, and am, to simply wait..
And the hardest part is that God has made no promises to me about the condition my marriage will be left in when He has accomplished His will..I am a girl who likes assurances, and He isn’t making any, except that I have to trust Him. Period….Nothing like God telling you to shut your mouth, He doesn’t need your help, and to blindly trust that everything is going to be okay. Seriously, God? Are you trying to make my head explode??
But, today again, that is exactly what I’m doing. Maybe I write so much because God is just keeping me out of His way, and giving me an outlet to focus on so I don’t drive my husband, my God, and myself absolutely twonkers over this new crappy development. I hope I can keep thinking of enough stuff to write about, because the journey doesn’t look like it going to be over any time soon… 🙂
Satan’s Favorite Drug Ever – Meth (When it all fell apart just months after I wrote this post)
The Devil Made Him Do It (When all the emotions finally calmed down, I felt a little differently than I had before)