Lots of thoughts and feelings tonight. Seemed like every demon in Hell was ready and waiting before I even swung my feet over the edge of the bed this morning. (Okay, ‘swung’ might not be the most accurate word – there’s not much swinging going on over here. Crawled is a bit more like it.) Anyway, I had to distract myself all morning to keep from sinking into sadness. Some time in the Word, with a
cup pot of coffee, and then some time getting group notes and files in order, and eventually I felt better.
And then, in a notebook, in the middle of notes on European history, I found several journal pages from the beginning of the end of my marriage. (When I say the beginning of the end, I mean long after it actually ended; it just took a few years for the reality to hit. Shock does that to a person.)
Notes on how my husband, after having been gone for a couple of years, verbally attacked me in a pet store (Why were we there? We didn’t own a pet) of all places, in front of the salespeople and our daughters, who were little at the time. How I began to realize that I had outgrown him while he was gone, not just spiritually, but emotionally, and that there really was no marriage left, and hadn’t been for sometime. How the manager had come to confront him, and help me. How completely and utterly humiliating it all was.
He had pushed me one day, quite hard, in our bedroom, and then, after staring at me and hesitating for a moment, pushed me again, and I flew all the way across the room and hit the dresser. (This ended up being a hospital visit, with one of the discs in the center of my back protruding visibly through my t-shirt) and how, somehow, that particular day, it finally occurred to me that he wasn’t ‘out of control’ he was in fact very much in control. Something about the way he hesitated before pushing me the second time. That day – that very day, I realized that abusive people are not ‘mentally ill’. They are masters of not only self-control, but of deception. That it is easier for them to charm the oil out of a snake than it is for them to tell the truth. For so many years I had made excuses for him: I had made him angry, he was mentally ill, he had childhood issues (who doesn’t?) but I never called it what it was. I never saw it for what it was, until that exact moment, on that exact day. All because he stopped to think about it. Truly mentally ill people don’t do that. Abusive people do. If he hadn’t hesitated, I wouldn’t have seen it.
The nice thing about getting older is that you get (hopefully) more clear-headed. You become more firm in your convictions, right or wrong, so watch yourself, but you get stronger. You become free. I know that I do not want any more abusive people in my life, and certainly not in my heart. I do not want any more ‘friends’ who get angry if I don’t do what they feel I should do, never mind the fact that I am more than capable of hearing from God for myself, thank you, and I also do not want any more people who wear their psychiatric labels like a suit of armor, protecting and absolving them from any moral responsibility in the wars they wage against other people. It’s not that they can’t control their anger, it’s that they choose not to.
Why so transparent tonight, about such personal issues? Because the walls of my heart are all trampled down tonight, and in this brief space of time, before they go up again tomorrow, I need to put all of this somewhere before I go to sleep. Somewhere where maybe it can help someone, who is tonight where I was all those few years ago. And all I can tell you is, God Himself delivered me. That if you trust Him, He will make a way out; He surrounds us with His legions of angels, He goes both before and behind us, and leads us through, and out the other side. I am not completely through yet, but can definitely see sunlight up ahead. (That had better not be a train.)
So, I am sad and worn out tonight, but oh, so thankful for all that God has delivered me from. So very thankful.
And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to His purpose for them. ~ Romans 8:28
If we remain in His love, God will redeem every circumstance for His glory.