God ‘turned up the heat’ in my life, but this cycle is over!
Passage: Malachi 2:17-3:5These past couple of weeks have been full of revelations and restorations. In my last post I blogged about how I had been feeling isolated and alone. For me my path to healing is from hurts and distrust in my marriage or at least I thought it was. I was also afraid that my husband wouldn’t ever be fully restored from his porn addiction (a lie from the devil). I was afraid that if I stayed committed it was just a commitment that would hurt me over and over. I left the last blog stating that I would stand still and see what God’s going to do and face my ‘Goliath’ (FEAR).
45 David said to the Philistine, “You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the Lord Almighty, the God …~1 Samuel 17
16 “Now then, stand still and see this great thing the Lord is about to do before your eyes! ~ 1 Samuel 12
So here’s the update on how the ‘fight’ with my ‘Goliath’ went. My husband, daughter and I went away to a cottage this past week…in the middle of NO WHERE! I was nervous to know that we were going with a mission that we had not originally intended. But God’s timing is perfect and I guess God had this vacation planned as a spiritual retreat long before we did. I learned while away that one of my biggest fears is that of abandonment. Just a week before we left my husband learned that his fear which was the root of his temptations was fear of rejection. What a pair we make. I felt as though I would rather have control of a situation than loss control of it and feel abandoned by someone. Meanwhile he was fearing rejection. It was like we have been in a bad cycle and this was finally the week where we’d sort out the laundry. We’ve sorted the laundry out before, we’ve been on retreats and couples getaways and all that is important. God hates divorce so it’s important to always be working on your marriage. Don’t let the laundry pile up otherwise it will look like an overwhelming daunting task and you’ll be more likely to ‘throw in the towel’.
“For I hate divorce!” says the Lord, the God of Israel. ” ~ Malachi 2:16
When faced with the fact that he has been living with his fear of rejection and therefore not fully investing himself into our marriage on every level I was really hurt. Dwaine immediately started his healing process quicker than I was able to process the hurt and I started feeling out of control. With someone who fears abandonment and the need to control I was totally out of control and unsure if I was willing to submit to God and to my ‘new’ husband.
So we went away on our vacation. I had to make a choice to forgive Dwaine and give up the control in order to see what good God was going to do. I rested in the verses that God hates divorce and that God restores and I didn’t want any blessings from Dwaine’s healing to pass me by simply because I wouldn’t give up control. I also had to confess my need to control and ask God to be there for me in a whole new way when my fears of abandonment overwhelmed me.
Our Pastor said today that if we truly believe that God’s word is true, that’s the anchor of our faith. An anchor I was clinging to. One of the points that our Pastor Dr. Paul Little also made today was that we can’t escape God’s grace. Even when we are faithless God remains faithful. God is not going to let you go. God never let us go. Every marriage goes through it’s ‘laundry cycles’. In this weeks passage we read about how God is a refiner and a launderer. He loves us enough that He will turn up the heat and ‘stomp on us’ like a launderer. Our Pastor said,
“People have ‘church life’ and ‘real life’. But there is a Refiner who wants to change you and a Launderer who can wash you.”
Allowing myself to be refined and laundered these past couple of weeks didn’t feel great, it wasn’t exactly the ‘gentle cycle’. It took time to seek counsel and many long talks with close friends that helped me gracefully sort my ‘laundry’ first. In addition a lot of praying, reading and journaling had to happen in order for me to get through this cycle. But God will always be refining me and laundering me. Hopefully I will be a willing participate because it can hurt a lot more the higher He has to ‘turn up the heat’ and the more He has to ‘stomp’. If you value what you believe more than your fears than you will ask God to help you to be refined and laundered.
But who can endure the day of his coming? Who can stand when he appears? For he will be like a refiner’s fire or a launderer’s soap. ~ Malachi 3:2
Now that we’re ‘out of the wash’ I hope God can use us more effectively for His honor and glory. Since a good marriage is the best gift you can give to your children I hope we will make better parents too. We are all in the clay, in the wash and in the hands of our heavenly Father. As tough as it is I can still say without doubt that the way that my heavenly FATHER loves me is better and purer than anything. Take a minute to listen to this incredibly moving song, “The Way That You Father Me” as you reflect on what you’ve read.
How do you need to allow God to change you and wash you. How will HE ‘turn up the heat’ in your life?
In the clay,