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"Many times they afflicted me from my youth, yet they have not prevailed against me" (Ps 129:2).
So I'm going through my files and I stumble across something I wrote in April, 2013. I was "doin' time" in the guest room while my husband--determined to leave the marriage, refused to leave our room as he awaited move-out-date. Go figure.
If I ever make time to schedule an appointment with an Apple guy in an Apple store to learn how to navigate my Mac, perhaps I'll add a pic of the bedroom door I regretfully kicked when he locked me out.
I'm tempted to say I simply procrastinate, but the real reason I neglect training is because the Apple Store smells like a hundred sweaty guys who are too busy being techie to read the memo that deodorant was invented.
Seriously. The things is, every time I pass by the Apple store I think to myself: Girl! You lived on a farm when you were 13. You now the drill. Take the deepest breath possible and then your nose will tell your brain you lived there your whole life.
Enough rambling. Back to blog. I share this low point in my life because I'm human. And because looking back, messy and painful as it all was, I'm on the mend and so very grateful God faithfully responds to the cries of a broken heart.
In the words of a broken heart:
It's the fourth consecutive Wednesday I stop for a margarita after work. My usual destination after work is home. My usual routine: call the hubs to let him know I'm on my way.
"Hey, Honey. I just left the office. Did Zach go to youth group? Do I need to pick up a chicken?"
But my husband isn't waiting for a call or a chicken.
I didn't see it coming. Oh sure, there were cautionary signs along the way. Like a good bible study girl, I prayed harder. I "spoke life over my husband"--an infamous catch phrase directed at Southern Christian women.
For years, in the name of Jesus, I took responsibility in the areas he lacked. Eighteen years later, I don't like how it's working for me. I don't like soaking in the realness that my husband is suddenly too "rock-n-roll" to be married.
"I don't want to be married to you anymore. I want a divorce as soon as possible," he'd said.
Later, he chalked it up to anger. But I know in my heart it's the first thing he's said in a long time that actually feels true, which subsequently, births an unfortunate phase where I prefer swear words over ten-week Bible studies. (My apologies to Life Way Christian bookstores.)
So here I sit with my Margarita in dazed reflection:
I'd managed to convince myself that my awesome, Bile-belt-til-death-do-us-part love would somehow make up for the fact that I married a man who was not emotionally invested. But whose addictions provided a willingness to, as noted Donald Winnicott would say, "over develop a false self." A false self who after every relapse, every immoral slip, embraced my Christian values just long enough to hoist him out of the ditch. A false self, who wanted to share his life with, say, someone like me.
Maybe it's the tequila, but all I can see is the long line of the failed efforts I've made over the years, hangin' like abandoned laundry. Just a year ago I believed we were happy. He said he was happy.
I don't want to be with you anymore.
In a single sentence, I'm removed from the esteemed position of wife and tossed into a box of items to be dropped off at the nearest Goodwill. And I find myself jealous of the half-burned candle sticks that hold the monetary value of twenty-five cents in a yard sell, where at least someone took the time to consider their worth.
The sound of my cell ringing breaks the emotional fall.
"Hey, it's Carrie. What are you doing?'
"Um. Drinkin', What are you doing?"
"Leaving WAC. (ministry for women.)
"Where are you? How about I come get you?"
"Taco Casa, across from the Barnes and Noble."
"There isn't a Taco Casa across from the Barnes and Noble."
"Sure there is! No worries. I'll just hang out at the bookstore til' the alcohol wears off."
"Wendy, do me a favor. Walk outside and tell me what the sign over the restaurant says."
"K . . . Oh, Taco DI-NER."
"I'll be there in fifteen. STAY PUT."
I stay put.
Carrie arrives in fifteen.
And then we sit in her car for THREE hours as I cry like a disgraced TV evangelist. And swear. And cry. And so on. It wasn't my finest moment, but it was arguably one of hers.
Should I have been drinking given my circumstances? Nope.
Swearing? I like to think so, but the good Christian girl answer is, no, definitely not.
The funny thing about that night is looking back, I smile and think to myself: What a friend I have in Jesus.
"In my distress I called upon the Lord, and cried out to my God; He heard my voice from His temple, and my cry came before Him, even to His ears" (Psalm 18:6 NKJV).
What is God saying to you through this crazy-honest story?
You are not alone,
Published on Tuesday, September 16, 2014 @ 8:26 PM CDT
You know how when you view a television program it's actully created prior to the air-date? Well, such is the case with last week's post: Learning to Take the Hits; affectionately stored in blog category: Divorce 101.
Truth is, the day I blogged about my examination was the day I actually received the results. As I said before, it was humiliating. What I didn't say is that it was SO humiliating that I regretted not taking my friend, Amanda, up on her idea of how I could use my inappropriate sense of humor to bring laughter to an otherwise cruddy experience.
[Conversation with Amanda before doctor's appointment]
Me: I'm WAY overdue for an STD screening. It's time. I know it is. But I don't think I can handle anyone assuming I've been slutty when I haven't. [See disclaimer at bottom of page in regards to my use of the word slutty.]
Amanda: If that's what you're worried about then dress slutty.
Me: Wait, what?
Amanda: Dress the part. When you get there toss one of those travel bottles of vodka on your clothes. And then make up a story. Say you had sex with more than one guy this week and you need to be checked. I'll go with you. Then you won't have to worry about what they're thinking cause you'll already know.
Me: (Ever the writer.) We should totally do this! Then I could blog about our adventure in STD screenings.
It turns out, I didn't do this. And boy, did I ever wish I had.
Imagine, if you will:
Me to front desk lady: Hi. I'm here through no fault of my own. Just trying to take care of myself.
Pee-in-this-cup lady: I'm just here because I think my ex-husband cashed in his marriage vows, and I'm just now in a place (emotionally) where I can do this.
Nurse: Hi. I'm here through no fault of my own. I have reasons to believe my husband was unfaithful.
Doc: Hi. My marriage just ended after 18 years. I think he was unfaithful and this is humiliating.
Lab tech: I'm here because of someone else's poor choices. I'm just trying to be responsible.
Check out lady: ". . . . . . . . . ." (Seriously, you get the picture.)
Pimply faced boy working the register at Walgreens: What's this medicine for?
Me, praying to myself: Jesus in heaven, sitting at the right hand of the Father, help me. Help me. Help me. . . . Help. Me.
July 3rd. I get "the call." Pap, normal--No HPV. (Yay!) HIV, negative. (Yay!) Hep C, negative. (Yay!) But there is ONE thing we must address. (Huh?)
Loyal reader, it's only natural for you to wonder what the ONE thing is. I get it. And when I'm a little further out from the roller coaster of emotion Life assigned to this phone call, perhaps one day I'll be specific. For now, I'm grateful it's not life threatening and it's treatable. Why share something this personal? Because I am not alone in my circumstances. I represent countless women who, like me, now face the tedious distance between the hope they know to be true in Christ, and the sudden waves of righteous fury that are often self-righteously quieted from the pulpit with "Don't let the sun go down on your anger."
Today I'm good, but just three days ago, Anger was kicking my butt and taking names. I actually called my ex a *&%$# right to his face. And then I made a can-you-come-over-because-I'm-hanging-by-a-thin-thread call to Amanda.
Me: Why did I say that? I mean, I know why. But why? It doesn't change anything.
Amanda: Did it make you feel better?
Me: No. It made me feel worse. It's not who I am.
Amanda: Honey, you're still operating in grace and dignity whether you think so or not.
Me: Really? But clearly I'm not operating at full capacity because I just called him a name right to his face. Can I have one of your cigarettes even though it's going to make me sick?
Amanda: Okay, maybe not at full capacity, but give yourself a break, Sweetie. Here, take two cigarettes.
So, that was life for me (sick from two cigarettes) last Saturday. Wholesome language faded into gray as this non-smoker smoked and vowed to shake the dust off her most recent meltdown and embrace afresh the mercy of a new day even though the day (which she wished would end already) was only half over.
I proclaimed in my last blog that no matter what, God is good. He loves me. And He loves you. Loves. So instead of offering you an excerpt from the Bible today, I offer you one from a song. A biblical promise that is yours for the taking if you are post-emotional meltdown. And still up for grabs even if you're not.
Jesus loves me!
This I know,
For the Bible tells me so.
Little ones to Him belong;
We are weak, but He is strong.
Yes, Jesus loves me!
Yes, Jesus loves me!
Yes, Jesus loves me!
The Bible tells me so.
I can't think of a better way to counter "melt down" days. What's God saying to you today?
You are not alone,
Disclaimer about my use of the word slutty. It is not my intention to inflict judgement on anyone who's healing from promiscuity. Back in the 90's, true to form, Jesus used an ex-prostitute named Valerie to set my heart straight on this subject. I was observing her one day, feeling self-righteous because in regards to sex I saw myself as a "good girl," when BOOM! . . . Jesus said to me, "The reason you withheld sex is no different from why she offered it. Control."
Published on Tuesday, July 15, 2014 @ 3:15 PM CDT