What’s true about God?
God is. God is good. God loves. God loves me. God is everywhere. God was there – in the tough scenes. And again, God is good. He made me on purpose and then for a purpose.
Part of our ministry at Look for the Blessing is to help ourselves and others answer the question, “Where was/is God in that?” What was He doing in each life-scene? Was He there? Asking those questions helps me tell the whole story, because then I see more of it; more than just my feelings, the actions of another person, or the setting. I get some answers, or better answers, along with comfort, wisdom and understanding about the scenes.
They are no longer pointless and more than only tragic.
Disclaimer: The stories about the abuse in my past are not about my current marriage, but about my first. We like to say that it was my first wedding but not really my first marriage. The stories that will be written in this “Tough Stuff” category will be written from the perspective of both the “me then” and the “me now.”
He screamed at me!? Two weeks into this marriage, and he is screaming at me? What’s happening? I’m afraid. I’m really scared. Wait…. that’s terror, actually. I only asked about the bank account and why $100 had been taken out because now we don’t have money to buy groceries. I must be confused. Maybe there is something else bothering him. I’ll ask if I did something that upset him or if he had a bad day. No. He is just taunting me and pushing me. “F- you B-“ and “get the H- out of my business”. We are face to face and now back in the bedroom. He is shoving me with his chest – kind of ramming me out of the bedroom and down the hall. I don’t exactly run away because I can’t register that this is happening. At the end of the hall is the living room and I end up sitting on the couch, knees hugged to my chest crying, now sobbing. It angers him more. He threatens me saying that I can’t handle marriage and dares me, “Go home to your mom!”, “Go ahead, quit! Leave me! I dare you!”
In a moment of insanity, I argue for the marriage. I try to explain unconditional love and marriage and how we can get through this. He answers saying there is no such thing. I’m in shock. He throws the receiver of phone at me and says again, “I dare you to **** quit. Go **running home to your mom.” I think, hey, I’m a fighter. This isn’t going to crash and burn. Also, I would be so embarrassed to tell my parents this hadn’t worked! They just spent all that money on this wedding. I couldn’t possibly tell them this. And, what would I say? We just were having a fight. Our first big fight. Don’t most couples fight? But……. this seems so violent. Who is this? Is he going to hurt me? My husband? No. Husbands don’t do that. Not a husband I chose. I’m Christian girl. I’m smart. I try hard. I just want to like people and have them like me. I want to be a mom and have a loving, regular family. WHAT’S HAPPENING HERE?
I’m alone. So alone. What is this strange apartment? It was starting to feel like home but now it feels … cold, strange. The colors are different. The temperature is different. I feel like a stranger here. I don’t call my parents. I really want to. I want some comfort and something safe to attach myself to. But I’m 22, a college graduate with a Special Ed. degree, married, and I’m a woman now.
Later as things calm down and the sobbing stops, we end up the scene with what I later see as the beginning of the “I’m sorry. I’ll never do it again” cycle. And that is followed by his expectations in the bedroom. Well…I am his wife….”
So I look back at this scene and I feel for her, for myself. I’ve had 20 years of therapy: trauma/PTSD therapy, DBT and other. Prayer and faith have been mixed in with all of it. When I look back at that night, what I see when I look with God’s eyes and I sit next to Him and talk about it, is that He was right there. He was working to get my ex-husband’s attention. Jesus doesn’t magically undo our choices or my ex’s difficulties in childhood or genetics that he didn’t ask for. What Jesus was doing was sitting right by me crying with me.
He shares ALL of our suffering.
He later told me this and showed me this – like a vision; I don’t know what else to call it. (Stick with me and I’ll explain that better later). He didn’t want this for me and He was trying to make me aware that He was close enough to me that I could feel Him comforting me. He wanted me to ask Him what to do. I didn’t.
We have free will. God doesn’t take it from us. People can though. One part of my free will no one can take from me is my will to connect with God; to talk with Jesus; to accept what He’s got for me. I love Jesus for how he sat through that night with me. I can see the scene differently. I’m NOT alone on that couch. And so, I’m grateful. I can feel that comfort from Him in that scene today. It’s as though it somewhat erases my first experience of the scene. The blessing is that Jesus is mine and I am His. He is enough – as in all I need – in any situation. I have a closer relationship with Him because of how I see that night and the many hard nights that happened after that.
The relationship with Jesus is the blessing.
It is not often that the blessing is that everything turns out ok.
We all have free will – even those people who we sometimes wish did not.