Suffering from anxiety and depression she briefly moved out this past spring thinking it would be the relief she needed. I knew then this was serious, but kept hoping and praying things would work out. Counseling and medication ensued and quickly got out of hand. She moved back in with the promise of a fresh start only to be derailed by her emotions and what-ever demons she was harboring.
There was an attempted overdose, and she was way too high on anti-anxiety drugs to think straight when it happened. The sleeping pills weren’t actually taken and I don’t know if they were ever intended to be ingested… perhaps it was just for attention… perhaps it was a desperate cry for help, for healing… I don’t know.
I do not even pretend to understand… especially when one comes face-to-face with the altar of God three times a week… when the knowledge that God is always there is so firmly planted in ones heart. How... why... does one look past that altar and to society for the answers to spiritual problems?
She lost her way... she needed to find herself. In reality she fell victim to the image the world offers women of her age and stature. Thirty and married over ten years to the same man she started looking for something more; more of what I have no idea. Maybe she wanted to feel the love she felt when they were newly married… maybe she wanted to feel special… all the while it was staring her right in the face. She was running from God and didn't even realize it!
They went to Christian marriage counseling a couple of times to get through the rough patches. Willing to do everything to make her happy he worked hard to provide a good life, helped around the house, and was involved in the boys school and sports activities. Active in church, he committed his life, his family’s lives to God…steadfastly hanging on to the hope and belief that it was going to get better, it would be all right… knowing only God could change it.
Sadly, it was not enough… change in a marriage takes two people seeking God’s will for their lives… seeking God’s healing… seeking God’s love and having the gumption to walk that road of faith. It is not a two-pronged approach with one seeking God and the other seeking society… that only ends up as a fork in the road.
Mistaking comfort for boredom and security for staleness she tried to fill the hole in her heart with things… a house full of things… a closet full of things… a garage full of things… when all along the answer was in reaching out to God. Not just the going through the motions; but the whole heartedly, grabbing hold of Him and not letting go until she had been reconciled kind of reaching out to God. Alas, the lure of the world was too strong… she thought things through instead of faithfully waiting and watching for God to restore her, restore her love, restore her marriage.
Torn between the life she had and the life of what could have been… or what could be… she set about creating a life of her own leaving a husband and two sons standing amid the broken pieces of their American dream. All I can do is shake my head and say, “Lord, Lord.”
I have to admit, I was caught unaware by the turbulence in their lives this past year. Like most, I only saw “leave it to beaver land.” I had so many things on my plate and God love him, he did not want me to worry. He knew I prayed for them and that was enough for him.
The “I love you, but I’m not in love with you, I don’t know who I am anymore…going out, staying home… moving out… moving back in” see-saw, roller coaster life he was living was undoubtedly one of the hardest things he has ever faced. His eyes rimmed with heavy, dark circles showed the tiredness.
Had I looked closer I would have seen more… the sadness, the anguish experienced by one who has done all they can and the giving up of a dream, of a love. What I thought was weariness from juggling his career, his little league duty and his service in his church was so very far from the truth!
Being burned by wasted time and unconditional love; to him, that empty room could easily be filled with sorrow, regret, and the seeds of resentment. However, new life springs forth from the ashes for he takes comfort in the knowledge that he has done all he could.
He committed family, job and self to God a long time ago and it is that same God who will still guide him and sustain him, watch over him and protect his boys. Though he may have lost a worldly love he can never lose the greatest love of all… the love of God. The architect of his life has never let him down and this phase will be no different.
Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future.”
Romans 8:28 “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”