I haven't been blogging because Brandon has been needing the computer for work more than usual.... but I've still been writing in my journal daily. It really is so nice to be without the computer. I have such a love/hate with all this technology. I love it that I have been able to use it for so much good.... I love the connections I can have with other adults throughout my days filled with 2 year old fun... yet it can become so much noise and distraction and I can even start to be dependent on it for certain things - which isn't good. I want to be dependent on God and God alone. When Brandon takes the computer, it's so good to get rid of that temptation to be on the it and I'm almost forced into solitude during raymond's nap - which is a great thing.
Although I am rescued and don't even need to think anymore about what has been going on --- I do want to write about what has been happening. I have really been under attack. When the devil wants to get in... he always seems to attack our marriage first. and I know why. I absolutely believe that marriage is such a huge threat to the enemy. It is the most sacred relationship we have on earth and when Brandon & I are unified and both growing in Christ --- I literally feel so protected, covered, loved, have so much faith and strength. It's like nothing can stop us when we're our solid chord of three. When we are spiritually intimate --- our intimacy in all areas is so much more full and beautiful and satisfying. It will never cease to amaze me what a beautiful relationship marriage is and I completely see why it's a representation of Jesus relationship with the church. When we believe in each other - we feel there is nothing God can not do with us, through us! It's just such an awesome testimony to me that God can take two completely opposite & different people and be able to work in them & through them to love each other despite our failings.. be able to work through conflicts and lift each other up, focusing on the good in each other and taking the bad with the good. Being totally committed. Committed to forgive as I said in my vows. For Brandon to be able to see and know all my junk but love me anyway --- wow that's powerful.
Brandon is absolutely the best tool that God has shown me to show love, mercy, patience, unconditional love, commitment.... yet I know that this works in both ways. He isn't perfect nor am I and we will not always be christlike for each other. We can also be the devil to each other. We can tear each other down.... discourage... and make each other feel so inferior & unworthy.
It seems to me throughout our years together one is always up and one is always down. In my moments or seasons of dryness - of just spiritual burden... Brandon always seems to be at his best times. Full of faith & so close to God. and I know God does that for a reason. That is why the chord of 3 is so powerful. (Ecclesiates 4:12) We are strong despite one's moments of weakness.
I started pouring out everything on my heart last night and Brandon was discerning enough to know the devil was planting some horrible seeds in me. He could have rebuked my lack of faith, my complaining attitude.... but he recognized what I needed and he loved me like God wanted him to. Brandon had a 15 hour work day yesterday!!!!!!! but he dropped everything he was working on (after 15 hours away from the house) and came and took me in his arms and knelt before the Lord asking Him to rescue me. I could do nothing but cry. I felt God's love through Brandon's arms, through his words and tender heart. I was so thankful that Brandon had been in the Word so much and so close to God recently. I really needed him. (Ecclesiates 4:11). He saw I was battling and that I needed somebody to come to me and intercede for me. He asked for the Comforter to come and speak for me and to blanket me with peace & comfort and it was one of the most beautiful moments of our marriage.
I had not shed tears like that in so long and boy did it feel good. When I am going through a spiritual battle and dry season for so long --- I should be able to recognize it right away (but I don't) because I have no tears during those seasons. I am just unable to cry. It's like my heart is literally hard and though I feel like I'm crying inside - they don't come (which is SO unlike me - I'm such a crier!)... so to release all of this last night was so good.
In moments like this - when God finds me and rescues me and brings me back into the light --- it's a very powerful moment. I can physically feel myself being lifted out of darkness. It's like I find myself again. and my heart feels like, "where have I been all this time".... really. where do I go? and then the remorse I feel for how I've acted toward God & Brandon & those around me. It reminds me of that scene from Steel Magnolias when Julia Roberts character has a diabetic attack and then when she awakens out of it and finds herself again - she all of a sudden realized how she acted when she lost herself. Yet despite all that remorse I feel in those times, He washes all that away when I acknowledge my errors, confess them and turn from it.
when you get married - you are no longer your own flesh.... the 2 of you together are one flesh. Therefore, as Brandon told me --- when we only go to God separately - we are only 1/2 of us praying. We had not been praying together and it was affecting all areas - but last night as we prayed and called out to God together - I felt so complete again. and we thought --- man what happened? How did we get so off track? The devil is so sneaky - it's such a gradual thing to separate and drift apart - we didn't even notice.
I want to write down what the devil had been saying to me - so when he says it again, I will hopefully recognize it for what it is next time:
I am not trying hard enough. I doubt I'll ever be used for God like He wants to use me. What value is even in my days? What difference does my life even make? I'm totally average and my talents and gifts are going to go to waste. I may go to heaven and God might be totally disappointed in my entire life. Am I doing all I should right now? What am I not doing that I should be? Am I supposed to be using my skills differently? am I not doing enough? or maybe it's opposite - maybe I'm trying to do too much and not giving enough time to brandon & raymond. maybe I'm sinning because I'm not being content to "just" be a mom & wife. Those are the roles I have right now - and I'm doing a miserable job even in those roles. (then he starts listing all the things in my mind I should be doing differently with Raymond... what I'm not doing good enough.. what he's not doing good enough and all the cruel things people to say to me that make me feel guilt that I'm not a good enough mother and make me doubt myself) or maybe I AM supposed to "just" be a mom & wife right now and I'm ruining it all ---will this time as mom & wife pass me by so fast and I'll regret never truly appreciating this time with Raymond & Brandon? I really am a horrible mom & wife. I'm failing.
and when I started to share some of these doubts.... Brandon knew enough to help me.
oh God I can't thank you enough for your patience with me. Thank you so much God for those throughout my life that help get me out of these pits. I absoultely know that my childlike naive faith for you & your Body and my love and my heart for you is such a threat to the enemy and he is going to do what he can to keep me down... but God I need help. I know in my heart that he has no power -- why do I continue to let him in? Please God guard me. Guard my heart. Keep me focused on your words.... because you have always lifted me up. You don't put thoughts like that in my mind. You have always gently loved me. You have always been there no matter how many times I've turned away. Please God make your voice so clear that I don't even hear any others. Keep me in your light God. help me recognize the devil's tricks right away and rebuke them.
Thank you God for never giving up on me. Thank you for my wonderfully complex & challenging & rewarding & beautiful marriage. It's so deep and not at all fake. We are so authentic with each other - never holding anything back and although it causes pain..... it's so beautiful to be so vulnerable. Thanks for all you've poured into Brandon to prepare him for just those moments last night.
Help me be the woman you designed me to be God.