Friday, October 17, 2014

Day 17: embracing my epic fail part 2

This is Day 17 of my 31 days of writing series called "Confessions of a Road Kill Christian" If you haven't read Day 1 yet you can click here first. I am linking up with #write31days. I hope that through this series of posts we'll be encouraged by who God is and who He says we are in Him.



Today has been Crazy, with a capital C. I have SO much to do today!! I have had a ton of stress because this weekend is going to be nuts.

I am definitely writing this series from a place of healing and growth but also, I have bad days when I struggle with fear and anger, when I let myself just sit in my stress. So yeah, crazy.



Today has also been a good opportunity to rest my heart in God and be still before Him (if only in my heart!). Choosing not to spin my wheels but trust Him.


I have also had a crazy-productive day, ticking off everything on my to-do list, as a type-B person I find myself wondering "is this how the other half lives?!"

So anyway today's post is going to pretty much just be a reply to a comment I got on yesterday's post. Because I really do want to live out embracing your epic fail.

This is my epic fail: I almost divorced my husband. 

Maybe that doesn't seem like a big deal to you, but to me, that was a huge step of deliberate disobedience. God showed me clearly what He wanted me to do. Stay. I told God "that's too hard!" He showed me over and over again that He would be faithful to me and carry me and I just said "No. We're not happy. This is just too hard." 

In the year after Daniel's de-conversion I gave up nearly every piece of doctrine I ever believed in (and I held a position on almost everything) I stopped going to church consistently, and didn't serve, give or participate. I was just surviving. When we moved here I still believed that there was a God but that was it. Culturally, I was a Christian because that's how I was raised, but honestly at that point in my walk with God I was a universalist, which means I would have considered all religions to be equally a path to God.  

That is my epic fail. 

Unbelief & Disobedience.

Since then I have started picking up the pieces of my faith a little bit at a time. I don't have clear positions on every point of doctrine like I used to.  Now I see diversity within the body of Christ as a positive thing and feel less of a need to be right about everything. 

Now the shame of my fail doesn't weigh me down. God has healed a lot of my heart. It doesn't define me, and I don't feel a need to hide it. I have faith for those who are struggling, and hopefully more humility and less of a desire to act like I have it all together, because I know that the only reason why I am where I am today is because of the grace and faithfulness of God. 

Daniel and I agree on love, mutual respect, compassion & gentleness. We love each other, we love our kids and that is enough. We make compromises for each other and make it work.

For example we don't pray to God at mealtimes but we do say a blessing and express gratitude for each other and our meal. Daniel allows me to take our children to church every week and I make it clear that they are free to agree or disagree with what they are taught at church, and that they are free to change their minds about God as many times as they want.

As a family we expect our kids to make their own choices about God when they are old enough to understand the arguments for and against the existence of God. I have my faith - which I expect my children to respect (for example they are not allowed to speak disrespectfully about God or take His name in vain) but I also expect our children to show respect for their father's beliefs. 

I failed at this a lot in the early years of figuring this out. I said a lot of things to the kids that were disrespectful and hurtful, at times unintentionally at other times out of ignorance, fear and hurt but it took me a long time to navigate this new way of raising our kids. Now I feel like Daniel and I do better and this has been huge for my kids, it has made them become more compassionate, respectful people in general.

How do we deal with disagreements? Here is where I have to admit weakness. We tend to just leave them alone. I'm not sure if this is helping our marriage or hurting it, but we tend to give each other a lot of space on the things that set the other one off. I do pray about things when Daniel brings them up and ask myself "is this a Biblical command or a Chrstian tradition?" If it is a command I have to stand up and trust that God will give me favor with Daniel and if it is just a tradition I try to find a way to compromise. 

For example when Daniel challenged me about praying at meals I felt like that's more or less a tradition so we say a blessing together instead of one person praying to God over the meal. But when Daniel challenged me about tithing on the money he gives me every week (for gas, groceries and misc. expenses) I said that this was something I felt like I needed to do, even if he disagreed. Daniel was awesome about it and we worked through that moment really beautifully. 

Does Daniel read my blog?
I don't think so, but I try to write every post with the assumption that he does or at some point will. I also try to remeber that there are always more people who I know in real life reading my blog, even if they don't ever comment and I try to be aware of that and not write anything I wouldn't want someone to say back to me. 

How do I struggle now? 
Fear. It is always a constant battle between fear and love. Love casts out fear but sometimes I have felt fear cast out love and have to fight against the reflex to fear whenever things get hard. I have to fight to love when I want to fall into a puddle of self-pity and bitterness. I have to fight to stay open to love when I want to close up and protect myself from getting hurt. I have to fight to believe Daniel loves me when I'm just strait-up freaking out. 

I believe this: Love wins. Every time. I have seen this in my life and I believe it 100%.

7 comments:

  1. I have been completely sucked in by your series. I can relate to such much of your story, and I applaud you for your strength and bravery in writing it.

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  2. I would just love to talk with you in real life. Your story is so moving. Hard, yet moving. The piece that spoke the loudest to me today was that you have taught yourself to filter differences by asking "is this a Biblical command or a Chrstian tradition." That is huge to me and so very liberating to think about.
    Thanks for taking time to share your story and to be so vulnerable! May God heap huge blessings on your head as you speak!

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  3. To quote 1 Corinthians 13: Love never fails! I am so glad that you and Daniel have been able to find a kind of balance between what you each believe and in how you're raising your kids. That's so hard sometimes even when you share the same beliefs. You are so awesome and it is clear that God is leading you through all of this. Thank you for being so vulnerable and sharing your heart about all of this. I know you have touched my heart with your words and that you are touching so many others. God bless you and your family, my friend!

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  4. Thanks for shedding more light onto your struggle. You are creating a group of people who love you and your family and are praying. Early on, you shared what you would like us to pray and if you would care to, mention that again. I'm sure you have support around you and it sounds like a great church family. Sometimes it is easier for those outside the "fishbowl" to have faith to believe the desire of your heart can come to you. Feel free to share privately with me if you wish through Facebook pm or my email Bless you. Rest assured many are praying. You are unique in your honesty, your love for your family and ability to communicate. Be sure you can some "me" time to rest.

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  5. This is beautiful, and I am so blessed by how open you are in sharing your story.

    Thank you for giving me hope in the reminder that love wins, every time. I really needed that today. I'm going through a personal family conflict and this year has taught me that you can absolutely love someone you don't like very much. I want love to win. I have forgiven, but have not been granted the same. Forgiveness takes one, but resolution takes two and I pray that somehow things will resolve despite the anger that has been directed toward me.

    So there's a tangent for you. :) See how vulnerability allows other people the same option? Thank you for continuing to share your story. Grateful to have connected with you!!

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    Replies
    1. God sure does use family to teach us hard lessons about love and definitely not the ones we want to learn. There is so much freedom in loving others without expectations or conditions.

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