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?!"
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%.