Something about the War on Marriage

Today I’m exhausted from a million days of fighting in a Meaningless War of Distraction meant for no one to ever win.

With sincere words of pleading I’ve been trudging through endless quicksand in combat that undoubtedly I was never intended to survive.

The hostile environment, threatening to suffocate, is like a demented play performance from hell that nobody is invited to attend but me and you.

I learned sometimes words are not enough.

Sometimes in spite of my best efforts to communicate, the lines are disconnected by forces beyond my control, as if we are stuck in a perpetual nightmare, asleep, and the Seductress of Division and Sin tramples us.

The languages we speak are not compatible with each other so we go around for days and years in the same circle and I’m dizzy from the not-so-merry-go-round that this relationship became before I was ever invited into it.

Just so you can hear it one more time,

I don’t want out.

I just want you.

But you’re so far away —

even when you’re sitting beside me.

You’re not here.

 

It seems you forgot to notice me — as if you really ever did.

 

I can’t anymore compete against your invisible castle fortress built with most impressive steel clay and icy mortar that can only be found in the Dungeon of Selfishness.

Trophies of Illusion line the walls as support because if they fell you believe it would crush your ability to breathe.

 

But we’re both suffering because of it.

Well done is your quest to lock down your heart as you proudly wear your carefully chosen armor crafted with the Finest Resentment and woven with impenetrable Threads of Defensiveness, though the foul odor of despair is seeping out of the seams.

I’m exhausted from trying to earn a place in your heart that you locked up when you were young never to let anyone in again.

The ONLY victory belongs to the enemy as he cleverly whispers an empty Promise of Entitlement as your reward while the arsenal laced with apathy repeatedly tears me apart to make sure that I bleed Silence.

You pull the strings of the bow as you launch the arrows tipped with poisonous contempt into my day shattering one more time the hope you waved in front of me as if this time you’d extravagantly pour love into me but as soon as hope was there, you snatched it away again.

Can’t you see the scoreboard reveals

Zero for us

and

16 against us ?

The devil profits and cheers, fascinated, because you arrogantly and foolishly wield your Weapon Of Contempt he designed for you to take down the very human you profess to love the most.

Fourteen seconds of attention and then —

once again your corroded barbed wire words cut to the deepest part of me although I try my best again and again to resist the isolation.

The jagged edges and mocking tone of your words sting deeper than any other physical weapon ever could.

It is as if you have been lured and lulled into a trance of constant combat, wearing badges void of honor, but at least you never have to be vulnerable to anybody.

You are safe —

or so you tell yourself.

It’s a celebration that doesn’t make any sense as it deprives you too.

But you get to rejoice and hold onto Control and maybe that’s the whole point.

Or maybe the whole point is that the enemy wants to keep you occupied so that you will not see me.

…I’m left to wonder what life would have been like

if you could have cared for my heart as viciously as you’ve protected yours…

I wonder…

 

I’m talking about more than occasional disagreements;

more than the every once-in-a-while kind of conflict;

You refuse to give me more than a couple words at a time out of self-preservation —

or so it would seem from your view of the world…

As if pouring your words over your lover would steal something you can never recover.

Only somehow you aren’t able to see

— the one you need to protect yourself from is you.

 

I think you forgot you can choose to choose what you actually need.

Make no mistake.

You do have a choice.

You do not have to pick up that familiar crusty old armor today — or tomorrow.

It’s affecting your walk anyway making it clumsy.

You’ve got to be SO tired of its weight.

That’s a heavy burden for anyone to carry.

You should know that living in the Stench of Bitterness is a place that incessantly demands your Everything

and drains the life out of you with no apology.

The enemy tricks you into renting to own the space that was already yours and keeps collecting your joy as payment until you’re completely exhausted and then tirelessly labors to strip you of emotion as you gladly refuse to share your words with your bride.

But since there is nobody to stand up and tell you that, in fact, I’m worth more than the leftover stale carefully weighed scraps you throw to me as affection,

I’m left with a deficient tank and I’m constantly starving for more.

I’m appreciative for any affection

but when I do finally ask for more

your Lust for Dominance over your own words

violently slashes the edge of my reserve tank open

and what little residue I still had

spills out into tears

and your controlling disdain for me reminds me again

and again

and again

and again

and again

why it’s safer

never to ask for more.

It’s how you choose to control your environment.

And you do have a choice.

And from years of studying you I believe it stems from the seed of misery the enemy quietly planted in you when you weren’t even looking.

There aren’t any prison bars around either of us that people can see

but they’re there all the same.

Please know I’m truly not angry —

I’m just hungry for

more

of

you;

more affection and attention from you.

I’m starving.

Usually when people are too hungry

they have been known to be grouchy.

You stole my smile with your secret obsession to hide parts of your life from me yet you insist you need to see genuine, counterfeit happiness displayed on my face so that you might give me another couple of words.

I just can’t.

 

I know God wants me to submit to Him and He wants me to submit to you whether or not I think you’re worthy to submit to.

That is my offering to Him as a wife.

And out of obedience to please Him I try to offer it again and again.

The only way “we” win is if you will also completely surrender to Him.

Lay down your arsenal of pride.

You constantly study The Word but refuse to let It levitate your vision beyond your current view.

And only the genuine integrity of forgiveness (for me and for yourself) can remove the blinders that have been attached to direct your sight away from me.

 

But regardless, the joke is on the enemy.

 

My broken heart is no longer fragile

because

when

my

God

mends

He repairs breaks to be a tougher substance

than any man can dream to create as a reinforcement.

He uses the tears I’ve cried and combines them with His supernatural Comfort and somehow because of Him I still hope. I can still love you because of Him.

But probably to your surprise and despite the hand of the enemy’s depraved wishes against me using my own husband as a weapon, I am no longer lonely.

The hope I have is found only in Jesus Christ!

He hears me cry out to Him.

He lifts me, saves me, carries me, holds me, comforts me because He is my Comforter. He is my Counselor.

You see?

He knows my every fault and every thought that took momentary residence in my mind.

And He loves me even so.

He knows me most intimately

and YET He STILL loves me to the death —

and then some.

He loves me enough to take off the grave clothes that I ignorantly fashioned with my own deepest shame and sin.

He loves me enough that He climbed OUT of that grave and He LIVES for me.

For me!

He is my Deliverer and He gives me Peace in the middle of the storms of life that have choked the gentleman out of you.

The spoils of this war are my obedience to Him and my life laid down for Him.

His promises are real and true and He will never break them.

He breathes life into the most dead parts of my being.

He restores my soul in a way that nothing can explain.

As He throws open the doors with the sweetest sounds of Love, He calls to me.

To ME!

And when I run to Him He wraps me in His arms filled with compassion in spite of my darkest betrayal against Him.

I’m surrounded by His safety. His blessings chase me and capture me as if I’m His most beautiful creature more precious than any flower petal created by the very same God Who redeems me.

He hears me and He knows my deep repentance cry and I am COMPLETELY ADORED by Him.

…All this even while in my own ignorance my sin extracted Jesus’ last breath.

He is mine

and

I

am

unashamedly

His.

 

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Dear People Who Feel God Stirring Your Heart to Some Kind of Ministry,

Where do you put your hope?

ONLY YOU know when God whispers to your soul.

It’s something you’ll not soon forget.

Please pray continually about the ministry He’s nudging you to. Every step needs to be saturated in prayer.

When God puts a dream in your heart HE can be trusted to lead you to everything you will need to do the work.

We’ve listened to many, many people tell us that we need to “do things this way” or “that way” because “that’s just the way ministry works.” There is some good advice out there.

But also I’ve heard of brand new ministries that were born into people’s hearts but were aborted because they gave up when a few said, “That’s not possible” or “No. We won’t fund that.” Some give up when faced with churches who want a “5 Year Plan” and won’t even pray with them toward this work.

I just CAN’T find it in the Bible where Jesus said follow committees, preachers, or churches, family, friends, or other leaders, and when they say “No” then give up.

Where is your Hope? In people? In circumstances? In other Christians? Or in God?

I have read that Jesus says “Follow ME.”

God is the God of the impossible. He’s great at making impossible things possible.

The Holy Spirit is here to lead us.

This stuff is real.

What God has put on my heart is that when people and churches and organizations that do NOT donate, whether prayers or money or other kinds of support, that does NOT mean it’s time to give up!

Perhaps God wasn’t using them for this particular ministry.

And that’s okay!

 

There are many people God does bring you in contact with who believe with you

…BEFORE the physical buildings can be seen,

…BEFORE it “looks official,”

…when it’s still ONLY BY FAITH that you feel compelled to take another step.

We felt God planting in our hearts that He was moving our family from Texas to Alaska to open a homeless teen place. Currently we’re waiting on Him in Washington. He’s training us more every day.

And I still can’t give anyone a 5 year plan. (…probably never will be able to.)

And the funny thing is I can’t find it in The Bible where God says I have to.

As we have stayed in prayer, walking in faith, over the past 4 years, God has led us to people:

with hearts for ministry and specifically for this ministry we feel moved to,

who are counselors,

people on Boards of Directors who are already working with the homeless,

people who have started organizations that help rescue sex-trafficked girls,

maternity ministries,

CEOs with the same hearts for this kind of ministry,

people who know about nonprofits like 501c3,

architects,

builders,

teachers,

camp directors,

musicians,

worship leaders,

preachers,

prayer warriors,

singers,

gardeners,

landscapers,

hunters,

chefs,

janitors,

AND

people who have donated financially (some once, and some a few times) over the past 4 years

EVEN THOUGH

they know we’re not even “there” yet. (Yes, we’re keeping the list for later tax purposes.)

God has sent people to believe with us, in spirit and in action.

And THAT is the most amazing thing.

For God to send support like that is just reassurance time after time that HE’s got this and HE IS listening and leading and providing.

After all, He IS our Provider, so… I’m not surprised but ALWAYS constantly in awe every single step of the way.

If we’d TRIED to plan all this, things couldn’t have ever gone better.

When you see God giving you the next step and the next, you can’t help but want more!

My question is that if we’d “planned” it all on paper (to get a church or organization to donate) then where does being open to the Holy Spirit daily fit in?

I actually don’t even think that’s how it’s supposed to be done “Biblically.” I think that’s taking a dream God gives and trying to make it fit our way.

Perhaps “planning” how we want it to look isn’t such a perfect way after all.

That “plan” would have changed so many times by now already.

My faith and my hope is NOT in an organization

or in a preacher

or in a committee who may pull funding

if we’re not fast enough for them,

or if we don’t baptize enough people in their given amount of time,

or for whatever results they want to see on a graph chart or powerpoint.

My hope is in HIM.

And HE is faithful to complete work He started.

 

SOMEBODY NEEDS YOU.

And God, ALONE, is MORE THAN ENOUGH to lead you to this work He’s prepared in advance for you to do. (You’ll know it when it happens because it’ll include your passion and talents He gave you.)

I can’t tell you it will be easy but it’s very worth it even when others think it’s silly. (And they will. So what? Let them think it’s silly. Perhaps, when they’re ready to surrender to Him, God will move them, too. Your job isn’t to convince them. It’s to follow in faith.)

There are doors that God unlocks through prayer, singing praises to Him, and reading Scripture out loud, that we could never have unlocked ourselves.

God opens doors that NO enemy can shut.

And He closes doors that NO friend can open.

HE IS ABLE.

 

A few years ago when we told someone about this God-sized dream He’s placed in our hearts, they asked skeptically, “You and whose army?! Who is going to do this work with you?!” I said, “Me and whatever army God calls together.”

Watch Him do it.

 

Hear This Truth:

Proverbs 3:5-6

TRUST in THE LORD with ALL your heart

and lean NOT on your OWN understanding;

in ALL your ways SUBMIT TO HIM,

AND HE WILL make your paths straight.