Thursday, February 17, 2011

poking your eye out is the best bet

Went to class a few nights ago. The lesson was on temptation. Maybe your thinking oooh fun stuff when your sitting next to your sex addicted husband. But it wasn't that hard to sit next to him. It was a great lesson, I learned a lot. Everyone gets tempted its part of living in this world, period. The sin isn't in the being tempted part, its if you choose to linger on a thought or toy with an action. That's a grey area for many people. They figure yeah I'm not acting on it, just thinking about it. Let me clear up some grey for those who need it.

                                       Matthew 5:27-30
You know the commandment which says, "Be faithful in marriage." But I tell you that if you look at another woman and want her, you are already unfaithful in your thoughts. If your right eye causes you to sin, poke it out and throw it away. It is better to lose one part of your body, than for your whole body to end up in hell. If your right hand causes you to sin, chop it off and throw it away! It is better to lose one part of your body, than for your whole body to be thrown into hell.

Jesus said if you think about it, its as bad as doing it. He says if your eyes are looking, STOP. Do what you gotta do to get yourself out of that situation, yes, its that important.  Even if you have to jab your finger in your own eye. At least you wont be thinking lustful thoughts anymore, instead you'll be thinking, damn my eye hurts! Or you'll be worried that people saw you cram your finger in your own eye. Either way Jesus would perfer that, to you falling into the steps of sin. Notice he says eye before he mentions hand. It starts in the thoughts, and then leads to actions. After hand it goes quickly to hell.  Good stuff to know, being thrown into hell or poking yourself in the eye.

Of course thats not the only temptation out there, just one of the ones that stuck with me. I figure if DH comes home with an eye patch one day, I will score it as a win. God ~ 1. Temptation ~ 0.

I'm tempted with other things. Like running. I spent a good two days a few weeks back trying to convince DH how awesome it would be to put all our stuff in storage and get an RV. (Still sounds awesome!) He looked at me like I lost a screw. But to me sitting still is a form of torture. Moving is a fix. Even if its moving up the street to live in an RV.
Running can also be in the mind. Disconnecting is something I'm tempted with often. Either by busyness or drinking. Happy to say the temptation of drugs seems to be a thing of the past. Although after D-day the enemy did try to throw that fish hook at me more than once, to see if it still worked. Nope. I'm getting less in me and God is getting more. Sweet, even gaining inches deserves a high five.

I'm also tempted to take others problems and try to carry them as mine. When DH was sick in his alcohol addiction (when I knew about it), I internalized that. What wasn't I doing right? Why isn't he happy? How can I help? How can I fix it? When I discovered DH still was buried in alcoholism and way worse things than I could have dreamed up, I went right to that spot again. What did I do? That's not a healthy spot for anyone. Carrying someones sin is like carrying someones poison, it will eventually get you sick too.  Jesus is the only one built for that job.

Like everyone everywhere ever, I'm tempted everyday, with all kinds of stuff. But we are given a way out. We are PROMISED that there is always a way out of temptation.

                                             1 Corinthians 10-13
The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure.

We are never once promised in the bible that we wont be given more than we can handle. But we will never be given more than God can handle. We are promised that we will never be given a temptation we can't handle. There will always be a way out, even if you need to stand and scream for God to help right then. (By the way screaming and freaking out in the middle of where ever, will work just as good as mangling own eye in public!) The enemy can't make you do anything, all he can do is dangle what he hopes will be appealing, in hopes you will take the bait. So if you ever come across someone saying the "devil made me do it", or other such nonsense you can totally call bull shit baloney. (I struggle with the temptation to curse, I'm working on it, I just smacked my own hand.)

When it was time for bed that night after class, DH and I were chatting about the lesson. I asked if he picked up any good tips, since I know I had. He starts telling me how much he has been tempted this week by other women..... Wow really? I was tempted to punch him right in his nose. You will be proud to know I didnt, I ended the convo by turning over and going to sleep. I didn't do so hot in avoiding temptation with my mouth though, I may have called him a name over my shoulder. 
The next day my heart was tempted to dwell on the why. Why does he look and want? Why does he think I'm boring and ugly? It was a rough day, not gonna lie.

I struggled with the flight or fight response. I wanted to pack everything and go. "Six months and he is already looking" I fussed at God. "Just look at me, not at him" was be my answer. I tried all day. I think the fact that when DH got home all he got was a luke warm reception, and not a boot up the butt is pretty huge. Its the small victory's that I'm choosing to focus on these days.

Irish Bastards Disclaimer::
{But... for the record.... No matter who you are, or what you have done, for goodness sake don't tell your wife you have been tempted by other women all week! Sheesh! We don't all have the amazing ability not to knock you out on the spot. Bring that first to God, then to a trusted christian male friend.}

Thursday, February 10, 2011

the hangover

The class I take on relational problems had a retreat. I was squirmy at the idea of spending 3 days with this class. Three hours a week is rough enough as it is. In the end I'm am so glad I went.

I went with my husband. Let me reword that.... I drove there with my husband. After about 15mins of being there I was barely aware of him. I had another woman from my class as my roommate, and all the other ladies were in rooms on each side of ours. We studied together, we worshiped together, we ate together. Best of all they all understood as good as any other human could. We were in it together, and yet we were all there on our own walks. I did see DH there. It was nice seeing him, but I wasn't worried about him the whole weekend. Which for me is huge. I spent so much time with God, I think it was the first time I could feel and accept His love. It's hard for me to put into words. In the middle of nowhere with God I felt free. I'm not sure I have ever felt that before.

The next day was like a crash. A retreat hangover if you will. I woke up fully overwhelmed with everything around me. I was just so sad. I think I sobbed most the day. And on and off the whole week. I just wanted to go back. (Felt a bit better to find out in class the next week, all the women had a hangover). Its normal for God to let tears start cleaning out hurts, even hurts you thought weren't hurts.

Early this week I thought I would scrapbook.  I sat on the floor and opened the drawer stuffed with hundreds of photos. I ended up sitting there for nearly an hour. Its not like I have never looked through them before, but it was like really seeing them for the first time.

One of the first ones I happened to grab was of my daughters and me. We were at a concert. A friend and I brought six little girls to a Jonas Brothers concert. It wasn't some preplanned event on the calendar, planned it the week of. That was two weeks to the day of finding about the affair. My world had just been rocked. It was all good, I was making sure we had the time of their lives. After it was over, brought them home and the party continued well past 2am. Seriously? Who does that? Shouldn't I have been a puddle somewhere? Shouldn't I have been feeling pain? Sorrow? Anger? Panic? Anything??
Picture says I was having a blast. Its this mask. A happy grinning ear to ear mask. I feel safe when I'm smiling. Wow God, what the heck? Is this what you see? And that was just the first picture...

I grab another. I'm around 15 or 16. Sitting with a group of friends. We all smashed together, arms around each other, somewhere in the city. Smiling of course. That's all the picture tells, unless you know the whole story. Those kids are trashed outta their minds. So many drugs. I probably had a nice wade of cash in my pocket from selling all night. That night one of those friends got arrested. Found another friend with blood on her chin from chewing on her tongue all night, was she one of the kids I sold to? That mask was there, keeping me safe. When your smiling its all just a good time right? It was just a good time.

Another one out of the drawer. I'm with my best friend, around 17. Laughing sitting on the bed. I was living with her at that time. Her apartment had been raided by cops and her mom had been hauled off. I had nowhere to live at the moment, it was a perfect fit. She called me up and I moved in. We each had the others back. Who needs parents? When you laugh you can't feel abandoned.

Another picture. Same best friend. Standing with my husband. Arms around each other, grinning at the camera. I took this one a few years ago. It used to be one of my favorites. My two favorite people. Before I found out they had slept together... my stomach is starting to crawl. That picture gets flung back in the heap.

Another. I'm in the hospital holding my son. He is minutes old. I'm pale. Too skinny. Too sick. Don't remember any photos being taken since I was so out of it. Grinning of course. Sitting there looking at the picture, some sort of sick pride in me says "Look at that! Even half unconscious and still smiling!".  Man I need help. But can't be scared, I was too happy.

Another. There I am with my BIL. He is holding my oldest daughter when she was smaller. Taken maybe year after he had molested me while I was passed out drunk. Just a happy family photo. Luckily you cant feel shame when you have your safety mask on

Another. My cousin and I. Drunk at some party. Happy as ever. Matching smiles. Matching attitudes. Matching masks. God shows me one reason I couldn't go up his casket when it was time to say goodbye, I didn't want to see him without his smile. I wish I had. Maybe I would have seen his real face. God, it was his mask that killed him wasn't it?

Another picture and another and another. Why have I never really seen these before? Why have I never really seen me before?

I'm amazed with my God. I was so surrounded by His love there, I felt safe telling Him things. I had to get away from everything to realize He surrounds me that much no matter where I am. I finally rested in Him. I told him I was scared. I told Him I was done running. I told him I wanted to put this mask away for good. I told Him I was ready to let go, but He needed to show me how. I know this might hurt, and it might not be quick. I told Him I would trust Him. Please take the parts of me that don't reflect you God. I gave my mask to him to keep.

Then I got home to the hangover. I worry that I was rash in telling Him these things. Like when you know you were drunk dialing the night before, what did I say, did I promise stuff?? What will I do without my mask God? Where did you put it? I might have changed my mind. Can I have it back? Just for awhile? I'm scared. I have worn it as far back as I can remember. I don't know who I will be without it.

He hasn't given it back. And truth be told I'm both terrified and excited all at once.  I'm sure I will go hunting for it again, maybe even later today, who knows. Its hard to step out in faith. Its hard to hold someones hand you can't see. But I will. Even if on my bad days its to follow Him around to ask where He put my mask. He won't tell I'm sure, but maybe He will hug me and remind me, I wont need it where I'm headed.