Tuesday, April 10, 2012

still so crippled

Last night for the first time in a long time I fell asleep crying my eyes out.
Let me back up a bit, since I feel like it all just snuck up on me.

Yesterday was Easter. We celebrated at our new church which I love. DH the kids and I went with my cousin who was with us for the holiday. Our next door neighbor, and her son also went with us, she has been going weekly for a few weeks now. And DH invited someone from work to go.

The man he invited used to be stationed with us at our last base years ago. He used to drink and party with him. That really doesn't bother me, I am confident this man and any habits he may still have won't affect my husband or his faith. The mans wife on the other hand isn't on the top of my list of people to hang out with. Ever. She is best friends with one of the women my husband cheated on me with.
Hi God.... I'm afraid seeing these people will affect me, and I'm terrified they will affect my faith, please help.

We arrive at church and DH parks right next to them. I wanted to be OK with what he sprung on me that morning, so I smiled and lead her and her kids to the childrens room. Showed her how to sign them in and where to pick them up. The whole time she was staring at me. I know what she was thinking, she was thinking of all the things her friend had told her. I ignored the stares, smiled and chattered on until we had found all the men and my neighbor in the lobby.
Hey God its me, can you get her to stop looking at me like that? 

We head into the auditorium. We all file into the aisle, I make sure I am towards the front of our line and tug DH behind me, that way I wouldn't have to be near her or make any type of small talk.
Oh no God are they going to keep coming here and sit next to us every week!? I dont know if I could do that, please help...

I decide to focus everything I had on singing with the worship. Then DH tips his coffee over. Oh no, we are NOT about to switch seats around! My cousin who was on one side had to scoot over, so there was an empty sit between us, but other than that no one else had to move, my mini almost-crisis was adverted.
Pay attention to worship and get over yourself woman, I fuss at myself. 

I wanted the past for once not to bother me. With everything in me I wanted it not to bother me, I wanted to not be wondering about the conversation this lady three seats away was bound to have with her friend, my former friend.

But unfortunately the memories were crashing around me, crushing me. God help, please make it stop, we are better now, its not like that now. Help me focus on you Lord.
I wanted to not remember rejoicing with that former girlfriend when she found out she and her husband were expecting another baby. Crying with her when their orders were up and she was moving. She was pregnant and I had just had our third, she wanted the babies to be friends. I gave her a a collage frame with photos of her and me, our husbands, and our kids all piled up together. She called a week after moving, she found out she was having twins! I was so excited for them! I talked to her husband for a minute and he couldn't stop laughing he was so happy, he wished we were neighbors still, with all these kids it would be crazy!
I call right before our move, her husband answers... he sounds like he has been crying.
Is V there I ask.
Its not a good time, he is going to pick her up from hospital, there are no more babies.
Oh no... I'm so sorry, please tell her I promise to call as soon as I get to new duty station.
When I get off phone I cry my eyes out for them.
....but she was the first one to make the call after I move. I talk about it a bit in another post.
I learn about her and my husband. I can do math, that's the month she got pregnant. Those babies could have been MY husbands. And she knows it. It would have been obvious whose babies there were if they were born, my husband is white, her husband is black. Total 50 50 odds.  Tightness in my chest when she admits it, and relief in my heart that she lost them.... I never asked if she miscarried or aborted, I didn't care. I'm not sure I do now...
God! Please, help me! My heart is still so sick and in need of help in so many ways. God I'm mad he brought these people here! I'm mad I remember! I'm mad this women three seats down knows things even I don't. I want to have my heart line up with what I know is right and good. They need you as much as I do, you love them as much as you love anyone. You loved those babies regardless of.... I cant even finish my prayer God.... it makes me sick. I'm so ashamed. Help me.

 Then a song got played that just wreaked me. Carbon Ribs by John Mark McMillan.

At that moment for some reason it felt like my cousin that passed away should be there. I could almost hear him laughing and joking with me about that woman, slapping my knee.  I looked to my right and saw the empty seat between me and his big brother, and realized he should be there, that's his spot, like it was left open for him.

Psalm 90:12
Teach us to number each of our days so that we may grow in wisdom.

The verse from Psalms fills my head, pushing everything else out.
My very direct answer to my prayer to stop focusing on some woman three seats to my left. Remembering someone who should be here but isn't, gave a glaring reminder of how short life is. It did its job of helping me to remember to number my days and be grateful for where I was and who I have in my life. I was less annoyed at DH for inviting this family from our past, I was proud of him wanting to share his faith with people who need it for themselves.

And the song Carbon Ribs continued to play.
And one day when I'm free
I will sit
The cripple at your table

I realize how much farther I have to go in my healing.
Gods reminder for me to number my days and to be grateful really stuck with me the rest of the day.
As the rest of Easter day wound down there were no more thoughts of this woman or being annoyed.  We enjoyed a great sermon. Spent a little time at the beach. Gave lots of hugs when it was time for our cousin to leave. There was a egg hunt and pin the tail on the bunny for the kids at a friends. Relaxing at home, naps and candy. Then before bed we hid eggs for our kids, turned out all the lights, gave them all flashlights and had the best egg hunt ever!

DH and I sat on the couch after our kids were asleep. He was watching t.v. and I was finishing up a book I have been reading called Loving written by Karen Kingsbury. I finish up my book and glance at DH and say "sometimes I just wish we did everything Gods way from the beginning." I didn't mean anything big by it, just sort of wistful, since I just read about a girl who waited for her husband and has loved God and followed Him since she was a small girl.

DH gets angry with me, says what you wish our oldest daughter wasn't born? (She was born 5 months before we were married.)
Of course I'm glad she was born, thats not what I meant! I just wish I had lived for God my whole life and avoided all the messes. She deserved to be born into a whole family.
I ask DH, what you never wish you lived the way God wanted you too sooner?
"I dont bother wasting my time regretting what has already happened."

Now I'm hoping there was some type of miscommunication going on there with that conversation.

But what I heard was he didn't regret anything.  At all.
I ended the conversation and went to our room. Went to bed, and the tears came. I couldn't stop crying. He never came after me, and that made it worse. I fell asleep wishing I had been a girl who had loved God her whole life. That came from a home that had planned her. That feel in love with a man who had wanted no one but her. Whose kids never knew a broken home. That I could bring anyone to church and it wouldn't matter, there would be no crazy story attached to them. That I wasn't so broken that twins lost before birth didn't bother me... not even a little.

I remember the verse God... but I feel like we wasted so many of the days you gave us.
I dont deserve you, and I will someday truly be a cripple at your table.
I know I can't fix the broken places in my heart without you. 
Please help me, Amen

Thursday, April 5, 2012

"...for they dont know what they are doing."

With Easter just a few days away a thought occurred to me while I was falling asleep last night. I was laying there planning fun things to do with my younger two who are homeschooled, no schoolwork for the next two days before spring-break, just fun crafts or recipes. Typical Easter things were formulating in my head, bunny crafts, flower crafts, making little nest snacks with chocolate, coconut and jelly beans.
Of course we had been learning in school the real meaning of Easter, how Christ went to the cross for us and then rose again after three days. My kids know the story, but I wonder how much they really understand it? They are still fairly young, have been fairly sheltered, and the worst sin I imagine they have done is lying.
Hmmmmm..... wait....lying is a biggy.
Wait just a minute...they have stolen too... maybe not a car or robbed a house, but stealing from each other. Stealing is big.
They have coveted... barbies, toy cars, clothes and Lego sets. Coveting is a big ol' ugly one....
Ok so they sin, maybe they understand better than I was giving them credit for.
Maybe I misunderstand, thinking somehow children are immune to ugliness, that Jesus went to the cross only for certain people.

Christ went to the cross, and died a sinners death, yes?
For which sinner? Death for the bigger sins like murder, adultery, cannibalism? Or the more mundane day to day ones? Lying, pride, gluttony? Bible says all sin leads to death. So if it all leads to the same place, with no detours, doesn't that make them all equal? That is not what most people want to believe, they want justice! The murders should die! The people that torture children should die painfully slow deaths! While we are at it throw all the dictators, prostitutes, gays, politicians and people that don't believe the same as us into the fire too!

But no, that's not how it works. All sin leads to death. All of it. We do not get to put them in any special order. Though most people like to pick and choose what they think is the worst.

Gossip. Pride. Vanity. Gluttony. Sarcasm. Judging others.
Those are all socially acceptable, applauded even. And I'm guilty of every last one of those.

But some 2,000 years or so Christ stepped up for us. He who never ever sinned not even a little. He became sin for us. For every ugly thing any person had ever done, or would ever do. He was God in person form, dont you think he had a choice not to go to the cross? He could have zapped the mobs around him all to dust, poof! But He didnt. He went willing, because there was someone he wanted to save, someone was on his mind.

He was thinking of me sitting around gossiping, stuffing my face with chips and judging my neighbors. He was thinking of my ugliness and my death I was headed to, when they were whipping his back. He let men cut his face and head with thorns. He thought about it when he hung on splintery wood, his whole body weight hanging down from spikes in his wrists, he didn't want me hanging there. Instead of thinking about the birds picking at his flesh he thought about me. He thought about you.

Luke 23:34

Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they don’t know what they are doing.”

He said that while hanging up on the cross, when he should have been unconscious from the pain. He should have been so humiliated and angry that he changed his mind and came up with plan B, the world gets blown up instead. But instead he hung there trying to breath through the blood dripping down his throat. Finally though, his body could take no more and he died.

But the huge kicker to all of that is, He came back! 
After everything this world had done to Him, he came back! Can you imagine that kind of love?
If people talked about, lied about you, mocked you, would you ever come back after you left them?
If people beat you up in front of a mob, would you come back to give them hope?
What if one of your best friends handed you over to the cops to be put to death? 
Or some guys stripped you butt naked to keep your clothes, then hung out and played games while you died in front of them? Would you come back with love or a baseball bat?
If you had the chance would you want to come back to a place full of those people? I think most people would say screw that, lighting bolts for all zap zap zap! 

Not what Jesus decided to do, He did all that work so he could see them again! He couldn't wait to get back! He wanted them to know, whatever the crime, whatever the ugly, He could beat it all. 

Trust that He can.
Trust that He can for others.
It will change everything.