Pretending and Chains

I think I’ve been pretending lately.  Fooling myself.  Telling myself I am doing better than I actually am because I SHOULD be.

I have been believing, telling myself I’m not angry anymore.  Because I “shouldn’t” be angry.  I have worked hard to come to a point of forgiving Tim, so there should be no more anger.  So-and-so isn’t or wasn’t angry at this point, so I shouldn’t either.

(even though I truly don’t even know where that person is/was at)

I’ve been comparing myself to others, even when I don’t really know their story!  Not their whole story!  I’ve read their blogs, but I don’t KNOW them and their circumstances.

And I’m a good girl.  I do what’s right.  Everyone keeps telling me I am strong in this.  If I were strong and doing this whole restoration process thing well, then I shouldn’t/wouldn’t have these feelings.  So, I just don’t.  I will myself not to.  I tell myself I don’t and can’t.

And then that makes it so, right?

WRONG!

Sunday I exploded.  Some things happened at church (details are too involved and not majorly necessary).  Let’s just leave it at I spent most of the church service sitting in the car while Tim and Caleb were in church!

When we got home I finally told Tim what was on my mind.  What I have been upset about lately.  I let out my anger!  I finally let down all the walls of what I thought I should be and was just honest with where I was.

I’m not saying I am proud of this at all!  I’m not saying it was a good idea to go about it this way.  But God allowed good to come out of it.  I was more honest with Tim.  I had been filtering my words and keeping a lot inside.  I didn’t want to add to his feelings of shame and guilt, so I just wouldn’t bring up the affair or what I was feeling because of it.  He works a lot of hours and is tired after Caleb goes to bed so I don’t bring stuff up.

All lame excuses!

None of that leads to intimacy in our marriage!

I thought I was doing us a favor.  I thought I was doing something good for us.  I figured if I just prayed enough or hard enough the feelings and issues would just melt away.

That’s not how it works.  Yes, through prayer God can do amazing things with our thoughts and feelings.  He CAN take away our anger, bitterness, give us the strength to forgive.

But in this situation, rebuilding a marriage, we also need to talk about it!  And when we did good came out of it.  A better understanding.  Walls were taken down a little bit.

So, of course, this came up in counseling on Monday.  She brought up some verses:

Psalm 107:10-16 (New Living Translation)

10 Some sat in darkness and deepest gloom,
imprisoned in iron chains of misery.
11 They rebelled against the words of God,
scorning the counsel of the Most High.
12 That is why he broke them with hard labor;
they fell, and no one was there to help them.
13 “Lord, help!” they cried in their trouble,
and he saved them from their distress.
14 He led them from the darkness and deepest gloom;
he snapped their chains.
15 Let them praise the Lord for his great love
and for the wonderful things he has done for them.
16 For he broke down their prison gates of bronze;
he cut apart their bars of iron.

And

Psalm 81:6

6 “Now I will take the load from your shoulders; I will free your hands from their heavy tasks. 7 You cried to me in trouble, and I saved you;

As she was reading those words I physically FELT those chains.  I FELT the heaviness, the darkness, the misery, the gloom, the load.

I realized this is how I have been living.

I pile on the perfectionism, the feeling like I have to do this all “right”, comparing myself to others, the guilt of not being better, the shame of not handling all of this perfectly, the responsibility I feel for not seeing the affair when it was going on, that I didn’t DO something to stop it…..the list goes on!

Actually, today I made a list!  I wrote out all the things that are weighing me down, the expectations, the CHAINS that I feel.  I was shocked at how long the list was!  When I saw it written out in front of me the list was staggering.

So, on the other side of the paper I started writing truths that I can use to combat those chains.  These verses talk about how God “snapped their chains”, He “cut apart their bars”, He will “take the load from your shoulders; I will free your hands from their heavy tasks.”

So I need reminders of how and why He does that so that I can BELIEVE He does and will for ME.

It’s much easier for me to believe that for OTHER people, but not for me.

Imperfect me.

Failing me.

Impatient me.

Beloved me.

Forgiven me.

Even me!

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One thought on “Pretending and Chains

  1. Pingback: Sometimes I just stare « this and that and then some

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