Monday, November 26, 2012

The idea of it...

His words slapped me hard... right across the face.  "I think you like the idea of a good marriage."

In my moment of rebellion, I ignored the sting and replied back, "Oh, we don't have a good marriage... I am well aware of that."

How does this happen so quickly?  Or did it?  No.  It hasn't happened quickly.  It has happened one day at a time... for many days, weeks, months now.  And here we are.  Raw.  Distant.  Totally unconnected.  Both needy.  Both irritated.  Both wounded.  Both coping.

This is not a "he said/she said" post.  I am not here to list all the ways I feel he is in the wrong.  I can, however, list all the ways I am in the wrong.  And I can ask for prayers.  I will share my heart, because that is what I do and God will use it.  If there is one other person out there, who feels they are standing on quick sand in their marriage, then this is for you.  And it is for me.  Writing is one of the ways I process.  God often walks me through what He wants me to see as I write.

Don just showed me a text two days ago from a friend telling us of her divorce.  We see it all around us... over and over and over.  And the enemy dances with delight.  Ripping apart families is just one of the things he delights in... and works at with determined diligence.  And so I write.  I share.  This is us... now.  Again, we are not perfect.  We are real.  We are imperfect.

I have said it once, I will say it again, when I am wounded... I am like a man... I retreat.  I pull away.  I withhold affection.  I withhold my heart.  I go into protection and survival mode... and that means pulling in.  It can start so subtly that I may not notice until I am weeks into it.  Then I justify my position and continue with my withdrawal.

Do I like the idea of a good marriage?  Of course I do.  I do.  I like the idea of being connected to someone's heart even though we know so much about each other... even though we have been in the trenches... even though we have wounded... I like the idea that the love we share holds us together despite that sin... those failures... those moments that can destroy.  I like the idea that we almost lost each other... and yet remain.

But I think I have become too comfortable with the "remain."  I have said to myself, "This is o.k.  It is a season.  We don't have to be passionate all the time.  We are o.k.  Even though I am seriously unhappy... it will be o.k.  Just keep smiling and keep trying."  But now, the smiles can't even come.  I am admitting defeat.  I am failing.

I have focused on the list against him.  I have kept records of wrongs.  I am not patient with him.  I am often not kind to him.  I have retaliated.  And I have stopped serving.  I have retreated and now as I look back, I am far from him.  As I look upon his list of sins and shortcomings I have written and hold onto, the very gazing upon it makes my own list grow in length.

There is no more contentment with "remaining."  I think I held onto that out of fear.  I held onto that thinking it would just get better... one day it would just be better.  But we have spoken it now... to each other... we are not alright.  I pray, like AA, that we have just made a step toward recovery.

I am for certain I am in a season of tearing down.  The theme keeps coming up and I keep falling... spiritually, emotionally, and lately... physically!  What is it?  What remains standing that God keeps hammering away at?  What remains on the foundation that has to be chipped away so He can build what He wants without interference?

As I responded to a comment on my last post, I saw the physical picture of it.  It is a wall of wallpaper... painted over... and oozing with glue.  When we moved into this house, we painted over wallpaper because I could not stand the thought of ripping it down again. We have done that in so many past houses. I wanted it done...without the hassle and mess and work. I was tired.  And now, three years later, glue seeps through the paper and paint and runs down those walls in the bathrooms... reminding me that paper is still there... and that I left it. 

I think I have some walls with paper on them in my life. Walls that I may have painted over in hopes of having it done quickly. Walls that I left paper on because I was tired. Walls that looked good for a while but are now dripping with glue... and needing attention.

I have to identify those walls.  I have to find them and do what should have been done in the first place, strip them, sand them, and cover them properly.  I have to spend time in the heart of myself and examine my walls.  And I have to do it with the Master Builder... the One who sees right through paint and right through paper... right to the sticky mess of glue.  He can take me there.  He can show me.  And He alone holds the tools I need to get the job done right.  Or better yet, maybe He shows me where they are... what they are... and then He offers me rest... and He does it for me... the stripping, sanding, and covering... like He could have in the first place, if only I had left the tools in His hands instead of grabbing them in mine.  Hhmmmm.  

That is it.  I tried to do it the first time.  I failed.  I grabbed the tools and I did it.  He is the only One who can do it right.  He has the strength.  He has the "know how."  I have to lay down the tools and abide while He does the work.  But I have to stay with Him.  Eyes and ears on Him.  I have to allow Him to do what He needs to do... and trust Him.

Have you ever painted over wall papered walls? I can leave now that glue has appeared and drips down the surface with each shower.  Or I can stay and face the dirty work.  I have one option in my book, in His book, and that is to stay and face the work.  I know all too well the reward that comes after the hard work is done.  I covet your prayers.  And I thank you so much for your friendship.  

I like the idea of a good marriage.  And after He is done with me... I will have one again.


  1. rachelle1:06 PM

    I have years of painted over wall paper..I understand that very well..I admire that you are so willing to share such deep personal battlew with us..helping us in the process...I love you

    1. Realizing the paper is there is half the battle... mustering up the courage and discipline to go after it is the other half. God will walk you, me, us through it. We just have to stay eyes on Him and make Him our priority. Thank you for your sweet words. They encourage me. Thank you for your love. It makes me smile.

  2. Dawn, just read a few recent posts and my heart aches with you. Thank you for being honest, thank you for showing what goes on behind the pictures. Marriage is a humbling process even when you are divorced. Divorce doesn't eliminate the problem, it only sweeps them off into a corner and the dirt comes through at the worst times, and, as you pointed out, it just paints over the wallpaper. We are so selfish but somehow that God grace still covers all of that.

    1. Sweet girl... I know you know. Whenever I get to this place, we get to this place, I know it is from my own lost focus. And I know it is time for inventory. When everything seems to be getting attacked at once... it can be overwhelming. Thank you so much for your kind words. It is hard to put the mess out there. Silence only makes it harder. Seeing that one... two people... are encouraged... it makes it worth it. I am so thankful for God's grace... for His ability to cover me. But I long to be stripped. Finding that balance is half the battle it seems. Hugs to you. If you are ever in town... please let me know. I would love to see you.


Thanks for sharing your thoughts!