Monday, May 20, 2013

He is Gracious...

After my Mother's Day post, I almost wanted to do a Father's Day post. However, I am not my husband, and honestly, his feelings and struggles are his to share, not mine. I am not about to interview him, or ask him to write a post, because frankly, that's awkward.

However, as Father's Day is approaching, I want to take time to not only honor and love my husband, but respect him as well. In the last post I referenced a Bible verse in Genesis 25:21, " Isaac prayed to the Lord on behalf of his wife, because she was childless. The Lord answered his prayer, and his wife Rebekah became pregnant."

As I wrote that excerpt, I was reminded on how obedient Simeon has been to the Lord. I hesitate to say some of these things, because it is an ugly time I will be referencing, and possibly unintentionally hurtful to some. I pray that you do not look at my past spiritual ugliness as much as you look at my husband's spiritual steadfastness. I am scared to write this, honestly, because it requires great humility and transparency on my part. 

In the early months after our third (and prayerfully, hopefully final) miscarriage, I was bitter. I was so bitter in fact, I would listen to no one. I would hate pregnant women. I would even hate their children. I hated people for what it seemed like not caring. I hated Simeon for not understanding. Most of all, I hated God. Oh how I hated him. Many nights I would throw things, break things, hit myself, want to commit suicide, shove Simeon to the side if he tried to comfort me, oh how I hated life. I was broken and miserable and I wanted everyone in my world to be the same--including my husband. I hated that he still trusted God. He still believed God wanted the best for us. I can't even count how many times I tried to convince Sim otherwise, and how many times I became even more angry and bitter, that he still believed what the Bible said. I was angry at Simeon! I was blaming him, blaming our past, blaming everything that I could as to why, we, of all people, were continually being crushed. I blamed Simeon for not being the spiritual leader he was called to be. (Ironic, isn't it? I was blaming Simeon for the very thing he was trying to do...spiritual leadership).

As I look back at how awful I was, I am reminded though, that Simeon stayed obedient. Even when he was torn apart with grief, even when his wife was screaming at him to not trust God anymore, even when it seemed that friend after friend was going to be parents, even when Satan used our past to deceive him, Simeon remained steadfast. There were probably a few stumbles along the way, but he was a man of God through it all, whilst I allowed Satan to have my heart and mind. Simeon didn't know how to deal with me. Once again, as I look back, I am so disgusted by how easy it was for me to not care about God. I am appalled with myself. I am completely and utterly broken by how much of my stuff my husband had to deal with.

Still, he obeyed. He prayed over me when I didn't know it. He read the Bible aloud when I wouldn't pay attention (I didn't want to, so I didn't). He pleaded with God over me. He said so much truth in the face of my hatred. He remained calm (most days) in the face of my outbursts. He begged with me to trust God, when all I did was refuse. He asked me one final question. He asked me if I would be willing to go to counseling. That even if I couldn't trust God, to please trust my husband. 

It was by the utter pure, loving, wondrous grace of God that I agreed. Every fleshly fiber in my body was screaming "NO!", but there was one tiny whisper, that pleaded, "go...". I don't know what made me agree, other than the fact, that Simeon needed a better wife. What I was, was awful, terrible, disgusting, debilitating, and dreadful to have to come home to. Frankly, I needed help. I felt like I was drowning in anguish. The more I clawed to get out, the deeper I was being pulled under. 

It has been 6 months since we have gone to counseling. We don't go every week, but we do Skype, and it is  perfectly blessed each time. Our mentors in this hard time have been nothing but encouraging, challenging, and trusting with us. God has shown Himself to us in ways we didn't even know possible. Every time we struggle, we read what we need to hear in the Word, or our mentors will share what we need. Sure, we don't have a child (yet). Sure, we still struggle with being thankful for the opportunity (and future ones) that God has given us through miscarrying. But we trust. We laugh. We cry without bitterness. We care without anger. We learn through a lens that most others may never have the opportunity to. We can learn through the lens of anguish, sadness, and trust. 

This time in our lives will more than likely never be looked upon with fondness, or "oh hey, remember when...". However, I will always look upon this time as a 'worse' in the vows we took-- a 'worse' that God turned into a 'better', because of the steadfast obedience of my husband. I will look upon this time, remembering when my husband was the spiritual leader, in the face of the biggest opposition--his wife. I will remember God's grace in this time.

I would hate to know where Simeon and I would be if he had listened to me. If he had given up. If he had allowed Satan to win this battle, through me. My husband became a warrior of God in my eyes, when he refused to bend a knee to the enemy, and that deserves more of my respect and love than anything he can physically do otherwise. I love my husband and as Father's Day approaches, I could not be more thankful, loving, or respectful, of who Simeon is as a husband, and as I know, a father someday. 

I am doubtful many men read this, (really many people at all), but this is my challenge to you. Please be such a strong man of God, that even when everything around you crumbles, and your wife may be the strongest opposition you may ever have to face, that you will remain strong in the Lord. Be such a strong man, that no matter what Satan throws at your family, you have the discernment, wisdom, and love for the Lord, that you will be able to lead your family in the right direction. Be an Isaac. Pray on behalf of your wife, for your wife, for the heart's desires in your wife, for your children, born and unborn, for yourself. Become Mordecai's and Daniel's  in sea of people who bow to the enemy of the Lord. 

"And all the king’s servants who were within the king’s gate bowed and paid homage to Haman, for so the king had commanded concerning him. But Mordecai would not bow or pay homage." Esther 3:1-4

"Now when Daniel knew that the writing was signed, he went home. And in his upper room, with his windows open toward Jerusalem, he knelt down on his knees three times that day, and prayed and gave thanks before his God, as was his custom since early days." Daniel 6:10 (after a law passed to not petition anyone but the king for 30 days)

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