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Re: Day 26 - Love is Responsible

Day 26 - Love is Responsible

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    Day 26—Love is Responsible

     

    Take time to pray through your areas of wrongdoing.  Ask for God's forgiveness, then humble yourself enough to admit them to your spouse.  Do it sincerely and truthfully.  Ask your spouse for forgiveness as well.  No matter how they respond, make sure you cover your responsibility in love.  Even if they respond with criticism, accept it by receiving it as counsel.”

     

    ---> WARNING – LONG entry <---

     

    I knew this dare was coming. I just didn’t know when since I won’t let myself read ahead. For the last week I have been praying for guidance in God’s timing and today was His timing. He was certainly clear about it, no questions asked—

     

    *After a lot of prayer I finally got the courage to call the realtor a couple of days ago regarding our options with the house. I needed to talk to my husband about it and the day that worked for the both of us was today, so he agreed to meet me at the house when I was done at work (was a short day for me and he was off for the day)

     

    *I have a three day weekend, so did not have to stress about how I might feel going to work tomorrow

     

    *This morning’s devotion—“Let your future guide your present. Remember who He promises you will be for all eternity. Base your actions today on the fact that you are being conformed to His image and when you see Him you will be like Him (I John 3:2). Don’t let the past define you. Know that He is coming again and your future will be filled. And be ready.”

     

    *My Once-A-Day Bible reading reflection this morning—“We sometimes idealize our past and want to go back because we fear the future, but that isn’t faith. God is always calling us forward—and assuring us that He is with us for our good.”

     

    *SUNSHINE rather than doom and gloom rain – yes that was a blessing to me today

     

    *My counseling appointment was scheduled for this morning [more on that below]

     

    *EVERYTHING this dare’s chapter had to ‘say’ [excerpts that jumped out at me the most]—

     §  “Today is about personal responsibility. It’s something we all agree others should have, but we struggle to maintain it ourselves.”

     § “But love doesn’t pass the blame so easily or justify selfish motives. Love is not nearly as concerned with its own performance as with others’ needs. When love takes responsibility for its actions, it’s not to prove how noble you’ve been but rather to admit how much farther you have to go.”

     § “Love doesn’t make excuses. Love keeps working to make a difference—in you and your marriage.”

     § “Love desires to have a right relationship with both God and your mate. Once that is right, the

    stage is set for other areas to fall into place.”

     § “Part of taking responsibility is admitting when you’ve failed and asking for forgiveness. They [your spouse] should forgive you, but your responsibility does not lie with their decision. Admitting your mistakes is your responsibility. If they have wrong you, leave that for them to deal with at another time.”

     

    This step was probably the most difficult one I’ve ever taken, but knew it was crucial to taking the next step in our marriage (whether it is mended or not) and with God.

     

    The morning started with my counseling session. I had yet to share the whole truth even with him until now. He completely understood and was such an encouragement regarding taking responsibility of my actions. It was a blessing to have that affirmation to start my day.

     

    I then had a couple of hours before I had to go to work, so I spent it at a local coffee shop. I decided to type out what I wanted to say to my husband. I had too many things going through my mind that I wanted to get it all out, so I wouldn’t forget anything. I prayed for wisdom and the words just flowed from my fingers.

     

    Work came and went. I headed home with the nerves starting to set in. I was trying to practice saying what I typed out, but decided to not stress about it. I would print the letter and read it. I prayed about it first and felt at peace with that.

     

    I thought I would have a little bit of time to myself when I got home, but that was not the case. My husband pulled in right behind me. I went in, changed, and quickly printed two copies of the letter. One for me to read from and the other in a sealed envelope to give to him just in case he stormed out and wouldn’t let me finish what I had to say.

     

    I grabbed some water, said my last prayer, and we started our talk about what we are going to do with the house. Once that was all said and done I asked if I could read him something. He said yes. I then asked him to please not say anything until I am done. He agreed. I was literally shaking and started crying. It took me a little bit to start, but amidst tears throughout, I got through it! This is what I shared with him [black outs are for confidential purposes] and I did not mention the Love Dare even though I would have loved to—

     

    xxxx

     

    Two months ago I took personal time to go to the ocean to “figure things out.” As you know, I spent A LOT of time praying and listening to God. It was in that moment I knew I was to LEAD my heart. I was to FIGHT for this marriage till the end whether that is sooner than death do us part or not. Little did I know what that journey would entail. Little did I know what God’s plan was for me as I made the commitment to follow Him no matter what was to come!


    Stepping stones over the next month were put in place—counseling, devotions, journaling, and Bible Study. I was being molded into what Christ wanted me to be as I was facing my own wrong actions, guilt, and shame. Looking back I was nowhere near where He wanted me to be—I was nowhere near where I would actually be going…


    I spent the next month and a half fighting conviction, fighting you, wanting to have control, wanting to know everything you were doing, selfishly protecting myself, and even protecting someone else when it isn’t even my job to do so. I was doing everything my OWN way. It was getting me NOWHERE. Actually it did get me somewhere—it got me to a brokenness and emptiness I have never felt in my life. I was at “ground zero.”


    The turning point—the day before you made it known you truly wanted a divorce. I came home after staying with Dad for the week since you left. Honestly, felt like one of the longest weeks of my life as I wanted so badly not to be away from you. I went into the bedroom once I heard you get off the phone with someone about moving. I sat next to you, asked you to look at me, and proceeded to tell you how much I missed you, how much I still love you, that I was not giving up—I was still fighting for this marriage. I did not get any response from you. In that very moment I knew that I could no longer carry this myself. I could not control you or the situation. I HAD to give it to God. I have never felt such a sense of peace in my life like I did in that very moment.


    I went to bed that night after watching Courageous. I thought a lot about how proud I am and always have been of your road to one of the best things that has ever happened to you—law enforcement. I fell asleep at peace. After endless nights of my head hitting the pillow with a heavy heart of worry, I had not one thing I was worrying about. That next morning you came in, sat next to me on the bed, and said, “Jenn I want a divorce. I am moving out.” Yes, it did feel like a dagger (or any other sizeable sharp object that comes to mind) to the heart.  But, I did not have any feelings of anger nor devastation. Don’t get me wrong, heartache did come and has in some way every day since your choice was made, but in that moment I felt strength, confidence, and HOPE! That will probably not make any sense at this time, but it was no longer FEAR and lack of control that I had felt even just a week prior. I can’t change your mind and I accept that I can’t.


    As the weeks have gone on amidst intense emotions and heartache, I still have maintained hope and trust in a plan I have zero control of. My eyes and heart have been opened to so many things. These are things that I have truly fallen short of based on a commitment I made on August 17th, 2007—


    Not being supportive as a wife should be to her husband—you often refer to it as “having your back.” I know you want your voice to be heard and for me to listen when it comes to decisions in our marriage. I admit I have faulted big time in this area. I am a stubborn person and when I want something I would do what I could to get it whether you were in agreement or not.


    Listening—I always thought I was a good listener, but realized during all this I have not been a good listener to the one who deserves it most (besides Christ of course) - you. When you would try to tell me how your day was going or that you wanted to get physical, I would not wholeheartedly be engaged to what you were saying. Everything has always been on my schedule.


    Speaking your love language—selfishly I have been speaking mine these past 11 years. Speaking mine, understandably, would not show the “love” you want/need/deserve. I have often questioned myself. How could I be so blind to this simple yet important concept? How could I be so blind to ALL of this?


    Affection—I cannot deny that I have not shown you the affection a husband deserves in our years together. There is absolutely no excuse for it.


    Lack of boundaries—I completely disregarded your concern with the boundaries between xxxxxxx  and I. In turn it went to a place I never imagined I could ever go with a man that is not my husband. I take responsibility for every part of it. Email led to text messages, which led to phone calls, which then led to us getting together on a couple occasions leading to crossing a line that should never be crossed in a marriage. I spent the last three months scared of what your reaction would be should you know the whole truth. I was selfishly protecting my own pride.  I was also protecting another’s dignity and marriage. Last Friday I felt a heavy burden on my heart. It hit me like a ton of bricks—the time is COMING where I WILL have to be honest with you. No matter what the outcome, I HAVE to. It scared me to my core. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing God say – “How come after all these months, now? My husband already said he wants a divorce. This won’t change anything. In fact it will just make him run the other way faster and farther.” None of that mattered though. I FAILED. I need to take responsibility for it.


    That Monday night you confessed to, honestly, the worst fear I had. It was/is a heartache that I’ve never felt before. I thank you for having the courage to be honest though – a courage that I lacked. I was /am not angry. I am not bitter. I do not have an ounce of vindictiveness. I am hurt, but I choose to forgive you. I cannot hold on to it. I have to let it go despite the ache.


    At that same time I felt the need to open up to you more in which I started doing. Key word, started. I did not fully get it all out. The reaction with what I did tell you brought me to a halt. I think back and ask myself why I didn’t just get it all out then. I don’t have an answer except it stemmed from fear just as I didn’t do it three months ago. Yes, I have lacked courage and responsibility of my actions towards you. I have been humbled in so many ways on this journey, that this is it. I swallow what little pride I might have left, I no longer worry about your reaction because I cannot control you, I no longer can protect someone/a marriage that is not mine to protect. I am now taking responsibility for my actions—cheating on you. It was more than an emotional affair, as you are aware of. xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx. We did not sleep together. However, what happened should have never happened. None of this should have if I had boundaries in place. There is absolutely no excuse for what I did—NONE. I made a choice on my own that was WRONG. There is no one to blame, but ME.


    I take complete responsibility for my failures as a wife. I am sincerely sorry for what I did and I ask for your forgiveness. I don’t expect you to accept that now or ever for that matter. All I can do is ask for it.


    xxxxxx xxxxxx , I LOVE YOU. Period. I choose to love you even if you don’t love me in return. I choose to fight for this marriage. I choose not to give up hope. I choose not to have anger. I choose not to be bitter. I choose to be patient. I choose to let go of control. I choose to trust in God’s plan. I will stand for this marriage till the end.


    All my love,


    Jenn


    There was silence for awhile then the first words out of his mouth were, “This is the first time in a long time I actually believe you.” More silence. Once it all sunk in, the fire of jabs and questions blazed. I was prepared for it. Didn’t sting any less, but knew at some point they would flow from his anger, hurt, and own guilt. I am still to blame for everything including his affair (no joke). He had lied to me about where he was staying these past two weeks (has been with her), and final blow - he is moving into his new place on Saturday.

     

    I was careful with my words. I reminded myself that this was not about placing blame or him taking responsibility no matter how much I wanted to say “look in the mirror.” He is just not there yet. However, I made it very clear that I do not take responsibility for his affair and that I still will not help him file for divorce. I also made it known despite him thinking this marriage was over when he said he wanted a divorce—we are still married until final papers are signed, so you are having an affair! Don’t let the exclamation mark fool you. I did not yell this.  I was calm and cool till he left. Then the floodgates opened—Jenn’s meltdown was in full swing. It was bound to happen at some point.

     

    My heart aches now more than ever. However, I now feel FREE. I no longer have anything to hide. Let the next phase of this journey begin. Christ is completely in control and I’m staying out of His way!

     

    The song that I blasted all day today—The Afters—You Lift Me Up! [Highly recommend listening to it—it is quite encouraging].  http://youtu.be/i6UAGhJHmOw

     

    Waiting for the sunrise
    Waiting for the day
    Waiting for a sign that I'm
    Where You want me to be

    You know my heart is heavy
    And the hurt is deep
    But when I feel like giving up
    You're reminding me

    That we all fall down sometimes
    When I hit the ground

    You lift me up when I am weak
    Your arms wrap around me
    Your love catches me so I'm letting go

    You lift me up when I can't see
    You heart's all that I need
    Your love carries me so I'm letting go

    You lift me up with Your love
    You lift me up with Your love
    You lift me up with Your love
    You lift me up

    I know I'm not perfect
    I know I make mistakes
    I know that I have let You down
    But You love me the same

    And when I'm surrounded
    And when I lose my way
    And when I'm crying out and fallen down

    You are here to lift me up when I am weak
    Your arms wrap around me
    Your love catches me so I'm letting go

    You lift me up when I can't see
    You heart's all that I need
    Your love carries me so I'm letting go

    I can see the dawn is breaking
    I am feeling overtaken
    With Your love, with Your love
    I don't know what I can offer
    In this moment, I surrender
    To Your love, to Your love


     

  • WOW... Will respond to this in journal section later. If that is ok

  • Of course that is okay. You've got me slightly nervous now. :)

  • LOL.... so you check this section first! So do I.

  • wow Jenn this is powerful... i'm so proud of you though...

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