Thursday, July 18, 2013

I'm SO tired of asking!

I can't get that thought out of my head that I wrote about on Tuesday, how I tend to learn things the hard way.  I love the song "Need You Now (How Many Times)" by Plumb.  And let me begin with this:  that song never ceases to stop me dead in my tracks and evaluate my heart, my motives, and my desire to fully understand the depth and meaning of it.

As I was listening today (JoyFM listeners-it truly was the "right song at the right time," like so many others), for the first time I connected it to this concept of learning the hard way.

Back before I began building my walls to keep God out, which exposed my heart to the enemy's clutches, I prayed and prayed and prayed away the chains of addiction in Kris' life.  I begged God to hear me, and to free my husband from the pornography that held him hostage.

I was in a stronger place spiritually back then.  Or so I thought.  Oh how little we truly know when we're not even 25!  Looking back, I see how immature I was spiritually.  I'm sure that in another 15 years I'll look back again and think that about my 34 year old self. 

I used to think that God could do what I was asking him. I believed that he would.  And when he didn't, I did what anyone else who hasn't experienced God out of heartache does: I dared to question God. Have you ever read Job?  I love Job 38, especially in The Message.  Job went through a lot of heartache in his life, and God confronts him towards the end of the book.  Basically he says, "Hey, Job were you there when I created the world?  Do you know how everything works perfectly together?  Who are you to question me?"

Here is what I said to God all those years ago:

"God, I've asked. I've begged. I've pleaded.  Still you remain silent and my husband is still trapped. He is still choosing pornography over me and our family.  Why are you allowing this?"

That smallest seed of doubt whispered by the devil said, "Your faith isn't big enough.  God won't answer you because you do not truly believe."

And because I wasn't hearing a clear answer from God, I grasped hold of what I did hear.  Little by little, these "little white lies" whispered into my heart chipped away at what I thought I knew of God.  And they began to take root inside of my soul.  It was then that I began to build walls in an attempt to keep God out.  

To keep my heart safe.

I let the burdens of this life turn me away from God, instead of running into his arms.  I hadn't experienced enough of life to really understood just how good God really is to his children, so I ran.  If God wasn't going to listen to my prayers, if he wasn't going to answer, why should I even try?

Why should I care about what the Bible said?  What good was prayer?  What was the point of trying to fight for my husband's love and affection if God wasn't ever going to cleanse my husband's mind?  I didn't "give up" on Kris and my marriage because I was mad at God.  I gave up because I believed the lies that said "God doesn't hear you, and even if he did, he doesn't care.  Kris doesn't love you and he isn't attracted to you, because you'll never compare to what he sees on the computer."

And it wasn't an overnight decision.  It wasn't a clear cut severing of bonds with God and my marriage.  I detached a little at a time.  One lie believed here. One compromise there.  Until suddenly, I wake up one day to find myself in the middle of a full blown affair.

I look back and can think "How did I get there?"  But I know.  I see it when I think back to how I felt like God wasn't going to answer my prayers, so the whole thing was pointless.  Kris was never going to choose me over porn.  So I did what we are all tempted to do when we are hurting and feel like we just can't endure it anymore.  

I gave up.

I felt like this:

"So, I guess you're tired of holding on
I can't let go, I can't move on
I want to believe there's meaning here
How many times have you heard me cry out 'God please take this?'"

I failed to move on.  I couldn't.  I just couldn't.  How many times had I cried out to God to "take this!"?  And how many times did he fail to answer me?

And because I didn't understand how to allow God to carry me through and persevere, I found myself making choices I never would have believed myself capable of.

"Standing on a road I didn't plan
Wondering how I got to where I am"

Is that familiar to anyone besides me?  Boy can I relate to those words!  I didn't plan to have an affair.  I didn't plan to keep it going for over seven years.  I didn't plan to run away from my marriage.

And all throughout those years I spent wandering in the desert, wallowing in the mud, there was something buried deep inside of me, trying to make it's way to the surface.  But every time I felt it, I shoved it down.  I held on to that root of bitterness and those lies that told me God wasn't going to hear my cries.

When I came home to my marriage, I still wrestled with God.  I was afraid that God's love wasn't big enough.  That his forgiveness didn't extend to ME.  And yet, I wanted so badly to believe it.  I found myself here:

"I'm trying to hear that still small voice
I'm trying to hear above the noise."

And then it happened.

I finally tore down my walls and found that God hadn't moved.  He was with me, INSIDE my wall!  He was right beside me.  He had never left my side, even though I thought I had blocked him out.  And he didn't look at me with anger and chastise me for the temper tantrum I threw because he didn't answer my prayers.  He held me while I wept and said to me:

You are loved, more than you'll ever know.

You are forgiven. 

You are accepted.  

You are worthy.  

You are home.  

So now, as I hear this song by Plumb, the chorus speaks to my heart in a different way.

"How many times have you heard me cry out 'God please take this?'
How many times have you given me strength to just keep breathing?
Oh I need you
God, I need you now."

Suddenly, instead of wondering why God didn't take away Kris' addiction from the start of our marriage, I found myself looking back into the affair and remembering all the times I begged God to get me out of it.  To give me strength to just make it through one more day.

And beyond that, through the restoration of my marriage, I finally understood that God was always waiting and willing to take Kris' addiction.  He was there by my side, inside my wall, ready to free me from adultery.  But he won't force us.  Not usually.  Sometimes I do believe that he has a hand in orchestrating some events to lead us on the road to freedom, but that's not the point of this post.  We have to choose to accept the victory that Christ won on the Cross!

That line, "How many times have you given me strength to just keep breathing?" reminds me of the early days, when I first went home.  Some days, it was only by God's strength that I could continue breathing.  I finally recognized my need for God, and I allowed him to give me the strength.

I can only hope that if I am faced with trials down the road that threaten my faith, I can remember this song, remember my story, remember the hope I now have, and remember that God was right there with me the entire time, carrying me most days.  And he will never fail me.

"Though I walk, though I walk through the shadows
And I, I am so afraid
Please stay, please stay right beside me
With every single step I take"


  1. pass the tissues please...........I can relate to giving up.......... thanks for sharing a little more of your heart

    1. Giving up is so easy to do, and yet if we do, we most certainly will miss out on the blessing that comes through perseverance. You'll get there! Praying for you.

  2. This is a beautiful and courageous post. How often do we all think God can't hear us, is not listening, is not big enough to solve this problem, etc. He keeps us in "the waiting room" sometimes while we are in our "storm" to build perseverance and faith, and trust I think, too. He can move mountains and He loves us through everything. We just need to let Him. I'm so glad that you have found Him and that your marriage is whole. God Bless you for making it through the storm. Kim, linking with Faith Filled Friday.

    1. Kim, thanks for stopping by and reading. It is only through NOT waiting in the waiting room (storming off instead of waiting for it all to work out the way I want it in MY TIME) that I was able to learn this very crucial lesson. And it is my hope that my story will help others have the hope and strength they need (GOD) to stay in the "waiting room". Great analogy!