“It is Finished!”
“If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.” (John 8:36)
(This is the final installment from this series of posts. It will be direct and transparent. It is written out of a place in my heart of pure unadulterated love for those in [or now out of] my life who struggle.)
Both my mother and the man I married have spiritual struggles birthed from very similar places. Neither being willing to truly forgive the sins performed against them as children/teenagers, or from past relationships. They have been led to the foot of the cross. Yet, both have chosen not to allow Jesus to infiltrate the hardened places of their tender, broken hearts. Instead, holding strongly onto the pain. The unforgiving parts of their minds, hearts and souls have taken precedence. Emotional, mental and physical issues prevent them from living healthy, responsible lives; stealing their ability to have healthy relationships and love themselves as God loves them.
“And Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments is…The Lord our God is one Lord: And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment. And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.” (Mark 12:29-31)
I will make a confession: My instinct upon being proposed to was to decline, at least at that time. I could absolutely not fathom hurting him that way! In fact, I asked him if he wouldn’t prefer to wait and he said no. I felt very put on the spot. I sensed loving this man was going to be challenging. But, not for one second did I anticipate what was to come, upon marrying him. In fact, I was optimistic and hopeful that God’s love through me would help him heal. (I have come to understand this mindset, no matter how pure my heart and intentions, is incorrect! Empathy is not a proper foundation in intimate relationships.)
Right after we married, he quickly did an about face and became someone I didn’t recognize. I grew to understand him from a deep place and this caused grave issues in our marriage. He couldn’t let his guard down because the devil was feeding him lies. He suddenly loathed my spiritual gifts and let me know it, often. Before we married, or so he told everyone, it was Christ in me that he was attracted to, however, that didn’t last long. They wrestled almost daily, the devil and Jesus Christ, to win his heart for good.
Men, when your wife, whose greatest spiritual gift is discernment, discovers all you were able to hide when you weren’t under the same roof, and instead of being held accountable you continue to deceive…yes, she is going to be upset. She is also likely to confront you, in love. Fact. Of. Life.
Alas, the fault was laid upon my shoulders for every problem we faced. This is what a Narcissist does: Refuse to accept they ever do wrong, even though deep in their conscious, they absolutely know.
This man is his own worst enemy. I did everything possible to nurture and then save our marriage, to love him well and be a help meet, yet was treated like dung on his shoes. Was I perfect? Nope, and I owned it all; I repented to him, and to God, for what I did wrong. I asked to be forgiven, even when I wasn’t in the wrong. I conceded on very important things and compromised often, while he refused to give me an ounce of respect.
I certainly tried to be a great wife and friend to him until the very end. Even after I separated from him, I showed nothing but kindness and respect. Not expecting, rather hoping the distance would turn on a light somewhere in his mind. Despite this I chose joy, I sought and chose God’s way and I was blessed with peace over it all, at least until September 17, 2016.
In a Cage
My mother was victimized much in life. Due to this she is in arrested development which leads to an inability to process emotions correctly and make good decisions. She is very childlike in her ways and decision-making and this has been very troubling for her in life. She gets in over her head and can’t cope. For so many years, I felt as though I couldn’t leave her helpless; but soon enough the desire to help began to run dry (as it had with other family years prior). Over time, I felt the impact of her issues on my life and it kept me in a very disassociated state…until Christ.
I do not hear the words ‘I love you’ from her, nor do I receive affection. She is incapable of this unless I initiate, and even then it doesn’t seem sincere. I cannot recall when this began, but probably with the end of her highly abusive second marriage. She locked herself up in a cage when I was a teenager, and refuses to turn the key to be set free. It is her decision!
Truth: My mother (inadvertently) sucks the life from me and I hate the devil for it! I find myself aggravated with her and then grow upset with myself for it, even though it’s not my fault how she thinks and does. I would LOVE to have a normal relationship with her. I yearn for one. It is very difficult to witness your mother trapped inside her own mind. To feel unloved by the person who gave birth to you, can really kill the spirit at times. I vaguely remember the mother of my youth who was vibrant and fun, possibly even present, but it’s difficult.
Don’t get me wrong, she shows up when needed (because she wants to be needed) but I often have to stave off her internal bitterness (especially toward others) in order to get through tough times. The reality of our life: I simply cannot love my mother the same way others have the benefit or ability to. Why? To put it bluntly, if I’m too nice for too long (when she is in a tough situation, which is most of the time), she begins to take advantage of and manipulate me. Yes, I have approached her, in love, about everything I have shared. Yes, I pray to God about it on the constant. Unfortunately, she cannot see it from inside of her cage, where it is dark and no one cares.
“Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.” (John 8:12)
These relationships are heartbreaking for me! I pray fervently for my family. I am grateful, yet pained, to have wisdom and understanding about the people I love. Yet, am always eager to receive the deep cleansing work God performs in my heart where both people are concerned. (I am a bit stuck where my mother is concerned. It is a difficult position at present.)
Jesus said it best as he was hanging on the cross, awaiting his certain death. What He spoke states it better than I ever could. Additionally it enables me to truly forgive…just as he asked, “Father, forgive them. They know not what they do.” (Luke 23:34) My part is to forgive and move on, as best as I can, with Jesus’ help, and pray for the day when they choose to receive what “It is Finished” (John 19:30) means for their lives.