Warning...brutal honesty ahead....and probably some jumbled up thoughts and broken theology.
You may be seeing a pattern here. Neil is leaving on Friday for a camping trip with the guys. A trip that has been planned for a while, but its still another trip--away from home. I had planned on running a half marathon this weekend in Roanoke--registered and everything. I had planned on a nice day trip with the hubby--maybe stopping at a vineyard for lunch after the race. But my plans don't really matter. Neil is going on the camping trip. I am staying home.
When the reality of this sunk in yesterday morning, I went into full on battle mode. I was disappointed, angry and hurt. And I think part of me wanted a fight...I wanted to be mad and then have the opportunity to defend myself. I wanted the right words to make Neil feel really rotten about leaving his family again. I wanted to wallow and whine. My attitude stunk up the whole house.
Thank the Lord, He interrupted my thoughts and my heart yesterday--cause ya'll...it was getting ugly fast. I was reminded that He is enough...that He meets my needs. My response, well okay God but I'm still mad. I'm still the victim here. Aren't I entitled as Neil's wife to express my opinion about him leaving...AGAIN. Aren't I entitled to be a little angry. And PS...I really need a day off. Just maybe an afternoon--I think I'm entitled to that too. Bless my heart. I better get some crazy rewards for keeping my mouth shut.
Ehhh hemmm. And that's just one mili-second inside my head yesterday. See...rotten!
It was an all day battle between the flesh and the Spirit. I didn't recognize it as such until I was reading Layla's devotion to her last night...Galatians 5:16-26--fruits of the Spirit. Gulp. Amazing how God spoke to me through my child's devotion. It was like He reached down and covered my heart with is love and mercy. And I felt peace.
I am not in charge here...I am not the one judging or convicting. Seriously...I'd like to think that my sharp words would convict Neil's heart...but that's not my job. My job is to love him....and I'm completely free to do that every minute of every day because you know what...I'm not the one who disciplines him. I was reminded that my faith is not in man but in God. The disappointment I felt in Neil was completely lifted. The Spirit and flesh cannot co-exist. My flesh felt entitled...my flesh felt jealous...my flesh wanted the satisfaction of harsh words. The Spirit...well He was fighting to keep the peace...to give me self control and patience.
Guys...if you know me at all...this was a small miracle. I hold back and try to be everything to everyone. And when I exhaust myself trying to be the rockstar wife...I bottle it up and then storm around the house angry. I become a pill. I deny myself and I sacrifice, but I want a little pat on the back...I often NEED a pat on the back (I jokingly call this the "martyr syndrome").
But something changed yesterday evening. I desperately wanted to glorify God in my response to Neil and not myself....I wanted to feed the Spirit and not my flesh (believe me...my flesh is not starving here...I feed it plenty every day). So between now and when my husband gets home on Saturday night, I am going to have to willingly give this over to God...multiple times, I'm sure. Because even as I write this....the "what about me" starts creeping in. Funny thing about really sacrificing is that you don't do it with the intent of reaping a reward...of being noticed...I'm starting to realize that I don't sacrifice for Neil. I do it for God. And really, what bragging rights do I have for my tiny little sacrifices when I compare it to the cross. There goes my sense of entitlement...
Aghhh...got a lot of work to do. My sweet Lord is working over time.