Saturday, September 12, 2009

He Speaks

I wanted to journal this so I am getting this down before I forget to do it. This is more of a journal entry than a "blog post". So please forgive the personalness of it.

Right now my husband is at Ryans with a pretty good sized group of men for the Saturday morning men's breakfast. My husband was told a week ago that it was his turn to give the 15 minute devotion this time.

My husband has never given a devotion. My husband does not like to talk. Picture John Wayne, that is my husband. His words are short and to the point, and as with all men, many things are not said, they are just known and understood. (What is that all about anyway?) Great guy, just doesn't like to chatter. Well, talk about stretching a new Christian, those men at our church don't play huh? So Mike had to write a devotion. He struggled with what to say and he did not want my help.

I couldn't understand why but he didn't. I was like, but Mike, I totally know the Bible, if you get stuck just ask me for help. He stayed stuck for a week and never asked for help. Yes, my feelings were hurt. Finally last night he settled on his testimony & felt like that was the right thing to do. He has a great testimony, I encouraged him to do that.

I was more than shocked when he came to me late last night with some papers and asked me to type them out for him (I type very fast.). He was actually going to let me see it? I was excited to see what he wrote as I typed. I made like it was not a big deal, I didn't want to scare him off and take the papers away.

This is his first time really opening up. We don't discuss deep & personal feelings very often for him. For me, yes, I cant talk about how I feel. But us together, well we don't or can't or haven't been able to discuss what goes on inside of concerning our walk with God. Mostly because I had one and he didn't and he didn't want to hear about it for many reasons so it became something I never shared with him. You know, the deep goings on inside of me and the same goes for him. Now for the last few months he has truly been born again and has a walk with God. He has begun to share some and it is like finding a treasured nugget when Mike reveals something personal deep inside him. Well, I couldn't wait to read the testimony.

First, I discovered that the last year when I went through my personal hell and depression and took a year long ride on the "what if" faith roller coaster during our layoff and the aftermath that Mike and I were feeling a lot of the same things. We both hated our life for instance. I remember all those months I used to say "I hate my life!". He hated his too. He didn't show it much. He was having an internal struggle all that time with God and I never knew it. Well, I knew somewhat but he downplayed it and I didn't catch it. I also saw what he thought a person's role was with God and I thought that was how he felt but he never fully came out and said it all. He had it all wrong, he just didn't understand. Now he understands that it's not enough to just say a prayer to tell God you believe Jesus was his Son and died for your sins and invite Him into your life and then go be a good person and that's all you have to do. Oh, and if you get into trouble or need anything just ask because God is your Heavenly Father and He wants to help you. That was how he was taught to live. I used to tell him there was more, he never wanted to hear it and would get just so angry when I tried to tell him that fellowship with other believers was important and that it was important to go to church. I talked about relationship, he said his was just fine! Well, he never wanted to hear what I had to say. It really hurt, and I believe I blogged about it a few times. Does anyone remember this post? I was referring to my husband when I talked about the caterpillar who wanted so badly to be a butterfly but could not.

Does anyone remember (yeah like my life is so important you remember every detail, right?) when I blogged about how I came to that depression and turmoil. It was because through every trial, including rape and almost losing a baby, that I was completely fine because I always knew God was going to make it all right again. I just knew He was with me and that it was going to be okay and I never wavered in my faith. Not once. I just knew He would make things right again. I knew it. But during the layoff hell God didn't speak it, but there was an impression He left with me that said that He was not going to make it okay this time. That He would be with me, but He wasn't going to fix it. This time what happened, happened so to speak. God was not going to come to our rescue this time. That just about killed me. So instead I got really depressed, hateful and angry, and oh yeah, and I got me a new best friend called bitter. So, I just about fell out of the chair last night as I was typing and I saw this and I quote :

"....That He is already working a plan for me but that He had to show me that He was always there, even when I wasn't paying attention, that He had always carried me. Even though I thought I was the one doing it and that He wasn't going to do it anymore!"

God gave us both the same word and we never shared it with each other!! Somebody slap us both please! Then Mike says "He showed me that the material things aren't important, that it is the spiritual things that matter." Yes, and Amen.

It really floored me that we were both having the same struggles but kept it to ourselves. I just kept it to myself because he never seemed interested in my deep spiritual workings. Humph, who knew? Well, I was really proud of him for having the guts to put himself up there and talk about it in front of so many people.

I have to admit though, that I did get really upset too. At the end when he finally figures out what a relationship with God is and what the Christian life truly looks like he credits God working it all out in his heart, his cousin who is an elder in a church 1200 miles away and has called Mike here and there and stayed with us a couple of months ago, and he credits a friend who invited us to the church we are in now. And that was it. Do I really need to say it? Okay I will. He didn't mention me once.

All these flippin years of trying to show him, all these years of giving tidbits of information and scripture, all these years of some preaching to him, all these years of trying to help him and for him at least, in his mind, none of that had any impact on him. NONE.

Okay, I know my prayers helped yada yada. I know all the Christian spiritual stuff, I know all that. I am speaking that for him, in his perspective I was not a single influencing factor in Mike coming to finally know God and Jesus for who they truly are and learning to love them and desire a personal relationship with God and find true love and fulfillment in them. Nothing I ever said, did, or anything at all was ever impactful? After my flesh called him a jerk (not out loud of course) I just accepted that he thinks his wife is just dumb and doesn't know anything or that he thinks I am a hypocrite and why should he listen to me, or maybe he just doesn't want anything that I have with God & it wasn't that appealing, or that maybe husbands just don't want to listen or do anything their wives tell them they should or need to do. So I mentally called him a jerk again and I admit, there were some tears which I hide well.

Well, it hurt. Ooohhh, I was a real big help. I didn't do anything and I lived with the man the past 11.5 years? The man Mike credits as the local friend I think has some really good revelation into people's thoughts that the Holy Spirit gives him. He told me a couple of months ago that I should not be upset that his coming into Mike's life at the moment he did and Mike finally finding God should not upset me. He said it was all God's timing and that men just need other men. Men need other godly men to listen to. He told me not to take it personally. I didn't understand it at the time but I can see the wisdom in his words last night. He said that was just the way it was, men need other men. He said it's hard for a woman to minister to a man. He said it in total love and he worded it better. He said that was why God was bringing the cousin into the picture and himself and why all the men in the church were drawn to Mike. God was using them, men just need other men. I accepted it at the time because I could see the truth in it physically in front of me. But I have to say, it really got at me last night. Not one mention of his wife as ANY influencing factor? Well, what if us women only wanted other women to minister to us?

Women are so flexible. Why are men so apt to be immovable? Do men think we are dumb? I'm really curious about this. Or is it just a genetic thing that men only like to share stuff with other men? I really wonder. I've listened to the things Mike is saying and things his friend says and I am thinking to myself "Yeah, I've told you those things a thousand times but since someone else says them now, namely a man, you can believe it?" What's up with that?

So anyhoo, I'm just wanting to journal that and my feelings about it. I'll come back in a year and look this up and see where we are at in how we share things with each other then. I'll be curious to see in a year how much credibility I have with my husband because he has 100% credibility with me. Always has. I shall pray for God to help me to not carry this around. What is important is that he got it. I know, I know.

Look what I found~ me one year ago almost to the day at my store which is now closed.

6 comments:

beckymc said...

Jennifer, my name is Becky and I just came across your blog on a search. I understand where you are coming from. My husband is a newer christain who does not pray or speak in public. He is a wonderful friendly person whom everybody loves.
I prayed for years and years that he would grow in Christ and finally he started growing after a friend "another man" started talking with him invited him to bible study.

Heart2Heart said...

Jennifer,

Sometimes men need to hear it from other men because as wives we can come across as always thinking we know what is best and always trying to "tell" our hubbies what they need to do.

When they hear it from another man it gives credibility to what you have been saying all along. Plus it is never about what we do, but what God does in someone's life and He alone should get the credit.

Work from this point on, and let other men encourage him and help him become the godly husband God is working on creating in your life.

Too often that little thing called envy and jealousy can rears it head in our marriages and we need to work on weeding those types of things out. Instead replacing them with the fruits of the spirit.

I will be praying for you and for your family. May God continue His work in both of you til you become perfect in His eyes!

Love and Hugs ~ Kat

Tasha Simons said...

Jenny,

Sorry your feelings were hurt that he didn't give you credit for growing closer in his relationship with God. Honestly, I would guess that pride/ego makes it hard for men to learn from woman sometimes. Men are competitive by nature. I beat Todd in racket ball once and he kept practicing for months after that until he mastered it. For me, it meant nothing that I won a game, but it was a big deal to him. I think it's similar in a way although different. Spiritually, it's probably uncomfortable for him to think you know more or have something he doesn't (a close relationship with God). So glad to hear he is growing in Christ. That's awesome!

"I have loved completely, and I have been completely loved." I'm so glad that is true for you, Jenny. I read that quote recently and wanted to share it. Sounds like God is working in your marriage, in your life, and in your heart. Sorry for your tears and thanks for sharing your heart so honestly.

Tasha

Danielle said...

I think it's awesome that Mike is getting up in front of those men, and even though he didn't credit you, girl... have no worries. I don't doubt that he knows you had a part in praying for him and encouraging him along the way.

Don't forget that he's speaking in front of all men. He isn't having to credit you before them because I'm sure they already know you... know the years you've prayed and the impact you've had on his life... even if it did take time.

God's timing is perfect. It's not that we get announced to others what we've done, but that our Father in heaven knows it. You're treasure will be stored in heaven, sister.

Think on that! I'm praying for you!

lisasmith said...

wow! praising God for answered prayers no matter who he uses!! Neat story!

Wendy Blight said...

Hi, it's Wendy!! I saw your post on Danielle's blog. How I LOVED what you wrote about boldly praying a surrender prayer and then watching in amazement at what God does. Yes, it hurts. Yes, attacks come. But as He breaks off those things that keep us from clinging only to Him...He increases and we decrease. You worded it better, but I JUST LOVE what you wrote.

It is so hard to surrender, to be broken, to be shown the parts of our lives that disappoint God. But then His GRACE comes in and washes over us. His LOVE comes in and heals us. Thank you for what you shared. It truly blessed me. I have something I need to surrender, and you encouraged me with your words.

Blessings,

Wendy