Tag Archives: facing yourself–the most important work

Trust is a Gift

Evelyn and I first met on a mission trip we were both on. We didn’t really get to know each other well, but I loved her openness, sweetness and authenticity. Especially after we were back. We would see each other at church on occasion and she was always so happy to see me and so sweet.

Then three years later her husband died of a heart attack while playing basketball, leaving her with  5 yr. old and 7 yr old boys. She was devastated. All of us were shocked, and grieved with her. We got better acquainted after that, sharing breakfast on my sun-drenched patio now and again after she had taken the boys to school. She liked talking to my husband who had lost his first wife through death. We became close but not super close–I was old enough to be her mom (who had also died when Evelyn was 18).

About three years ago she moved away, but we still saw her on occasion when she and the boys came back for the weekend.

Then last weekend my husband and I ended up going to her town to the VA hospital. I texted and asked if I could crash on her couch. She replied she had a bed for me, and came up and sat with me the last hour of Richard’s 7-hour surgery. She and her boys welcomed me into their home with open arms. She even gave me a key since they were going out of town the next day, saying she wanted me to be able to come and go. Her trust felt like a gift.

One night stretched into two and three, and since one of my issues has been being wanted, I started to get uncomfortable when I knew there would be a fourth. I always remember Ben Franklin’s pithy, “Fish and visitors stink in three days.” She assured me it was fine, and when I texted her from the hospital that I would either have to wash clothes or go home that afternoon, she said, “Of course! Don’t go home!”

Monday I ran into one of my former students who is now a nephrologist (kidney specialist) at the VA hospital. He was so surprised and came to visit my husband, telling him what a wonderful effect I’d had on his life.  What a sweet surprise!

Tuesday, when I was uncomfortable about staying so long,  Evelyn got a disturbing message.  I was so glad I could be there for her. We read it together and sat up talking until midnight. She was back to herself the next day determined not to let the slanderer rent space in her head that she paid for (my words, not hers). I was amazed at her resilience, and applauded it.

We were supposed to leave the next day but once again they decided to keep Richard because they couldn’t  find the infection. Thursday morning my husband called saying they were releasing him, and I told them all good by. The boys were disappointed that I couldn’t come to their concert that night, and asked if I’d stay until it was over. That morning his kidney function looked bad and they decided to keep him another night. Sigh~ but I got to go to the concert after all, and the boys were happy. At the concert I ran into a grade school friend I hadn’t seen in years and we set up a lunch date on our follow-up visit.

We finally did leave the next day. And the best part was Evelyn texting me,
“I’m going to miss you!”

What a blessing it is to be trusted! What a gift!

That was going to be the end until I realized that God also had trusted me with His gifts of people and friendships. Trust is a great gift.

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The Importance of Healing Lies

New Years Day was great for us. The best New Years we’ve had in years–even though our plans didn’t work out as we wanted. We went to walk through the floats after the Rose Parade, but the lines were daunting, so we went to lunch and went home. It was still really fun.

We talked the 45 minutes home and I got vulnerable and shared about getting my lie that he wasn’t capable of a relationship healed, and how God had showed me it went way back to my ex and my Dad. I also said I knew if he didn’t get his lie that I was incapable of loving healed, it would make it hard for us, because it would skew his perception of me.

But I didn’t think it would happen the next day! It was the first time we shared time together with God in a month. We had to cut it short because I had an early meeting, but it was still good. Then just before we left he told me to eat breakfast. I had already had some “healthy fudge” but it was a mistake to say so. He told me what to eat, and I good-naturedly said “Don’t be my father,” as I have countless times, but he blew up!

The whole 15 minutes to church I heard his perception of what had happened (different in my memory, and all about “my rebellion”) and how he didn’t know if he wanted to be married to me. I was shocked and reminded him that I had said his perception would be skewed by his belief that I wasn’t capable of loving. And finally, I said if he wanted a divorce I wasn’t going to stop him.

Two hours later I could see God had set me up to look at my own “rightness” (which I felt very sure about) when I heard it coming out of my own mouth in the Bible study. “Judas had a hard heart whereas Mary had a soft one.” Immediately, I knew that I had a self-righteous hard heart toward my husband!

We sat in church together and the better it was the more I was convicted. We chatted with friends afterwards, but on the way home there was not a word between us. I knew I needed to apologize for my self-righteousness, but I couldn’t. Didn’t want to, and didn’t know how to start. I was angry God was picking on me, when he hadn’t apologized! We pulled into our driveway, and I heard God say, “Tell him before you get out of the car.” My husband turned off the car and I said, “For what it’s worth, I saw my hard heart, and I apologize for my self-righteousness.”

“Ok” is all I remember.

I was relieved but still angry at God for not calling him on his stuff. We spent the afternoon and evening separated, me getting my perspective stretched. I waited till I saw the light had been off for a half hour before going to bed. I was tired and thought I’d go right to sleep, especially after giving God my resentment and anger. But I noticed he wasn’t sleeping. Then I heard, “Why aren’t you sleeping?”

“I don’t know, why aren’t you?”

“Probably the tension between us,” he answers.

“I’m awake, talk to me.” I offer.

“I don’t know what to say.”

I say, “Why do you make something easy so hard?” (thinking you could start with I’m sorry! No answer. I was hungry so got up to eat something.

I decided to work on my kitchen project and then decided to spend time with God since I probably wouldn’t wake early, and went to bed about 3:00.

I woke up with him snuggled around me, and said “What does this mean? Did you get your lie healed?”

“I don’t know, what was it?”

I repeated it and asked if he had asked God to tell him the truth. He hadn’t, so he asked, and we made love. I was amazed at the difference in me.

All that day we were completely in synch. We finished the kitchen, took a nap, enjoyed the rain, put a fire in the fireplace for our date, and watched our favorite series start it’s last season.

We have both felt totally different since. He did get his lie healed, but the main difference is in me! My heart is soft towards him. Once again, we went through this mainly for me! (Maybe I’ll write about that next week.)

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