GraceAlone Takes Another Step

GraceAlone continues on her journey of tearing out idols, recognizing and repenting of sin, submitting to the Lordship of Christ and learning to trust Jesus with everything in her life. This correspondence is about 2-3 weeks into her journey, I believe. Her words are in blue. I’m so thankful for her willingness and courage to share with so many of our sisters in Christ what He is doing in her.
This part is excruciatingly painful at times – getting all the sinful gangrene out always is. But it is so freeing when it is all out and God begins to transform and regenerate us by the power of His Spirit!!! I didn’t include everything I wrote to her. Hopefully you can get the gist of most of the conversation by her words. 🙂 Thank you all for how supportive you have been of GraceAlone – for the encouragement, prayers, friendship, love and godly wisdom you have shared. I’m so proud of y’all!!!!! You are making this journey so much better for her. And I pray that her story might make your journey better for you and bring great glory to God in her life and in yours!
FROM GRACEALONE:
I am learning that I STILL cannot let my husband changing be my focus.
I am getting better, but I realize this may be a life-long battle I fight – to keep Jesus at the center of it all. While not having children is a big idol to me, the lack of intimacy with my husband seems almost bigger than the children to me right now. I vacillate, but it is hard to feel connected when you are feeling rejected.
Oh my did I ever have expectations when I first got married. I constantly was reading books on marriage – my husband, too, and I had a great example in my parents.

I thought submission would be easy- I learned the HARD way it is most definitely NOT easy.

I realize that I have let my husband down in his expectations of me as well. I do want to get better at trying to be the wife God wants me to be, and the wife my husband needs me to be. I realize how selfish I am because as I am sitting here typing these words out to you, the thoughts impede my brain – thoughts like “Yes, I do need to work on these things, but it’s not fair. ”
  • I realize that is selfish and prideful, but changing your ways after being married for several years is tough – I want change, but am still fearing failure.
Maybe because of what I mentioned, my husband said last night about how “he is waiting for me to mess up.” That is pressure for sure. Sometimes it seems so ” fake” of me in a way to apologize for some of the things I mentioned. Is it normal to feel that way in the beginning? Maybe because it is so unnatural from what I have been doing?  I have really tried the last few months when there was intimacy (which was not a whole lot at all) to really be positive and not “hurt” or “emasculate” my husband (the way I had been).
It’s hard for me not to feel hurt as well, because when it comes to intimacy problems, I immediately blame myself, telling myself its the way I look – I’m too fat! My husband had openly admitted things would greatly improve if I lost weight.
 
I do so long for the freedom that comes with knowing that I am looking for Jesus as my source of strength and affirmation. In those moments where you feel unloved, disrespected, un-affirmed, do you continually just pray asking Jesus to affirm you? When I walk past the room where my husband plays video games and see him in there for hours, my thoughts and bitterness can grow by leaps and bounds within 20 seconds! During those times, I have tried to pray in the past, and it seemed the more I prayed sometimes the more frustrated I got. Do I look for a distraction? Do something? I know these seem like silly questions, but I am genuinely curious. 
I think part of this, too, is over the years my faith was weakened in my relationship with God, I began doubting Him when things started to go awry in my marriage. So, even though I have been raised in this (to know and love Jesus) my whole life, I am just now starting to try to trust Him, and its scary because I feel like I was angry and bitter with God even when I didn’t want to be because I feel like He let me down, so I’m having to to re-train  my brain.
I must say that this (insult I said to my husband) was a few months ago, it has not been recently, and if I am honest, I said it on more than one occasion. I didn’t even think or care at the time. All I cared about was my needs and what he wasn’t doing for me. I have not said this in a few months, and pray I never do again. I am seeing that I have to take my hurts and frustrations to Jesus, and not live in the fear of my failure. 
You are absolutely right. I have used every excuse in the book to try to avoid not facing my mountains. I do need to take responsibility for myself. I tend to have the personality sometimes that if I think I will fail, I don’t try at all. I do not want to be like that – truly. I believe having this mindset has held me back from so many awesome things I could have accomplished.
I love that line – “You make the decision to have motivation.” Wow. Too often I am run and controlled by my emotions.
I have  gotten so far past the point of caring for myself to even hating myself. I feel very worthless. I am seeing how this is a prideful focus and a wrong one. I pray that I can see my worth in God. I know this will take MANY months or years.
I never could see how much my relationship with Jesus played such a HUGE role in my health. It’s all connected. When you said if my relationship with Christ heals, you believe my health will too, I think you are so right, and I could not see this. I used to pray that God would help me lose weight and give me motivation, but there were too many idols in my life, that He couldn’t help me. 
 
  • I loved “My Demon.” I mean wow. I hear that voice all the time telling me of my unworthiness and telling me to fail. I want to be silent and hear more of God’s voice. 
I need to be willing to do anything to rip out these idols by the root, it may take me some time, I may have to take baby steps. I still feel scared. As much as I wished I didn’t.
PW:
Is it possible that your husband IS trying to lead you in a godly way? 
Possibly. Maybe I should think of it positively first before jumping to conclusions.
PW:
What if God is trying to speak through your husband to you? That is something God does with people He places in positions of spiritual authority over us. He speaks through them to us.
I haven’t been listening. I was too focused on myself. I am trying to change that. I was to blinded by my own love for sin.
PW:
What if you are fighting God, not your husband? 
It’s so hard to ‘look past your spouse and see the “face of God.” What I say to my husband, I say to the Lord. I MUST remember that! 
PW:
It is GOOD that you have to change not knowing if he will change. This is part of ripping out your idol of your husband being what you want him to be and you having to accept him as he is. it would actually be extremely dangerous and destructive to you spiritually right now if he were to suddenly change – you would keep him as an idol if he did.
I didn’t think about it like that. If my husband changed now, it would thwart my changing. God wants to change me, I need changing. This is why I am going thru the valley. Wow. lightbulb moment.
 

PW:

I’m glad you aren’t nagging him. And please don’t ask him if he is having a quiet time. He is not 10 years old. You are not his mom. You are his wife. Men are not attracted to women who try to act like their mom.  Your husband and God are able to work this out together if you will leave them alone and give God space to work without your interference. You are not the Holy Spirit.  Almost all wives make this mistake!  That is why God gave us the command he did in I Peter 3:1-6. That is your assignment!

This is hard not to do. I feel badly looking back, I would nag my husband about him not having his quiet time, when I was not even having them myself. I was more worried and focused on his spiritual growth than I was my own. I will try to not play his Holy Spirit anymore, but instead focus on my walk with the Lord.
FROM GRACEALONE:
I read your email and Kayla’s story. Both were incredible and huge eye openers for me.

  • A couple things that I am noticing are that these past few weeks that have been busy, my time with Jesus took a back burner – as a result, my attitude with my husband was more disrespectful and I could hear the nagging voice putting bad thoughts in my head towards him more. 

On Sunday, we talked about me trying to make him a priority and not spending so much time with my family – this was hard as he said some things that hurt, but I am trying to make him feel like he is top priority to me. I do need to balance my time more, and how much I spend with my family, etc.

I spent all day yesterday preparing for work this week, and cleaning the house (especially focusing on the things he asked me to do). I was so tired when it came time for him to get home and me to start dinner, he asked if I wanted to work out when he got home before we ate – my first thought was, “No way, I am exhausted and my feet are killing me!”  But I said “Yeah, I’ll work out,” because I know he likes that.
  • For me, finding that balance of when to speak up and just give my opinion and when to be quiet are very hard for me. I feel like that line is so thin that it’s easy to cross if you aren’t really looking. Sometimes, I feel like with my husband, he doesn’t want my opinion at all , or he doesn’t seem to care . I’m going to read the post you suggest about the frustrating quiet phase – it absolutely is so frustrating! I always seem to be confused as whether I should speak up or not, Etc. I so want him to value my opinion and trust that I’m intelligent woman- pride I’m sure.
I found myself praying God would bring my sweet husband back, but maybe I need to pray He will bring my husband’s sweet wife back.
It bothers me because reading your post and Kayla’s, you both were so broken over the way you treated your husbands, and you mourned because of how sinful you were. It scares me because while I have been very sad over my sin, have I really been heartbroken over it? That is such a scary thought, I still think I have a lot of pride to deal with. I think some traces back to us sitting in pre-marital counseling and my husband stating he wants kids, and him changing after we for married. I feel so betrayed by that, sometimes I wonder if I will completely heal and truly let go of that. I seem to do better at times with realizing I may never have kids, but it’s hard to let go of the since of betrayal , and feeling like he genuinely needs to apologize to me for that. Does this make sense?
Anyway, overall it has been a little better yesterday and today, just still sorting thru the muck and hurt. Part of me is holding back I think, because I don’t want to become vulnerable again and get hurt – kind of what we were talking about Friday. I’m scared of the healing process, because I feel like I have bandaged those wounds, and they have scarred over , and I don’t want to rip it open again. Maybe that’s the root of the issue – maybe I avoid the healing process because I know what’s coming.
Maybe that’s why I have tried so hard in the past to change and I keep messing up, because I’m scared.
FROM PW TO THE READERS:
GraceAlone has had a tough week this past week. It has been painful. BUT, she has been open to God’s voice and is allowing Him to work in her heart and she is facing her fears. I’m so proud of her and thankful for what God is doing in her. We came to one point this past week where I knew she would either refuse to go any farther or God would open her eyes and the picture would begin to become much more clear. I am so thankful that God opened her eyes and is expanding her field of spiritual vision dramatically. I can’t wait to share more of her story!!!!!!
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