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April and son - September 2004

“I Thought You Were a Bit Too Extreme for Me… I Kind of Hated Some of What You Had to Say”

 

 

April and son - September 2004
April and son – September 2004 in Pittsburgh, PA

From a precious single sister in Christ, I greatly appreciate her generosity in allowing me to share her story – I think a lot of you may relate to it:

I just wanted to know how much God has used you to shape me….

How I would have described myself in the past:

I am, how shall I put it… feisty. I am quick to share exactly what I think is wrong with a situation that involves me. I am even quicker to jump to my own defense, when I feel wrongfully judged, mistreated, or hurt. I forgive easily, but I have been blessed with an amazing memory. I remember every detail of every hurt – down to the clothes I was wearing when the hurt occurred. I am very hard on myself (harder on myself than others). My memory also means that I remember every detail of every sin. If I have to be corrected, I will beat myself up over it. My boss told me that she has never had an employee who dwells on their own mistakes as much as I do. I am determined NEVER to repeat mistakes. I am compassionate, but very guarded. I am consumed with my own world. I prefer solitude over group outings.

The paragraph below is how I would describe myself now:

If I feel wronged, I fight to take these thoughts captive. I pray, pretty much every single day, that I would see others through the eyes of Jesus (not my own eyes and not the world’s eyes). I forgive quickly and truly forget the offenses. Sometimes folks have to remind me that they should apologize, because apologizes truly do not matter in the grand scheme of things. Yes, I appreciate an apology, but they do not change my level of forgiveness or love for the person. I forgive because that is what I am called to do- no more, no less. God has graciously allowed me to forget some vivid details of my past sin. If someone criticizes me, I do not immediately jump to defend myself. I thank the person for pointing out what they see as sin, something I need to correct, etc. I then take what they say and compare it to the Word and pray about it. If I feel they were correct, I approach them and thank them again and tell them how I have weighed their words against scripture and truth and what I have taken away from it. If I disagree, I generally do not respond unless a response is warranted. If it is, I thank them for loving me enough to want to point me to truth, but tell them that I have read and prayed and cannot accept their words as truth and explain why if asked. I do not hold this against the person and truly move on quickly. I have allowed others into my world, giving them access to my past. I don’t pretend to have been or currently be perfect. I don’t divulge every detail, but I want others to see the transformation power of Christ. I daily pray for others and am burdened for the souls and hearts of others. I cry with my sisters in their pain, and rejoice in their joy. I truly love people.

NONE of this was done by me, or in my own strength- not even a little bit. It is as if the Holy Spirit transported me to be a new person. ALL of those things were painful to change. I am not bragging. I am thankful, so thankful that He never gave up on me. I am in awe that He would care about a girl like me and remain diligent about changing me.

So… what does this have to do with you, April? Well, more than you know.

I thought you were a bit too extreme for me. Actually, I kind of hated some of what you had to say. It made me angry. But, finally, I decided to compare what you had to say to Scripture. Yikes, you weren’t too extreme and my anger was a result of the conviction of the Holy Spirit. I studied a lot, because I wanted you to be wrong about quite a few things. Well, you weren’t.

Then, I read silently, but I watched. I read every single comment and every single response from you. I never once saw you lash out, and there were some folks that would have gotten an ear full from me. You took the time to respond to every single comment. Every. Single. Comment.

A light bulb went off:

You weren’t writing to make ladies feel less than.
You weren’t writing to build yourself up.
You weren’t writing from a pedestal.

You were writing because you love us. You want us to understand the love of Christ, the sovereignty and holiness of God. You want us to be sensitive to the Spirit. You were writing from the trenches WITH us. You wanted to be that hand to reach out when others were helping dig the grave. You wanted to be that ear when we needed one. You wanted to be the light in the darkness that radiated the love of Christ. You wanted to point us to Jesus. You loved us with no judgment. You rejoiced with us. You prayed for us.
Thank you for loving us. Thank you for being a safe place… I am not sure I have ever shared this with you and just wanted you to hear my heart.

FROM PEACEFULWIFE:
This dear sister truly gets my heart for each of you. This is EXACTLY why I do this ministry. I found the Greatest Treasure there is in Jesus Christ – I cannot possibly keep this to myself!!!! I know how awful it is to live without His power – how miserable, lonely, scary, painful, sad, and frustrating it is. I want each of you to have every opportunity to get out of the dungeon cell we all start out living in – to find the light, freedom, grace, mercy, and beauty available in Jesus. I don’t want you to have to learn the hard way about a lot of this stuff like I did. I want to spare you much pain, many tears, and literally, I also want to spare you hell (in this life and after this life).

How I pray that you might know God’s love for you and that you might experience it here through me. I pray daily for each of you to experience the abundant life that Jesus Christ has to offer you. I long for you to personally experience His Love, His truth, His peace, His joy, and the Living Water that He is that will quench the deepest thirst in your souls.

Much love, my dear sisters!
– April

11 thoughts on ““I Thought You Were a Bit Too Extreme for Me… I Kind of Hated Some of What You Had to Say”

  1. Vickie,

    My precious sister! Such a painful mess. 🙁 I am very glad you have Christian counseling and support from believing friends and that you are focusing on your walk with God. That is SO IMPORTANT! Al-Anon may also be a helpful resource for you – because you may be dealing with the addiction more than your real husband in some ways, I hope that makes sense. But I also think you are dealing with a man who is very depressed, and that can change things as well.

    Are his counselors addressing the texting and the drinking? Is he cooperating?

    This is going to take MUCH sensitivity on your part to God’s Spirit for you to know exactly what to do. I don’t have the wisdom you will need. But I do know God is able to give us the wisdom we need each moment.

    I love your heart for God and for your husband. I am absolutely praying with you!

    1. oh my God, I just wish I could speak to this sister. I’ve have been on cymbalta a year ago for depression and believe me when I say I am a believer in Jesus and I have been all my life. I was on this medication for two months. I changed it was not nice at all. I was agressive, full of anger. I wanted to drink and fight! If you knew me I am very gentle and sweet and it was toxic. When I told my doctor about these symptoms he gave me another kind of pill. A couple of days later the woman who was agressive and wanted to drink WAS GONE.

      If only this husband could try something else. Depression is a very touchy subject when we are christians but I believe that even though God is there with us we just turn to doctors BUT sometimes they have to change prescription a couple of times before it works. I will pray for this sister and I’m hoping she will never give up on her husband, because even though it was hard for my husband we are both thankful that God was there with us throughout this hard time.

      1. Julie,

        Yes, as a pharmacist, I am also very familiar with the side effects of some of these meds. They can make a person act like someone they would never be on their own. Praying for wisdom for her and her husband and the doctor.
        Thank you so much for sharing your story!

  2. Carla,

    WOW! Thank you so much for sharing this encouragement with our dear sister, Vickie!!!! I praise God for what He is doing in your life and in your husband’s life. I rejoice with you in advance for the glory He will bring to Himself in your lives.

    Much love to you, my dear sister! It is so good to hear from you!

  3. This was beautifully wrote & brought me to tears. I love what she said about when you respond to people it is always out of love & never judgemental. This is consistent in your blogs. You will never know how much you have helped me. A year ago my husband & I were headed for a divorce. You reminded me during this time to look at the “log in my own eye.” Even though I was a Christian wife, I desperately needed examples of what respect looks like. You did this for me. Thank you for teaching me to live out 1 Peter 3. Today God has restored our marriage. I am more in love now than our wedding day over 20 yrs ago.

    1. Chris,

      Wow! How I praise God for the healing that He has performed in your life and in your marriage! Thank you so very much for sharing. I LOVE to hear what God does in people’s lives. What a blessing that He allows me to be a little part of His transforming work in your heart and marriage.

      I rejoice greatly with you and praise and thank God for all He has done, all He is doing, and all He will do in your life, your husband’s life, and your marriage!!! WOOHOO!!!

  4. I am one of the men that lurk out here reading your blogs, mostly as a way to help understand my wife as best I can. You indeed do bless many lives actively here on the blog and I’m sure the ripples from those people’s lives that you affect bless even more people.

    You do good work, April.

    A favorite priest of mine who does radio shows, podcasts, and men’s conferences (he does a great job speaking to the masculine spirit), Father Larry Richards has a great thought. “When someone interacts with you, did they interact with you, or did they experience Christ?” April, you do a good job of making sure they experience Christ. That’s a true mark of humility.

  5. Dear April,

    As I read through God’s word it is more evident to me that God is not asking us to be something that he thinks is impossible to be. He has also been open enough to share with us how to be what he expects of us. I watched your video on Fear vs Faith again and you said you were excited when you found out that there was something you could control; how much of Gods spirit we want to be filled with.

    Of all the roots of sin, I believe pride is one of the most dangerous spirits that must be held captive. It delays progress, it hinders blessings, it blinds us from seeing our sin, it causes us to be critical of others, it has a gift in itself of self exaltation and most detrimental of all, is that it strips us of Gods covering.

    One thing I love so much about Christ is that you are never too late to his table. It doesn’t matter if you come right at 6pm, or you lazy around and come at 3am; he is always sited patiently waiting for you and best of all is that you would have missed nothing. As women, we often carry a lot of emotional baggage from our past and some of the demons chasing us today are a direct result of that. I read Ezekiel 36:26 this morning and I’ll like to report and share with all my sisters here that there is good news; God can give us a new heart, a new spirit, and a new life if we ask him.

    IF we only knew how much power we have as women of God, we would never spend another second trying to gain power & control. God has given us so much power that the temperature, the volume, the structure, the atmosphere and the relational binds in our homes depends on us. I noticed that when I am calm/quite, my husband looks for me; when I wake up early; he’ll do the same and he’ll often come and ask me what the plan for the day is, when I smile; he feels relaxed and free to share.

    I never learnt this growing up and I certainly did not learn it looking at the world. I am learning it now with God’s help, my husband’s love, from the teachings in my church/fellowship, my bible, blogs like yours, you tube videos, online resources and that is very much OK. The weight of glory is more now than it would have been then so i thank God for the experience.

    I believe that we all can get there if we don’t quit. Yesterday I listen to 3 part series video by Gary Thomas and it’s a recap of the message behind your blog:

    Getting The Husband You Want – 3/3 – Gary Thomas

    God will use you to reach millions, sell out domes, pack out conference centers, change women, redefine women movements, rebuild dead marriages, teach Gods truth and bring souls to Christ. I’ll be applying for a position in your soon to be global ministry and I hope I get hired. 🙂 It would be such an honor.

    God bless you & your family.

    Happy Easter.

    1. I Choose to Respect Him,

      When we have God’s Spirit in us, this is not impossible! You are absolutely correct! Of course, if we try to do it in our own strength, we will crash and burn.

      I completely agree – pride is very dangerous and leads to many other sins. It does blind us from seeing our own sin and repels God. Not good!

      I love this, too – you are so right – we are never too late. When we come to Christ in faith, He receives us – no matter the hour. 🙂 PRAISE GOD for that!

      YES! God has given us so much power – we can either use it to destroy our husbands, marriages, and families, or to be a source of incredible strength, blessing, encouragement, good, stability, sanctuary, and peace. I’m so glad that you shared about how things are when you are calm and peaceful. Beautiful!

      I praise God that you are learning now. It’s so exciting!!! I praise Him for what He is doing in your life!

      Than you of sharing Gary Thomas’ message.

      Wow. I don’t know exactly what God’s plans are for me. I lay myself and my life before Him in surrender and tell Him I am available to do whatever He desires me to do for His glory. Please pray that He might empower me to be faithful to whatever He calls me to do. I know that we will be able to be co-laborers for Christ together in some way. I look forward to finding out exactly what that will mean. 🙂 You are such a blessing and a treasure.

      Much love!

  6. I am this woman. I can totally relate to her old self. I make the money in our household, My husband is unemployed. He wants to start his own business, but we sorely lack the funds. I know I have disrespected him. And I need to change.

    I know, April, you will ask if I know Christ, and this is something I have struggled with all my life. I envy those who have this peaceful way about them. How do I know? I thought I knew, but I wonder if I truly do……

    I have let myself go, no longer feminine, barely making myself presentable for work. I work full time and I am so tired when I get home. I try, I think, But I know I don’t always. I need peace. I need to be peaceful.

    My husband gave himself to Christ when he was 12. But he does not go to church. Neither of us do and he won’t. When my MIL lived with us before needing to go to a nursing home (dementia) I took her to church on Sunday. He would not go.

    I love your video’s and I have watched most all of them. I hunger for what you know.

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