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Having God’s Peace in the Midst of the Storm

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From the wife who wrote “The Dryer Incident”. Her husband is with her but things are quite tense. She has been on this journey now for about 6 months. He is not a believer and needs Jesus so very much! He is in a lot of pain. I praise God for what He is doing in this sister’s heart. It is so beautiful!
Now, I need to keep releasing my husband over and over, but it felt good to let him know that I want the best for him and trust him to make the choices he needs to.  It felt like a huge step of faith because if he would just “snap out of it” and decide to do the “right” thing then we could move on.  But I need to trust God’s path and plan for my husband’s life, as well as my own, and believe that no matter what choices he makes in order to figure out how to be happy, that God is directing and will use them for His glory and our best.
Thank you for the excellent reminder that my husband doesn’t need to actually be here with me for me to bless him.  That helps a lot in putting things into perspective for me:  the absolute best way I can bless him is by praying for him (which is actually easier to do when he’s not here anyway).  I guess I’ve been looking at blessing him more as things that I do for or say to him, that he needs to be involved in the interaction (or at least present for it).  It is actually freeing to look at it this was and, I’d say, exposes some of my pride in thinking that there’s anything that I can say or do on my own to make a difference.  Thank you for pointing that out to me and for your continued prayers for my husband.

That actually ties in to what God revealed to me last night through His Word and this morning while meditating on it.  Your words and example of being still and waiting on God have got me thinking about that further.  We’ve spoken before about how waiting is such a difficult but important part of this journey.   I see how God can and is using this time of waiting to teach me and draw me closer to Him.

I also know that I don’t really have any other choice — I can’t force my husband to make a move so I am stuck waiting, whether I like it or not.

I’ve felt like I’ve been able to accept this waiting period for what it is to some degree, but I see now, that I haven’t fully embraced it.  Being still and waiting isn’t just about my outer life — my actions and situation.  It also has to include my inner life — thoughts and feelings.  I’m not doing so well in that area.  It’s hard not to be thinking about what I can be saying or doing or plan how to handle something and then analyze all the different reactions to it and where to go next or to try to interpret every move and word from my husband … this is NOT being still!

I have been reading Genesis and Psalms, at least a chapter in each, daily and last night, as I was waiting and wondering about my husband and so confused about how to handle the situation, I almost didn’t read it.  I had been praying, reading other things, it was late, I was exhausted, physically & emotionally, and I almost put aside my Bible reading.  But then I thought there’s really no reason not to read a Psalm, at least.  I do always feel better and there are a lot of short ones.  And then, after that, I did read from Genesis, too.

  • April, I just can’t believe how clearly God speaks to me through His Word!  EVERY SINGLE DAY there is a message for me, from stories I’ve known since a small child, there’s always something new that I’ve never understood before!  It’s truly incredible!

Last night I read Genesis 26 where God commanded Isaac to stay in the land where He had put him, despite famine and hardship, promising to be with him and bless him.  Isaac stayed and God blessed him so richly that it was clearly apparent to all around him that he had God’s blessing and they were threatened (convicted) by it.  Coincidence that I should read that passage?  I’m just blown away by how pertinent the accounts in Genesis have been in my life as I read through it.

The Psalm that really spoke to me was chapter 13.  David is crying out to the Lord who has seemingly forgotten and turned away from him.  He questions “How long must I wrestle with my thoughts and every day have sorrow in my heart?” (vs 2a) and demands that God look on and answer him (vs 3).  He is in complete anguish in verses 1-4 then the final two verses are a complete and drastic turn around!  For no apparent reason, he doesn’t allude to any improvement in his situation, he says

“But I trust in Your unfailing love; my heart rejoices in Your salvation.  I will sing to the Lord, for he has been good to me.” (vs 5-6).

So as I’m laying in bed last night after reading these passages, praying and thinking about my husband and how I should handle all of this, I realize how clear God’s message is. I am to stay still and wait, clinging to God’s promise to be with and bless me, not just despite but because of hardship.  And that this being still has to extend to my heart and mind as well.  I need to let go of my anxious thoughts and feelings, my flawed and inadequate attempts to change and improve things.  How? 

Here’s the key:  Trust in God’s unfailing love.  Rejoice in His salvation.  Sing of His goodness.

That is where my heart and mind must be focused if I am truly going to be still and experience God’s peace and presence in this storm.  Isn’t that beautiful?  I know these things, but it was so incredible to have it laid out so clearly in the Scriptures I just “happened” to read and almost didn’t!  I love it!!!

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The Dryer Incident

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From a wife with an unbelieving husband.  She has been on this journey for about 5 months now, and it has been quite difficult. Her husband has felt very disrespected for a long time. Things are quite tense, even now. Her husband has even threatened to leave a few times in recent weeks. But her faith in God is growing by leaps and bounds and what He is doing in her is SO BEAUTIFUL!!!!!  I appreciate her willingness to allow me to share:
For a day that didn’t start out that great, I’m doing pretty good now.  I woke up to my husband yelling at me about his clothes in the dryer still being wet and now he was scrambling trying to get ready for work and how ridiculous it was that I thought what he did didn’t make sense when obviously I should know better than to put so much in the dryer.
I could hardly process it and all I said was I was sorry before he stormed out to work.  He had cleaned out his truck of all his work things that had gathered up over the past while and brought in a bunch of dirty clothes.
I thought I would bless him by doing a bunch of laundry while he was out in the evening. 
I left the last load in the dryer and went to bed.  I didn’t mean for it to still be wet in the morning.
I was so discouraged.  It seems even my attempts to bless him backfire.  I can’t get things right or he misinterprets my intentions.  I was determined not to get angry or feel sorry for myself, though, and was praying that God would help me to bless him and know how to respond to him.
I really focused on one statement that he said when he was upset that described what he was feeling underneath his anger:  “You think what I do doesn’t make sense.”  How frustrating for him!  To feel like I’m always judging or looking down on or trying to change what and how he does things.  How utterly disrespectful of me!  So, while part of me was hoping that maybe the dryer was broken and the clothes being wet wouldn’t be my fault so he’d feel bad about yelling, I was glad for this glimpse into his perspective so that I could focus on how he was feeling/hurting instead of myself which would’ve led to self-pity and resentment and nowhere good.

Now, I think there’s something else that came to my awareness through this.

My motives.

Maybe I’m doing these things to bless him, yes, but also with not exactly expectations, but hopes that he’ll notice and feel badly about how he’s treating me.  I should be doing the laundry for Jesus!  🙂  To honor Jesus by blessing my husband and being respectful and submissive despite my husband’s actions, without expectations or even hopes for any change.  This is hard!  It’s hard not to hope for things to get better and not to think about how maybe if I do certain things it will help make things better.  How do I keep myself from thinking like that instead of focusing on Christ?  I guess just by constantly examining my motives and repenting when they’re not exactly pure.

Anyway, I was still thinking on all this when my husband called!  He asked how our son was, who has a cold, but that seemed a bit odd to me.  He doesn’t usually call without a specific reason.

Then, he said he was sorry!  That he didn’t mean to freak out at me, but was just really frustrated that all his clothes were still wet.

It’s a good thing he couldn’t see how shocked I was!  An apology was the last thing I was expecting!  I thought at best, it just wouldn’t come up again.  I thanked him and apologized again, trying not to defend myself, but just saying I was trying to be helpful and I didn’t mean to overload the dryer and cause him so much frustration.

FROM PEACEFULWIFE:

This precious sister of mine is in a DIFFICULT situation. BUT – she sees with God’s eyes now. She sees how this argument was a chance for her to discover a bit more of her husband’s pain. She sees how God used this painful situation to help her uncover her true motives and to refine her faith. AND – she sees how when she obeys God and seeks to honor and please Him alone, He is able to speak to her husband – even though his heart is distant and hard right now.

Please join with me in praying for this couple – for his salvation and for her to be strong in Christ and to be the godly wife and missionary God calls her to be “without a word” who can win him by the respectful and chaste way she conducts her life. (I Peter 3:1-2).

I appreciate her willingness to share. This is a LONG, LONG journey. But God has grown my friend’s faith by leaps and bounds. She has SO MUCH MORE of Jesus than she has ever had in her life. She is even experiencing God’s peace and joy in the midst of this fiery trial many times. It is a difficult battle – she knows that her husband is not her real enemy. And she faithfully stands in the gap to pray for God’s best for him and for God to open his eyes that he might experience the abundant life, peace and joy that Jesus offers to him.

This friend is such a blessing to me. I can’t wait to see all that God has in store for her!

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