cheating

Speculation: Cause For Separation or a Tool for Glory?

5 a.m. I woke from a nightmare. 

I headed downstairs to boil water for french press, feeling insecure and furious. I hate dreams like this. They tend to set the tone for my day, rousing irrational anxiety, making it difficult work to find joy. I need grounding. I pull out my bible, open the Mac and begin documenting. I won’t go into detail, but the nightmare involved a woman I follow on Instagram, and a certain man I get to snuggle every night.

Yeah. One of those dreams.

Since we have been doing the hard work of reconciliation, there are some boundaries, that with lots of conversation, are becoming more flexible these days. When we lay in bed, Burris will grab my phone and scroll through my social media. We laugh at viral videos, read controversial blog posts, and talk about some of the crazy photos you all are posting. 

Ok, back to the dream. The girl is an old aquaintance who can be found snapping photos of herself in her bathing suit, mini skirts, high heals and the like. Which, whatever. I like the girl. She is obviously hurting and desires validation (what human doesn’t). We used to go to the same church. But in light of what happened nearly a year ago, recounting my REM caused my heart to thump a little faster.

I stop and begin to pray.

“Lord, I am feeling anxious and curious this morning because of that dream. Did my husband click on her profile and look through her photos? Is this a dream of warning or fear? Is this irrational thinking? I know he sees her posts when looking at my feed, because I see them. Please help.”

”Ask him.” replies the Familiar Whisper.

“Ask him!? But what if he did? How can I endure that kind of pain? What if he didn’t, and my asking rouses anger? It is 7am, this could ruin our morning and set a dark tone for our day.” I plead.

”I AM at hand.”  He reminds.

Speculation between spouses, or anyone for that matter, is cause for separation, and God is always about the work of reconciling people. When we are willing to engage with our fear and ask the person in question, it is another building block to the foundation of trust. Specifically, when two believers stand in conversation, any wall of offense has been removed because of the finished work of Christ; they can talk about ANYTHING. 

Isn’t that just like the Lord? Unwilling to waste an opportunity to restore a marriage, no matter what messy tools (even nightmares) we have to offer.

And the Whisper comes again;

“do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7

My soul laid bare before them, I chose a road less traveled, facing the fear of inquiry. The three of us stood in that kitchen addressing the nightmare and turns out, he was feeling just as awkward about her photos as I was, uncertain how to process it himself. His eyes lingering with mine, speak apology, redressing again, my seeping wound.

We prayed, and kissed long. 

Moments of redemption like this mean everything.

 

The Waiting Room - An Update

Next month marks one year that our marriage, deemed dead, was made alive.

With Burris in his chair, and me in mine, Sunday morning was a familiar sight. Three children running around in diapers, coffee in hand, and a messy yet profound sense of gratitude in the room.

Yes, resurrection sure looks good, this side of heaven.

 

But it sure isn’t easy.

What has the True Physician been up to in our lives since our dead body of a marriage began miraculously breathing?

I looked at my husband sitting there and wondered where he thought our marriage was today in medical terms; Are we in the ER? Surgery? ICU? Physical therapy? Out patient care? Dare I say, hospice?

 

“the glory of the Lord will be revealed,
    and all people will see it together… 
He will feed his flock like a shepherd.
    He will carry the lambs in his arms,
holding them close to his heart.” 
                                        Isaiah 40: 5&11

“Les, if I were to gauge, we are in the waiting room, and our marriage is having open heart surgery.” He looked at me deeply. “This is a very risky procedure and we are not out of the woods, but thankfully this procedure has been done thousands of time before. God knows what he is doing, and His skilled hand is having his way on our heart. The center of our marriage.”

I looked away. 

Feeling disappointed, my assessment had us sitting up in bed, looking forward to physical therapy!

“We are doing well, but we are not out of the woods.” He replied.

“How will we know when the surgery is complete and successful?” I ask.

“When we stop checking out from one another, and engage.  We have been trying these tools out, but are not convinced yet. When we jump in fully, that will be a sign that the surgery is complete. The rest of our lives are spent in recovery. Of course, we will be finally healed when we are in eternity with the Lord, but there is a process on this side of heaven.” He grinned.

We will always be in recovery.

 

How freeing is that? We don’t have to arrive to this sort of marital bliss destination that is somewhere down the road in a few years. Instead, we get to share in these tangible redemptive moments together, where we know that God, the Perfect Surgeon, is opening up the blockages of our heart in order to see to it our earthly marriage thrives on what it was created to; rely on Christ alone.

Call it sanctification, if you dare, a holy recognition that this life, spent together as husband and wife, is but a mere dress rehearsal for a perfect marriage to come.  Sure, it is painful recovery, but after this year, I cannot imagine missing out on the milestones that derives from healing wounds.

“He never grows weak or weary.
    No one can measure the depths of his understanding.
 He gives power to the weak
    and strength to the powerless.
 Even youths will become weak and tired,
    and young men will fall in exhaustion.
 But those who trust in the Lord will find new strength.
    They will soar high on wings like eagles.
 They will run and not grow weary.
    They will walk and not faint.”
                                     Isaiah 40:28-31

So we sit, hand in hand in the waiting room, with strengthening knees, getting a taste of the hope to come. Knowing that our time in the ICU is coming, a beautiful gift this side of heaven.

Here’s to another year of seeing what is in store for our crazy clan.