I could not sleep Tuesday night…at all. My mind was racing, my emotions were completely unstable. Just when I would manage to doze off I would wake up crying…maybe I woke myself up from crying, I don’t know. Even my dog knew something was up. She rarely comes into my room, but tonight she would not leave my side. She slept curled up on the floor next to Chad’s side of the bed. Every once in awhile she would walk over to mine and lay her chin on the bed, I would stroke her head and then she would go lay back down.
I finally just got up. I was supposed to be at work in just a couple hours. There was no way I was going to make it through a day working with the public with my emotional state of mind. I texted one of my third shift co-workers to try to figure out if I could just come in for a couple of hours to get my paperwork done and then duck out. After finding out it was only going to be me and one other employee I felt doomed. He ended up calling me and I told him everything that was going on. There were few people that I wanted to get into the details of this with, but this person had been a great friend in faith to me since I had begun working there. Immediately he took charge of the situation. He told me to stay home, he had me covered. He told me to rest and to pray. To prepare myself, my home, and my mind for the meeting to come Thursday. And as far as he was concerned, I was not coming in to work Thursday either. He had me covered that day as well so I could spend the day in preparation for Chad’s visit. My priority was to my marriage and to my family right now. Thank God for placing just the right people in my life! For setting me up and already preparing me and equipping me for what was going to be the fight of my life!
Now I was really awake. I felt restless. Like I had to take action NOW and not let one minute go to waste. I began to write. I wrote Chad a letter. If he wasn’t going to hear me out in person or on the phone then I was going to take another approach. Something he said to me Tuesday haunted me. He said he felt like I have been searching for something and he thinks it has a lot to do with the fact that I got married so young and that I was trying to recreate or get back what I had missed out on. That was so far from the truth. I had exactly what I had always wanted! I knew since I was a little girl that I wanted so badly to be married. To be a wife, a mother. I knew that I wanted to be a YOUNG mother! So I could be active and involved with my kids! That was my dream. That IS my dream. I was reminded of a word that was spoken to me on my missions trip in January. In an altar service a word was given to me through one of our interpreters. I was told that God was going to give me my desires, and that God was going to remind me of what my true desires are. Well, at the time, I couldn’t quite put my finger on that. I had been mauling over the idea of going back to school, so in the moment I thought well that must have something to do with my new endeavors. Isn’t it amazing how we feel like we have to grab onto everything in the NOW? I wanted that word to confirm my desires in THAT moment. I couldn’t see beyond that it was not yet a word for that moment, but a future moment.
And I wrote…
“I don’t know where or when exactly I lost sight of that. I think it must be when I graduated from college. College was not what I expected. It didn’t turn out how I planned. Here is what in my mind was supposed to happen. Grandma was dying…I was supposed to be able to help her. Save her. That is how it was going to happen in my mind. But she died….When I lost her I lost my purpose for school. But I couldn’t fail at it.I had already asked for so much sacrifice of you and the kids with our time and money that I felt like I had to make it work…I wanted to see through that I did right by you. But I never did…a part of me always felt (still does) that I let you down. And I felt guilty for taking that all away from you. I know what I was searching for. I was searching for a way to not let my degree-all the time I took from you and the kids, all the money that is wrapped up in it-to not let it be for nothing…ironically the pursuit to make it up to you consumed me the wrong way.” (excerpt)
I had a plan. I was going to drive to my husband’s work, with this letter. I was going to place the letter in his car…and that was pretty much it! That was my plan. My “well thought out, strategic” plan. It was all I had so that was what I was going with, and then I just prayed that God used it and built off of it.
” I love you. I have always loved you-I will always love you…you were created and sent specifically for me. You are the only one who could put up with me, support me, love me for all of my flaws and attitude. And for that I am also sorry…that I have taken full advantage of that so much to the point that I actually pushed you over the edge of not being able to handle it anymore…I took your love for granted thinking it would always be unconditional and be everlasting..”
I got in my car and drove. And as I drove I prayed. I am all about my worship music in my car, but today I needed my silence. I needed to concentrate. I had to focus.
God! Help me! Help my words to speak to Chad’s heart. Soften his heart so that he is receptive to my words. Start chipping the barriers away from his heart and his mind so that he is receptive to YOUR words. Allow him to hear your voice and to see your face. Give him the desire to seek your face and to begin listening for your voice. Protect him from the enemies attacks. Surround him with your angels, not only to guard him and shield him, but to FIGHT for him. To fight off the blows of the enemy as he targets him.
The closer I got to Chad’s work the more nervous I got, and the harder I prayed. I prayed that when he found the letter that he would actually read it. I prayed for God to prepare his mind even now at this moment. Begin filling his thoughts with thoughts of longing for me and for our marriage. Fill his mind with a longing to hear from God. God start speaking to Chad in such a way that he will recognize you unmistakably. Fill his van with your Holy Spirit so that when he enters in he enters directly into your presence. Surround his van with your angels so that before he even approaches his vehicle he is already coming into contact with heavenly presence.
I placed my letter in the front seat of Chad’s car, and I left. I was leaving in God’s hands now. Only God could soften the harshness and bitterness that I saw, heard and felt the other day. Only God could save this marriage and relationship.
As I headed back toward home you would think that I would be feeling some sort of relief at this point. Some sort of satisfaction that I took a step that I was confident God was going to use. Instead I was filled with a rage!
The entire drive to Chad’s work I was calling out to God. Now I found myself calling out the devil himself. I began yelling and challenging him! I couldn’t help myself. I called him out for the coward he is! How DARE he come after my husband! How DARE he pick on someone not his own size! Chad was not in a good spiritual place to be dealing with a spiritual attack. And that is exactly what the devil went after. How sneaky, how cowardly, and quite frankly, how lazy! It wasn’t even a challenge for him! He swooped right in while my husband was vulnerable and I was wearing blinders, and he walked right out the front door with him. I demanded that he back off. I demanded that he give my husband back. I demanded that he come at me instead. I was ready for him. And if he wasn’t going to come at me head on, then I was certainly going to go at him head on! I was not letting my husband go without a fight. The enemy may have avoided a fight with Chad, but he was not going to avoid one with me. I would hold onto my husband until death, and I would take on the devil himself if that’s what it would take.
“This hurts so deeply, but I know this must have bee the only way God could have gotten my attention. I have been so absorbed with moving forward with blinders on that I had to be thrown completely off the bridge to see the view.”
Now it was time to get my house in order. I went home and I began to clean. I folded cloths, I cleaned out cloths, I tidied up our bedroom, I washed dishes, and I organized the living room. As I looked around the living room there were little reminders of my missions trip all around. Very strong and loud I could hear Chad’s words in my head: “I do not believe in your missions trips. I don’t think they are right, and I do not believe in what you are doing.” He had a lot of resentment towards those trips. It took his time away with his wife, it took attention away from him with his wife, and it took away his money. He had no desire to go himself, and after time he had no desire to see me go.
I was faced with a question. The night my parents came over my dad asked me pointedly: “Would you give up your trips for Chad? Would you give up going to Mexico if it meant saving your marriage?”…WHAT?! Did I have to choose really one over the other? Did I have to make a choice between God’s work and my husband’s feelings?…Yes. Yes I did. I had to make a choice between saving my marriage or going on a trip. And I had to make that choice clear.
I took down the pictures of Mexico, of the kids, and replaced them with pictures of our family. Chad made it clear he did not want to be bombarded with confessions of my undying love. He made it clear that he no longer loved me and could not see us together at this point. So the photos were of me and the kids only. When he walked in the door Thursday I wanted him to see me as a woman and a mother. I wanted him to have a fresh vision of me. I wanted him to get a flutter in his heart for this woman standing in her home, taking care of her home and taking care of her children.
I had a new plan.
I went to the store and purchased all new bedding for our room. Things were not the same between us and if I had any hope of him coming home, our bedroom was definitely one place that things would not be the same. It needed to be a new neutral environment. A place where a fresh start could eventually take place.
I continued to pray through the day and into the night. I knelt down at my husband’s side of the bed and prayed for him. I prayed that God would speak directly into his ears. I prayed that God’s voice would be audible and recognizable. I prayed that Chad would begin to pray. That he would be overcome with an uncontrollable urge and desire to pray and seek God’s voice and that he would be listening. Because I knew if he would just allow God’s voice to enter into his mind and heart then it would be inevitable that his heart would be changed. That his mind and decision would be changed. But it had to be his own. He had to recognize it himself. He had to come to the conclusion on his own through his own personal account with God.
Tonight I slept. I had a big day ahead of me tomorrow. Tomorrow would be the day Chad’s mind must be changed. There was still so much preparation. Spiritual preparation. Our church had been called to a day of prayer. I was committed to a day of prayer and fasting. Nine hours of prayer. Nine hours of being submerged in God’s presence and will. Nine hours to prepare my own mind, heart,and spirit. If I didn’t win this day, I knew I would not win.
“I am the woman who will love you, defend you, fight for you, take care of you, support you, and submit to you until the day I die.”…