Saturday, January 26, 2013

Me? A P-P-P-Princess Warrior? (Part 4)

**This is part 4 of the testimony I posted Wednesday (1/23/12), Thursday (1/24/13) and Friday (1/25/13)**

Sitting there in my pastor’s office I finally had enough courage to admit “He’s right…I have to start really looking at myself. Great… just what I want to do.” Our discussion continued and I brought up the topic of divorce. I never really wanted to go this route because I know what the Bible says about it BUT

Why is it that every time we try to “justify” something Biblical there is always a “but”?

But… I felt I had been emotionally abused. When my husband gets angry he blows up and I just retreat. I mean after all, I was raised in a Christian home and can count one hand the number of times my Dad actually raised his voice. Oh sure, I was punished enough times…but not as harshly as I felt my husband talks to me or controls me.

I was tired….tired of trying, tired of praying, just plain tired. I even went to a divorce attorney for a consultation. She was a Christian so I felt like I could trust her…right? I told her the entire story of our marriage, through my eyes that is to say. I put it all out there. She told me the steps I needed to take and how much everything would cost.

Well there it was. The ball was in my court.  FEAR welled up inside me and back to the “comforts” of my pit I went.

Half-heartedly I prayed and asked God for wisdom and direction. I talked to my friends and asked for advice. Most often I’d hear “I don’t know how you do it. I’d be gone by now. I don’t know how you’ve made it this long to tell you the truth.”  A few of my friends encouraged me to hang in there and told me to hang on the Jesus with everything I had in me.

I felt so alone and afraid. On four separate occasions, I picked up the phone to call the divorce attorney to start the process. Each time I dialed the number I heard God’s voice “Put down the phone Sheri.” My entire being retorted “But why God! I can’t take this anymore…I don’t understand. I am miserable! MIS-ER-ABLE! How can I be full of joy when I am emotionally and physically burned out? He just doesn’t get it, nor does he care about me…about anything! I am so overwhelmed God…I have reached the end of me.”

I absolutely love how God showers us with His grace and mercy even at what appears to be our darkest hour. “You may have reached the end of you…but you haven’t reached the end of Me. Trust me, Sheri, my name will be glorified through all of this.”

Okay so patience isn’t one of my strongest characteristics, I get that about myself. I want instant everything. But God doesn’t work that way. I had been holding everything inside of me for six long months until finally, in January 2011; I conjured up the nerve to tell my husband I had gone to see a divorce attorney. He sat there in complete shock.

He was unaware it had gotten to that point. “What? Hadn’t I told him time and time that I was MISERABLE?” I had been telling him we needed help, but until I said the words “divorce attorney” did my words actually get through.

Days later, he asked me why I decided not to leave. “Truthfully, I have hit my knees and prayed over this marriage more times than I have prayed about anything. I have picked up the phone four times to call the attorney to give my go-ahead to start the process. But and all four times God told me to put the phone down. God wants me to stay, and I want what God wants.”  I can’t even describe the look on his face. It was priceless.

I kicked the battle up a notch in May 2011, when I got sick and tired of Satan and his minions attacking my home. Putting my “battle armor” (Eph. 6:10 – 18) on every day it was me who needed to tell the spirits of anger, disobedience, disrespect, defiance, bitterness, and any other spirit I felt was lingering to all get out.  I needed to stop being so negative about how “nothing would ever change” and speak what I knew my husband and my son would one day become…. men who were going to honor God and serve him wholeheartedly.

In fact, one night while cleaning up from dinner, my husband took my son up to get a shower. All of a sudden a “battle of wills” broke out between them, Drawing in a deep breath I through my dish towel down and let it out “Satan! I have had it with you and your minions!” I walked with determination to the bottom of our staircase and let him have it “In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth I command you to get out of this house. Spirit of anger, get out! Spirit of disobedience, get out! Spirit of defiance, get out! Satan, this house is covered by the blood of Jesus Christ. In His holy name GET OUT and STAY OUT! You cannot have my husband or my son! They will wholeheartedly serve the Lord one day. Now GO! You are not welcome here!”

I stood there, my body shaking.  “Lord I need you. Please help.” In that moment, peace washed over me. I listened to hear what was going on upstairs. Everything was quiet. I looked up toward heaven and said “Um, thanks! Are either one of them dead?” At that moment I heard laughter. “You never cease to amaze me Father, forgive me for my doubt. Help me to stand firm in you and never give up the fight.”

To this day God is continuing to work in my family. Slowly but surely He chips away the stone surrounding my husband’s heart. I know one day my family will be united as we walk through the doorway of our church. I believe that now and I am confident that He who began a good work in me will carry through to the day of Christ Jesus. (Philippians 1:6)

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