August 18, 2008
What to do with this thing called pride? It’s so demoralizing to face the fact that I wasn’t enough to keep my husband happy. I want to change my body, change my life and change my address. Instead God asks me to stay and work through the wreckage.
This pride prickles beneath the skin, with Satan only too happy to poke away reminding me “of what people will think.” At times it feels much deeper than a prod. Excruciating. Much like shards of glass working to the surface of my skin.
Anger surges and I want to rise up and shout. “No! I told you if you were ever unfaithful, our marriage would be over.” Instead I’m left to wrestle with how reconciliation and forgiveness co-exist with this statement. I have found I value repair and healing in my relationship as much as I value fidelity within the sanctity of marriage. Only God can help me resolve the conflict as these two mindsets collide.
I truly meant what I said, that I would never stay married to a cheater. There is no one more surprised than I, to find in this book of my life God is writing a different page than I would have scripted.
I know humility needs to take root in order for these pages to unfold. The question remains—am I willing to let go of this thing called pride? I am willing to let go of the anger?
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Augustine wrote, “Is it any merit to abstain from wine if one is intoxicated with anger?”[i]
How true. Intoxicated anger boils into rage and is a debilitating drug. I know because I drank heavily the nectar from this noxious fruit.
This entry aptly describe the correlation between anger and pride. Plenty of my anger stemmed from the public disgrace that happened when people found out about our circumstances. What a huge disappointment to find all my efforts were not enough. Crushed—my pride took the biggest beating of all.
Contending with anger, disappointment in life, and pride issues all at the same time proved too much in the midst of my pain. God understood this, but in time slowly helped me determine what I needed to own. Far from perfect, I had a tremendous amount of pride wrapped up in presenting my Hallmark family to the world. A blow of epic proportion assaulted my mind as I watched my personal life crumble.
I felt God had asked enough when I had to deal with the disappointment of my husband turning away from the faith. Then to have my backup plan of loving my husband back into the kingdom of God require more sacrifice than ever anticipated, angry...yes, I was angry. Angry with God, at David and at myself for somehow failing, I had a much to reconcile.
On top of the crisis in our marriage "loss" in other ways hit like a tornado touching down. I not only felt a failure in my marriage, but felt helpless as a mother watching my children fall away from God and flounder. Then came the necessity of selling our beautiful lake home as a business partner betrayed us financially. My life felt tied up in one big fat ugly bow.
God allowed a complete housecleaning. He swept under the carpet, got the dust off the chandelier, and removed cobwebs from the ceiling beams. Stripped bare of all that could bring security or cause pride in my life, I asked God why? WHY?
Not an easy lesson to learn, but this spring-cleaning had purpose. My pride had previously bound me.
When all the reasons I had to carry pride were stripped away, a beautiful gift emerged. I no longer felt compelled to agonize over what other people thought of me. It no longer mattered. The weight of public perception lifted from my shoulders. I no longer had to perform, or live up to anyone's ideal.
I found in this wreckage a nugget of gold that no one could take from me...freedom. Freedom to bring the broken, the bruised the bleeding to God. Freedom to listen to His divine purpose for my life. Freedom to walk back into my marriage. Freedom to believe in the word of God for inner healing. Freedom from revenge, hatred, bitterness.
I stand tall today with inner strength and peace...because God is true to His word. He healed the broken, the bruised, the bleeding, the worst of the worst, and He will do the same for you.