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November 28, 2018 / Wednesday Chat with Bill

HopinginHim1: Bill - I completely agree. My study of scripture has spoken very clearly to me. My H has not abandoned me. His financial resources are completely available to me and the children. We see each other quite regularly and he is very involved in my life and in the children's. So I feel that until the Lord directs me otherwise, I am called to remain a faithful wife and to wait upon the Lord for His clear direction and for the heart change in my H that only the Lord can enable. I see our vows as a covenant and marriage as a reflection of the Lord's faithfulness to His church. Despite our rebellion, the Lord sacrificially chose to die for His bride. Although I am not Christ, I feel called to live sacrificially for the potential restoration of my H to the Lord and as an example of marriage commitment before my children.

Bill: HopinginHim1 the other thing I would remind you of is the nature of marriage and restoration. It is the only relationship in the Bible that reflects the gospel and demonstrates the intimacy that exists in the Godhead (Father, Son and Holy Spirit). As a result, it is a journey of the heart. This can be difficult news because the heart can be stubborn. It can be good news, however, because the heart changes quickly when it changes. You and your H can go months and years without being connected and then it can suddenly change and restoration can be accomplished quickly. This is challenging because as we wait, we can get to a place where we think it will never happen and then it kicks into gear catching us off guard. Waiting is a very mature skill!

 

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November 28, 2018 / Wednesday Chat with Bill

Swan: Hi Bill. Little Magpie emailed that she is not going to be in tonight, she is having to take the bus, so she isn't home.

Bill: Hi Swan, she emailed me also, we'll hang out and see what happens.

HopinginHim1: Good Evening Bill and Swan! I am home tonight (as I put out my back earlier today) so wasn't able to go see my mother! Thought I would take advantage of this God ordained slow down and pop into chat tonight! How are you both?

Swan: Bill - I love the holidays, just like the cheerfulness of them, but there is also so much craziness that happens and it is already starting. Recently there have been a few bank/ATM robberies, road rage and other violence and now we have a storm incoming.

Swan: Hi HopinginHim, how have you been

Swan: HopinginHim - ouch the back is one of those things for me that is just horrible when it isn't working right and as I get older it seems to ache a little more. Hoping you are back up and healthy soon.

HopinginHim1: Swan - I am doing ok. Work has been extremely hectic lately as my secretary has been off for 8 weeks now on a medical leave. I don't think she will be back until January. It's made life rather hectic but I am slowly getting caught up! I am sorry to hear that you are bracing for a storm! Are you concerned?

HopinginHim1: Swan - Thank you. My H stopped over and gave me some muscle relaxants and told me to take an anti-inflammatory. I am at least comfortable when sitting or lying down but it’s the transitions and walking that are really tough. I am choosing to look at it as a God ordained time to relax some!

Swan: HopinginHim - that does make for complications, when I managed the travel office on the Marine base, my assistant was out for two months and boy did I find out how much I relied on her for so many things I sadly took for granted. Made that up to her when she came back and sure appreciated how much easier she made my day so much more.

HopinginHim1: Swan - I am sure I will be as right as rain in a few days or a week. In the meantime, I will manage!

Bill: HopinginHim1: Good evening. It is great to see you here although I am sorry for the reason you are available. Your attitude is amazing (referring to putting your back out as a God-ordained slow down)!

HopinginHim1: Bill - Nice to see you as well. I feel terribly that I am never available on a Wednesday night. It is always the day that I travel to spend time with my mother. But tonight, the Lord had other plans!

Bill: All: When I was pastoring full-time I bought my secretary a plaque for her desk that said, "This ministry is protected by an attack secretary." I cannot overemphasize the importance and advantage of a quality assistant!

Swan: HopinginHim - Our house is in an area that wasn't affected by the fires so we don't have to worry too much about the possibility of slides, but they can make for difficult travel when we need to go outside of town. We don't get much rain down here as it is, but this year they are predicting we will get heavy rains, it happens every so many years, we have learned how to adjust for the most part, so I am not really concerned, but I don't have to travel very far to work.

Bill:

Hopinginhim: At least we don't have to factor in ice!

HopinginHim1: Bill - I have wanted to ask you for your advice for a long time. Briefly, my H and I have been separated for 6 years this December. He has always maintained that he wants us to be restored. He has moved closer at times and more distant at others. But he has maintained daily communication throughout. I know his relationship with the OW has waxed and waned some however, I find that at 6 years I am becoming more discouraged. I also see him trying to work on his intake of alcohol but that waxes and wanes as well. I struggle between wanting to push him to work on things and then realizing that I am trying to punish and force a change when I should really trust the Lord. Truthfully, only the Lord can change his heart and draw him back to Himself. Any advice?

Swan: Bill - that is so true, ice is worse and when it is black ice it is so dangerous.

HopinginHim1: Bill - Yes. My secretary is fantastic in a lot of ways but has struggled with depression etc for quite some time. It's been a challenge but there is little I can do to help her in this except manage as best as I can without her and give her the time she needs to work through things! But yes a good assistant is critical! We are a team and right now I feel like I am without my right arm!

Swan: HopinginHim - We enjoy visiting with you, so bless the Lord for changing your plans tonight.

HopinginHim1: Swan - I am so grateful that you were not affected by the fires and that you aren't concerned by the upcoming rains! That is a huge relief! And as Bill said you at least don't have to worry about ice!

HopinginHim1: Swan - and I enjoy being here! I was with my mother last week and all day Saturday, so it was a good week to be able to miss tonight. She will be fine! I was able to arrange a substitute PSW to attend to her in my absence! So glad I could be here too!

Bill: HopinginHim1: Of course I have some advice. First, I encourage you to pray for your H in a focused way. Since he says he wants to restored, put together a list of prayers that are aimed at that end. For instance, ask God to totally frustrate his relationship with the OW. Ask God to drive him into a recovery program that your H connects with to get his alcohol use a thing of the past. Ask God to chase him down and turn his heart. To facilitate these prayers, I would encourage you to ask God to give you a verse or passage of scripture to use to guide these prayers. It is even more effective if you can have 2 or 3 trusted friends join you in this prayer adventure to keep you focused and encouraged. More to come.

HopinginHim1: Swan - Speaking from the North black ice is indeed dangerous and a huge concern! Last year a dear couple I knew was in a terrible accident as a result of black ice. My dear friend was thrown from the car (despite having her seat belt on - as it failed) and was killed. He husband was badly injured. They have 5 children. He is recovering but we were all concerned he would never walk again. He has progressed to being able to stand which is a huge miracle. God has graciously carried him through this very very difficult time.

Bill: HopinginHim1 My second bit of advice is to make your growth a continued priority. The most influential behavior you possess is secure and consistent personal growth. When you are vibrant in your spiritual life, joyfully active in your social life and content in your home life, you become like a magnet. Others will want to spend time with you and will find reasons to talk to you even when they don't know why they like being with you. As your H sees these healthy patterns in your life, it lowers the pressure on him (he doesn't feel like he needs to meet your needs or make up for all the pain he has caused) and sends a subtle message that his life could be more like what he sees in you. It is not magic but it is influential.

HopinginHim1: Bill - Thank you very very much. I have been praying quite faithfully for my H. Along those lines and specifically that the Lord would break the chains of bondage to this OW and to alcohol and also that He would open my H's eyes to the truth and cause him to see things as they really are and to humble him before the Lord in heartfelt repentance. I know my friends are praying as well. It's a tough journey and I know that at times, in my anger and hurt, I just want things to be over. But faithfully, the Lord leads me back to realizing that this is an area of patience and waiting upon Him. Truly, only He can change my H's heart and in the meantime, I am learning to patiently wait upon Him and to trust Him when my earthly eyes don't see evidences of Him working.

HopinginHim1: Bill - that is very very helpful. I try hard to be a happy and joy filled and faithful example in my family. Not just for my H but also for my children as well. I confess, as the years march by it seems I am struggling with my doubts more and more. I am working on this and trying to spend more time in the Word and in prayer. It is there that the Lord soothes my aching heart, re-affirms His goodness to me and assures me that He has the path for me perfectly worked out...I just need to wait upon Him in the midst. It's not easy but it is good.

Swan: HopinginHim - I am adding your husband and you to my daily prays. I agree with Bill on a recovery program, physical addictions are very hard to just stop. My son tried to stop his addictions many times when he was younger; it wasn't until he got involved with a recovery program (not his choice, but he is thankful it happened). It is so hard to see the ones we love in self destructive behaviors. My husband started drinking as MLC hit, something he hadn't really done during our marriage and unfortunately for us, he had a tendency to become violent when he was drunk and then had no memory of it the next day. I don't really have contact with my husband now and I sometimes believe it is God's way of protecting me from that behavior especially since I have been told he has gotten worse. This may sound odd, but when I hear things about my husband's actions and choices now, I have empathy for the other woman. I am glad your husband sees it is something he should change and is trying, will pray in agreement with you that he is brought to the place that will enable him to put drinking behind him completely.

Bill: HopinginHim1 third, review your commitment. If you have decided to stand for your marriage, you will need God to remind you and encourage you in the journey. There are seasons where it is hard to wait. We want to see action and are willing to take steps if we think it will work. If you decide to not stand, you will then need to figure out what your personal deadline is. I personally would need to wait it out because I made a lifetime commitment and would need to see what God would do with the chaos.

HopinginHim1: Bill - I guess I always just believed things would be resolved sooner than this and worry as time passes that we will always be "like this". But that is just Satan trying to stir up my doubts. So I am trying to do battle with those thoughts by taking them captive and re-affirming the truth's that I know about His character and His promises instead.

HopinginHim1: Bill - I completely agree. My study of scripture has spoken very clearly to me. My H has not abandoned me. His financial resources are completely available to myself and the children. We see each other quite regularly and he is very involved in my life and in the children's. So I feel that until the Lord directs me otherwise, I am called to remain a faithful wife and to wait upon the Lord for His clear direction and for the heart change in my H that only the Lord can enable. I see our vows as a covenant and marriage as a reflection of the Lord's faithfulness to His church. Despite our rebellion, the Lord sacrificially chose to die for His bride. Although I am not Christ, I feel called to live sacrificially for the potential restoration of my H to the Lord and as an example of marriage commitment before my children.

HopinginHim1: Bill - My "joy" and my "pleasure" are not the point of my life here. Trying to live in such a way that exemplifies trust in the Lord and a life that is focused not on earthly pleasures but instead on the joy that comes from a life that is placed in His hands is really what we are called to I believe.

Swan: HopinginHim - I spent a few years in the Marine Corps when I was young, then my husband spent 28 years more. I never really appreciated it then, but can now look back and see that my own military training and the years as a military wife, trained me for standing for my marriage. Waiting is a key trait in so much of military life and training. I will be the first to admit that I don't like it and would much rather have things in order "now", but will wait on the Lord. I often say that I am moving forward with my life and when my husband wakes up and listens to the Lord, God will enable my husband to catch up to me. I don't want to move on, but I don't want to stand still either, I need growth in my life for my own spiritual health.

Bill: HopinginHim1 the other thing I would remind you of is the nature of marriage and restoration. It is the only relationship in the Bible that reflects the gospel and demonstrates the intimacy that exists in the Godhead (Father, Son and Holy Spirit). As a result, it is a journey of the heart. This can be difficult news because the heart can be stubborn. It can be good news, however, because the heart changes quickly when it changes. You and your H can go months and years without being connected and then it can suddenly change and restoration can be accomplished quickly. This is challenging because as we wait, we can get to a place where we think it will never happen and then it kicks into gear catching us off guard. Waiting is a very mature skill!

HopinginHim1: Swan - Thank you for that. I truly appreciate your prayers. As you know, my eldest S attended a 3 week recovery program in the summer as he is struggling to rid himself of marijuana use that he has used to "medicate" his depression. My H and I attended every weekend together. I know that was a hurdle for my H as he subconsciously knows he isn't completely in control of this. I can only pray that the Lord will direct him to work on things as my S has. But my H has a pride that my S does not. Interesting though my S said that he needed to be "humbled" by seeking the help of an addiction recovery program. He recognized that he could not do it alone anymore. I pray that my H comes to the same realization as well.

Bill: HopinginHim1 well done. I totally agree with your assessment of life on this earth. Our real life and our hope is in our eternal relationship with Jesus. On earth, we are living in such a way that others find the same hope we have discovered. May God put His hand of favor upon your family!

HopinginHim1: Bill - Thank you very much! It has taken me the last 6 years to work through all of this and my relationship with the Lord has become so much dearer than it ever was and my appreciation of the sacrifice and love of the Lord has become more real and clearer to me than ever. I wish that we could learn these lessons without the heartache but it seems that until our idols are removed from our lives we are not forced to recognize them as such. I often say that it took my marital breakdown for me to remove my H from the "throne of my heart" and to place the Lord solely and squarely there.

Swan: HopinginHim - My son thought he was in control, had it all figured out, knew better than everyone else. He had his plans, he was only a few weeks away from his 18th birthday and would be able to check himself out and he was planning to disappear that day. Fortunately for him and us there was a wonderful man at the recovery center that got through to my son in that short time and when his birthday came he signed the forms agreeing to remain in the program. We attended the weekly family meetings and interestingly that was a family there that the mother was always nit picking at everything said and wanted to argue with the counselor. After a few weeks she stopped coming and the child one night said that the mother was who they learned about drinking from, it actually shocked the father to hear that. My son graduated from that program so I don't know how that family ended up, but it is sad to realize that the mother was faced with her own addiction even though no one accused her of anything and made the choice to avoid the meetings rather than seek help.

Bill: HopinginHim: I know we can learn these lessons in easy and simple ways but we don't seem to do it very often. It is much more common for the disappointments and difficulties of our life to get or attention and lead us to a serious pursuit of our Savior. Congratulations on accepting God's willingness to redeem the challenges of your life rather than growing bitter or resentful. God is good despite the brokenness of our world but not everybody is willing to see it.

HopinginHim1: Swan - I am delighted that things worked out so well for your son. I know he has become a wonderful man whom has raised a lovely family! I often think of your grandson as well and wonder where he is in terms of his decisions regarding next year and where he is going to attend College. Yes. It is true that the biggest hurdle in addiction is the denial that it exists. I am very thankful that I have often seen evidences of my H trying to work on his issues. I know he recognizes it and I see him trying to manage it without needing to accept additional help. May the Lord bring my H to the end of "himself" and to a point where he submits to the authority and forgiveness and strength of the Lord? That will be an important place to start.

HopinginHim1: Bill - Thank you for your kind words. There are times (just like Job) that I ponder the reasons why but I truthfully know that I would be absolutely lost without the Lord and thou I may struggle at times, it has become abundantly clear over the last 6 years that my only true source of contentment and peace is found at His feet and in submission to His perfect plan for my life.

Swan: HopinginHim - The high pedestal we put our spouses on is so much higher than they can actually live up to. My husband and I had issues as all couples do, but I had made him my center, then my children and somewhere along the way I lost contact with God, putting Him at the bottle of my focus. Hindsight is amazing because I can now look back and see how the higher I put my husband and the less I thought of God, the worse our issues got. I didn't properly train up my children in the Lord and my husband also turned from the Lord as I did. My husband stopped attending church with us first, but it wasn't long before I became resentful and then followed his direction, a bad choice for the entire family and it was only a few years later that MLC and destruction took hold.

Bill: Hopinginhim: It is a great treasure to have found the strength and peace that exists in walking with Jesus. I don't rejoice that it rose out of deep pain in your life but the gift of His presence is worth than any of us will ever be able to fully describe. Way to go.

HopinginHim1: Bill and Swan - I realize that I have very quickly taken up your entire time this evening. Although this back issue was not exactly welcomed in this busy time of life, I am indeed very thankful that the Lord gave me an opportunity to speak with you both tonight. You have blessed me tremendously. As always, the Lord had a much better plan than my own! Again.thank you both so much!!

Swan: HopinginHim - My grandson has decided to attend the local community college for the first couple years and then transfer to a local four year college. He will most likely stay home, which makes his mom happy. He still hasn't decided his degree, but has it narrowed down to a few. He is a great kid and it is his parents that guided him to be so.

HopinginHim1: Swan - That is wonderful news! All of my children have ended up attending the University in our home town. The two youngest live at home and my eldest just a few blocks away (and we chat every day!) I truly believe that it is very wise that these young ones are close to home as they make the transition to College/University. It is a very tumultuous time and they are confronted by some very destructive lifestyles by many attending. I am thankful your grandson has been so very wise! Praise the Lord!!!

Bill: All: I am going to head out. Bless you as you seek His favor. I am very proud of you and trust that God will reward your faithfulness to Him.

Swan: HopinginHim - some people don't accept outside guidance to addictions because they worry about it being on record, one of the things my son still does all these years later is he still attends AA/NA meetings; he sponsors others and says it helps him to remember how easy it would be to slip back into his addictions. The enemy does make those things that temp us very appealing.

Swan: Night Bill

HopinginHim1: Bill - Thank you very much for your kind words. And again for taking the time to be here. Bless you! Have a great evening!!

HopinginHim1: Swan - That is incredible news that your S still attends! Wow! A colleague of mine is a sober alcoholic for 10 years. He tells everyone that although he doesn't attend meetings he is very open about the fact that he is a sober alcoholic. He says that once he forgets he is an alcoholic he is done. Being reminded every day is a way of keeping him sober and accountable! Your S sounds like a very wise and incredible man! You have clearly done a wonderful job raising him!!

Swan: HopinginHim - My son and daughter in law have guidelines set for my grandson, he can live here as long as he wants, but he has to be in college and even maintain a temp type job (they don't want him working full time and trying to go to school), they will pay for many things for him and there will be curfew rules as well.

HopinginHim1: Swan - Your S and his wife are very very wise!

HopinginHim1: Swan - I must head out now. Thank you again for being here tonight. It is always such a joy chatting with you! Bless you my dear!

Swan: Night HopinginHim, have a wonderful week, enjoyed chatting with you as well. See you next time you can stop in

 

HopinginHim1: Bill - I completely agree. My study of scripture has spoken very clearly to me. My H has not abandoned me. His financial resources are completely available to me and the children. We see each other quite regularly and he is very involved in my life and in the children's. So I feel that until the Lord directs me otherwise, I am called to remain a faithful wife and to wait upon the Lord for His clear direction and for the heart change in my H that only the Lord can enable. I see our vows as a covenant and marriage as a reflection of the Lord's faithfulness to His church. Despite our rebellion, the Lord sacrificially chose to die for His bride. Although I am not Christ, I feel called to live sacrificially for the potential restoration of my H to the Lord and as an example of marriage commitment before my children.

Bill: HopinginHim1 the other thing I would remind you of is the nature of marriage and restoration. It is the only relationship in the Bible that reflects the gospel and demonstrates the intimacy that exists in the Godhead (Father, Son and Holy Spirit). As a result, it is a journey of the heart. This can be difficult news because the heart can be stubborn. It can be good news, however, because the heart changes quickly when it changes. You and your H can go months and years without being connected and then it can suddenly change and restoration can be accomplished quickly. This is challenging because as we wait, we can get to a place where we think it will never happen and then it kicks into gear catching us off guard. Waiting is a very mature skill!

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