Little Magpie: Bill - My Prayer Life needs improvement. H pointed out a lot of OUCH!! Things that I thought I had been improving on and making better but obviously not as much as I had thought. I felt like I had been run over by a steam roller. We talked a little bit on the drive home and then I listened to Adventures in Odyssey to repair and watched TV with YD when we got home and went to bed.
Bill: LM: I don't know how to say this tactfully so please know I am trying to encourage you by the following statements: We all think that sharing feelings is supposed to be a happy, heart-warming experience. In reality, it is very difficult for most people. In fact, most people start out this type of disclosure with reactive statements that are not the real issue to see how the atmosphere is. I am sure your H is doing exactly that. He probably said things to see how reactive, fragile or defensive you would be. If you accepted it and held it as a gift rather than an indictment, it becomes irresistible. It is very hard to do but it is what opens up real intimacy. Please pray for the grace to give him permission to share without thinking that everything he says is a conclusion. More often than not, the hard statements are a cry for help rather than an attempt to push away.
Little Magpie: Bill - he likes the lights and we sometimes take drives to see them but he hates all of the commercialism and that has been a problem for hundreds and thousands of years. The Victorians even commented about that being a problem. I would love for him to embrace showing love and giving physical gifts to his family. He also complains about budget and stuff. We come up with fun things that cost little or nothing but it doesn't help much either.
Bill: Little Magpie: I suspect it all has very little to do with the circumstances. It easier to say there is too much commercialism than say I feel l like a failure because I can't provide what I would like to, or my family manipulated us with gifts which is why I don't like gift giving, etc.
Little Magpie: Bill - I am looking at scriptures dealing with fear to see about finding peace from the constant and heightened stress responses. Is there anything else you would recommend? Oh, my mom turned 82 earlier this week and she is still not really eating much so I am praying for her return to full health too.
Bill: Little Magpie: First of all, I commend you for searching out verses on fear to help you in your journey. The Bible gives some clues on finding peace in Philippians 4:6-9 which includes an active prayer life, disciplined thinking on what God says is true and reminding ourselves that God is bigger than our lives. James 4:7 also reminds us to resist the devil which we do by proclaiming what is true out loud whenever we sense there is spiritual stress in the air. There is no secret to it. Peace is a gift God puts in our hearts as we seek Him and cooperate with Him.
Little Magpie: Bill - a couple of things. I don't know how to put it down. One thing was he was pseudo paying attention to me while he was reading a book among other things
Bill: Little Magpie: I am pretty sure you know this already, but I will repeat just because it is a common struggle. When we are wounded we develop "buttons" in our soul that beg to be pushed. If we didn't have the buttons, it wouldn't really matter what other people around us do. They wouldn't upset us because there are no buttons to push. The reactions and, in this case, anxiety are like alarms that go off alerting us to the fact that buttons exist. For some reason, people can't resist pushing the buttons if they exist. It is then easy to point out the "bad behavior" of the other person and make it the issue rather than work on the buttons in our soul. It is a challenge but it pays off big when we choose to let the alarms help us focus on our own growth.
Little Magpie: Bill - I am also still messed up from getting that text last Thursday night. My H insinuated to my ears that something might be up since Toxic seems to know when I am stressed. How to I assure my H that I had nothing to do with receiving the text??
Bill: Little Magpie: The key to the text is you being consistently honest. The first time you say it, it may be doubted but when you say it over and over with sincerity in your eyes, it becomes believable. The eyes are the window to the soul so trust in these situations is conveyed more by your eyes than anything else.
Little Magpie: Bill -How do I know that I am still IN CHRIST?? I feel so far away and cold. I do continue to go to church and do devotions. I am trying to sing praises but I feel like the Holy Spirit abandoned me. Why am I so weak and afraid all the time??
Bill: Little Magpie: You feel weak and afraid because you are trying to feel your way through. What God has said about you is true regardless of how you feel. His love is solid when you are strong or weak, vibrant or tired, willing or stubborn, etc. You can trust the way feel or you can trust what God has said but you can't do both at the same time. Your emotions will follow if you choose to conclude that God knows what he is talking about but it begins in your mind (Romans 12:1-2) rather than in your emotions.
Little Magpie: Bill - I have done this for so many years, I don't know how to do things that "I Like", the "me" that I used to know and love I lost years ago and don't know if they exist anymore. All I know now is how to try to make people happy and do what they expect me to. How do I find her?
Bill: Little Magpie: You "let her out." You have already defined her and you have told us many times how she would operate if she was allowed to. So, you already know who she is and what she would do. The key is to get the guilt out of the way, give her permission to come on the scene and ignore the fear you will experience when you first try to do it. Once you push past that fear barrier, your confidence will begin to rise.
dumbfounded2: Bill - Other interesting tidbits, he gave me his phone, email and banking passwords. I didn't ask for them, but I guess he sees this as some kind of step in gaining my trust. Any comments on this behavior?
Bill: dumbfounded2: Men tie trust to a few things in life. My experience is that females tend to "trust with everything" or struggle to "trust with anything." Men, on the other hand, boil it down to a few important areas of life. Your H appears to tie trust to his health, phone, email and money (I assume work is another anchor for him). By opening these areas of life to you, I believe he is making a very strong statement that you are the most trustworthy person in his life.
Little Magpie: Bill - I have been doing things "ON MY OWN" for so long I don't know how to start to "Lean on Him"
Bill: Little Magpie: That is one of the points. We are not very good at resting in his presence because we believe he is going to ask something of us. When we can't figure it out or don't accomplish what we think God wants, we conclude we have failed. The reality is God is crazy about each of us. He already sees us in the same light as he sees his son, Jesus. Since we are "in Christ" we are just as valuable and have the same access to God as Jesus does. We just have a hard time admitting it. I think the best place to start is to spend unencumbered time with your Savior. Don't ask what you are supposed to do or who you are supposed to become - just be with him. At the right time, God will lead.
Little Magpie: Bill - my kids have friends who are leading them astray; they think that gender is a choice and that everyone should be able to marry if they love each other. They both say that they are theists; one goes back and forth between atheist and theist.
Bill: Little Magpie: Peer pressure has always been the most influential force in human relationships. Eve took the fruit through the prodding of Satan. Adam took the fruit because Eve invited him to. The whole world at Babel followed those who wanted to build a structure that would challenge the God who created them and so on. The Bible clearly says, "Bad company corrupts good morals." We are seeing it on a widespread scale today in this country. Most people have not thought through the implications of what they believe about gender and relationships. They simply accept the values of others who seem to state them confidently and proclaim you don't fit in if you don't believe this way. We like to think it is a matter of logic but it is much more a matter of the heart and the heart is easily deceived. Praying for your kids.
dumbfounded2: Bill - In your statement that the fear in my H is "real and powerful" is this why I should always let H lead and not push for relationship talks. There are times when H's behavior pushes past one of my personal boundaries and when I call him on it, he reacts by pulling close. I feel that he doesn't want to lose our marriage and it takes a great deal of time for him to overcome the fear and reengage.
Bill: dumbfounded2: You are right but I would make one adjustment. This kind of change is not about time, it is about a breakthrough of the heart. At some point, God will lead your H to a point of clarity where he can make a choice. That is the critical point that determines whether he walks in victory or continues in his pain. The problem is we cannot predict when the moment of clarity will happen.