Thursday, December 15, 2011

Part 5 of What marriage has taught me: "The importance of interceding for my spouse"

We did not have a formal wedding. We married at the courthouse. But our vows were just the same and just as real. Vows of forever and of love. We knew remarriages were tough and risky. We knew blending families would be harder. What we didn't know was how much harder the future held.

My ex-wife attacked me attempting to remove my children from life. My wife's ex-husband attempted to take their children. Both consisted of multiple false child abuse investigations. She reacted in her way with anger frustration. I reacted in my way with alcohol and an eating disorder. We both grew apart.

The distance grew longer, and the hurt grew deeper. We lived without living at all.

We moved through our marriage with scuffs and wounds. With cutting open old wounds. I focused on her weaknesses. But not for her benefit. I focused on how I was deprived. What I she wasn't giving.

Life gave us battles that left us on the defense. Life gave us distractions - some beautiful and precious - some evil and malicious, we focused on them, not each other. She closed her heart to most of me, and I resented her.  I made myself distant. We put up walls.

Walls for safety, to keep each other out, built for the purpose of protection while desperately wanting to be let in to each other's walls only when it was safe. These walls were supposed to offer safety, all I felt was alone. I heard the emptiness fill our home, just big enough for me and no one else.

"It's better this way, just me. I'm safer without anyone else in here," I would convince myself of this. So I continued to build. Not too big. "I don't want people thinking they can come and stay."

Brick by brick the walls went up with each let down; each disappointment. With each hurt. Each brick was placed with the hopes it would give each other some safety from the hurt. 

Years after I laid that first brick, I looked at her. I saw the walls between us. My walls. Her walls. Walls that I had built with care, their intention, protection, had instead become isolation. For the first time I saw the walls for what they were: a prison. A prison of my own making, intended to keep me safe, had only kept me alone, only kept me from what I truly wanted. Redemption. Forgiveness. Reconciliation. Relationship. My wife. None of which I deserved.

I imagined what it would be like to tear down the walls. Both of our walls. To stand next to her with nothing but air between us. "I can't, I thought. "I can't destroy these walls. It would leave me vulnerable, but "God I don't want them anymore. I don't care how they come down, tear them down brick by brick. Tear them down because I don't want them anymore. I'm too scared to take them down myself."

Eventually the walls crumbled. Some in large pieces. Some mostly brick by brick. Each brick represented a certain threat. I looked at the bricks. At each brick. "You didn't protect me. You didn't keep me safe. I built you. But God tore you down. You weren't strong enough. You weren't as strong as you pretended to be. No, you didn't protect me, you only harmed me."

Her walls remained standing. They didn't collapse just because mine did. Just like mine her walls didn't just keep her in, they kept me out. That was their intentions. My walls were no longer in the way of seeing her. My walls could no longer obstruct my view. So often I peaked over her walls. "What is she hiding? What is she not saying? Hey, you in there, my walls have been torn, why won't you come out?"

I peaked over her walls and saw my walls. Like a place I had felt so comfortable. The walls were identical to my walls. The bricks must have been from the same pile. They were engraved with the same threats.

I didn't have to peak over her walls anymore. I could see through them but couldn't get through them. I could see how each made her feel. How they were threatening. They were the same for me.

My walls were gone and I was free. I no longer looked over my shoulders for enemies. I could no longer ask God to fix her. I could no longer wish her to change my benefit or to make me happy. I couldn't because I knew. I couldn't because I gave her the bricks that built her walls. I knew how each brick made me hurt. How each brick left me disappointed and angry.

I was free to see she needed my grace. But I couldn't tear down her walls. I wasn't even strong enough to tear down my own walls. But I knew who could and would. But only when she was ready.

God destroyed my walls as my prayer "Change her, Lord" to "Change me, Lord." He showed me I had never had been praying for my wife. I had been praying for me. For what I wanted. But we will only see results when intercession comes from the right motives.

I couldn't tear down her walls, but the One I knew who could showed me how He would. I had to learn the strengths of my weaknesses. I had to minister to both her and our family. God showed me where she needed my grace. I had to love her the way she needed to be loved. I had to intercede for her.

It was God in His perfect plan who in our marriage used each of us to bring us closer without our walls. God used my wife to help me see what God has called me to be in our marriage, our family, our relationship. It was only by seeing and accepting these truths could I intercede for her.

1 comment:

  1. Oh I loved this blog! I love you and how our relationship and love has grown. You are my partner, my best friend, my lover, my rock and everything I already knew you were.
    God has blessed me with you.



Where my inspiration comes from

A Recycled-Dad with Bipolar & Parkinson's, reflections on fathering and family life and other stuff thrown in'll love my Soap Box Rants

Blog with Integrity\\ Auhor Lupe Picazo

Why I call myself a Recycled Dad

I call myself a Recycled Dad because of the struggles with remarriage and being a step-parent and weekend dad. This is also about my life living with bipolar and how it affects me personally, my family and my job. It also reflects on the grace God has poured out on me throughout recovery from alcohol and an eating disorder. Recycled Dad is about my reflections on the wisdom God teaches daily on fatherhood and being a better husband in spite of being bipolar.

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