Friday, July 28, 2017

Sabbath Thoughts- On Choosing to Stay

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Only one of my married friends chose to leave. She's the only one who has had divorce papers served on her husband. I know it wasn't easy, so I'm not about to go shouting and celebrating, "Yeah, he's gone!" because what that really means is that all her hopes and dreams are gone. They weren't done having children. They only had one and were going to continue having more.Though I am glad she does not have to look at his face and imagine it close to someone else's, it's a hollow victory.

One friend left his wife for his floozy. I feel as if his death would have been better than leaving her with 4 children by choice.

Obviously, I mean choosing to stay if he begs you to. If he asks you to. If he claims he made a terrible 'mistake' and wants to rectify it.

The guy above never said he wanted his marriage. But some do and then down the line decide they were lying.

Now this is my fear. What if we stay, but then get replaced anyway? What if all his protestations of repentance and desires to rebuild are not genuine? Won't that make the fall that much worse? How much betrayal can one take before losing their mind? Would it not feel 'better' if one were to leave BEFORE the newer model comes along?

But where does forgiveness and giving second or third chances come in?

This is why I cannot say a single thing on choosing to stay. I do not know any man's heart. I know what I said before I got married. Now, I remain silent while letting my friends decide.

Only one of the courting girls got rid of her boyfriend. I personally -now that I've seen how many cheating boyfriends turn into cheating husbands-would have left the cheating boyfriend. I still didn't sing some "Independence" type song with the one who decided to be single. It was sad. She loved him. But he didn't know how to love her.

I will not tell you to go either. No, scratch that. I have three whose husbands not only are cheats, but are also violent. One has even lost her unborn baby because of it.

LEAVE!!!!!!!!!!! RUNNNNNNNNNNNNN! I don't want to see you dead. I don't want to see the winces as you try move that bruised part of your body.

I hate worrying that tonight he's laying his hands on you again.

GO!

I do have one limit. A cheat who is also physically harmful is not worth staying for. Remove yourself from harm and your children from scarring. What will the children learn? What will they think is good? How will they treat others? When you stay at this point, you're no longer "staying for the children" as many women say.

I need to do more research about where you can go though. Where the shelters are etc. I have one who is planning an exit strategy. I support her but don't want to push her. After all, leopards do change their spots. I'd rather the leopards changed with their prey far away though. But all my friends are adults and I cannot decide for them. I can just worry. And worry I do.

Back to my Sabbath thoughts.

Sabbath is meant to bring rest and peace. It's meant to be a day of calm. A day of reflection. A day of enjoying God's mercies. But when God seems so far away, what do you?

Sabbath is also a day of fellowship. You cannot bear this burden alone. You cannot. Find that one friend. The one who has the same principles as you do and therefore knows how damaged you are. Understands who broken you are. If you have the sad privilege of a friend who's gone through the same thing and made the same decision to stay, fellowship with her. Especially when the wound is still fresh and you need to unpack it over and over and over.

Rest in your friendship. Find fellowship in someone who will pray for you when you cannot pray for yourself. Find someone who will listen. Not counsel, but listen. Someone who will not pressure you to stay if you start thinking of going, but someone who will not push you to go if you are still unsure. Someone who will provide peace amidst the storm going on in your heart. Someone whose presence speaks peace. Someone who though you aren't sure you want to talk to God, will talk to Him for you. Understand that just because you chose to stay does not mean you will have peace in your heart. Find that friend who for those brief hours, will bring you some peace through her presence and comfort.

One last thought. What we choose today might not be what we would have chosen yesterday.
 If the further you move from the day you found out, if the further you move from having decided to stay, if the days pass and you feel less and less peace about choosing to stay, if he does not do his part in reassuring you that you are again his one and only, if he gets tired of doing what you need (within common sense) that he is now trustworthy, and acts like you are punishing him for his wrongs when all you want is peace about staying, when you all you are asking for is peace in your heart about having trusted and been wrong, and want to know that you are now right...

If you chose to stay but realise you made the wrong choice,

There is NO sin in leaving. God allows it. He understands.

That's the peace He leaves with you. Peace to do what is best for you when the one who should have done his best, did not.

Then, maybe then, you will find some measure of peace. A peace hopefully greater than the one you feel. I can only hope so.

Sometimes the Lord of the Sabbath reminds you that peace comes in transformation and change. In renewal. In resting from the past and moving onto a new future.

Peace comes in knowing you can rebuild if both choose to, or you can build anew elsewhere.

Shabbat shalom.



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