Dancing in the Light

I John 1:7 "If we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ, His Son, cleanses us from all sin."

Location: North Platte, Nebraska, United States

I am a christian wife, mother and grandmother. I am a licensed Social worker and a licensed Christian counselor. I am most proud of the relationships I have with God, my family and friends all over the world. I have been blessed beyond my dreams.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Battered and bruised and left for dead

I was talking to a young woman, a friend of mine, someone I love dearly, on the phone the other night. She was telling me about her husband and how the behaviors he is exhibiting are so counter to who she knows and who everyone else knows that he is. This is not the man she married! We talked for some time, wondering what it was that changes someone from a loving, caring husband and father, to one who walks away, abandoning not only his family but all that he once held dear. What does it take to make someone turn his back on every important relationship in his life? What causes a heart to change so?

I wish I knew the answers. This same scenario is played out every minute, probably every second in our country. A heart that is once loving and full of compassion and empathy and concern, a heart that longs to nurture and protect, a heart that overflows with love suddenly stops. No, it doesn't stop beating, it just stops loving! And each and every person that once had a place in this heart, now feels lost, like they have no place at all. And every heart that loved this one, although they still love, those feelings of love have partnered up with and entangled with feelings of hurt and anger and betrayal and fear. Each and every relationship is battered and bruised and left for dead. As the relationship fights against the impending death, the heart fights for the life of the relationship, torn between the desire to love and the desire and need for closure. And hope . . . well hope seems to be but a small, smoldering ash left to slowly burn out, gasping for the air to sustain it.

My heart hurts as I too, search for words of hope, words of encouragement. I struggle to rid my mind of anger and doubt and pray to be merciful and kind, pray to keep no record of wrong, to hope, to believe, to endure. I pray to be strong and to help those who are hurting be strong also. I speak with my friend frequently and while I try to encourage her, she always ends up encouraging me. We both believe God's word and hang our hearts on His love. As we cling to our Father, we find solace in the truth that He sees, He knows and He cares and that He, and only He, can restore life, can rebuild relationships, can make the heart beat strong and even again. He can rekindle the fire, even after there is no more flickering ash. After all------He is God!




Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am saying prayers for your friend and for you, dear Neva. You are right when you say it happens all the time. Praise God that He is the one who can raise even a dead heart.


6:39 AM  
Anonymous Carlos said...

and so long as He is God, there is always hope!


9:50 AM  
Blogger preacherman said...

I lift you and your friend up to God in prayer.

11:39 AM  
Blogger Kathy said...

I too lift you and your friend in prayer to God's throne of grace and mercy. Yes, He can change a dead heart .... He can raise it from the ashes of pride and abandonment. PTL! \o/

There is one thing, however, if there is physical, emotional, financial battering. The batterer should be out of the house to protect the victim until such time as s/he accepts professional help and the professional gives the green light for the family to again be united. It takes a lot of time and prayer, as well as commitment on both sides to keep the family separated until the professional's green light is given.

If this is not the case with your friend, my apologies for going off topic. But then, you know that's my MO, don't you, dear friend! LOL

12:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The idea of abandonment is one you should blog on. I think you would be able to do an amazing post on spiritual abandonment. I have heard you speak informally on the subject and you were wonderful.


3:19 PM  
Blogger AncientWanderer said...

I think a lot of it has to do with the "cycle" we are in. Romans 1 tells us about just such a cycle when natural affections seem to give way to a depraved mind.

5:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

in my thoughts and prayers

8:24 PM  
Anonymous Georgian Peach said...

You have such a compassionate soul. I know you are offering just the right words to this young woman.
Love your heart.


8:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It hurt so much when those we love hurt. Satan is deliberate in his attempts to make us feel hopeless. He wants us to feel the battered and bruised feelings. He wants us to hurt. But, God, our God is the God of healing, of hope and of help. He will heal and help your friend. She must hang on to the hope of the Heavenly Father.
I will pray for her


9:53 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just a prayer and reminder I do know what you're talking about. They aren't as dead in the heart as it seems. We just run away from the light and love. We are wounded. We are ashamed. We don't feel there is any hope either. We desperately want that hope and all the rest you mentioned. We just don't think it is possible. We have messed it up too much. We long and pray for the love of that spouse and family. Don't feel pressured. Just know you are loved.

11:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The pain felt by the family is echoed in the pain felt by the one who left. He knows he hurt his family, he knows he hurt his relationships, he knows he hurt his church and yet he feels helpless, too. It was not his intention to harm those he loves, he is overwhelmed and lost and scared.
Oh the other hand, for those of us who are left behind, we are wounded and helpless too. We know that we have absolutely no power over the situation and it is a truly horrible place to be. We feel like we are left to pay the consequences for someone else's choices, choices into which we had absolutely no input, no say. If we could force ourselves somehow to stop loving, we could get rid of the pain and hurt, but we can't and it frustrates us when it seems he has been able to do that. Our hearts cry out for justice and resolution and we beg and plead for peace and the restoration of the life and allusions of love now gone. We are afraid, we are hurt and we are angry and so we pray.

11:53 AM  
Blogger Traci said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

12:21 PM  
Anonymous Rebekah said...

Yes, He is God and He forgives and expects us to also. We don't have to understand, we just have to forgive. I know how difficult this is. My husband and I were separated for thirteen months. He was so unhappy, he left. He assured me it was nothing I had done. It wasn't work and it wasn't church and it wasn't the kids. It was simply a sense of despair and failure. I prayed and cried and tried to understand. He did not want a divorce and neither did I, although I fought the doubts--was he involved with another woman? was he caught up in some addiction? was he involved in some sort of criminal activity and just ashamed to tell me. I didn't know what to do. I prayed that God would give me the strength to hang on, that He would give me the mercy to give to my husband and that he would give me the patience I needed to give him space to heal. He did not go to counseling, he said it wouldn't help, but I did and so did my 13 year old daughter. We both needed some wise spiritual guidance to help us through that dark time. He didn't totally abandon us, he still provided for us and came by to visit the kids occasionally, But it wasn't enough for me, I just wanted to be his wife, his companion, his lover and his friend. That was one of the darkest times in my life. I prayed God would help me be a good parent to my children and that any doubts I had would be hidden from them, as would the fear and the anger. God was good to us. My daily prayers for my husband were answered and over a year later, he came home. We have continued to work on our marriage and our faith. We have grown through this and that separation helped us learn to appreciate each other more. I haven't matured enough to say I am grateful for that time but I am thankful for the lessons I learned during that awful time. My advice to your friend:do not give up- hang on to hope and pray, pray pray, surround yourself with Christians and positive influeneces. (It is so easy to have a pity party and sit around with negative people) and love her kids, love herself and love her God. I know it will be difficult but there are fairy tale endings. Trust me.


4:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am in the middle of a situation very similar to this and I just have to say that hearing the compassion for the man is so heartwarming. It's so easy for everyone to see him as the bad guy but as everyone knows there are two sides to the story and I've come to realize that we have both sinned and he deserves forgiveness just as much as I do. Finding and giving true forgiveness from God has been a miracle and that's what is holding me together right now.

7:49 PM  
Anonymous Loralynn said...

I have been looking over this post and thinking about it for several days now, debating about whether or not I should comment, concerned that someone who reads this might recognize me and begin to hate me for the thoughts I fight against on a daily basis.
My daughter recently left her family. She left a loving husband and two small children, ages 4 and 7. She says she does not have a boyfriend. She says she was so unhappy at home and that she just couldn't be a good mother or wife when she was that unhappy. She also says she feels like a failure for being unable to be happy.
She doesn't talk to me much, which although it breaks my heart, is probably a good thing. I am hurt and angry and most of all ashamed. My daughter was raised in a Christian home, with Christian parents. She went to a Christian college and married a Christian man. She has been faithfully attending services and has been involved in evangelism, outreach and benevolence as well as teaching. To everyone else she had a great life. But not to her. My emotions are so mixed. I hurt for her and because of her. I cant seem to understand how she could abandon her family and forsake her vows. I am ashamed of her behavior and cringe everytime someone asks how she is doing. I look at my son-in-law and the pain in his eyes almost kills me. I see his parents and his sister and I feel the overwhelming need to apologize. I hear what your readers say about guilt and shame and woundedness and even forgiveness, but I want to scream that I don't think they see that my daughter's actions are wounding my granddaughters, and her husband and everyone else who loves her. Don't they see that her shame shames us? Don't they see that her husband feels guilty for being angry with her? I do believe we should forgive and see the best in our children and our wives and our brothers and sisters, but what she is doing is wrong and it seems like everyone wants to make an excuse for wrong! Is there one? If so then why shouldn't everyone use that excuse when things are not going their way? Why shouldn't we all just pack up and leave and turn our backs on our relationships and our responsibilities? Wouldn't that make OUR lives easier? Wouldn't that make US happier? Who cares if it breaks our husbands heart and confuses and saddens our children? Who cares if it shames our parents and our church?
I realize this doesn't probably sound very Christlike. I really needed to say it, and I really felt like your readers are way too accepting of sinful behavior. We are not so individualized that our sins do not have a negative effect on those that love us. We can't forget that. I love Terri and I will continue to pray for her. I will forgive her and be there for her, I will help her get therapy or whatever it takes, but I will not make excuses for her shameful behavior. I could never look my grandchildren in the face if I did that.


11:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think anonymous number five misread your blog---you didn't say they were "dead in heart" you said the relationships they left behing were "battered and bruised and left for dead". Not dead but left for dead, and I get the impression from reading your post that you believe in a God who is able to raise the dead! Am I right?
I am grateful I have not experienced that situation, but I know it happens all the time. Satan is alive and well and doing his best to destroy families. He is the one who makes excuses and who entices one to break vows, who helps make happiness so elusive. This is truly his fault and yet, we each have a choice to be on his team or on Gods.


12:21 PM  

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