Daily Archives: February 20, 2011

Failed Relationships and Then Some II

Needless to say my second marriage was not founded on anything good. As I describe in my previous post. I prayed and prayed for God to change me. I really did, I thought I was so horrible for not liking him. But I perceived him as fake, he would change all the time right in front of my eyes. He kept things from me; twice I discovered piles of bills hidden in our second bedroom. He just wouldn’t tell me. I have no idea where the money went. All of this was going on while we served at church. We served in several areas together. He was being considered as a deacon. All the guys loved him and the ladies thought he was charming or something. There were many things going on but the final straw was actually my fault. Sometimes I am just too honest, thinking that I am helping but I make it worse. We were at a counseling session for couples because we were having problems and we were trying to get help. We were told to be completely honest.

I told him that he really needed to pray for our marriage because I had a crush on another guy at work.

Oh, yes I did. I told him that not because I was acting on my feelings but because I was seeking help in the situation. I told my pastor, who in turn told others in the name of “prayer” and the rumors started flying that I was cheating. I later found out that my ex had told some leaders as well that I was cheating. It was a mess. By that time he had already left, dumping all of my belongings out all over the house and taking whatever he could that he said belonged to him. I felt completely violated and devastated. I am admitting, I got to a point to where I couldn’t stand the sight of him. I had many meltdowns and tantrums because he was a liar and he threw my sensory issues beyond any other thing in the world. At times his presence hurt my flesh.

For a while when he was still there, I wouldn’t come home until wee hours of the morning.

I just couldn’t, I would rather sit with friends or my car alone than go home to him. I will say we both did things wrong but sometimes I feel like I did the biggest wrong by not listening to myself or God and I caused both of us to suffer needlessly. It did not help that in the beginning of our marriage I had a miscarriage, it really made things much worse. He left and caused me lingering problems for quite a while. But the story does not end there. There is the failed relationship of my church family.

I had several very hurtful things happen to me during this time.

I had some people pull me into a room and tell me that people were saying that I had cheated, I went off. I asked them who said it, why did people believe it, even if it was true who had the right to gossip about?? It was discovered the link being the pastor during a prayer meeting. I do not think it was his intention but it was hurtful. I had one of the elders wives corner me in the corridor of the church and say loudly “GOD HATES DIVORCE! You better do something to fix your marriage!” I just looked at her and said “You can’t make people change.” She then replied “Well God can change them and every marriage can be fixed.” I replied with “You cannot know what goes on in every marriage.” and I left. They had asked me to step down for a while serving, I felt they were right and I had no problem doing so.

The day was soon approaching though when I was to return to teaching the kids.

It was the day before I was to return to class, I had asked for the curriculum a week in advance and no one gave it to me or would talk to me. I got a call from the pastor (he was a new pastor than the youth interim) at work telling me to please come to church after work because he wanted to talk to me. I felt like I was in serious trouble. I went after work and the pastor and head elder sat me down and told me that the elders had voted and they decided that I could no longer teach the children. I understood and sobbed for days. They told me that they felt my character wasn’t good at that time to be around the children and that it would be too confusing for the kids. Side note here: The day before one of my friends had seen my ex with a girl going to the bank. It could have been nothing but it didn’t seem to be nothing to her when she saw them. I really don’t know, but it is interesting that my character was being judged.

No one ever talked to the kids about the situation and I was not allowed to, even though they all asked.

The very next Sunday was a final blow to me. The new pastor’s son had recently graduated seminary and was a youth pastor. He started going to the church because he had to move in with his parents. His wife had found another man and left him. That Sunday he got up talked about his divorce and then it was announced by the head elder that he would be the new youth pastor starting immediately. I still don’t even know how to take all of that. I asked why it was ok for him and not me; I was told that he was open and honest about it so that probably made a difference. I WAS OPEN AND HONEST! I told the pastor right away when things were wrong and that I needed prayer and that my marriage was failing. It still doesn’t make sense. I was never angry, I am still not but I was hurt. No one absolutely no one asked me anything except that small group of people.

I felt like I was  wearing a giant red “A” on my clothes.

I stayed for a while longer but then I felt led to go to another church. The new church helped me recover. They were very accepting and they built me up. They encouraged my challenging questions and they even let me rant about inconsistencies with the scriptures that I felt I saw. I feel like the Lord really led me to a place of healing and it also helped me to not become bitter and angry at all churches. That was my first church experience as an adult. My first church experience as a new Believer. My first church experience with groups of church people. It was not a good one and unfortunately it was not the last. It feels good to write this out. I have held on to it for so long for fear of people thinking that I am bitter or hateful. I am not, I am sad by the experience. I am sad that people can go to church their entire life and never get the message of Christ. I wish the message wouldn’t get lost in experiences like this.

I know that I am not the only one and that makes it even harder for me to bear.


 


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Failed Realtionship and Then Some I

I have mentioned before that I was not brought up in church, though I was influenced by Biblical teachings and ideas of Christian faith. I came to Christ on my own, through reading the entire Bible (Protestant) from beginning to end, by myself. No one told me to, except I felt very compelled to read it. When I read it I had a pretty distorted view of Jesus, I was good with an all-powerful God but Jesus? What was He all about? For some reason when I read the Bible in its entirety He made sense in my mind. I took to His teachings as literal. I looked upon Jesus as a Jewish man, who showed us how to live by the Jewish teachings and concepts. I knew I was a gentile and didn’t feel like the lifestyle of the Jewish people was what I was supposed to do, though.  I did not become confused until I started reading more Westernized Christian influenced teachings and listening to their preaching. Mainly what many “Americanized” teachings have  adopted as a philosophy and call it “religion”. (I mean no offense I am just trying to explain my mindset.)

I felt like in order for me to understand my faith that I needed to go to church.

One morning I felt led to turn on the radio, I flipped through the channels and at the end of some sermon, which I had missed completely; the preacher went into how to accept Jesus into your heart. I fell to my knees and just felt like that was what I needed to do. I sobbed for an hour, nothing in particular coming to mind, except for, I felt accepted. Accepted and at peace for the first time in my life. I became obsessive about learning the scriptures and studying all about what the Bible meant. I heard in my inner being, I guess that is the best way to describe it, to get baptized. No one told me this; I read it in the scriptures. I was baptized by my father at his church, that became mine too.

I had conflicting feelings the entire time I was there.

First of all, when I arrived the pastor of over 13 years just got removed because it was discovered that he and the secretary were having an affair. The youth pastor had just taken over as the interim and there were a lot of emotions flying that I didn’t know how to process. My dad was a church leader at the time, until my second sister got pregnant at the age of 15 years old. Everyone was forgiving, with very condemning comments when my first sister had gotten pregnant, but after my second sister did, well….it was too much. My dad stepped down. I quickly got involved and started serving in children’s ministry. My first husband would not go to church with me; he was Catholic and felt very uncomfortable in a Non-Denominational church. We had a lot more problems after I became a Christian and started studying. His family did not appreciate my history lessons about the Catholic Church and they did not like my many questions about their faith.

I wasn’t trying to be rude; I genuinely wanted to know about their faith and beliefs.

Eventually we came to terms that our marriage was not going to work no matter how much counseling we did, I was obsessed with my faith and he was not. We just couldn’t get past it. The church was very accepting of me during this time, because he was Catholic and they felt that his faith was wrong anyway. Those are not my views, that was what the church felt. I was beyond devastated. The Christian faith made it clear that divorce was wrong; I personally never wanted to get a divorce because of my family history of multiple divorces and the pain that it causes. I felt like a failure and a horrible Christian. I carried the burden of him getting a divorce because he was Catholic and no one in his family had gotten divorces, there was just a lot.

The church made it clear that it was ok because they felt that he had abandoned me.

They needed that to make it ok. The children at church never even knew I was married because I was always alone so they had no problem with me to continue serving. I then found my second husband, whom I despised from day one. I never liked him, I thought he was a fake and a phony and I told him so. A lot. I went against my gut and I listened to all of the church people tell me that he was such a great guy, “he is so spiritual”, a “real man of God” and so and so on. I knew that he lied to me while we were dating and I called him on it every time. He would ask me “How do you know this stuff?”  I wish I would have listened to my feelings that told me to get away from him. I will give you one example of how I feel God was trying to make it very clear that I was right in my judgment, but did not trust it.

It was New Years Eve weekend and he had made plans to go to his hometown.

I begged him not to go. I just knew something bad was going to happen. He told me “I have to go; it’s like the ending of my previous life. It’s symbolic.” He went and I was praying the second he got on the road. I was up all night, that New Years Eve, I wrote it all down in my prayer journal. I saw like a vision of what he was doing throughout the evening. When he came back, I told him that I knew he had cheated on me and that I saw all of the things he had done. He claimed that they did not happen and that I made it up. I described the girl. He still denied it. After a few months he did something similar and the same thing happened though I did not see him cheat but I did see him with a girl.

He finally broke down, confessed all.

I had been right about everything. I then felt like it wasn’t about me, it was about him and God. I led him into prayer and he rededicated is life to Christ. Then after that he asked me to marry him. I said I don’t know. Later that day I was working alone, my heart was broken because I had been right and I didn’t know what to do. I heard my name being called, like in the air and I looked up. I saw like a vision  and I heard, “I would not give you someone who would hurt you.”(Not audibly, it’s hard to explain) I understood what that meant because after all of my failed relationships (with the exception of my first husband), the common thread was they lied, they cheated, and they did drugs, and was abusive to some extent. I ran to my ex and told him what had happened and I told him how I felt like that meant we were not to be together.

He said “No, I think that means that before, if I did not rededicate to Christ. Now that I have changed you know I won’t hurt you.”

I was very confused, I talked to my Christian friends and they all said what he had said. I assumed that I was wrong. I thought “Well maybe it is possible that he was the wrong guy before but now that he has accepted Jesus, maybe he is the right guy.” I didn’t trust my gut with my first marriage and I didn’t with my second. In my first marriage I made the decision based on never wanting a divorce. Since he was Catholic, I really believed we would never get a divorce. The difference about him and my second ex-husband was that I genuinely liked him as a person. He is now remarried and very happy and I was so happy to discover that. My second husband I married because everyone else told that he was right for me and since I couldn’t trust my judgment on relationships, I believed them.

Our marriage was built upon distrust and my overall dislike for him as a person.

More to come….

Personal Note: When I talk of hearing voices or seeing visions, I am not really sure how to explain it properly. It could be a variety of things going on. I have intense dreams as well that have given me clear direction, so scientifically it could be my brain telling me the right thing to do. Spiritually it could be how I experience God.  I have gone over mental reasons and do not fall under the criteria for any of the mental disorders that I have read. For me I am comfortable with both the reasons being science and God.


 


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