My Journal - I don’t remember being told fairy tales. Guess I didn’t need any. I had enough of my own starry dreams of romance, love, and sweet embrace. Dreamer. No truth. In my first marriage, I gave all essence of my worth, knowing it would surely be what I’d receive in return. But there was harsh reality in my recompense – bruises, black eyes, and heartache only tears can tell. Forgiveness became my crutch, forgiveness and the pouring out of myself again, and again, and again. Finally I vowed, “No more fairy tales for me, only truth.” However, truth brought no comfort, and the search went on for romance, love, and sweet embrace.


(Chapter 3, Romance, Love, and Sweet Embrace, Pages 21-22) - As a young girl, I looked forward to marriage, having children, and living happily ever after. I was too naïve to know that I didn’t qualify. My soul was bruised long before Ted struck the first blow. Our marriage was a serious account of reaping what one sows as his violent temper escalated to a beating that could easily have taken my life. After enduring nine years of paralyzing fear, however, getting a divorce was still deeply painful, most particularly because I knew what God’s Word said about it (Matthew 5:32). Feelings of failure and the overwhelming reality of raising three small children alone shoved me deeper into the pit of vulnerability I’d struggled for years to rise above. I was still a child myself, wounded, desperately hurting, and terrified of the responsibility that had been thrust upon me.


(Chapter 19, Strengthening the Brethren, Pages 181-182) - I would be hard-pressed to determine the strongest emotion I experienced during the darkness of the days after Jeff was exposed – devastating brokenness or joyful strength in the lord. I had finally found the relationship with God that I had sought for so long, and I couldn’t keep from believing He would save my family. Satan surely prided himself that what I believed so strongly did not come to pass. I know I did what was right. I have no regrets. I gave it the best possible chance to survive and either decision I might have made – to stay in the marriage or to leave it – would not have spared my heart the agony of the transgression.

Why do we find it so difficult to simply obey what God tells us to do? Perhaps it’s because we get into things that God didn’t intend for us to get into in the first place. We’ve taken something so simple as His instructions and tried to dissect them and improve on them until we’ve only become more perplexed. We simply need to obey. To obey, however, requires a huge amount of discipline. I don’t know where others stand (and I have a feeling we’re all lacking), but this is the area in which I have the greatest battle. It wasn’t a battle until I became aware of the lack of it in my life. No wonder Paul said in 1 Corinthians 9:27, “I keep under my body and bring it into subjection…”


(Postscript, Pages 203-204) - My Gethsemane came about in February 1983. I sought spiritual help to regain some similitude of trust in church members – friendship, kindness, healing. I was bleeding and sobbing in desperation, but God didn’t want me looking to mankind for strength. I was in too much pain to recognize His compassion when time after time He stepped in with countless miracles. I wasn’t living; I was surviving. When He finally received from me what He wanted most – my full attention and my complete surrender – He revealed that only within the experiences He allowed to come about was He able to give me what I desired most: to know His Son, Jesus Christ, in the fellowship of His sufferings. I had to be alienated, persecuted, falsely accused, and put out of my church to know even an infinite amount of the agony Jesus faced at His Gethsemane. However, I am convinced that in our humanity, we can never comprehend the depth of communion in Christ’s sufferings any more than the carnal mind can be subject to the law of God (Romans 8:7). How sad must He be that as much as He loved humanity and as dedicated He was to die for our salvation, many would still choose darkness rather than light?

Something Beautiful at the Dump