Thursday, July 19, 2007

The Naked Truth

I don’t go back and read my old blogs. I used to before December, but I don’t now. I don’t think you can experience what I’ve gone through and not still remember the pain so vividly. King Buchanan, my therapist, told me that someday I’ll be re-married, standing at the sink doing the dishes and I’ll think about what happened and still remember the pain, but know it is a very distant memory. (The only thing about that scenario I don’t like is that I’m still doing the dishes!) So for now I don’t read them, someday I’m sure I’ll go back and read them, but before December the person I was then is kind of foreign to me now. I feel bad for that girl, and I pity her for what was about to happen to her, and honestly I have some anger for her too. Anger because I didn’t know what was about to happen, and angry because I allowed myself to be put in the situation, and most of all angry because I was incredibly blind. I have all sorts of legitimate reasons why I don’t have to be angry at myself, but none the less, I still have periods when I ask myself, “How could you have been so stupid?” But those are issues that I have to work out for myself, because I am well aware that what happened actually had nothing to do with me. I do have anger for him and I realize that this was his problem and his doing. I know who was doing the lying, cheating, and overall betrayl. So I don’t beat myself up over it, I just get angry at the situation.

I often think about my marriage and think about the time frame of when things started going wrong and started to change. I truly believe that he was not the only one who changed. I had changed a lot too. In fact looking back I would say the road that we were once on together as a couple took a split in complete opposite directions and I chose to go one way, and he chose to go the other way. It was just about 3 years ago when I believe I really started to have a desire to grow closer to God. It was right after the incident where I was mis-diagnosed with HIV. If you want to go back and read the full account it is in my August of 2006 posts. It should be around August 13th. I know a lot of you didn’t read my blog then. Basically what happened was when I gave birth to Kyle they got my blood mixed up with another mother who delivered the same time I did. I had been home from the hospital about 4 days, and my doctor called me and told me that I had HIV, and that we would need to start Kyle on medicine immediately, so that hopefully he wouldn’t end up contracting it. Long story short, it was a horrific thing to have to go through that broke my heart. I remember begging and pleading with God to not to have to go through it. That did something to me, that I truly believe, has caused me to never be the same. My heart changed, and I don’t think God has ever let me go. He has had something intended for me, and that was just the start to my transformation. I remember longing to really know God, and be of service to him. What I really had in mind was teaching more classes, helping host showers, cook for potluck, etc…I didn’t intend to be of service to him in the way that I have become now. But obviously God knows something that I don’t, and knows best how to use the people who are willing and available to him.

Since that time, although the HIV scare was an event that brought Nathan and I closer, he wasn’t ready spiritually like I was to make a move. We both continued on with our lives, and I think that we lived very separate lives and just lived together. I tried my best to be the best mom and wife, and I was a good one. I love to nurture, and I believe that is a gift that God has given me and it’s evident in my children, because they are very loving.

Nathan began to change even more. Even small things like his language. And really language is no small thing. I believe what comes out of your mouth is a true indication of what is in your heart. And the more I was around him, the more I saw how broken his heart really was. So really on the day when he told me that he was done, and didn’t want to be married anymore, I know now that it shouldn’t have come as any huge surprise. I see it all so clearly now. But then, oh no, I didn’t even know what had hit me.

I don’t talk about him or the situation very much. I have tried to keep it as private as possible. I don’t mind talking about if asked, but I’ve never given details as to what really happened, and that is for several different reasons. The first reason is because of my children. I want to protect them from as much as possible. I can’t control what he does, but I can control what I say and do and how I react. However, I know that my children will someday have to make a decision about what he did, based on their involvement with their father. The second reason is because I am a Christian, and I think you have to be very careful about what you say and do. And thirdly, I didn’t want to “bite the hand that feeds me.” The first two reasons should be my sole motivation, however, I have allowed reason number three to control me, and allow me to live in fear.

Well I have come to a point where maybe it’s time to open myself up a little more. My blogging journey has led me to a place I never thought I’d be. I started doing this for fun, because I had seen some of my friends blogs and thought I’d join in. I soon discovered a whole new world. What was once just for fun became a network of people who have been so loving and supportive of me. I can’t even remember how I stumbled on to some of you, but here we are!

Most of you started reading after December when my life took a dramatic turn. I started to say a turn for the worse, but that is really not the case. My life is much better now. I know that I don’t owe an explanation to anyone about how it is that I got here, but I really do want to share. I believe God has led me to share.

The person I married is clearly not the person I know now. I do not have the faintest idea of who my ex is. I am convinced that I was married to Dr. Jekyl and Hr. Hyde. When I married him, he was a wonderful husband, father, friend and provider. I was so proud of the obstacles that we had made it through.

Somewhere along the way, something happened and the something is what I’ve never been able to figure out or “diagnose.” He changed and became a different person, unbeknownst to me. He began living a different life, all the while I was trying to be Suzy Homemaker. I suppose that while that was going on, I was also in the midst of changing too, like I said earlier. And maybe he wasn’t changing, maybe it was all me. I don’t know…the analyization can become exhausting, and gets me no where, so I have just decided that it is what it is. No matter what answer I come up with, it doesn’t change anything, so I’m retiring from it.

I’ve been thinking a lot about those following two months after he walked out. I do not even remember them. I remember Christmas day. Had I been a pane of glass and you had thrown a rock at me, I would have shattered. It was so incredibly difficult to hold it together for the kids. I remember packing a little bit, I remember cleaning out the garage with my dad. Oh the absolute mess that was so symbolic of our chaotic lives!!! I remember moving day, and I remember closing the door on that house and also a chapter in our lives. Beyond that I don’t remember anything. Seriously!!! I don’t remember what I did during the day, or at night. It is just a huge blank to me. It’s weird to think, but it’s almost as if I blacked out for two months. You know the footprints poem, where Jesus carried him, because there was only one set of footprints? Well that is how I feel about those two months. I wonder if I just didn’t go to sleep emotionally, and God didn’t carry my body along physically. That sounds really weird, but I have no other explanation.

I remember vividly everything past moving day as if it were yesterday. It was at that point that I had to start dealing with life and what had just happened. I had made it through the shock. So I dealt with the horrible grief, depression, sadness, lonliness, ANGER, etc. all the time right in my face. I went through divorcecare, counseling, and anything else that I thought would help me deal with this in a positive way. I was bound and determined to make something good of out this. All the while dealing with a cold, distant, emotionally cruel person, who I used to call my best friend. And for me, the hardest part of this has been dealing with the literal death of a person that I thought I knew, and someone who I loved dearly! He is no more, and I don’t know if he ever will be again. I pray for him all the time, and hope that he will turn to God someday, but that is a choice that HE has to make. No one can make it for him, and I can’t continue to wear the feelings that I wish he had. He has to learn how to feel it himself.

He promised me this great life. I’m sitting on the couch trying not to pass out from shock of what I am hearing, and he’s telling me how great it’s going to be. He’s going to leave me with both kids, and oh yeah I’m 3 months pregnant, and he’s going to give me everything!!! (Which amounts to a bunch of debt) And bonus*** he’s going to support me so that I can stay home with the kids and I won’t have to work.*** Life will be great! He goes on to say that life will be great, because I will meet someone someday that wants to go to baseball games, recitals, PTA meetings, etc…because he just doesn’t want to. Feel any of my anger now???

God has brought me to a place where I know my importance and worth. I am not the same person I was 6 months ago, 1 year ago, or even 5 years ago! My name is still Larissa, and I’m not planning on changing it, but God has transformed me into a person who has faced many fearful moments and has learned that when you rest in God there is no reason to fear. I simply can not allow the thought of what someone might do to me control me. I have allowed it to go on for seven months, and if I truly want to rid myself of any doubt and live in the complete trust of God, I have to jump in with both feet. I have tested the water many times, but stepped back, because I didn’t want to lose what he was giving me. However, I can’t live that way anymore, and I believe with all my heart that God has led me to this point. He is asking me, “do you trust me? Not just a little bit, but with all your heart. Your favorite scripture is Proverbs 3:5,6 so start living like it, and quit pretending.” So I am putting all my cards on the table, and I’m not going to be afraid anymore of the one who feeds me, because I've made the decision that he is not going to feed me anymore. No, I am not being stupid and thinking that I am just not going to not take anything from him. I have just decided that he is unreliable and too inconsistent for me to depend on anymore. He still has responsibilities, but I can't make him keep those. I’ve heard all the excuses a thousand times and I’m sick up to here with it all. I’m tired of hoping that he’ll come through, when it’s obvious that I’ve got my hope in the wrong thing!!!

Don’t get me wrong, I do feel fear. I don’t think you can get through life without feeling fear, but I don’t have to let it control me. If I allow the fear to paralyze me, then I will never be able to experience the true freedom that Christ wants me to have. This is a hurdle that I must jump right over, and I think that I might find it is actually just a pebble on the ground that requires a small step and nothing more. Right now it just looks huge. As Joyce Meyer says in this awesome book I am reading, The Confident Woman, “Feel the fear, and do it afraid.” So I’m doing it afraid knowing once again, that God is carrying me along.

I know I’ll always have a roof over my head and food on my table. And as I’ve said before he can do a lot to me, but he can’t take my faith, my love for my children, or my dignity. Everything else is negotiable. Now I do at times start to feel my dignity a little tested, but I still hold my head high. This is temporary and I’ve got too many good things working for it not to be temporary!

I was watching Finding Nemo the other day with Kyle. A particular statement that Nemo’s father made jumped out at me. “I did not come this far, to be eaten for breakfast.” Amen and hallelujah!!! I think that statement has just become my new motto, and I may just make a t-shirt with that one there. This situation WILL NOT get the best of me. I have come too far to just give up and give in, especially when I serve a God who wants to bless me and has no intentions of hurting me.

This morning I was standing in the bathroom putting on my makeup. I looked myself in the mirror and said, “ya know I’d rather be looking myself in the mirror knowing that God is guiding my every move and decision, than standing there wondering if he’s going to give me money this week.” That is an absolutely horrible way to live. Nobody should have that much control over you…nobody! So I find myself having to make some very bold decisions and moves that I am not comfortable with, but the more I do it the easier it becomes.

So I do ask for your prayers that I may face what I do not like feeling, and that my life may be a testament to the miracles that God does in our lives everyday. He has already shown me that in so many ways, and I know this is just something else that I have to get through. I will persevere and be blessed for it. AND I CAN’T WAIT TO TELL YOU ABOUT IT! I am just convinced that this is a trial in my life that God is working through me to show just how awesome He is! I am only strong, because of the strength that He gives me!

So I have bared it all, and I can’t tell you how much better I feel already. God never said it was going to be easy, but He did say it would be worth it. I will do what it is that I can do, and allow God to do what I can’t. And you know that’s all He wants. He just wants me to trust Him and rest completely in Him. So here I go………………

15 Comments:

Blogger Lisa said...

AAaaahhhhhhhhhh............

You have just gotten over-heated and jumped in a refreshing cool pool...........

Enjoy the water.

I love you.

4:18 PM  
Blogger Traci said...

I love you too, Larissa.

6:02 PM  
Blogger Penless Thoughts said...

You are quite a remarkable young woman Larissa. I am glad I am getting to know you. You will walk through this with your head high and you will help many other young woman in the future because you will relate to them and be able to help them. God is good and yes, all He ever wants is for us to trust Him and let Him.
Susan

8:00 PM  
Blogger Katherine said...

You are amazing-I am so thankful that God is working in so many amazing ways in your life, and I know He will continue to do so, and you will be able to continue to use your story and challenges as an amazing testimony for His glory.

I love you, too!! Thanks for being such an inspiration and for sharing yourself so freely with us. Blessings~

8:22 PM  
Blogger Lyndy said...

Oh sweet friend you have carried yourself so well through all of this. Thank you so much for sharing your heart with us. You have probably read on my blog, where I held everything in from my divorce for 4 years. That was the worst thing I could have done, because I still have panic attacks today because of that.

So many things you wrote really hit home with me. Your therapist is right and we can never truly get rid of those feeling of sadness that come over us, even years later. I can tell you though from my experience I am much stronger than I ever dreamed possible and I am sure you are finding that out too.

Unless someone has gone though a painful divorce they can’t really understand what it is like. For me, I didn’t want a divorce but I had no choice. I have had friends that get divorced and never seem fazed by it but that is not how it was for me.

I simply don’t know how people would make it through without God in going through something like this. One thing is for sure, we are proof that you can’t die from a broken heart, though at times it sure feels like it.

I have no doubt that God has great things in store for you and I can’t wait for you to share them.

Love you,

Lyndy

11:09 PM  
Blogger April Carrasco said...

Oh Larissa, thanks so much for sharing and I really believe sharing will help you heal. You remain in my constant prayers and I cannot wait to see what God has in store for you and all three of your kids. Only through Him can you find true peace.

11:39 PM  
Blogger Robby and Lynsey said...

Larissa, your life already is a beautiful expression of the miracles God is able to do. Prayers and blessings as you continue to navigate your way through these trials. Thank you for for allowing us to see God's movement in your life.

12:33 AM  
Blogger Barbie said...

I can so relate to sooooooooo much you said...oh my gosh it was like reading my life! I do want to encourage you that God will so bless your trust. As you know I moved to OK and away from my entire family when we separated. It was so hard and I was still compromising some things because I was worried he would stop paying child support and nothing was court ordered...a godly friend looked at me one day and said "who is your provider? God or Billy?...you need to chose who you are going to trust" and let me tell you I had to make a BOLD move that did result in me losing child support but God blessed me over and beyond anything I could ever imagine. I got through and now my support is court ordered but I still remember the day I had to decide and how scared I was but how free I felt because it was something he still had control over and held over my head...once he lost that control it felt great! This has not been an easy journey but I am getting ready to hit my year mark and I can say I made it! My kids have had a roof over their head and food in their belly and God has taken care of us in ways I can't even explain. I wouldn't trade my relationship with God for anything because I have learned what it truly means to put my faith in God and be able to do things in His strength...plus my kids have seen God's hand in our lives in ways they will never forget. You can do this because you have the same Father I do:-)

1:25 AM  
Blogger jen at Conversations said...

Wow! I bet you do feel better. What tact and grace you have. I have more of a response...but I'm working on forming it into words. Bear with me.

9:26 AM  
Anonymous Jennifer said...

My sweet friend, thank you for sharing your heart. I know that took a lot of courage to post and I am glad you did. You are amazing.

3:49 PM  
Anonymous Chrissy said...

God has provided for you and will continue to provide. Keep on sharing , you are such an inspiration to me.

4:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow- my brother has been going through this same thing which is what has drawn me to your blog- and I have to say how amazing it is to hear of a faith like that- may God bless you through this and His plans unfold to an amazing life through HIM....

8:26 PM  
Blogger Cindy said...

Hi Larissa. This is my first time to your blog (came via Jen) and I am blown away. You will be on my mind and in my prayers today. Clearly God is bringing beauty from ashes. Can't wait to read more.

8:49 AM  
Blogger A D said...

God is sooo Good!
I am so glad you have trust in the Lord. He will never leave you or forsake you. He is our provider!
I love you and pray for you everyday.
I have been divorced as well and so know the feelings of abandonment and insecurity, I however did not have children. It was a hard time and very painful. I look back now with just sadness of what could have been, but like you my life is so much better now. It took 7 years but I have a husband that is EVERYTHING I prayed for - and that is not an exageration (we will have been married 8 yrs in August! And I now have 2 beautiful children and a relationship with God that keeps me completely satisfied.
Keep standing!!

2:16 PM  
Blogger Sarah said...

You are a blessing to many.... this post has touched me... I have been down a similar road. Praying for Gods continued blessings in your and your children's lives.

8:28 PM  

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