Before I left for my next assignment to Israel, God did something radical in answer to my cries. My cry was, “Father, show me if there is anything in me holding back Mike and me in our relationship.” While Oaks of Righteousness uncovered a pile of stuff, there was another major piece God held in reserve.
I believe He held it for a reason. He knew I first needed to embrace the fact that God loved me. It was hard enough to go to confess my sin to Mike, but to not believe, without a doubt, God loved me, would have made it impossible. I wasn’t sure how Mike was going to receive my confession. I needed to know I could turn to Abba for comfort and help.
In April, I continued to read Proverbs daily. I practiced using the tools Oaks provided. They helped pinpoint and eradicate root causes for my negative responses to life. One day in that process, Abba lifted a veil. Behind it was a mountain of evidence to support Mike’s claim that I had been rejecting him for years.
In documentary camera-roll style, picture after picture of rejection played before my eyes. The times Mike had reached out to touch me, and I’d pulled away. The times he came up behind me to embrace me, and I pushed him away. The times he wanted me to go with him somewhere or watch television with him, and I told him no. I never played the ‘I’ve got a headache card,’ but going through the motions when your heart isn’t in it, is as damaging. Mike saw it all as rejection. While I had reasonable excuses for my behavior, I never saw the root God uncovered.
Psalm 139:23-24 says, “Search me, O God, and know my heart; Try me and know my anxieties, And see if there is any wicked way in me, And lead me in the way everlasting.”
As the pictures flooded my soul, I cried out with this same plea. God answered and turned on a huge search light. What I saw was devastating. My heart wrenched in pain. I realized, without my conscious awareness, I’d made a silent vow that was molding my behavior.
For years, my walk with the Lord upset Mike. Because of his unhappiness, I didn’t feel free to talk about Jesus or the Holy Spirit much to him. I would not discuss what God was teaching me. He didn’t like Christian T.V. so, I tried to only watch it when he wasn’t around. Mike didn’t like Christian music. He called me a ‘Jesus freak’ to the kids. If I got up and left him to himself watching some sitcom full of sexual innuendo, there were always comments. I tried explaining my reasons, but to him, I was a prude. His choices were his to make, but I couldn’t be a part.
My morning commitment of prayer and time with the Lord often riled him. He wanted to be able to turn over in bed and find me there waiting for him. When I left the church we both grew up in, and he refused to go with me to the place I believed God led me. He had his reasons, but I felt they were unfounded. To me, his actions registered as rejection.
(FYI – From experience I can say, we often only see our side of any argument and rarely see the whole picture. It takes a Holy Spirit searchlight to see all sides.)
That day in God’s searchlight, I was the vow I’d made. “If you won’t accept who I am and let me share with you the deepest part of my heart, I will not be available to meet your need.” After months of little to no intimacy in our marriage, the major roadblock God was showing me, was one of my making.
For three days, I wrestled with how I was going to tell Mike. I knew God wanted me to take ownership for my part, confess it to him, and ask for his forgiveness. After all I’d learned at Oaks, this new revelation almost pulled me back to feeling unforgivable. The volume of evidence was heartbreaking.
I played and replayed in my mind how I would tell him. None of it measured up. I cried out to God for help. Only He knew what I needed to say, when I needed to say it and how.
On that third day, we were sitting on the floor in front of the couch watching television. I can’t remember the conversation or what preceded my confession. But I turned to Mike and said, “God showed me something this week, and I need to ask your forgiveness. For years, you’ve been telling me that I’ve rejected you, but I’ve never been able to see how it could be true. I’ve done all I know to do to show you love, or least I thought it was love. But God showed me this week how many times I have rejected you.” By now my words were coming out between dry sobs. “Mike, please forgive me. I didn’t know what I was doing.” Tears streamed down my face unabated.
Without a pause, my husband, whom I’d silently accused of rejection, pulled me into his arms and held me tight. “I knew you didn’t see it. I knew,” he said.
By now we were both crying. There we sat, wrapped up in forgiveness. Two broken lives after years of pain, finally seeing the truth.
I’d love to say, “And they lived happily ever after,” but I’d be lying. There were still some peaks and valleys ahead. But that day, on the floor in the living-room was a definite turn in the tide.
~~ How About You? ~~
Later, I came across this scripture in Psalm 19. To me, it reveals the blind spots we all have. Things in our lives and personalities that we are unaware of unless God turns on His spotlight.
Here are three different translations:
Who can understand his errors? Cleanse me from secret faults. 13 Keep back Your servant also from presumptuous sins; Let them not have dominion over me. Then I shall be blameless, And I shall be innocent of great transgression. Psalm 19:12-13 NKJV
But how can I ever know what sins are lurking in my heart? Cleanse me from these hidden faults. And keep me from deliberate wrongs; help me to stop doing them. Only then can I be free of guilt and innocent of some great crime. Psalm 19:12-13 Living Bible
Who can discern his lapses and errors? Clear me from hidden [and unconscious] faults. Keep back Your servant also from presumptuous sins; let them not have dominion over me! Then shall I be blameless, and I shall be innocent and clear of great transgression. Psalm 19:12-13 Amplified Bible
God tells us over and over to ask Him for help and assures us that He is our ever-present help for any need. Sometimes that help comes in the form of a search light.
Are you stuck in a relationship? It may be with your spouse, or friend, or a colleague. I encourage you to ask God for help. Ask and keep asking until He shows you. He will, I guarantee it. It may be painful, but it will also heal, if you apply the prescription He gives. Each of us has blind spots. You are not alone. And Holy Spirit is the only One who can show you what they are. God bless you.
Make this your prayer–
Father, I don’t know where my blind spots are, but You do. Please show me and lead me to repentance. Enable me by Your grace to change my thinking and doing to align with Your will. Set me free and help me be a blessing to all those around me. May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in Your sight.
Thank You, Father. In the name of Jesus, my Redeemer, and Restorer of the Breach. Amen.