Thursday, July 21, 2011

The past 6 months...

Hello Everyone - Today, I am sharing a bit of what has been happening in my life....

Today marks the end of a short era for Adam and I. Last year, Adam was approached for a few new jobs and after carefully weighing the pros and cons - praying about it for a few months and talking about it - he took a new job in April. After 13 years of working at the other company, in March, Adam went into a few months of shutting down like I have never seen before He stopped communicating about what is was going on in his head. He stopped being as helpful around the house. He would often come home and sit in silence.  This put our marriage to a test. 

I was used to Adam being quiet but not completely shutting me out and honestly, I was used to his help around the house and he had stopped that for a time. I found myself getting bitter and angry because I felt like he was shutting me out and I felt like I had certain "rights" to his help around the house, running errands, help with the kids, etc.. At first, I found myself meditating on everything that made me angry about what he WAS NOT doing. Adam is NOT prone to depression. He is quiet,thoughtful, a very hard worker, diligent in all that he does and really thinks things through. Quite honestly,  I was used to a certain way of life with Adam doting on me and felt justified in my anger and feelings of resentment and MY RIGHT to have him communicate with me and help me around the house...and you know...continue to spoil me the way that he does. I also with drew from Adam. In my head, I figured, well if he is going to with draw from me, I felt justified in the thought process that I could with draw from him...

The new job offered us more money but we had a new schedule, longer hours, and at times longer travel. Most of all, I felt I lost my husband some how... He was still HERE physically, but I felt like he checked out.

After a month or so of working there, Adam was NOT happy but could not figure out why. I felt like GOD has led us to this new job, so that Adam should really stick it out. At his "old" job, Adam loved his work but thought he did not like the way things were run and the amount of travel. This new company looked like it would offer him everything he was looking for. In my head, I was feeling like it is different and that was why Adam didn't like it...

In May, I had a quiet time and thought to myself, what if this was the way it is going to be from now on? I can sit here and be bitter and angry or I can suck it up and make the best of it. I chose to make the best of it. I started to pray for Adam in ways I hadn't before. I also prayed that the LORD would help to change me, so I could fully minister to Adam. I wanted Adam to be able to come home and to be able to fully relax without the worries of life, work, etc. While the house was not always perfect or clean, I tried to do things that I knew he would appreciate but would not put into words. I tried to have dinner on the table within a few minutes of him coming home, I would try to make him lunch every day (he worked a few miles from home). I would offer to go on walks with him and just listen as he spoke. I honestly feel that just listening to him and praying for him was what he needed. He didn't need me to TELL him what I thought, nag him about what he was not doing around the house or demand what I felt were my rights in our relationship. He just needed me to be by his side and to listen to him.

Mind you, many days we walked, I would think in my head... Do I have to listen to the SAME THING every day???? He did start talking but several times a day it was the same thing... Do I stay at this new job? I can't figure out what I don't like, etc. I am so bored at work.... I honestly had to correct myself in my thought process and just LISTEN... I am a problem solver - so having a problem does not come easy for me. In my head, I was thinking do I have to listen to the same thing every day? And then one day, the LORD revealed to me..."Chris, for years, he has come home every day and listens to you complain about the same thing, talk about the same thing. He goes to work every day and never complains. He gets up every day on time and goes to work. This is a faithful man, minister to him and treat him like he has treated you all of these years. Quit your complaining, stop your selfish thoughts and get over yourself. 

Instead focus on Philippians 4:8 -11 Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things. The things you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you....

I often had to repeat this to myself and asked a good friend to remind me of it if I complained about something....I made small posters with this Scripture and posted them in the bathroom, in my purse and on my wall.

I also started telling myself , "Do all things without complaining" and Hebrews 12:11, No discipline is pleasant at the time, but painful, however it produces the peaceable fruits of righteousness by those who are trained by it." I didn't think we were being disciplined as much as I needed to be disciplined in my thought life and what I was focusing on... So  I focused on the things I was thankful for in Adam and worked at treating him the way As I listened to Adam while we walked , he started opening up more and talking more...he realized he really didn't care for the work he was currently doing but he loved what he did at his old job. Over a few weeks, my husband came back emotionally too! :) I just needed to close my mouth, PRAY and focus on his needs for a period of time rather than mine.

Anyways - in early June, after some encouragement, Adam decided to contact his old place of employment and see if he could have his job back. In my head, I was thinking they would jump right on it, (he had several past employees contact him prior and let him know that they missed him) but the LORD had other plans.

 In that 7 weeks, the LORD revealed to Adam and I how much we appreciate each other, how GOD will provide for us and prepare our hearts in His time for the character building opportunities He sets before us. I learned personally, that I need to listen more and talk less to my husband. Adam learned that he loved what he was doing, the constant change and versatility his old job offered him and while everything may not be perfect there, it wasn't THAT bad. The LORD showed me that I need to be available to just BE with him and not to talk at him. This is funny because Adam is like a steady stream and I am more of a babbling brook! 

In early July, the "old" work place contacted Adam after he went through the interview process again and re-hired him. Adam gave his two weeks notice and today is his last day. We are both so thankful, but I know Adam is more so...The new place operates things differently and they have to spend a lot of time looking busy!!! There have been HOURS of each day, where he has to look busy which is SO painful for Adam. 

So that is my journey the past several months. It is hard not to focus on the negative things - but I know when you keep your focus on what is true, noble, pure and praise worthy the LORD does truly work it out for good.

As I wrap up todays' post, I leave you with a challenge from Ephesians 4:31-32 Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.

Your relationships may not be what you want them to be today, but with perseverance, forgiveness , the right attitude, hard work and doing what needs to be done, things will change.

Thanks for taking the time to read the testimony of the Lord's goodness in our life. Have a blessed day!

Chrissy D
PS . I want you all to know my heart...I do not share this to promote myself or the fact that " I have arrived" in any way but rather to share God's glory and answers to prayer. I am just a mere piece of clay in the Potter's hands!


Jennifer Scull said...

thank you so much for sharing. I know it wasn't easy to put it all out there like that, but I do appreciate it.
God is so very very good! the Bible verses are so inspiring. :)

sending hugs your way!

THERESA said...

Thank you so much for opening up to us, you allowed yourself to be used by GOD for purposes broader than you realize, may you be Blessed in being the putty!!!
I so needed to read this, Praise be unto HIm that always provides, even in ways we do not expect!!
All the best and lotsa luv

Beth Norman said...

I am so sorry to hear the hardship on you and your family, and am happy to hear things are getting on the right track.

Me being bipolar, I have withdrawn for over a year and DH admitted he was thinking of leaving me, so more than ever I have to pray and learn to engage (just like a child learning) again.

Blessings to you and your family.



Carol said...

Chris, the way you were feeling is how I feel most of the time. I know that I have NO RIGHTS to anything, but still feel that I should. I long for my special someone to love me like Christ loved the church, to be my friend again and put my needs first. After all, I do that for him on most days so don't I deserve some respect? I pray God would change my heart also. btw, are you talking to Deb L? She tells me these things in bible study! Sisters in Christ, Carol

Karen McAlpine said...

Thanks for sharing.

Niki said...

Thanks for sharing. Complaining is a particularly bad habit of mine, not easy to break. I'll keep the verses you've shared close to my heart and look to God's word for help and inspiration.

stamps&cars said...

It is always good to know that there are other people who are working through some of the same issues as you are (not exactly the same but similar). Thanks for sharing from the heart. It makes me realize that there are times when I should just shut-up. I too am a problem solver and it is awfully hard to not share your opinions when all is really needed is just an ear to hear. I thank God for his revelation to you and your sharing with us!

Cleota said...

Chrissy, I feel like you post spoke directly to me. I accept your challenge and am so thankful to the Lord for sending me to your blog today!

Maria Matter said...

Wow, what an awesome testimony Chris, this really spoke to me in so many ways...thank you for sharing a part of your life with us!
Eph 4:32 is our family's motto, such great instruction!
I personally am working on the verse that says, "be still and know I am God"....I often wonder why I do most of the talking when He has all the answers! :)
Praying peace, joy & much love over you & your precious family!

joy said...

Chris, how encouraging your words are to me!! I appreciate your clarity, honesty and struggle. The world needs more women like you praying for their husbands. Thank you for sharing in order to help others.

Traci S. said...

Dearest Chris,

Thank you for sharing from your heart. Isn't it amazing how God will show us what is needed? We must simply (but not necessarily easily) follow His instructions.

One of the wonderful things I saw when reading is that you turned to the answers God provides in His Word. There are so many people that wouldn't have even thought to look there. Isn't it great to know Him personally?

I am also trying to focus on the things that are pure and honest and lovely... When I do that, it really keeps me focused on the positive...and not on the things of the world that are bothering me and interfering in my time with Him and with the people in my life. You are a great example of a Christian to know to look toward Him in all times.

I am home all of the time, unless I am at the doctors, pretty much. So, when Dave comes home, I do not stop talking...I have been almost silent all day. This exhausts him, and doesn't give him a chance to share about what is on his heart. It is the one area of contention between us...I feel I even need to get my word in so much--that I interrupt him...that makes things so much worse. So, I too am practicing to listen, not solve the problem...when I was listening, I learned that sometimes it can dis-empower him, when I jump to problem solving right away.

Thank you for speaking so boldly and honestly. I pray for you and your family. That you and your husband will continue to grow as one...and that your children will learn great communication skills from watching both of you. And, that they will learn how incredible and loving a marriage can be at their young ages!

You are a great Mom, Wife and Teacher!

He IS Able!
Traci S.