It was 2007 and I had just recuperated from a painful miscarriage. After almost five years of marriage, I was ready to become a mother. My arms were empty and my heart was aching. I spent months planning and preparing my body to be able to carry a child to full term. My eye was on the goal and I was not about to be distracted. After many heartfelt talks Barry and I set a time frame to begin trying for a family again. Everything within me rejoiced at the thought of finally becoming a mom…there were no words to describe the excitement and peace I felt at the prospect.
I was cleaning the house when Barry walked into the living room. He looked somewhat downcast, but then again our season of life was proving to be more difficult than we could have ever imagined. I had become accustomed to this look of defeat…it was almost expected. He grabbed the bleach stained rag I was holding and placed it on the counter. In one motion he reached for my hand and led me to sit down. With determination in his voice, he asked if we could talk. I was a little taken aback, after all I was normally the one asking this question. But his eyes were wet with tears and I could feel the tension in the room escalate. I knew he was about to deliver a devastating message to my fragile heart.
I left the room in sobs and quickly dialed our pastor’s home phone number. It was an act of desperation, a moment in which I wanted to be heard. I knew once he talked to me, he would understand and recant his uninformed advice. After all…maybe he just misunderstood.
When he picked up the phone, my voice shook. I felt a tide of emotion rise up within me as I struggled to speak what was so heavy on my heart. I was left very fragile and bruised after the events surrounding the loss of our first child . I needed reassurance and understanding. I needed to know for myself why he told Barry that we should wait on starting a family. I had to know why he denied our request for health insurance. I just needed to understand why my husband who was so dead set on becoming a father came home questioning his ability to lead our home. I needed answers, and I wanted them to come straight from the source.
As I sat on the other end of the phone…I wept uncontrollably. Instead of hope, I received a rebuke. Instead of reassurance, I received correction. Instead of understanding, I received harsh words and responses that left me battling fear. I had no resolution, just an ever-increasing feeling of being trapped. I was told I was a Jezebel. I was told stories of wives who acted like me and how their husbands left them. I was informed that we were ungrateful and burdensome. I was told to repent.
Looking back I cannot justify the words that were spoken to me that night over the phone. Nor the times that followed. My heart was not perfect, but it was pure. My pastor was in a tough spot. He was trying so hard to lead a number of growing churches and staff members. He had numerous people pulling for his time and attention. It was easier to dump water on a spark than to try to extinguish gently. His words were not meant to sting or hurt and for that I cannot fault the man we served under for many years. However, I can say that I do not stand behind that method of correction and I am trying to learn from those moments… as hard as they were.
Some of you may have read an earlier post that I did on repentance titled More Than Forgiveness. In that entry I recalled one of the most heartfelt and endearing moments in my Christian walk. It was one in which I gently felt my Heavenly Father pointing out areas in my life that He wanted to work on. Areas in which I not only needed freedom, but I whole heartedly desired it. Even now, recalling that morning brings absolute joy to my heart. It was one of those life changing times…so tender and beautiful. It was correction at it’s finest and that is what I would like to focus on now.
God knows every area of our heart and He is more than capable of pointing things out in the right timing and in the right way. It’s exciting to think about God’s way of correction. It always brings hope and it’s always done in love. It may not be easy, but God is trustworthy. He is committed to forming us into His image and for that, I am very thankful!
I wish I could wrap this up. I really had no intention of dragging this out…but I feel I need to write a couple of more things before I can hang my hat on the subject. This is one of those vulnerable entries…one that makes me bite my nails after I post it! I can only pray that it is read with the same heart that it is written.
Next week, I really want to talk about what the Bible says about this topic and discuss ways in which we can lovingly bring correction if needed.
So, until then please feel free to leave your comments. I always value what others have to say on my entries.