Jun 30, 2017

April 17, 2012 My Personal Journal Entry: My very own Book of Job Story

          Dear Father, weeks have passed since my last entry. Until today, I simply couldn’t bring myself to admit how I had failed. Today, I am ready to turn to You with a sincere repentant heart and ask for Your forgiveness.
It really didn’t take long before the sadness and rejection I had been feeling to turn to bitterness.  Courage to wait on You had failed as I felt pressure to act according to my feelings. Looking back now, I can see the warning signs. For over a week, certain Scriptures leapt off the page and waved in my face like a caution flag. “Learn From your Past.” (Psalm 78).  “Do not compass the same path going round and round again, but go northward with hard fighting and great victory.” (Deuteronomy 2). Oh, how I wish I had listened! Instead, my bitter heart made me easy prey for the evil one.
It started innocent enough. I'd file our joint income tax return so that my husband didn’t have one more responsibility on his plate.  Now, for the first time in years, I had access to my husband's pay stubs and was able to see the extent of our financial resources.  It only took one moment in time to completely change my perception of my entire financial situation.
Suddenly and without warning, I was fueled by greed and pride and allowed my temper to get the best of me. Rather than stop for a moment and submit the situation to You, I allowed myself to get caught up in a whirlwind of emotions. I decided to confront my husband about the amount of money he had made and the small amount he was sharing with Travis and me while he was away. One day, while my husband was still at work, I called him on the phone and unleashed a year’s worth of loneliness, frustration, and heartbreak.  I had said too much.  After several minutes of silence on his end, I demanded a response. That’s when, in a defeated tone, my husband simply replied, "Honey, I just don't want to be married anymore."  And just like that, the dreaded word, “divorce” had surfaced again.
Right away I felt ashamed!  Our family was already divided by space and miles. Now, I was allowing Satan to use my heart to divide us further still.
Like any good Father would, You immediately intervened. You sent our youngest son Travis to guide me back to on track. With his Bible and baby blanket in hand, Travis approached me the next morning and simply announced, "Mommy, I am going to read to you from the Bible." I couldn’t say no. We sat side by side on the couch in our jammies. I sipped my coffee while You tugged on my heart through the sound of his sweet little voice. Travis had opened his Bible to the book of Job. After he finished reading Your Word to me, I arrogantly summarized what I knew about the lessons regarding the book of Job. In hindsight, I can see how I had sat before You as though I was Your child. Yet, my hands had covered both ears. In my anger, I pridefully began to believe the lie that divorce would be an easier path to take.
Even so, only a few days had passed before Your providence shined through our circumstances a second time. Suddenly, and seemingly out of nowhere, LeeRoy physically returned to our hometown. His upcoming job assignment had been inexplicably pushed back. As a result, he was told to work from home for a week or two. When he pulled our trailer up to the apartment and knocked on the door, I welcomed him in. But before nightfall, I foolishly suggested that he take residence at a local RV park for the duration of his stay.
Unbelievably, and with unswerving patience, You then sent a brother in Christ to assist me. A good friend of mine was experiencing a terrible heartache of her own. So, I drove to the local CVS to purchase a journal for her. As I exited the store, I noticed that the woman at the register had not charged me for my entire purchase.  So, I reentered the store and returned to the register. That's when I noticed a local Pastor standing in line. As we exchanged pleasantries, he asked, "How is it going, Sis?" I didn't want to burden him with my heavy heart. Therefore, I politely nodded, shrugged my shoulders and responded "Okay." Yet, for unknown some reason to me at the time, the Pastor probed further. "Really Sis?" He asked as he leaned into me. I tearfully began to share the struggles I was facing in my marriage and how I was desperately trying to understand Your will. The Pastor asked if he could call my husband and pray with him directly. So, I gave the Pastor my husband's number. After I left the store, I quickly called my husband to share with him what had happened. My irritated husband replied, "I know, the Pastor has already called me."
        Later on, my husband called home a second time. This time, his tone was softer. "Honey, I am going to have dinner with the Pastor." He said. They went to dinner. On his way back to the RV park, my husband called me yet again. He said, "I just want to thank you. That was so great." The next day, I watched as my husband fasted for the first time and read his Bible without my usual nagging. LeeRoy was finding his way back to Your side! So, why was I still dwelling on those hurtful words? “I just don’t want to be married anymore.” Was I trying to rely on my emotions to decide whether or not to remain married? I kept my husband at arm’s length.
        Amazingly, You continued to mediate. In Your glorious timing and plan, our eldest son unexpectedly showed up on my doorstep. “I need a place to stay for a while.” He humbly said. Our eldest son had not wanted anything to do with me for over a year. Now he needed to return home. Thoughts raced through my mind.  By now, Satan had convinced me that freedom from my marital problems could only be found in doing what I wanted. I was convinced that I needed to take back control. “LeeRoy hasn’t said that he wants to remain married. Certainly, I’ll need a job to support our two boys and myself after my husband divorces me.” I thought.
Then, in a moment of solitude, late one night, I hastily sat at my home computer and searched for a job opening through a Christian employment website. Unbelievably, there was an opening in the field of social work. I immediately applied for the position over the computer. Less than two hours later, I received a response along with an invitation to interview for the position. While, I instantly began to feel as though I was doing something horribly wrong and my heart screamed, "Don't do this,” still, I allowed my heart to pursue its own gain.  
The next morning, the sweet doves that normally sat outside my apartment just flew away. All that remained was a small bird I didn't recognize. I started to ask others, "What type of bird to you think that is,” as I pointed to the humble little creature. Each person simply replied, "I think it's a sparrow.” Retrospectively, I can see how You were trying to assure me that You would take care of me if I just trusted You. Unfortunately, I continued on the same path and met with the Executive Director. He offered me the position. That day, as I left the building, I noticed that my new employer's office was only a few doors away from the unemployment hearing office where I had gone earlier this year to deny the State's offer to receive unemployment benefits. I started to feel nauseous but chalked up the feeling to new job nerves.
As my first day of employment crept up, I began to feel a sense of despair. I became very tired. At one point, I reached out to my Pastor's wife for prayer and emotional support. But it wasn’t until Easter Sunday, that I finally I bowed down and prayed. "Please Lord; help clean up this mess I’ve created!" Finally, by this time, the blinders came off and I knew that I had been fooled.
The following day, was my first day at my new job. In my stomach, I felt queasy.  But finally, I was ready to get back to the narrow path. Filled with the courage to fight against Satan’s schemes, I headed off to my first day of work. I was returning knowing exactly what I needed to do. After work, I came home to a surprise. Amazingly, my family, including my husband, was waiting to embrace me. I immediately shared my feelings with my husband. It was as though You had already prepared LeeRoy’s heart. My husband responded by saying, "Honey, I am sorry. I don't want to get a divorce. And, you can quit your job if you want." All at once, peace had returned: in my heart, in our home and with You. Then, with my husband's permission, the following day I submitted notice to my new employer. 
God Almighty, with all that has come to pass, and with all my heart, I bow down to You. I can see now that the human heart, when full of raw emotions, can be an easy target for the great deceiver. And so I pray, "Deliver me Father from every evil and grant me peace today. In your mercy, keep me from sin and protect me from all anxiety as I wait in joyful hope for the coming of my Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.” 
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