Sunday, October 7, 2007

Ashes for Beauty

Then Job took a piece of broken pottery and scraped himself with it as he sat among the ashes. --Job 2:8

I get it. I’ve felt the ashes in my heart for some time. Not a comfortable feeling for a guy who is generally optimistic, always seeing possibilities.

There are the ashes of my marriage. There are the ashes sitting on my desk scraped from the remains of the church my son burned down. There are the ashes of my hopes as a father from when my first child drifted off from a sleep into eternity. And there are fresher ashes of the fatherly dream of hopes of what my next two children could be taught, could be nurtured to be.

It is hard to believe one is beautiful when covered with ashes.

I want that to change.

“Trade these ashes in for beauty and wear forgiveness like a crown
Coming to kiss the feet of mercy, I lay every burden down
At the foot of the cross”
“At the Foot of Cross”, Kathryn Scott

I want to trade these ashes for beauty. Especially the ashes of the relationship with the woman I love.

I am willing to let her go.

Wednesday I am going to say what I need to say. I think it has been good to let it sit for a week, even though the pendulum of her moods is hard to take. She has been giving a lot of thought to life. Our life and a life of us apart. It is good for her to work through this and perhaps come closer to making a decision without demands from me.

But time is up.

So, to the point of this little bit of writing.

What I will say on Wednesday:

Dear Brenda:

I love you. Without conditions, I love you.

I have hurt you. You have hurt me. That will not continue. Either we will rebuild our marriage and find ways to love, to cherish, to honor, or we won’t be married.

Though I love you unconditionally, my love is not based on what I expect from you, or get from you, or think about how our life can be good, wonderful, exciting, fulfilling. I love you because I see within you a soul connected to mine. I simply love you.

However, a marriage does have conditions. It is between two people It is a partnership, working together. I promise to work on my share of that partnership if you choose to remain married to me.


Stay or go. No more of the limbo, the shadow world of maybes and mightbes.


If you choose to go there are conditions for that as well.

You can have half of all we have, but you cannot take either child.

You have thought about taking Jeremiah with you. I will not permit that. It isn’t good for him. Not only would he see his parents' marriage dissolve, he would suffer other losses as well.

He will lose what I can offer him as father. My nightly talks and prayers with him. My emotional support as he is confused about day to day events. My daily demonstrations of love.

He will lose his home. The place where he feels secure, safe, where there are routines he understands and relies upon.

He will lose his brother. His best friend. The sibling that means so much to him, who watches over him and cares for him.

He will lose the routines of the traditions of our home, daily, weekly annual traditions which gives him the sense of security he craves.

Without all these things he will act out. He will sadden. He will listen to the voices in him that whisper about the dark things.

If you choose to leave you cannot have Jeremiah.

That is it. If you leave you can take half of our things, but nothing else from our home.

If you choose to stay...

If you choose to stay there are conditions as well.

You cannot have this other man in your life. You will have to sever all contact with him.

I want a marraige. I want to be a partner in this endeavor. As partners is the only way it will work.

For that to work, you will have to be commmited to this marraige. Perhaps that will be a difficult cross for you to bear. I can understand how it may be hard for you. Perhaps it will be easier some day. But you must commit to being true, holding true. If you ever feel your heart waiver you must not compromise our marriage. If either of us ever waivers in any aspect of our marriage, the solution cannot be to seek another. The solution must be to work within the marriage, through frank, honest, kind conversations, through counseling, through whatever it takes. This must hold firm. I am placing this condition on our marriage: there is no further infidelity for as long as we are legal man and wife.

You may have to quit that job, though it may put a burden on others, if our marriage is worth working on, all ties to this other man will have to be the sacrifice you must make.

But if you choose to stay, then I will offer all of who I am to love, to cherish, to nurture you.

I will not hurt you by holding any of the hard things we have gone through. Instead I will give you all that I can to make you happy, to feel loved and cared for.

I know I have short comings, and I will do what I can to grow in ways that will be good for you as well as for me. Indeed, I will make those changes in myself with or without you. For I want to please God with what He has given me, and that means being the best man I can be, working through my flaws and shortcomings.

If you choose to stay I will keep my work hours closer to 40 than 60. I will contribute all I can to our home that to give you the freedom to laugh and enjoy our home.

You will need to work on the hurts that have marred your spirit as well. You need to deal with all the hurts that have damaged you. Even if you leave I strongly encourage you to deal with those hurts, for if you do not the pain they cause you will damage any relationships you may have. You need to heal.

That is it. I do not want you to make a snap judgment about this. I want you to consider this decision carefully.

But this is not a decision that can wait too long.

Within one week you will need to come down off the fence which divides these two futures.

You need to choose.

I love you with all of my heart. I want good things for you.

It is now your choice.

Choose to be my partner in this life.

Or move on.

I want to change these ashes for beauty.


ame said...

Oh, Will! How beautiful! THIS is marriage AFTER "happily ever after." THIS is the real thing ... lived out. And it is beautiful. You are wise, kind, caring, thoughtful, loving. You have stated who you are and who you are not. You are willing to stand in the storms of your life ... your life as it is ... not as you wish it would be. You are a man of character and integrity. You are a man after God's own heart. Whether she stays or she goes, you are this man, and God will honor you for honoring Him in your life.

Judas Hate said...

I'm going to have to get here before Ame from now on:-)

Well said and well said.

I'll be holding my breath for you on Wednesday.


wilsonian said...

I am praying that you know, regardless of what happens Wednesday or the week following, that you are beautiful.


Jada's Gigi said...

The Lord will have His have given Him that option....I'll be holding you before Him tomorrow.

Chris Krycho said...

I admire you, Will, for the stand you are taking here, even as my heart breaks for you. I continue to hold you up before God; I can do no other. I pray Wednesday goes well, that you have strength and clarity. I pray that she chooses wisely and rightly. I pray that God's perfect peace be with you no matter what.

As I may have said before, I would write God be with you save that I know He is. So I pray you can rest in that knowledge.

curious servant said...

In talking to Brenda this evening I saw the opportunity she sees in the current situation.

She was feeling depressed over the responsibilities of this home, of being a wife and mother.

We were talking about how long it would take to get the boys independant. She said something to the effect that she would finish this job of raising them before leaving.

That is between six months and three years.

All without a cmmitment to our marriage.

I am more resolved than ever to force a change here.

She must choose.

If she wants to stay and work things out, fine. But if she does not make the commitment, then I will force the issue.

Even if it means that I am the one who files for divirce.

I will not permit her to live here under the pretense of working through her penance, all while she secretly keeps her love for another man alive.

I think she will be surprised at my ultimatum. But I simply cannot live a sham marriage.

If it is over, then it is over.

It is her choice. If she refuses to choose, then I wiil take that as a refusal to be married.

I will get a lawyer.

I will remove my wedding ring.

I will move on.

Lord have mercy. Christ have mercy.

Anonymous said...

I totally respect your comments. Will pray.

ame said...

I understand.

My counselor told me, in the end, that changing my behavior would cause him to either change or leave. My counselor was right. I drastically changed my behavior. He chose to leave.

I literally went dead to him. I did not acknowledge his presence, did not cook for him, talk to him, look at him, or do anything for or with or to him. I did not permit him to see me unclothed or to ever be in the bathroom with me. And instead of choosing to change to win back my affection, he chose to leave. It doesn't always happen like this ... there are other stories. But this is mine. He didn't want to be there, to be with me. He chose. It sucked. It was hell. But, I am now free from his abuse and manipulation. And, really, it's now simply a part of who I am rather than all-consuming. The girls and I have our routines ... the girls have their routines with him. My Youngest said it best over the summer, "It's better now because I don't think about it all the time." And that's what it is. I don't think about it all the time. I've grieved through it; my girls have grieved through it. And it's where it is ... in the past ... on the timeline of our lives where it belongs. It's not that it's ever gone ... it's always gonna be a part of who we are. And there will continue to be little deaths for probably forever ... when the girls reach different milestones ... when they marry, when they have children. But it's not all-consuming, and it's not who I am anymore.

Whatever her choice ... to stay or go ... these days will eventually become a part of who you are and not all of who you are. They will become a part of the timeline of your past. You will move on. Your children will move on. Life, will move on.

Amrita said...

You are right in wanting Brenda to be commited. Without that marriage is a sham and will make things worse for everyone. The Bible also talks about being faithful. Adultery is not to be tolerated.
Isa 50;7 "Because the Soverign Lord helps me. I will not be disgraced. Therefore i have set my face like flint,and I know I will not be put to shame"
Claim the Word for yourself.

glassgirl said...


I am praying as well. I believe God is proud of your unconditional love of Brenda, the boys, and most importantly, Him. I believe beauty, one way or another is around the corner.

Aphra said...

I will be praying for you especially tomorrow.

On a lighter note, I thought of you and the things in your house that broke down in this post

Anonymous said...

Wow, To God be the Glory.....

curious servant said...

Brenda is gone right now, and I'm thinking about tomorrow.

What will 24 hours bring?

A new beginning?

Anonymous said...

And Will, you have all of us praying. You are definitely rich in friends who care for both of you.

ukok said...

Well, I image that today is the day when things will be said, ultimatums given. Please know that you are in my prayers, as ever.

curious servant said...

Thank you, all of you for your prayers.

Today is a day that will change my life, in one direction or another.

But, it is a day that the Lord has made and I will trust Him.

I have been in prayer quite a bit this morning.


Heavenly Father, precious Shepherd Lord Jesus, comforting Holy spirit, I beg for Your guidance, Your presence, Your strength. I pray for a miracle.

Bring peace to Brenda today. Heal her heart, Lord. Heal her spirit. Scoop out all the crud that has huirt her for so long that she may draw close to You. Bring tenderness to her, and peace toher.

Provide her with wisdom and strength and serentity.

Help me todaay to comninue to be a good teaccher and to work well with those in my charge that I may guide them as their teacher.

Help my children Lord. Free them from the echoes of the hell they went through in Haiti and free them from whatever may cling to them from that awful place. Bless my children.

Bless the counselor we are seeing today Lord that he may be filled with discernment and help us to navigate these treacherous waters.

I lift up this entire situation top You, Lord. We are Your children. I am Your servant. Take us, Lord. I dedicate this day to You fully.

With all of mmy heart, spirit, mind, and body, I place my worries, my anxiety, my fears and even my love into You large and loving hands.

In the name of Jesus Christ, son of David, son of Man, shepherd, carpenter and living sacrifice, I claim my inheritance from you and ask you grant these deeply heartfelt requests of this prayer to You.




3:00 p.m.

Lord Have mercy, Christ have mercy.

Amrita said...

Oh Jesus guide and strengthen Will on this crucial day. Touch Brenda 's heart and soul Holy Spirit and speak your word in her her heart towards You and Will.
Lord surround these precious people with your presence.

wilsonian said...

It is Wednesday...

mmm said...