Thursday, September 4, 2008

Doing The Right Thing

This situation is a little discouraging.

My marriage has failed.

It feels I have failed.

Perhaps I have.

Perhaps I didn't do the things which Brenda would find exciting. Perhaps I didn't fulfill her needs. Perhaps I made poor choices.

But I've done some things right.

A couple of posts ago
I wrote how I was going to step out in faith, tithe 10% of my check.

Tithing update: Today I got an anonymous card in the mail. In it were a $50 bill with a Post-it saying "for gas" and a gift card for a local grocer for $60.

It could be argued someone knows my situation and stepped in to help me in a tight spot. It could be argued
someone read my blog and stepped in specifically to help with this tithing challenge.

Whether or not that is the case, it does not change certain truths.

First, I trusted it would be OK, I felt something, heard some whisper, telling me to tithe, and I obeyed.

Second, it is going to be OK.

What of next month? Will I tithe again? I cannot depend, indeed I do not believe, that this will happen this way again. But that does not change the point in stepping out on faith.

It isn't about the rational, the logical. It's not about banking on the predictable. The point is, I don't know what will happen, but I believe that the God I know, the Creator of all things, the Lord of my heart, is able, and will, take care of an obedient servant.

Still doubt?

I can understand that.

My mom once told in a phone call how she had just returned from China.

"China!" I said. "How could you go to China? You haven't any
money!"

"Oh, that doesn't matter, Honey," she said. "I knew God wanted me to go, so I went."

"How? How did you go?"

"Well a group from our church was going, a sort of mission trip, and when they drove to the airport, I packed my luggage and rode along with them."

"Without a ticket?"

"I knew that if God wanted me to go He would get me there. So I went to San Francisco with the rest of them to the airport."

"San Francisco! That's 500 miles from where you live! You went to the San Francisco airport to go to China without a ticket?"

"I knew it would be all right."

"So how did you end up going?"

"Well, at the last moment someone else couldn't go, and they gave me their ticket."

"Wow.

"Wow... How much money did you have to take with you?"

"$10."

"What?!"

"I knew it would be OK. And it was. I had a wonderful time meeting people. I walked around the city, I found people who could speak English, they took me in, fed me. And I told them about Jesus, and they translated for the other people. It was really wonderful how God always provides."

And I worry about tithing.

That part of me that watches, the part I've written about that seems to be monitoring what I am feeling, which level of Erikson's stages of maturity I am operating under, which of Maslow's needs
I am trying to grasp, which stages of grief are moving my heart over my marriage. The watcher part of me sees a reason, deep inside my heart, to trust in God.

I know I have many weaknesses. I know that being weak is a part of being human.

And I get the other stuff as well. I know I'm sentimental. I know I'm the artsy type that reacts to colors, and shapes, and feels things deeply. I'm not as tough as the other men in my family.

But I know that it is OK. I know I am this way because God made me this way. I know that part of the reason my wife left me is because I am not the sort of man who parties the way she would like, who thinks about things that mean more to her and instead ponder my own interests (art, science, and especially, faith).

I know I am grieving the loss of my wife, made horrible in that she did not leave me in the due course of mortality, but due to the frailty of her own standards, morals, choices.

I know a little about the size of the universe and my minuscule role in it. And I know that despite my microscopic role in this fourth dimension, God knows who I am, what I need, loves me, and will take care of me and my family.

I believe I can rely on God.

I know I can rely on God.

9 comments:

ukok said...

Will, so glad that you were the recipient of peoples kindness in helping you financially. i too have experienced that sort of kindness this week.

I chose to make the 'sacrifice' of handing back £120 that was given to me, as certain 'insinuations' were made about my character and i wanted to make it clear that money has never been my motivation for anything, and that the insinuations had no foundation whatsoever.

It hurt our family finances terribly. But i went to the supermarket this week to return £20 i had been given extra by the cashier and they told me to keep it! Yesterday i phoned my gas and electricity supplier to get a hold of my login details for their webpage, and unexpectedly they informed me i was in credit and that they will be sending the overpaid credit into my bank account. (they've NEVER done that before!)

We can rely on God when the going gets tough. You are so right about that.

About feeling that you have failed. Please understand that this is absolutely and I would imagine, unanimously to be expected.

I felt that way too. Eventually,you come to realise that yes you made mistakes, but that throughout it all, you gave it your all.

When you give it all you've got and the other person still isn't prepared to change (even with your absolute support) i don't call it failure to walk away from that damaging situation, especially where children are involved.

Which is exactly what happened with me and my ex husband ....and why i had to leave with my children.

There is only so much that anyone can take, but where children are involved, someone has to be the primary carer and make the tough decison to draw that line in the sand and say, 'i love you, but no more of this. It's hurting us all too much to go on like this.'

Prayers going up for you and yours, as ever.

Becky said...

And that you LIVE in that knowing transfers to your sons...what an amazing legacy....the most valuable one to leave.

Judas Hate said...

Ukok is 100% right on.

The only failure would have been if you hadn't tried all that you have or if you gave in and let yourself and your children remain in that unhealthy situation.

Lucy Stern said...

I totally agree with Ukok too.... It would have been a mistake to stay with Brenda because she would have kept on hurting you and the kids.

The only thing you can do it put yourself in the hands of the Lord. If you put your trust in him he will take care of you. I think you will find that, if you don't pay a full tithe, you will start having problems with your finances or with the kids. Remember that the blessing aren't necessarily monetary. Please keep paying your tithing and you WILL be blessed. The Lord will not re-nig on a promise when you do your part, he will open up the windows of heaven for you. Stay Strong.

wilsonian said...

You are so freaking beautiful.
That is all.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing your journey with us!!!!!

Vicki said...

Just stopping by to check on you & say hello. These words of yours encourage me - encourage us all - to trust in His provision for us, no matter the circumstances. That's amazing about your mom & her trip to China. But I see His imprint all over your life, too. Thankful for you. Keep believing.

Still praying,
V.

Anonymous said...

I am amazed each time I read your blog how much I learn about faith and God's blessing. I am so thankful for you and will continue to pray for your journey.

Marvin the Martian said...

Anyone who even KNOWS who Erikson and Maslow even WERE has to be interesting. That's why I read your blog. ;-)

Yes, the money will take care of itself. Meaning, God will ensure that the church will get the money it needs, and not necessarily from YOU. ;-)))) LOL!