Last week’s blog, Accidentally In Love, was my romantic love story with my new husband, Bryan.
People ate it up, and it is clear to me that lots of people are in the market for a love story.
This week I decided to go a step farther and share a glimpse of our romance from Bryan’s point of view, two months after we met. I have permission to share his journal entry enjoy:
“God, do You think I could have a boyfriend?”
It was August 14th, 2015, the night before my book signing at the Christian Bookstore in Frederick, Maryland. I always have an ongoing dialog with God but this was the first time I had ever even mentioned such a thing.
It had been a great summer. I was enjoying the freedom of being out of an emotionally abusive marriage. I was doing tremendous work on my healing journey. I didn’t need a boyfriend, and whoever God had in store for me, would have to be ok with my commitment to sexual purity.
The book signing was an hour away. To be honest, it wasn’t the busiest book singing ever, but suddenly my life changed.
In my head, I was the wildest, most screwed up, stupidest girl in the 9th grade.
After 30 years, however, I put on my big-girl panties and attended a high school reunion. I didn’t graduate from the school where the reunion was. I boarded there in 8th and 9th grade. It is a very rigorous school, academically, and my brain thrives in a more creative environment. Fortunately, I was able to finish high school at a place that was perfectly designed for creative girls like me. I thrived and graduated from there.
Unforgiveness and revenge go hand and hand. They lead the one who encapsulates them into a life of toxicity and physical, emotional and spiritual destruction. Perhaps the ruins in our lives, that ensue from bitterness, is why the Lord cautions against harboring these emotions.
While God warns us against retaliation, He firmly promises He will make things right for us if we trust and obey Him.
With hurricanes swirling, fires burning, and bombs threatened, one’s soul can feel out of balance without some conscious care and nurture.
The news does not display the day-to-day personal crises like painful relationships, chronic or severe health problems, financial fears, addiction, ailing parents or veering children, and political chaos that can feel all consuming.
“Girl, you should be ashamed of yourself showing up here in that!”
I had finally made it to my first exercise class. Evidently, I was in the wrong outfit.
I am white. The rest of the girls in the class were not white. Let me help you visualize what I’m talking about. I am the only white girl at a dance class. I showed up in the exercise skirt that I feel most comfortable in and was greeted with “You should be ashamed of yourself!”
One thing I have learned recently is I am an introvert. Perhaps, I am an extroverted introvert?
Nonetheless, my soul requires the same kind of space that introverts need to thrive. I need time alone. I demand downtime to be my best. I have found myself married to “Fun Guy.”
While I am improving, partially due to my new husband who has healthy boundaries and is creating a safe place for me to exercise mine, I have a history which may serve as an illustration for you to check-in with yourself.
My former father-in-law was an engineer and I never really understood him until I remarried an engineer of my own. I am of the brain-set that coloring within the lines ruins the masterpiece. Being married to an engineer (who loves me just the way I am) has opened my eyes to the mind of a man I once loved so much and sadly lost touch with in my divorce.
If you knew how anxious I have been about my impending European vacation with 4 of our 8 children, you’d be like, wait a minute, really?
God was the only one in the room when they shut the vault and filled me with radiation. Others were there but only watching from the camera that connected the rooms, but God was enough.
She suggested that my new husband, Bryan, saved me. Nothing could be further from the truth.
I was saved way before I met Bryan. My salvation came during very dark, lonely, agonizing days in my first marriage. Looking back, I know God allowed this dark time to be the means to an end. God wanted me to reach out to Him for His saving grace. Even after my salvation, I prayed hard and fervently for God to fix my marriage. But, God did not change my circumstances. Instead, He revealed to me that He’s with me in every storm I face.
It is my firm belief that God has designed a vision for your life that lives in your soul. It reveals itself as a desire, a hope or a dream. Many children are bold and confident about their vision. They state:
“I’m going to be a firefighter”
“I’m going to be president.”
“I’m going to be a singer.”
Or, “I’m going to be a ballerina.”
All too often, their dreams get interrupted with practical statements from loved ones, bullying proclamations from peers, or the whisper of the devil himself who says, “you don’t really think you can…”
One thing I have learned recently is that we fear things we don’t understand, and we judge the things we fear.
When I heard that statement, it resonated with me.
Times are rapidly changing. The topic of homosexuality has caused great fear in the hearts and minds of many fundamental Christians. The fearful response has sinfully replaced the faithful response which otherwise says in
1Peter 4:8, “Most important of all, continue to show deep love for each other, for love covers a multitude of sins.”
In my opinion, this delights the devil. Consequently, the church steadily drives many people away from Christ through die-hard judgement of issues like divorce and homosexuality.
I find Christians are starving for someone like me to speak up. I know the Word of God. I live a life dedicated to the one who saved me, namely Jesus. I feel prompted to come forward and announce:
“I refuse to discriminate against anyone because they are gay.”
She’s not short on memory, even though I gently remind her each time, “No, my name is Charlotte.” Then I ask, “May I share a story with you?”
We sat down in the pew. I began to tell her what the story of Rachel and Leah, from Genesis 29, has meant to me for years. Linda was familiar with the story. Her eyes filled with tears as soon as she realized how God was using her.
I will take a moment and share for those of you who may not be familiar with the story of Jacob’s two wives. You may find yourself with tears in your eyes, too.
This is how I tell it. Please refer to Genesis 29 for accuracy.
Triggers of Pain, Human Response and God’s Grace, Mercy and Promises
I suffered emotional abuse for nearly 28 years.
It is hard for me to fathom today. I am sharing a journal entry written after I fled the toxic environment. I cried out to God for healing and forgiveness of my soul. I see now, less than two years later, how His provision surpassed anything I could have imagined.
The torment associated with loss and rejection was unbearable. I had a desperate desire to heal and leave it all behind me. I look back from a new place, where those feelings and reactions to triggers are a distant memory. I stand in awe of God and what He has done in spite of me. I praise God from my core and believe he keeps His promises.
Can you imagine walking through a supernaturally separated river, revealing a path of dry land?
After the trauma of severe plagues, the nation of Israel was on a massive relocation to somewhere completely unknown. Talk about trauma! When forty years of exile ended, it was time to enter the Promised Land, passing by the Red Sea.
You can imagine people experiencing spiritual, emotional, environmental, and physical triggers. Doubt, fear, fatigue and facts set into their minds and separated them from what they knew to be true about God.
Don’t we all fall victim to the same unbalance in our faith journey?