Monday, December 10, 2012

Not My Life, Not My Baby

I haven't written anything in a long time and its not because I haven't had anything to say or even that I haven't thought God had anything He wanted me to share.  It's because I have been in a season of life these last months that have been very quiet.  A quiet season... never thought I would have one of those!  Probably because I have never sat still for long enough to ever even have more than a few days of quiet.  To think it has been nearly seven months of quiet... is crazy to me.

I remember feeling a loss of purpose around January 2012.  We had just settled in our new home in Wisconsin so life was very different.  I was happy, but all the change sort of tossed me into a place of not knowing what I was supposed to do next.  Brett had adjusted to school and new friends so quickly.  Plus was getting to that age of not really needing his mama so much that the load of motherhood seemed to be lightening enough that there was more "free-time" in my schedule than ever before. Ryan was happy working from home and being close to family, he was helping out a lot and seemed to not really need me as much either.  I hadn't had enough time here yet to make any close friends, those relationships were just beginning or maybe not even in the picture yet and I didn't feel as drawn to the recovery work I had been doing in Texas as I thought I would have.  I was happy and living without regrets yet feeling a bit lost, wondering what big job God had for me next.  I was kinda bored. I didn't really want to go out and get a job, but there was this hole that needed to be filled. I distinctly remember asking God to tell me what my new big purpose in life was.  I have to be honest though and say, I didn't really listen for an answer.  As bored as I felt, I was kind of enjoying not having to do much.  I didn't want it to change because it was comfortable.  What if my next purpose was going to stretch me or make me dive into something I really wasn't wanting to do?  It was kinda nice to be able to watch TV whenever I wanted to and not have any real obligations to attend to weekly.  It was kinda nice to feel freedom from any hustle and bustle.  Nice but also boring.  Maybe I could just get used to boring?.  That would be great.  "Hey God, scratch that request for a new purpose... I'll just chill over here and work on getting used to boring."

I thought I was generally happy, I really did.  But looking back I suppose I can see an emptiness building in me.  I was becoming more introverted, which any one who knows me knows that is not really who I am.  I was beginning to have these crazy mixed emotions of sadness at my boredom but then I'd get angry at my son or husband when I was interrupted from my boredom. I was participating in volunteer work and Bible study but it was always a struggle to actually make myself go. I thought I was content, but deep down I was nothing of the sort.

My world was rocked in May when I found out I was pregnant.  I was about to turn 40, had just found out I had fibroid tumors that needed to be removed and totally not on board with the whole idea of being mom again.  This baby was REALLY gonna get in the way of my life plan.  I didn't want my life to change, I didn't need my life to change and I didn't think there was any way I could handle starting over with kid number two again.  I was mad.  So mad... at my husband, at myself, at life but mostly at God.  How could He let this happen to me?  How could He do this to me at this point in my life??  Why God, what are you doing messing with my life???

Luckily, I have had enough experience in my spiritual life to recognize that being mad at God isn't a sin.  In fact, I talked to Him about how mad I was at Him often. I think that was the whole of my prayer life for many many weeks... me telling God how pissed I was at Him.  I became depressed and withdrawn.  I shriveled inward into myself not wanting anyone to touch me, talk to me or try to understand me.  I just wanted to be left alone.  Eventually, I turned to our new Pastor and asked him to meet with me.  I don't know why I did that, I mean I didn't really want help - I wanted to be miserable but my hand reached out and dialed the phone as if it had a mind of its own and once the appointment was made, I just went ahead and went.  He helped me realize that a better use of my anger would be to point it at satan, instead of everything else.  Thus the writing I posted on May 17th called "Mocked".  That was very cleansing to me.

From there my heart began to slowly (oh so slowly) open to God and His will for me.  I slowly began to realize that my stubborn need to be in control of my life was blocking God's will for my life.  I admitted to Him that I didn't really want His will, and asked Him to help me change that.  I've been around the block enough times to know that God's will is gonna be whether I want it or not, so it's a lot easier to just get on board and stop whining.  I had this notion that I was supposed to just have a total change of heart over night and be ready to go with a smile on my face the next day cheerfully announcing my commitment to God's will to the world - yeah!  But when I woke up and that wasn't my reality and I didn't have the energy to fake it, I was confused.  I was still so sad about this change God had for me.  So sad, to the point of despair.  Faith got me through though.  I've had some rough times in life and the experience of making it through those rough times with God's help led me to know... without doubt... that this rough time was going to be okay, even though I didn't like it.  I realized that even in my deep despair, I trusted God fully.  It was then my relationship with God began to change and become something it never had been before.  Intimate.  Quiet.  Nearly silent.  Effortless.  I began to let Him take care of me without worry of what I needed to do to earn it.  I stopped working so hard to achieve a relationship with Him.  I sat quietly, just me and Him, no need for words, just there together.  Me in His hand.

My husband began to worry that my relationship with God was slipping.  He was so used to me being a crusader for Christ and a loudmouth, hard working, go-go-go Christian that this quiet wife of his who barely even spoke of God was very concerning.  I assured him that he didn't need to worry, but I think he did anyway.  He had no idea what was churning inside me, and I didn't really either.

I was having no fun with this pregnancy at all!  I was very sick, throwing up almost every hour some days.  I found it difficult to eat, my digestive system was whacked and the pain from my fibroid tumors was so intense some days I would just cry and cry. I was miserable.  I began to wonder why I wasn't happy.  I mean I had this faith and trust in the Lord, wasn't that supposed to get me through this with a smile on my face and great attitude?  Then one day God popped Paul in my mind.  I imagined him sitting in prison and how miserable he must have been.  His faith was there, his trust was there... but it was a hard time and it is highly unlikely he was overflowing with sunshine everyday as he sat there.  I gave myself permission... actually I feel like God gave me permission to be miserable.  I decided to be okay with my miserable days but not let them make my whole life miserable.  There were good days and when I had them, I needed to make the most of them and be thankful.  By some miracle I was able to do that, without guilt.  Just me in God's hand.

Each stage of this pregnancy has been a challenge, emotionally, physically and spiritually.  I don't know how God has done it, but He has ever so slowly changed me and my heart through this pregnancy for the good.  This baby has been a completely unexpected gift of new life... new life to me and new life to this little girl in my belly.  I am so very thankful for this gift now, so in awe of His plan and His will.  I hope I can hold on to these lessons for years to come.  I hope I can remember how much I get in the way of His will when I try to control my life.  I hope I will remember that my life is not my own at all, it is His fully... and my baby is not my own either, she is fully His as well.  Thank you for giving me people in my life to speak Your truth to me through this when I have needed it... Mary, Justin, Pastor Decker, Jess, Stephanie, Stef, Jen and Jenn. Thank you for the gift of my friend Cindy here in WI who has been  so very helpful in so many ways.  Thank you God for forcing me to step up to the plate.  Thank you for giving me this opportunity to follow Your will, truly lose myself so I can gain so much more of You.  Thank you for helping me turn my fears over to You as the devil tries to haunt me with them. Thank you for trusting me with another one of Your children.  She is very loved already even though she won't be here until Dec 19th! 

   

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Mocked

 
I have not had a good week.  In fact, my week has been down right hell.  I was reminded of these two quotes today:

The best way to drive out the devil... is to jeer him... for he can not bear scorn. - Luther

The devil... the proud spirit... can not endure to be mocked. - Thomas More

So here I go... a public mocking filled with scorn meant for the one and only proud spirit who thinks he is oh-so-smooth but is really just a sniveling, scared worm who tries to mess with good and decent people like me as a means to pass time while he pathetically awaits his final and eternal demise which will be handed to him by The God of All Power; The God of All Things; the God I am proud call my God; my King and My Protector.  This is for you, jackass.  All for you.

You implied God must still be mad at me for my past mistakes even though I have laid them before Him and been forgiven.  You implied He had not forgotten my sins and like man, He would never let me forget them either.  You implied He was punishing me... and He would just keep punishing me all the days of my life and you asked me... “Why bother living a life for Him if you’re just going to be punished repeatedly?”

You implied that a God who really loves me wouldn’t let such painful things happen to me.  You implied that if I had only worked a little bit harder, done a little more or tried more diligently to be better then I could have earned the kind of love from Him that would buy my protection from terrible things.  You implied that unconditional love does not really exist and even if it did, I would not be worthy of it.  You implied that God’s love doesn’t rain down on me... maybe others, but not me.  You implied that I deserve to be treated better than the way “my God” is treating me.  You implied that I am a sucker and you asked me... “How long are you going to allow yourself to be used and abused?”

You implied that God is not who I thought He was.  You implied that I must have just gotten it wrong or maybe I was confused.  You implied that it is time for me to stand up for myself and put my foot down and yell “I’m not going to take it anymore!”  You implied that maybe I was wrong about all the wonderful things He has done for me... maybe it was all just coincidence that He was happy to take the credit for.  You asked me, “How long is it going to take you to see who He really is?  He doesn’t love you.  You’re just a number, just another boring robot programed to be faithful no matter what... just another idiot.  Why can’t you see that???”

Yes, my week has been hell but what I am realizing now is that the reason my week has been hell is because I have let you, the ruler of hell, have way too much of the space between my ears.  I have allowed your idiotic ranting to team up with my ridiculous self pity.  I want you to know that I’m on to you.  You may have had a little piece of me for a few brief moments... but the God I worship is a God of His Word and He promised me that He would never ever let me go.  He promised me that He would never let me be snatched away by anything, especially the likes of you.  All you are is a sad little hungry wolf who’s such a bad hunter that your only chance of feeding is to prey on the lame.  You yourself know exactly how lowly you are, you sneak around waiting for scraps... awaiting that weak moment that might give you an in and when it comes... your limited intelligence has left you with only one way to try and defeat your enemy.  You only have one lousy trick.  One.  Come on dude... how many years have you been around?  And you still can only think of one trick?  LIAR.  Yep... lying is your one and only gig.  Sure, it may have worked for you all this time - but a day will come when your lies will do nothing but keep you company.  Until then, I will continue to rely on my God to squash every single one of your stupid, moronic lies with His Truth.

So, this little game you tried to run on me in my moments of weakness... how did that work out for you?  I am proud to say your prodding did nothing more than build my faith in God a little stronger.  So... ha! You lose.

And just so we’re clear on what the truth is, let me tell you what I know.  God isn’t mad at me for my past sin... He did forgive me and anything that is happening in my life now has nothing to do with punishment.  The crappy things that happen in life that make life difficult happen because of YOU and the sin you brought us.  You are the one to blame, not God.  

God does love me and I didn’t buy that love through being good or working hard... no... He loves me because He is God.  He loves me so much he sacrificed His only son to save my life.  What have you ever sacrificed for anyone????  God loves me so much He won’t let me fall to sin... He promised to never let me go.  But He let you go didn’t He?  He dropped you because He knew... you weren’t salvageable.  I am salvageable.  I have a place in His forever home and knowing that brings hope to my life.  You have been cast out permanently... how does that feel? No wonder you’re so bitter... you have no hope.

God is still exactly who I thought He was and He is never going to change.  He speaks the truth and does not have to resort to lies to win people over.  People come to faith in God because their eyes open to the truth and they see clearly... no tricks needed.  My life has been filled with difficulties and struggle... many of my own choosing but God did bring me through each stage.  He was there, even when I didn’t know it.  He led me to a place where I could learn to love Him because He is loving, gracious and merciful.  I will never love you because you are hateful, selfish and mean... no one can ever love you because love cannot exist along with what you are.  You will die alone.

God has used every single experience of my life to draw me closer to Him and to draw others closer to Him.  Yes... I am responsible (at least partially) for bringing some of your favorite sinners to the grace of God’s love and mercy!  And guess what... I’m going to get some more of them to Him too.  You lose.  You are a loser.  You have no choice but to go down in flames. Your fight is futile and you know it.

In closing, you are a pathetic, weak, sad, hopeless, unlovable, prideful, sneaky, thieving, hateful lying loser whose hopeless destiny is already set.  You are defeated.  You are nothing.  So run away little girlie-man... you have officially been mocked.

Sunday, May 06, 2012

Not a Hallmark Moment

I don’t even really know how to start this story... but I guess I’ve got to start somewhere. As you probably know, Ryan and I moved to Wisconsin this last October. We have been really happy with our decision so far and have found many positives to this cross-country relocation from Texas.  Brett is thriving at his new school and is being challenged in ways he would not have been otherwise. We love our new house and have even really enjoyed the weather. It’s kind of nice to not be sweating constantly.

One of the positives that came with this move was when I began having a repeat of intestinal symptoms from last summer, a completely new set of doctor eyes and ears began to care for me. With those new eyes and ears came some different tests and in the end... a brand new, very specific, very real diagnosis for my problems that was based on a simple test not one of my doctors in Texas ever thought to order; a sonogram. Turns out, my digestive problems were not a result of cryptic IBS or the result of me “maybe” having Celiac disease as my previous doctors had best guessed. No, my problems are due to the giant tumor I have growing on my left ovary which is obstructing my large intestines. And my chronic abdominal pains are a result of a large fibroid tumor in my uterus... which by the way was causing a lot of other problems too. Wow... all the testing of the last year and a half and no one ever thought to look for that. It sort of blows my mind. None-the-less, I was ecstatic to have a real answer finally... and a real plan to fixing the problem.

After several opinions, I settled on the plan to have the tumors removed in surgery. With the size and placement of my tumors as well as the great possibility I am also suffering from endometriosis, I decided to go ahead and have a hysterectomy in which the doctor would do her best to make sure I ended up with at least one ovary intact. My surgery was scheduled for May 2nd and I couldn’t wait to get this over with!!! Praise the Lord, I was going to be free at last!

The Friday night before my surgery, April 27th, I had a dream that stuck with me. I dreamed that during surgery, the doctor ran into a complication and things became dangerous for me. I told Ryan about the dream in the morning and told him I wanted to do my best to make sure nothing like that would really happen.

A few conversations with my doctor and a blood test later, what happened in my dream was confirmed. It was my worst nightmare and it was true. Surgery for May 2nd needed to be cancelled because, just like in my dream... I was pregnant.

I couldn’t even try to make this up - I mean, there is a reason Hallmark doesn’t have a card that says “Sorry the hysterectomy to get rid of your painful tumors didn’t work out but congrats on your pregnancy.” Hallmark, if you decide to add that card, be sure to put it in the sympathy section.

I cried. I’m turning 40 this year. I have never had a desire to have another child... NEVER. I am not one of those women who loved pregnancy. I am also not one of those women who got tricked into having another baby because she forgot what being pregnant was like... no... I will never forget the hell of my pregnancy. I don’t deal with nausea well, I don’t have a ton of patience, I’m thrilled to have potty training done and over with. I’m glad I’m not a mother of a preschooler any longer. Ugh... really God? Pregnant? Me? What kind of cruel joke was this?

I got mad... livid. My body had been hijacked again. The little leech inside me was going to take all the good stuff and leave me with the leftovers for 8 months. The nausea, this time with vomiting was going to make it difficult for me to have much desire to do anything. I was going to have to stop taking all the medications that had been keeping me sane for the last few years... goodbye hormonal balance, goodbye ADHD relief, goodbye easy sleep. I had to give up the things that were good for my emotional health so I could protect the leech. LIVID. Did I mention, I’m turning 40 this year?

I yelled at God for this cruel irony and used a few curse words too. I told Him if He wanted me to be happy about this He needed to give me a very clear... crystal clear sign that this was what He wanted. At my sonogram I found out my due date is Christmas day 2012. Really God... my baby will be welcomed to the world on the same day Jesus was born? Turns out this "sign" made me even more mad.

My doctor talked things through with me. It was made clear to me that I certainly had the option of terminating this pregnancy. I mean, who could fault me for doing such a thing when I have a tumor that is blocking my intestines and chronic pain due to a fibroid the size of my fist. This wasn’t planned... wasn’t my physical safety at risk here? Was my emotional sanity at risk if I went off my meds? I’m almost 40 which increased my risk factors (not sure I mentioned that yet). Geez. Seemed pretty cut and dry... if there was one time in life to consider being selfish, it was now. It was justifiable medically too... bonus. My turmoil seemed to lessen slightly. I felt peace might be around the corner.

Well, I was wrong. The more I contemplated the possibility of terminating, the more torn up I felt, even if it did seem medically justified. The more I realized I wanted it to go away, the more angry I became and then when the doctor told me... I was going to have to go to an abortion clinic in Madison to have a consultation if that was my choice... I was back to LIVID. I knew there was no way I could walk through those doors... NO WAY. I felt like an animal trapped in a cage, with a leech. Oh, and I'm turning 40 this year.

I called a dear friend in a crazed, angry, rant. She listened and she sympathized... but she didn’t tell me what I wanted to hear. Instead she spoke truth. She said many wise things but the most powerful of all of them was "God never makes mistakes," and “God creates all life.” As a person who struggles with intimacy, I wondered if the devil was really trying to screw me up by making me regret my progress with intimacy by making me pregnant. Being reminded that God is solely responsible for the creation of life was key.

In a later conversation with my doctor, I was told that the medical risks to my life with this pregnancy were fairly low. The pregnancy hormones would undoubtedly cause my fibroids to grow quickly and I would have even more discomfort. I would also have more of the same intestinal difficulties I had already been having, probably worse, but there was no life threatening risk to me. The big risk was to the baby. The baby only has a 50/50 chance of being born alive. With my age and the fibroids, lots of things could go wrong. I could miscarry at any time... next week, tomorrow, 3 days before due date. The funniest thought came to me... “I should terminate because its best for the baby.” What? You might not live so lets just kill you... that makes a lot of sense. I knew without doubt after that conversation with my doctor, I was going to be pregnant for awhile. I would be pregnant as long as God thought I needed to be... and that just might mean for 8 more months.

As mad as I have been at God lately, I have known deep inside that my faith would not be moved. I’ll be honest and say I don’t want to be pregnant, I don’t want to have another baby, I don’t want to do this whole thing over again at the age of 40... but I don’t want to have tumors blocking my intestines or chronic pain from fibroids either. I certainly don’t want all of that mixed together - plus nausea and vomiting - but here I am living a life full of “I don’t want this” and I’m okay.

My friend told me that the reason I got so mad was that I knew there was no way I would choose termination, even though that would have been my “easy” way out. I have to agree with her. She also said that what is happening in my life right now is proof positive that God’s promise to never let us go can be counted on. I wasn’t sure what she meant by that at first, but I’m starting to get it.

When I turned to God and gave myself to Him years ago, He did promise He would never let me go. It would be really easy for me to look at these circumstances and only focus on the feeling that God is square in the middle of letting me go because I am not getting what I want. But, if I choose to look deeper I can see His promise being fulfilled. He hasn’t let me go at all, in fact He has such a good grip on me that He absolutely will not let me turn from Him by making a mistake I will most assuredly regret. He has installed the Spirit within me so strongly and placed the right people around me so perfectly that I am not able to follow my flesh, I must follow Him, even though it’s not at all what I want. If that isn’t His promise being upheld, I don’t know what is.

I have a feeling I know what God is after from me right now in this situation and He has put me in a place where I do not have a choice but to choose what He wants for me. Well played God. I guess when I asked You to help me break free from the things that hold me back from You I should have put a non-pregnancy disclaimer in there (not that it would have mattered). I guess it’s true, be careful what you ask for... especially when you’re asking for it from God.

The one thing I have liked about this experience is the amount of understanding and support I have received from the people who know me best. I am amazed at how God has shown me in the last few years how to not only be a better friend, but how to choose better friends and uphold appropriate boundaries that keep a friendship strong. I never thought I would deserve to have such quality people in my life... but I see now that I do because I have learned how to be that back. I want to thank all of you who have had such encouraging and understanding words for me in this tough time.

I have already decided what I want to name our new daughter... yes, I "know" it will be a girl because I am much more comfortable with boys so therefore God must make it be a girl. But the baby name is a whole other story... you'll have wait for that one. In the meantime, I'd appreciate any prayers for my family... for us to have peace with however this ends up... and if you could sneak one in requesting relief from my nausea - that would be great too. Thanks for reading.

Saturday, March 03, 2012

The Most Cunning Lie I Ever Believed About Sex

First I want to apologize to all those people in my life who might be embarrassed about me writing and posting this article. I am not writing it to embarrass or make anyone uncomfortable. I’m writing it simply because realizing these things has had a profound impact on my dysfunction about sexuality. Also, it is a big step for me to share this because it helps me put action to a new belief I came to when I answered this question, “Why should I be ashamed to talk about something that God was not too ashamed to create?”

That is a quote from the book Sacred Sex by Tim Allen Gardner, a Christian counselor. Much of what you will read here is a result of Mr. Gardner’s obedience to God in writing the above mentioned book. I have suffered from what I call 'relationship dysfunction' for most of my life. There is no doubt in my mind that the root of my relationship dysfunction is sexual. I grew up with the plan of only having sex with one man. I grew up with the plan of waiting until I was married to have sex. This was the Biblical law of God and I was going to adhere to it. Unfortunately, I also grew up thinking sex was Biblically wrong or “bad” in some way. No one told me this, it was just something I figured out on my own. I don’t remember anyone ever talking about how great sex was going to be after marriage, I only ever remembering people telling me “don’t have sex.” My conclusion was certainly natural, I mean why was such a big deal being made about not having sex if sex was a good thing? People told me not to do drugs... everyone knows drugs are bad. People told me to stay in school and get good grades... everyone knows skipping school and getting bad grades are bad. So when people said "Don't have sex"... why wouldn't my immature brain conclude... sex is bad.

Enter romance novels and television. I began reading corny love stories early in life, I also watched soap operas like General Hospital and the Guiding Light. Being a girl who was boy crazy from as early as Kindergarten, stories involving the heart really sucked me in. I loved the idea of love. Being a girl who wasn’t exactly every boy's dream of beauty made me long for love all the more. I was strongly influenced by the stories I watched and read. I believed anything was possible with love. Love could overcome anything... and most embarrassing... I began to believe that anything a person might do for the sake of love, even if it was morally questionable, was okay... because it was done for love. Doesn’t the Bible tell us to love???? Above all else... love?

In my late teens, I fell in-love... for real (at least I thought it was). I was naive and living my life based on raw emotion. I made the decision to have sex with the plan to marry this boy in the future. As long as I married him, it would all be okay. To be honest, I didn’t really want to have sex, just the idea of sex was repulsive for me but I also knew that if I didn’t have sex with him, he would find someone who would. I didn’t want to lose him, I loved him... so I did it for love. Afterwards, I felt awful. I felt dirty and gross. I felt like if my parents knew, they’d kill me! I felt a guilt I can’t describe but I pushed through it and went on with life. It would all be okay once we were married, the guilt would leave and I wouldn’t have to worry anymore. I would just have sex to keep him happy, he would love me and life would be great. Unfortunately, the boy in this story didn’t have the same plan I did. I guess one of my failures as an 18 year old girl was poor communication. I never talked to him about my plans... I just assumed he had the same one I did. Turns out, me deciding to have sex with him didn’t keep him from finding other girls willing to do the same. I caught him having sex with a girl from my high school and my heart broke into pieces.

I made the same mistakes over again in the years that followed. And even though I had a very separate place in my mind for love and sex, trying to keep myself loved by who I desired seemed to always twist love and sex together uncomfortably for me. I never valued myself enough to think I was worth just plain being loved for who I was... without sex. Spiritually, I felt unforgivable for my sexual sins. But somewhere in my flesh I think I believed it was all okay because the sin was committed in the pursuit of love. Sex rationalized by love, I’m not the first person to think of that!

Fast forward to 2010, I am a devoted follower of Jesus who is married to a wonderful man who I know loves me without doubt, for if he didn't he would have left me long, long ago. I am clean and sober of alcohol for three years and I have a beautiful five year old son who is smarter than I am. I am no longer dabbling in sexual sin... I am married and have received forgiveness for my past sexual sin from my loving and graceful God. All that’s left for me is to keep my man happy, which means having sex with him on a regular basis and I am home free. In my mind, I put it on my calendar along with doing the grocery shopping, going to the dentist and folding laundry... not things I necessarily like to do but things that must be done, so I do them. In a conversation with my therapist, I am told that my view of sex is not very healthy. I’m told that I’m supposed to enjoy sex and want to do it. I’m told that God wants me to enjoy sex and by not allowing myself to enjoy it or desire it, I am being selfish.

What? Having sex for my husband even though I don't really desire it.... is selfish? What kind of crap is that? And what of this whole “God wants me to enjoy it” stuff? That makes NO SENSE!!!! God was the one who said “DON’T HAVE SEX.... DON’T HAVE SEX.... DON’T HAVE SEX” and here we are years later and He goes and changes His mind and tells me not only to have it... but enjoy it. Right buddy... whatever you say. Let me just reach into my brain and flip the “I hate sex because all it has ever done is cause me pain, suffering and guilt” button. I’ll get right on it. The truth was, I didn’t want to switch the button. I was happy with the way things were. Thanks Mr. Therapist... but no thanks. I’ll work on some other stuff instead, maybe we can get back to that one later.

God is funny though... it seems that once He shows me something in my life that isn’t quite working for me, He just keeps bringing it up over and over again until I decide to listen. I guess He took His job seriously when I asked Him to help me become a whole person, the person He knows I can be. He is going to do that for me, even in the areas I don’t want Him to. I have “worked” on my sexual dysfunction many times and it seems I always get to a certain point, think I am doing better and then I stop. Sooner or later I am right back where I started. I found myself at the starting line again recently and finally admitted to myself... I don’t want to change. But its obvious to me, God wants me to change so I began to pray for Him to make me want to change... even though I really don’t want to.

Not too long ago I started reading the book I mentioned earlier, Sacred Sex. In it, the author suggests that sex between spouses is holy, just as taking communion is holy. He also says that sex between spouses is a way to experience God. As I read these things, I rolled my eyes. Whatever... sex... holy... no way. My heart was so hardened. I couldn’t even imagine any of this being true. But as the author began to back up his ideas with scripture and experience... I began to wonder if maybe he was right but I was just unable to see it with my human eyes. It would have been really easy for me to put the book down and say “screw this crap” but instead I asked God to crack me open, even if just a tiny little bit.   Maybe if He cracked me, He could show me that it was possible for me to change my feelings about sex.  In my mind change truly seemed impossible. It seemed like fact and seemed unchangeable.

I kept reading and taking notes as different parts of the book text would hit me but nothing seemed to help. I was starting to think change was not possible for me.

In the book, the author tells a story about a session he had with a woman. It was her first session and she was there because her husband wanted her to go see someone to get “fixed” because she didn’t like sex. The author asked her a simple question... he asked her what she believed the purpose of sex was. Here was her answer, “I don’t know if I am sure what I believe. Obviously its to have children and its something men need, but beyond that, I don’t know. Right now, I can take it or leave it.”

Hmmm... her answer was exactly what my answer would have been.

The author then explained that this point of view was sadly shared by many, many woman. Next, the author said something interesting...

“Men do not, in fact, have a life or death need for sex.” I don’t think it was a coincidence that little Miss. Gracie woke up from her nap at that very moment so I was unable to read any further.

That sentence stayed in my head rerunning over and over... it took several hours but....CRACK....

Men do not, in fact, have a life or death need for sex.... in other words... men don’t have to have sex. Meaning... it is not MY JOB to give a man sex just because he THINKS he needs it.  Further... if a man becomes completely miserable because he isn't getting any sex for sex' sake, that is NOT MY PROBLEM.

As the crack to my hardened exterior began to open up a little more, I heard a voice in my head and for the first time ever the bright light of truth was shined upon a dark, ugly lie. I have been told many lies about sex in my life... and I have believed a lot of them but this one took the cake. This lie had been so carefully and consistently placed in my view for so many years that I just assumed it was a fact. This lie was straight from the devil and he had not only convinced me of it... he has society convinced of it as well. I have heard it on television and radio, read it in books and seen it in the news. Talked about it in school and with good friends, heard it expressed in church and among family members... jokes and serious conversations alike had all led me to believe this lie even more convincingly. And here it is, the most cunning lie I have ever believed about sex... MEN NEED SEX.

LIE!!!!

Something in my soul relaxed when the truth really hit me.  Knowing now that a man no more needs sex to survive than I need alcohol to survive... sheds a brand new light on the subject. I no longer have to view sex as a have-to or job that is my responsibility.  Sex no longer gets to imprison me. I can move the chains out of the way and try to find a new way to think of sex. It is very exciting to me to finally have real hope... a real chance to change my old views.

I have wondered for years why I have not been able to believe that men are capable of true love and affection.  I knew it was supposed to be true, but I simply could not believe it.  I'm sorry guys,  I know that is unfair and offensive but that is how I have felt for as long as I can remember.  This crack has finally shown me that it is possible for me to embrace that a man can truly love because if I no longer believe with all my heart that men need sex, then I can begin to believe that the things they do to show love are not a mere "act" done with the intent to get sex.  Ahhhhh.... Freedom.

In addition, the crack helped me recognize that I had left a few key words out of my original belief system. God didn’t say, don’t have sex... He said, sex is for those who are married. God didn’t say, sex is bad... He said, sex outside of marriage is a sin. And my belief that all sex had ever done is cause me pain, suffering and guilt.... well that might be true but the sex that caused those bad feelings was unholy, sinful sex... not sex the way God designed it to be. I have been so hung up on the unholy side of sex that I have not let myself experience the holy side. Which leads me to another quote from the author, “The existence of unholy sex does not make all sex unholy.” The all or nothing girl in me needs to let this one soak in.

I have no idea how long it is going to take for me to make real true progress in this area, but I’ve got to say, this is the most hope I have ever felt. As always, the willingness to change is the most important part of the journey because without that, you’ve got nothing. I pray I will keep my willingness, if I do that, I know God will come through for me because all things are possible with God.