Friday, February 19, 2010

A Journey of Grace: Assessing The Damage:©

One of the most brilliant scenes in the Lord of the Rings series is when Theoden is delivered from his captivity. He had been brainwashed by the whisperings of the evil adviser, Wormtongue. Gandolf arrives on the scene and demands the curse of darkness leave. Once Theoden awakens, he is told that he will remember his strength if he grasps his sword. The sword is brought to him, he takes hold and rises up into who he really is, the king of Rohan. He throws Wormtongue out of his domain and begins to assess the damage done while under the influence of evil.

Every time I watch that scene I see my world. The whispers of the enemy disoriented me. I was brainwashed by an evil advisor in hopes that I would be steered away from living in who I am. Once the Deliverer awakened me it was then I was able to see what my captivity had cost those around me.

Fear always leads us to control our world. Control births expectations and expectations sabotage relationships. Expectations are resentments waiting to happen. I’ve had many of them. I have sabotaged relationships, especially with my David.

I will never forget the day that God came to talk to me about him. I remember it now 7 years later as if it were yesterday.

This time God spoke through a vision. As if watching a scene from a movie, an image was immediately uploaded into my mind.

I was on a playground, with my children. Another woman I knew was there with her children too. All of a sudden she began to parent my children right in front of me. She didn’t like what they were doing so she took it upon herself to try move them to do what she wanted. It upset my children. It offended me. As quickly as the vision came, it left. It was then God spoke.

“How would you feel if someone did that?” I answered back, “I wouldn’t like it.” He replied, “Neither do I.” “David is mine, Jewel, he’s my child.” “Can you leave him with me?” “Will you let me parent my child?” I felt His words pierce to a deep place. I knew I had sinned. I had stood in the way of love.

For too many years I pushed, pulled, and guilt motivated, hoping that I could get David moving. I told him what he needed to do and then griped when he didn't do what I wanted. I complained because he wouldn’t lead me. Like most women who aren’t led I didn’t realize the part I played that blocked the path. You can't lead a person who's not easily led.

I was often frustrated with David’s passivity, yet unaware that my demands fed it. It was easier for him to shut down than to try and fail. He could never do enough to meet the unending expectations. The demands I had could never be met. They were birthed out of fear. No matter how hard he might try. He could never satisfy my fears.

I sought to manage the apprehensions that infiltrated my world. I allowed them to grab hold and shake me, causing me to try and shake my husband too. I spent many years trying to move him where I wanted him to be. I sought to control his world, while maintaining mine. It didn’t work, it never will.

In the process I emasculated him with each failed attempt. I spoke many words of death.

Many say control is the curse on the woman because of Eve’s sin. As if that makes it okay. But it’s more than that. Control is giving way to the presence of fear. If I do not trust, I will fear, which will lead to control. I will try to control what I fear.

And so it comes down to trust, yet again. To live in grace, there must be trust, not in a man or his performance, but in my God.

I’ve looked to David in many distorted ways. It’s the most common place a woman goes. I believed he should meet my deepest longings to be loved, wanted, desired. I’ve wanted him to make me feel safe and secure.

It never happened. It never will.

For only God and God alone can fill the deep needs of the soul. I didn't know that for such a long time. I wish I had.

God saw me. He knew. He came.

As His perfect love cast out each fear, the demands are melting away leaving no need for control. In the process, David is being released to be parented by the only One who knows.

Grace has come to this heart, and this home. It has opened the eyes of the blind and is setting the captives free.

©copyrighted: 2010, Julie L. Todd

Next up: Rebuilding the Ancient Ruins

To read previous posts in this series, click on the link:

Part One: In the Beginning:

Part Two: My Fig Leaves:

Part Three: Lost In Translation:

Part Four: Let Freedom Ring:

Part Five: My Deliverer is Coming:

Part Six: Alone In The Wilderness:

Part Seven: Glimpses In the Wilderness:

Part Eight: Walking Without Crutches:


Gail W. said... Reply to comment

Julie, thank you for sharing your heart so honestly. I can relate so well to all you've said. It was only after my husband passed away and I gained distance that I could see the error of my ways. I'm happy God has given you a revelation and the time to make it right. Blessings to you and yours.

Andrea said... Reply to comment

AMEN!! It took a long time for me to get it, too. Only GOD can meet all my needs.

Blessings, andrea

Amy said... Reply to comment

AMEN, Julie! Your words are SO TRUE.

It was when I realized that God never meant for my husband to be everything to me that I began letting Jesus be "My Everything."

Kathy S. said... Reply to comment

Hi Jewel, ;)
Wow, I love how the Lord spoke to you, what a grace to hear profound truth that sets us free.

I see many similarities in your story and mine. Just that in mine, I was the object of my control. I was "performance based acceptance" but the only one I put the pressure on was me which lead to extreme anxiety which was also God's grace to me so I would learn I wasn't "IT". OH Glory! He has set me free!

Don't know yet what my "grammy" name will be...Kathy just doesn't have many options. I don't want my grandbabies to call me Kat! haha!

Paula said... Reply to comment

Wow Julie, God is using you as such a blessing on me! This is EXACTLY what God wanted me to hear right now! Amazing timing! Thank you so much! xo

Crown of Beauty said... Reply to comment

Hi, I had a comment for this post but accidentally wrote it under the previous entry, Walking Without Crutches.


Aine Willis said... Reply to comment

Wow Julie! I loved this post. I think it's my favorite of all your posts. I love how you related your children being instructed by another adult to our lives with God parenting us and our brothers and sisters in Christ. This was awesome and really opened my eyes. God Bless, Aine

christy rose said... Reply to comment

I loved the illustration of the woman coming and stepping in front of you to parent your kids and God asking you how would did you like that. He is the only One that can do the work in the hearts of His kids and do it right. And when we recognize that we can just sit and watch and love each other through the process. I love your story Julie!!!

Carmen said... Reply to comment

The journey is difficult. There's so much to learn on the way. I believe the sooner we learn it, the better the outcome for everyone. Even trust, done religiously, can be a mask for control. We are so easily deceived--it truly does take complete surrender.

Gretchen said... Reply to comment

This post really acts as a reminder that to lead, you must be led. And, as with Christ, leaders are really servants. Bless you.

Anonymous said... Reply to comment

OK. I have a confession. I skim read this last week, but haven't had the courage to read it in full until now. I knew that it described what I have been doing with my own husband. And I knew that I would have to change. :)

So many truths in this post I can't even begin........xo

Connie@Little Red Hearts From God said... Reply to comment

That hit me right between the eyes...

awesome.. this was ranked right up there...

thank you girlfriend


Karen said... Reply to comment

This is wonderful..."Fear always leads us to control our world. Control births expectations and expectations sabotage relationships. Expectations are resentments waiting to happen. "...