(With An Exhortation From The Spirit.)
Where do I begin? We've each been, My hubby and I, trying to access “The Secret Place of The Most High” individually. But - (*exhortation alert) - I am hearing from The Spirit this morning, that He doesn't receive married couples the same way that He receives individuals!
On a level yes! Of course each one of us is “saved” by our own individual acceptance of Yeshua. and - if one of us just isn't listening to Him at all – then He will regard the other one individually, definitely. Since that other person's choice to ignore God is not our fault! But what I mean is that “We” can not claim the promises of Psalm 91 fully, unless we claim them TOGETHER, IN HIM, in obedience to the kind of relationship that He has called us to in HIM, in Yeshua and with each other! It's why so many "Christian" couples aren't growing in their faith, or experiencing the promises of God in their lives!
What I hear Him saying is that, for couples who are married, AND who have committed to following HIM TOGETHER, He PREFERS “us”coming into that place of most intimate fellowship (The Secret Place of The Most High) with Him, TOGETHER as well! So, when both have plugged in, signed on, and are attempting to bring His perfect will into the relationship, it becomes a joint God-seeking experience, not an, "I sort of hope to see you in there", or an, "I'll race you", kind of thing.
Just as we become part of the world-wide, ONE NEW MAN in Yeshua - at Salvation; so it is in marriage – which is a similarly prophetic mystery – wherein two are SUPPOSED to become ONE in HIM, and then HE becomes the third part of that "wheel", or complex union. He is, of course, the outside part, on which we roll, and which holds it all together! We, the married couple, are, functionally speaking, like the spokes, in the shape of a cross, which give the wheel stability to function in the earth! We become, with Him, a complex unity. Just as He Is with the Son and the Spirit.
To make this relationship function at optimum levels spiritually, we must learn to lay aside our individual preferences, differences, etc., especially the fleshly parts of those, and fully embrace the Anointing/Holy Spirit transformed spirit-being, which is our redeemed, renewed self! Because, God knows that MY spirit-woman – and my Husband's spirit-man – when we are walking in proper communion with God, will fit the wheel that HE has designed for US – in HIMSELF - perfectly!
“US”, however, which is a word that aptly describes that spiritual “togetherness” has been a very long journey for the man and I. One which has been fraught with obstacles, warfare, and which has required much intercession, and way more patience that I would have ever thought possible, or necessary! There have been a whole lot of tears, getting comfort from God, and finding the Grace to “stay put” until He could get through to the both of us!
Like Mary, the Mother of Yeshua, I have been “pondering" His words to me, "in my heart”, this whole journey! A journey which includes the 38 (swiftly going on 39) years we've been actually “married”, legally speaking. Along with the five years prior, of preparation, cleansing of the bride, etc., which led up to that event. Our marriage was considered to be utterly illogical by most people's standards, since it was not based on physical attraction, or romantic inclination, but was purely a God-ordained union. No one thought we'd make it. But. God.
God actually said to me (the first time I laid eyes on this man who was teaching in a coffee house); “That's the man you will marry, but don't say anything!!!! I will tell him Myself, when it's time.”. And I - being new at hearing God, and not really considering marriage in my near future, especially since God had just made me quit dating the week or so before - choked on the sip of coke I'd just swallowed!
I had just gotten filled with His Spirit two weeks before, and one week before I had heard The Spirit say to me, “Stop dating so I can heal you.” So, really wanting to obey God, I shook hands with the really nice, financially and emotionally stable, good looking guy I'd been seeing, and we walked away.
And then, after God pointed my future husband out to me, I waited, and waited. I went back to home town for a bit, because it was less painful to wait at a distance. But God saw fit to shut that down hard (I was fired from four jobs in under a year because the bosses all wanted to play and I refused), so I had moved in with my mentor, who lived in Stone Mountain, Georgia. This was year number four into this waiting period! Living there was torture, because the man was right there, but SO far away! I felt invisible. He made no hint of being interested toward me at all, except as a fellow musician who ministered in music at prisons and stuff. So, during that frustrating time, I went, every day, to the park to pray, to be sure I'd heard God and wasn't just making stuff up! And every day The Spirit of God reassured me that He was working, and I just needed to trust. Being there, in close proximity to the clueless man was one of the hardest things I've ever done in my life!
FIVE YEARS after speaking to me, God FINALLY said to this man, (or the man FINALLY heard it); “I don't want you to be single for me. To obey is better than Sacrifice. I appreciate your intentions in making that sacrifice – BUT - you two (he & I) will be better , and get more done for Me, TOGETHER than you could separately!”
Well. I think so!!!! If He was only referring to the results in the natural, which have taken place since our unlikely union! The eight kids (seven on earth, one in heaven) was the most immediate, physical, result of that reality! I sure could NOT have accomplished THAT all on my own! (Never mind that I couldn't have done THAT, even WITH him, without the healing and provision of Almighty God. But that's another story, which most of you know.)
But He wasn't just talking about the natural realm! The earth IS, of course, richer for our contribution of the seven lovely people, who are now responsible, respectable, productive, grown ups. But He was prophesying a spiritual crop. And the enemy must have been listening, because he has fought that “Together” Word from happening, the whole dang way!
In fact. In my observation, "we" have had only ONE NIGHT of real “togetherness”, of pure, "in-love" motivated passion, in 38 years of hard marriage, until recently! The past year has shown some vast improvement sin communication, and reconnecting. So hopes deferred are - however slowly - finally - seemingly - becoming desires fulfilled! How do YOU spell RELIEF!!!!? It still isn't where I've envisioned it being, but the walls that were once blocking it are crumbling!
Oh, don't get me wrong - it hasn't all been awful!!! We've both been dedicated, even stubbornly determined, to staying “together” physically, on a level. Because we both KNOW what we heard!!! But to say that it has been a struggle is a HUGE understatement! A physical lack of intimacy eventually followed the emotional lack, and we've been more business partners than "lovers", even on the most basic levels, for the last two decades!
The marriage, what little spark it had, DIED. I did CPR on the thing as long as I could. I beat my head against every wall trying to find help for us, or for me! But when I began having memories of my extremely horrific, sexually abusive childhood, needless to say, "sex" became an even darker "horse" to me. And being that our sexual experience hasn't been that great, due to personal issues on both sides, including but not limited to a profound lack of real intimacy, well, it is sad to admit, but just letting it all just die seemed like a relief at the time.
I will say this, now that I see the problem for what it was, sex without emotional intimacy is not only just lust gone to seed, not only is it sin, but it is an empty, extremely disappointing abuse of that part of the marriage relationship - and no one should be subjected to that!
There should be more help in the "church" for that mess! Instead of a lot of extremely misguided leadership putting all the pressure, and all the responsibility for the failure of love on us women, insisting that we act like sex slaves to keep men out of trouble! OY GEVAULT! It is time for the men of God to "grow a pair" and find out - from HIM - what they are for and how they should be used! Just sayin'!
But, since any hopes of he and I becoming "we" , at that time, had begun to seem like the impossible dream, I just sort of turned my back on it, and busied myself with the kids. I had a two year old and several teens! AND aging parents! Who needed anything else!
I also got tired of the "Isaac" prophecies, and the "Joseph" prophecies, etc., because they just kept reviving hope, that kept being smashed over and over again. It just hurt too badly to go on hoping. So I sort of buried it and just kept busy. It wasn't hard to work myself into exhaustion every day. He was diagnosed with diabetes, our sexual issues were blamed on that and we just stopped trying to be together physically. Eventually, as the years rolled on, the parents died off, and the kids moved out, we just made separate rooms, and maintained a civil, if strained, relationship.
Recently, however, after I just surrendered the whole thing to God, finally realizing that we can't have an “US” without both of us being willing to do the hard work that goes into the change that is necessary to have that!
Especially since, at the time, it seemed that either he wasn't willing or wasn't able, and I was just tired of trying to get him to find help, want help, or even just recognize the need for help! I was thinking that if I was having to work that hard maybe I was just pestering the poor man!
It just became very clear to me that we both have to lay down our reservations and come willingly - as we must come to God - or it is just no use trying. I realized, somewhat painfully, that I obviously can't make him want a relationship with me that requires that kind of sacrifice, repentance and paradigm shift! HE has to want it for himself!!!
So I just keep giving the lovely dream of a wonderful marriage, with the kind of intimacy my heart has always longed for, back to God. And I have said to God, "No matter what I will follow You Father! But please, for my sake, will You either resurrect this "dead horse" that was once a far off dream of our marriage – OR – can You please, mercifully, just allow us to bury it and walk away? At least then I can get something done for You, God! I don't think I can take anymore deferred hopes!"
But, in answer, I just keep hearing that Scripture in Habakkuk 2:3: “For the vision is yet for the appointed time; It hastens toward the goal and it will not fail. Though it tarries, wait for it; For it will certainly come, it will not delay.”
So I keep finding His Grace, day by day, to continue. He took me to Oregon for a bit, to give the man a chance to breathe, and think, and maybe see what life would look like without me. To let him know that he had a choice to make, that time was running out.
And, by God's grace, I was able to help some folks find deliverance, salvation and healing while I was there! That was a great break. I needed to feel useful again. Empty nesting, combined with a failed marriage, was crushing the little bit of life still left in me. Also he did realize that his opportunity to fix our marriage was slipping away, and he found some help.
I mean, though it has been a personal struggle for me, there have been many lovely times too. After all, we are both God-lovers, both just trying to get our stupid flesh out of the way so we can serve Him more efficiently, to be able to know Him as He longs for us to! And there ARE things that we REALLY LIKE about each other! We share our love for our kids. Our love of music and art. Lots of things. However, emotionally and spiritually, and sexually at times, this union has been rather a nightmare for me, only surpassed, in fact, by my horrific childhood! And at times I've thought, "God, WHY ME?! Why must I endure SO MUCH REJECTION!!!"
I think my mom had the answer to that question. Upon her death bed she confessed to me that she had tried to miscarry me. She said that she had “successfully miscarried the three before me, but that I was a stubborn little so and so!”
so my guess is that God needed that stubbornness for something! Like, perhaps, to stubbornly birth into reality a pattern of marriage that has rarely been manifested in The Body of The Anointed One!? To intercede FAMILY back into existence – in His people! And to take that model to the hurting, broken, world, in which everyone is medicating the loss of those family relationships!
We should not be surprised that Satan hates Godly Marriage! He hates anything that is meaningful to GOD – and which will actually BLESS His prime creation! He definitely hates the physical model which God Himself has set up to reflect the intimacy which He wants with His creation, that union through which LIFE comes!
So. Here we are. Now, with the turning of the year, going on 39 years into this adventure, which has seemed more like THE trial of our Faith, and we are not only renovating our 20 year old home, we are renovating our marriage!
“WE” meaning he and I, "we" are both FINALLY tuned in, along with The Holy Spirit, who is contributing downloads to both of us daily.
To me, His downloads are about letting go of the past, along with the bitterness it produced, despite my best efforts to avoid it. And to him, the Spirit's downloads are about letting go of the past, especially the guilt of what he did to produce much of that bitterness!
I'm here to tell you. The STRUGGLE IS REAL! And the download this morning, that, “We” can not claim the promises of Psalm 91, unless we claim them TOGETHER, IN HIM, in obedience to the kind of relationship that He has called us to in HIM, in Yeshua and with each other! It was a relief to finally hear what we can, and should, change - so that we can change some of our paradigms and issues! But also a challenge!
Still, as I am seeing more evidence of The Spirit at work in each of us every day, I am excited to anticipate "US" finding that place IN HIM, before too long! It is Written, “I – WE – can do ALL things through The Anointed One – Who strengthens US”!
So I am just rejoicing that, after all these decades, there finally IS an US! No more just a “sort of okay him”, and a “sort of okay me”. Though both of us have been used by God along the way, because God is just good like that, the goal has always been to be used by Him TOGETHER! AS ONE! God's mercy is everlasting and His Grace is sufficient! But today I am praising God that breakthrough is here!
So - I am expecting a LOT of positive CHANGE in the next bit. Stay tuned and hang onto your hats!
Selah & Shalom!
Oh, and HAPPY NEW YEAR!
Going Through & All Things NEW, this year in 2022!