Tuesday, June 7, 2011

An Admission of Failure

I've mentioned before that when I first started this blog I would be honest.  I would be open.  I wouldn't be guilty of sugar-coating and I wouldn't be guilty of dishonesty.  I promised to be transparent.  That means I share the good along with the bad. 

With that said, I admit failure.  I admit to being wrong.  Confession time.

I've wasted time.  I've wasted memories that could have been made.  I've wasted opportunities I will never get back.  I have prevented God from blessing us.  I've been disobedient.  Time is so short and we have no guarantees of tomorrow.  I can't turn back the clock or rewind the months or years.  Oh, do I ever wish it were so.   It doesn't matter that we are all guilty of similar faults.  I'm guilty of these faults in MANY areas and at MANY times, but most specifically I'm targeting marriage.

Currently I am participating in a 30 day challenge hosted by S.H.M.I.L.Y (Amy of Dandelion Seeds).  It involves women around the world committing to praying for their husbands the month of June.  We follow along with Stormie Omartian's book "The Power of a Praying Wife".  This isn't the first time I've participated with the group.  However, this time has been more meaningful and the deepest I've ever gone with it.  At other times we were struggling and the prayers were a bit harder to truly believe in.  Other times, we were growing in marriage but yet I was struggling personally so greatly that I couldn't see beyond myself enough to see the bigger picture.  It seems like this time everything is falling into place for God to REALLY use this time.  We're only into it a week at this point and my eyes have never been open as much as they are right now.   Granted, we've been doing other studies and attending marriage events that have also fostered the growth that is happening. 

The first day/chapter of the book is the prayer that starts with "CHANGE ME".  That is where it ALL begins.  That is where the greatest impact comes from.  Yes, the rest of the book contain specific prayers to enrich the lives of our husbands, but it begins with a change in my own heart.

I have another confession to make.  Prayer doesn't come easy for me.  I know others feel that way.  I just had a conversation with a dear friend the other day that echoed my same feelings.  Some people are truly gifted in that area and the rest of us...well, it's not easy.  One of my biggest issues is focus.  I constantly am in a prayerful mode throughout the day and have no problems with a few lines of prayer.  It's the deep, soul-searching ones that I struggle with.  My mind doesn't slow down very often and let's face it---a SAHM and home schooling mom doesn't have much luxury of uninterrupted time.  Good grief----a trip to the bathroom is seldom even peaceful!!!!  One thing I'm doing to help with this issue is to "write" my prayers.  Yes, it takes time...but that isn't a bad thing.  I can pick it up and start several times if I can't finish it.  I can maintain my thoughts and I have time to listen to God's answers.  Taking this approach is changing the effectiveness of my prayers AND the connection I have with God on a regular basis. 

This approach is the way I've attacked this cycle of  30 days of prayer.  It's making a remarkable difference.  I'm spending more than just 2 minutes rattling off a prayer of the day's topic.  I'm letting God have my full attention as I intercede for Kevin, but it's more importantly changing me.

Today's focus really has grabbed me the most so far (besides day one).  The topic is about "His Mind".  I joked with him earlier and told him that he couldn't say he had already lost it or anything of the such.  It's not even about his intelligence (which he is incredibly smarter than he will ever give himself credit for...I could KICK those people that have told him differently through the years!....I'm borrowing a line from a friend "I'm visualizing punching {that person} in the face!).  It's about praying that he doesn't believe the lies that Satan tells him.  It's about erasing the words: hopeless, no good, failure, impossible, it's over, and why try.  It's about replacing those words with:  hope, prosperity, possibility, success, and new beginning.  Depression, bitterness, anger, fear, rejection, hopelessness, loneliness, rebellion, temptation, evil and other "negatives" all begin in the mind.  All of these things destroy!  They are not of God.

Two powerful tools are available to help combat the lies:  the Word of God and Praise.  Speaking/Praying God's word helps reveal the wrong thinking and it looses it power. 

"The Word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart." (Hebrews 4:12)

"God has not given (him) a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind." (2 Timothy 1:7)

Praise also works wonders in replacing the wrong thoughts.  Speaking both praise to God and praise to Kevin works wonders.  Don't our own negative thoughts lose their power when someone compliments us or lifts us up in praise?  Our husbands are absolutely no different.  Perhaps they need it even more than those of us women that admit to being emotionally needy. 

My specific failure?  Failing to recognize the power I have through Christ to change my husband's life.  Putting my own needs, wants, desires ahead of his too many times.  Spending too much time in my marriage thinking that he is the key to all of my happiness or that he is responsible for meeting my needs.  How many marriages are being tossed away for those exact reasons?  How much time have I wasted by not putting enough effort into making HIM my priority?  Too much.  The weight hit me quite heavily tonight when I realized that though we are a success story in a marriage being restored and experiencing exponential growth, so many opportunities have been missed.  The growth we have now could have been experienced YEARS ago.  How many blessings have we missed because I wasn't FIGHTING for him.  Fighting for him through prayer and God's word.  How many blessings have been missed because I was too caught up in expecting him to meet MY needs and my selfishness blocked what God was wanting us to see?  I'll never know the answer to that.

What I do know is this....GRACE has been at work.  Just as I talked about in Lesson in Grace---from Peter, there is no perfection.  God's grace has sustained us and God's grace will continue to bind us together more and more.  I will fight the battle of not carrying the guilt and shame that failures can bring.  However, it's essential to admit failures and grow from them. 

I look forward to listening to what God has to say as I continue with this 30 day challenge (and others that I'm currently involved in).  I look forward to seeing other ways that I can uplift Kevin and fight for him to be the man of God he was designed to be and for our marriage to be the picture that God had in mind the day that he put him in my path at New Hope church in the summer of 1994.  God knows exactly the plan he had for us when he let us experience *that* moment on our first date on September 23rd, 1994 while Michael W. Smith was singing "Friends are Friends Forever".  The moment that we knew we had stepped into something special that only God could have designed.  He most definitely knew the plan for us when we were married exactly one year to the day later.  He knows exactly the plan for us today and we are trusting that each day we are more open to hearing the direction He is leading us and what He wants from us.  Stronger. Together.

No comments: