The tightrope loosened. I did not need to be so careful.
Marriage is the answer to loneliness and a heart’s aching for love.
In fact, I had moments I could do acrobats on the tightrope. Surges of confidence in who I was as a woman. Actual joy with knowing I was chosen by a man for what seemed like right reasons. He wanted family like I did. He was kind and loyal, unlike many men who appeared in the past.
Then he said, “Italy”.
The rope tightened, making it harder to stand straight. My world began to spin … again. I was prey for the beastly world, a victim of mounting wrongs.
Woozy and pregnant, I wondered how I could keep my career. Instead, I swept our marble floors in our temporary Italy home. My voice echoed against the apartment walls. Though a purpose was living in my belly, I could not escape the mind-sweeping loss.
Trying to keep my head up as my feet wobbled on the wire, someone pretending to be my friend said there was a different way than this crazy balancing act.
Before his arrival in Italy, the lion forcefully scraped his claws down the bark of a fruitless tree … sharpening his deadly weapon to move in for the kill.
I could feel his hot breath on my neck as he seductively whispered, “You have ssssssuffered enough. Take charge of your sssssurroundingsssss.”
He flashed his gnashy hunting sabers and gently grabbed the nape of my neck. As if he was my father, whose job is protection, he lifted me off the wire. Again, my feet waved around in the approach of panic. But somehow this lion had a trusted plan. It seemed to be made just for me.
1 Peter 5:8, NIV:
Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.
As this oversized feline lowered his kingly head, my two feet landed softly on the ground.
This time his voice was bold with a motivating undertow.
“You have a college education that is being wasted. Your husband took you away from your hard-earned profits and your friends.”
Before my lips could form the word M-I-S-S-I-S-S-I-P-P-I, the foe’s lies were so consistent they became my truth and justification.
Yes! I needed control. I needed to walk freely, making every decision I could.
The more control over the house and the finances, the more comfort I felt.
However, the tightrope hung above my head like blackmail.
If I failed to have perfect control, I may as well return to my past life of uncertainty.
Braedon’s birth was scary and complicated.
Being a new mom in a new marriage in a new country in a new role of S.A.H. overwhelmed me.
My father died suddenly when Braedon was one and while Jason was deployed.
I must be a failure. My efforts to keep things in order failed again and again.
Proverbs 19:21, NLT Study Bible:
You can make any plans, but the Lord’s plan will prevail.
The lion pounced and dug his claws in, assuming he would win. “Don’t give up, get angry, stay bitter. You can win this fight. You are SO strong.”
The deceptive stronghold flooded me. It was loud and ugly: yelling, disrespect, guilt.
The cycle of self-destruction blasted like a fire alarm that nobody shuts off.
The lion was pleased, though aggressive. He held me tightly with his strong forearms, squeezing my soul. I was convinced he would devour me eventually … I feared the future in general and that I would die young like my mom …
Proverbs 19:23, NLT Study Bible:
Fear of the Lord leads to life, bringing security and protection from harm.
Three years in Italy, I did not have beer or wine. Without that “medicine”, my feelings had no help. My heart was clogged with many years of unresolved loss, grief and anger.
The enemy has wielded alcohol as an intergenerational weapon in my family.
I returned to drinking wine when we arrived back on United States soil. With a body full of life’s tensions, wine offered a smooth invitation to escape.
Romans 6:23 NIV
For the wage of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus Our Lord.
Friends, I have two cousins in my generation that died in their kitchens in their 50’s. I myself used alcohol for many wrong things, primarily to medicate anxiety and depression.
Alcohol is a silent killer of family relationships, self-worth and faith.
For me, alcohol kept me from faith, kept me from properly dealing with the emotional mess I had stuffed.
I am thankful to Jesus every day for being my personal Savior. I will tell of Him and His rescue of me in part 3.
Not sure of the post date because my friend Terri Webster will be our guest post on Valentine’s Day.
Thank you for being witness to what is deep pain. I encourage you to deal directly with pain: write, talk about it with those you love, seek counsel.
If you haven’t accepted Jesus, please consider it.
Always feel freedom to ask me questions or to ask me for prayers.
Every day I have breath is every day I believe Jesus can heal anyone’s emotional heart. For ALL emotional pain and past mistakes, HE is OUR REDEEMER WHO LOVES TO LOVE US.
In His Love and Service,