I shared this weekend that I have been asked the right question and I have found the answer. The right question was “do I like myself” and the response was, “no, I don’t”. Since answering this life changing question there has been so much processing gong on in my mind, my heart, and my soul. I have had blinders literally peeled off of my eyes and my heart and I can see situations so much differently. I am no longer driven by the need to demand something from those around me, something that they cannot give me. I am now finding contentment, peace, and love in myself which is found in Jesus Christ alone. It has even affected what and how much I eat. I do not need the emotional soothing eating gave me. Now I think twice before I eat something, sometimes not even considering the tempting chocolate as an option. I’m loving it!
But, what I don’t love is the damage I am realizing I have done to those around me without knowing it. Because I was unable to see that I was the issue, that my hatred of myself was the issue, I was unable to see relationships in my life for what they were. There are times that I ranted and raved at Mark, making sure he knew the wrong he had done to me, how he had done it, and I was going to make him see every angle of it. But, now, I am realizing that doing that only sealed the nail on the coffin he had already made for himself. You see Mark already knew the heart issues he had and he was already beating himself for them. Probably more than I can even fathom. Then, the beloved, me, comes along and tells him in what I’m thinking is my right because he’s hurt me and well no one else is going to tell him if I don’t. But, what I did was reassure him in his heart and mind that the failure he saw in himself must be truer than he knew. What he heard was why try, I’m just going to fail again, so why try to change. If she knows it, I know it, then well there truly is no hope for me”. My fighting back at my husband was more damaging than I could have imagined. At the time I thought I had a righteous right, I had to let him know for the sake of our marriage and the sake of myself. But, I am here standing before you, with my head bowed in humility, to tell you I was wrong! What I needed to give Mark, what he even asked me to give him so many times (but I thought he was just trying to get out of what I needed from him) was to help him pull the nails out of his coffin. He needs someone to help believe in him to victory. The offense, whatever it is, pick one, in marriage there is hand fulls of offenses to pick from. He needs my help and my prayers to pray him to victory. There is a war waging in my mans head that I had no idea existed. I just assumed he was hurting me and choosing to not stop because he was a jerk and didn’t care. I am learning this is not the case. I am learning that what is really going on is a battle for what Satan wants Mark to believe of himself and what God wants Mark to believe in himself and because Mark is human Satan’s lies seem more true than God’s view of Mark.
Mark David Russell, this is my degree to you! I love you! I see you of full value and worth! I see you as blameless and holy before our almighty God! I see you as deeply beloved! You are a treasure to me and I cannot image my life without you. When I had no idea what part you could play in my broken healing God used you as a key component to my healing. You desire to be a warrior for God, but Mark you do not desire the spot light, you want to work diligently and quietly. You don’t need recognition or fanfare you just want to work quietly in your passions. But, you want your passions to shine and direct other humans to God’s life saving message of healing and redemption. Mark your art, your photography, you being you, points others to Christ. Mark, Satan has been lying to you, and I want you to know that they are just that, lies! Mark I believe in you, I have faith in you, and Mark I trust you! You haven’t meant to hurt me, the hurt is not an offense against me, it is nothing about me, your hurt and what you do with it, is you hurting yourself over and over and over. You needed me to reassure you and love you, but I put you in your coffin and sealed it and for that, my love, I am deeply sorry and I seek your forgiveness. I want you to know that I see you as whole, I see you as forgiven, I see you seeking Almighty God to get to freedom! Seek the freedom babe and don’t let go! It’s coming and I desire it for you more than anything else in this world! I could die a contented happy woman knowing you are free from the hell you have put yourself in. You do not deserve hell my love, you deserve life! Because, Jesus’s life means that much! Jesus’s death means life and I desire for you more than anything else to find this life! To claim it as yours and to live it fully!
Mark I know the scars will still remain, but I’m here with my hammer and I’m here to pull the nails out and I’m here to help you heal from the scars by others and the scars by me. I know the wounds will remain, but babe I desire more than anything to burn the coffin which you have made for yourself. Let’s throw the coffin away and live as the Holy and blameless children our God has made us!
You, Mark Russell are my beloved in whom I am well pleased! Mark Russell, I choose you to be my beloved and I continue to choose to call you my beloved! I walk forward and I ask that you will forgive me for not seeing what I couldn’t and I pray that you will forgive me for the wounds I inflicted on you. I rejoice knowing that you have already forgiven me, I rejoice because I know your heart, forgiveness will be granted. I rejoice that God can claim the victory in our marriage and in our lives!
I am so thankful that my journey in life included you! I love you Mark Russell!