A Gentle And Quiet Spirit

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When I was first married, an older man in our church used to tell me all the time to make sure I was praying for my husband, and that praying for him was the most important thing I could do for our marriage. I always assured him that I was praying for my husband, and I was. About a year into our marriage, we moved to a new state. Unfortunately, I promptly forgot about praying for my husband. Actually, my faith kind of fell apart around that time, as so many waves of trial washed over me; the trials were too much for my fairly new faith. I was raised in a very female dominant and verging on anti-male environment, so my faith is all I have ever had to guide me in my marriage. Therefore, my marriage took a hard hit as my faith crumbled.

This past Sunday evening, I was at a Bible study and was listening to the women interacting with each other. My mind floated off the subject, and I remembered the man who had exhorted me to pray for my husband. My prayer life has been very nearly nonexistent for 3.5 years. I thought to myself that I am finally at a point in my faith where I am ready to seek God with my whole heart again. I have reached the bottom of my pride and struggles and am ready to accept where He has me. So, I re-entered the world of prayer by praying for my husband. It felt natural to me to be conversing with God again as I prayed for my husband’s emotional strength, peace regarding finances, and natural leadership in our home. I also prayed for my children and for my friends.

There has been an incredible peace surrounding my house over the past 2.5 days, perhaps a peace that passes all understanding. My husband and I are resolving conflicts; my son is calm and readily responds to correction; I am cooking; my husband and I are communicating on our goals for homeschool and dinner ideas; and we are having time together after the kids are in bed. We are also managing my PTSD and triggers more effectively, and I am finding myself feel a gentle and quiet spirit within me. What a change from the pattern we had established for so long of me going to bed hurt or in a spiral of PTSD symptoms!!!

I have prayed these verses off and on regarding my marriage, but I wanted to re-write them here as a re-commitment to pray them for my marriage. This is where I desire to grow as a wife. This is also what I am praying for my children’s marriages to stand upon.

Do not let your adornment be merely outward- arranging the hair, wearing gold, or putting on fine apparel- rather let it bet the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God. -1 Peter 3:3-4

She opens her mouth with wisdom, and on her tongue is the law of kindness. -Proverbs 31:26

Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering; bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do. But above all these things, put on love, which is the bond of perfection. And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful. -Colossians 3:12-15

A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. -Proverbs 15:1

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Change Begins

So…

I let it out. A few days ago.

That overwhelming urge to start bawling. And I sobbed for hours. I couldn’t stop. I sobbed in the car. I sobbed at the restaurant. I sobbed at the library. And I sobbed at home.

When I was finished, I felt like I was going to throw up. But my heart was at peace. Then I walked over to my bookshelf and pulled out a book I’ve had for a while but have never read. It’s called Why? By Anne Graham Lotz. This paragraph struck me to the core:

Have you finally concluded that your situation is impossible and that if He doesn’t help you, there will be no help? Have you finally reached the place where you have no one and no help- except Jesus? Then you may be close to experiencing the purpose for His delay, which may be to develop your faith in Him, and Him alone.

I believe this is where I am at, and was what part of what I was crying out the other night. I have no other options. Nothing else is working. If God doesn’t come through and give me peace soon, I might explode. Or go homicidal. Or suicidal. Or just go crazy. Seriously. PTSD is rough.

I have felt more at peace since letting go of this emotion. I feel calmer. I have been seeking God more, and I have felt His presence. It’s been so long since I actually felt safe in His presence and could hear His still small voice. It is comforting.

Maybe God has me in this desperate situation so that I realize I cannot (cannot) live without Him. My conversion was not as dramatic as many others (wow does my husband have an awesome conversion story); I feel as if one day I was walking alone, and the next day I was reading my Bible with interest and wonder. Therefore, maybe God is using these circumstances to bring about a sense of urgency to my walk that I wouldn’t have otherwise had. Without these circumstances maybe I’d forever be a lukewarm Christian. Someone recently said that she only knew of one other person with my dissociative diagnosis, and that person had the strongest faith she had ever seen because the woman had to work for it. I don’t know if I’ll ever have that trademark. But I do know I cannot survive these trenches without my God. I am done half-asking for God’s help; I am on my knees telling Him I absolutely cannot do this without Him. Maybe this is where He wants me.

Be merciful to me, O God, be merciful to me, for in you my soul takes refuge; in the shadow of your wings I will take refuge, till the storms of destruction pass by. (Psalm 57:1 ESV)