It wasn't a new disagreement. It's a situation that we have limited control over, yet it impacts us regularly. Brad and I are pretty different, so the way we think things should be handled often conflicts. Most of the time, we can work through our different ideas in healthy ways. But on this night, our different personalities crashed against a situation that feels like an impenetrable wall we have struggled against for a long time. Add a couple of dashes of we are both absolutely exhausted, and it was not going to go well.
What do you do when the situation is stagnant? When it keeps getting worse in a fashion similar to quick sand. You know if you don't do something you're going to drown, but also, you're stuck. It is a problem you know you can't live with long term, but at the same time, there doesn't seem to be any obvious way to overcome it. As I write this, I laugh because this analogy could literally apply to half of the tensions in our lives. At one point, finances, at another, relationships, at another, work...the list goes on. While this particular situation feels unique, I wonder, is it? In the middle of the work-through and wait, I think the quick sand feeling is quite common.
He is methodical and logical. I want to burn the thing down. What could possibly go wrong? The bottom line with our right now is that this one is Brad's to solve. I can offer ideas and suggestions, but this particular issue isn't mine to fix. I don't always handle that well....
I was mean. I pushed and complained and ‘opinioned’ all over the place. Until I finally realized that my goal of pushing him through the situation was actually burying the man I love under a pile of my frustration and disappointment. I wanted to light a fire under him, to ignite something that would unstick things, but that simply isn't how he works. I felt terrible after I stopped being mad.
In the middle of the night, I slipped out of bed, down to my knees, tears flowing. 'Lord, I don't know what to do. I'm so frustrated but I am making it worse with my big mouth. You know the plans you have for us, to prosper us, not harm us, plans to give us hope and a future. I also know that this promise was given as a reminder to the Israelite's that captivity will only last so long, but it's not an immediate fix. It's a reminder that You are working all things out for our good....I know I will surrender to that process. I choose it. But....'
Man, I have a list of buts. As I felt the shift from surrender prayer to negotiating prayer, I had to remind myself of what I've learned. I stopped and began the Lord's Prayer. I memorized it in the KJV, so as I moved through the process, I hit "forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us...."
Pause. That's a super weird way to ask for forgiveness for my sins. Trespasses....I sat still with that. Listened. Slowly, I saw a picture of the 'land' the Lord has given Brad. I've prayed for it, I've asked Him to enlarge Brad's territory like He did for Jabez! I could see how lush the grass was, the amazing stream running through it. The shade trees. I saw so many of the promises from Psalms and other scriptures.
Suddenly I understood how in this moment I was launching grenades into His peaceful oasis. My words had trespassed. Normally I'm invited into all of the land God has given Brad. It's ours to share freely. I'm trusted with each nook and cranny because I'm safe and tender enough to handle every vulnerability. Until I come in guns blazing. Suddenly I have worn out my welcome as the lady of the land. It's more like I'm burning my own house down. I'm destructive in a way that causes him to throw up walls of protection. What used to be our space has been revoked and I am a trespasser.
I am so thankful for that understanding. I am so thankful I was able to repent to God last night and Brad this morning. I never want to pick anything over our relationship. I never want to fight for my way. I want to be a team that works passionately towards our unified goal. I never want to allow outside issues to have that level of access and effect.
Maybe like me, you realize you have taken by force land where you used to twirl around freely. Maybe you have trespassed in relationships you value and walls have been erected--even to the point that it's created a maze, where finding each other and returning to gentle pastures feels impossible. Learn from my fail. Lay down your weapon, hold your hands up in surrender. Repent of your trespasses and forgive those who trespass against you. It leads you away from temptation. It delivers you from evil.
Jesus your prayer was so simple yet has so many layers. It literally is all we need for effective prayers that lead to the life you want to offer us!