An Itch

I’ve had this itch for a while now-a thought, a longing that won’t leave the back of my mind, that keeps resurfacing.

I want this thing so badly-for me, for my husband, for people who battle the same battles as my husband, for the wives/husbands/sisters/brothers/parents/friends who watch these horrific battles unfold and can do almost nothing about it.

I want the church to be a place of freedom, peace, rest and comfort for those with mental illness and their families. Jesus has always already been this place. I want His bride-the Church- to be this place, also.

I want to be a part of it. Or start it.

But I don’t know how. I don’t know exactly what it would look like. I don’t know where to start, or who to talk to, or if anyone would come. I don’t know if others want this. I don’t know if I could do it. I don’t know if I could start, lead, or participate well in this. I don’t know if I’m emotionally strong enough to handle it.

But I do know that there are so many more people than we realize who are fighting this war. I do know that God’s heart hurts for this even more than mine does. I do know I want to see Biblical, healing, supportive ministry in this area. I do know I’m not qualified. Sometimes I know that I’m called to this. But other times I don’t know that at all.

I don’t know a lot, but what I do know keeps growing in strength, crowding out the uncertainty, the fear, the insecurity.

But I still don’t know.

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Shalom

Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Day have come and gone. One of the most stressful, anxiety-filled seasons of the year (along with the joy, wonder, awe, etc.). In a very compartmentalized part of myself, I dreaded it, because of all.the.things. The parties, the can’t-get-out-of-it commitments, the family drama (of which we have oh-so-much. Yay us.).

When your husband has depression that robs him of every last ounce of energy for dealing with people and socially normal things, the Christmas season feels a little like a ticking time bomb. How long before he’s d.o.n.e. and retreats into The Pit? How long before I have to come up with reasons for why he’s not at this or that party…again?

I kept waiting….and waiting….and then cautiously optimistically enjoying events…but still waiting. And, it never came. God has blessed us with 2 of the most consistently healthy, wonderful months we’ve had all at one time, ever. It’s been beyond-words amazing. Peace-filled, restful, restorative. A calm in the midst of a storm, a reprieve from battle.

So I (we) have enjoyed it, and not tried to analyze it too much by writing, but instead praise God (every.day.) for it and live it.

The Hebrew word “shalom”┬ámeans completeness, wholeness, health, peace, welfare, safety, soundness, tranquility, prosperity, perfectness, fullness, rest, harmony, the absence of agitation or discord.

Just, yes.

This has characterized the last 2 months for us, and we pray it continues. Forever.

And then he dropped the P-word

Saturday was busy, but great. We had tons of fun catching up with old friends at a wedding-laughing, dancing, and feeling “normal.” Happy Hallelujah.

Sunday, after spending the whole afternoon at urgent care to get meds for an infection (for me), he drops this bomb on me: he’d been watching porn for fully half of our 22-month baby marriage.

WTF. Seriously?!

Is there at least ONE sin/vice/struggle that we don’t have to battle? So besides choosing filthy, exploited images over me for. eleven. months., he had lied about and hidden it for. eleven. months. My heart was already bruised from carrying the burden of a spouse’s depression in isolation for so long, and this just bloodied even more.

I love him. He has sought council for this from pastors and other men at church, he has not viewed porn in 4 months, he’s read books about its damaging spiritual and relational effects, and he came to me-I didn’t catch him in it. He came clean, humbly and out of great pain and love.

But.

It hurts. A whole F-ing lot. And so I am staying home today because trying to slog through the work day yesterday with this weighing on my heart and mind was too damn much. I have a date with a running path, my Bible, my Jesus, and His ocean, which somehow always seems to hold comfort and answers from Him. Broken Hallelujah.