Sometimes you see the sullen face and just ignore it. Chances are there is NOTHING wrong. It’s a ruse to draw you in. Maybe just to see if you really love them, because if you do, you would realise something is wrong and you would ask. That proves you care. Somehow it’s proof. Sometimes nothing is wrong but you are maybe too happy, too serene, too content within yourself and it’s time to throw you off, time to destabilise your ‘happy place’. Whatever the motive nothing good will come of it for you.

When we awoke that morning everything was fine. We travelled to church and everything was fine. We sat through the cburch service, everything was fine. We travelled home, still fine. We walked through the door and things were not fine anymore. Suddenly he was a little hostile, and his face was tense. Battle stations!

“You were not with me in church today” he announced. Of all the dumb things to say.

“Excuse me?”

“Where were you? What were you thinking of. What was on your mind?”

I always struggled with the dumb yet loaded questions, but I was in smart mouth mode. “I was in church sitting right next to you and I was paying attention to the service. I was right next to you.”

“You were not there for me. You were next to me but your mind was far. You need to be with me. This has been going on for weeks and it needs to stop.”

Now how does an individual digest that? “I do not understand. We sat together holding hands the whole time. How was I not there?”

“It’s not enough. You need to connect with me all the time, even in church.” Great, now I had to somehow manifest a psychic connection with my husband. How does one do this? “You can look at me sometimes or smile. Just check that I’m ok.” I get it now. He wanted a babysitter that specialised in him.

“Yeah ok. I get it.”

During that phase being in church was difficult. Previously, It had always been like a ‘service’ stop on the motorway. We are all on this life journey and we have to make a stop every so often to rest, fill up then continue the expedition. The downtime is vital otherwise you will burn yourself out. When we come in the presence of The Almighty, we praise and worship Him and allow His word to fuel us until the next pit stop. Isn’t it refreshing to meet and spend time with The Creator? Somehow, in the rollercoaster of emotional survival it was hard to bask in the glory of His love for me. My mind would be so cluttered with pain that I couldn’t always connect with God. I simply went through the motions of being in church. In some ways I didn’t want that connection because I felt that he (Mr Impatient) would find ways to breach it. Going to church is supposed to be about meeting God. He is central to the whole activity. He is the reason to attend, but like everything else in my life Mr Impatient managed to make church be about him.

There were times when I know he purposely started an argument or start a put-me-down tirade just so that he could break my spirit before church. He especially liked doing this when it was my turn to lead worship. He knew my vocal chords never worked very well once they engaged in tears. How do you lead with joy and thanksgiving when you’re feeling melancholy and wistful?

God is ever faithful! He manoeuvred me through those times. I never would have made it without Him. Our unity with Him must be guarded and protected at all costs.

For the Lord your God is a consuming fire, a jealous God.

Deuteronomy 4:24 The Message Bible

If you would like to share your story send me an email to byootifulashes@gmail.com.

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