The last piece of these interesting meetings that God was arranging came just recently. The family who had to get their visas came up to stay with us. We had the typical long day drive and dealing with visas thing to do - plenty of talking time. They again asked to hear the story.
I was interested this time as I listened to my husband and I tell the story again how the telling had changed. We were getting deeper into it - able now to pull up the emotions associated with different parts. More aware of each other's emotions of different parts of the story. The facts had not changed, but we were able to express our feelings on the story as we went through it. We never did finish, but that was ok.... the day was chaotic.
Here, though, an interesting and a needed thing for me came out in my husband's story. This time, when he talked, he mentioned the actions of our director and how painful they were for him, how they had destroyed much of the relationship between them. He said he still has a relationship, but it is built more on loyalty than an actual relationship now.
I needed to hear that. That was important for me to hear. No longer was the world around me all either defending this man or silent on him. That silence and defense of him just because of who he is hurt. When you are put in a balance and come up as insignificant so that a fault against you is not worth as much as the worth of someone else, it hurts. But to hear my husband say that it hurt him, and to say that how he treated his wife was not right.... there was some healing in that. Not vindication against him, but a quiet siding with me - you are valuable enough to me that I care when you are hurt. He also was hurt and was admitting it. It is hard to explain this one, but it was critically important to me - to have my husband chose to side with me. Not to side against someone, but just to side with me, to identify with me. There has been times he hasn't especially where this man is concerned, and this felt good.
Our visitors shared in a team meeting (if you come to visit, we will make you speak to the team!) about the course that they run. They may come back and run it with our group. (Again, it shows the growth and change in my husband's thinking that he is pushing for this now. A few years ago, he would have brushed it off as "different" and "not important". Now he is pushing for it even though he says he knows our director won't be totally behind it, but will do it if my husband insists, and he is going to insist.)
Our visitor drew a picture of a house with garbage in it and rats eating the garbage. Then he asked, "What do you need to do to get the rats out of your house?" Obviously, if you set a trap and catch a rat, more will just appear. You need to clean up the garbage. He asked us what the rat were. People guessed sin or demonic influence or temptation. Then he asked what the garbage was. People scratched their heads. I knew because I had heard him talking before, and knew where he was coming from. Then he asked us what caused the first sin in the Garden of Eden. It was because of a lie. Satan told Eve a lie, and then she was tempted and sinned. Lies cause sin and lies give the devil room to work in our lives. Jesus said, "You will know the truth and the truth will make you free."
If we simply confess our sin, we are forgiven and clean, true. But we so often go right back to the same sin. It is because we are believing a lie and that lie is holding us captive to that sin. Maybe it tells us we need something, so we look for it. Maybe it is a lie that causes us to fear, so we act to defend ourselves. Maybe.... there are a lot of lies. The point is to find the garbage that attracts the rats and clean it up. Truth leads to freedom.
This was not new teaching to me, but I liked the way he presented it and backed it up with Scripture (he had a lot more in there - I just gave the Reader's Digest condensed version). I sat watching others take it in and just observing.
The next day, as I was driving in to work, I thought back over the day and all the days leading up to this one - all the little meetings God was arranging and how I was starting on the steps that led to healing of those wounds from the trauma. I was just quiet with God asking Him where He was leading, listening. Then I remembered what our visitor had been saying about the lies. I just asked God, "What is the lie that lies buried here causing all this pain?"
Almost as soon as I asked it, I knew the answer.