What to write? I wish there was an answer that would be good and then life would be good and we'd be living in the land of milk and honey, the land of peace and happiness.
It just hasn't happened.
Just as we saw some good things begin, there was a down turn again, and I am living with an angry silence again. I am beginning to seriously question some things like bi-polar depression and other things like that. This cycle, this up and down, this constant, on-going nature of this is wearing me out.
I dealt with "Dick". Called him to account. I think people were honestly shocked at what he had been saying and doing. (Not that I hadn't told them for years, but no one would believe me.... I was just a missionary wife, and he was a leader, so respected, yada, yada, yada....). Even more shocked to learn at that meeting that he had stated in his letter that he had talked to this counselor, and she had said this and that. Turns out, he had never talked to her, and when she was contacted, not only did she say she never said such and such, but that she would have never said that because she is not qualified to, AND that she doesn't believe it. Then "Dick" also included in his letter a quote from his wife. He introduced it as saying his wife is a woman with good insight into people, and this is what she has to say..... Then he started the next section with quotes and put it in italics, and in her voice.
Turns out, she never said it. Nor did she know he was writing the letter. Nor did she ever see it.
I just sat there when he said that and stared at him. We all did.
This is from a respected leader who teaches others how to act.
And all these years they said I was paranoid and off balance for suggesting he was doing these things.
Vindication. There was nothing he could say.
Anyway, oh, it turns out there was something he could say, and he did. The very next morning, he went to my husband and "apologized". End result, my husband got furious, and has remained that way ever since.
I think the thing I struggle with understanding is why. Why? Why would this man do this? Why would he malign my character and person so often and so much? Why? Why to those who lead me? Why to my husband? Why would a leader encourage a man to hate his wife? (Because that is what he has done.)
I really do not have an answer for that, and at times, I just lift my eyes to God and question. Why God? This was one of Yours, God, why?
I have a few hints, but I don't know. Hint one is that my husband is worth his weight in gold to those involved in missions simply because of his capacities. So when there were hints of problems, it was so much easier to blame the wife and then be able to keep the husband than to deal with the problems. If "Dick" had to admit the problems came even a little bit from inside him, then he would be forced to deal with them. If he could make himself believe that it was the wife who was a pathological liar and someone with a mental illness, he could have sympathy for my husband, and keep using him in his position. So he made himself believe it. He helped himself believe it by suggesting it to and discussing it with my husband until they both began to believe it. Then they began to share that belief with others. And because they were both leaders, respected and well known for their leadership, if I even opened my mouth to suggest that they were not working from pure motives, I began to look "crazy". "See, poor thing, she is deluded, to think that these respected people would do something wrong, how sad."
There was no defense for me but time. Time to live a life in front of others so that they would see who I am. (Remember this "Dick" does not and has never lived in the same town as us.) Time enough so that people would see who I was, and begin to see enough hints into the situation to be able to question what they were hearing. In time, it was time to bring forth proof of what "Dick" had been doing. I lived almost ten years in the hell he was helping to create for me. Ten years under his judgements. There is pain in that statement that is hard to put words to.
The second hint that answers the "Why?" question is hard to figure out how to say.... It is as if my husband has some odd bond with "Dick". I question if it is a father/son relationship or what, but I know that his loyalty is stronger to him than to me. Perhaps that is an off-shoot of ten years of speaking evil of me together. But it is an important piece of the puzzle as soon as "Dick" was disciplined for his actions.
That bond kicked in, and my husband now is furious with me for "hurting Dick".
And quietly, my heart cries out..... where is the anger for what "Dick" did to me??? For years??? It isn't there....
and that hurts.
There is both victory and sadness today. Dick had been firmly told off. He is no longer, THANK GOD!!!, on the team working with us to heal our marriage. (I couldn't express how I felt about that one clearly enough to people, but to be crude about it, it felt like a rape. I was forced to be emotionally vulnerable to a man who was demeaning and hurting me, and I was given no choice.) He has been forbidden to talk to my husband about anything outside of work. Do I believe he will do that? I don't know. I really do not know. What I do know is that he is not a man of integrity, or he would have never done what he has done, so I have no trust in him that he will do as he should do. However, I do know that no one on any leadership in our mission will trust his opinion of anything regrading us ever again, and if he even opens his mouth to speak about us, he will be in serious trouble. So there is some freedom there.
He may interfere with my husband's head again, but he has no voice in the team.
I do not live under his judgement anymore. I have proved myself by my character, and he has proved himself. There is relief in that. It doesn't solve everything, but there is relief in that.
The sad thing is that ten years of mentoring have an effect. And sadly, my husband had ten years of detrimental mentoring.... that is going to take time to change. It may even take years...
And that is what makes me shiver as I sit here in another one of his weeks of angry silences.... this may be my life for quite some time yet. Whatever the underlying problems were, it has been made worse by "Dick's" interference, and we are not even yet working on the underlying problems. Just tackling the beginning of the effect of years of this evil mentoring.
Yes, I used that word evil. It is a strong word. But when I read that the evil one came to steal, kill, and destroy, and then I read and see what this man has done, I know it is evil. They stole my reputation (or attempted... God held my heart and gave me strength to live who I was in the middle of their words and people saw that). They killed my joy, and that of my children. My children can never be given back the childhood that they missed. And it destroyed our marriage. Evil is an appropriate word here. I have no doubts who was behind all of this - it smells of the evil one.
I sit here today and wonder how my life is going to be. How long will it take to heal the damage and even begin to work on things? Is this going to be my life for years to go? And shivers run up and down me, and my heart cries. I want a marriage. I want a relationship. I want to be loved.
And yet, as I sit here in tears, I remind myself that I am loved. This is not my forever. I will be loved perfectly forever. This is my now. This is the now that God has called me to walk through. I have no choice to walk it, but I can choose how I walk it.
At times, it is tempting to get angry at God and ask why He hasn't stopped this earlier. He could have, you know. He didn't. But when I think about getting angry about it, I think of that verse, "Who have I in heaven but You?"
This is my now. I can choose to live it with God or without God. I can't choose not to live it.
I just don't want to have to go through all this without God.
Even when I don't understand it all.
Even when I want Him to pick me up and tell me He loves me so much that He doesn't want me to suffer at all.
But I live in a horribly fallen world. So did Jesus when He chose to come here for me. I live among a hurting people. They hurt because of sin. I hurt because of sin. I carry scars and wounds, like them. We all suffer. I don't get a free pass from the effects of sin simply because I am chosen by God. I still live here. I live by my neighbor who suffers because her daughter has a birth condition that she will never be able to speak to her or communicate. I live here with two moms who are watching the end years of their sons lives because of a disease that gave them no choice. I live here with the girl whose parents keep telling her they don't want her, and who runs away looking for love. I live here with the child whose eyes are full of tears because her mommy is moving out. I live here with you.... and you have your own pain. We live here... in pain... with no magic answer coming...and we hurt because of all the destruction the evil one is allowed to bring into our lives because of sin.
But I live here with God. I can and I will chose how I will live in this world full of pain because that is the only choice I do have. I chose to hang on to God, through the tears, and to keep hanging on.
And to whisper to myself, "Little one, this is not forever."
God, in His wisdom, has a plan for good in all this suffering. I may never know what it is, and I don't know if I ever need to. But He is there, even when my tears hide Him and my heart despairs, and I choose to live this life with Him through the pain because I have no one else.
I was at a funeral this week, and all I could think about it, "hmm.. when it is my turn, I have no fear of death... I will be smiling... because this world has so much pain, and then there is forever." I'm not looking to die, no, but I have little fear of it because I know my God, and I can't wait until He sets everything right.