Rather than building up to my most horrendous and shameful thought, I’m going to start with it.
“I wish my husband would die.”
(Before you are tempted to faint, rest assured, I’ve already confessed, repented and been healed. What I refuse to do, however, is pretend it never happened.)
My heart was that hard. That deceived and that selfish.
Not only was Nathan not giving me what I felt I needed, he was standing in the way of it.(Or so I thought.) I didn’t understand how he could want to be married to me and at the same time choose not to nurture me or our relationship. It felt like abuse, like all he wanted to do was “own” me, not love me. I was consumed with what he was not doing while missing what he was doing. (Which was a lot of good things.)
To be fair, Nathan openly shares his story of God convicting him of not loving or leading me in the way God intended. He’s had his moments of sorrow over the pain he caused and the pride that kept him from surrendering to God’s plan for a husband.
But to be even more fair, my husband married a very broken woman. And though he would he had no idea what he was signing up for, he says he would do it again. (That’s a stretch for me to believe.)
Soon after our vows, I jumped head long into a theology that left no room for honest confession. It was no ones fault and I blame no one- I just fell for a lie.
I began living a life of what I call “Keeping the barn painted.” Keeping the barn painted is all about appearance. If the barn “looks’ good, the barn is good. Right?
Just pull up your boot straps, take every stinking thought captive (That’s true of some thoughts BUT some need to be confessed) and don’t ruin Jesus’s reputation.
The problem with barn painting is, no matter how much fresh paint you possess, paint will never overcome a faulty foundation. Faulty foundations either need to be destroyed and made new…SOME can merely be repaired. Whatever the case, unless the foundation is fixed, the barn will crumble.
And so it is with a theology that hides behind good works and is shocked when some behavioral crises reveals what was truly in the heart…
I want to share about an encounter I had with a woman who felt safe enough, weak enough and courageous to confess a horrendous thought:
My friend had it all together, in every way that together looks like.
Every area of her outer life screamed, “Perfect.”
As I sat across the table while having coffee with her, I had a hunch a confession was about to come. I felt led to gently draw it out of her, reassuring her that there was nothing she could say that would shock me.Her eyes were filled with tears. The idea of her getting into the light what her heart had harbored for years scared the living daylights out of her…I knew the enemy was taunting her with “This confession will destroy your image. You will not be reflecting Jesus. You can not trust this woman. You need to just forget the thought and move on.”
Yes, I’ve heard those lies as well.
After several minutes, the tears flowed and she shared of her hatred for another woman. She shared of her bitterness and deep resentment. She wished this woman would die. Years of exhaustion began to lift as the confessions came…
Listening intently, I knew the battle was on. As light was exposing the dark areas of her heart, HEALING was screaming louder than “Perfect!”
“Confess your sins to one another and be healed….” James 5:16
It’s the start….the confession that gets the ball rolling….the beginning of a new foundation.
I once had a dream and in the dream I was standing before 100 women. I confessed that I had struggled with thoughts of wishing my husband would die. I asked if anyone else had struggled with these type of thoughts. Only a few women in the dream raised their hands. But in the dream I could see their hearts, and in over half of the hearts I saw hands raised.
Goodness gracious, who really wants to confess a thought like that?
I’ll tell you who.
Those who want help. Those who have found a safe place to confess, repent and be healed. Those who aren’t interested in religious jargon or images or proper ways of doing things. (Yes, proper can be good.)
Those who aren’t okay with wanting someone to die, or suffer, or feel pain.
Don’t be shocked at these confessions. These confessions and turning to Jesus who can heal the wound behind them will set a person free and in extreme cases, keep someone alive.
All grievous behaviors start with unconfessed battles in the mind.
When my husband said he would love me through thick and thin on our wedding day, he had NO IDEA what he was saying.
But can I tell you, God does?
God knew what He was getting into when you turned your heart toward Him. He drew you to do that very thing knowing full well you would desperately need Him to be clean on the inside, even more than showing off your “perfection.”
God is never ever shocked at what’s in you…grieved at times, yes, but never shocked…
It’s my prayer that you find a safe place (person) to confess anything that torments you, controls you or makes you hate the truth of what you struggle with. It will take courage but I believe you have been given that courage…I believe healing and freedom are what Jesus died to give you…
Not just nicely painted barns but strong foundations that cause us to love others well.