To: Myself (Journal)
Subject: Sickening Control
“Take 3-6 months and get healthy. Then when things cool off, see where we both are.” That was today. Looking back, I had been an unholy judge. In my immaturity and self-interest to create space until I was ready, I had put emotional poison into her system so that she’d have to learn to deal with her own demons and grow on her own. I had chosen the mechanism of pain instead of love. I had forcefully been the judge of her direction in order to push her toward God. But who is to say that God wasn’t already with her? I thus took matters into my own hands to test her, instead of leaving God to reconcile with her in His own time.
In the past four months, I have surrendered to God in deeper ways. I’ve walked much of my journey, but I still have more to go. But as of now, she and I are further apart than ever. I guess God only knows. When she and I interact, she stays mute, not saying a word. She doesn’t even speak to me, let alone look me in the eye. She can’t even be within a few feet of me without turning away. Part of her is still broken, or healing in silence until she can forgive or until she can see one shred of dignity in me. I’ve indicated to her that I want to apologize and own the things I have done to hurt her – in my immaturity, in my emotions, in my selfishness, in my sin.
I want to remove the lies and perceptions she is believing about herself, about us, about the past, about miscommunication. The way she acts around me is as if she is trapped by these things. Does she not realize how much I value her? Does she not realize how she has changed my life for the better? Does she not realize my genuine gratitude toward her? Does she think all I want to do is say I made a mistake and feel sorry for the pain I caused her? Every single day for the past year I have been working tirelessly to grow from our relationship and the fallout. I’ve learned so many things, and continue to do so. It was truly an inspiration. Though it was painful, it’s not something I avoided; I wanted to accept hard truths about myself and about the reality of emotions and relationships. I wanted to grow stronger, wiser, and align myself with God. And now when I try and position myself to help her from her own pain, I’m met with indignation. It’s fair. I rejected her physically, emotionally, spiritually, and sexually. That doesn’t mean I don’t care for her; I am still romantically interested in her despite the difficulties we need to overcome, but I believe that is the critical part of the intimacy process. Maybe I’m in denial and addicted to the pain. Maybe I’m just dumb enough to hope, believe, and want to communicate. There is just so much pain that she is (and at times myself) caught in anger, shame, and worthlessness.
Things with her are unresolved. I feel we need to learn to reconcile instead of avoid, but what hope do I have? Do I have to force myself through her barriers and risk even more ruin? This all doesn’t mean she can’t move on with her life. But if she hasn’t truly healed, especially in resolving her repressed feelings of rejection and anger, and if she isn’t pursuing God for a deeper emotional resolution, then she will continue to be broken and in conflict. And now as she pursues a new relationship, I feel that she is taking a massive shortcut rather than facing the full degree of resolution that needs to happen. Perhaps God has a plan in this, to make her truly choose between relying on God and her own identity, or relying on guys to take care of her emotionally. God will surely choose the former. Her emotional wounds will resurface eventually, especially in light of an intimate event. Dating without resolving a recent past hurt is unhealthy and dangerous because true connection can’t be built on brokenness of needing to feel desired. A relationship is a choice. Even if she didn’t expect it to happen, she is still choosing and allowing it to happen despite everything. Only she can make the choice. But in time, something must break, and it may just be her pride. Isn’t she choosing a risk, a shortcut, and a temptation? Doesn’t she believe that God wants to use pain to realign us with Him and create a healing dependence?
Stop it! Do I need to relearn my lessons on acceptance? Do I even care about her if I can’t accept her or see her in a different light, one of growth rather than imperfection? To what degree do I need to adhere to her “boundary” of getting out of her life? Is all of this thinking and desire for resolution from my sense of self-righteousness and selfish ambition? In my heart, I am still an unholy judge. Couldn’t I have had more mercy? Should I have even judged? Oh my folly!
Look how I control and scheme, thinking I know best. Look at how I manipulate out of my own intentions for others. Look at how I judge and oppress! Who made me lord and king? Look at how my mind tries to grasp in power. Look at how I try to create my own end. Look at how I claim ownership! I should have nothing! I am truly sinful! This very nature of being is sinful. These actions. These thoughts. These schemes. They. I. Deserve death. I am not acting or thinking like a man of God. Look at all it took for me to surrender to God. I had to lose everything. Everything. But that’s ok. I wasn’t mature enough to handle it.
By standards of biblical perfection, I have betrayed all things:
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. It does not delight in evil, but rejoices with the truth. Love always protects, it always trusts, it always hopes, it always perseveres. Love never fails. 1 Corinthians 13:4-8
Against all these things, I have done the opposite. Where is my strength? Where is my maturity? How could I so walk in the flesh? How am I to keep these commandments? Am I self-deceived? Do I truly understand my own motives, or am I blind? But isn’t that just like God, to raise the bar for our trespasses, and yet extend more grace.
In my own brokenness, I can live in a spirit of fear. I can give reign to my overly sensitive heart that can be so closed off, so defensive, that the only thing that cannot disturb it is pure silence. And so I dishonor others by looking upon them with disdain for their differences and contempt for those who infringe on my pride and security. And so I react. I am sinful, which will give birth to all matter of evil. How am I so wounded? In all of this, my heart only loves itself, and yet it is so self-conscious that it hates its own isolatory nature and despises how it treats people. I wage war; I am a hypocrite within myself.
Now my heart bleeds with compassion and begs for mercy for what I’ve done. I tried to destroy and felt justified by my own emotional self-righteousness. I am intolerant of differences. Truly I am. Differences grate against my soul. How unloving and how unaccepting is that? What has to give? Am I so insecure in my own identity? How long will I let myself go through life blindly bound by sin? Do I even know how to love, sacrifice, repent, and make my mind new? I know repentance isn’t always emotional. But emotions can bring us to our knees. And when I make more mistakes, let me not condemn myself, but by conviction repent by action and logic as well.
Only God can judge. I am appalled at my actions, and yet my heart is not fully apologetic. There is truth in my resolve, but isn’t it our sinful nature that wraps evil around truth and without perfect discernment and testing, we are none the wiser? How evil is my heart? I must repent for all of this! I deserve death by my revealed nature.
In my own unforgiveness of her, sin has blinded me and I have lived in self-deception. I thought I had lived righteously, honestly, openly. I have grown spiritually. God has convicted me of so many things, serving as revelations and guiding my process. And yet, I am now convicted of even lower layers of sin. It’s as if God has pushed me to a heart level of repentance, deeper than the conceptual and emotional repentance I have already gone through.
I must fully surrender. I must release my anxieties to God. I must fully rest in His Ways, lest I sin inadvertently because of my own self-deception. angst, concern, and self-protection. I will accept not living out of my soul life, but rather out of my spiritual life and trust in God. I will not attempt to control or manipulate anything other than wait for God’s deliverance and His plan to unfold.
To save myself, my strength must come from settling down in complete dependence upon the Lord – the very thing I’ve been unwilling to do. In my own pride, I’ve continued to reach out and interact with the world beyond the covering that God has for me. I must surrender my thoughts of having the smallest degree of control and the smallest degree of desires apart from God, for these grow and lead to death and sin. Such pain a controlling heart must endure when it realizes its folly and that upon a sovereign God its hope and faith must rest. But, how freeing!
But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. Isaiah 40:31
I surrender. To peace.