|Brooke and Nick goofing off, sand spa treatment.|
We had a great time, spent one day at the beach and I wanted to stay forever. My Dad went and saw my brother that lives very close by and they chatted for hours which was great.
Despite all the awesomeness (and the fact that I have no idea why anyone who lives at the beach would ever need to see a therapist) I have spent 28 hours driving in the car with my children in 8 days and that is rough. Then I came home to more violated boundaries. Jonathan had apparently spent the entire day at my house while I was driving back home 'doing yard work.' This was not welcome or appreciated. And was a total display of power.
Trust me, I do not relish weeding, or cutting the grass, especially since he took the lawn mower several weeks back. But really? Who are you kidding? Who are you trying to convince that you are a nice guy? Nice guys don't screw whores. Good dads pay the mortgage and go to work. Anyone whose opinion is swayed positively by this behavior is not someone I would respect. But then again, Jonathan, you have never cared much about what I respect.
I walked through the house making sure nothing more was amiss, wondered again if I should be staying here alone with the kids and decided to attempt to be grateful that I don't have to weed the front yard.
And then the texting started. Over 200 words in texts in one hour. The message was pretty simple. He's showing up in the morning (today) to take the kids at nine a.m. regardless of whatever we have agreed to custodially for the kids this week. He doesn't care if I call the police and he is working on me losing custody of the kids. (I realize this is legal information but it's all so far out there that sharing it publicly doesn't really matter)
I will admit. I was scared. Very scared. Would he show? Could I stand up to him alone? I have never stood up successfully to this person. Most people from the outside looking in would have thought I ran the show but those the closest realized that he wore me down into doing whatever he wanted. Like coarse sand paper over a raw wound. It bothered me so immensely when we were married. No, I don't consider us to be married any longer, if you love me please stop referring to him as my husband, it really bothers me.
If there is one thing I am, I am some one who HIGHLY values her word. So when I would say I was not going to do something and then I would do it I would always have a huge crisis of character. And this happened weekly/daily so I basically was always questioning my character. I have learned that this isn't really weak character, it's co-dependence.
I find this not so hilarious. Co-dependent. That's a hoot. Me? Have you met me? Umm. Really, I'm like the strongest, most opinionated woman you've ever known. But the facts are the facts and unfortunately that's a word I have owned as having described the previous ten years of my life. So if I say no a lot now, just understand that I'm making up for lost time. It's not that I don't love you. I'll come back to a middle ground soon.
Co-dependent or not I was terrified last night. Pacing the floor, wondering, theorizing, making up scenarios that might or might not happen. Reading and rereading our custody agreement. Crying so hard I couldn't read The Word to soothe my soul. I came to the realization that sleep was not on the agenda. I called a friend and vented. She listened. Texted another friend to ask for prayer for our safety.
This comes down to one thing for me, this fear about Jonathan that overtakes my life and reeks havoc; it is simply one thing: I don't trust God. It's awful and true. A lot of people in my life have buried children and even more women in my life, including myself, have been violently violated by men. What I want from God when when Jonathan acts crazy, is for him to guarantee for me that those things will not happen. I will not bury my children, they will bury me. And no man will ever attack me again. Ever. I will be safe and because of that guarantee then I can be unafraid.
You can scour his word. It doesn't say that. There is no such guarantee. And because of this, when things get crazy I hold him at a distance. I allow him to come so close, but the center of my heart, I keep that closed. Because I know there is no promise that my children will wake in the morning or that I will be okay. To be fair to myself, I pray, I beseech him to come and comfort me, I ask for his rescue and protection and for me to have eyes to see his presence in my life. I read the Word, assuming I'm not crying too hard to do so. But in the center of my soul I know that no matter how close I let God get he may allow exactly what I want not to happen to happen. He may allow the thing I fear the most to have its way in my life.
It has not always felt like a choice for me, the fear. It has often felt like having freckles, this is not something I can change. Last night I learned that I don't have to change it. I can accept the fact that I'm afraid and I can still do what I am called to do, give it to God. I'm not sure he expects me to not feel the fear. Maybe so, the Bible says not to fear over 360 times. But I am stumbling through a different way of handling it. When that wave comes and overtakes me, I can sit and still my spirit and pray to turn it over to God. I can choose to believe that like Peter as his courage falters Jesus will immediately reach out his hand. There is no delay. Perhaps he won't protect me in the way I want him too. Maybe he won't thwart Jonathan's will or anyone else's in order to keep us physically safe. But that doesn't mean he isn't reaching for me as I lose my courage, that doesn't mean that the minute I cry out for help his hand is not on me pulling me up. Days like today I would prefer a safer God. One crafted to Shannon's liking. But in humility I realize that the true God of our universe is my great comforter. He will never leave me or forsake me, and despite the fact that evil is reigning in the world that doesn't mean he won't reign in my life. All I have to do is ask.
Please save me.
"Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. 'You of little faith,' he said, 'why did you doubt?'" Matthew 14:31