This morning a young lady ministered in our morning service to start the October theme of Phobias. Phobias are simplistically a form of unnatural fear.
Part of the explanation was directed into an area I found to explain something I’ve been looking at for some time. I’ve been wanting to understand how to handle or not handle a situation that has been ongoing for over ten years.
Since my fall from grace over ten years ago my family had cut me off from a meaningful relationship with my sons. In the last few months I’ve endeavored to redeem myself with them. Their response is in one daughter-in-laws words “If you were not my husband’s dad I would have nothing to do with you”. Upon a visit with the other son the other daughter-in-law said one word to me over the entire visit. That word was “Hey” in response to my hello. I know my sons are married to these women and they have to live with them. So be it. I beg that they keep the peace in their marriages. I did not go in there to cause a stir that would cause division in their unions. It was hard enough I left their mom.
Granted I was wrong in how I did what I did. During that time I was confused and burnt out from being so busy “doing” and not “being”. My Christian walk failed. My marriage failed. I failed myself. But I don’t walk around blaming anyone or anything for what happened. It happened. It’s gone into the past and it cannot be changed. My former wife and I argued constantly. Situations I found with finances, that at the time she managed, went south and when I inquired, she had no answer nor anything to prove where thousands of dollars went. She had become numb to me and I admitted in court documents to adultery because I sought comfort I could not get at home. Our marriage was done. We both failed. I have my suspicions of where the money went. Let’s just say it wasn’t anywhere in our house, goods or such. It went somewhere else outside our own need, wants or wishes.
My marriage was doomed months before the admitted failing on my part. I had already found money gone and was searching for ways out of my marriage via divorce, but knew money would be a big deal in the parting. I had not even met my cohort in crime, so to speak when this was going on.
Fast forward to today. Phobias. That unnatural fear I had brought me to depression and anxiety attacks. I was experiencing the fall of myself. My foundational self. I had grown up with the idea of once married, always married. That fear broke me. I could no longer bear the burden of it.
I spent time talking to my now wife who came from that incident. When it all came about she came to me and told me if I wanted I was free to go home and fix things. I told her the same. She had left her verbally and emotional abusive husband and I told her to go home if she wanted. After a period of separation we discovered we didn’t meet by accident. People can say what they want, but I spent many days talking to God about it. I argued with God about it. The conclusion was I did the right thing, but I did it the wrong way. I asked God a hundred times a hundred times what was I to do with this woman who had come into my life and all I could hear in return was “You will marry this woman”.
How this Phobia thing came to bear on me came to one thing. My relationship with my sons and their wives can be fixed by God and only God. The title of this post is the answer I came away with this morning. But it can’t be fixed until they refresh their perception of who I am now.
My sons and their wives have not talked to me in depth in ten years and still have the perception of me from of all things, ten years ago. They have no idea of the evolution of my return to God. The changes in me that came about from humbling me through the fears, depression and anxiety I experienced cannot be perceived by them. I came to realize there is a gap of nothing between then and now and they base all they know about me on stale perceptions of who I was once upon a time. Just like bread becoming stale, it isn’t just bad food. It can make you sick. I’m afraid those stale perceptions have sickened them to the point they cannot see me for who I am today. I’m am likely the most sane person they will ever know now. I don’t condemn people for their faults. I’ve suffered enough from my own.
If my now wife reads this she’ll likely say I share too much about myself, but I say what I say because my fall could or can help someone else avoid the pitfalls of things in their own lives. With age comes wisdom unfortunately and it can only be by growing older. The young suffer from wounds that could be avoided if they only sought the wisdom of the older of us who bear the scars of life already.
Stale perceptions can be the death of the holder. That is a fear I now have. I can only pray the ones who hold them can feel the weight of it and put it down and let themselves come to live in the “now” and build a future on that.