“Hey, God, I just wanted to let you know that I’m going to do this thing. I know it’s something that you would totally not want me to do, but it’s something that I want to do, so, yeah, I’m just going to go ahead and do it. I’ll deal with your disappointment and my own guilt later, okey dokey? Thanks.”
“I love you, child. I know that I gave you free will, and that I can’t stop you from making what will only be a bad decision. I know you are better than this. I will never turn my back on you, and I will be here waiting for you with open arms when you are ready to come back to me.”
“Yeah, thanks God. I’ll see you later.“
Though this is not a word-for-word account of the conversation I had with God yesterday, it is pretty dang close. It was definitely not one of the finer moments in my walk with Christ, but I everyone has moments when they get in the flesh, when they stumble and fall. When you are on the ground you have two choices as how to proceed. You can either choose to stay on the ground or you can choose to get up. Nobody can make that decision for you. God will let you stay down or he will help you get up, but He will never force you to do anything that goes against your free will, that you don’t want to do.
Mine was not a slow fall, but it’s a fall I have taken before. Though I didn’t fall as hard as I did a few years ago, it was still a fall. I know the exact day that I tripped, and that was the day that I started tuning God.
My weakness has always been sex. I have always been the girl that they guys wanted to be only be friends with. I was always the girl they went to for advice about their relationships with other girls. On many occasions they said, “oh, she is like a sister to me.” Those weren’t really the words a girl wants to hear when the feelings she has toward the guy are more than those of sisterly love or friendship. I learned that guys wanted to hang out with me if I let them sleep with me. I had more than my fair share of promiscuous relationships. It’s not something I am proud of, but it is a part of my history, a part of who I am today. I can’t change the way the story starteed, but I can change the way it ends.
Thirteen years ago my husband and I got married. Six years ago I started my first extramarital affair. It was purely sex and nothing more. A year later I started my second affair. There was no sex, but it was an emotional affair. I could say that it was just as bad as the physical relationship with the other guy, but I believe that it actually may have been worse, because the emotional connection that I should have been giving to my husband, I was instead giving to a man who did not want, nor deserve, that level of relationship with me.
A month-and-a-half ago a new person walked into my life. Immediately my hormones went on high alert. I found myself shamelessly flirting with this man. I was trying to let him know that I was available if he wanted me. The problem: I am NOT available at all. The previous two affairs ended a few years ago. I finally told my husband about them two years ago (thought I still suspect that he knew all along), and he showed great mercy by forgiving me even though I didn’t deserve it (sound like anyone else? God, perhaps?) Yet, fully aware of my actions and not caring about consequences, I was actively pursuing this new person in my life.
One of the worst parts of my previous two affairs were all of the lies that I told to everyone. Not just my husband. I lied to friends, coworkers, my son, and I lied to myself. I told myself that I was entitled to do whatever I needed to do to make myself happy, that I wasn’t hurting anyone, that it was just sex, or it was just two friends getting together for lunch. I told more lies in those two years than I told in all the years of my life leading up to that point.
Last week, in an attempt to be alone with this person (despite my husband or his girlfriend) I asked the guy if he wanted to get together for a night of whiskey and tequila. He was having a rough week and I don’t know what I was thinking (yes, I do). We made plans to get together tonight. I was going to stay at his house (on the couch) and we were going to spend the night drinking together.
“My chid, you have obviously lost your mind and can no longer think straight enough to protect yourself, so I am going to step in here and protect you from yourself. You have come too far to go down this path again”
“Thanks, but I don’t need your help, God.”
“Yes, you do.”
“It’s a slow fade when you give yourself away
It’s a slow fade when black and white have turned to gray
Thoughts invade, choices are made, a price will be paid
When you give yourself away
People never crumble in a day
It’s a slow fade, it’s a slow fade”
This morning I got ready for work. I made sure to pack a change of clothes for work tomorrow and come comfies for my night of tequila. I had told my husband that I was going to my boss’s house for a girls night of margaritas. I was supposed to have a meeting at church tonight, and was fully prepared to lie to my pastor by saying that I was swamped with work and wouldn’t be able to make it. Everything was falling perfectly into place. That is until the I saw the person I was supposed to be spending the evening with. He looked rough. He looked exhausted. Further inquiry revealed that he hadn’t slept well last night and was not feeling well this morning.
By the end of the day his eyes were noticeably glassy and he looked like he could simply fall down asleep at any moment. I told him that he needed to just go home and go straight to bed. He agreed. Before I left him for the day I told him that he still owed me a whiskey and tequila night. He apologized, having forgotten about our plans on top of not feeling well.
“Set me free of the chains holding me
Is anybody out there hearing me?
Set me free”
I walked out to my car, and all I could think to do was thank God for keeping me from doing something that would have been tremendously stupid, from protecting me from my own desires. God never acted on my own free will. That’s not how He works. He will never stop you from making bad decisions. What God did was arrange circumstances such that my free will never had a chance to act. He intervened on my behalf because He loves me and didn’t want me to take a fall that I may not have been able to get back up from.
I am not worthy of his love and attention. My actions over the last several weeks prove that. But despite my actions, despite my words, no matter how many times I turn from Him and get into my own desires, He is still there watching over me, loving me, and protecting me from my own worst enemy: myself.
How has God protected you from yourself?
Until next time . . .