Monday, June 9, 2008

A Husband With The Skin On

I’ve been feeling very lonely lately. Just profoundly lonely. It’s like there is the deep vast hole in myself that needs to be filled. It echoes with a longing. I am surrounded on most days by several people. People I work with. People I live with. People that just hang out at my house. I am NEVER alone. But I have come to realize that even if I am not alone….I am lonely.
Putting a name on it is important. For a few weeks now I have felt something go missing. I know that in the last couple of months I have let go of a long term relationship and let go of the dream that I would be married. The decision in itself was a very healthy decision to make. I wasn’t happy or fulfilled in that relationship for a long time. And it had become spiritually and emotionally abusive. But letting that relationship go didn’t hurt nearly or as deeply as this void does. I am lonely.
I talked to my mentor/sponsor Gayle from LIFE Ministries and she asked me “what has happened to bring this up”. And I instantly thought of the new relationship that my daughter has with her Marine. I think that I am jealous of this new relationship. The Marine is one fine looking man. But moreover, he is a good man. He has values and integrity. He is a strong man. And a very smart man. This guy is pretty much all that I desire to have in a man. I pray every day that this relationship blossoms and unfolds into something much bigger than the both of them. She needs him. She wants him. He needs her. I’m on the outside looking in and what I see has potential. What I see are two hearts that are searching. I see two hearts that could work if they work it. And my Grandson Joey would have one hell of a role model to look up to. The Marine would do right by the both of them.
Then Gayle asks me “what is a man to you”?? Now that is an unfair question! What surprised me was my answer. I have a shopping list. He should cover the family spiritually. He provides. He protects. He leads. I also shot out quite a few things that the ‘man’ for me shouldn’t be. He should not be controlling. Jealous. Overbearing. A hypocrite. He must be dead to himself completely. I have always thought that the man of a Christian home should assume the roles of King, Priest, & Prophet of the house. What Gayle told me was that to put a lot of stress on a man to perform. And that it took the place of Christ in the home. First she tells me that we are all Priests. Women too. Cool. Then the role of Prophet encompasses speaking the oracles of God. Women do that too. Prophetesses. The Kings job is that of providing. The lead. Women also do this. The roles that I had in my mind had somehow gotten much bigger than they should be. Bottom line here is that there is no other over me than Christ. He is the husband. He is my husband. Or he should be.
I have got to get real here. I am tired of walking this road by myself. I am tired of keeping all this on MY shoulders. It would be great to have someone to share this load with sometimes. I know Jesus is my husband....but he CAN'T go pick the kids up if they need a ride!! He can't make a meeting at school with the teachers! Jesus can't run to the store and pick up milk! He can't make sure the grass is cut or talk my son or daughter thru math finals!!! It is all mine. And that sucks. It SUCKS!!
I then realized that this is 4th step stuff. Taking that fearless moral inventory. 4th Step stuff isn’t just about making amends to those we have harmed. Or forgiving those who have hurt us. It is also about taking the look inside us and seeing and really being honest with ourselves with what makes us tick. And for me this generally means that I have to look at the whole sha-bang. Re-visiting myself. Checking in with the belief system that has been governing me. Checking in with a belief system that is out dated. And totally irrelevant. Where did it come from? What is the pivotal moment in my life that has defined this unrealistic view of a man? And how did I allow them to become defining characteristics of a man?
I know that part of this puzzle is the part of growing up without a man in my life to model what a man was supposed to do. I had no idea what a man’s job is. I was pretty much raised by women. Strong women who had it all under control one way or another. So there has been no model in my own life to scale what a man was. Or did. Or didn’t do. I know that God has healed a very broken part of my little girl heart when he revealed that Daddy Heart to me. Can he also mend what is broken in my adult eyes and heart of the longing for a mate?
Then Gayle took this one step further: she said “imagine how difficult it is for a man to be a man, let alone live up to the labels of Priest, Prophet, King of the house when they don’t know what that means either?”. There are so few male mentors. Few fathers that stay and model what the father does. Fewer men that model or disciple what it means to be a Godly man. We are a society of fatherless male children and fatherless female children. Somewhere there is a void that is created in that whole big scheme of things. I have children that have grown up without a father. Without a model. Without that man in the home. I wonder how deeply and profoundly this will damage them. And will God bonk the dad on the head for causing this curse to perpetuate?
Gayle said the only Priest, Prophet, and King of the house that is needed is Jesus. He is the ultimate model of Father/Friend/Lover/Priest/Prophet/King/Beloved. Hearing this is so healing. But there is still a huge part of me that wants a husband with the skin on!! I want to be held. I want to touch.
So I am on to another chapter of who I am to become. I can’t say that I like this chapter. It hurts. Deep down. But if it is not surrendered I will continue to carry that chasm around with me. And I pray….Jesus you said that you are a lover of my soul….fill this cavern inside me.

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