Installment 34

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What is somewhat difficult to convey is that while my journal entries record my initial disorientation and dismay, I can safely say that I no longer feel that way. So, in a sense, I have tried to convey how I was torn about the events, how they came about, and what those events meant. Here in 2016 reality, I simply have adapted to working with the outcome of those events.

At this point, Mary and I have chosen the direction we will head. Throughout the previous years, I gave considerable time, effort, Bible study, prayer, and meditation regarding these events. And throughout the previous years, I have experienced several intense and unfriendly dialogues, and in some instances several individuals severed their ties with us.

However, I once was very afraid of dialoguing with others. Now I no longer feel pressured by their potential responses. I grasp the significance of the discussion, because the topic challenges the very idea of marriage.

With that in mind, I don’t feel the need to write about all of the personal emotional wranglings of 2012 and 2013. However, if there are moments that I feel are significant, I will share them. Instead, I want to share major moments where I feel that God answered our prayers for direction, and then kind of give the moments that make up the years that followed those big events of 2012.

Mary has a tremendous amount of information that she was led to understand during her meditations. She started meditating several years before I did. As she meditated and prayed, I recall her telling me about things and I would recoil, but as some of those things actually happened, I had to begin taking more careful assessment of what she was telling me.

What I share here is nothing really more than some notes she handed me, but what she gave me is interesting. All the way back in March 2012, she was led to know something about three legs. In the very next month, April, she dreamed about a wedding’s rehearsal dinner. In May, during meditation she was led to have the idea of “marrying and giving in marriage” and something about three being in the paternal-hood.

Later in October of 2012, during her meditations, Mary focused specifically on how things had unfolded for us regarding marriage. Mary recorded two things that are very telling. One, in her meditation she saw three rings. Two, she was led to understand that we would recognize the lady. I know that here in my writing I have not spent a tremendous amount of time with Mary’s meditations, but those few things are very important.

What’s just as interesting, at least to me, is that in late October 2012, Mary and I were told to pay attention to the details. At the time, we were confused as to what that meant. However, as I am compiling “My Story” in many ways it seems the details are falling together, some of which I didn’t even recall until I was navigating through my journals.

Following my journal entry from October 19, 2012 entitled “Reality” I filled the final pages of that journal. I wrote entries about life events, recorded various thoughts Mary and I had about any future marriage ceremony, and various conversations that Mary and I had.

On October 29, 2012 my journal has an entry entitled “Final Entry” in it I wrote:

I thought I would make it until the end of the year [2012], alas. … I had really hoped for enough space, oh well.

You, me, others – perhaps, can find [more] in my next journal. It has been a wild weird year. I pray God’s blessings rain down and not his cursings. …

To my future self: listen to yourself; learn from yourself; life is short, live every moment knowing that you can be called home at any time.

To any future readers. I am simply one guy trying to understand God, Messiah, God’s definition of truth, humanity, and how all the pieces fit together.

YHWH bless you and keep you.
YHWH make his face to shine upon you; and be gracious to you.
YHWH lift up his countenance upon you, and give you shalom.

Keep in mind and close to the heart that the Messiah said that everything hangs on one’s love for God and one’s love for self, and one’s love for humanity – God’s special creation (Matthew 22.34-40).

P.S. I hope both you and I can read (decipher) my hand writing. Blessings.

I share that journal entry because it is somewhat playful, but also serious like me telling myself to listen to myself. It also seems somewhat optimistic because I wrote to “any future readers”. That itself seems silly, I mean, really, how many people have others read their journals?

My new journal opens and I continued right where the previous journal ended. I wrote entries reflecting on the entirety of the process, I wrote entries containing my reflections, and entries about life events, all similar conceptually to that which was written in the previous journal.

November 4, 2012 has a relatively lengthy entry. But it contains this paragraph:

Yesterday [Saturday], Mary received a gift from a member of [a] dream forum. Mary has been a member on there for probably close to two years. I am not sure how they became friends, but they are. This person, several months ago, said she would mail something to Mary, it may have been a few weeks, but memory says months. Anyway, Mary received the gift yesterday, it is a figurine of two women, referred to as sisters, with the motto that as sisters they share everything. Symbol?

If my reader recalls, back in Installment 30 Mary said that “she would have to have confirmation, and to have things established by two or three witnesses”. Well, she and I never really took the events that were happening directly to us as a witness or witnesses to the events, even though we could have stretched the concept that she would have been one witness and I would have been the other witness.

Since we rejected ourselves as any type of witness, we wanted something external to us to confirm what we were experiencing. The first real external witness was that figurine. Talk about unsettling.

As we have discussed these things with various people, we bring into the conversation this figurine. Most conversants summarily disregard the figurine. Why? I’m not certain, but I have my suspicions. So I will shed some light into this moment.

Willow Tree - my sister, my friend

That figurine is specific. It is about two women. They could be literal sisters. They could be metaphoric sisters. But either way, sisters live life close enough to embody the figurine, meaning that both ladies go places together, whether shopping, church, social functions, etc.

To this day, Mary still has not met the lady who sent her the figurine. Importantly, the other lady was not claiming to have that close of a relationship with Mary. A situational truth that Mary adds is that the lady said that God wanted her to send that figurine to Mary. This means that lady who gave the figurine and Mary the one to whom the figurine was given cannot be the compadres, or maybe better said the commadres – for a little word play there, that the figurine seems to convey.

Since Mary was the recipient of the gift, this figurine signifies that Mary is supposed to have another lady in her life that is as close to her as a sister. Funny thing is – Mary has no lady this close to her. Therefore, given the events of 2012, and where we’re going, this figurine signifies one thing, and it became a type of witness to the events of 2012.

I wrote in my journal on November 06, 2012:

Last night [Monday] I was praying and asking God what is standing between He and me with this [marital] issue/this change – and bitterness toward the church was brought to my mind. I was like “What do you mean?” I really thought I had resolved that issue. But two additional things were brought to my attention.

One of them was my statement from Sunday. Spoken only amongst me, the buildings and the heaven, that statement; “It’s just another protestant flavor” or something close to that, but I knew exactly what the issue was, because I definitely was not speaking lovingly about the church.

The other was the idea that the church is Christ’s bride, and he can choose whomever he wishes, no matter my opinion of her beauty. Point taken. Who am I to say whom he can take as bride? If he wants to choose a princess, he will. If he wants to choose a harlot, he will. If he wants to choose something altogether different than those, he will. I am simply to do His will, and shut up.

I am not sure which order those arrived in my mind, but I can’t argue against them. I was shown that I am bitter because His bride does not appear to me the way I think she should. She’s His wife, not mine, and I have no right to criticize or judge her in any way, because He chose, it’s His choice.

What prompted the question seems to have been that I felt that progress for myself was being stymied. So I asked what was hindering me, and I was given that answer.

The answer revolves around the concept of me establishing a church, an assembly. I was not pleased with what I was led to do, and found myself complaining. At the time, if memory serves I don’t think I was yet led to understand that the assembly I was to establish would be like Philemon.

My complaints were real. But so is that truth. The Church is Christ’s Bride. I am simply called to follow Christ and serve.

The other thing I think is important is a personal exchange between a female Chinese Evangelist and Mary and me. This lady is a Christian from China. During her travels, she arrived in Texas, and was invited to speak at the Messianic Synagogue.

Recall that this was November 2012 and Mary and I were still very much trying to ascertain things. After worship service, Mary and I went up to this Evangelist. I asked her to pray for me. She then asked me how I wanted her to pray for me.

But she interrupted herself, stopped her own inquiry, and expressed that she wanted the Spirit to be the guide. She then took hold of my hands, one of my hands in each of hers. She went on for several minutes, too bad that Mary and I didn’t have my voice recorder because we wrote down only what we could remember.

The lady Evangelist spoke of many things. She expressed that God would take care of every need, but she also expressed that my friends don’t understand me. Keep in mind that up until that evening I had never met this lady. She told me that my heart was for God and that I was a true follower, she even said that God had anointed me with the gift of prophecy or prophetically.

Interestingly, maybe importantly, she expressed that I am humble because I had been disciplined, comparing me to a child that had been disciplined by their father who spanks his children. She said other things, but she also expressed something about God blessing me with a double and triple portion.

Now there are many things that I find intriguing about that brief exchange. But, perhaps the thing that speaks volumes is what Mary did. Mary took the time to speak in depth with this female Evangelist. Mary expressed to her that God was reshaping our marriage. The Evangelist affirmed what was happening, saying that our friends don’t understand, but that God is using us because we are willing to be used in God’s service.

The Evangelist never recoiled, never batted an eye to what she was told. Instead, she became another witness of the events. Here was someone unknown to us, speaking to us, and sharing information.

From that moment on, Mary spent hours in prayer, personal meditation, asking God for all kinds of leading. I don’t blame her. It was proper.

As I have walked through this, I will say that this moment, this event, is God led, God stirred. But here is the other thing, it is also personal led and personal stirred.

Here’s the weird thing. A believer cannot put the responsibility on God, making him the master and the person the marionette, because in so doing that kind of blame-shift takes away one’s freewill to choose.

So is the moment driven by God? Yes.

Is the moment something that Mary and I have chosen? Yes.

Truth told, had Mary and I never prayed wanting something more for God and from God, I doubt this experience would have ever happened. However, that is not speaking against those who choose a marriage of one husband and two or more wives on their own, or even one husband and one wife.

But another truth told Mary and I were trained up to be very mindful of our parents’ preferences and our church’s doctrines. Some will speak otherwise, but for the most part, we fell in line with those preferences and doctrines. Many will say that up until this event, no one would have expected anything else from us except to remain in line with how we were trained up.

But, we did pray and God did present us with an option. It was an option of life that we really had to wrestle with. But that option is something that God permits and it was something that I had to become convinced was not only biblical but also personally appropriate, specifically for Mary and whomever the other lady is that will become part of our family.

Here is another major thing I have learned. There are plenty of people in the world, in the U.S. and overseas, who actually live in this type of marriage. Because of the one husband one wife interpretation that the church emphasizes, few “non-traditional” families have a church to attend, let alone a minister to work with them.

Did God lead us to this life? Yes.

Did I choose this marital life? Yes.

Did Mary choose this marital life? Yes.

Did we choose this life without God’s help? No.

Will the other lady choose this marital life? That is yet to be seen. However, since Mary and I believe God is leading us to the proper lady, we therefore accept that while the answer is not yet seen, we do believe that her answer will be yes.

As difficult as it might seem and as odd as it might seem, I am actually grateful that God helped me see these truths.

Now the difficult question is: if I thought that God’s leading was over, or that God did not lead me to this, would I still want an additional wife?

That question is much more difficult to answer. Part of me wants to say, yes. Another part of me wants to say, no.

The part that says “yes” looks at it this way – if two women love me, fall in love with me, and want me as husband, then that sure looks like a good thing to me.

The part that says “no” looks at it this way – I wanted God to lead me to my wife Mary, He did, and Mary believes that God led her to me, we are both grateful; since God is leading me to my additional wife, He is, and she believes that God led her to me, we will both be grateful.

In my opinion, there is nothing wrong with the “yes”. But the “no” hopefully expresses that I want God involved in my life, leading me and helping me to find the best of life for me in this life. I simply believe and expect my wives to feel similar.

Blessings and Shalom