So I continued walking forward, not really understanding what I should do, not even really resolved in my own mind about what was actually happening, or what I should actually say. Yet somehow feeling, believing, that I was to move forward, even while trying to correspond with a possible future wife.
I am not sure when it happened, but Mary became persuaded in her own person that her life would include another woman in our marriage. If I were to describe it, it’s like she received a “testimony” if I can use that term. Her prayers, her mediations, her interactions with others, all led her to believe this. I attribute it to God.
You know, the weird thing I learned going through this entire process, is that there are women, I can’t tell you how many because I don’t know, but there are women who actually become interested in polygyny and HAVE to convert their husbands. For some that may be a surprise, but it is true.
As a side note, one of the most common retorts I hear from men when I discuss polygyny is “one wife is more than enough.” Candidly, I have never regretted being married, even though Mary and I can have intense disputes. Yet, in some ways, I can totally get what those guys are saying. Wondering if I really wanted to have another relationship and all the dynamics that go with it was a major hurdle. One of the only ways I got over that hurdle was to start believing that God would bless me.
Yet, somewhere in there, Mary became convinced about our marriage having a second wife. As difficult as it was, I had to begin listening to her with more willingness to believe in her, believe her, and believe that she was also being led. Let me tell you that was no easy thing.
For years, Mary has had this habit of taking the early morning hours, usually between 4am and 6am, to meditate and pray. For example on January 18, 2013, she had several ideas come to her mind:
– Appreciation day.
– Can I leave my vacuum cleaner?
– Where’s the good spouse? When is he going to…?
– You better have love…
I maybe can understand “Appreciation day” at least now, because I have a far greater appreciation for the last four to five years.
But, what does the question about the vacuum cleaner mean?
The question asking “Where’s the good spouse?” seems to be aligned with its follow up question. Back then, I had no clue, but do those things speak of me? It’s hard to tell.
As for “You better have love…” it seems to be a general admonition, especially in light of the marriage that Mary and I want – love has to be key, proper, healthy, adult love from each spouse to the others.
Or these from January 24, 2013:
– I’m reluctant.
– No hard feelings about this.
– He ran.
– Tell me it’s all popped up tomorrow.
– I love these.
– He’s guiding her home.
– It’s very odd that you see it that way.
I look back at my notes and in many ways, those seem to fit me. I was reluctant. I did try to run from what was happening. And as I corresponded I really did not want anyone to have hard feelings about the event.
In my journal I made a note that Mary had the following come to her mind “I don’t like that attitude. The main reason is I don’t like that attitude.” Well, according to my journal, I had a pretty bad attitude. I wrote, “I really did not have a cooperative attitude last night, very upset, almost ready to just tell God to use someone else [other than me]…”.
I simply cannot adequately express how low I was at that point. I felt like my world was falling apart. I was completely unprepared. Some may understand what I am saying, others won’t. In a phrase, I felt crapped on.
I recorded into my journal on January 24, 2013 two things that I posted on Facebook. Part of it may sound familiar. Back in Installment 38, in a journal entry dated this very same day, I wrote about “Big Love” and it discussed some similar things.
So… [ellipses in original] after waking from a nap dreaming of a nail in a tire, I thought again about last night. Last night crying, I prayed about my situation and my future, again asking, “Why me?” I received a much different response, “My people need help.” After that, I shared with Mary, cried myself to sleep, with Mary praying for me.
First, for the record, I never use the first-person pronoun when referring to the Divine. God and Messiah have helped me learn that they have people in places and those people are living in situations that many Christians simply deem unrighteous thus, unworthy, consequently laborers are few to non-existent.
I have to have the nail removed from my tire. So, am I to turn away and not help? The correct answer is: No. I know what I must do. So, I ask: Who will follow God and Messiah and help his people?
For those who are close confidants, keep confidentiality, PM me if necessary.
Before I give the second thing I posted to Facebook, allow me to give more detail about that tire dream.
From another part of my journal entries, this is what I wrote about the tire dream: The tire was fully inflated, I saw a nail sticking into the tire, saw that most of the nail shaft was out of the tire, like the point had poked the rubber [of the tire].
Interesting, is it not?
Mary and I discussed the dream. I told her that the dream was a possible warning, which coincides with the above.
I look at the dream now, and after so much has happened, I wonder: Is it possible that the dream means something else? But back then, in the moment, I interpreted the dream as a warning, helping me to decide what I should do as I follow God’s leading.
My journal records the above post to Facebook and the following post to FB as one entry. So here is the second post I put on FB:
Borrowed – “God hears our requests. But His answer isn’t always what we’d like it to be. Because He knows more about life than we do. …”
Yep! So, getting upset and fighting against him because his answer is different than personal expectations is ultimately pointless; his answer is still what he wants me (you) to do; irrespective of others’ judgmentalism. Accepting that God is in control means that God is in control, as his vessel, servant, we have no real choice, but to allow the potter to shape the clay into the vessel he wants, for his purpose.
That truth stands.
Even though it took me from that FB post to early 2016 to accept God’s reshaping, the reshaping happened.
At the time, I could understand the Biblical permissions of one husband having multiple wives,
and now I defend that biblical permission. But at the time, I didn’t accept that was what I wanted for my life, yet now I have accepted that this is what I want in and for my life.
I want to return to Mary’s mediations, and share a few more. Consider some notations that I made on January 28, 2013:
– You look at them, they look at you.
– We both have that thing, that umph.
– This is a new beginning.
– Blueprints of our house.
– You gotta feel it in your heart, feel it in your heart.
Who is the “you”? Who is the “them”?
Who is the “both?” What is the “umph”?
Back then, I thought that was the “new beginning”. But maybe it’s around the corner.
As for the “blueprints of our house” that makes far more sense. I really think, and believe, as I look back at the last four to five years that is really what God was helping us to understand.
And I will say this, if you don’t feel it in your heart, it’s not possible, whether a heart for education, or heart for a career, or heart for a spouse, you have to “feel it in your heart.” That is an important truth, but before I arrived at this point, I had to experience some failure.
For just a moment, I want my reader to consider the importance of “feeling it in your heart”.
What I am about to share reveals how I didn’t feel it in my heart and how emotionally low I was. Here is some of my journal entry from January 29, 2013:
…I found myself tired, emotionally fatigued of this yo-yo effect – struggle to accept, then when I do, struggle…. So I declared a halt to the entire process….
On the morning of the 29th I was scrolling through Facebook stuff, when I happened upon her photo. I was captivated by her beauty. The first time I recall this happening. Instead of indulging the moment, I continued to scroll and fought bitterly with myself and God for the remainder of the day, to the point I pondered the exact method necessary to eat a double-barrel shotgun eviscerating the back of my cranium. Truly desperate I am to not have this of the flesh. So needing to remain faithful [to my marriage and] to Mary I would rather die than move unconvinced into polygyny. I had no evidence.
I was bitterly staying until convinced otherwise. … Interestingly, I said I needed evidence. Well, Mary and I were talking Tuesday evening and along about 8:30pm something peculiar happed. I was staunchly defending my decision [of remaining monogamous] to Mary, speaking adamantly and decisively. Talking about the situation, not about Scripture or spiritual matters, [in the middle of my rant] my spirit heard, “Do you think Boaz had a choice?” I was struck silent. Tilted my head and said “Hmm?” I then told Mary.
Boaz, I must state clearly, is not a man I have ever compared myself to. … God definitely got my attention. Conjoined with the next experience I became convinced.
Laying on my back on the kitchen floor, I wept at my situation. I experienced the comforting presence… on my right side. I felt much grief and although I appreciated the presence, I asked the comforter to leave and let me hurt. As quickly as the comforter arrived, it departed at my request. I wept sorely.
Evidence I needed. Evidence, I received. It was a difficult night.
First, sadly that event would NOT be enough to completely convince me. It took a tremendous amount more to convince me, and convincing me was a process that lasted until the beginning of 2016.
But let’s look at that entry.
The place where I was was truly like an up-and-down event. Elsewhere, I described that I felt like I was in a washing machine. The process never fell one way or the other. As such I grew very tired.
What I described next is very important. In that brief moment, I felt captured. Captured by a photo, no less.
I was beside myself. From that entry you can tell that I hated what happened. Chalk it up to your preference, some might call me chicken, but I actually pondered blowing out the back side of my brain, NOT that I advocate suicide, I’m simply saying that was where I was, I was thinking: if your going to do it, do it right, make sure your dead. But for me, I didn’t, and I didn’t because I love my family more than I love putting myself in the grave, which might be a dismay for some.
I hated that my heart got captured. The photo doesn’t matter to me. What matters is the woman in the photo and her beauty captured my heart. THAT is what I hated. And I was willing to do just about anything to execute the feeling that captured my heart.
As I was then, I am now, I am not chasing a second wife for carnal pleasure, if that is what I wanted there are plenty of avenues. I want a wife, a family, led by God. That includes him leading me to my second wife.
But I was desperate for personal evidence to prove that what happened and what it indicated was true. Well, what happened motivated me to act, I suppose, but even then, I am not so sure I was actually persuaded in my heart, because that didn’t really occur until early this year (2016).
Like I expressed in my journal, I had no evidence. Not even the night of my terrible sobbing which allowed me to touch the Garden convinced me. I literally wanted God to force something onto me. Well it wasn’t forced.
He simply invaded my angry, loud, boisterous diatribe. I cannot describe it adequately enough, I was singularly focused on what I, I, was saying and how adamant I was. He invaded my thoughts, stopping my speech with one clear question: “Do you think Boaz had a choice?”
Strange question don’t you think? I mean Boaz, nobody that I have heard ever considered him to have taken Ruth as an additional wife, and I am not so sure that she was an additional wife, but she became his wife. That is the entire point of the book of Ruth. She was provided for, and a man stepped up to the plate when others didn’t.
That night I wept heavily, part at learning about Boaz, part at myself. But as a laid there on the floor, I don’t think I will ever forget the loneliness that I put myself in. There I was, sore in my spirit, God gave me a comforter and I sent it away. It left, didn’t even ask to stay. I wept.
One might think that with the unfolding of events in 2013 my heart was in it. It wasn’t. It would be a long time before I ever found my heart, to really feel in my heart. This is such a better place. Thank you, God.
That is too heavy of a note to end this Installment, so let me take my reader back to that enigmatic correspondence about ministry that I sent to this lady. The response she gave was negative.
Does it surprise me? No. But, it did then.
On January 17, 2013, I wrote in my journal:
I had a dream. I saw an aircraft take off, do a hard turn, then nose dive into the ground, looked like a homemade aircraft. And [then I] heard Poison’s song “Every Rose Has Its Thorn” [and the line] – instead of making love, we both made our separate ways – ….
That day, I wrote in my journal that I posted the following to Facebook:
Waking up from a nap, I dreamed I saw an aircraft lose control and nose dive, and heard the Poison song: Every Rose, and the line about “breaking up”. Weird.
To give myself some humor I want to hear, “Well, you’re safe and sound now, back in good old 1955.”
Back then, I quoted a line from the film Back to the Future to give myself some comfort. I guess I was thinking I was giving myself some moral support, in that I had “returned” to myself.
However, in that ensuing time, I have watched a certain movie several times. As I was writing this Installment, I thought of a scene. It goes something like this:
Charlie: Hello, Pete Mitchell. I heard the best of the best were going to be back here, so uh…
Pete Mitchell: This could be complicated. You know on the first one I crashed and burned.
Charlie: And the second?
Pete Mitchell: I don’t know, but uh, it’s looking good so far.
Cocky? Sure. From time to time, they crash and burn. But they don’t become the best of the best without being willing to risk their necks.
I sure like that line, better than the one I used back then. But there was a long walk I had to take between then and now, and part of it is recognizing what I posted to Facebook two days after that.
On January 19, 2013, in what appears to be me reflecting on my experiences, I posted to Facebook:
The Christian’s mindset viewing trials as an Abrahamic Offering Test is the Christian’s get-out-of-jail free card. God just wanted to “see” if I would do, but not actually require me to “do” it. God, did not always set free his called people – many endured hardships of ridicule and torture to do Yah’s will – Isaiah, Jeremiah, Messiah, and the Apostles immediately come to mind. The Christian has to stop looking for the get out-of-jail free card, and do Yah’s will – because looking for the get out-of-jail free card prevents the Christian from doing Yah’s will. Abraham did not look to get out of his predicament, he did Yah’s will. Yah sees fit to intervene or not intervene, period.
That truth stands.
There are times that Christians are so dead set against God’s leading that they force it to be an Abrahamic Test all so they can get out of doing something difficult.
But here is the difficult reality. Only by placing himself into that moment did Abraham find the fulfillment of God. That was Abraham’s test.
Your test, my test, is different. The only way to find God’s blessings for us, for you, for me, is to follow God, even in the face of not knowing what God is doing. That is what I had to learn.
Blessings and Shalom