With the last Installment, I have shown that my prayer life changed. With that change, my prayer life took a much more dynamic turn. I didn’t have to just pray at worship, I could pray anywhere, recording my notes.
In April 2013, I was really not pleased with the things that were happening in my life. So, I took my grievances to the Almighty in prayer, taking delight in telling God that I resented not having any choice in my life.
Without hesitation the Divine said:
You had a choice and you chose.
I did. I had a choice. I chose. But, at the time, it didn’t feel like a choice, because I felt I could not properly choose because I didn’t know what exactly I was choosing. So, I had no problem telling the Divine that “I wanted more say, more input in my life.”
The Divine responded:
Look at your life, your choices. Are you really happy?
What was my response?
“No, not always, but those were my choices.” I admitted that I was not always happy, but there is nothing like wallowing in your own mire. Right?
The Divine responded:
Not Always. Sometimes others directed your decisions, you just were not aware of it.
From my prayers, that is one of the earliest moments that I can remember the Divine calling me to actually look at my life. Not just my choices. But the choices that others had made for me.
That information was enough to make me reflect and meditate on many things about my life, as one can see from me telling “My Story”.
At that time, I replied “True, but marrying Mary was my choice.” Back in 1991, I most definitely fell for Mary. So my response did not and does not surprise me.
Through a somewhat lengthy exchange I found out that our marriage was NOT orchestrated by me. So I asked, “Then, whose choice [about marriage] was it? Hers?”
The Divine had no hesitation:
No, it was not her choice. It was mine.
My interactive prayerful discussion with the Divine continued. I was being somewhat spiteful, asking questions. At the time, my attitude was not too helpful, but I needed the clarity. The clarity arrived, but it sure wasn’t the clarity I was anticipating.
I even accused the Almighty of not giving me answers. Hah! I was given answers and insight. But I most certainly was not thrilled by the moment.
I continued my resentment, arguing with the Almighty, being very strident against the direction God was giving. And then it was delivered to me:
Your first wife was not your choice. And neither is your second.
I responded, quite cavalierly, saying: “Ah. Silly me. I forgot about the first. So, the second is like the first.”
I was talking with the Divine in a way I had never experienced. The prayers were helping me become a better person, spiritually, emotionally, physically, in every which way, even when I displayed my resentful attitude.
But I can NOT overemphasize where I was in 2013. Doubtful. Skeptical.
Now though, I look at it differently. I have come to appreciate that God did bring Mary and me together. When I look back at how we met, how we stayed together, have remained together, it is God. Mary and I chose each other, but God chose each of us for the other, and we didn’t even know it.
But now that I can see it, I can find belief that God put Mary and me together. Because I can believe that God put Mary and me together, I can believe that God will put me together with my other wife.
I have made it pretty clear that back in 2013, I was not having the best attitude. I did not show disrespect to my family or friends. But I was struggling with God.
I had given God my life, my family, even my marriage. But that doesn’t mean that I acquiesced. No. It took me months, years, to come to terms with what I had chosen.
In 2013, my spiritual attitude was improper. I had come to not like prayer. I had experienced seeing myself, and that alone was enough for me to dislike prayer time.
Mary persuaded me to do the very thing I didn’t want to do – to go pray. On May 14, 2013 I was praying, I asked the Divine “So what do you want to tell me.”
This is what the Divine said:
You have been acting poorly. You have been mismanaging.
There you have it. Another instance where the Divine tells me that I was wrong in my attitude. Look, the Divine calls you on your schtick when nobody else really has to.
From my prayer, it looks like I was acting poorly because of something the Divine had let me know in a previous prayer. It was something I found off-putting. It was something I didn’t want to know.
However, in this prayer, I continued on, inquiring of the Divine. But I also expressed “I really did not want to know.”
Then the Divine responded:
You needed to know.
In my prayer, I said “Not really. I did not want to know.” When I look at it now, I still really feel like I didn’t need to know, but I was told. It was no real big thing, nothing ground-breaking, nothing earth-shattering, nothing to make the difference between life and death.
In the prayer, I responded “Personally, I have a difficult time interpreting this [praying] as good for me”.
The Divine responded:
Any time you spend with me is good
The prayer ultimately was me complaining about prayer and giving myself to prayer. Only after giving time to prayer over the course of the last three years can I see that it was actually quite beneficial, even when it challenged my core.
On May 18, 2013, during an interactive prayer, the Divine reminded me, saying:
You believe you can do all things. You cannot. You need me. Trust me. I will lead you. I will help you. I will be your strength in times of trouble and trial. Your companion.
It’s true, I can’t do all things. Oh, but we tell each other that we can by saying things like “You can do anything.” The truth is we can’t. I can’t become a feline, or any other animal. And there are things in life that we can’t do. That is just life.
Notice that the Divine did not say that all things would be done for me. No. The Divine said he would lead me and help me. But that it required my trust and me accepting that I need the Divine’s leading and help.
In that interactive prayer, the Divine encouraged me with the following:
Trust me. Listen to me. Seek me everyday.
As Christians, these are the things we tell each other. Trust God. Listen to God. Seek God everyday. But truth told few of us do. We have work and other obligations. They interfere with us, the day, even our seeking of God. But we have to learn to listen, even in all the noise.
In that same interactive prayer, the Divine said:
Compassion is not weakness but strength. Compassion overcomes, compassion is victorious. Compassion holds things together.
Consistent is God. God expects love and compassion. Compassion is part of the fruits of the Spirit. But it is what the Divine said next that is surprising:
Become compassion. Your wives need it more than you realize.
By this point, I was no longer surprised that wife was used in the plural. I was surprised by what followed the plurality.
You know, not to pick on marriages, whether monogamy or polygamy, but many marriages do not contain compassion. Instead, they contain competition.
But I will freely admit that even though I have not yet experienced a life with two women, compassion does seem to be what holds things together. So consider what the Divine continued saying about compassion:
Love has compassion. But love is not compassion only. Compassion permits mistakes, overlooks mishaps. But love corrects, love strengthens. Compassion brings humbleness.
Let that sink in for a moment.
Then the Divine continued:
Compassion is your first weapon, first defense. Compassion strengthens love. Compassion binds. Compassion overcomes. Compassion brings victory. Be compassionate, yet loving.
It seems that needs no further commentary or explanation.
Yet, later in that same prayer, the Divine said:
Accept your wives. Your wives assist you and your holiness. Together you are stronger, holier, more righteous. Beauty will be seen, felt, viewed by others. You will labor together for each other’s benefit, righteousness, prayer life, encouragement. Help them, only you can. Temptations will always be, finding their way into your lives, yours and theirs, but your love, your compassion, will save, will deliver, brings togetherness, unity unmatched, found only in me.
That is probably one of the most difficult things about that prayer – accept your wives. You see, I accepted Mary, long ago. I still accept her. I love her to her core, and to mine.
I have such a deep love for her that it is difficult for me to open myself to even think about loving another woman. Best I can describe it is comparing myself to a widower, but I’m not. But I have seen many widowers (divorced men too) reluctant to open themselves to another woman. There are many reasons, but I think it is because the myth of having one true love runs so strong in our social psyche.
If I was a divorcee or a widower, opening up myself to another love has its own challenges. But that is NOT my situation. So accepting another woman as my wife is an incredibly vulnerable thing, because I was afraid to love any woman beyond Mary.
I no longer allow that fear to prevent me from enjoying the beauty that sets before me. So with my mind, I push out the fear, and with my heart, I reach out.
I have to trust God that my heart, my love, my compassion, are all developed enough to properly, healthily, lovingly love both of these ladies, exposing my heart’s vulnerability.
The remainder of that information is much easier for me to accept though. I am grateful that Mary has helped me develop my holiness before God. She has and I am grateful for it. So, I have to believe that lived properly, my marriage with two spiritually strong women will definitely strengthen my holiness, which leads to the next point.
All three of us together, helping each other be more holy helps make each of us stronger as well as our conglomerate unit, to the improvement of our own righteousness.
Now, don’t take it to mean that polygamy is “more righteous”. Polygamy isn’t more righteous than monogamy. But neither is monogamy more righteous than polygamy.
As such, I want my reader to understand what God is saying. In monogamy, when the husband and his wife (or in this case, me as husband with my wives) work together to be holy, they (or in this case, we) become stronger and more righteous than when they were alone (or in this case, when we were separate).
In doing that, we ourselves will see and feel the beauty of our marriage, and others will see our marriage. It doesn’t match the traditional marriage arrangement, yet there is holiness, righteousness and beauty in our marriage.
And together, me, my wife Mary, and my wife to be, help each other for the other person’s benefit, for the other person to increase in righteousness, to increase in prayer life, and to be encouraged. In essence – one for all, all for one.
Now, what I do find interesting is the “Help them, only you can.” God really is the only one who can help either one of them, or me for that matter. But I don’t think that is what he is talking about. God is talking about the marriage.
As ladies, they will have each other to draw strength from, because there is something unique to that arrangement. Yet, even though they have each other as strength, I am their husband. It therefore falls on me to be faithful in my responsibilities as husband, because that is what I have chosen to do.
Lastly, the Divine provides a sobering perspective. “Temptations will always be, finding their way into your lives, yours and theirs”.
I don’t know why, but when we get married, we do have this pie-in-the-sky attitude that marriage is “happily ever after” and that means no problems.
Well, that is not the truth. Life continues after the bliss of the wedding day. Sadly, given time, some marriages experience some very dark moments, while others do not.
That reminder is to keep things in perspective. Life cannot be lived without its bumps and bruises. But it is the final words that make the difference between a marriage that fails and a marriage that succeeds.
I want a marriage that succeeds. I always have. It really comes down to my involvement – my love, my compassion, will save the marriage, will deliver goodness and health to the marriage, brings togetherness to our marriage, a unity of marriage unmatched, found only in God.
I am the common denominator.
Yes, God brought Mary and me together. But I asked Mary to marry me. She could have said no, but she didn’t.
So, God will bring the other lady and me together. I will ask her to marry me. She might say no, but I pray she won’t.
I look to God for guidance and direction.
But the ladies, my wives, are together because of my choices. Because of that, I am willing to go the extra distance to make sure that each woman loves choosing me as her husband.
Blessings and Shalom