Installment 101

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The Tempest

Saturday, the previous night, during Havdalah, I prayed. Sometime after discussing the prayer, Mary and I went to sleep.

Sunday morning arrived. We woke. We readied ourselves and went to town for breakfast. We ate. Then headed to a local used book store.

The store didn’t open until 11am. We arrived sometime before 10am. Having time that needed to be filled, we walked over to the grocery market in order to accomplish some shopping that also needed to be done.

In my journal entry about the Tempest, I wrote:

While in [the grocery store], I checked Facebook periodically to see what was happening. Nothing really. But I did receive notification that someone ‘liked’ something I posted, I clicked the notification, it took me to my post…

 
Who knows why I clicked to see my own silly post, but I did. But after seeing my own post and its ‘like’ I wanted to return to my Facebook feed. I wrote in my journal:

Now the weird part happens when I clicked the Facebook link in the upper left hand corner of my phone. That click has, every other time, taken me back directly to the app’s start page for Facebook, and refreshes the list so I can see what is going on, except [this morning].

 
As my journal records it:

I clicked on the “Facebook” link and was taken to [an image]. A full page picture of a woman who posted her selfie about church attendance in [a] Facebook group.

Totally not what should have happened. Totally freaked me out. I know what link I clicked. It was the return link to the opening page for my Facebook feed in my phone. But that is NOT what happened, the Tempest’s swirl was just beginning.

I was momentarily rattled. What did it mean? How was I to respond? What was I to do?

In short order, I share my experience with Mary. Together, we felt dumbstruck. We talked about it at length.

Mary encouraged me to pray about it. My immediate response was “No way!” because I really didn’t want to learn anything.

I did listen to her advice, and went and prayed. I recorded that I prayed: Why are you doing this to me? No, let me rephrase that. Why are you allowing this to happen to me? The Divine responded:

I want you to consider your possibilities.

So Mary and I investigated what it meant that I had been presented with that image.

Now, it did occur to me that it was possible that the lady and her presentation might not be the genuine thing. But after investigation, and Mary and I specifically dialoguing with her, and she was the real deal.

Come to find out, if we saw it correctly, the day prior, which was yesterday – Saturday, she added herself to that very Facebook group. The very day of the prayer from Havdalah (Installment 99) where the Divine conveyed: Now, the time has come”. Maybe I should have been ready, but I wasn’t.

Interestingly, the lady in that selfie had added her image that very Sunday morning while Mary and I were shopping at the local grocery market.

Furthermore, the lady believed that she was called to live in a polygamous marriage, and was looking for a family that was already polygamous or was going to become polygamous.

The whole event caught me off-guard, unawares, unprepared. It sent me into a personal tailspin. Candidly, I was upset with the situation. But, I was totally not upset with the lady. Why should I be?

I simply felt that God thwarted me. So Mary and I talked and talked. The afternoon became evening, evening dissolved into night. Fatigue eventually arrived. I went to bed, but couldn’t sleep.

I prayed. I am not sure what it says about me, but I will share it anyway. I recorded that I prayed: I asked for something worth dying for? The Divine responded:

Isn’t the love of a woman worth dying for?

I recorded in my journal:

I was flat out stunned. I did not wrangle any more in prayer, but sleep did not come easily.

I eventually fell asleep. I awoke the next morning, still wrestling with the Tempest.

So the Divine conveyed two important things. One, I was to consider possibilities. Two, the love a woman is worth dying for.

The second one was always an assured answer. Giving my life for Mary was something I gladly did, and to have her love is something I would die to receive. But, you see, I had always kept that for her, even though we were talking about and taking the initial steps to move into a marriage with two wives.

Frankly, stupidly I suppose, the second important item never occurred to me. But it was brought to me front and center that night during prayer. Candidly, I have to say that the love of a woman is worth dying for, completely, and to receive the love of two women is worth dying twice. It defies logic, but to the heart it rings true.

So let me turn my attention to the concept of considering possibilities.

Let’s just face it, mainline Christian women are quite determined that polygamy is prohibited by the New Testament.

But let’s be candid. Talk to women personally and many (most?) will deride the polygamy marital arrangement as: outdated, outmoded, archaic, and antiquated. Many women believe that polygamy is part of the trash heap of history.

Many women consider polygamy a thing of the past and that’s where it should stay, and believe that no self-respecting woman, especially a Christian woman, would ever consider polygamy a valid type of marriage, let alone participate in it, sanction it, or give it relevance or vitality.

Many women, Christian women included, despise polygamy, disparaging it at a moment’s notice, deriding it, and labeling those who participate in it, especially aiming their collective animosity and loathing at men.

Are those feelings well founded? The debate rages on. My simple retort is all the “ills” found in polygamy are the “ills” found in monogamy. But monogamy does not receive the amount of hatred and vitriol that polygamy does. On that level, it makes no sense.

But as I have found, reactions and responses to polygamy are more visceral than intellectual. The reasons for feeling negative toward polygamy can vary, but usually the negativity is far more emotional than rational.

So let me consider the possibilities. Here was a woman who was specifically looking for a polygamous marriage. She believed that was where she was to be.

That is NOT a decision that a woman makes lightly. She spends hours, days, months, maybe years coming to that decision. So when she has determined that polygamy is proper for her, she changes her direction in order to find the family that is the match for her.

That is what was being presented – the beauty of polygamy, quite directly right there in my face, a smiling woman who wants to be in polygamy. Totally not inline with mainline Christian beliefs and doctrine. Totally not in harmony with the social constructs of the culture of the United States.

There it was. And I let it go.

Why? Because I sought to remain monogamous? No. But, it should be known that possibilities don’t always become actualities.

I am moving into a marriage with two wives, I just don’t know when. Just as she was searching for the right family for her, I was and still am searching for the right lady for me and my family. Nothing wrong with that. In fact, that is healthy.

Mary spent time dialoguing with that lady. They interacted well, and were cordial to each other. Probably shared information that I may never know about, and that doesn’t bother me in the slightest.

I know that Mary and the lady have to be able to converse with each other, even about matters of a private nature, even if it is about me.

I interacted with this lady, learning some details about her. This other lady, had education, stability, direction for her life, and an understanding about poly.

Candidly, I was partly tempted by the situation. Here was a woman wanting polygamy. Here I am and here is Mary, believing that is the way we are to go.

But to move forward would have required me to negotiate through some difficult areas. I don’t mind navigating through those things, if it is mutually beneficial for all involved.

However, my concern was that the end result of navigating some of those areas would prove to be less than what each party would want. For me, those items involved three key things: religion, each person’s perspective about God’s leading, and roles in the family.

Because she was looking for a family and we were looking for a wife, along with the reality that there was some considerable distance preventing a sit down discussion, I took the opportunity to share with her, in a concise manner, the direction that I believe the Divine is leading for our marriage.

But recall that I shared in Installment 99 that the Divine shared with me “Just remember to focus on me, in me, be in me, and I will take you through this trial. You must focus.” That is what I had to do during my discussion with this lady.

I prayed the night before this moment. On that day, I prayed. At the end of that day, I prayed. And I prayed during our dialogue with her.

One of those prayers was very private, but necessary. Even though I had been presented with an opportunity, I truly wasn’t certain what to do. One of the possibilities is that I could have pursued this lady and we would have become a family.

But I prayed about it, even though the possibilities were available. I prayed to the Divine: Do you still want me to take Rachel? The Divine responded clearly:

Yes. I still want you to take Rachel.

The main thing for me was: was the lady that I was dialoguing with, was she the Rachel I was to take as wife? To know the answer to that would depend, in no small part, on how she responded to the information about the Divine’s leading.

I sent her information about the Divine’s leading for our marriage and family. While I waited for her response, I began the above prayer.

During that prayer, I asked: What is my fear about Rachel? The Divine responded:

That she is better than you.

So I asked: Is she better than me? The Divine responded:

Yes, she’s better than you.

That is a humbling thing, let me tell you. So I asked: She’s better at what? The Divine responded:

Everything.

There is nothing left out of that, and that made a difficult reality even more daunting. So I asked: Is Rachel better than Mary? The Divine responded:

No.

Not sure what to think, I asked: Is Mary better at everything than me? The Divine responded:

Yes. Everything.

So both Mary (Esther), and Rachel are better at everything than me. Well, at least they are equals. So that is helpful.

But I responded: I guess I like, prefer, a strong woman. The Divine responded:

Yes. And that’s the first true thing you’ve admitted. Now you’re done.

I interpreted the ‘done’ as not needing to inquire any further from the Divine regarding the situation with this lady.

But to be told that it was the first true thing I had admitted was not easy to accept. I thought, because I try to be, I thought I was honest with myself. But it seems that this situation, where the Divine wanted me to consider my possibilities, brought to my attention a truth that either I had not admitted to myself or had not learned was a truth about me.

Shortly after I had finished praying, she responded. That is what I find impressive. While she was considering the information I sent her direction, I was doing one of the things I encouraged her to do – pray.

She was cordial and polite. But expressed that she could see my perspective, but did not believe that it aligned with hers. In a sense, after a brief discussion, she, and my prayers to the Divine, had arrived at similar conclusions.

I wrote back expressing my appreciation for her willingness to interact and consider things, encouraged her to always seek God and that he would put blessings upon her and her family, and thanked her for talking with us.

After hearing her response, I was able to ascertain that she was not the Rachel of whom the Divine had been referring. Additionally, after learning this lady’s response, I prayed informing the Divine that I would wait on Rachel.

Two years later, I am still waiting.

Perhaps what is most intriguing, and something I couldn’t anticipate, is that since that day I have not spoken to another woman about marriage. So there has to be something to that small but important prayer I gave that day saying I would wait on Rachel.

 
On August 2, 2014 (Month 5 Day 5), during Havdalah, I prayed. I began: Father. The Divine responded:

Son.

I immediately stated: Thank you for my family.

Later in the prayer, the Divine conveyed:

Now my son, hear me.

This is similar to what happened in the previous Installment. The use of “hear me” conveys a different tone. The Divine continued:

Things are certainly different. Your choices made. Your path clear. It will no longer be the same. This is your path. You have chosen it,

And nothing has been the same since. The event etched upon my being. The choices that I would make, did make, affect me today.

What is my path? At this point, I hope it is as clear to my reader as it is to me. I could go back to where I was, but to do so would require a denouncement of all that I have experienced and learned.

I have learned Scriptural things about marriage. My experiences have improved my faith. I will not forsake those things.

Therefore, I know my path and in a sense, because I study and pray and am willing to follow the leading, I have chosen. So consider that the Divine continued:

but I directed your steps, together you and I, yes together, always and forever.

This is where I am. I know what will be. I just don’t know when. I simply wait for Rachel.

Here recently, I am not sure, within the last month or so, I prayed that the Divine would orchestrate events with the one the Divine has identified as Rachel before my birth date, about a week from now. We shall see how this unfolds.

What I was not expecting from that prayer is the following, the Divine continued:

Now, I need, want, you to do something. It is not hard, nor difficult.

For me, it is encouraging to know that some things are easier to accomplish than others. Here is how the Divine continued:

Speak to your wife Rachel in your sleep, in your dreams, in your day, in your way, send nothing formal, nothing written, awaken her to your heart. She will be astounded at what she finds, a treasure she needs, her treasure you are.

What is one to make of that? Sounds easy. Sounds spiritually reasonable. It’s more difficult than you might think, especially as the days become weeks, weeks become months, and months become years.

I have no real idea who this Rachel is. At one time, I thought I knew. Sometimes, like today actually, I really struggle to believe. So how on earth do I ever become someone else’s treasure?

Next, the Divine conveyed:

Now, for Mary.

Considering the nature of this prayer, it is good that the Divine included my wife, Mary. Consider that the Divine conveyed:

She is still tender, needs assurance, reassurance of your love, to do this my daughter needs you in ways you have yet to fathom,

This is definitely a truth. Mary is my wife from my youth. She has been with me since I was 19. I love her with everything I have.

If there is something that I have become keenly aware of during this process is how much a husband needs to reassure his wife of his love, his dedication, and his unswerving allegiance to her.

That might sound at odds with polygamy, but it isn’t. The best way of describing it is considering the importance of parents providing for their child(ren). Proper nurturing loving parents do not forsake their love for their oldest child just because a subsequent child is brought into the home.

Trouble is, some parents do. I have seen it. It creates problems. It’s unhealthy.

But, parental love that reassures each child is healthy proper parental love. Similar must be found between a husband and his first wife of a multi-wife family. I used the term “first wife” because I don’t have any better way of describing the scenario.

I am uncertain of the ways that are needed, because I have yet to actually be involved with two wives at the same time. But the experiences of the last few years have revealed that the process is involved, not in an unpleasant way, but to properly care for Mary requires meeting her needs. So consider that the Divine continued:

but awaken them in you I will, pay attention for this new direction.

I know that my relationship with Mary has matured and improved. However, I do recognize that the dynamics will change when Rachel arrives. That is simply the nature of polygyny.

Blessings and Shalom

2016.08.23

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