Dear Diary: I Fell Into a Burning Ring of Fire
Have you watched the movie, Walk the Line? I feel like it needs a re-watch. June Carter wrote the song, "Ring of Fire" about her relationship with Johnny Cash, who had fallen deep into drugs and alcohol. The song hits me in every place. I understand it completely.
One thing worth noting about their relationship was that Johnny Cash's life was saved first by love and second by faith. He and June Carter were married for 35 happy years and it was his love for her that truly changed his life. It's one of those love stories where after she died, he said his only reason for living was his music and he passed only four months later. [Source]
We have started a new line at Grey Ministries called, "G R A C I E". The reason for the name is because these relationships take a tremendous amount of grace. Whether its a spouse, child, sibling or friend- it's difficult. But one of the things we hold dear to the core of this ministry is that God is bigger than addiction.
I personally refuse to believe that love cannot win.
The verse we have chosen for G R A C I E is from 1 Corinthians, "Now these three remain: faith, hope, and love—but the greatest of these is love" [1 Cor. 13:13]. Applying this to our loved ones, the Bible tells us our faith is refined by the fire and when we walk through it, we will not be burned. Obviously, June Carter knew a thing or two about walking through fire for love!
Looking back at the time of my life I wrote this journal entry, with my husband soon to return home after treatment, I can see the fire that was around me. The nice part about looking back though is I can sit here today and tell you I do not feel burned. In fact, I feel stronger than ever. My faith more rooted and very, very happy I stuck through it (have I told you how handsome my husband is lately? Goodness, me!).
If you're in the fire right now, I encourage you to trust God because though it's hard, you are going to make it through this.
God, the Creator of heaven and earth- promised.
The Grey Diaries | Monday, February 9, 2015-
I made it through the weekend. It was more difficult than I expected.
I thought my husband and I were going to have a conversation with his therapist about making a recovery plan. I was looking forward to it. I like to organize things. It turns out, my husband has no intention of working with me on this. He already has his own plans made and not only that, but I’m not allowed to know what they are.
Why did I get my expectations up? It’s clear I can plan only on Jesus and not on people.
After watching my husband this weekend, I’ve come to a few conclusions. The first being that I believe God has done a number on him and he will (one day) change his spots to stripes (or possibly rainbows? Be totally cleared of his spots? I don't even know what analogy to use anymore!).
I'm super concerned about the collateral damage he 's going to do on his way there, though. He is so angry. His therapist was right-on when he said he has an inflated sense of “entitlement”. He doesn’t want to lose his “freedom” and thinks it's unfair I don’t trust him.
Even if he knows why I don't trust him, it doesn’t mean he’s okay with it (does he have to be? I don't know. All I know is it doesn’t help to rebuild our relationship). He is still thinking self-centered which brings me to my next conclusion, he expects and knows he can manipulate me into doing what’s best for HIM. Ha! What a terrible thing to feel from your husband. He came out of rehab more manipulative than I would have ever expected. I knew he would come out with some of his old habits but he's the same.
I expected... different.
I have also realized how difficult it is to assert oneself with someone driven by addiction and all the behaviour that comes along with it. As in most things, I don’t think anyone could truly understand it until they were in this situation. Asserting oneself on a point of contention with a recovering addict can be equivocated to the anticipation before other painful experiences like childbirth, or large needles, or how about jumping through a ring of fire?! You can feel the heat. Don’t get burned. It hurt last time. You have the scars to prove it but you made it through.... you can do this!
Wait. What kind of idiot chooses to jump through rings of fire?!
I wonder sometimes why I'm doing this to myself. Is it worth it? Lord, did you call me to this life?
Lord, are you with me? I feel angry. Disappointed. Kind of afraid. What if he never changes? I cannot allow myself to go down that road mentally. This feeling that I have that he is not going to get better is not from You. I don't believe You have left me in this alone. I know I can count on you. You're here. Please lead me through this fire, Lord.
You have made us so many promises in Your Word if all I have to do is believe it to make it through- that's exactly what I'm going to do.
Heal him, Lord. Restore our family.
"I will be with you when you pass through the waters, and when you pass through the rivers, they will not overwhelm you. You will not be scorched when you walk through the fire, and the flame will not burn you."