Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Love story-- Part 2

We both were dealing with the loss in our own ways and trying to move on with our lives. One of the first amazing thing God used this situation to do in my life was to utterly break my will. When you read about how much I trust God and how definitely I surrender my will to Him. This is where that work was done in my life. Here in the valley of despair my will was truly broken. After walking away from the love of my life, and choosing to place him of God's alter of sacrifice, everything else seems easy. Giving my will over to God is not a struggle for me. I don't say that to be proud, religious, or to seem spiritual. It is just the truth. This is the place in my life, where the self will was broken. Whether or not I was supposed to give him up, really is totally irrelevant in the light of the beautiful brokenness God worked in my through this. I felt like, once I walked through giving Larry up, there was nothing God could ask of me that I could not handle.

My heart was so confused, but I sought comfort in Jesus and He used the situation to speak, heal, and change me. A scripture I have actually written about in the last few weeks, was used against me in this situation. I was told by a leader, when I asked about how to reconcile what my heart felt to what "God was telling me (more like leadership was telling me)", that "the heart is deceitfully wicked above all things." That scripture was totally used out of context. And, as I have stated, I believe that if Jesus lives in our hearts, they are not wicked. If Jesus is Lord of the heart, He places good in it and orders its drives and desires. B/c of this I learned not to trust my heart; I became even more dependent on this church and wanted them to make all my decisions for me. B/c I couldn't trust my heart, I was afraid of making mistakes.

During this time period God also showed me that the way that I loved Larry and the passionate desire I had for him to be blessed should be the way I loved other people and desired for them to be blessed. That was one of the smaller lessons.

About six months later, I was in a strange kind of place and beginning to question a lot of things. I was questioning serving God, but looking back, what I was questioning was serving Him the way that church did. There were so many rules, spoken and unspoken. Favor was based upon obedience and service to the church. It had its own strange kind of legalism even though it was "charismatic". I was growing weary of it and maybe outgrowing it. I was asking if serving God was less about judgments and boxes, and more about the heart. I went back to Larry.

I have to interject something I forgot to tell about the beginning. I had this weird idea that I wanted our first kiss to be on our wedding day. Well, we didn't end up making that happen, but we really did not kiss each other until we had been dating and talking about marriage for like almost 4 months. We held hands. No making out. At the time we broke up, we had not had a sexual relationship at all. I remember a funny story that happened. We were in the car at 7 11, the one that used to be on Park and Jupiter; his niece was in the car with me and he brought me out a flower. At the time we had not kissed weren't intending to. I got out of the car and did a cartwheel to show appreciation since we didn't kiss. Funny.

So, I went back to him. I had never stopped loving him. We did take the step, almost immediately, (later the first day I went to see him) to have a physical relationship. I am sorry for the details, but they are important. I think, deep in my conscience, I thought if I could get pregnant that they would have to let us get married. Well, we did get pregnant. Yes, we got pregnant the first time we had relations; pretty funny. I knew that night I got pregnant. I could count my cycle; it was like a clock. I could feel when I ovulated (my back would hurt). Now, to my knowledge, I did not count it before and plan it consciously, but it is possible I did subconsciously. I did count after wards and I knew. That was a Tuesday; we saw each other on Wednesday; we did not see each other on Thursday. On Friday, I broke up with him again,leaving him quite devastated.

I went to the leadership and admitted to them what I had done. They all kept to the same stance, that even if I was pregnant, God still did not want me to marry this man. They all prayed that I was not. Sometime over the next couple weeks, I had to get up in front of the church and admit what I had done. I was so ashamed.

Things got really weird at this point. There was a differing opinion about how I should handle it. The things I was told, were very wrong for the most part. It may not be pretty, but I have to tell this story as it happened. I am telling the truth and cannot hide what happened. I was counseled not to tell Larry that I was pregnant so that I could give the baby up for adoption. I could not even comprehend giving the baby away. Ally had been such an amazing blessing in my life that I really wanted to have another. My heart said no way. Though, it would be difficult to be a single mom of two and increase the stigma already on me, I intended to rejoice in having another baby. Thankfully, a very wise leader in the church counseled me very strongly that if I did not tell Larry I was pregnant, I would be defrauding a brother. I do not think the other leadership was pleased with this council. So I went and left a note on Larry's car. Still another leader cornered me in the hall one day and kept pushing for me to put the baby up for adoption. When I replied that Larry would never agree to that, the person actually told me to go away somewhere for a few months, tell him the baby died and give it up. Yes, a Christian leader told me this. Well as you can imagine this really added to me confusion and what I was supposed to do. I was still a pretty young Christian. On the one hand I was taught not to lie, then on the other hand I was being told to lie about this baby.

Here is where I really learned about Gods grace. I say Stephen is my baby of grace and this is why. I was literally terrified the whole time I was pregnant that I was going to lose the baby. It was a terror that gripped my heart every single day. I wanted the baby so bad and I just knew in my heart that God was going to kill the baby to judge me for me sin. I thought that He let me get pregnant so He could take the baby to punish me for sleeping with Larry out of wedlock and for not being willing to give him up for adoption. So every time I went to the bathroom, I expected to see blood. I knew it was going to happen; I was just waiting for it. I have to believe that Stephen had to have felt that turmoil and fear while he was growing. I don't think it was a great environment for him to develop in, but he turned out okay. Till the day I gave birth to him, I was afraid of him dying. I didn't believe I would really get him until he was in my arms. After he was born God spoke to me about His grace. Yes, I had made a sinful choice, but God blessed me with the beautiful precious baby boy in spite of it.

Understandably, Larry was not sure that the baby was his. It just seemed to strange that I would come back to him for 2 days and that we would get pregnant our first time. It really hurt my feelings when he insinuated it too. Though, now it is a perfectly reasonable doubt to have. Since meeting Jesus, Larry is the only one in 17 years. So I knew that the baby could be no one else's but his. When Stephen came out, there was not doubt; he is the spitting image of Larry as a baby and child.

I saw Larry one time from the time of conceiving Stephen to his birth. That was early on to play a recording of Stephen's heart beat. Well, I have always had a thing for a man with long hair and for musicians. When Larry showed up at the hospital for Stephen's birth, he had hair to the middle of his back and I just about fainted. I was seriously attracted to this man that was forbidden and he had began playing guitar. Now, if you asked him he hated me, thought I was evil and was not, under any circumstances, waiting for me. He was, though, becoming what I was attracted to in a man.

Larry was model father. He always came for visitation. He paid for Stephen's circumcision. He paid child support. He even bought me a breast pump so he could take him back to Farmersville to visit for the day. I didn't want him to drink formula. When Stephen got older and I needed Larry to take him extra weekends for something, he would.

I started dating someone else. I had gone through the same process of praying and seeking the approval of the leadership (that is another story all together). Larry would come to see Stephen on Wednesdays or to pick him up for the weekend and have to see this person and watch us together. It used to really make him angry the way this person treated Alexandra, b/c he wasn't very nice to her. Like I said before, Larry has always adored her.

Fast forward, through some unimportant events. The church I got saved in closes.

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