Friday, February 26, 2010

Through the Storm

I am feeling overwhelmingly discouraged by this situation.

You know, the one where Manny doesn't have a job. Being out of work is one thing, but having a little one on the way too... it's so much to handle right now. Money was very tight even when he was working, so I don't know what we're going to do in the coming weeks/months. I do believe that the Lord will provide though.

My main concern is Manny's lack of motivation. I don't know if he's just discouraged too, or what. But the past weeks (months, even) he's been staying up VERY late playing a stupid online computer game (like 3:30 am, late!) then he wants to sleep all day and not be out there looking for work.

You can imagine how frustrating it is for me. I'm home, up early, working around the house, caring for Elijah, etc. He's upstairs sleeping the day away. All the while I'm thinking of a million things he needs to be doing. And I'm also thinking that if he's not out working at least he can help with dishes (or laundry, or sweeping, or mopping, or or OR...) So yeah, I'm having a hard time with this. I'm sure he is too, but he absolutely shuts me out when I ask to discuss it. And he basically rejects any help I might offer in looking for jobs online, etc.

It's just so much to process. I'm trying to take one thing at a time. I'm asking the Lord to give me a little extra time to spend with Him because I really do need to sort through things. My desire is to be pleasing to Him through the "storm" and to allow Him to work in my heart on a deeper level. My challenge in this is to submit to the Lord in that I do not say unkind things or nag my husband. I'm making a conscious effort to encourage and help, rather than try to push him. It is so hard for me because I am thinking about all the things he needs to do and feel like if I don't say something he'll just keep sitting on his butt all the time. It's so hard for me to just trust God to handle Manny's heart in the situation. I so badly long to see my husband take up his role as leader of our home - spiritually and otherwise. It's something I've/we've never had. Perhaps God will chose to use this situation to make that happen...

And Manny really does need prayer for motivation, wisdom, and help finding a job. Plus, this has put a huge strain on our marriage (things were already on the fritz). It's hard to communicate w/someone who shuts you out. I met by myself with our pastor and associate pastor about a month ago because things had gotten so bad. There has been very little improvement, but it seems to go in cycles. One thing he said that really pinpointed things was that apathy is one of the hardest issues to break through. And that's exactly what it is. Manny doesn't seem to care most of the time about the state of our home, or marriage, or making things better.

I was expressing some of these concerns to a friend recently and she e-mailed me this encouragement/challenge in response...

"I think the thing to remember in this is, that you can be pleasing to God in your situation. Romans 8:28,29 says that God works for good in ALL things---not in some things. So can you look at this situation and trust that God has good in store for you thru this? It might not be "good" the same way you would define it, but you can be pleasing to God and be teachable where you are. I think for you, you need to first be serious with God about that. Examine your heart.

[The pastor] is probably right...apathy is hard to break, but there's always hope in Christ. ALWAYS. Manny can change and grow. Things might get tougher for you... if he's not motivated, financially things might be stressful and hard. But that's not to say God isn't going to provide for you. Or God isn't going to use this trial to break your husband and change him.

You know Sarah, every time you respond correctly---you submit to Manny when you want to nag... you encourage him in his walk or about HIM (something you are thankful for about him--even the smallest thing that you notice) when you want to smack him.... God is glorified. God's Word promises that when you do right, you will be blessed. It would be AWESOME if you could walk thru this trial and come out closer to your husband in the process... but it would be awesome if you found a new intimacy with the Lord thru this. I'll be praying specifically for Manny's attitude and motivation.

I know [my husband] really struggled with discouragement when he was out of work. It's hard when you are mad at them (and pregnant), but sometimes physical intimacy is an encouragement to them... because it says that you still desire them when they feel "unmanly" for being unable to provide. Maybe even just seeing how hard you are working is discouraging to him. Regardless of his sinful response, you have to just continue to trust that God cares more about Manny than you do. More about Manny doing right and pleasing Him then you do. And you can trust God to discipline him. But I'll just also be praying for you. Daily."

What a blessing to have godly encouraging friend! I am thankful for that.
On a positive note, we'll be attending a couple's retreat with our church this weekend at Barkley Lake. We leave this afternoon. I'm very much looking forward to getting away together, being around some good fellowship, and being encouraged by the teaching. My hope is that this will make a difference for us and hopefully turn things around for the better.

Happy weekend everyone!

p.s. My baby boy is 21 weeks old now!! He's making me hungry all day and all night.


grace said...


Barbara said...

Sarah, to much to say in your comment, i'll have to call you on my way home.

Courtney said...

Honey, I'm so sorry you're having to deal with this. I don't know who your friend was, but I found her words just as encouraging for my own situation. So many of things you are feeling, I feel as well, but just about different circumstances.

I'm finding that it is SO hard to not give in to my "flesh" and respond in an un-godly way. Especially when it is such a sensitive issue. It'd be different if I was dealing with someone non-related. But I find that one of my problems is not being able to let go of my anger and hurt to be able to focus on the positive and put forth the best effort, as a wife, that I can.

I will be keeping you in my thoughts and prayers. We should talk soon. If for nothing else than encouraging one another. I, for one, know that I can't take any more negativity. I need a good positive talk and chocolate (or pickles if you'd like!).