Out From Under the Umbrella

playing in the rain

Conversations Around the Dining Room Table

7 Comments

For some reason women tend to gather around the dining room table to chat.  Something seems familial about it.  So there we sat, the three of us like sisters, with our big mugs. Steam rising from the heat of the fresh coffee, each of us blowing to cool it so we could take a sip.

It was mid-November and I was still steeped in belief.  Reading scripture only made me feel guilty about my divorce. It was only getting worse and I was going pretty deep into depression and self-condemnation, having panic attacks about going to hell.  This was certainly not normal for me.  I’m normally level-headed and rational.  I can usually figure out how to turn the lemons into lemonade.  And if I can’t, well just add some vodka and it’ll all be okay.  That just wasn’t happening this time.

That’s where the conversation started.  Rachel called her husband in and the three of them began trying to expound on God’s grace to me.  They weren’t telling me anything I didn’t know.  I just didn’t feel it.  I could get no relief.  I knew I had done what I had to do, but it was in no way satisfying.  I knew in my mind I hadn’t committed the unpardonable sin, but I also knew I didn’t want to spend the rest of my life alone.  Remarriage was adultery.  I’d researched it as much as I knew how to.  I know what the Early Church Fathers have to say about the matter.  I know what John Piper has to say about the matter. I know what David Instone-Brewer has to say about it.  And I know what they’ve had to say to each other about it.

The fact is remarriage is adultery according to scripture, the New Testament anyway.  Adulterers do not inherit the kingdom of God.  Mind you I’m having this conversation with two women who have been divorced and remarried.  They ask me if I’m telling them they’re going to hell?  I tell them I don’t know.  I can hardly see how they would be destined for hell.  Neither one of them were saved at the time of the divorces and remarriages.  “But”, I tell them, “don’t google this question”.  With good reason I say this.

They decide what I need is deliverance.  So the three of them anoint me with oil, place their hands on me, and begin to pray.  I’d never been party to a “laying on of hands” like this before.  Larry prays a sweet, comforting prayer for my peace and for discernment and to feel God’s grace.  Tessa prays for me and my ex-husband because she’s friends with both of us.  Rachel, Larry’s wife,  prays in tongues.  She chants the same short phrase over and over for what seems like ten minutes. None of us know what it means, not even her. I confess my sin of divorce for the hundredth time. We’re all crying when they’re done.

I believed I would be delivered.  I wanted to be delivered.  I wasn’t.  I walked away from that dining room table feeling just as guilty, just as depressed, and just as alone as I did when we started.  Nothing changed.

Advertisements

7 thoughts on “Conversations Around the Dining Room Table

  1. Last fall, in the throes of depression and doubt I finally went to a well-respected center of "Christian Healing." They believed in miracles, healing, deliverance, etc., but they were calm and rational about it. I think I went as a last ditch attempt to believe, to get fixed, to find the reality of God. I read the founder's book about healing, a classic. He clearly documents all the healing that Jesus did, as well as the clear teaching of the bible that this sort of work would continue through his believers. I believed. I mean, at least I believed that this is what the scriptures clearly teach.I was prayed over, annointed, etc., several times as I kept going back. I had generational curses broken. Even though I was in doubt, I didn't want to be, and I was very open to God doing something miraculous to save me from my misery. One time one of the prayer ministers suspected there was a jezebel demon oppressing me.One night I sprinkled holy salt around my house, that they had given me, to ward off demons.Nothing happened. Medication is the only thing that has given me any relief.

    Like

  2. …I'm trying to think of something suitably sympathetic to say, because that sounds really horrible. Unfortunately, "that sounds really horrible" is about all I'm coming up with. I hope things have gotten better since then.

    Like

  3. I'm much better now. 🙂 I'll be back with "the rest of the story" as Paul Harvey used to say.

    Like

  4. I'm looking forward to hearing what happens next (especially as someone who has struggled with depression in the past.)

    Like

  5. You've probably heard this take on it too, but allow me to lay on some more scriptural wisdom:Consider when Jesus was defending the Sabbath healings. In Luke 14:5, Jesus says that if your son or ox fell in a well on the Sabbath, you would still work to save him that same day, implying that judicious lawbreaking was acceptable. As you know, working on the Sabbath was one of the big 10 no-nos, and yet Jesus/God had no problem with transgressing this law for a good reason.From your life story which you have been kind enough to share with us, it seems like your move for a divorce was out of self-preservation, not selfishness. That sure seems like a good reason to me. And divorce? That's nowhere near one of the Ten Commandments except the round-about adultery course.Remarriage is trickier to defend, for sure. You could consider it this way: God is love. So in a sense, if you remarry with someone you truly love, you are closer to God.Enough babble though. You strike at the very core. As I heard one preacher try to explain, you have to believe you have received the miracle whether or not you feel any immediate effects, which means essentially you have to lie to yourself until you believe it.I think that not feeling any different was a very good sign, a sign that you were really ready for the truth. 🙂 I'm sorry that it had be be a rough transition though.

    Like

  6. You've probably heard this take on it too, but allow me to lay on some more scriptural wisdom:Consider when Jesus was defending the Sabbath healings. In Luke 14:5, Jesus says that if your son or ox fell in a well on the Sabbath, you would still work to save him that same day, implying that judicious lawbreaking was acceptable. As you know, working on the Sabbath was one of the big 10 no-nos, and yet Jesus/God had no problem with transgressing this law for a good reason.From your life story which you have been kind enough to share with us, it seems like your move for a divorce was out of self-preservation, not selfishness. That sure seems like a good reason to me. And divorce? That's nowhere near one of the Ten Commandments except the round-about adultery course.Remarriage is trickier to defend, for sure. You could consider it this way: God is love. So in a sense, if you remarry with someone you truly love, you are closer to God.Enough babble though. You strike at the very core. As I heard one preacher try to explain, you have to believe you have received the miracle whether or not you feel any immediate effects, which means essentially you have to lie to yourself until you believe it.I think that not feeling any different was a very good sign, a sign that you were really ready for the truth. 🙂 I'm sorry that it had be be a rough transition though.

    Like

  7. Last fall, in the throes of depression and doubt I finally went to a well-respected center of "Christian Healing." They believed in miracles, healing, deliverance, etc., but they were calm and rational about it. I think I went as a last ditch attempt to believe, to get fixed, to find the reality of God. I read the founder's book about healing, a classic. He clearly documents all the healing that Jesus did, as well as the clear teaching of the bible that this sort of work would continue through his believers. I believed. I mean, at least I believed that this is what the scriptures clearly teach.I was prayed over, annointed, etc., several times as I kept going back. I had generational curses broken. Even though I was in doubt, I didn't want to be, and I was very open to God doing something miraculous to save me from my misery. One time one of the prayer ministers suspected there was a jezebel demon oppressing me.One night I sprinkled holy salt around my house, that they had given me, to ward off demons.Nothing happened. Medication is the only thing that has given me any relief.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s