Truth is sacred.
Revealing the truth about my own circumstances has freed me up to start seeing the sacredness in this chapter of my story. I felt some uncertainty about publishing my last blog post, but now I am confident it was the right thing to do.
I want to walk in the Light. I want to bask in the warmth of its rays. I want the Light to illuminate every shadowy corner of my heart.
But the Light requires that I refuse to hide anything I might fear to be darkness… And, my separation from my husband, once brought into the Light, has proved to be anything but darkness.
Darkness is pretending. Darkness is denial and fear.
I will not pretend. I am unafraid.
I have been spending my devotional time this weekend reflecting on 1 John. The language of this NT letter is very rich in metaphor. There is so much one could meditate on!
One passage in particular stands out to me today:
“Little children, let us love, not in word or speech, but in truth and action.
And by this we will know that we are from the truth and will reassure our hearts before him whenever our hearts condemn us; for God is greater than our hearts, and he knows everything.”
1 John 3:18-20 (NRSV)
We are called to love in truth and action.
God knows everything.
It’s futile to try to hide anything from Him… Every intention of our heart is already known by Him. We are the ones that are so often blinded to the truth behind what motivates our words and our actions.
Our own intentions and our motivations are where our own sin can find shelter from the Light. It is not what we do or say that is sin before God as much as why we do or say it:
“But what comes out of the mouth proceeds from the heart, and this is what defiles. For out of the heart come evil intentions, murder, adultery, fornication, theft, false witness, slander.”
Matthew 15:18-19 (NRSV)
“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you clean the outside of the cup and of the plate, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence. You blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup, so that that the outside also may become clean.”
Matthew 23:25-26 (NRSV, boldface mine)
This is why it is so important for Christians to refrain from judging ourselves, or others, by mere appearances. We can do much that appears to be good that is motivated by our own selfish ambition. We can say much that appears to be loving, that is actually motivated by our desire to manipulate and control other human beings.
It’s at the heart of why Jesus told us:
“Do not judge by appearances, but judge with right judgment.”
John 7:24 (NRSV)
By all appearances, a separation means my marriage is failing. However, I am beginning to see it in a different light.
I think it is a more egregious failure to continue down a path of destruction. And that’s where we were headed.
To step off that path and look to God for guidance, both separately and collectively, is the most truthful and loving thing we can do for our family right now.
My marriage isn’t a failure.
I am not a failure.
Pulling ourselves out of the chaos we created, seeking to have Christ cleanse the inside of the cup that holds our love and loyalty to each other, is the only way to restore ‘us’.
I have faith I am on the right path. The rest is up to God.