Step by Step

When the couples involved in sharing our stories at the 2019 Marriage Redeemed Conference in Portland got together in February to choose a theme, one of the ladies reminded us all to be on guard, that the forces of evil do not want a successful Conference and they will do anything to prevent it.  I remember last year (our first year to share) they said the same thing and Lynn and I struggled mightily getting our story down on paper.  Talk about delving into the pain again!!  Other than that, it didn’t seem so bad.  Until about two weeks before.  I hadn’t fallen under the guidelines of Lynn’s Recovery Action Plan for a long time – maybe 18 months.  A Recovery Action Plan is a boundary document Lynn wrote during the Betrayal & Beyond course she took in 2016.  Betrayal & Beyond is Pure Desire International’s workbook course for the betrayed spouse to go along with the 7 Pillars of Freedom course for the betrayer.  I failed to guard my heart and head and was not forthcoming with Lynn about something and it triggered her and turned up the volume on her anguish.  As a consequence in her plan, I found myself in the guest room for several nights – just before the Conference.  It’s then I realized we were getting beat up and I had failed to be diligent and I slipped.  It was not a relapse but it was something I was well aware of, knew the expectations and the boundaries and, I … chose … poorly.

This year after learning from last year, we’ve been more vigilant.  We are aware of stress and barbs and triggers and hold desperately to the God who loves us deeply.  But life still happens and right now it seems to be happening so fast.  We haven’t completely re-written our presentation; the story hasn’t changed just because it’s a year older.  However, we both wanted to tweak it and “get it just right” because, as always, there will be a room full of hurting people, praying desperately for some hope.  It was harder to do than I expected.  There is a weight on our heart, a calling and we do not want to fall short.

There are business concerns and financial issues right now for us – taking on a new manufacturer to Rep; a Rep Conference in Louisiana.  Taxes.  Can I do this?  Can I make it work?  Will we starve? OK … that’s a tad dramatic; we know better than that.  God has us in His Hands and He never looses His grip.  But … you know what’s coming, don’t you?  Yes.  He’s using this time.  He’s growing us.  We don’t grow in a vacuum and we don’t grow when things are easy.  We rest when things are easy to prepare for the next growth spurt.

He has a ‘new’ principle He’s teaching me.  Step.  Step out.  One step.  That’s it.  That’s the whole thing.  My job is to put one foot forward and step.  I already know the right path.  It’s His.  I have to step.  I don’t have to see the destination.  I don’t have to know why.  Honestly, if I could see the entire picture it would be so completely overwhelming I’d crawl up in a fetal position and be completely worthless to Him.  In His infinite wisdom and love, grace and mercy, all I’m expected to do is take a step.  Whatever He puts before me, whether or not I think I’m capable, whether or not I think I’m prepared for it, whether or not I think I’ll like it, I’m only required to step out.  I merely have to be obedient.  I am not responsible for the outcome.  I am not responsible for the increase.  I am not responsible for anything that happens when I step out.  I only have to step out.

I am amazed at how freeing that is.  Not so long ago I would have been terrified at the prospect.  “You want me to do WHAT?”  I’m not sitting here saying it’s easy, especially the first few times, but it is easier.  He’s so good.  He’s so wise.  He’s so loving.  It is impossible for Him not to do what He knows is in our best interest (that’s what being Holy is all about!).  He knows.  That’s the Omniscient part.  He knew before there was time.  He has always had a plan and I’m part of it.  I get to step.  He gets to make it all work.  It’s a phenomenal system and just one more way He sets me free.