Monday, March 26, 2012

Lessons Learned (Part 1)

Sometimes it's hard to learn from mistakes. You hope, when you go through something that you will always take away some great lesson, but sometimes you end up right back in the same situation time and time again. That's sort the way things seemed to be going for Earl and me at this point. One minute we were becoming close, not quite more than friends, yet at the same time we were a little more than "just" friends. I know it's a little bit of an oxymoron but I truly have no idea how to explain the dynamics of our relationship EVER (at least until much later). It was always like that with us. At certain points, we would hardly be speaking and the by the next day it would seem as if we were close to taking a step beyond friendship. If you're confused by all this, then just imagine living it! I was a constant state of discombobulation! So really, even though Earl was suddenly pushing me away on purpose, it was just history repeating itself for us.
Everything else in my life seemed to be looking up. I got a promotion at work and no longer had to do the graveyard shift. I moved to weekend producer and through the week I was a field producer. I even got to do a story that actually made it on air with my voice! I was constantly working on getting my resume tape so I could move far away from my crazy life. However, I knew running wasn't really the answer from past experience (I had learned my lesson, Earl, I guess, had not ). This time I decided to do some things differently when he began his reoccurring withdrawing act.
First, I found a good, strong church in town and started going to the Sunday morning and midweek services. Since I was now working weekends I spent Monday and Tuesday in Knoxville. I know it seems silly that I was even continuing to go, but he hadn't completely cut me out of his life. We would still hang out with a big group of people. There just wasn't any alone time or mushy talk about missing me anymore.
Next, I made a MAJOR decision in my spiritual life. It was, without a doubt, the most eye opening experience of my Christian walk, even to date. I resolved to fast from all forms of food. At first, the plan was to do it for just a few days, see what GOD was saying to me and move forward. However, it lasted 40 days. Because this part of my story is so personal and I don't want any one to misunderstand its purpose, here's my giant disclaimer about what I did.
****I DID NOT fast for Earl to marry me! That would have been not only been selfish, but completely out of the context in which Christ tells us to fast. I studied fasting extensively before undertaking this task, as well as during the fast so that I could absolutely be certain what I was doing was pleasing to the LORD.  NEVER did I intend for this spiritual journey to be about Earl. It was completely about me and my SAVIOR. I'd allowed myself to fall in a miry pit of anguish just a few months earlier and I was determined it would NOT happen again. So to be clear in my purpose for fasting, I did it because I wanted freedom; freedom from this bondage I felt to the dream I'd been holding onto and all turbulence I'd encountered from the moment I decided to believe the dream. At that point, I just wanted to move forward in my life, with or without Earl. From my knowledge of Scripture, I had learned that some things only come by prayer AND fasting. I was broken and determined that I would spend the rest of my life experiencing peace and joy no matter my circumstances.  ****
Now, as the fast began Earl suddenly started opening up to me yet once again. We'd talk for hours and he'd explain how he was still confused and searching for answers and asked me not to give up on him. I told him I wouldn't. Which is what makes everything that happened in those 40 days mind boggling. When you take on the spiritual world, there is a battle that ensues like no other. Those words GOD put in Earl's mouth were for my comfort because my world was being turned upside down. He, like so many times before, isolated himself from me. However, he was ruder and crueler than he'd ever been to me and I was tested beyond belief. Even when he was with Amy and he had cut off communication with me, there was a hint of hope and indecisiveness in his words. Because of what I was doing, I knew Earl's words were in some ways out of his control. Rather it was the workings of demonic spirits and even perhaps a testing phase from GOD HIMSELF because of the request I was making. 
"For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high [place]." Ephesians 6:12 KJV
"I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me." Romans 7:21 KJV
What I was attempting wasn't an easy task, nor was it something that the devil ever wants us to do. I was on a journey, to the Throne Room of Christ because I was tired of being bullied by my emotions and my lukewarm faith. I was committed to having control over my heart and mind for the rest of my life; no matter what kind battles were in store for the future...I knew if I was tenacious enough in this fast that Christ in me would win every time I might have to wrestle with happenings of life.

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