After I decided to surrender my life back to the Lord, it was as if I was in a different world. Sometimes I’d be sooo happy with the decision I’d made because of the peace it brought me. At other times, I’d almost be in a panic, thinking what had I done?!!
Sometimes the devil would come at me with an almost overwhelming temptation to doubt that I was not going to be able to go through with my commitment. It was at times like these that I would have to fall on my knees and say, “Lord, uphold me, help me to be strong, give me courage even though I can’t see how You’re going to work out all my problems.” And as I’d stay there on my knees, slowly His peace would come in and calm my fears. This was while I was still living at home with Phil, my lover of thirteen years. I had to claim the promise in Philippians 1:6 many times.
I knew Phil was seeing someone on the side, and I couldn’t blame him, as we were no longer having sexual relations, but it still hurt. Of course he denied it, at least at first, and to make things worse, the guy he was seeing was another former SDA. Here I was trying to witness to him about what God was doing for me, and this was taking place.
Finally, he said that there was no use for us to continue to live in the same house as we were going in such different directions. I had to agree, but I hated the thought of living apart. When the house sold, he bought another and continued to work at the job he always had and continued to make good money. I moved into a rental.
When I moved in with him I was considered the “house-band” and stayed at home to do the cooking, cleaning and gardening, etc., etc., etc. Therefore, I had no job to turn to. I had been a pastor, and the church was not ready to hire me. So what was I to do? Talk about having to trust!!
The Lord has blessed and I’m still surviving. I’m still good friends with Phil, as I want to see him saved. Otherwise it would be easier not to have to know about all his dates, parties, etc., and all that it involves.
When I moved into my rental place and slept alone, it was the first time I had ever lived by myself. I got married before I finished college. That lasted 25 years. Then I had a room mate for a while until I met Phil. I cried myself to sleep many a night. I found out that crying has a way of helping to keep my emotions on a more balanced footing. So I’ved learned not to worry about the macho image that men are supposed to uphold, and to let the tears fall. I usually feel better after a good cry, except for the runny nose!
But on a cheerier note, life does get better. In May, I’ll have lived here a whole year. I’ve learned a lot about myself. I sometimes think that it’s not so bad living alone. (I can’t believe I said that) But I’ve gotten so involved with my church and others, that my pain doesn’t seem quite so bad.
Plus, I know that I want to be ready for Jesus to return. I believe it’s very soon. What we have to go through is nothing compared to what Jesus has already gone through for us! This life of heartache and sorrows will soon be over. Jesus has promised to wipe away all our tears.
I continue to pray for Phil everyday, but know that I can’t force him to change. Only the Holy Spirit can do that, and if he refuses, I have to leave him in God’s hands. Because I know that God loves him and will save him if at all possible. It makes it a lot easier to live when you turn your loved one over to the Lord. (Notice I just said easier, not easy!)
Hang in there, you have friends who are praying for you.
In Christian love,
By Benjamin Anderson, March 1998
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