I want to do the right thing for its own sake.
This is my conscience. Sometimes, a neurotic and over-active conscience, but it just means I care about what’s true and what isn’t. I care about good and evil, right and wrong. I believe in Love. By Love, I mean the I Corinthians 13 kind of love, the greater love has no man than to lay down his life for his friend love, and the Love that endured the cross for the sake of my redemption and restoring relationship.
Of course, when I’ve tripped, when I’ve made mistakes or sinned, it’s been with an almost breathtaking degree of catastrophic stupidity.
I freely admit that many times throughout the years I threatened divorce. I didn’t actually believe I should divorce him, or even see it as a choice, but in desperation I threatened it. There were times I wished for divorce, or sometimes even death. Yes, yes, I did. A few times I caught myself wishing he would die or get abducted by aliens, but mostly there were those times that I’d think that my death might solve so many things. I never planned on taking my life, it wasn’t that kind of wishing. It was more along the lines of the will to live just slowly seeping out of me.
When I wasn’t at that low point, I was busy. Busy planning holidays, changing diapers, getting groceries, cooking meals, bandaging a scraped knee, vacuuming, dusting, cooking, dishes, moving to new houses, photo shoots to comp out tuition for my kids, Little League, Awana, Girl Scouts, multiple plays, giving birth and then the blissful hours to nurse and rock babies, teaching my daughter to breed canaries, brushing the dog, feeding the cat, bathing a toddler, always trying to ‘get back in shape’ exercising and walking, chauffeuring kids all over, or maybe sneaking off for a two hour soak in the tub with a book, learning to tend to sick baby chicks, deliver a calf, or milk a goat.. Somehow, that busy stuff just filled up years and years. And I always thought I had more time. Blindly, I didn’t see it running out.
One Day came, and now most of the kids are young adults. (The youngest is only twelve.)
How it aches to watch one in a struggling painful marriage, others struggling to find stability, peace, and identity in their young adult lives, and the killer grief and pain of relational distance they put between us. Blame and judgment for my not having figured it out sooner, for the dysfunctional marriage they endured growing up, and almost disdain that I’m still struggling and dysfunctional.
But now the worst thing is grabbing my throat, making my soul want to vomit in pain.
It’s when you realize that trying to do the right thing may have contributed largely as a stumbling block to their faith. You watch one by one as they put distance between themselves and God. It’s the horrible pain I want to shove at arm’s length, and the reality that sends wordless prayers for mercy like a stream from the core of my heart to God.
And you cry. No, you weep. Silently. Alone. On your face. Asking God to please show you the right thing to do now.