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Preparation 4 Eternity


June 10, 2008 by Charis -

Charis R. Hart

I am very pleased to introduce you to Kim whom I met online- by divine appointment- when I was seeking testimonies of men who have experienced transformation. My reason for including male testimonies on a website "for women" is to give women hope that change is possible. Personally, I was encouraged and uplifted as I read through the collection of humble, transparent posts on Kim's blog- Preparation 4 Eternity

When I asked Kim for permission to mine his blog on behalf of God's Word to Women, his concern was for the female reader:

"The thing that makes me hesitate at all is that what I write is directed specifically towards men/husbands. Sometimes women/wives get the wrong idea. As you have written, men and women are very different. I've come to believe that those differences were designed as blessings by God to glorify Him. But, when we don't perceive them as "blessings" things can go tragically wrong. All that to say, wives sometimes take some things that I write as applying to them, when I am really speaking to their husbands. As long as people understand this, then I'm really grateful for the chance to impact more people's lives for the better."

I am familiar with the phenomenon Kim identifies. When I hear sermons about marriage, I have a tendency to take it all on as if it all depends upon me. A wise counselor once shared with me something he learned through years of counseling experience, "The way men and women deal with shame is reflected in their anatomy. Men externalize and women internalize." So, ladies, keep in mind that Kim writes to husbands - gently and humbly calling them to accountability. Enjoy this refreshing testimony and resist internalizing!


From P4E.022 Horse Sense

Frustration and anger are two emotions that we men CAN name and do recognize. I can't tell you how many times I have been frustrated in my relationships with my wife and children. How angry I have been towards them, because I felt that they misunderstood me, mistook me, disobeyed me, disappointed me, had different opinions from mine, couldn't understand that my way was the right way.

I have learned a lot since those times and what that knowledge has meant is that I make every effort not to terrorize my wife and children anymore. When I'm slower to frustration and anger I gain greater understanding to the point that I don't get angry and frustrated. I know you may be saying to yourself, "Sure, Kim…" but I am telling you that with God's help I have really changed directions in this area of my life. Sure, I still get angry, frustrated, and impatient at times but much less frequently and that is not the track record I am making now. And, the biggest thing is that I now recognize when I get angry, frustrated and impatient and have the tools to acknowledge, apologize and repent from blowing up my home. God help me to continue.


From P4E.034 Flesh and Blood

I've been told more than a few times recently that I'm being too hard on myself (and vicariously, all husbands) in this Blog. I may have to ask my wife, Gwen, to weigh in on how hard she thinks I'm being on myself in comparison to how hard I have been on her and my sons over the last 30 years. I truly believe that there is an all-powerful, all-knowing, everywhere-present, loving, Creator. I would rather be hard on myself now than have Him be hard on me later (know whatta mean?). Yes, I may be hard on my self, but I believe that my pursuit of Christ-likeness demands it. Scripture is pretty clear about this.

Matthew reports, "Then Jesus said to His disciples, 'If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me.'"

And the apostle Paul (whom I greatly admire) says "I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me ." It has been pointed out that the word "I" in this passage is translated from the Greek, "Ego." So, my egotism, my conceit, my self-importance must be sacrificed in favor of Christ.

John the Baptist, upon hearing of Christ's work said, "He must increase, but I must decrease." I maintain the same: Christ must increase and I must decrease.

As my physical, fleshly, perspective decreases, my goal is to replace it with a spiritual, Godly paradigm. So, instead of building, feeding and showing off my flesh, the goal is to build, feed and display Christ's spirit within me. Why? Because Scripture is also clear about this: "…flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God…" Only the "imperishable" spirit can enter God's kingdom.


P4E.003 No Marriage in Heavenly Eternity

+ There will be no marriage in heavenly eternity.
+ The purposes of marriage are to be accomplished here on earth in preparation for eternity.
+ God puts physical circumstances in my life to teach me spiritual lessons.

How much these concepts have helped to change my attitude towards my marriage and towards my help (wife). (For those reading who aren't married, please keep reading, many of these ideas go towards all relationships).

I've spoken to more than one husband recently who has said something like "whenever my wife gets on the subject of (insert painful subject here), I just sort-of tune her out." As we discuss further the husband will indignantly tell me that his wife will start yelling at him and maybe use foul language at him. "That's not very Christian of her, is it?" "As her spiritual leader, I'm not going to tolerate that!" "That's not being the quiet, submissive wife that SCRIPTURE calls her to be!"

The rest of the conversation might go something like this:

K(im): In general, why do you think people yell?
H(usband): Because they're mad!

K: Sometimes, yes. Why else might someone yell or shout?
H: Because the other person can't hear them?

K: Right. Or maybe won't hear them?
H: Ohhhh, you mean like when I said I tune her out when she talks about (insert painful subject here)?

K: Yes. Sometimes people have to yell just to get the other person's attention.
H: Oh, I can hear her, believe me.

K: Okay, but are you paying attention? What do you think God is trying to teach you in this situation? His Word says "All things work together for good…" This is one of those "All things." What's He saying to you?
H: Well…that I need to be a better listener?

K: Right. We need to be open to the possibility that God is trying to speak to us through our wives. Maybe even demanding a response to a painful situation. Giving us an opportunity to respond in a Christ-like way. . .to grow. . .
H: I never thought of it that way. . .

"God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our conscience, but shouts in our pains: it is His megaphone to rouse a deaf world." CS Lewis-The Problem of Pain

Until next time…Blessings, Kim


P4E.006 How I Failed the Sensitivity Test (Again)!

I never want to let you to think that I don't experience troubles in my marriage and life. As I've said, sometimes I write to confess my sins to you.

My wife, Gwen, had some money in a joint checking account. The other morning she came to me trembling and eventually in tears to tell me that she had overdrawn the account by a few hundred dollars. She was obviously distraught over it. Gwen knew that I was planning to, but I had not yet shared with her that in the days preceding I had gotten close to arranging a home equity line of credit with the same bank. The thought came to me and I (without thinking) spoke out loud that the overdrawn account would probably doom our chances of getting the line of credit.

Gwen let me know that I had been very insensitive when I said that. Later she said things like "When you said that you let me know that you really don't have much empathy for how other people are feeling." "I was already hurting and I felt like you poured salt in my wounds." "I felt like you kicked me when I was down." "It was something like you used to say. It's as if you went back to being like you used to be."

It grieves me to think that with all that I'm learning, I can still cause that much hurt in the love of my life. It isn't how Jesus would have handled that situation, I'm sure. It reminds me how strong my flesh is and how I need to go to Christ for spiritual strength. I'm truly sorry for it and don't want to impact Gwen that way again. Lord, give me strength to be the spiritual leader that you want me to be to my wife and children.

Praying with you and for you, Kim


P4E.008 Fairness Compromises Godliness

A subject is coming up a lot recently. I call it the "What about her?" syndrome. It goes like this: We are ministering to a couple who is struggling in their marriage. Because God calls the husband to spiritual leadership in the home, we begin to focus on him. In his flesh, the husband begins to defend himself by defaulting to his "Adamic" DNA and says, in effect, "the woman whom Thou gavest to be with me…." Blame-shifting is deep seated in us men and we make every effort to keep the tradition alive.

There are two other concepts that are related to the "What about her?" syndrome. The first is the "50-50? concept of marriage. My longtime friend and counselor, Dave Taylor, showed me the wall full of books about marriage and family counseling in his office one time. They were by secular and Christian authors. Dave said that the problem with them for the most part is that they are all based on the 50-50 concept of marriage. "I'll move a little, if she'll move a little and if we keep it up we'll meet in the middle." The second, related, concept is held with strong conviction. It's the concept of "fairness." Secular and Christian alike, we hold fast to the concept of "fairness" and "justice."

Let's work backwards through these concepts to gain some new perspective on our relationships. As "Christians" (meaning little Christs) we are called to be like Him. If you think that Christ came to fight for "truth, justice and the American way" you are confusing Him with a fictional superhero. As Ken Nair puts it (and I love this quote) "Fairness compromises Godliness." That is to say, I deserve judgment and punishment for my actions, words and attitudes. What I get from God instead is grace and mercy and sacrifice for my salvation. If Christ got a fair trial he would not have been condemned and crucified.

The "50-50? concept of marriage is popular because it is "fair." It equally divides the responsibility for the relationship between both the husband and the wife. The problem is that statistics are bearing out that it does not work. They say that the definition of insanity is "doing the same thing over and over again, expecting a different result." We're crazy to keep trying to force the "50-50? marriage model when we know it's failing. And it's failing because it does not follow the Christ-like model set before us in Scripture. I know the quote, but I have a hard time living it..."Husbands, love your wives just as Christ loved the church and gave Himself up for her..."

What I'm proposing, guys, and is the unfair (but Christ-like) proposition that we take 100% responsibility for the state of our marriages, expecting nothing in return. That's the "100-0? concept. It leaves no room for blame-shifting (otherwise known as the "What about her?" syndrome). How does that make you feel? I'd like to hear back from you on this.

Your Ally in the Pursuit of Christ-likeness, Kim


P4E.010 The Sincerity of the Pursuit of Christlikeness

The struggle with physical circumstances bringing on anger and resentment and bitterness that I spoke of in P4E.009 many times had to do with my marriage. Let me give you an idea of what can happen when you let go of "fairness" and "justice."

My wife and I were talking to a wife who asked the question: "OK, say my husband starts to understand what you're talking about. What would I see? What would that look like?" Our reply went something like this: "If your husband were a spiritual leader, he would exhibit the fruit of the spirit. If we look at Galatians 5, that fruit is described as love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. If someone came up to you right now and asked you to describe your husband would you use any of these words to describe him?" In answer, she rolled her eyes. This is a typical response that we get when we talk of such things.

If we had answered that wife further, we would have also said, "Right, and he also would not be evidencing the deeds of the flesh which are immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions, envying, drunkenness and carousing."

Well, I've had my own bouts with pornography (How about you guys?). I know a pastor who sold his Harley Davidson because he realized he was kneeling down every time he polished the chrome on it. We've ministered to husbands who were struggling with alcohol and/or drug addiction. My wife will vouch that I was one of the most contentious, angry men she's ever known. We're talking about husbands professing to be Christians, pastors and worship leaders and Bible study leaders. I'm not saying that we have to be saints. (Although I think sometimes our wives would (rightly) like us to be.) But, as my often quoted mentor, Ken Nair says, "It's not about being perfect, it's about the sincerity of the pursuit of Christ-likeness."

Let me add something else that we hear from wives and girlfriends. They wish we weren't so self-righteous. They wish we weren't so defensive. They wish we would be more humble and teachable. That would mean acknowledging when we've been offensive (un-Christlike), apologizing for it and promising not to do it again. I believe that's Scriptural.

When we let go of "fairness" and "justice" we also let go of the question: "Well, what about her?" and focus on our own pursuit of Christ.

We like to do our own little survey and ask people how many families they know in which they would identify the husband/father as the spiritual leader. Let me clue you in on our survey. Ask yourself that question right now. The answer you gave is about what we hear. Very few. If you ask the children, they will almost inevitably answer "Mom is."

Would you like to join me in turning the tide, in becoming a spiritual leader, in changing the general perception, in pursuing Christ? Let's roll...

Your Ally in the Pursuit of Christlikeness, Kim


P4E.020 Empty

People have been asking "Why the melancholy?" It really does revolve around my remorse over having been such a poor husband to my wife and father to my 3 sons. Don't get me wrong, things are definitely on the mend between all of us. But, in my relationships, I am reaping what I sowed for about 20 years. And it makes me sad. I try not to be overwhelmed and to receive the grace that they and God extend my way. It is a lot of work to repair such things and sometimes I am overwhelmed.

This is why I write. To sort all of these things out. To sound the warning to all who will listen to an older and (now) wiser man. Because I see the old me mirrored back in so many men that I come in contact with. And I want so desperately to make a difference. But, like the old me, they turn away. "I'm OK, I'm working on it; it's a process you know? This is just the way I am. There's lots of time to deal with my relationships. They're not going anywhere. They've got problems too, you know? If they were nicer, I would be too." That old attitude that I see mirrored back to me makes me melancholy too.

I believe that the hope of post-modern man is that we would move past the detachedness.. Away from arrogance and towards humility. Valuing understanding others more than being understood. Being less judgmental and extending more grace.

The problem is that post-modern man is really in no better position to implement these values than was modern man. I am in no better position to implement these values because of my (limited) understanding of what it means to be "modern" or "post-modern." I'm still involved in that age-old conflict between the flesh and the spirit. Will I always feel this way? So empty, so estranged?

I scream with all the intensity that Paul did in his letter to the Romans, "Wretched man that I am! Who will set me free from the body of this death?"

And without denying the gut-wrenching circumstances that are cropped up in my life, without denying the feelings of inadequacy, without denying the process that I must go through to get there…I end up acknowledging the same salvation that Paul did….Jesus Christ our Lord. He is the pattern that I will strive to mold myself to. His compassion, His grace, His empathy, His understanding, His strength, His humility, His sacrifice are my goals.

God help me (and you too!).

Your ally in the pursuit of Christlikeness, Kim


P4E.032 One Vs. Rent

One:
1. being or amounting to a single unit or individual or entire thing, item, or object rather than two or more.
2. of the same or having a single kind, nature, or condition: We belong to one team; we are of one resolve.
3. in a state of agreement; of one opinion.
4. united in thought or feeling; attuned: He felt at one with his Creator.

Rent:
1. to separate into parts with force or violence.
2. to harrow or distress (the heart) with painful feelings.

In a way, it would be easy to lie to you and tell you that everything's going great. To put on a facade and let you think what a great guy I am. But, you should know that my wife, Gwen, views these posts. So, I would not be able to stand before her or God if I tried to deceive you that way.

The fact is, that I haven't been doing well in my relationship with Gwen. Last week she wanted to sit down and make a list of things that we needed to get done around the house and in our lives. "Brainstorm." We have done this before without any problem. It shouldn't have been a big deal. For reasons I'm still trying to examine, I was balking about the whole process. It got to the place where I accused Gwen of being judgmental about my lack of ability to embrace making the list with enthusiasm.

In our Tuesday evening group we discussed this situation and one of the ladies there spoke some truth to me: "This was not about making the list. This was about Gwen wanting to plan out your lives together, to be one with you, to share her heart with you. Basically, what you did was throw her heart in the trash. . . " My eyes are welling up even as I type those words. That is NOT what I want to convey to my wife. That is NOT what I truly feel in my heart towards her. And yet, that is what I told her by my attitude.

I have to be careful not to either let myself off too easy or to be so hard on myself that I focus on me and not Gwen. I want to be one with Gwen, as I vowed almost 30 years ago and not rent from her. I want to be strong enough to have some self-control when it comes to my attitudes, actions and words. I'm looking to God for His strength and not my own.

As I've said before, if you can avoid making the same mistakes I do by my relating them to you, so much the better for you. My testing won't be in vain.

God help me and you, Kim


P4E.033 Dead Men's Bones

"A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart brings forth evil. For out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks." Luke 6:45

Recently, a husband told me that he feels like every word that comes out of his mouth about his wife is "under a microscope." I told him, "Yes, they are under a microscope!" So many times I find myself being casual, flippant and sloppy with my words. Sometimes I communicate something that I really didn't mean to communicate. And, sometimes I accidentally communicate what is truly on my heart. By my fleshly nature, I can really be critical. Even when I try to mask it, the words that come out of my mouth can (usually do) reveal what is truly in my heart.

As an example, I recently heard a husband describe his wife as a "neat freak." The phrase and the way he said it conveyed that:

a) he struggled to understand why she would have to be that neat
b) he resented how she imposed her neatness standards onto him
c) he did not value her organizational abilities
d) he felt competition between himself and his wife
e) he did not appreciate her

When pressed he would probably change his tune and say "no, no, I do appreciate her!" But, the fact is that "out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks" (Mt 12:34)

So, you might ask, "what's a fellow to do?" I've come to believe about myself that the answer lies in me changing my heart. I need to get to the place where I truly believe in my heart that my wife is a great planner/organizer who's abilities I am not threatened by, but truly appreciate, value and understand. Then my mouth will not characterize her as a "neat freak," but praise her positive character qualities to her face and in front of other people. When I get to that place I can be truly inspired by those positive character qualities to be better organized myself.

Jesus compared the religious leaders of the time to "whitewashed tombs, which on the outside appear beautiful, but inside they are full of dead men's bones and all uncleanness." That's why He said we must be "born again" so that our appearance and our heart would be aligned, alive, righteous and pure.


P4E.046 The Nature of My Game

. . . Many of us view our wives in an adversarial way. . .she's the "enemy." This is really, really common for husbands to do. In fact, it's the hardest thing for most husbands to change. . .their perception of their wife as "enemy."

So, when our wives "hit" us with a million questions and "accuse" us of cheating do we think they're doing that because they hate us and wish us dead? I think what's closer to the truth is that they love us and don't want to lose us. When we are inappropriate around other women, because of our track record, our wives may not (should not) TRUST us. They probably feel threatened, at-risk, overlooked, de-valued, unwanted, even betrayed. This may inappropriately come out as jealousy and possessiveness. Jesus did not lead His church to jealousy and possessiveness. Neither should we lead our wives there.

If we were able to change our perception of our wives from "enemy" to "help" we might find that they're actually right about how we are around other women. Figuring that out, we could, with her "help", acknowledge the sin in our lives and change the way we think, act and talk around other women, changing our track record, letting her know how much we really care for her and gaining her TRUST. That way, we wouldn't have to be defensive and we could live in peace and in love with her and ourselves and GOD. . .

Your ally in the pursuit of Christlikeness, Kim


P4E.052 Sticks and Stones

Question: Why did anyone ever come up with the rhyme "Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me?"
Answer: Because they do.

A basic tenet of psychology is that others can't make you feel. . . But, the fact is that this psychology had to arise as a rebuttal to the fact that others can, in fact, affect my feelings.

Another question that I ask myself, in the pursuit of Christ-likeness, is "Have I made others feel this way (especially the one closest to me, my wife)?" The Holidays are fraught with the danger of being insensitive. One Thanksgiving not so long ago (I tell you this story to my shame) I gathered the family around in a circle for a pre-Thanksgiving feast prayer in which I completely neglected to give thanks for my wife's herculean effort to make the holiday a great one. She had cleaned, and decorated, made phone calls and invitations, made calligraphied name tags to designate where people would sit and cooked a gigantic feast (without much help from me). Well sure, she could have said to herself, "I am in control of myself and how I feel. I can choose to feel anyway I want. . ." But the fact is, I made her feel unappreciated, unimportant, unintroduced, unacknowledged, small, insignificant, inferior and rejected. She had every right to expect a very different response from the one who vowed to "honor and cherish" her.

Knowing what I know now, I am so sorry for this. It was very wrong of me. I know now how awful it feels to feel these feelings. How troubled I am that I can be the cause of these feelings in others, especially my wonderful wife. How different I want to be in the present and the future! God help me and strengthen me in this commitment.

Take care of yourself (and other's feelings!)
Merry Christmas
Peace on Earth and Goodwill to All Men (and Women)
Kim


P4E.057 SNAFU

We've been watching Ken Burns' fine DVD series about World War II, "The War." At one point, Burns points out that the young soldiers used language they never would have dreamed of using at home. That fact, coupled with lack of confidence in their superior leadership, caused the soldiers to come up with colorful slang to describe their circumstances. So acronyms like "SNAFU: Situation Normal All F--ed Up" and "FUBAR: F-ed Up Beyond All Recognition" came into usage.

Somewhere after I turned 30 until about 45 I put my nose to the grindstone, put blinders on and buried myself in my work, thinking that work and money would meet my family's needs. I disregarded my role as spiritual leader and my marriage and relationship with my sons became like a long, drawn-out war. Gwen describes knowing how terrible things were, but deciding to hunker down, battle it out, keep a "stiff upper lip" and to keep on doing the right thing despite what I was doing. She says she would go out of our home determined to act "normal" and come home to a "mausoleum" (after all, I had "buried myself" in my work). I was spiritually dead. Although Gwen wouldn't use such language, our home life became a SNAFU.

"The War" describes what was then called "battle fatigue," with symptoms like numbness, depression, excessive irritability, guilt, nightmares, flashbacks, and overreaction. Army planners determined that the average soldier could withstand no more than 240 days of combat without going mad. But, by that time, the average soldier was probably dead or wounded. Gwen and I have been married 30 years now. For most of those years she was involved in combat with my arrogance, pride and my flesh nature. She did exhibit many battle fatigue symptoms and it's a wonder she didn't go mad.

It pains me now to think that Gwen and my sons lived that way. It pains me that my leadership was so misguided and my sense of right and wrong was so warped. It pains me that my judgment was so poor. If I had it to do over again, things would be so different. I know now that my values were warped (Some might say FUBAR). If I had it to do over again, I would've realized that building my spirit and those closest to me was more important than building my business or my bank account. As it turns out for me, none of them were built up.

Now for the hard part. Some of us (yes, maybe even you) have yet to recognize that our wives may consider our marriages to be like a long, drawn-out war. Some of our wives feel like prisoners of war. In that war, our enemy is not our wives, but as the saying goes,

"We have met the enemy and he is us"

For some of us, it's time to wave the white flag, call a truce and begin negotiations to surrender. Only pride and ignorance are stopping us. If you don't know, ask her.

Peace, Kim


from P4E.073 Broaden Your Mind

"Could God be so uncomplicated as to call the help He has provided for you 'help'?"

"The LORD God said, 'It is not good for the man to be alone.I will make a helper suitable for him.'"
Genesis 2:18 (NIV)
Of course, then He created woman/wife.


from P4E.071 Oh, the Humanity!

Am I making the ground shake by my temper? Am I a great wind that wreaks havoc all around me by my presence and personality? Do people feel like they're drowning in great waves of anxiety when I'm around? Do I bring a cloud of confusion like a volcano spews ash into the air? Do people feel fear, helplessness and hurt when I'm around, or do I bring peace, clarity and healing wherever I go? I have been known to do the former. I'm working on doing more of the latter.


P4E.076 In the Dark

I was sitting on the bedroom floor in the dark, my back against the bed, staring straight ahead, trying to sort out what had just occurred. . .

"If you've never listened to me before, you need to listen to me now!!" my wife, Gwen, had said. "You need to go down to his room and talk to him right now!! You need to apologize and ask him to forgive you or you'll lose him too!"

She was talking about our son David. David had driven his date in our shiny, red BMW to his high school prom. There had been a minor accident on the way. No one had been hurt. I thought I had handled the initial hearing of the story well. But, as time went by, I started to have unanswered questions in my mind. Gwen and David and I eventually were in the living room talking about the accident. I started asking my questions. I wasn't hearing answers that I liked. My voice became more strained. The questions came faster. My impatience and anger were rising. I was frustrated because I didn't understand the sequence of events, which car was where, who might have been at fault. "How could it happen that way?" The message I sent to David was that I didn't believe him; that I thought he was lying to me. Finally, exasperated and angered by my interrogation and the fact that I wasn't accepting his answers, David's eyes filled with tears and he fled to his bedroom.

"…You need to go down to his room and talk to him right now!!"

I resisted. Why should I apologize? I didn't wreck the car! He should be upset! He was careless. He wrecked the shiny, red Beemer. Was he going to pay to fix it? Only much later would I think about how his whole prom night had probably been ruined by the thought that he would have to face me.

". . .you'll lose him too."

I'd already pushed our oldest son, Jon, away. I'd lost all credibility with him. Jon (rightly) thought I was a hypocrite. His disdain for me and for Christianity was plain. I was so callous that I wasn't responding to that situation.

"…you need to listen to me now!!"

I had recently heard that I was to change my attitude towards my wife and see her not as the enemy, but as help. She was truly better at understanding relationships than I was. David didn't have a track record of lying that should cause me to suspect him of doing so now. I needed to value him and our relationship more than the thing (BMW). My anger and impatience had always gotten me into trouble. I needed to change. I needed to do something different. I needed to go to him.

But, what would his response be? I wouldn't forgive me if I were him. If I were him, I would be pretty angry myself. I realized that I was afraid that he'd cuss me out and kick me out of his room. I was afraid that he wouldn't forgive me. I was afraid that I'd already lost him.

I went into the kitchen. Gwen watched me as I got a glass of water, waiting to see what I would do. I set the glass down and set off for David's room. I opened the door and found him laying on his bed, face down into his pillow. I sat on the bed. "David, I'm sorry. I shouldn't have questioned you that way. It's just a car. You're more important to me. I know you've never lied to me. . .I don't even remember how I left that room or how I came to be sitting on the floor of the darkened bedroom. The door opened and the light from the hallway pierced into the black. I kept staring ahead, but I could see the silhouette of Gwen's legs and feet come into my teary peripheral view. "Thank you, Gwen. Thank you for telling me what to do. I had no idea…." It was the first time I'd ever really thanked her for her help. But it wouldn't be the last." David sat up quickly and lunged at me…threw his arms around my neck…buried his face on my shoulder…and burst into tears. His whole body heaved as big, gut wrenching sobs came from his throat. My eyes filled with tears as I stroked his hair and back and said "It's OK. . .It's OK, Dave. . ."

I don't even remember how I left that room or how I came to be sitting on the floor of the darkened bedroom. The door opened and the light from the hallway pierced into the black. I kept staring ahead, but I could see the silhouette of Gwen's legs and feet come into my teary peripheral view. "Thank you, Gwen. Thank you for telling me what to do. I had no idea. . ." It was the first time I'd ever really thanked her for her help. But it wouldn't be the last.

Peace, Kim

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