October 26, 2010

Disillusionment

The first months of church planting were hard on our marriage. Kyle readily admits that he was distracted by the overwhelming burden of starting a church and providing for our family. I readily admit that I put undue pressure on him because I was emotionally fragile, uncertain of my role, and lonely. Church planting was harder than I expected and the things I thought I had down were greatly challenged, including marriage.

I cried alot during those days, often to Kyle. "Why did you bring me here?" I'd say, my words dripping with resentment. He'd gently remind me that God called me here too, that we were a team, and that I'd felt so certain when we were preparing to leave College Station.

I mourned the change and what it required of me: more sacrifice, less of my husband, more uncertainty, less of the familiar routines we had once had. In my emotional need, I wanted my husband's full attention, but he had so little to give me at that time.

My problem was disillusionment--with ministry, with church planting, and with marriage. And I began to dwell there, feeding my sinful thoughts. What if we had never moved here? What if Kyle hadn't gone into ministry? What if we had ignored God's call? What if I hadn't married someone in the ministry? 

We women are excellent at feeding our ideal dreams, especially in regards to men. We're the target audience for romantic comedies because we love that sappy, romance stuff where the guy pursues the girl even to her wedding to another guy (Runaway Bride), looks for her name in a book for years to find her (Serendipity), and serenades her with a stereo while wearing cut off gloves and a trench coat (Say Anything). But when real life looks much different--and it always does--what is our response?

In my season of disillusionment, I discovered that my thoughts affect my respect for Kyle. If I think about the (many) ways he loves and serves me, I am feeding my respect for him. If I dwell on how he doesn't do things the way I would do it or how he's disappointed me, I feed disrespect. Either way, my words and actions toward him will betray my thoughts.

In those months, I never considered that a fantasy always plays out better in the mind than reality. Check out this quote:
"Nothing is so beautiful, nothing is so continually surprising, so full of sweet and perpetual ecstasy as the good; no desert is so dreary, monotonous and boring as evil. But with fantasy it's the other way around. Fictional good is boring and flat, while fictional evil is varied, intriguing, attractive, and full of charm." --Simon Weil

Reality is where God has us. Our thought life is extremely important. If we spend our time wishing we were somewhere else or had something or someone else, it's sin. And if we feed that sin, it will grow bigger and more dangerous, fully able to destroy our lives.