The definition of turning point-The point at which a very significant change occurs; a decisive moment.
I have had quite a few turning points in my life I know because if not, I would have ended up in a different place than I am altogether due to traveling in SO the wrong direction!
I would say that most turning points in fact were a one step forward and two steps back kind of thing where I know that the Lord got me to where I needed to be, however exactly how or when is kind of a fuzzy blur. In most cases I just remain in a constant state of thankfulness that He was able to take my mess of a life and redeem it into something worth living.
That being said, there is one Turning Point that I remember very clearly.
I had returned from attending a conference all weekend. It was in Maryland and some ladies from church and I enjoyed our time traveling, shopping and conferencing together. Luke was on “daddy duty” all weekend and has always been just as capable of caring for the house and children as I was. I was therefore worry-free.
I had only heard of “Father’s Heart” but didn’t really know what it was about. It ended up that in this particular conference the speaker’s topic was heart intimacy.
Had I not known better I would have thought that the Lord chose the topic, the stories shared and the altar calls just for ME. It was a time when I was so thankful that we were out of town because except for those that accompanied me on the trip no one knew me. There were less people therefore present to witness my complete and utter falling apart at every single altar call. I envy those that cry “pretty” because I simply do not fall into that category.
Probably the story that touched me the most was one in which the speaker shared that there was a moment within his own marriage that he realized that he and his wife only shared a “shadow of intimacy.” It looked like the real thing however it was only a facade.
I could completely relate to this and it touched something on the inside of me that ignited both a realization, a desire for change, and a fear of knowing what that would require from me.
At this point my husband and I had been married for eleven years. Many of those years had been spent simply surviving and the rest we were striving to maintain status quo.
When I got married I was a nineteen year old little girl desperately longing to be number one in someone’s life. I got married for all the wrong reasons. I was a hurting, wounded, needy, dysfunctional young woman who had no ability to truly love, trust or be intimate with anyone.
My husband was a twenty one year old man who desired to be my rescuer. Void of self worth, he found value in trying to make me “all-better.” It wasn’t long into our marriage however that he realized that my lack of ability to trust men was all-inclusive, and that he was unable to breach the impenetrable wall with which I had surrounded my heart.
The most intimate portions of who I was became reserved only for older, Godly women whom the Lord placed in my life along the way. My husband stood by and watched being continually wounded and rejected as he saw me share the most sacred parts of who I was with others in my life.
With my husband I found a place of comfort and safety in never sharing with him anything that I thought might make him angry or unhappy with me. Never delving into those real “heart issues.” Fear of rejection and abandonment dominated me and it became safer to live within those shadows of intimacy. If you live in any place long enough you will eventually find some semblance of comfort.
It was not a place that the Lord had left untouched within me. I had struggled for years with knowing that I was supposed to be “one” with my spouse. I had been prompted by the Holy Spirit to share with my husband when I was struggling, hurting, or needing to talk. My Father had tried to reason with me many times that He would never lead me to do something that would be harmful to me.
Each time however I found myself either running to a trusted friend for counsel or squelching the desire altogether. I simply was not willing to risk trusting him. What ifs would each time scream in my ear. “What if he doesn’t respond the right way… What if you expose that very yucky thought or feeling that you had and he judges you…. What if he wounds you with his words or rejects you or abandons you! What if he realizes who he really married?
That conference was a turning point for me and for our marriage.
It was there, at the altar that the Lord helped me to lay down my fear and need to self-protect. It was there that He revealed to me that if I would be obedient to Him and trust Him as He led me to share my heart with my husband that He would be Faithful to ensure to meet whatever need would arise within my soul as a result.
He did not promise me that my husband would always respond the right way. He did not even promise that by letting my husband “in” to my Holy of Holies that I would not be wounded or hurt. He did assure me in His sweet, gentle way however that He would be there, with me, no matter what.
And so it began slowly. With my courage high I returned home that weekend exhausted and determined to do what I knew the Lord was leading me to. My husband’s casual and cheerful question of “how was the conference?” led to hours of heart bearing discussion, more tears and unabated honesty of where I was, where we were and how far we were from where we really needed to be in this area.
Opportunities arose immediately for me to share my heart with him. The Lord was gracious to in the beginning allow them to be issues of small importance. Each time I would hold my breath and “do it afraid…” My husband was so wonderful in that he knew how hard this was for me, to be honest and share my heart even when I thought he would not like what my heart had to say, and he strived to respond the right way each time.
As time went on and we each grew more comfortable with these new levels of intimacy there were certainly times where each of us had to work hard at communicating in healthy ways. I found a new freedom in being open and honest that led to a boldness that was not always productive J Luke, as wonderful as he is, has feelings that can get hurt and sometimes he would respond out of that hurt. Communication is such a process of learning and we continue to learn.
I am so thankful however that I am no longer dominated by fear of rejection and abandonment. I am so thankful that as I trust the Lord to meet every need within my heart there is freedom to be real with the man that He has given me to love. I am so thankful that even when my husband does not respond the right way there is grace and mercy for Him from the Father and forgiveness from me which does not lead me to rebuild the wall around my heart. I am thankful for a marriage relationship defined by real love, honesty and trust… It is a gift from the hands of my Father.
I am so thankful for turning points….