Maria Yeager

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Daily Prompt: Cheat

This morning, I checked my phone and saw that today’s word prompt on WordPress was “cheat”. I have never taken part in these word prompts as I usually have something to write about, but I have to admit, I’ve been running out of ideas lately. When I saw this word prompt, I knew I wouldn’t take part in it today as the word brings back some bad memories for me. However, throughout the day, I have been bombarded with reminders of this word, and I believe I am being called to write about this topic. So, I am giving in…haha!

The word “cheat” can refer to so many things – cheating on a test, cheating on taxes, cheating at a game. But for me, the word “cheat” brings back memories of a horrible time in my life – a time when I though my life was over. Almost five years ago, I found out that my spouse of almost twenty years was cheating on me.

Those few months right after I found out about the affair were some of the worst and most painful of my entire life. This man, who just months before the affair told me that I was the most wonderful wife in the world, was messing around with a co-worker. This is the same man who, for almost the entire length of the marriage, condemned anyone who stepped out on his/her spouse. This is also the same man who supposedly was a Christian and who clearly knew that infidelity was wrong.

I was stunned at his attempt to shirk responsibility for his actions. He blamed everyone else for his actions, including me. I have since learned all about narcissism and now realize that this played a role in how he failed to deal with his infidelity in a healthy manner. He refused counseling which is also a hallmark sign of narcissism. Through my own counseling, I began to realize that narcissism played a huge role in the demise of our marriage, but not just his narcissism. It was also quite prevalent in other members of his family as well – members that had a huge influence over the entire family dynamic.

I remember certain details about those terrible months. I remember how I found him at her townhouse ordering pizza on a Friday night. I remember walking up to the door and confronting him. I thought for sure that since I caught him, he would return home and talk to me about what had happened. I was, after all, his wife. I just caught him at another woman’s house. However, he didn’t return as I had expected. He didn’t come home for four hours. I remember crying myself to sleep. I remember waking up and looking at the clock, realizing he still wasn’t home, and knowing what was probably going on at her house. I remember feeling like someone was just stabbing right in my heart, feeling so sick to my stomach, and having a pounding headache. I remember never getting an apology for that behavior – instead all I heard were excuses and justifications.

I remember waking up one morning the week after finding out about the affair and walking down to the kitchen right after he left for work. The overwhelming scent of cologne just about knocked me down as I walked into the kitchen. It followed me throughout the house as I thought about the fact that he was probably with her on the train right at that moment – the train that took the two of them to work. He had never put on that much cologne before, but he was doing it for her.

I remember how thoughts haunted me day and night. What caused him to treat me like this? How could this happen? On those days when he left to play golf or go to the casino, was he with her? On the days he had to “work late”, was he with her? Did he lie to me the entire marriage? Did I ever truly know this person? Was she in my home when I was visiting my parents? A never ending stream of horrible confusion and terrorizing realizations kept me from sleeping for months.

I remember how, in a divorce support group at church, they described divorce as a “tearing of the flesh”. They explained that when a couple marries, God joins the two and they “become one”, so when a divorce occurs, it means that the two are being torn apart. Believe me, it felt like this. It was awful.

I remember how, within the time period of just about a month, he went from this loving husband who couldn’t seem to keep his hands off me to a complete stranger who didn’t seem to care about me at all. He didn’t care about all the hurt he was inflicting, not only on me, but my entire family. It didn’t seem to bother him one bit that he was walking out on almost twenty years of his life. It’s like he went to bed as one person and woke up as a complete stranger.

It was hell. A complete uprooting of everything I knew to be true. A time where I didn’t think I would make it. But I did make it, and I am so much better for it.

I went through years of counseling. In addition to learning all about Narcissistic Personality Disorder, I learned who I truly was – a knowledge of my own self. I realized that I had not been true to myself as I let others control what I did and thought. I became self-aware, and I learned to love myself and accept myself just as I am.

I also spent a lot of time with God – time in prayer, time in church, and time alone with Him. My spiritual life grew by leaps and bounds, and today I have the closest relationship of my life with God. I spend a lot of time reading the Bible and other spiritual books, and I have learned to lean on Him all the time, not just some of the time. But the biggest lesson of all is that I now know that He always has a plan for me – a purpose that at times I cannot see because of all the darkness on this earth. I thought I was surrounded by that darkness five years ago, but little did I know, the light was still shining. Today, I know that the light is always there no matter how bad the circumstances. God never leaves us.

Looking back to where I was five years ago, I can truly say that I am thankful that my husband had the affair. I actually want to thank him, believe it or not. If he hadn’t had the affair, I would still be stuck on a path that led nowhere. I do not believe in divorce, and I would have never left the marriage had he not had the affair. I have grown by leaps and bounds since the end of my marriage – emotionally, mentally, and spiritually.

I remember several years ago when my therapist suggested that the affair might have been a blessing – a good thing because it allowed me to grow. In fact, my own grandmother made this same remark several years ago. I didn’t want to accept it at the time. I wasn’t ready. But today, I can truly say that some great changes have occurred as a result of that affair. I recall how it has been said that God can take bad things and turn them to good if you trust in Him. This is so true, and it certainly happened in my case. I truly believe that He reached down, yanked me out of a terrible situation, and placed me on solid ground where I could grow. God sees everything. I believe He gave me the “out” that I needed so I would be able to reach new heights. I wouldn’t be at this place today if I hadn’t been released from this marriage. Being in that marriage and family was truly holding me back from my destiny – a destiny full of hope and happiness. A destiny centered around the one true God. A destiny of true self-awareness.

Although bad things do happen in this life, hold onto hope. There is always a reason that is bigger than any of us, and most of the time we can’t see it at the time. You just have to trust. Hold onto the hand of God. Get a good counselor. God will get you through it and will bring you out on the other side in such a better place. He has bigger plans for you. All you have to do is trust in Him.

My blog address: http://www.yeagerm193.wordpress.com

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via Daily Prompt: Cheat

Trust in God

Well, I have had one interesting week, to say the least. But during the course of this week, I was reminded, gently, to put my complete trust in God. I think that from time to time, even the most devout Christians will forget that God is in control. It is human nature to forget that God is in charge as we try to control the events in our lives. This is especially true when faced with difficulties.

Earlier this week, I was made aware of some financial issues within a non-profit organization. Without getting into too much detail, I was disturbed to find out the details from a very dear friend, and I felt it was my responsibility to report the possible money mismanagement. At first, I really didn’t want to get involved, but as I thought more about it, I knew it was the right thing to do. So, four of us wrote a letter detailing our concerns.

While we were dealing with this issue, my mom came to visit. We had such a wonderful time together, as we always do, but I felt guilty leaving her alone for periods of time while I continued to deal with this issue. My mom is very understanding, and she told me that it didn’t bother her one bit that I had to go to my office and work for a while. However, I still felt torn. I wanted to just have fun with her and not worry about the problem for a while, but I also wanted to do the right thing and help those out who had been mistreated in the organization.

On Tuesday, I sat down to pray as I always do. I was very stressed and exhausted. As I closed my eyes, I just sat there quietly for a few minutes before I began to say my prayers. An image of Jesus came to my mind, and he was standing on water. He asked me to come toward him as He stretched out his arm. I was in a boat, and I began to walk on water toward him, just as the disciple Peter did. He told me very clearly to trust in Him and to get rid of my doubt. I began to pray. I told him all of my concerns and about all the stress that I was under regarding this problem with the 501(c)3. He repeatedly told me to trust Him. After praying, I opened my Bible and continued to read where I had left off. I was stunned when I read the following verse:

“But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind.” James 1:6

I knew at that moment that Jesus was right there with me. I continued to read.

“But the man who looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues to do this, not forgetting what he has heard, but DOING it – he will be blessed in what he does.” James 1:25

I knew that I was doing the right thing. I was standing up for those who had been mistreated. I went away feeling much better that morning.

As the week went on, the 501(c)3 began to fall apart because the issues were being openly discussed. This bothered me somewhat since this organization had done some amazing things in the past. It was sad to see things fall apart because of bad management, and I began to believe that the organization would not be able to be saved.

This morning, I attended church with a friend of mine. The topic, unbelievably, was about trust in God! Several statements really affected me and almost brought me to tears.

One point was to tune out bad advice that others want to give to us during difficult times. The pastor brought up the story of Jairus and how Jesus ignored comments made when Jairus’ daughter died. Jesus told Jairus to trust Him, and the little girl was healed.

“While Jesus was still speaking, some men came from the house of Jairus, the synagogue ruler. ‘Your daughter is dead,’ they said. ‘Why bother the teacher anymore?’ Ignoring what they said, Jesus told the synagogue ruler, ‘Don’t be afraid; just believe.'” Mark 5:35-36

“After he put them all out,  he took the child’s father and mother and the disciples who were with him and went into where the child was. He took her by the hand and said to her, ‘Talitha koum!’ (which means ‘Little girl, I say to you, get up!’). Immediately the girl stood up and walked around…” Mark 5:40-41

When I heard this, I realized that nothing is impossible with God. Could this organization be saved? Will a better organization come out of all this mess? Maybe so. With God’s help, anything can happen.

The pastor then talked a little bit on interruptions. He conveyed a detailed story about how an interruption can actually be all part of God’s plan. I immediately thought about the past week as it was full of interruptions during my mom’s visit. I realized that these interruptions had a purpose, and it was well worth my time to address them.

The final point that the pastor made was to realize that challenges are a part of the process.

“Remember those earlier days after you had received the light, when you stood your ground in a great contest in the face of suffering. Sometimes you were publicly exposed to insult and persecution; at other times you stood side by side with those who were so treated. You sympathized with those in prison and joyfully accepted the confiscation of your property, because you knew that you yourselves had better and lasting possessions. So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded. You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what He has promised.” Hebrews 10:32-36

No matter how difficult life may become, put your complete trust in God. Things may not always make sense at the time, but always remember that God is in control. Stay the course, and be strong in the Lord. God will never betray your trust, and He will never let you down!

 

 

 

 

A Yellow Rose from God

 

This past Christmas may have just been the most special of my life, and it all centers around one single yellow rose.

The past five years for me have been tough. I’ve endured three back surgeries, a coiled brain aneurysm, a divorce, and the loss of my father to cancer. During this time, I turned to God for help, and my strong faith in Jesus Christ sustained me. I have received many signs from God during this time, but none were quite as special as a single yellow rose that I received early in December.

My mom was visiting me, and we decided to go to a book signing that my friend, Belinda, was holding at a flower gallery near my home. The store was beautifully decorated for Christmas, and it was crammed with people feverishly looking for Christmas gifts and decorations. After visiting with Belinda, we made our way to the front of the store to leave. As we walked out, two men stood there with armfuls of roses. They were giving roses to each customer as he/she left. I was handed a yellow rose, and my mom was given a purple one. It was such a pleasant surprise and really made our day.

When we arrived home, I cut the stems of the two roses and put them into a vase. Both roses clearly had been freshly picked as they hadn’t opened yet. The next morning, both roses had completely opened up, and both were beautiful, but the yellow one was incredible. It was loaded with petals, more than I had ever seen on a rose. We remarked on the beauty of the yellow rose but didn’t think much more about it.

Later that week, my mom returned home. The purple rose started to wither at around day 5, and I tossed it at about day 7. However, the yellow rose stayed alive and beautiful for weeks! It didn’t begin to wither at all until about 3 weeks had passed. I was amazed at the beauty and health of this single yellow rose.

I wondered if this yellow rose was some kind of sign. I had never seen anything like it, so I looked up information about yellow roses. They are associated with the sun and convey feelings of warmth, happiness, springtime, platonic love, and devotion. First discovered in the 18th century, they can symbolize renewal…a time of starting fresh. I wondered if this was my sign that things would begin to improve for me. When the rose started to wilt, I took 4 of its petals and placed them inside my Bible to keep to remember this special flower.

On December 30, a friend of mine posted the above photo on facebook. I was stunned when I saw it was a yellow rose! I knew that God had sent that rose to me as a sign that He was right there with me. I knew that this was going to be the subject of my next blog. As I thought about writing the blog, I kept thinking about the song, “Lo How a Rose E’er Blooming.” I hadn’t sung this song in years, and I kept wondering why that song was stuck in my head. I kept thinking I should look up the words, but I never did. Then, on January 1, my mom and I attended a Catholic mass. The song after communion was “Lo How a Rose E’er Blooming”! I closely listened to the words, and the message became clear to me.

God’s gift to me this Christmas was a single yellow rose that signifies renewal, starting fresh, and comfort. He is walking right beside me. He has dispelled darkness and shares the load that I carry. He will care for me always and will supply my every need. Praise be to Lord Jesus Christ, my savior and king!

“O Flower whose fragrance tender, with sweetness fills the air, dispel with glorious splendor, the darkness everywhere. True man, yet very God, from sin and death now save us and share our every load.”  Verse 3, “Lo How a Rose E’er Blooming”

“When the night has been too lonely and the road has been too long, and you think that love is only for the lucky and the strong, just remember in the winter far beneath the bitter snow lies the seed that with the sun’s love in the spring becomes the rose.” Bette Midler, “The Rose”

 

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