Well, we are back from the Intensive and had to hit the ground running right the next day, so I've had no time to post.
Wow, you are all so right, it was AMAZING!
I feel like Joel and Kathy had their hands full with those of us who were there; God bless them!
I don't know what I would have done without Kathy; she kept me "looking up" during our [very painful] private session. I was hurting deeply, and angry that I "allowed" those feelings to penetrate my heart. At one point, all I wanted to do was just to get out of there, as far away from my husband as possible. I wanted to just leave him there, or ship him away, and go hide from him either forever, or until he got "fixed". He was genuinely repenting, [or so it seemed] but what if he quit midway? What if I trust him and then get hurt more deeply than ever before? What if he's more messed up than he admits or they realize? What if he's HOPELESSLY messed up!? I didn't want "hugs, smiles, and kisses" from a messed up and arrested man! What if he just quits and hurts me again??? The thought of opening my heart felt like jumping out of an airplane......
Kathy told me I need to be willing to [begin] opening my heart, that was the only way I could hold him accountable, and really, I knew this from reading the books, but it was sooo hard to think about becoming vulnerable again! For so long, it had been just "Jesus and me". That felt safe; I know how to do that. This process of restoration? I was scared stiff. She said to me, "This is a new path now. God wants to take you to Canaan. You've been in the wilderness long enough!" I knew it was true, but right then, the wilderness looked pretty safe.
Later that evening, I went outside and had a "meltdown". I told Jesus I had to have a word from him, and wasn't going back inside unless he went with me. He gave me Isaiah 42:16, and for a few moments, Heaven opened up.. "And I will bring the blind by a way that they knew not; I will lead them in paths that they have not known:: I will make darkness light before them, and crooked things straight. These things will I do unto them and not forsake them."
Wow, that was the verse he gave me right [days] before my husband's friend gave us a copy of the 1st book, and I was crying out to God for help. I felt at that moment like I was blind, didn't know this way, it looked dark, scary, dangerous, and if ever a path seemed "crooked", this one certainly did.....like I couldn't see around the next bend. God said he would lead us, the blind; [hmmm, my husband???] in a way we haven't known before. He was, even then, making darkness light [Kathy said she'd "hold the flashlight" for me.:)] And the crooked things? The lies, the deception, the hurts and disappointments? He promised to make them straight. We had a "Joshua", [two of them; Joel and Kathy!] to lead us to Canaan, but we were going to have to trust God and them, just like God's people had to trust Joshua. He promised not to forsake us, so what did I have to lose? Was I going to refuse to follow him, after having come this far?
Gradually, I felt calmed by the presence of God and realized he had never left me, and that I would not need to leave the safety of his presence to walk this new way.....he was answering prayer, and now I was afraid to walk through the door he was opening! We haven't left Egypt to die in the wilderness; he wants to take us to Canaan!!! My husband seemed different from all the other times he had resolved to "improve". This felt "real" like the time God got a hold of him while he was praying in the woods, he came back home completely changed, repented, and started walking this way with nobody explaining it to him. He just obeyed the Lord....
This time we've got someone with experience holding us accountable, so we don't backslide. What a gift from Heaven!
I went back inside. It was still painful, but the edge had been taken from the pain, from the sweet balm of the Holy Spirit ministering to me.....
The next day's sessions were eye opening for us, and yes, I understood the "reasons for the craziness" better than before, along with the way out. I saw that we couldn't possibly go through this Process without me being willing to open up. We watched Kathy's skydiving video, while I cried through most of it. Jesus told me I was jumping with him and he wasn't going to let me perish.
The trip home was actually a blessing. We listened to a few dvd's, and for the first time in years, I felt like it was a sweet blessing to be with my husband. He ministered life, not death. I didn't feel the ever present knot in my stomach. [ I used to hate going on long trips with him, because I'd usually have a headache and a stiff neck, along with the knot in my stomach.] He even drove differently....well, most of the time, lol. I had to remind him a few times.
This oxytocin thing.....well it's true. It actually works! I feel like I am being healed. Please Jesus, don't let him stop! Oh sorry, I forgot. Some of that is my job.
Btw, Kathy showed me your picture Mary Jane, so now I know what you look like!
I'd love to meet you in person! Thanks a whole bunch for your prayers and support, and especially for praying that hurricane the other way!
We still have a long journey ahead of us, but what a difference I have felt already. Praise God! I feel like the parachute has opened now.