Author Topic: Discussion God, Prayer and MLC  (Read 1164 times)

Offline terra

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Discussion Re: God, Prayer and MLC
« Reply #40 on: July 17, 2019, 11:22:39 AM »
SS, I am going to answer you straight on as I just found this thread on a morning in which I am stuck somewhere in the emotional version of the Mariana Trench.

H and I both are religious. His family and upbringing were very old-school and formal religious with all expected guilt and judgment features. Mine was ultimately more cavalier (good and bad) but I have an easy and loving relationship with our God. And I trust Him. H does not and has had negative experiences and expectations from faith community, most specifically in family of origin but also in all the years of schooling. I am the only person in my family of origin who still practices our family faith.

I prayed headlong and heartfully for our marriage and family for years, and especially when MLC began. I have been answered many times by living examples of either exactly what I asked, or by living symbols or natural occurrences that pertained to the prayer or to specific Scripture or Psalms. Many times have I cried out in tears or on paper in terrible anguish, only to be met sometimes almost instantly by a living bird that comes unnaturally close for a long gentle look, or a telephone call from exactly the right person at exactly the right time.

Once, MLC h berated me over the phone about not filing for unemployment. I had been sick and bedridden for an unusual length of time and the state unemployment system honestly was down each time I was up enough to sit at the computer and file. I told h that right now nothing was as simple as he thought it should be. He yelled that it was, and that he had done it himself and knew it.

I hung up the phone shuddering and blasted. It rang again instantly. I thought it was him calling me back. I answered and instead it was a recruiter calling for a contract, a well known global client needed my especial skills and they wanted to see me as soon as I could be at their offices. The site is walking distance from my house. I was hired immediately. So there was no reason to file for unemployment at all, and no reason for h to yell at me the way he did.

I don’t know who prayed that prayer but it was an absolute blessing to see it answered exactly that way.

Another example: I’ve really been in it today, since well before the sun came up. It’s in my thread and by the way thank you again for your kind comment there a few days ago when I first posted. This morning I’ve cried and written here for hours, cried and written equally long content to my sister, cried again and just thought, what am I even doing? How am I taking this trip next month on those two days of all days? And a brother in Christ on the other side of the country phoned in and just said, “Hello terra, how you doin’ there, kid?” as though he’d heard or read or felt every word. And he’s one of us, if he were here I’m sure his story would be now in the light purple or fully purple pages. So there is something to it — our prayers are definitely heard, and sometimes the answers are wildly immediate. For me, the immediate answers always come with very obvious signature of God, of Christ, of the faith entity you’ve prayed to. I trust that if you have not experienced this yet, *you will*.

One year I surrendered h and the marriage at the foot of the Cross, publicly, during Holy Week. I have never been so open and visible in my faith, and it was almost involuntary and impossible to stop. I have balanced my embarrassment at that with the awareness that sometimes a living example is necessary for others to see that it is ok and even what we are asked, as persons of faith, to show and live our faith no matter what the world would have us do outside the walls of the church. It was a terrible Easter, literally days after my missing h had informed me that he’d been living with an OW.

I don’t know what I prayed in my shock. That OW disappeared within two months and has never been a topic again. He came home after that and stayed for a summer. Then politics happened and he was off and running again. My phone just tried to write “running” as “stinking” for some reason and I have to say, that too.

I prayed several times daily during Lent one year. I think that was the year h felled me with the BD about move away with OW2, who I had suspected but who he’d lied about at every turn. It was a very bad result after prayer and I didn’t know what to do after that.

Last year I think he and I both prayed individually for OW2 to go away. We were at least on the same page a lot last year, and he did send OW2 all the way out of his life, and brought me back in closer. We spent summertime birthdays together and he showed me the churches he wanted to maybe visit and become part of. So that’s part of it too — pray and keep praying, and maybe the big ask is that the Lord simply works on your MLC spouse to turn their faces back to HIM. Because really He is the only one who can hold them and heal them, or help them to heal themselves. Keep praying that your spouse will turn to HIM for comfort, solace, and even companionship.

We women may have it a bit easier in that we are counseled to turn to Christ as our Husband when things like this happen. I don’t know that there is a similar or parallel instruction for men. As a woman but also for that instruction reason, I know that brothers in Christ are invaluable allies during this journey. If you cannot look to your God as a spouse, I know He is there for us as a deeply loving Father, and maybe also in some way as a brother. I know in any case that He is there for us all to lean on and be held by in our times of fear or abject loneliness. Wife or husband, do turn your face toward Him. That’s what is asked of us all, and I think it is reasonable for us to pray for our spouses to look to Him first as well.

H is irreligious enough to resist a covenant (church) marriage and I think that is part of the problem for us. It was a problem in both previous marriages as well. I responded to the finalization of XH’s legal divorce by annulling the marriage through the church. The harassment and unnecessary court actions came to a dead halt after that. H still refuses to annul after XW’s legal divorce, and to this day, even though she left him to marry someone else, she is still after him with uncommon hostility (I don’t miss that). I’m grateful for the peace the annulment afforded me. Somehow it was the only thing to do, to stop all the evil in the person I had first been married to. I wish I could persuade h to do same as I think it released my divorcer from all guilt? Or absolved him? And meant that I held him to nothing. It was my way of giving XH what he wanted. And it was the right thing to do in that case. It may be the right thing in this case too but I am not ready to go that far yet.

The decree of nullity was issued by the diocese on my birthday. The secular world is not going to be that personal or specific. This is what I mean: your prayers when answered may often be signed with somehow the clear signature of God. Or put another way, by Someone or Something Who Loves You Very Much.

This year has not been good and so finally I left off praying for h. His parents and my siblings (both kin and siblings in Christ) have asked me directly how I would like them to pray. I have had to tell each of them that I don’t know anymore, and that his life is his own and I don’t want to pray against his happiness. I want him to be happy. It doesn’t matter if it is with me. I have also had to tell his parents very gently that I understand he may choose to be with someone else, and that if he does, really, because we love him, we have to allow for and accept his choices as his decisions for his best life. This is difficult because his parents are definitely going to die sometime very soon. They both want us together. I’ve asked others to pray over h and his son that they come to know God, to know His comfort and His love, and all of His protections. I have asked that they pray for my daughter and myself similarly, although we have an open dialogue with God in our house all day every day.

For myself I pray the hedge of thorns. This has been really key at several points since I started praying it. If h gets through and is not coming correct, I know I have to ask myself how I am disrupting God’s will with my own. That prayer is new for me this year so I am learning discernment as I go.

The first time I prayed it, it was immediately answered by a Bible study group for support with this kind of prayer or life focus. I’ve been on a waitlist but am joining a group starting later this summer. It seems especially geared toward wives but is well organized and I think there must be a parallel structure for husbands. Definitely there are leadership groups for prayer and marital/family support through what seems a real riot of decay in today’s culture. I can PM you later with links that might be springboards to groups in your area.

I know this post is long and I’m sorry about that. The short version is that I prayed a lot and specifically, and sometimes that was right. Sometimes what I thought was a good prayer just wasn’t! Or maybe it was not right time? Surrendering the MLC spouse fully to God felt like a betrayal or abandonment, but I don’t think it is one.

Just as we are told to focus on our relationship with self, and/or with the kids, I think we are also meant to focus only on our own relationship with God. Fostering our children’s relationship with Him as well, if that’s appropriate. For me it truly has been a 1:1 relationship and the results are visible, no one questions that He is providing consistently when h has not.

And He knows I am upset over h, and with Him as a result. But He also knows I trust, and will receive the answers or promise fulfillments as He will give them.

I have to trust that God will watch over h and his son every step of the way no matter what I do, think, say, or pray. And I pray for that anyway. As well, prayers over all the marriages that find their way to these boards. If nothing else, I think prayer for others keeps our hearts gentle. That’s better to me, than living the other way.

Thank you SS for good discussion topic; I needed it today.
« Last Edit: July 17, 2019, 11:39:09 AM by terra »

Online Treasur

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Re: God, Prayer and MLC
« Reply #41 on: July 17, 2019, 11:34:25 AM »
There have been plenty of times when I have had no words, no idea what to say in prayer. And then a dear friend said that I should remember that God knows the secrets of our heart and so it was ok to just be still and say nothing at all but trust that God would hold me close and hear me anyway.
T: 18  M: 12 (at BD) No kids.
H diagnosed with severe depression Oct 15. BD May 16. OW since April 16, maybe earlier. Silent vanisher mostly.
Divorced April 18. XH married ow 6 weeks later.
Healing and growing found here https://littleplotbythesea.wordpress.com

"Option A is not available so I need to kick the s**t out of Option B" Sheryl Sandberg

Offline terra

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Re: God, Prayer and MLC
« Reply #42 on: July 17, 2019, 12:36:50 PM »
One thing I'm curious about is.... we're all praying for our MLC'er.... that's a given. I've been reading about intercessory prayer and that's happened a couple times in my life. Has anyone been awoken in the night or stopped in their tracks to pray for their MLC'er? If you did...... did you ever find out what for?

I had an experience last night where I had asked God to allow me to intercede for W, if I'd be allowed to and if I could handle it...... a little while later while still praying I felt something that wasn't of me, and it was a pain..... real pain and deep sadness, sorrow even.... right in the center of my being. I know it was my spirit, and I'm not sure what it was connecting to. W in that moment? Something happening? I don't know. I wasn't led to pray for anything in particular in that moment, but it was.... something. After I grieved the feeling for a min or two, it was withdrawn from me.
I don't know if that counts for interceding as I wasn't led to pray for something or someone..... but it was real, and it was powerful.

-SS

SS I don’t mean to take up so much space on your thread here but yes on being stopped in tracks to pray for MLC spouse. Also weirdly stopped in tracks to pray for someone else’s.

In one very specific case with h, I was away in the state that he later moved away to with OW2 and where he still lives. I was staying at my mother's house for a long visit, it was planned months in advance without consulting h, who had been AWOL for months, but also turned out to be the same month that I received BD that h had been dating and in fact would move away weeks later with OW2. (Sorry for rubbish writing there; I’m so tired.) It was also the month of our birthdays.

My mother and I have always had a difficult relationship but it was a good day between us. We were picking up my local cellphone and new telephone number. The idea was that I was living “as if” (and I admit I no longer understand what that means), and my intention was to be home there quarterly to keep an eye on and help with both elderly parents. But it was also h’s birthday, and by this time I knew his property was on the market and that he was blowing full steam ahead and moving away with some OW I had only ever heard about a few weeks before.

I was ok all day with my mother and my work deadlines and any other anything. But after we stopped to take photos of a beautiful Spirit-filled new mural in town near the phone store, a song came on the car radio and I involuntarily burst into the most terrible anguished tears, just raw and unstoppable. My mother said my name for I swear one of the very few times in my life, and she pulled the car over. I just could not stop crying. And I couldn’t tell you why, and I couldn’t tell her either. It was just his birthday, and that song, and it was like the whole world crashed around me.

Fast forward one full year later, the property has sold, he moved away, and the OW IS GONE. He and I are together for his birthday and then my own in that same state. Almost exactly a year later, like, within hours of exact, he told me about the previous year.

He had taken OW to our best celebration restaurant. And in the middle of dinner and fully publicly, she had a medical episode that disrupted everything, drew all attention, required paramedics and ambulance, and a frightening night in the hospital.

When he told me, I understood. I am good at weathering anything and I am an excellent emergency responder. But all of it, now explained exactly a year later, made me cry again. Because sometimes you just feel them, the MLC spouse. And many people might not understand that this is even possible or true, but he and I have been apart for a few years now and it just is both.

I do try to give it my full heart attention when it happens, and I pray for intercession (God’s or my own, maybe really just me saying Yes, God, please help there right now as You will). It happens with people aside from h, and in those cases, I make a phone call to see that they’re ok. I cannot freely contact h because the presence of OW to me is prohibitive. But I did and do find out directly from h himself, later on, why I am called to attention on his behalf.

That same OW was sent away within one year, but appears to somehow be back in force this year. I will be in the same state at the same time anyway, this year, and today I guess I am struggling to trust that no matter what happens, I will be ok.

There are times when I feel an awareness of something that is not me or of my own pain or burden, and I don’t always know what that is. Sometimes I feel wary of it. Asking God to take care of it is then the right thing to do, and it passes, but it also remains as an insight I might not otherwise have had. So I am grateful. And at same time, have prayed to keep boundary around myself and to not know things unless He would have me know.

Thank you again for amazing discussion and thread.

Online xyzcf

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Re: God, Prayer and MLC
« Reply #43 on: July 17, 2019, 12:43:42 PM »
Quote
Because sometimes you just feel them, the MLC spouse. And many people might not understand that this is even possible or true, but he and I have been apart for a few years now and it just is both.

Yes. This I believe to be true.

At times, when I have been in my darkest times, sometimes when this hits me suddenly and for no "good" apparent reason...I sense that this is not my pain but his that I am feeling at that moment.

We have been apart 10 years but there is still a deep bond between us....even when months go by, even his living half way around the world...it has happened too many times to just be a  coincidence.

God gives me the peace I need, when I need and that too is a mystery but one for which I am deeply grateful.
"Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see" Hebrews 11:1

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Offline Disillusioned

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Re: God, Prayer and MLC
« Reply #44 on: July 17, 2019, 05:53:34 PM »
There have been plenty of times when I have had no words, no idea what to say in prayer. And then a dear friend said that I should remember that God knows the secrets of our heart and so it was ok to just be still and say nothing at all but trust that God would hold me close and hear me anyway.

I just LOVE this.  Thank you,  Treasur.
« Last Edit: July 17, 2019, 05:55:48 PM by Disillusioned »
M=51
W=47
D=8
BD Feb 17 Thinking of divorce
Atomic BD June 17 Spying revealed OM at work
Still home.  Threatened to leave several times and has asked me to leave about a dozen. 
Says divorce proceedings will start Jan 18.
She has scheduled mediation Feb 7,  2018
I moved out March 16, 2018
Several mediations, mostly instigated by me.  Foot dragging by STBXW.  Nothing filed. Yet.
5/2019 STBXW filed D behind my back despite signed agreement to mediate.
I retain attorney.
STBXW still hasn't told me and no further action.
Elephant in the room has been addressed.  No further action atm.  Weighing my options.

Offline Stand Tall

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Re: God, Prayer and MLC
« Reply #45 on: July 29, 2019, 07:27:42 PM »
xyzcf,

  I have often felt the same thing. I've felt some very deep pain and I couldn't figure out where it was coming from. My intuition told me that it was him. Then everytime I ask myself if my stand is the right thing for me to do my intuition always screams "wait" So I wait.

  I had God show me a few times that he is working. A photo came across FB of my H having his motorcycle blessed. There was about 50 bikes at the blessing and it could have been anyone in the photo, but it was my H. I knew that was a message to tell me that he had H in his sites.

  God has answered my prayers financially also. Nothing has been easy, but something always comes through when I need it the most. I told my son that I had a premonition about his business. A voice told me that my son's business would take off in early summer. Sure enough it has. Almost daily he gets a phone call with someone needing a property manager. This helps me as I clean his rental and I will also be his assistant in the near future. Things are going so well. I thank my Lord everyday. 

  I have always been a fan of Oprah and on Sunday's she has what she calls "Super Soul Sunday" its her sit down interview with different people. This past Sunday she had a man on who had been on her show years ago. I always loved when he came on. His name is Gary Zukav. He has written  a number of books about finding who you are and about your soul. He isn't religious he is more spiritual. I would recommend everyone to check him out on YouTube.

  After reading every ones stories I felt a pull to go back to the religion that I grew up in. I was raised Catholic, but left the church after my first divorce. With the talk about how the virgin Mary has helped others I felt that this is what I need. My oldest sister has asked me to go back to the church. I felt such a pull last night that I now know that its where I need to be.

  God Bless everyone
-Stand
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Offline Seahorse

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Re: God, Prayer and MLC
« Reply #46 on: July 30, 2019, 05:19:09 PM »
Hello fellow Christians -
I am attaching, and have enjoyed reading everyone's thoughts on religion and prayer.

The ONLY thing that allowed me to totally detach was to give the situation and our marriage to God to do His will, not mine.  I would love to have my H back from a mortal standpoint, but truly want God's will for my future.  I believe in the covenant of marriage, and I believe that God can change a person.  We've heard so many times about how the MLCer returns and the relationship is better than before.  I truly believe that's because God has been working on the MLCer and the LBS to become stronger and more grounded people to have a healthier relationship, spiritually, physically and emotionally.

I love that Joe Beam (marriage helper) believes in "praying your spouse into the pig pen".  Makes me laugh.

Also, some of you have listened to the Steinkamps (Rejoice Marriage Ministry) - I find it very difficult (although I do it), to pray for the ow's salvation.  Counterintuitive from a mortal standpoint, but obviously the right thing to do...

Blessing to all.

Sea
Seahorses have one mate for life...

Online Treasur

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Re: God, Prayer and MLC
« Reply #47 on: July 30, 2019, 11:39:41 PM »
I stopped praying for any outcome for my xh other than for God to keep him in his hand and help him heal in whatever way God thought best. Prayed a LOT for God to show me what I should do though and give me the strength to do it!

Now my prayers are more often prayers of thanks....but I still pray for my xh's healing every night along with my prayers for those I love.

The 'pig pen' comment is funny....what does he mean by that, that you should be praying for them to hit rock bottom?
« Last Edit: July 30, 2019, 11:40:43 PM by Treasur »
T: 18  M: 12 (at BD) No kids.
H diagnosed with severe depression Oct 15. BD May 16. OW since April 16, maybe earlier. Silent vanisher mostly.
Divorced April 18. XH married ow 6 weeks later.
Healing and growing found here https://littleplotbythesea.wordpress.com

"Option A is not available so I need to kick the s**t out of Option B" Sheryl Sandberg

Offline Seahorse

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Re: God, Prayer and MLC
« Reply #48 on: August 03, 2019, 03:54:11 PM »
Treasur:

Here is an excerpt from an interview with Joe Beam where he explains that phrase:

Pray Them Into The “Pigpen”

Dr. Joe Beam: On a previous podcast you mentioned praying for a wayward spouse, and you made a specific statement: Pray them into the pigpen.

Leighann McCoy: That’s right.

Dr. Joe Beam: Please explain what that means.

Leighann McCoy: Well, when Jesus was sharing the story of the Prodigal Son, He says the son comes to the father and then he leaves. Then, the father does an interesting thing. The father stays and he watches, and he waits for the son to come back home. He doesn’t go chasing after him, he doesn’t go trying to convince him to come back, he just stays home. So, where was it that the son came to his senses? It wasn’t when he was living high, it wasn’t when he had all the riches and when things were going well. The son came to his senses when things were not going well, when there was a famine and all he had left to do was to eat the leftovers from what the pigs had-

Dr. Joe Beam: The pig slop, yes.

Leighann McCoy: -Yes, that he had been feeding them. So just that experience of coming down to ground zero is where he suddenly opened his eyes and thought, “Wow, I should go back to my father.” Because even at his father’s house, the servants had better than he had. Even then, the son didn’t have a right understanding of how great the father’s love was for him, but he had enough understanding to know that he didn’t have to stay here and eat the pig slop.

Leighann McCoy: So when we pray for people that are doing like that, they’ve disregarded God’s instructions, they’ve chosen to have a hardened heart. Then our nature because we love them so much is to pray, “God protect them, take care of them, make sure they’re not hurt.” We don’t want to pray pain into their life. But could we trust God enough to pray Divine pain? The kind of pain that God knows, He knows how much is enough, and how messy it has to get, and then trust God with that. Could we pray for that to happen in their lives so that they can open their eyes and understand?

Dr. Joe Beam: They come to their senses. As I was saying earlier, I think it still comes back to your attitude, “I’m just praying meanness.”

Leighann McCoy: Right, not that.

Dr. Joe Beam: That’s not a good prayer.

Dr. Joe Beam: By the way, if you’re not familiar with this Bible story, it is in the 15th chapter of Luke if you want to go look. The son is sometimes referred to as the “Prodigal Son,” but it’s a story where the son finally realized all that he had lost. I’ve encouraged spouses to pray for that.

Leighann McCoy: Yes.

Dr. Joe Beam: Pray your spouse into the pigpen.

Leighann McCoy: It’s good.

Dr. Joe Beam: Because that’s what Leighann told me you should be praying. You should pray them into the pigpen.

Leighann McCoy: That’s a good thing to pray.
Seahorses have one mate for life...

Offline Mortesbride

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Re: God, Prayer and MLC
« Reply #49 on: August 06, 2019, 07:20:16 AM »
If God wants to send you into the pig pen he will do it of his own accord.

Numerous stories in the Bible of similar circumstances.

God isn't just the 'love and light' most people like to believe, he teaches hard lessons and will get angry when people don't listen.

As humans I think sometimes we are more stubborn than we realise and sometimes we can only learn through negative situations. When we are so uncomfortable we are forced to change or remain unhappy.

As for.


 I find it very difficult (although I do it), to pray for the ow's salvation.  Counterintuitive from a mortal standpoint, but obviously the right thing to do...


You know this is MLC when you have played emotional hot potato with a pair of crotch-less tights.

 

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