December 12, 2010

We Wrestle Not Against Flesh & Blood

"Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour."  ~ 1 Peter 5.8
The enemy is on the attack once again, using lies to get the court to unwittingly help him harass me.  

I have to go to court on January 7, 2011, which ironically will be our 6th wedding anniversary, to answer two summonses filed against me on October 21st, which are both false. My husband wants to use the court to shut me up. Somehow he found out about my blog and doesn't like the fact that I am talking about what he did to me in a public forum. Abusers thrive on secrecy since most of them don't show anyone outside of their home what they are really like, their scary side.

He is accusing me of libel and making threats against him in my blog posts. He said that I am lying about him and his family, (whoever that is - I thought we were his family), contacting his business associates trying to ruin his business, telling the courts I was hospitalized for being homicidal (yeah, laugh please), and is therefore afraid of me, and incredibly, got the court to give him a temporary order of protection against me! This is completely hilarious considering it was this same court that ordered him to go to batterer's school and had given me a 6 month order of protection from him.
And the rest is lies, lies and more lies.

In the other summons I got, he told the court that he "has been denied visitation completely," thereby making me look guilty of violating the court order for visitation.
Lies, lies and more lies.

This man stopped coming to see his kids 7 months ago. He has not tried to contact me by phone, email, letter, homing pigeon, smoke signals or message in a bottle, to ask to talk to or see the kids. I was happy, because I thought he was finally leaving us alone. I should never think that.

I am annoyed at the inconvenience this behavior causes me and the disruption to our lives and the lives of others that I will need to help me with the kids while I go spend another day in New York for this nonsense. But I'm not worried or afraid, because God is with me and will not let the enemy triumph over me. God can only be on the side of truth because He is Truth. He will never support a lying tongue or a false witness who pours out lies, as those are two of the seven things God hates. (Proverbs 6.17-18) God loves Jeff, but He hates that behavior.

I find it interesting that those who have no relationship with God, will sometimes question your relationship with Him and will try to call you out on what they believe you are supposed to be or do, because you say you're a Christian. The world is always watching us right? They want to see if our lives match up with what we profess. My mother in law called yesterday and spoke to the children and then to me. She asked me if I was a Christian. I said, "Yes, I am." I thought that was an odd start to the conversation, but immediately had a feeling about where she was going. She then said that as a Christian I'm supposed to forgive right?  I told her yes and jumped ahead and told her that I have forgiven Jeff for what he has done to me and our family. She then expressed that if I have, then might it be possible for Jeff to see the kids for Christmas?

It took about 20 minutes for me to explain to her that in spite of the fact that my heart is clean as far as Jeff is concerned, the way things are, are due to Jeff's choices and his involving the courts in our lives again. He has been telling her the same lies he is telling the courts and everyone else. He told her that I have not been allowing him to see the kids. He is painting a picture for her of me as an evil, vindictive, spiteful and hateful woman. No wonder she would then question my relationship with God. I'm sure he's acting like this loving dad that's hurting over not seeing his kids, so she thought she'd try and help. But he isn't seeing his kids because he doesn't want to.

I had to explain to her that although I've forgiven him and put him and whatever he chooses to do in God's hands, it doesn't mean that I should put myself in harm's way. Jeff keeps starting trouble and this latest round of court stuff is the proof, but she didn't get it. She didn't seem to grasp that because of the order of protection he now has on me, I can't even let the kids call him if I wanted to. All he has to do would be to take his phone to the police and show them my number, tell them I called him to harass him, then there would be a warrant out for me and I'd be arrested. It wouldn't matter to him that I did a kind gesture, he has no good intentions for me and I would be playing into whatever diabolical scheme he has hatched in his mind now. I'm not going to fall into any traps he sets.

She kept repeating that Christmas is about the kids and that perhaps they'd want to see their father. I let her  know that I agreed with her, it is for the kids, but their father is the one that removed himself from their lives. He has to want to see them. He hasn't called them in over a year and he hasn't come to see them for 7 months. I have nothing to do with that. It's not up to her, me or the kids to arrange reunions with Jeff. He is a 46 year old man, not a boy. We still pray for him and I truly hope that one day he will find redemption and true salvation. But the only thing I can do as far as the kids are concerned, is make sure that they don't grow up hating him or carrying any unresolved absentee father issues due to his abandonment .

Life is about relationships and I can't do anything about the quality of relationship Jeff has with his kids, that is up to him. It is not up to his kids to seek him out and it's not up to me to chase him down. He has to cultivate a good relationship with them if he wants it. If he chooses not to call them, see them or support them, he will see the fruit of that and can't blame me for it. He can be a good father or a bad one, his choice. So far the kind of father they have seem him be is, one that abused their mother and terrified them, one that lies to them right to their face, and one that has cut them off completely. He must think that showing up occasionally with cheap toys will maintain a strong bond and make them feel loved by him.

He will never get to the point of having a good relationship with them if he can't even be honest with others and most importantly himself. He still doesn't want to take responsibility for the devastation that he has caused for his family and the pain that he has spread to others, including his own mother who naturally misses her grandchildren. He took those sized 10 Adidas and crushed all our hearts.

It seemed hard for her to believe me and she still expressed disbelief about the abuse that I keep telling her happened, because she says she never saw it and the kids always looked happy to her. I tried to educate her in the handful of seconds I had, to the fact that, many abusive men can hold prestigious positions and be regarded as pillars of their communities and yet be nightmares for their families behind closed doors. That is how he was. The families learn to hide it. We smile and act regular around other people, we don't dare talk about it.

But she did get glimpses here and there, which I'm sure at the time she contributed to me being the evil woman with problems that he was making me out to be. I reminded her of a time when she came over one night to watch the kids for us so that we could go out with some friends. We ended up in a huge argument that she got involved in. I told her how he came into the bathroom while I was in the shower and started a fight. I asked her what did she think happened? While taking a shower I just decided to jump out, wrap a towel around myself and go start a fight with my husband? I told her how he came in and closed the door, started trouble with me and what she saw was when it spilled out of the bathroom.

But believe it or not, she still didn't seem sure of what to believe. She should be disgusted with him and confront him. But, denial is a powerful thing. It can blind you to the facts that are staring you in the face. If you don't want to see it, you won't.

Well, I can't do anything about that either, it is what it is and isn't what it isn't. And what it isn't, is my battle, it's God's. Jeff's family and friends can choose to believe whatever tall tales he wants to spin. If they believe that I abused him while he was lovingly working hard to support his family and then one day I just got tired of berating and knocking him around and thought I'd try my hand at homelessness for more than a year, while pregnant with three kids then four, just to make him look bad, then God bless 'em, they can go right ahead.

When I know the truth, and the kids know the truth and the Creator of heaven and earth knows the truth, then that's all I need, no one else matters. My family, my friends, my counselors and other women that I have met who have been through similar tragedies, know I am telling the truth and validate my experience, so I really don't care what anyone else chooses to believe.

Jeff can stay trapped in that world of lies that he has created and must maintain to keep up the facade that he has erected.
As for me, I know the truth, I live in the truth, I have the Truth and I am free. (John 8.32)

 "Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might.  Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.  For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places." 
Ephesians 6. 10-12