Dare 24: Shadows and Light

The Unbroken Woman blog is hosting The Respect Dare. Starting July 10, participants will be using Nina Roesner’s The Respect Dare: 40 Days to a Deeper Connection with God and Your Husband as a guide, posting about their journey. And I will be doing it with you!

I have been transparent throughout this entire Respect Dare process. I have shared things that I didn’t even realize until the moment I wrote them. It may not come across, but I’ve been raw writing some of these posts.

But this one, I’m not sure I can be completely transparent. From the first time I heard that Jesus walked on water, I’ve had a really hard time with the story—not because I don’t believe it happened, but because Jesus’s response to Peter elicits some of my issues/troubles/quirks/challenges. I just don’t feel like getting into it right now—and maybe that’s good, because it means that I am finally getting tired of spending time in that swamp.

I struggled with some of my thoughts as I was working through the chapter, in relation to both the story used to frame the chapter and the Bible passage about Jesus walking on water.

  • I don’t do things the way other Christians do, and I am torn between feeling inadequate and feeling freed in an individual relationship with God.
  • I want the rules to make sense. When they don’t, I don’t know what to expect and I certainly don’t know what I’m supposed to do.
  • I’m not comfortable being vulnerable, with God or with anyone else. The Dare asks me to ask God to create in me a soul that longs to be in His presence. I’m not sure I can do that. It’s a level of intimacy that frightens me in my mind. Then again, I suppose if I ask Him to create that desire in me, the fear will become less important. Right? I hope?

These thoughts can weigh me down. I get caught up in the cycle of I’m not good enough, I don’t get it, and I can’t do it. The shadows pull on me.

But there’s something that begins to shed light on these things: I know that God is real and that He sees me. I have never doubted the existence of God, but there have been many times in my life that I’ve doubted that He pays any attention to me.

As I look back over some of the ways He’s cared for our family, that doubt begins to fade. A few months ago, I had a series of incredibly powerful prayer experiences that were in-your-face communications from God. He wanted my attention, and He definitely got it. That light pushes the shadows away.

It occurs to me that the best thing I can do for my marriage and for my husband is to spend more time with God. It all seems to hinge on that. When it comes to the crux of things, shouldn’t a marriage really about helping our spouse develop a closer relationship with God?

But the shadows are still there, taunting me, reminding me of how many ways my marriage has been affected by all the issues I didn’t even realize I had. I still have so far to go.

Read these other bloggers to learn about their experiences with the Respect Dare:

Unbroken Woman

My Beloved Is Mine!

Broken But Not Forgotten


The Respect Dare Blog (author Nina Roesner)

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5 Comments on “Dare 24: Shadows and Light”

  1. Last Sunday my I was visiting family who were vacation at the Jersey Shore. We went to a mass at a small chapel in a summer retreat for one of the religious orders. Mass was said by a priest who was visiting the sisters and was leaving to return home later that day. He started of his sermon by sing the song, Getting To Know You, from the Rogers and Hammerstein musical The King And I. The older members of the congregation were invited to sing along. I was surprised at how much of the song I remembered. I thought it was a nice farewell.

    The priest went on to say that the Hebrew word for prayer comes from a word that means to judge oneself. Judging oneself and self reflection are a good thing. Your blog posts are a good example of both. However, the priest went on to caution that when you judge yourself, you should do it through the eyes of someone who loves us. Try to see yourself as your parents, spouses and children (dare I say readers) see you. He also reminded us that we are all created in the image and likeness of God and that God loves us. God loves us even though we all have our flaws and weaknesses. Hopefully, we all have people in our lives who love us. Let’s try to see ourselves through a pair of loving eyes.

    [Singing] Getting to know you,
    Getting to know all about you.
    Getting to like you,
    Getting to hope you like me.

    Getting to know you,
    Putting it my way,
    But nicely,
    You are precisely,
    My cup of tea.

  2. Bless your heart! You speak on behalf of so many women. I have walked in those same shoes (and from time to time still want to put them back on.) For what it’s worth, I thought I’d share a little bit about what I have learned along the journey.

    Over the years, I realized that for me, my relationship with my husband directly reflects my relationship with God. When I feel close to God, I feel close to my husband. When I feel angry with my husband, it’s really anger toward God (that just displays itself as anger toward my husband…) It’s the same with submission, respect, vulnerability and everything else for that matter. Marital struggles/issues are never about what they seem to be about – they’re always about me and my relationship with God – ALL about lies and Truth. What I have found to be extremely useful is to ask myself two questions (and then write like crazy!). The first one, “What am I believing to be true about God in this situation?” and the second, “What am I believing to be true about me in this situation?” Somehow pen-meeting-paper exposes a bunch of junk — lies straight from the enemy of our souls, and marriage. It’s really a time of confession, that ends with me asking God to reveal His Truth. He is so amazing!!! He always, always, always graciously finds a way to speak exactly to the very lies I am believing. I refer to it as “God setting my head on straight!” Really it’s much more than that. He works a miracle in my heart – softening it and then there’s restoration and peace.

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