I like to play several games on my phone to pass time waiting for my husband to come from work, or while I rest in between chores when I am having trouble breathing. One of my favorites is a very simplistic version of mahjong solitaire. It has several different options for the patterns such as flowers, numbers, classic etc. Each pattern choice has between 45-135 levels. The games are timed, but you don’t win any badges, or power ups or anything special for beating a good time, you simply get between 0-3 stars for how quickly you made all of the matches and passed the level. You do however need to pass the level to move on to the next.
Something I noticed while playing this game in my idle and lazy time, is that when you fail to make all the matches you get two options. One option is to shuffle the remaining tiles in order to obtain new moves. The option is new game/restart level. Even when you fail you can always start over, or at the least keep moving on.
I have often in life wished to start over. I’ve longed to push the new game/restart level button and redo what I’ve done wrong. At the worst of times I would have more than happily settled for a shuffle to obtain new moves, to be able to continue on as if nothing had gone wrong. Maybe I wouldn’t have gotten as many stars in the end but at least I could have kept playing.
I’m actually in one of those moments right now. Things were going well, I reported to two of my friends that while there was a ways to go yet, things for the moment, under the circumstances, couldn’t be better.
Then the emails started again. This time she had real questions about horses that my husband would know the answer to. I prayed and I thought. I cried and I threw up. In the end I took a screen shot of the message and sent it to him. He replied he had given her the answer via her father already. I simply passed that along to her that night and carried on about my business. Yesterday there was the same order of events. Only this time she also bashed my husband, if he ever got the balls to stand up to me they could be friends again, or at least her farrier. So I prayed, I thought, I vomited.
The Lord placed it upon my heart to pray for her. To believe it forward like I had my husband. To pray for the restoration of her marriage, her home, her family. To pray for the removal of the enemy, the blindfolding of the devil. I shook my head, half laughed and said are you serious God? It quickly became clear that he was, and so I did. It’s a hard thing to do, to start praying for the person you essentially see as the enemy. I did however quickly find myself fervently praying for her and her husband, and mine as well.
I decided to once again screen shot the emails I had received and pass them along. I also decided to let my husband know they sickened me, and that I was turning off all mail accounts to prevent further contact, but that I had unblocked her number from our phone carrier for in the event he wanted to respond. Of course I don’t want him to respond, but I didn’t tell him that. I just, didn’t want to be the only reason he didn’t. I wanted him to have the choice, I wanted to show my trust in him, to show I believed he had learned his lesson and wouldn’t make the same mistake again.
As I have so often done in life, I once again failed. He was angry at me. He yelled at me stating he was trying to put all this in the past but I just keep bringing it up. I was shocked. I apologized and took the blame- “your right its all my fault”. All the while I am thinking how is any of this my fault. I’m not the one who won’t leave him alone, who has text him from 15 phone numbers that I know of, emails, obscene pictures. We’ve changed our phone numbers and our emails, yet she keeps coming back. Now I do understand that many of my actions or lack of actions led to where this started, and I imagine I was wrong to share that she is still trying to contact both of us. I just thought we were supposed to be completely honest with each other, and the last he had admit she was still managing to text him as well even he didn’t respond.
He didn’t talk to me last night or most of the day. Or maybe it was me who didn’t talk to him. I wish I could push the new game button, or at least shuffle and get new moves. I am struggling to understand what I did wrong in sharing what I had received, though I completely understand wanting to let it be in the past. The thing is she won’t let it be in the past. It seems particularly unfair that he wants me to find a way to deal with it or not see it or ignore it while he gets to move on like she isn’t still trying to contact him.
I don’t understand why she wants in his life so badly. She has a husband, a family of her own, why does she need mine in any capacity? Why has she made up so many lies about her mistreatment in order to gain the attention of men, particularly mine? I wish she would focus on her marriage half as much as she has on mine.
To be fair I imagine she also wishes there was a new game button in life. Perhaps she would like to go back in time and un do the things that led to her not being with my husband, but with hers. Perhaps she even regrets some her misdeeds and wishes she could shuffle for new moves.
There are a couple of bible verses I think apply to both me and to her and these types of situations where we just wish we could redo life. Maybe we wish we had chosen a different job, a different place to live, saved our money, spend our money or something else altogether.
“Nevertheless, each person should live as a believer in whatever situation the Lord has assigned to them, just as God has called them. This is the rule I lay down in all the churches.”
1 Corinthians 7:17 NIV
We don’t get a do over button. Now we are in this situation, God has assigned it to us, or allowed it to happen to us because of sinful ways. Now we live in this situation, we pray for the next steps, and we have probably learned a valuable lesson. Perhaps we don’t see that lesson today, or tomorrow or even the next. We can however know that God is making us stronger with these tough situations and preparing us for the next trial in our lives. Letting us have time to pass this level so we can move on to the next.
“Come now, let us settle the matter,” says the LORD. “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool.” Isaiah 1:18 NIV
Isn’t this what Jesus did for us on the cross? Whoever believes in him and confesses he is there Savior, doesn’t he make us as white as snow as far as our Father in Heaven is concerned? I suppose I did ask for a new game button, not an “erase my bad memories too” button. Perhaps, even though we do get to start over, each day is a new chance to make the right choices and live for our Lord, we need these memories. We need to remember the lessons we learned, to share them, to grow from them, to help our fellow believers, and even those we do not believe or live for Christ.
I pray today that while, I need these painful memories to grow, to learn and to share, that the Lord will lesson the burden of carrying them, and help me to make better choices in the future. I pray that the Lord will work in the other woman’s life, and cast out her heart of stone and bring her full restoration of her marriage and home. May she more easily pass this level in her life and move on to the next.