Saturday, December 15, 2012

When the Taffy Pull Breaks Down

You know I love the image of the Taffy Pull and how I liken it to my walk with God. In the spirit of that image and in the desire to keep things honest around here I have to tell you…The Taffy Pull Broke Down.  You may have noticed I shut my blog down a little while ago.  Well, I started getting all kinds of comments and emails and realized that maybe that was kind of rude of me to just close things off without any kind of explanation.  I also realized that some of you may have come to rely on certain links or recipes that are on my blog.  But I couldn’t just go on with out some kind of explanation.  You deserve an explanation.  You also deserve to know that sometimes machines break, they need time to be repaired and rebuilt.  My gracious husband has taken the time to write this out in his own words:

There comes a time when the taffy pull machine breaks down… What happens to the taffy when it ceases to be stretched and heated properly? My wife and I have been married for almost 20 years. This is a significant number to us because many around us seem to have fallen away from each other over the years. It has been hard to watch couples separate, divorce, have affairs, or even leave the Lord. I always wonder why when I see these things happen…

Why does someone with children young and old turn away from them and the woman he made them with and enjoy himself in the arms of another woman? Why does a woman try to control every aspect of the man who provides everything for her? Why do both people treat their children like cattle and pawn them off to others for care so that they can live for themselves? Why does someone trade their belief in the living God because the person closest to them decides to profane themselves before Him in some addictive behavior they keep secret?

I have watched these things in others and wondered about them. I have watched people and listened to people lose their minds, their hearts, and their souls to the point of no return… it is scary.

My wife and I were attacked this week.

Attacked? Yes. Our marriage, our home, our children, our very purpose for breathing another breath. What does this mean? It means the taffy pull machine broke. Does this happen from time to time in any long marriage? Yep. Sure… but what do you do? I don’t know. You can’t just go buy new parts for your marriage… or can you? Not always… it depends on what broke.

Ecclesiastes 4:10 (NKJV)

10 For if they fall, one will lift up his companion.
But woe to him who is alone when he falls,
For he has no one to help him up.

We experienced this type of break this week. It is hard. We feel alone at times and there seems to be few people that have the fruit of commitment that we aspire to have. Sure, there are many who have remained married for 30+ years and that did not happen by accident. But there are few who demonstrate a truly affectionate love towards each other on daily grind level after those same years. I desire this type of relationship with my wife and she desires it with me. We want to grow old together and know the comfort of each other through all the years in the middle. So… what do you do when each person just simply lacks the ability to provide what the other person needs? Over a long time… repeatedly for both people? Get a book? Go on a retreat? Talk to people? Be patient? Pray? All of the above? What do you do when a problem remains after all these things are tried and re-sequenced without satisfaction for either person… it is hard. Quit? No… no one wants to be a quitter… not really.  But what about when the weary, tired soul is just sort of out energy and the light of hope at the end of the tunnel turned dark a long time ago?

Throw in some problems with the children, mix in several money issues at the same time, and why not the job too? Yeah… sure… just mix up and nice bunch of problems. And not fake problems… real ones… they always make the situation worse. The devil knows our vulnerabilities.

I repeat… we were attacked this week. A well laid trap. But why?

Were our defenses down? Maybe. Were we slack handed at dealing with some stuff? Maybe. Could we have been better with our money? Sure. Could we have raised our children better? Sure. Could we have been better about supporting each other through the years? Sure. But really… at some point… the answer is ‘no’ also. We are who we are and we are not Jesus. We aren’t perfect and we lack things that would make it all better. The devil knows the time to strike us too; he knows when our surroundings suck and we are at our most pathetic status.

So we break down. The Machine broke. It sits. The Taffy in idle status becomes brittle and hard and worth-less… The machine in disrepair is likened to garbage in value. Only in movement are both preserved. Only in dependence on each other. Only with replacement parts from time to time and maybe new ingredients for the taffy.

In our relationship, I try to make the environment and Mrs. Taffy gives the environment structure and definition. God made everything from nothing (environment), but He made all things with Wisdom (structure and definition). They must go together.

I am of the belief that any good marriage must go through this type of trial that we experienced this week… this type of breakdown. It is hard. Did I mention that? It is. It sucks. I can be an absolute jerk and am selfish and sometimes my lovely wife is not so lovely. We lack for each other what God intended. We do not possess the ability to fix this problem. God does. So what. Really? Did I say that? What does that mean? What I mean is that Mrs. Taffy and I have each prayed, waited, and pursued God to ‘fix’ these problems we have and He just doesn’t do it. In the meantime… more pain… more weariness… more anger…a “forget it” type mentality sets in… not good. But where is the good? Why doesn’t God just give us a miracle?

I do not want to end up like some I see where they stayed together tolerating each other to the grave… yuck. I do not want to end up slowly separating to the point of feeling better about the calloused heart and finally convincing myself that God somehow is accepting of our divide… what a crock! What a foolish conclusion!

I do not know all the answers. I can’t fix this. She can’t fix this. We don’t always know what to do. I love Mrs. Taffy with all that is in me and she loves me the same. Each in our own style, our own person… We have had many, many moments of complete happiness and blissful love too. If most of the machine is working but a significant enough part is broken, the whole machine is still broken.

Why am I writing this brutally honest post? Because it seems like so many around me go through this or have gone through it and left each other. I do not want to continue to see this occur if I can help it. Here is the only answer I have right now. I think God understands that this break down is only a matter of time before it occurs and is a result of the fallen man. We cannot achieve success here without both of us exhaustingly, maybe painfully, maybe awkwardly, maybe hopelessly trying together at the same time in faith with the Lord.

Ecclesiastes 4:10

New King James Version (NKJV)

10 For if they fall, one will lift up his companion.
But woe to him who is alone when he falls,
For he has no one to help him up.

So, this is where we are at. One day at a time. One situation at a time. One look, one glance, one smile, one ear to listen, one word to speak life. One at a time… like it was almost 20 years ago when we were excited to build everything one day at a time.

I do not know what is on the other side, only that nothing is on the non-try side. Nothing. Are you in this place I speak of? If so, I am sorry. Do you have means to repent and try with your wife or husband again? If you do, you should. You should…

I liken it to a pit that we both have found ourselves in and there is nothing to grab hold of and no one around to lend a hand. It is the test. The only way out is up because there is no more down left. The only method up is together at the same time. For how long is not known but only coordination together will work. It always seems “fair-er” if the extra step is taken after noticing the other person taking an equal step.  However, the only way for this type is trying together at the same time will save us both from what we cannot do by ourselves. At the end, I believe we will recover and know what God intended for us to experience when we trust Him in everything.

This is a painfully honest look at our life.  I can only hope that being this honest with you will somehow encourage you to hang in there if you are going through problems in your own marriages or other relationships.  I know that “nothing’s new under the sun” but it feels new to us and it feels like failure.  But we have not quit.  Since the writing of this original note from my husband healing has begun.  I’m always telling my children to keep their issues in the light, sin can’t grow in the light, healing grows in the light. 

My sincere hope is that once our Taffy Pull is fixed, when it’s starts to stretch and pull with consistency and order, I can continue to contribute regularly to this blog.  And who knows, I may even share something from time to time just because.  I will leave the link live.  You are welcome here, always.  Pray for us.  We want to give God the glory.  We don’t want to end up a statistic.  Nothing is too big for God and we believe this with our whole heart. 

Thank you for your encouraging emails and notes on Facebook, you have brought me joy unexplainable!

Humbly,

Mrs. Taffy

10 comments:

  1. Ohh Mrs. Taffy, I am so sad to hear this. Sad, but hopeful, because there is NO way you two are not going to work this out. You built a wonderful life together and clearly you possess the tools to communicate and smooth things out. There is always friction in any marriage - look who is given advice now hehe - but if you managed to get along for 20 years, the following 40 should go smoothly too, once past this hitch. Meanwhile, the rest of us should give you space and time, but know we are just a click away should you need any support.

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  2. Praying for you. My husband is a Chaplain who has done a good bit of counseling, and what I have seen is that if both people in a marriage are willing to work on it and rely on Jesus, they will come out stronger on the other side. It's the times when one person wants to quit and the other is trying to do everything that you see failure. It appears that you have the elements you need for success. You are both in my prayers.

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  3. Praying with you for your times of struggle. We have seen to many couples in our church family go through similar things and it makes me so sad. Satan knows when to strike and where we are weak. I agree in placing our troubles in the light and giving all to God for His time and plan are prefect! Remember His plan is just that and the timing may not be as swift as we would like but HE is using this time to grow not only you and your husband but also your families trust in HIM!

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  4. Thank you for your honesty! Marriage IS hard.....I pray that your family gets through this by God's grace. Even though I don't know you personally.....I feel like I do, though this blog! I am so pained for your family right now and will pray for peace.
    Love,
    Nicki
    Zimmerman, MN

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  5. He who has began a good work in you will be faithful to complete it in you.

    Rest.

    Build.

    Prophesy.

    Speak life into your marriage and family.

    Be of good courage.

    Fight the good fight.

    Our enemy is not flesh and blood, but the principalities of darkness who have already been defeated by Christ Jesus.

    I believe you will run the race and not grow weary, not faint, will not give up, but will grow stronger, and will persevere. I am looking forward to hearing all the wonders and amazing miracles God is doing in your life.

    May God be glorified through it all. Thank you for sharing your heart and your life with us.


    Be blessed,

    Melinda, wife of 21 1/2 years and counting.

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  6. My dear cousins, I love you so very much, and I ache for the pain you are going through. We may be just shy of 8 years, but you know some of what we've been through. Our marriage feels like it's been put through a meat grinder and a furnace. It hasn't been pretty, but slowly God has been turning it into something beautiful. I can't say we're in that "beautiful" stage yet or near it, but I can look at where we were 7 years ago, 4 years ago, even 2 years ago and see that God has been working. Scabs have gotten torn off sometimes before we were ready, and we had to retake ground that was stolen from us. Of my friends who were married around the same time as we were, over half are divorced now. Like you, we have made the decision not to be a statistic. We sought help and counseling, and healing has slowly begun. Our God is truly a God of miracles. He's taught me to cling to Him like nothing else. I've spent so many hours in prayer and tears, and He has proven Himself faithful. He WILL be the same for you. I will pray. And I love you.

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  7. Marriage is very important, Satan knows that. It affects everything. So I pray for you and you keep on praying and talking, too. Your family is an example for me, so please don't give up!
    Eszter from Europe

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  8. Heart....XXOO's Griffins

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  9. I admire your honesty, strength and determination! May The Lord provide shelter for you during this challenging time.

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  10. Praying you all had a blessed Christmas!

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Your comments make me happy! Thanks for sharing your thoughts with me!!