Search This Blog

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Hard Seasons

This has been a hard season. A season in which I could see no purpose, .....until now.

There have been seasons before, seasons in which God took away my supports, you know, those human ones that we all have. I remember how hard it was. I didn't have a friend in town. I hadn't offended anyone, but my Christian friends thought that I should end my bad marriage and didn't want their children around mine anymore. They thought my husband had been physically abusive to my child because she had a bruise on her arm. He had not. I knew he hadn't. I had NEVER seen any indication of physical abuse. So they broke off our friendship. No longer was my daughter asked over for play dates. No longer did they call when the girls were getting together. It all stopped.
But I had sought the Lord long and hard about the issue and was certain of what I heard from Him and the Word. God hates divorce. That decision began a 20 year journey that isn't really over yet. I keep waiting for my husband to grow up. And he does, by baby steps. But God is patient with me. I wish I were as loving and patient with my husband as God is with me. That is the growing part of this senario for me, what God is doing in me. Slowly, I learn how to forgive over and over and over and over without hanging on to bitterness. Slowly, I learn how to love like He does. I wish it were an overnight process. Slowly I learn new ways to give my husband consequences when he is unkind, thoughtless, and selfish. And had my friends continued our friendship, I am not sure that I could have withstood their opinions and remained in my marriage. It was God's way of helping me stay the course.
Anyway, I am in a new season of being friendless. Despite my best efforts to be a great friend, I did offend one of my friends. She has never discussed the issue with me, so I don't exactly know what offended her. Her husband owed us money for several years. I thought he must have forgotten it. We are really struggling financially and his finances seemed much better than they had been in previous years. It seemed only fiscally responsible to ask about the debt. I bought some carpet from him for our home in the May of 2007 and he went out of business in July and never delivered it. The debt was around 2000 dollars. He said he didn't have my carpet when I asked for it in the summer of 2007. I asked if he could order it, and he said he didn't have my carpet and he didn't have my money. He said he was sorry, he couldn't pay us now, but he promised to pay us when he could. When I told David, he asked me if he were still in business. I said I guessed so, that I didn't know anything about it if he had gone out. Then, at separate times, David and I both drove by the business to see if he were still open. He was open and at the business when David drove by. When I went by, I asked his employee behind the counter if they were still doing business and he said yes. I never told my friend about it. She was already mad at him all the time and I didn't want to cause her any further embarrassment or heartache. This year, when David asked about the debt, He told my friend, his wife, that he was already out of business when I asked for the carpet and had tried a couple of times over the summer to install it and that I had something going on and put him off.  It's possible. But if he were trying to get me to let him install it in June and July and he knew he was headed out of business, it seems like he would have mentioned that he needed to proceed because his business was closing. I'm sure if I had been given that information, I would have gone on with installation no matter what was going on in my life or in my house. I do know that Mom was sick, Sarah was in Jacksonville, FL that summer and Rachel probably went to Montreal that summer some time; so there could have been reasons that I wouldn't have been around to handle it after we finished the tile.
It makes more sense, if he had the carpet, that maybe he tried to get in touch with me and couldn't because I wasn't around. But then he knew where David was. He could have called David. Because of the way he answered me when I asked for installation, I don't he ever had the carpet and had spent the money.
Not only that, but in June I went into the store to look for tile for the kitchen. There was a large roll of carpet in the showroom. I asked Marvin if it was mine. I had only seen a small swatch of mine and wanted to look at the roll. He said that it was for someone else. I asked if mine were in the back and he said that they had not ordered mine. I am certain that if he had not ordered it by five or six weeks after I ordered it, he didn't order it between that time and the time I asked for it. Bottom line, I paid for it and didn't get it. It's a lot of money and too much to  drop without ever mentioning again. He had not mentioned it in the years intervening and neither had we. He said he would pay us back when he could and I took his word.
Anyway, when David asked him about it, he was rude and angry. He said he wasn't going to pay the debt because he had filed bankruptcy. David told him that he had not been included in a bankruptcy and asked him if he owed the money, and he answered that he owed it but wasn't going to pay it. He said he couldn't afford to. David offered him payments. He refused. David asked him what was he supposed to do about the money. He told David to sue him. David said all right, I will. I asked David if he mentioned litigation earlier in the conversation. He said no.
The truth be told, when I told David that I thought he must have forgotten the debt, David said he thought that he just didn't intend to make good on the debt. I said that I knew he wouldn't just not pay and never say a word about it. I said he must have forgotten. The next day, I asked David again if he thought that he really just didn't intent to pay us back. He said that was what he thought. I said, then maybe we shouldn't ask. David said he thought we should ask. I asked him if he had prayed about it. He said yes. And I smothered my qualms about asking him. I didn't want to stir up a hornet's nest.But I am trying to stay home with my baby and my husband is trying to let me do that. We did need the money. And David is the head of our family. He said he thought he should ask. And I never dreamed that my friend's husband would react that way, not in a million years.
We never gave him a moments grief about what he did. I never expected him to be ugly and angry. David was livid. He wanted to file suit the next day. I told him that I wouldn't and couldn't sue my friend. I love her and I just couldn't. He said it wouldn't be me, it would be him. I said it was the same thing. It didn't matter. And I prayed. I prayed for God's will.
She didn't take my phone calls. I e-mailed her to explain what had happened and she answered that she didn't know how to respond to that fairy tale. Evidently she thought I was lying.
I still don't know what he told her happened.
I tried to lay out the facts and explain what had happened a couple of more times. David talked with her husband a couple of more times.
The third time he talked with him, he offered to pay the debt in part. David asked him about the remainder and he said that would be it. That made David mad again. He invited David to sue him again, and David said it was too late to do it that day, but that he would file in the morning.
From the start, after I knew my friend's husbands intentions, I just wanted to drop the whole thing. If they didn't want to pay the money, I didn't want it. I didn't want money to come between me and my friend. David said that we really needed to lay out the facts or it would look like I was making the whole thing up. So I continued correspondence. But with that last phone call, I didn't want their money and I didn't want him to file suit. Obviously, they were still angry about the whole thing. David finally understood how firmly I felt about litigation when I told him that if he filed, I wouldn't testify. I don't know why he thought I would anyway. I told him I would not litigate against my friend from the start; logically, that would include testifying if he filed suit.
The next morning, they called David and asked him to pick up the full payment. He didn't consult me. I would have refused it.
It didn't feel loving to insist that he pay what he didn't want to pay. Anger didn't feel like the correct response. I never felt angry. Just sad that there had been a misunderstanding that separated me from my friend.
Anyway, I used to talk to my friend a lot. Now I talk to God a lot more. Maybe that was His plan.

It's really difficult to see how the lack of love and unity is God's will. I'm sure it is not. He wants us all to love and encourage one another and lift each other up. That fiasco wasn't His will.

It may have been His will for David to have his money. He certainly needed it.  We lived off of it for the next month.

But the broken fellowship wasn't His will, I don't think.

Nonetheless, He has used it for good. I do like being dependent on Him for support and fellowship. He is the best friend and I love Him so much.

I still pray for my friend and her husband regularly. I want God's best for them and always have. I am still very saddened by the separation.

Sometimes I get angry now. But God addresses that in me. I want to love. I don't want to be mad. It accomplishes nothing but evil. My friend has talked with other friends about the situation and I have been defriended by them also. It's hard not to address it and tell what happened from my perspective. But I am pretty sure I won't. It's a really sad story, and I don't think it bears repeating. If they ever ask, I am going to say there are two sides to everything, and that I attempted to act in love, whatever mistakes I made.

No comments:

Post a Comment