Donny's Ramblings

Forgiveness, Consequences and the DECISION to Love

24 Comments

I’ve written before in regards to some of the personal costs I’ve paid for my life decisions. While I have no doubts I’m forgiven, I have a feeling, dear constant reader, that I’m going to continue to pay those bills for the rest of my life.

As I’ve traveled this amazing country I’ve had the opportunity to speak in front of crowds of as few as a couple of hundred to more than 20 thousand to who knows how many on Nightline ABC. I have to admit to you that I absolutely love speaking to people. It’s a rush. It’s better than sex, to be honest with ya, and it feeds my ego.

From those who have attended events in which I’ve spoken, I’ve received numerous messages of assurance that God is going to restore my marriage to Wendy. I’ve held onto those promises because they are exactly what I want to hear. I want to believe a restoration will happen. I want my amazing son to have both his father and mother in the same house again, waiting to help him with his algebra. I want to be the husband to the woman who moves my inner being more than any other, who has even defined the type of woman to whom I am attracted, both physically and emotionally. I want to prove to Wendy that I’m a different man than the one who ripped her heart out… that I’m worthy of her trust. I want to be an example of what a husband should be. I want to treat my wife like the princess she is in God’s eyes. I want to honor her.

But it appears that isn’t going to happen. God asks us to forgive those who have wronged us, but what he doesn’t ask is that we once again make ourselves vulnerable to those who have wronged us. For so long after surrendering my life to God I believed the words of those who said Wendy and I would be reunited. What I didn’t take into consideration, however, is the fact that free will is involved in such a scenario. And while there have been times when Wendy has mentioned the possibilities of reconciliation, it’s become very apparent that it’s just not gonna happen. She can forgive me, but she can’t give her heart to me again.

And who could possibly blame her? Did you read some of the things I’ve done to her? What I’ve shared doesn’t even scratch the surface.

I feel kinda sorry for any woman I might possibly date in the future. Whether fair or not, if there is a “next one” she will have to live up to Wendy, and that’s pretty hard to do. While she definitely wasn’t a perfect wife, Wendy is as close to a perfect mother as a person can get. My son is quite lucky.

After Wendy made it clear to me that the two of us would never be together again, and even though I haven’t written much about it, I’ve very casually “dated” a few women these last few years and have had conversations with a few others. And while in my mind I know that every one of us is unique, I have to tell you that the biggest turn off, for me, is when a woman is so desperate to find a “soul mate” that she’s willing to risk the happiness of her own children in order to pursue him. I don’t understand such nonsense. If a man even HINTS that he is not going to be okay with a single mother’s children, she needs to turn tail and run as fast as she can in the opposite direction. Anything less makes me want to puke. Believe me, dear constant reader, I’ve heard stories…

Side note: ladies, respect yourself! No matter how mysterious or attractive a man may seem, and no matter how much he proclaims to be a follower of Jesus the Christ, if he is not ready to be a daddy to your children he is not SHIT (pardon my french) to you and definitely not worth your time.

I was recently asked if I believe in the concept of soul mates. The answer, quite bluntly, is that I do not. The origin of such a concept is pagan, by most accounts beginning with Plato’s “Symposium”, and while the concept that there is one person in this really big world for each of us might seem “romantic” to some, it goes entirely against the concept of free will and couldn’t be further from the type of love I’ve seen referred to as a “true romance”.

After all, how romantic could it possibly be to love someone you’re somehow “destined” to love? That’s about as romantic as a dog scratching its fleas… it’s just something that must be done! I find it much more romantic to make a choice to love and then to be willing to put in the work required to make such a relationship last… a relationship based almost entirely on free will, just as God’s relationship is with us.  When you hear of a couple that has been together for 50 or more years, I seriously doubt everything between them has always been, as Forest Gump would say, “peas and carrots”. Making a human relationship last for that amount of time requires compromise, sacrifice, and CHOICE. And THAT, my dear constant reader, is what *I* find romantic!

Will I ever find such an opportunity again? I honestly don’t know the answer to that question. The more I interact with other humans, the less I believe such opportunities will present themselves. It seems that even Christians have chosen to compromise and believe the lies they’re asked to believe, sometimes being so bold as to call such compromise “God’s will”.

Despite the indications I’ve seen, I choose to believe something real and beautiful is possible and that beauty can indeed arise from ashes.

And until that beauty shows up, I’m happily going to allow my life to consist of being the best daddy I can to my boy, the best “ex” husband I can be to his mother, and the best Christ follower I can be, leaning heavily on God’s grace to help me overcome my “thorns in the flesh”.

What say you?

24 thoughts on “Forgiveness, Consequences and the DECISION to Love

  1. I read “stuff” on the internet and am always fascinated by what people have to say on a wide range of subjects. I like reading reports on surveys. I find it interesting that the most important thing women say they are looking for, in those surveys, is the one thing you don’t believe in — a soul mate.

    The things we admire in men, kindness and generosity, openness, honesty, understanding and feeling are the concomitants of failure in our system. And those traits we detest, sharpness, greed, acquisitiveness, meanness, egotism and self-interest are the traits of success. And while men admire the quality of the first they love the produce of the second.

    JohnSteinbeck “Cannery Row”

  2. I read “stuff” on the internet and am always fascinated by what people have to say on a wide range of subjects. I like reading reports on surveys. I find it interesting that the most important thing women say they are looking for, in those surveys, is the one thing you don’t believe in — a soul mate.

    The things we admire in men, kindness and generosity, openness, honesty, understanding and feeling are the concomitants of failure in our system. And those traits we detest, sharpness, greed, acquisitiveness, meanness, egotism and self-interest are the traits of success. And while men admire the quality of the first they love the produce of the second.

    JohnSteinbeck “Cannery Row”

  3. Dear Donny,

    I was a sinner who had many abortions in her young life. Because I belonged to “the world” and believed the world then.

    I have asked God’s forgiveness and pray often about this.

    You have taken your plight of your former life to millions. GOD BLESS YOU.

    Please believe God will send you a woman someday to love and cherish you and your work.

    I will still pray for your former love to have a change of heart.

    If she is a believer, she should be able to see the new “Donny” and what the holy spiriti has made you now.

    I pray dear God that this woman Donny loves will see him in his new body, his new life and her eyes and heart be opened to forgiveness.

    If it is your will to do so dear Lord.
    In Jesus name.
    Amen

  4. Dear Donny,

    I was a sinner who had many abortions in her young life. Because I belonged to “the world” and believed the world then.

    I have asked God’s forgiveness and pray often about this.

    You have taken your plight of your former life to millions. GOD BLESS YOU.

    Please believe God will send you a woman someday to love and cherish you and your work.

    I will still pray for your former love to have a change of heart.

    If she is a believer, she should be able to see the new “Donny” and what the holy spiriti has made you now.

    I pray dear God that this woman Donny loves will see him in his new body, his new life and her eyes and heart be opened to forgiveness.

    If it is your will to do so dear Lord.
    In Jesus name.
    Amen

  5. Randy, I love that second paragraph. The truth of it is self evidenced all around us. I see that nearly everywhere I go.

    As for soul mates… I really don’t get the appeal. As I said in my post, there is nothing at all romantic in loving someone you’re supposedly “destined” to love. It is far more romantic, in my opinion, to CHOOSE to give yourself to a person for life. I wonder if the pursuit of this fairy tale “soul mate” concept is a contributor to our high divorce rate… When troubles come, turn and run cause you obviously haven’t found “the one”? Just thinking out loud.

    If a person is to believe the Bible, we find that we are created “in the image of God”. That isn’t referring to our physical appearance, since God is spirit (sure, he can take the form of a man or even become one). Being as we are made in the image of God, and being as God wants us to love him by choice, not forcing himself on anyone, it seems pretty obvious to me that our own intimate relationships model the pattern of free will.

    But that’s just me.

  6. Randy, I love that second paragraph. The truth of it is self evidenced all around us. I see that nearly everywhere I go.

    As for soul mates… I really don’t get the appeal. As I said in my post, there is nothing at all romantic in loving someone you’re supposedly “destined” to love. It is far more romantic, in my opinion, to CHOOSE to give yourself to a person for life. I wonder if the pursuit of this fairy tale “soul mate” concept is a contributor to our high divorce rate… When troubles come, turn and run cause you obviously haven’t found “the one”? Just thinking out loud.

    If a person is to believe the Bible, we find that we are created “in the image of God”. That isn’t referring to our physical appearance, since God is spirit (sure, he can take the form of a man or even become one). Being as we are made in the image of God, and being as God wants us to love him by choice, not forcing himself on anyone, it seems pretty obvious to me that our own intimate relationships model the pattern of free will.

    But that’s just me.

  7. Jennifer,

    Thank you for your thoughts and prayers. I appreciate both.

    🙂

  8. Jennifer,

    Thank you for your thoughts and prayers. I appreciate both.

    🙂

  9. Since Jennifer has expressed my heart so very well, all I’ll add now is “Amen!” to her entry. My prayers and thoughts are with you all – Wendy and Caden included.

    As you said “….that’s why they’re called miracles!!”

  10. Since Jennifer has expressed my heart so very well, all I’ll add now is “Amen!” to her entry. My prayers and thoughts are with you all – Wendy and Caden included.

    As you said “….that’s why they’re called miracles!!”

  11. Just my .02:
    While I agree that the Lord can still change Wendy’s heart in regards to giving it to you again, I also agree that you cannot rebuke a harvest- that yes, even though we have repented, we still will reap what we have sewn and THAT is not an angry God punishing us- it is spiritual as well as natural law. We punish ourselves.

    Who are you to say that it will “never’ happen for her? Seriously, it has been 2 years since you surrendered your life back to the Lord- 2 years is fabulous but it is also a drop in the bucket compared to the years you were together and the years you were apart and all that took place in between.

    I’m not telling you to give up your life in hopes that she will have a change of heart that could never come- but I also am not telling you to just be done with it because it’s been “2 years”. I think you can live each day to it’s fullest- continue to surrender your hopes/thoughts/dreams to the Lord and walk in His grace to get to the next day.

    Matthew 6:33-34 (New International Version)
    But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

  12. Just my .02:
    While I agree that the Lord can still change Wendy’s heart in regards to giving it to you again, I also agree that you cannot rebuke a harvest- that yes, even though we have repented, we still will reap what we have sewn and THAT is not an angry God punishing us- it is spiritual as well as natural law. We punish ourselves.

    Who are you to say that it will “never’ happen for her? Seriously, it has been 2 years since you surrendered your life back to the Lord- 2 years is fabulous but it is also a drop in the bucket compared to the years you were together and the years you were apart and all that took place in between.

    I’m not telling you to give up your life in hopes that she will have a change of heart that could never come- but I also am not telling you to just be done with it because it’s been “2 years”. I think you can live each day to it’s fullest- continue to surrender your hopes/thoughts/dreams to the Lord and walk in His grace to get to the next day.

    Matthew 6:33-34 (New International Version)
    But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

  13. Amen to MTof X3 too!!

    My addition came up with two years too. A drop in the bucket, except for maybe Caden.

  14. Amen to MTof X3 too!!

    My addition came up with two years too. A drop in the bucket, except for maybe Caden.

  15. I never knew that the concept of soulmates has pagan origins. That was an interesting bit of information. I learn a lot from reading your blogs! It makes a lot of sense when you explain that God wants us to love him out of our own free will. This highlights the importance of choice.

    Anyway, it is a daily choice to nurture a relationship. I choose to love my husband, but I also remember being very attracted to him–like almost on a “soulmatey” level–when we first met. I’ve never been able to explain why or how, but I was drawn to him in a different way than I’d been drawn to others. It may have been biological as well. I recently read this:

    http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2008/08/13/health/webmd/main4347457.shtml

    I’m sending a prayer out tonight for you and Wenndy as well. Time is so important. I remember being badly hurt once, and it took time.

  16. I never knew that the concept of soulmates has pagan origins. That was an interesting bit of information. I learn a lot from reading your blogs! It makes a lot of sense when you explain that God wants us to love him out of our own free will. This highlights the importance of choice.

    Anyway, it is a daily choice to nurture a relationship. I choose to love my husband, but I also remember being very attracted to him–like almost on a “soulmatey” level–when we first met. I’ve never been able to explain why or how, but I was drawn to him in a different way than I’d been drawn to others. It may have been biological as well. I recently read this:

    http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2008/08/13/health/webmd/main4347457.shtml

    I’m sending a prayer out tonight for you and Wenndy as well. Time is so important. I remember being badly hurt once, and it took time.

  17. I agree Donny. Where’s the fun in loving something you can’t CHOOSE to love. If God were truly an egotistical jerk like some have chosen to believe, He would have simply created a bunch of robots who had no choice in whom they would serve.

    Which is more romantic a phrase; “You’re my destiny” or “I choose you”? I choose the latter.

    God bless you brother.

    PS….in response to MT’s comment…..you just never know! If Wendy is a true seeker of God’s will for her life and it’s in God’s will that you two be back together….well…I think you smell what I’m cooking. Don’t hold your breath, but don’t box-up God either!

    Later!

  18. I agree Donny. Where’s the fun in loving something you can’t CHOOSE to love. If God were truly an egotistical jerk like some have chosen to believe, He would have simply created a bunch of robots who had no choice in whom they would serve.

    Which is more romantic a phrase; “You’re my destiny” or “I choose you”? I choose the latter.

    God bless you brother.

    PS….in response to MT’s comment…..you just never know! If Wendy is a true seeker of God’s will for her life and it’s in God’s will that you two be back together….well…I think you smell what I’m cooking. Don’t hold your breath, but don’t box-up God either!

    Later!

  19. Donny: your opening paragraph speaks volumes. “‘while I have no doubts I’m forgiven, I have a feeling, dear constant reader, that I’m going to continue to pay those bills for the rest of my life.”
    My attention was drawn to Jeremiah 18:1-4 v2 “Go down to the shop where clay pots and jars are made. I will speak to you while you are there. ” v4 “But the jar he was making did not turn out as he had hoped, so the potter squashed the jar into a lump of clay and started again.”
    You are; 1) Forgiven 2) A father 3) A piece of clay in the Master potters hand.
    God knows your heart and all the desires there-in. He will work out the imperfections, add the necessary ingredients, and fashion you into the vessel of His choice. He will include both Caden and Wendy as He chooses. I say that because the term ‘marriage’ is figurative of ‘any close union.’
    My prayer for you is; Lord help Donny, Caden and Wendy to be soft, yielded clay in the Masters hand.
    In the meantime do as Paul said; “In everything you do, I want you to be free from the concerns of this life. An unmarried man can spend his time doing the Lord’s work and thinking how to please him. But a married mancan’t do that so well. He has to think about his earthly responsibilities and how to please his wife. His interests are divided….” 1 Cor. 7:32-34

    Life is a very interesting journey isn’t it?

  20. Donny: your opening paragraph speaks volumes. “‘while I have no doubts I’m forgiven, I have a feeling, dear constant reader, that I’m going to continue to pay those bills for the rest of my life.”
    My attention was drawn to Jeremiah 18:1-4 v2 “Go down to the shop where clay pots and jars are made. I will speak to you while you are there. ” v4 “But the jar he was making did not turn out as he had hoped, so the potter squashed the jar into a lump of clay and started again.”
    You are; 1) Forgiven 2) A father 3) A piece of clay in the Master potters hand.
    God knows your heart and all the desires there-in. He will work out the imperfections, add the necessary ingredients, and fashion you into the vessel of His choice. He will include both Caden and Wendy as He chooses. I say that because the term ‘marriage’ is figurative of ‘any close union.’
    My prayer for you is; Lord help Donny, Caden and Wendy to be soft, yielded clay in the Masters hand.
    In the meantime do as Paul said; “In everything you do, I want you to be free from the concerns of this life. An unmarried man can spend his time doing the Lord’s work and thinking how to please him. But a married mancan’t do that so well. He has to think about his earthly responsibilities and how to please his wife. His interests are divided….” 1 Cor. 7:32-34

    Life is a very interesting journey isn’t it?

  21. That’s a good word from Dad!

  22. That’s a good word from Dad!

  23. Donny,
    I am sure by now you have heard of “Standing for your Marriage”. Please never give up on God, and standing for Wendy. You started out as the “Prodical Spouse”, and now she has become the the “Prodical”. We are thankful everyday I “stood” for my wife, and our marriage. Please, please , and I repeat please visit: http://www.rejoiceministries.org/
    We are praying for you, and your family! Feel free to email us anytime, and we would be even willing to come visit you and tell you “our” testimony.
    God Bless!

  24. Donny,
    I am sure by now you have heard of “Standing for your Marriage”. Please never give up on God, and standing for Wendy. You started out as the “Prodical Spouse”, and now she has become the the “Prodical”. We are thankful everyday I “stood” for my wife, and our marriage. Please, please , and I repeat please visit: http://www.rejoiceministries.org/
    We are praying for you, and your family! Feel free to email us anytime, and we would be even willing to come visit you and tell you “our” testimony.
    God Bless!

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