There are a lot of things I find ironic right now. For one thing, Chef used to sing this song called “Rose Colored Glasses” to me that I just have always loved. Chef can sing really, really well. He has a beautiful voice. And every once in a while he would sing it to me at karaoke nights at a few bars that we would go to. But, for the last few weeks, I starting to really hear the words to that song, and I have to admit, I’ve been clinging on to some Rose Colored memories.
The truth of the matter is that lately I have only gotten phone calls from Chef when he needs something. Even as blinded by love as I’ve been, it is hard to miss that two minutes after I get the “I’ve made the biggest mistake of my life losing you” speech, it is immediately followed by “I have no money. Would you buy me some gas for my bike and a pack of cigarettes?” And after I say no, I’m barraged with condemnations about what kind of Christian I am. Mmmmm…That is enough to make a girl’s brain bleed. I’m not God‘s best, shining example of what His children should look like, but I’m not falling for that manipulative move either.
I have to say that drugs are just the most evil of things. Somehow, this substance has taken so many of the beautiful characteristics I loved in this man and made them disappear like a Vegas Magic Show. Today, I had a really nice conversation with my mother-in-law. She, like I, will always love Chef, and we both miss the man that he once was. It was nice to remember some of the really fun stories we had about this fun-loving man and to reminisce about some of his funnier moments. These days, his spark is all but gone, and the flesh that the devil has been carefully grooming in him has choked out some really outstanding traits he once had. It is the deepest desire of my heart that he will someday reclaim some of those unique characteristics. I believe he will.
God can heal anything Satan can do to us, but only if we want Him to, and right now, Chef still believes that he can manage this descent into hell without help. My heart is sad for him, because I know for a fact; this is just one of the worst roads a person can take. I’ve watched addictions steal people’s souls all throughout my life, and it is always a horrible thing to behold. It is slow, agonizing, and its destruction isn’t limited just to the addict….it tears up everyone around him/her as well. In our case, I have three children who, while young adults, don’t understand at all how they’ve suddenly become fatherless by his choice. As their mother, I’m helpless to explain other than that it is the shame that he is feeling that has made him push away anyone who knows the truth. And when you are desperately trying to hide the truth from even yourself, you certainly aren’t going to want to see that truth in anyone else’s eyes either.
Chef has isolated from himself all the people who can’t be lied to, can’t be blamed, and won’t buy the excuses, and sadly that is his wife, his children, his mother, and some once very, very close friends. At one time, I felt so desperately lonely, but I’m thinking now, he is probably much lonelier than I have been. Satan is very good at what he does.
I’ve set my boundaries in place, and while I sometimes second-guess whether I can maintain this wall I’ve erected around my heart, I’m well on my way to healing. I’ve begun proceedings to divorce him, as I need him to stop seeing me as a back-up plan, a convenient excuse, and an ATM machine, but I can assure you, I hate that it has come to this. I’d toss this case out in a heartbeat if my husband would do a fraction of the work it would take to rebuild, but as of this moment, he is unable and unwilling to even try.
These days, I can see the future without him, and in it, I’m still able to be happy. That is a big step for me. An agonizing one, but still more positive than the life I’ve been leading for the last year.
Today, Chef must have been going through something that was really freaking him out, because he went all out with his insults and anger, threatening to tear my life up, blaming me for the problems he’s having, and rubbing my face in his affair. He’s been somewhat mean in the past, but today, he took it to a really new level, and it through me off-balance. I’ve not experienced the truly cruel side of him ever…Frankly, I never guessed he even had one. And, yes. It worked for about 30 minutes. For a guy who has some significant skeletons in his closet, he sure was courageous and vindictive.
But, then it occurred to me that none of this was actually about me. I realized that this anger and hatred spewing from his mouth, while aimed in my direction, wasn’t really about me at all. My own anger and hurt gave way to just this deep sadness for him. His life has taken a really bad turn, and it is just really heartbreaking to see someone descend into that kind of pain. I’m sad for him. This story is just so cliché. Even sadder is that anyone who is meeting him for the first time lately will never know just what a really cool guy he used to be.
My prayer for Chef now is that God manifest His power to the man, and that when every bridge has been burned, every friend has grown tired of being used, when the luster of false idolatry has worn away, and the truth of what has happened to this man’s life finally can no longer be ignored, that Jesus be right there to lift his face from the pig’s trough and remind him that He has a Father who will kill the fatted calf and throw a party for him when he returns home. I ask that you all pray for Chef. His life looks horrible right now.
As for the motorcycle club, I’m no longer welcome in it, and that is okay too. This club has become an idol for too many people, and while in and of itself, it is not a bad thing, it isn’t something God is going to allow His children to make more important than He is. Nothing on this earth should outrank God, Spouse, Children, or Work. Should anything ever be placed on the thrones of our lives that are not in the priority list God designed for our lives, He will take it away. I don’t feel all that upset about being deserted by this club as it never was on a throne in my life. I loved Chef long before he rode in a motorcycle club, and I was happy for him because he had found this family-like community that seemed to fill some need in himself. But, in the last few years, I’ve watched my husband elevate it to an idol in his life, and that has been hard to watch.
I will miss some of the people, and the camaraderie of it was fun at times. But most of these people who once proclaimed to be my friends also welcomed my husband’s infidelity and his drug use, and therefore, there is no trust. Trust is important in friendships, and anything that encourages the destruction of a marriage is not something I can nor will embrace. It is said that these people will take a bullet for each other, but unfortunately, I’ve seen my husband become very, very ill, and from my perspective, the only person who loved him enough to do the really, really hard things to save him from himself was me…..no one else. I have watched a lot of people come and go in this thing, and only one thing really sticks out to me….loyalty is fleeting. And isn’t just in this club. It is in every form of social groups. Churches, gangs, motorcycle clubs, even police officers all proclaim a great love and loyalty for one another…until suddenly it is all gone. Some of my favorite people who used to be in our inner circle of friends are gone now, and most of the time, it has been painful to watch because every single one of them seemed to have no other god in their lives but a social club. And when it was suddenly yanked away from them, they floundered, looking to fill that void with something else of equal value, only to find that there is nothing that fills that void but the Lord. Nothing.
I’m not alone anymore. I’ve developed this wonderful set of friends that I can trust and who continue to check up on me, help me, and encourage me. Yes, some of them are in still in the m/c lifestyle, but a good portion of them are not, and I’m watching my new life come together built on a much better, solid foundation. I am happy. Each day, I get a little more peace, hope, and happiness. I laughed my butt off at dinner this evening with my daughter and her boyfriend, and even a snotty text message from Chef couldn’t break through that joy. Sadly, I’m no longer in love with him. I care deeply about what happens to him, but the butterflies in my stomach I used to get are gone. Sad, but true.
On another note, I went to church Sunday for the first time in years. I only went to Sunday School, and I’m going to have to admit, I liked meeting some new people. They are studying The Pilgrim’s Progress, which is just one of my very favorite books ever.
So, thank you, thank you, thank you for every single prayer! Obviously, God is hearing you all and heaping blessings on me left and right. And please keep praying for Chef, too. He’s our brother in the Lord, and he is worth every prayer we send up for him.
Love you all!!