I am sorry. My life has had stress - stress of my own making. Stress from events that are by all accounts good things. Stress from a change that is a blessing I will rejoice in the rest of my life. Stress doesn't only visit during bad times. The starting pitcher in game one of the World Series (hopefully Justin Verlander this year) is under stress, but it's stress he would want. It is stress he sought out.
And the stress of being an adoptive Dad is something I sought out. My new daughter's arrival home has been the victorious culmination of a process that's over 18 months in the making.
She has to adjust to her new family, to a new place to sleep, to a 4 and 9 year old brother (instead of 15 other 2-year-olds), to english, to American foods. So many adjustments. Her language of adjustment is crying and she's found her voice. When we met her, she was silent ... sooo quiet. I had no idea what she was holding in. Now, she cries, whenever she needs to. It doesn't matter if her brothers are sleeping or I am trying to sleep. She cries, loudly.
I have reacted badly. I have yelled. Of course not very much at her, she's only two for goodness' sake. But I yell and blame even though yelling is not called for and there is no one to blame. In the absence of a suitable target, I yell at my wife. Then I apologize. Then, later, when I am super tired again, I yell again. I bring stuff up from years ago. I throw stuff in her face. It's awful. I'm awful.
You'd think I would know better. This is my third time round with adoption. But, I think I am worse than ever. My poor wife, the woman I love most in the world, gets all my crap and she takes it. God, when I sin against her, I am sinning against you. I am so sorry. There is a lot of debate about the right application of Ephesians 5. I know this. Based on the words directed to husbands in that chapter out of YOUR word, I am not doing my part. Please forgive me.
Father, I ask you to go beyond forgiveness. Help me stop. Fill me with your Holy Spirit and speak. As I am about to explode on another rampage, yell in mind or in my heart or in my ear, "Rob, stop it!!" Remind me in those moments to be grateful for the incredible woman who is my wife. Remind me to love her. In those moments, speak so that I cannot avoid hearing YOU, no matter how tired I am, no matter how cranky I am.
If I am being honest with you God, then I know I have to say, I have not done so well in the husband department, and I need to do better. With YOUR help I can.
Thanks for listening, Father.