What do you mean by “Difficult”?

My book, Lessons from the Trenches, is due out in January of 2014, through Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas. I wrote it to help women in difficult marriages.

But what do I mean by that word: difficult?

I’m not writing to the woman whose husband snores or drops the clothes on the floor in the bathroom for visitors to see when they stop by. I’m not talking about a man who has bad breath or perhaps can’t balance a checkbook to save his life.

I’m talking about men who may have a mental illness, including but not limited to personality disorders. I’m talking about men who might even be emotionally, verbally, and financially abusive. I’m talking about men who are controlling. Maybe they have a physical disability that interferes with their ability to be a husband. Maybe they are just he victims of bad family relationships but refuse to get help? Maybe they are not believers. Maybe they charmed you into thinking they were a Christian but now that you’re married you find that there is no evidence (fruit) to testify to their faith. Maybe they charm the pants off of everyone else and neglects and ignores you (another form of verbal/emotional abuse). Maybe they struggle with addictions: alcohol, drugs, pornography, or perhaps gambling.  Maybe they have even had an affair.

Now we could go round and around about which of these justifies seeking a divorce. But Jesus said that permission to divorce was due to hardened hearts.

I want to encourage you not to harden your heart towards God, no matter how much you just long to be free of the pain you are experiencing in your marriage. All relationships can be hard. Difficult conversations can leave scars. Trust has to be earned.

How do you respect a man who does nothing worthy of that? How do you stay married to him? And why would you even try?

I’m raising a lot of questions here and not giving many answers. Most of the marriage books out there don’t give much help to those of use who struggle in marriages like these.  It is exactly to women in these kinds of marriages to whom I am writing this book to.

I wrote it to remind myself of the good God has done in the midst of my pain and struggle.  I was encouraged to publish it to help others who desperately need that help from someone who is walking that same path, not knowing what the future will hold.

I  can’t promise you God will fix your marriage or that if you do X, Y & Z your marriage will be changed. I can promise you that God will walk with you through the struggle and grow you and change you and use you in ways you might ever expect.

When I’m in pain that’s not always enough to comfort me. But knowing that there are others who are walking that same path, trying to honor God, is comforting.

If you want to join me o that journey. Keep coming back here and follow my facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/lillygracebrown.

Blessings,
Lilly Grace

I Still Believe in Romance

Sometimes I want to curse the fantasy of romance and happily-ever-after. Starry-eyed brides and flowers and first kisses and passionate sex between a husband and wife.

Is this stuff for real?

It’s not my reality. I wanted to be cherished and loved but my family of origin (FOO) led me to believe that no one would ever love me (guess that included them?) and that I was unworthy of such affection and care.

Don’t feel too sorry for me. I’m not stating that for pity.

When I was fifteen, after years of yearning for God and wondering if I should become a nun  so I could pursue that elusive deity (I was Catholic then), I found out that Jesus wanted a personal relationship with me. ME? The girl who was too heavy, wore glasses and whose hair was uncontrollably curly. The ugly one? The one boys only wanted as a “friend” but never to date? The one no-one would love?

Yup. Me. Jesus wanted a relationship with me – because HE loved me.

He may not open car doors or take me to dinner –but he opened up the door to heaven and intimacy with the Almighty Holy God.

The God who created a universe and makes flowers bloom. To show His beauty. To show His love – to me.

Me?

I still ended up getting the short end of the stick when it came to a human relationship with a man. I thought I was getting a godly man but I was deceived by accepting some of the behaviors that were “normal” in my FOO. Like insults and withholding love and emotional, financial and verbal abuse. I didn’t know it could be different or that I deserved better.

I know others who have good marriages. Love. A husband who pursues God and seeks to try to love their wives and serve them. It makes me want to cry. Cry because of the beauty of that kind of love. Cry because I don’t have that. Cry because my heart still so longs to be the recipient of a man’s adoration, affection, encouragement and partnership in this life. Cry because my successes get shared with friends who cannot be there daily. Cry because what I have is not what I was created for.

Men, if you read this, realize that for a woman like me, looks are not everything.  A man who has a heart for God is far more attractive than the buffest model. A man of godly character who treats a woman right – is worth gold.

At times I’ve blamed God my lack of human, romantic love. Yet I made choices, the best I could at the time. God has always been there, faithful and loving me through my good and bad days and somehow still uses me for HIS glory and plan here on earth.

I write under the name Lilly Grace Brown so I can be as brutally honest with you about my struggle so you can find someone who understands and “gets” how hard it is to be in a difficult marriage. To maybe be abused, lonely and wanting more. So much more. But denied that reality in the human realm.

Under another name I write inspirational romances because I still believe it exists and the only way I can experience that – is through my characters as they struggle and overcome their challenges by the grace of God. And find love.

I’ve not come to that kind of ending but someday I will. I will have eternity with Jesus. He did lay His life down for me. He inscribed me on the palm of his hand – better than a tattoo with my name somewhere on a man’s body! He woos me gently and never condemns me. He gives me flowers. He gave me children (a mixed blessing some days!).

I’ve gone through times where I could not read romances because I felt so bad with longing for what I couldn’t have. Now I find comfort in them knowing that God is the lover of my soul.

How about you? Do you still believe in romance?

Blessings,

LGB