I walked into the cottage I used to share with my husband, this was before moving back to my parent’s house after the surprise announcement that he was leaving me for another woman, oh and that we were financially ruined. This April day in 2011, I woke up feeling different, stronger, time to sort some stuff out!
I was swept off my feet by the affectionate welcome I received, kisses and everything, I’d been missed, by my dogs that is!
As I was getting ready to leave, my eldest dog Cool Breeze re-welcomed me as I left the bathroom, and in the commotion, Ian’s toothbrush was knocked to the floor. My automatic “Ah! Ah!” (Universal language in human and animal worlds for “STOP IT!”) didn’t make it’s usual, automatic appearance. Well if he’s kissing a dog, he won’t mind sharing his toothbrush with one, I thought. After it had been suitably chewed, feeling quite pleased with myself, I returned the toothbrush to it’s usual location.
The moment I left the cottage, “not good” repeated in my head, this didn’t feel good. I was experiencing conviction for what I’d just done. I already knew what I’d done was wrong, but my internal justification for my actions didn’t wash with God.
I’m a Jesus girl, so I get the gift of conviction via The Holy Spirit whenever I sin, His intention is always for me to be made right with God. Conviction is not the same as condemnation! Pastor Mark Driscoll has a chart (shown below), which shows the difference.
Therefore, now no condemnation awaits those who are living in Jesus the Anointed, the Liberating King, because when you live in the Anointed One, Jesus, a new law takes effect. The law of the Spirit of life breathes into you and liberates you from the law of sin and death.
So God doesn’t approve of the dog chewing Ian’s toothbrush. What about what Ian’s affair?! A chewed toothbrush is tiny sin compared to his affair I protested. A re-occurring theme in our separation came to mind – Ian’s actions did not change what was expected of me, ouch. God was bothered about the state of my heart just as much as Ian’s. I did end up asking God for forgiveness after an honest chat with Him (He can handle it!). I wanted to put things right, quickly.
I bought a new toothbrush that evening. Having nothing to write on to explain, I wrote on the back of the receipt “DON’T use your toothbrush – the dog’s chewed it.” He didn’t need to know how the dog got to chew it right? Receipt wrapped around the toothbrush, I posted it through the letterbox.
Four days later, I returned to the cottage to continue sorting. Ian wasn’t supposed to be there, but he was. My mind was quickly distracted from this issue, why’s the new toothbrush on the microwave, and why is it still in it’s packaging? I asked the necessary questions with a degree of trepidation, he didn’t understand why it had been posted, as he’d failed to read the accompanying note.. Epic fail!! His face, as it dawned on him was a picture (that unfortunately I didn’t take).
My lesson – just do the right thing in the first place, it’s easier! If you don’t, remember if you belong to Jesus there’s no condemnation for you, get right with God and do what He directs you to do.
God is immense!