Date: May-June, 2004
* In my journal, I nicknamed Dublin “Doubting Dublin.” Not for reasons you might think, though. For entirely new ones. This time around, I wasn’t doubting God’s plan, I was hoping I could get away from it. It was more like, “God I doubt I’ll be going along with this.” Once the ship left Holland, the spiritual climate onboard became very tense. The dividing issue was doctrine and the weapon of choice: passive aggression. There were three groups: the Calvinists (My team), the Arminians (Wouter’s team) and those who were smart enough not to get involved. The Calvinists were always engaging in heated discussions with the Arminians and vice versa and yet in the name of “unity” everyone still wore a smile.
For the sake of staying on this blog’s topic, suffice it to say that Calvinism was my ultimate truth; my faith bastion. And Wouter…well, he wasn’t a fan. The fact that we disagreed on a matter so close to my heart caused me to wonder if our marriage could ever really work. I watched Wouter debate my “team-mates”, people I highly respected, and my heart would become very troubled. There was tangible tension between us caused by our opposing views and along with that came days I couldn’t stand him. Yet on another level I still loved him. Over the course of the next few months my journal entries alter between love and hostility…very interesting but before you start thinking I have multiple personality disorder, remember love is a roller coaster and all of these things are happening within a phantom relationship. It was complex to say the least.
June 1: God! I need help! How will I cope with how different his doctrine is? How will you soften his heart on these matters? Will I have the opportunity to talk to him? I will not compromise what I believe about You for anyone…What do You want me to do Lord?
June 5: Wouter, what will I bring you all the days of your life? Love, laughter, light, comfort, ease…a Godly home and a committed heart. A submissiveness that only God can inspire…I will love you! God please unbind his emotions, show him the truth about who You are, take away his pride.
Wouter, I have so many doubts about how this will ever work out and yet I know that God has instilled you in my heart…he has planted you there and over the course of the last 9 months He has watered the seed and caused the roots to extend deep within. You are here with me already and we haven’t even begun.
June 10: Over the past few days God has revealed to me the character of the one to whom I write this journal. I have seen a glimpse of who he is inside, where he is at mentally and spiritually. And he is quite possibly one of the most frustrating, aggravating and obnoxious individuals I have ever met. Not only is he out of his mind theologically but he is totally insensitive and relentlessly stubborn. I have come to realize that no matter how secure I am, I still do not want to be with a person who puts me down rather than lifts me up. I need to feel loved, adored, beautiful, valuable….even in spite of my flaws. I will not put up with someone who believes in false doctrine either! God has put me in a position to either forget about him altogether or expect a divine intervention.
June 15: Wouter, I want to give up on you today…you are too far away from me. Your thinking is so unbelievably different than mine. What will come of this? Only God knows…
Lord, you have me in this place now…he gives me more heartache than anything else. I don’t know where to go from here. How do I even pray? Why would I subject myself to this…Only You can set me free from my struggle. Please help me, please give me wisdom.
On June 25th, my struggle reached its zenith. After overhearing a conversation between him and and an “opponent,” I went back to my cabin in desperate need of some alone time. I was filled with questions. How will I marry someone like him? Will we be at war over doctrine? Am I making a mistake? Would he eventually become a Calvinist? God, is this really who you have for me? Show me one more time…Right then in my cabin the Lord led me to these two scriptures: Habbakuk 2:2-3, Then the Lord answered me and said, “Record the vision and inscribe it on tablets that the one who reads it may run. For the vision is yet for the appointed time. It hastens toward the goal and will not fail…Though it tarries, wait for it. It will certainly come to pass.“
*That was that. It couldn’t have gotten any clearer. God truly helped me to embrace my calling that day, crazy doctrine and all, and I knew that although it would be difficult, He would enable us to love one another in spite of our differences.
As a side note, some of you may think these doctrinal differences shouldn’t have had the power to divide us, but sadly they did. I am happy to say that Wouter and I have grown so much in our understanding not only of sound doctrine but also keeping our love for one another and the Lord above it all! If you ever want to know more about how we worked these things through, send me an email. We can chat!