In the span of 10 days I have had two friends drop the bomb on me that they are more than likely getting divorced. Honestly, this is something that will always bother me. I am one of those people that despite the divorce stats, and all that we see around us, wants the people around me to make their marriages work. I shed tears after both of these discussions and then I prayed.
You don't get to pick your cross. I am divorced. I am infertile. Neither was by my choice. These are two of the most challenging, life altering things that I have ever had to go through and today I am happy and fulfilled. But the important thing is that I made it through. I believe that I handled the infertility (which came first) pretty well for the most part. Last week on one of my favorite blogs, Monica said to someone, " I told her that with time, she would make it to the other side of what she was dealing with, but that it would never go away...it will just hurt less over time, and in that way, time was the healer, and she needed to allow time the process." This statement totally resonated with me. It is honest and it is real. On a rare occasion, I still feel a flutter in my womb when I am in a store and hear a little baby cry. From time to time when I have to check that box that says DIVORCED on a form, I wince at the failure of it all & that is just being totally honest.
Back to the other story. When I was going through my divorce, my Pastor connected me with a woman who ultimately became a wonderful friend and prayer partner. She helped me beyond what I can express here because she had already been through what I was in the midst of at the time and that is why he connected us. She ultimately with God's help, was able to save her marriage. I can specifically remember her telling me one day, " One day in the future, you are going to get on your knees & thank God for this situation because he is preparing you to be a blessing to someone else". At the time, I was so hurt and angry at her for making that statement. I could not imagine thanking Him for the gut-wrenching pain I was feeling. All I wanted was for God to give me what I wanted, which was to repair my marriage & I would thank him for that ! LOL It took me a long time to see and understand just how right she was.
If there is one thing that I have learned its that you must learn to find peace where ever you are. After speaking with one of my friends last week, I posted this on my FB status:
PEACE: It does not mean to be in a place where there is no noise, trouble, or hard work. It means to be in the midst of those things and still be CALM IN YOUR HEART.
In the same moment that your life can be falling apart, someone else is being brought out of a dark place in their life. This is the cycle of life. So much of it is not in our hands, but in His. Change is inevitable and that is the blessing. This is something that I had to learn. As far as coping, I can't really say that I handled my divorce well.at.all. LOL ! In fact, it pretty much "handled me". I feel like I went through it very "ugly". Sometimes my pride hates that fact. But it is my story, my trial, my testimony and it was a great teacher.
People tend to seek out those who they feel can really understand, who may have some experience, those they can be honest and transparent with. Those who they can trust. One of my friends who is divorcing, knew my situation intimately. This friend was there for me in ways I could never count. I most likely didn't get fired when I wasn't functioning because of the support of this friend. I bared my soul down to the bones and this friend knew the depths of my hurt, my desperation to save my marriage, my lack of shame to be honest with all that I was dealing with. This friend saw me vulnerable in a way not many have. Now it seems, its time for me to return the favor.
It's easy to focus on the problems in a marriage. I cannot repair a marriage. Only God can change the hearts of men. But if you have decided this is what you want to do AND you ask me what I think about it all, I will be honest about the good, the bad, and the ugly. When the dust settled on both my infertility and divorce the lessons learned served me well:
Sometimes rejection is just redirection.
Taking you places that you know you would have never gotten to following your own path. There is more than one road to happiness and having the desires of your heart.
Sometimes hurting can be humbling.
Giving you a deeper compassion and understanding to help those that will come after you. Understanding that any one of us can be dealt a heavy blow.
Asking,"Why me ?" becomes "Why NOT me ?"
Sometimes fear builds fortitude.
Facing what seems unbearable can build you up to be able to handle many more unforeseen challenges that life can bring to your door.
When talking to both of my friends, I do not sugarcoat the " single life." Yes it can be a welcome reprieve from a bad marriage, but it is no cake walk. I enjoyed many aspects of it. I traveled a lot, plenty of socializing, carefree living, with minimal responsibilities. Dating was fun and interesting for a while, but it was also disappointing, and a constant reminder of my divorce. I was manipulated and lied to by the game players attempting to bank on my vulnerability. I am very comfortable being alone for long periods of time. I don't have any family members close & enjoy many solo activities that require little interaction from others, but that doesn't minimize the natural desire for companionship & all the benefits that come with a healthy partnership. There is nothing wrong with desiring a healthy marriage and many divorced people are surprised at how many "intangibles" of married life they miss.
I also do not sugarcoat divorce and the divorce process either. Fighting over "stuff" which is just another way to fight with the person causing you pain. Divorces can be amicable but that is only when BOTH parties have accepted the loss of the marriage and that is rarely the case. I jokingly say, "it's the gift that keeps on giving" because one of the things that cut me deep was the slow erosion and loss of things that came with being married that I lost AFTER the divorce was final. Things like, my married friends pulling away, changing relationships with my ex-husbands family that I had known since I was 20 yrs old. The challenge to your self esteem, feeling like a failure, losing everything, your financial peace, moving to an apartment when you've been a homeowner for years. We all make choices & sometimes they seem easy to make, but it's the consequences of those choices that will challenge you.
I want both of my friends to find peace with their decisions. Their marriages. Their choices. I can tell you what the Bible says. I am glad that they value my opinion enough for me to be among the first that they chose to confide in, cry with, and share their pain with. I feel blessed that they trust me. Both friends expressed that watching my grace in the midst of my trial is what made them know they could come to me with such a situation. I guess it wasn't so ugly after all. You never know who is watching you or how God is using you. Both conversations were very emotional and afterwards when I got on my knees to pray for the both of them, I knew that my friend Vena, that I met through my Pastor years ago was right, "One day, in the future, you are going to get on your knees & thank God for this situation because he is preparing you to be a blessing to someone else."
Thank your Lord for allowing me to go through something, to get me where you needed me to be, so that I can stand in the gap and be a witness to others of your power, your mercy and your grace. Amen.
Thoughts ? Comments ? Questions ?