I am going to tell you something about me that I don't share very often and feel is a source of shame. I am DIVORCED and have been for six years now. This word brings me constant shame, regret and embarrassment. It makes me look at the world in a different light and makes me judge things, situations and people based off the hurt I have experienced in the past.
My view of marriage and relationships is based or biased off of what has happened to me and other failed relationships I have experienced or witnessed. It keeps me from trusting, believing, enjoying, laughing and just living my life as if something good can come from it. Last week I went to a wedding and while the couple was sharing their vows I found myself thinking “this won’t last” nothing does. I recently posted about a very dear friend who was instrumental in helping me through my divorce by praying, talking and supporting me; she is getting divorced. To me this confirms the doubts, fears and lies I believe about marriage.
I have spent the last six years trying to overcome the pain of rejection, the sadness of watching my dreams fall apart right before my very eyes, the gut wrenching feeling of betrayal by the very person who promised to love you and honor you before God, family and friends. I spent almost an entire decade with this man; sharing my dreams, my life, my home, my finances, my hurts, my joys, my family, my prayers and the very essence of who I was to only have it wiped away in a moment of realization that he was leaving me for what I thought was my best friend.
For those who have never experienced this type of pain; I can only say you have been blessed and may God keep you from ever experiencing the pain and utter heartbreak that comes from such betrayal. May God grant you the compassion and desire to be there for that hurting friend, family or acquaintance to listen without judgment and offer your heartfelt prayers that God would see them through this trial of their life. You will never understand what they are feeling and may never know the depths of pain and the battle that lies ahead of them.
For those of you who have walked in my shoes and know the pains I have described I want to tell you I understand. I have been where you are; I know about the sleepless nights, the fear of being alone, the inability to think for yourself, the helplessness that now consumes your days and nights. The moments when you are alone in the house that you once shared and you just sit and shake because it hurts so very much to be there. The running around without a purpose to keep from going home; sleeping on friends couches or going to every church retreat you hear about trying to find something to ease the pain. Pouring through the Bible asking God for a word; searching the internet for books and facts on “How to Save your Marriage”. Standing in every prayer line you can find asking for them to lay hands on you; or just begging God that someone would give you a “word”. Journaling your prayers and thoughts to God every night begging for a miracle that He would save your marriage; and as the months and years pass and you realize this is not His will your prayers start to change. God please help me to make it through…
Well here I am six years later; I have made it through I am back on my feet financially and to the eyes of the world around me; I have got it going on. You could not look at me today and see the cracks in my foundation, the scars that are still on my heart, and the doubts that are still in my mind. Yes, I have learned to mask and hide these emotions from most everyone I know. I have become the master of disguise. Yes, God has done some amazing things in my life and many of the things that once held me captive I have overcome; however I am finally sharing this small portion of my story with anyone who happens upon this blog but mostly for me to put it on paper and get it out of my heart so I can be truly healed.
I decided to share this today because you see I have been in a relationship with a wonderful, caring, compassionate, funny, giving, and God loving man for almost three years. I have shared my past with him and some of it goes much deeper than the wounds I have had the courage to write about today; but I bared my soul to him and told him about all the skeletons and terrible things in my past. Believe it or not; he is still around today. I don’t know if I hoped I could scare him off if I told him everything; and many times I think I still wait for him to decide that he can’t handle these things and walk away from me….
These things come up in our relationship time and time again even though I think I have changed and let them go; apparently I have not. He made a statement to me in our last flashback which really gave me pause and has prompted me to really examine myself, cleanse myself of the past and find a way to move forward. While I was brining up all my doubts and fears and basically accusing him of all these things he said, “Janet, you are missing a great relationship.” You see he does not hold onto every single word, deed, action, disagreement looking for some secret signal that he should leave me or doesn’t really love me or this relationship isn’t going to work. No, he takes each moment as it happens and chooses to believe that I love him. He always believes the best of me. He takes the 90% that is great and enjoys every moment and the 10% that is not so great….well he says still isn’t so bad when you love someone. He has figured out how to live what the Bible says.
I Corinthians 13:4-8
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, and it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.
I do keep records of wrongs; I can be rude if I think he is doing something to hurt me; I lash out as a means to protect myself…I do not trust him or many people in general, I don’t hope, I have decided if I don’t expect much then you can’t be hurt much….I do not preserver, I am quick to just quit give up hope, decide it isn’t worth it. I don’t hold onto dreams and don’t really let myself get excited about much of anything. I am a very calculated risk taker!
I want to change, I want to believe, and I don’t want to doubt and always be in fear that everything is going to fall apart. I want to have faith that there really is love and it is real. I know I have these amazing feelings for him but I don’t let them out because I refuse to give too much of myself again. I only give about 30% maybe 40% of myself to this relationship and hold onto the other 60% looking for a guarantee that I will never be hurt and that this is real. I am cheating him and holding back all the love and emotions I feel because I am afraid of being hurt again. I am cheating myself of an amazing relationship because I can’t let go of these fears!
So this morning I am doing an emotional cleansing! I am taking the first step in changing and that is getting the stuff out, confessing my faults to you and the world!
Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.
I am taking the first steps to a new day and a new beginning and will share my journey with you. I promise myself that I will give all that I have to give and when I am afraid I will give anyway. When I feel like retreating or withholding my love because I think he is sitting in judgment or he may not agree with me, I will respond in love. I do want a great relationship; the kind that the Bible talks about when a man and a woman give their hearts to God and put Him first in their lives. That is the marriage and life I dream about but have believed is closed off to me because of my past!!
I will continue to share my walk with you as I commit to making a change and having the relationship of my dreams. I ask that you would pray for me and if you can relate to my story in anyway and wish to leave a comment as I continue sharing my story I will pray for you!