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Click the heart to sponsor my service work at Valiant Hearts throughout the month of October. In their weekly support group, I will offer practical steps to overcoming the effects of childhood sexual abuse. For more information about this organization, visit www.valianthearts.org
I hate divorce. Lately, as I wait for my own divorce to become final my heart beats a little slower. I go to bed at 9:00 if it's at all possible. I struggle to understand how this happened. I mean, I know how. A lot of "hows" led up to the demise of my marriage. What eludes me is how someone I'd believed I knew intimately could be capable of the plethora of "hows" from which I now must heal.
And then God reminds me:
"If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it" (Matthew 16: 24--25).
When we refuse to follow Christ, we refuse to walk the path that is life giving. The path He's prepared for us. The one that calls us to enter into His suffering with the willingness to enter into our own suffering--suffering we've stuffed for years.
If there's one thing I know to be true, it's that when Christ beckons us to face something painful it is to free us and others from further harm. Otherwise, it remains inside our hearts and will continue to seek expression. The longer we ignore His divine shoulder-taps, the higher the risk of death with each refusal. And then one day you're too far gone on a path you had no idea would lead to so much destruction.
I don't believe my husband intended for any of this to happen. Believe it or not, I don't hate him, though initially I wanted to kill him. And then for a while I imagined lessor degress of revenge, like stabbing him with a giant fork. I pray for him. I pray for me. And I pray for the mulitude of broken hearts who, like us, face a plethora of "hows" that may likely land them alone in bed at 9:00 PM, reading over a divorce decree.
I'm still standing. I still believe God loves me and is for me. This is a miracle given the fact that just about a year ago I was in so much pain I found it hard to breathe:
There's nothing left to do but feel. Everyday. I wake up sad. I go to work sad. I drive home sad. I cook dinner sad. I go to bed sad. My psychologist says healing will take a few years, given the length of my relationship. If only cold beer could lesson the seemingly endless miles of grieving that stretch ahead of me. Please fight for me. I need to know You're fighting for me. He won't . . . can't?
If this is your life today, don't dispair. Don't. You can and will heal, but you've got to cry those tears, baby. Every last one of them, until they no longer sting your cheeks and burn your eyes. AND get help if you need it. I sought professional help before my husband moved out. God placed an amazing Christ-centered psychologist in my life. He fought for me.
Each day I awaken to more of myself--in Christ, along with high hopes for the future. I don't despise the tears when they come. God has transformed my bitter tears into the rain drops that shower over a sunny day. New life is sure to spring forward.
"For there is hope for a tree, if it be cut down, that it will sprout again, and that its shoots will not cease" (Job 7: 14).
You are not alone.
Published on Tuesday, March 4, 2014 @ 12:50 PM CDT