To have and to hold until death do we part. I do! When you say those words before your loved ones, your Pastor, and most importantly God, at that moment, you never think, dream, or imagine that your marriage will ever end. I heard many seasoned women say, “marriage ain’t easy, marriage is hard work.” In my mind, I said “maybe y’all did not pray and ask God for the man who met all of your requirements on your list as I did.” Yes, he checked all the boxes on my list.
But then my marriage began to fall apart. At first, I did not want to believe that with all the success I had in my life, the one thing I was not successful at was keeping my marriage together. Perhaps, that was a part of the issue for me too. Trying to take care of it on my own without fully relying on God’s help. Or seeking His guidance. I did not know how I would ever recover and move forward with my life. But I knew that I had to, and this was not an easy process. Many days following the actual divorce I wanted to stay in my room lamenting over what was not my happily ever after. As the process of picking up the pieces began, I went through a wide range of emotions.
I started with total denial that my marriage had ended; I was sure in my heart that it was untrue. I was in such denial that I suggested date nights, and extended invitations for him to come over, because I was sure this was a mistake. I was just doing the most. Although, for a woman who planned on “forever” perhaps it is better to admit that believing it could be repaired isn’t so far fetched.
So, you can imagine that I then became extremely angry with God and myself. Myself because that was the man I chose for forever. I thought he was the man of my dreams because he fit all of my requirements according to MY list. I was mad at God because I felt like he did not do his part to keep us together or stop this marriage from even happening (Revelation: He did I just did not want to listen). Isn’t that how it often is? We get what we want, only to realize that it isn’t what we needed. And yet, even with that realization we still want to point the finger elsewhere…at least in the beginning.
Naturally, I began to bargain with myself saying if I lost some weight he would come back to me, or if I got my hair done more often he would fall back in love with me. I became so desperate that I thought if I stopped passing gas or burping out loud then maybe this would bring my husband back. Not true. I was bargaining with small things to cover the big things that wouldn’t be bargained away.
Then came the depression. I became very depressed about the loss of my marriage. Not the loss of a high school crush depression but so depressed that I wanted to die. I had defined so much of who I was through my relationship, my marriage. Now I felt like no man would ever love me again. I hated myself and began to believe that I was so ugly. I hated who I was and began to feel like a failure in life and if I died, the pain would stop. Thank God for Jesus and His ability to cover us even when it feels like we are standing in the middle of a downpour! My spiritual foundation given to me as a child and the love and support of my church family and friends kicked into overdrive. They earnestly prayed for me when I thought my own prayers were falling short. To be loved so unconditionally helped me to begin to define “forever” differently.
Once I accepted that my marriage was over, moving forward finally became an option. I began to re-establish my relationship with God and received the love He has for me. I had a daily scripture that became my foundation (Proverbs 3:5-6) that I stood on. Becoming intentional about focusing on Him instead of my broken marriage, allowed God to begin to heal my heart and remove those fears of inadequacy. In fact, I continue to use that scripture whenever my life begins to get nutty or overwhelming.
It’s true that divorce is emotionally, physically, and spiritually taxing. The recovery process of loving and dating myself seemed crazy and impossible, however it was something I needed to do. I began to value my recovery over my brokenness. By rediscovering who I was, I found my authentic self (I lost her in my marriage). I also began to believe in love again, that one day my Boaz will find me, and we will have everlasting love. But this time, I will not only listen to my heart but I will consult God and wait for His answer. I won’t rush because I’ve been dreaming of happily ever after. I’ll wait until I am sure that forever is right.
In life, there are no mistakes, no coincidences. All are blessings given to us to learn from (Kubler – Ross). I learned many things about myself, in this valley. I learned to stand in my own truth. I realized the strengths and weakness in myself and to lean and depend on Jesus like never before. I learned that being broken does not mean un-repairable.
Begin divorced does not mean your life is over. It means that there are new opportunities to find and embrace the direction of God and bring Him glory through our future relationship. I am happily following His lead. My prayer is that you will do the same when it comes to marrying the “man of your dreams”.