Be Gracious To Yourself Part 2

puddlesmall

Being the stronger-willed type personality that I am…I wanted to heal and I wanted to heal fast. I wanted the expressway to wholeness. I found it difficult to achieve this goal seeing as I hadn’t experienced this level of hurt before. Sure I had a few boyfriends and experienced heartbreak…but this was more like life after a death. I had attended the funeral of our marriage and the mourning process was going to take longer than a few weeks. I could not equate this circumstance with any other I had been through. Nor did I have many friends who had gone through divorce. I was given advice on certain aspects of what I was going through…but the process of what to do after a divorce…I had to figure out the ingredients and put together my own recipe.

I remember I went to my parents’ house one weekend and I was about to leave to come back. I asked the members of my family if they had any advice/encouragement for me. I scanned the room looking for a willing participant to jump at the opportunity to ease the pain I was feeling inside. The best I got was, “And this too shall come to pass.” Absolutely deflating for the instant gratification I was seeking to plug the faucet of hurt that was filling me up and overflowing out of me. As if a few words were really going to make me feel better…but hey I was desperate!

I procrastinated leaving every time I went to my parents’ house. I knew I should come back to my apartment earlier but I just didn’t want to leave. I didn’t want to face the reality. I didn’t want to be alone. I wanted to be a child again and sleep in my parents’ bed and know that I was protected and everything was going to be ok. I wanted my Dad to check the closet and under my bed for the monsters. I wasn’t prepared for this. This was not in my life plan.

“We are never prepared for what we expect.” James Michener

March 9, 2015- Going through this divorce has been so lonely…even with the best support anyone could ever ask for. Even with being in the Word and praying constantly all day. Even with literally feeling the peace of God sweep over me so many times. If I didn’t have all these things…man, I don’t know. I don’t know how people make it through divorce and other difficult situations without family and friends who might as well be family. Suicide in these circumstances…I get it. I really do. You just don’t want to feel anymore. All feelings hurt. Every-one-of-them. You try so hard to control yourself and heal quickly so it will stop. You try and you try so hard…but in reality you just can’t even breathe. Getting out of bed is the biggest struggle of the day. And returning to bed is the highlight. Eating? Yeah right…I lost 10 lbs easy. I don’t even think it took a week. I have never rejected food like this. Like I literally was not hungry…any time of the day. I tried to force myself to eat. Protein bars and smoothies were my best friends for a while. I felt so very consumed by my pain. It made me completely numb at times as I cried and I cried. My nose was raw from the tissues. Peace was a universe away. Divorce is terrible. People relate it to death. And I agree. However, I think it is worse. [my view on this has changed since this journal entry…look for it in a future blog] My husband has removed himself from my life and died to me. But yet he is living. He is living his own life somewhere and I don’t get to be a part of it with him anymore. The hardest part is having no control over what happens. I do not want this…but that doesn’t change the outcome. This was NEVER what I wanted in my life. And now I have to wear the letter.

The process of coping is like climbing a mountain. You throw a rope around the ledge of the next stage of the process. You have to work hard to pull yourself to that ledge. You are exhausted as you climb up on top of the ledge only to realize you must throw your rope to the next ledge and begin to pull yourself to the next stage of the process. Everyone climbs at a different pace. Some will climb the mountain quickly and some may have to camp out on the different ledges for a little while.

This is where you must be gracious to yourself.

April 7, 2015- I remember having a revelation as I was writing a message to someone about what was going on. My revelation was: I’ve never felt so close to God…I have also never felt so close to Satan. I had just read “A Grief Observed” by C.S. Lewis (I highly recommend this book if you are going through divorce or death) and there was a quote that stuck out to me. “For the greater the love the greater the grief, and the stronger the faith the more savagely will Satan storm its fortress.” It is very true. We are tested even when we are so tired…so worn down…so sad…so hopeless…we are tested. Always stand on the Word of God. Always. You will find comfort, strength, and energy to fight and to win. There is always hope when you believe in God. Always.

I’ve been blessed with the opportunity to help a few people out with similar circumstances. One of the first things I tell them is, “don’t feel like you have to be in a rush to be ok. What happened to you sucks and it hurts…don’t try to just push it aside. It’s hard when you want to heal FAST…but it will take time. Don’t get discouraged if you feel you should be at a place you aren’t yet…you are doing great! Go through the process of healing so you really will be ready for someone who will love and appreciate you so much more! It does take some time. Also…STAY POSITIVE! And surround yourself with people who won’t let you sit in your funk. Time above all else will be your best friend.”

“And this too shall come to pass.” At the time I did not appreciate this piece of advice. It did not comfort me. To me it said, “This is going to take time and work.” Being on the other side of things now…this advice is the truth. It will come to pass and you will be ok. It is going to take time and it is going to take work. A lot of work. The lessons you will learn will be invaluable.

March 19, 2015- I have changed my ways. I am so much better of a person through all this. I am less naïve. I have more faith, more grace, more humility, more strength than I ever have before. I have never felt so “found.” I am being struck with blows and wounds every day. And God is restoring me each day. He is teaching me. He is allowing me to see “reality.” Reality is ugly. So very ugly.

I want to choose to think this way, “Optimist: someone who figures that taking a step backward after taking a step forward is not a disaster, it’s more like a cha-cha.” I want to be able to handle hurt. I want to be reliable and loyal. Even when people are so very mean to me. I want to believe the best in others. I want to be an optimist.

Truly experiencing God’s grace has taught me how to be gracious towards others and towards myself. Humility is such an amazing quality. It is viewed as so weak. But humility is so outside of ourselves. It is such a selfless quality. I believe where there is a humble heart there is a strong believer.

In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death—even death on a cross! Phillippians 2:5-8

4 thoughts on “Be Gracious To Yourself Part 2

  1. Wow, amazing post. You’re right – healing from something is definitely like climbing a mountain and everyone goes at their own pace. I became involved in an abusive relationship last year and although it’s been awhile since we broke up, I wouldn’t say that I’ve really healed and I tend to judge myself and feel bad about myself because of this. As you say, it’s important to give ourselves time to heal and not be so hard on ourselves. Thank you for the reminder 🙂

    Like

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