Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Chapter Nine of Making Lemonade A Spiritual Journey Through Pain and Divorce

Preparing for the Unknown Journey

Okay, God, you need to show me what you can do to put this life back together. People at Abundant Grace are telling me that you’re faithful and will take care of me and meet my needs. I’ve seen those scriptures in the few parts of the Bible that I’ve read. But I need you to prove yourself to me because right now I’m having serious doubts. Do you not see that this divorce is harming me, that I will not financially survive without Steve? Why are you putting me in danger?

You say I’ve come to prosper you and to give you a hope and a future, not to harm you. I guess I’m not seeing this right now. If you are doing something, I wish you would communicate it with me because this burden of fear that I’m carrying is almost too much. What am I supposed to do with my life now? In my world it was raining and I needed a snorkel. I looked upon the horizon for my rainbow. This is the chance to either make something of my life or fail. Oh, God, not another failure!

For several weeks God kept assuring me that I would like the outcome, yet my future looked blurred, out of focus. What do I do now? I’m stuck with a car payment. I have two “four-legged children” who are looking to me to take care of them. I have no job and a small settlement that if I wasn’t careful with, would only last me for a little while. I had a whole lifetime ahead of me.

Of all the decisions I made at this time, I made the right one by not going to live with my mother. I would be going to Plains, Montana, a small town with population almost as low as the winter temperatures, and I would never grow in strength and maturity. I had no future if I surrendered to the apron strings of security. Too many times had I seen or heard of people going home with the intent of moving on once they recovered, but they never did because they weren’t forced to.

Moving forward required relocating to a big city with jobs and opportunity. I wanted somewhere fresh that I had never been and no memories to haunt me. This was a new beginning to make a career in medical billing, make a life, and when the time was right, possibly find someone.

I felt in my heart that I would marry again, but how long would I have to wait? How long would I have to wade through the loneliness? How long would I have to wait for true love? And if I did find someone, how could I trust him? That brought up new annoyances and fears; I’ll have to reenter the dating realm.

Right now I knew I wasn’t good for anyone. I didn’t even want to be with me. If I could have left myself, I would have. I knew better than to seek another relationship. I had to find me, know who I was and grow in strength, confidence and independence. I had to relearn how to fend for myself and survive without depending on someone else. Only then would I be stable enough to even think of sharing my life with someone.

Self-defeat spoke loud into my heart; if Steve was unable to love me, then no one would. You’re unlovable. You’re such a mess, who would want you? He let you down, so get ready for rejection again. You’re a failure. You deserve what you got because you insisted on marrying him. I mean, come on, God even told you to run.

The hardest part of leaving was realizing I was going to leave my church. It became increasingly difficult to attend Bible study and go to service. One night, after returning from Sunday service, I told Steve that I didn’t want to attend anymore. I told him that it pained me too much to leave the people I finally got to know. I loved my little church and the pastor and his wife. Why was it when I finally found a good church and a place I felt I belonged did I have to leave? It just wasn’t fair! Did God not understand the pain I was already going through? Why did I have to make all the sacrifices?

Steve’s encouraging words were the least of what I expected. There were times that he made fun of me for going and continually called my pastor “Pastor Friendly” rather than his name on purpose. “You need to continue to go. I’ve seen changes in you at times, and it’s because you are going. It is because of the support system you have. If you don’t go, you’ll look back and regret it.”

I’m amazed those words held a lot of truth. I needed the support of all those around me to strengthen me and my pastors continued to counsel me in preparation for beginning a new life in Phoenix.

For Christmas gifts, I was armed with a list of all the local Assembly of God churches and a new Women’s Studies Bible from the pastors and an anonymous gift of a beautiful cross necklace.

January 13th the movers came and placed everything on the truck. Steve paid for my move, and I had half the money he owed me. The other half was coming to me in two more days.

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