Fractured Into Wholeness

For Better or Worse

FIW23The following is an excerpt from the new release, Fractured Into Wholeness, available on Amazon in print and ebook formats.

No matter how I was being treated, no matter how disrespectfully I was being pushed out of my ex’s life, I was determined to extend compassion and grace. It wasn’t an easy choice. I didn’t do it out of some natural goodness in my heart. I continued to struggle with making the next best choice. I knew it was better to pull up the small sprouts of anger and bitterness when they first appeared than let them take deep root and create a tangled mess.

My last night in the house we’d shared, I cleaned with loving care. I prayed as I scrubbed every corner of the floors, dusted what furniture my ex wanted to keep, and cleaned the piano that had brought us both so much joy through the years. I wiped cabinets and countertops I knew he’d touch often. It was my way of loving and leaving well. That’s the commitment I’d made—for better or worse. This was the “worse” part. And it was a test to see how I would respond. Regardless of how hateful he was toward me, even if he chose to reject me and walk away, I could choose a different response. Because of his choices, I might not be able to stay committed to him within the marriage, but I could still fulfill my commitment to pour into him in the few ways left.

So, I cleaned and I prayed.

I slept in the bed we had shared for years. I hadn’t slept in it since that first explosive night, but I settled in and prayed for him. I prayed for the person who might share that bed with him one day. I prayed for his relationship with God.

And I wept.

It might have been easier to rip apart that bed, to lash out against the woman who was vying for the space I once lived in well, to take what I wanted and leave everything else in disarray. It’s not that I’m not capable of those things. I just didn’t want to leave that way. Maybe I didn’t have the energy to respond in those ways. Maybe I knew everything was messy enough, and I didn’t want more baggage. Maybe I knew my girls were watching my treatment of their dad. I couldn’t process my reasons, but I knew I could walk away knowing I had extended God’s grace and kept my dignity.

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