There are lessons I’ve learned I don’t want to forget. When those lessons are tied to a difficult season of life, it’s definitely challenging to pull apart the “leave behinds” and the “take aways.” But that challenge is crucial to the healing process.
I recently spoke to someone about my Fractured Into Wholeness experience. When my husband of over 25 years suddenly and harshly walked away from the marriage, it felt as if he delivered an eviction notice of my life. It seemed a cruel joke of “love you and committed to you, but…just kidding!” But as I chronicle in the book, it was in the midst of that flying shrapnel that I realized the strength of my faith and my God. What I thought was the core of my life was proven.
When someone asked, “Are you glad you went through it?” the answer was immediate: Of course not. But I deeply value the lessons that have come from it.
I think it’s important to gradually appreciate the pieces that create the wholeness among the explosive chaos of the fractures. I can also easily identify those shrapnel pieces that still cause pain, but to focus on those only fosters bitterness. It takes my focus off the right things. The pain and wounds should not be swept under the rug (because if it is, we likely explode and create more pain and wounds for others); it should be dealt with as it comes. But as it is dealt with in a healthy way, we find the lessons that can stay with us. And those lessons can give us life-sustaining joy and faith-building truth.
Here are a few of my take aways I want to remember:
- Even when someone else doesn’t give me a choice, I have a choice in the way I respond.
- When I know nothing else about what is happening around me, I know God.
- I am friends with oodles of good people. The time we spend investing in people and being authentic with each other helps us all as a community—in crisis or not.
- I can love well with healthy boundaries even in the most difficult of situations (or at least the ones I have lived to date).
- The choice I made in my mid-thirties to live authentically and to seek and speak truth provides an exponential pay-out I can never fully assess.
- God decides my worth, and I am secure in my relationship with him.
- Dysfunction and disrespect becomes much clearer when I’m not in the middle of it.
- Spiritual warfare is real. I despise Satan. God wins.
- It’s okay to not be okay, but don’t get stuck there.
- I am strong, because God is strong. I trust him.
I’m sure there are more lessons I’ve learned and am incorporating into everyday life. I encourage you to do the same: consider the lessons you’ve learned that help you grow and challenge you to live better. Instead of focusing on the negatives you must hold onto to determine your next steps, do the hard word to determine what part of those negatives need to be healed from and left behind and what parts are actually positives that become building blocks for your future and your faith.