Lose to Win

photo-1497030947858-3f40f1508e84God’s mercy allowed me to lose my marriage and see that God is enough.

No matter the loss you are experiencing today, God is enough.

We want the comforts of life as we know, appreciate, prefer them. When that is upended, we can’t imagine the loss making a way for something else worthy. We may never see the loss as clearing the way for something better. We still hurt and grieve. But we also appreciate God’s provision and comfort. We experience his strength in the healing, growth in the pruning, affirmation in the humility.

We can find contentment despite the chaos. Not because of who we are or what we’ve done but because of who God is and who he created us to become.

Winning can cause loss, and losing can cause gain.

Cleaning Therapy

photo-1451443700141-5ddb6d85a8fcI’ve had plenty of opportunities to clean lately. To me, cleaning is therapeutic. It’s productive. It’s…cleansing.

One of the things I missed when I moved out of the house where I had lived with my soon-to-be-ex was cleaning. Cleaning and mowing. We had a big house and a big yard – two things I don’t want to care for on my own but two things I have missed at times.

But it’s okay. I find other ways to be productive. Like helping my girls clean the rentals they recently moved out of as they bought their first homes. Cleaning is a way I can serve others. We all live messy lives, but as I clean, I pray over the lives of people who have lived and will live in the same space. That’s one of the reasons I wanted to clean my soon-to-be-ex’s house when I moved out. He might have shoved me out of his life, but I could still show respect in the way I walked away. He had enough mess in his life; if I could leave one aspect of it clean, I would. Just as I prayed for the new people who would move into my girls’ houses as I cleaned, I did the same at my old house. Because in a way, someone I didn’t know would be living there. I had known him but now I didn’t. But that doesn’t mean I couldn’t pray for and show respect for him. So, I cleaned up as much of the mess as I could.

When Plans Change

photo-1462885928573-b5d04c6855deYesterday’s post was about the anticipation of an important meeting between me and my-soon-to-be-ex-husband.

The meeting didn’t happen.

Yesterday I wrote about my intentional preparation leading up to the meeting – the meeting that didn’t happen. But that preparation wasn’t wasted.

Had I relied on myself for the preparation, perhaps it would  have been wasted. I might have prepared for the wrong things. But I tried to focus on allowing God to prepare me. After all, he knows what’s coming. He knows what preparation I actually need.

I was frustrated and disappointed about the meeting that didn’t happen, but in reality, it didn’t shock me. Why be shocked about consistency? I simply sat at my desk for a moment, and I heard myself sigh. And I took one step.

Yesterday’s post was about a spiritual workout that left me strong and peaceful.

God’s strength and peace abide.

Trust his preparation. Even when you don’t like the outcome,you can trust him through the process.

Spiritual Workout

photo-1523395294292-1fbf0cd2435eIt was the night before I was supposed to have an important meeting with my soon-to-be-ex-husband. (It’s still so awkward to refer to him, as I have no idea how to categorize him at this point in the-divorce-that-never-ends.) I had been gearing up for it emotionally and spiritually. We have no contact at this point. It’s simply not healthy to interact. Maybe someday, but not now while we are still sorting through the details.

I knew I needed to be in a good place, a peaceful place, going into a potentially rough situation. But I felt surrounded and filled with God’s presence. I had friends who were spiritually walking beside me – people I’d asked to pray for him as much if not more than for me just as I had asked them to pray for our attorneys leading up to our last court date. Yet I knew my heart, mind, and soul position was important.

While working out, I turned on a video from a recent event that was cancelled due to weather. Because of the cancellation, the speaker recorded the remaining teachings to share with those who had purchased tickets for the event. But now, many more people, including me, could be encouraged and challenged by the teaching.

It was bold, comforting, convicting, and inspiring. My heart pounded more from the spiritual workout than the physical one. At one point, there was a break in the teaching, and one of my favorite worship songs played while Scriptures displayed on the screen. The more I walked, the less tired I became. God strengthened me. He opened my eyes, ears, mind, heart, and hands.

I have decided spiritual workouts are my favorite. The results aren’t usually widely noticeable, at least not for a while, but they are invigorating.

Be intentional about your faith. Let God fill you with his strength and peace. Be willing to work out, whether that means an effort toward something or a withdrawal away from something. Just make it less about you and more about him.

 

To The Other Woman

photo-1434030216411-0b793f4b4173I don’t blame you.

I also don’t believe you are without fault.

But I want you to know I am sure this has been hard for you, too.

You only heard one perspective; my husband’s viewpoint, filtered by what he most wanted you to hear, is all you know.

It’s not the complete picture.

I don’t like that you are most frequently referred to as “the other woman.” It dehumanizes and distances you. I know your name. I know your face. I don’t know you personally, just as you don’t know me. But just as I don’t want you to make assumptions about me, I have tried not to make assumptions about you.

However, for you or anyone else in your position in the future, please keep in mind:

  • A family is worth fighting for. Whether it’s your family or not, value it enough to put it ahead of your own wishes and comfort.
  • Never assume a relationship is beyond repair, unless you also assume every relationship you have or will have will also be irreparable at some point.
  • Refuse to encourage a deepening relationship. While it is true that someone who is looking for intimacy outside a marriage will find it somewhere else if not with you, you don’t need to be the one who makes it easy.
  • Demand honesty for yourself, for my husband, for me, and for our family. Vehemently search for truth even when it’s uncomfortable.
  • Respect yourself enough to not believe you are the only one who feels this way and has made him feel this way.
  • Respect me enough to seek the truth about me. The more you distance yourself from me and make me into who you want to assume I am, the more you dehumanize me and make your choices easier.
  • Respect my husband enough to want him to be healthy. Being happy in the short-term isn’t worth the cost when other areas of life are compartmentalized and set aside.
  • Respect my children – no matter how old they are. What you are told about how they will handle your relationship is probably not accurate. If my husband lost perspective in one area of life, it likely shifted the perspective accuracy of other areas of life.
  • Take a breath and step away. If you want to pursue him, there will be time later to do that. Give my family space to process and heal.

Thank you for listening. Thank you for your consideration and respect.

I have forgiven you.