Some years ago, I kept an online journal. It actually chronicled a very difficult time in my life beginning November 2004 and ending with my divorce in 2006 and my move from Texas to Illinois.
Every once in a while, I believe it’s good to look back and see how far you’ve come. Reading all those journal entries made me feel like I was reading about another woman’s life. The only difference is her memories of each event were mind and could still clearly play themselves out in my mind.
Since I’ve been divorced, people have commented more than once on how strong I am. The realization that I was in an abusive relationship (verbal and emotional) was a hard, bitter pill for me to swallow. Still is, at times. Yet, when I was reading these memories today, I can clearly see just how lonely (and alone) I was, how hard I tried to hold my family together, how many times I, in my brokenness, apologized to my husband for his abuse of me (tell me this sounds familiar) and…..how the church at the time showed little to no support.
I remember, after moving up north, how angry Shelby was at me for “making her leave” her home. It took me years to finally tell her that the only way I could ever be the woman and mother I am today was by coming home to heal. That was never going to happen down there. I would have had no family, no help and no church.
I came home to the best family a girl can ever have! A strong family unit consisting mostly of super-powerful women not geared towards tearing down my opinion of men but rather raising me and my girls up. The whole concept of getting back on my feet again started the second I set my feet on the green grass in front of my home. Securing a job, getting an education, finding out who I am and what my true worth is were all steps taken in becoming the person I am now. So many people had a hand in that, not least of which are the two young women who share my life and make it sparkle.
Looking back to rekindle hate and anger is never good. Looking back to see how far you’ve come, however, IS very good! Using it as a testimony to all you’ve achieved, accomplished and overcome will someday, hopefully, bring about an anointing which is to be used to help others and grow them from the place you one were guiding them into their future.
The last church service I attended while down in Texas had a guest musician leading the praise team. I don’t remember his name – not sure if I ever knew it, to be honest with you. Afterwards, as I was standing there feeling more alone than ever, he came up to me and said he felt God had a word for me. I remember feeling doubtful. After all, when you’ve been abandoned by your husband – the one person who has promised to be with you “for better or worse” – and you feel abandoned by your church that once swore to love you and pray for you, it’s pretty hard to believe God Himself would actually notice you exist. Yet this man, who knew nothing about me, said this:
God says to roll with the changes in your life without fear. For ‘I am bringing you into a new land where I have a greater future prepared for you’.
Now, I have yet to minister in a church. I back with my Catholic church that I love so much and now have made my daughters a part of. I’m about to make a commitment as an Associate with the Sisters of St. Joseph of the Third Order of St. Francis and I so look forward to seeing what God has for me there. I doubt that I have brought much of any revelation to anyone since being home as most of my time has been spent healing myself and my kids. But I know God HAS brought me into a new land! He has given me a lovely future! So what was spoken over me has come true and continues to be a truth in my life.
Eight years later, and I’m a different woman. I’m single by choice; have a job I love and excel at; have a great relationship with my two teenage daughters and I’m confident that, while not perfect, I am a pretty cool human being!
As my daughter, Emilie, recently said to me, “I’m really happy with my life!”
And I really am!