To Thine Ownself be True…

The days ahead would be the most difficult I would ever face. This was my second divorce and I knew it was time to put the brakes on. What am I doing wrong? I’ve managed to marry two men with the same problems.

I told God that He had my undivided attention. You know, sometimes we pray asking God for particular things and we are completely blind-sided by His response. Here I was, thinking God was about to speak to me about THEM, but in reality; He wanted to deal with ME.

ME!!!! What’s wrong with me? I was a devoted, loving, committed wife. I took care of my husband for years as he endured several illnesses. I put myself on hold, dismissing my needs because his were more pressing. I had no sick time left when I was ill because it was always used on him. He often thanked me for sticking by him because he said, “Anyone else would have BEEN gone.”

God had another plan. He reminded me that HE has always had a plan for my life and that plan had not been fully realized because I did not know who I was.

I told God, “No more relationships. I want to see what Your plan was in the first place- before I went astray.”

I found out about a Biblical Ministry at a local church called “Divorce Care”. I signed up. I needed to face MYSELF. I needed to find out who Cathy really is and what needs to change in my life so that I stop repeating the same mistakes.

My prayers changed. I began asking God to show me MYSELF. I asked Him to show me how I contributed to the break up of my marriage. I asked Him to reveal areas of weakness in my character. I also gave Him permission to do what He wanted with my LIFE! I abandoned the driver’s seat. It had not served me well.

Matthew 7:7-8 (TLB) – Ask, you will be given what you ask for. Seek, and you will find. Knock, and the door will be opened. For everyone who asks, receives. Anyone who seeks, finds. (Bible gateway.com).

My testimony today is that God did indeed answer my prayer requests. The answers began to manifest as I made time alone with God my PRIORITY. I would not ALLOW myself to be distracted. I continue this practice today, almost 7 years later. No other person could give me the answers I sought.

My shattered life was the Clarion call to NEW life, NEW relationship with my Creator, AND…the time I would learn more about MYSELF than I have ever known.

Maybe you’re in a bad place right now or you’re still reeling from the explosion of your marriage. I have counsel for you. Don’t seek another romantic relationship. You’re broken (emotionally damaged). Another relationship will only “mask” your wounds. Allow your wounds to be exposed so they can heal. If you had major surgery, you’d allow sufficient TIME for recovery. Do the same for your HEART. Don’t pretend you’re okay when you’re not. It’s healthy for you to tell others, “Today is not a good day.” Those that love you will understand and offer support.

Talk to God. Even if you never have before. He made you – He’s the Manufacturer and NO ONE knows His creation better than Him.

…He’s waiting

Alone…so I thought

woman looking at sea while sitting on beach
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The ending of my marriage left me alone for the first time in my life. Here I was, middle-aged, no spouse or children to distract me from my pain. It was just me, so I thought. This was the beginning of getting to know God in a way I could have never imagined.

I became a Christian at age 16 and was happy to devote my life to the Lord Jesus Christ. At this point, I was 33 years into my journey of faith. I was a licensed and ordained Minister, Bible Teacher & Preacher, Biblical Counselor and lover of God. However, I had no idea that God could take something so terrible and use it to bring about good.

Romans 8:28 (CEV) says, “We know that God works all things together for good for the ones who love God, for those who are called according to his purpose.” You mean God can work even THIS for good?

Again, I sensed in my heart and spirit that God was requiring me to FORGIVE before I could truly begin to heal. I earnestly told God, after an evening of emotional distress and turmoil, that I wanted to do what He required, but I just could not do it on my own. But, if He would HELP ME, I would cooperate with Him. Of course I knew that refusing to forgive was sin. My definition of sin is anything that is contrary to God’s standard of righteousness. But…I was a broken woman, broken in every way. Some days the “heaviness” was so intense, I felt as if I were dragging my own body around. There were times I felt as if I was functioning on auto-pilot. I was so numb that I couldn’t feel anything. One day while driving home from work, I passed my exit (unaware) and was heading to my former home. It didn’t dawn on me that I was going to the wrong place until I was almost there. Then a gentle voice said “You don’t live there anymore.” I wondered would I ever recover and be okay again. Was I losing my mind?

FORGIVENESS. I sat in my favorite chair having this conversation with God and I ALLOWED myself to feel the pain. I felt as if an Elephant were sitting on my chest. It would have been easier to dismiss it but it would not have been healthy to do so. Divorce is the death of a marriage. It is an indescribable loss and all losses must be grieved. I cried from a place within my being that I cannot describe with words. It was a different cry – a wailing – an unleashing of “something”. I’d never cried like that before and thankfully I never have again.

I struggled with the words. But, I said them. I – FOR- GIVE – HIM. I don’t think my heart & spirit were in agreement with my words. But, I felt I needed to make the confession OUT LOUD. Every time an angry thought would come to mind, I would repeat my confession.

In time, my heart and spirit aligned with my confession. I would still have to remind myself that he is forgiven. I would remind myself for years.

My testimony is that once I agreed with God and surrendered my will to His; He brought about the forgiveness within me that I was incapable of activating on my own.

I eventually lost my home, car, and was brought to financial ruin. The losses that weren’t so visible were my self-esteem, confidence, ability to trust, ability to sleep (for 6 months), peace, and dignity.

Where is the GOOD you ask? Stay with me…

It all Fell Apart…

relationship failure problem sad
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We celebrated our 9th wedding anniversary on March 21st 2012. All that week, something just did not seem right to me. I could not quite put my finger on it, but clearly, he was acting out of sorts. I happened to be home sick from work one day and he was usually an extremely attentive husband, but not this time. He did bare minimum. I remember God speaking to me as I lay on the couch ill and saying “In a few days you’ll know what this is all about.”

Well sure enough, I happened upon information of his infidelity. I need to give a little background information here. My husband was 17 years my senior, retired from General Motors, and experiencing serious decline in his health. He also was an excellent provider, enjoyed cooking dinner for me each day (I was still employed), and got excited planning our weekend activities! We shared our Christian faith and values and although he was not my children’s biological father; he grew to love them as his own and was there for them. He helped both the girls get their first cars and assisted with college costs. My first husband and I (My children’s Dad) were married 13 years. His infidelity ended our marriage. I was a single mom 3 years before I re-married. I was sure I’d made the right decision this time – an older, settled, Christian gentleman who loved me. I could trust him around my children. Ahhh…I finally have some help…I can exhale.

…I NEVER saw it coming.

It was 3 days after our anniversary when I confronted him with my new found information, he did not deny it. That day is one I shall never forget. My world exploded! I grabbed my keys and left the house in tears and went to a friend’s house. You should know that my husband had previously had 3 heart attacks and was recovering from triple-bypass surgery, had undergone  cancer surgeries and had other chronic health problems. I took care of him, worked a full time job, cared for the kids, and served as a Pastor at our church.

I know what the obvious question is…How in the WORLD could he have done ANYTHING in his condition? The internet. He met “someone” online and began an online relationship that drew his heart away. I could probably sell this story on LIFETIME. He announced that he would be ending our marriage. Oh yeah…I’m the one that taught him how to use the computer in the first place!

I spent that night in a hotel in a nearby city with a pounding headache trying to figure out if “this” was real or not. My mind was playing tricks on me…I couldn’t think straight.

…the worst was yet to come…

 

 

The Journey Begins

Thanks for joining me!

My name is Cathy and I reside in Michigan. I started this site because I have traveled the excruciatingly painful path of divorce and all that goes with it. I felt like an epic failure and was ashamed and embarrassed that “I could not hold my marriage together.” My value and worth were intricately attached to my relationship and when the relationship was gone…so was my estimation of my value and self-esteem.

I am a Christian and I openly admit that I lost hope for my future. I thought “Man, what is wrong with me that not even my own husband wants me?” If you have experienced divorce, you can more than likely relate to my feelings. The rejection and abandonment by a spouse is the equivalent of an emotional hand grenade that has been set off in your life.

For this reason, I started this blog. It is my intention to be very forthcoming and transparent about my experiences because I believe that people connect to “real people”. I want to share my days, months and years since my divorce in 2012 and let you see how God took me from losing my spouse, home, car, financial stability, dignity, self-esteem, and almost – my mind to NEW LIFE! It has taken TIME, but it has been worth it.

It is my hope that my “Journey” helps you or someone you know who may still be in the “Pit” of despair from this horrific experience to realize they can live again, restoration is a real possibility, and God can give you a life even more fulfilling than the one you may be grieving at this present moment.

I invite you to read my posts even if you are not Christian. You are still human. However, I am convinced you will find a “connection” on some level if you are struggling with the aftermath of divorce.

I care deeply about others and I have been healed and want to be used by God to bring healing to others.

Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton

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