As I am writing my non-fiction book about my “getting religion”, the fall from what I knew to be the intended path, the living in the swamps and cesspools of sin, to divorce and finding my way home again as a prodigal daughter of God, I’ve discovered this is going to make me very vulnerable. I’m opening myself up, being extremely transparent and hiding nothing, and knowing there will be those who judge me and rather harshly. But my hope in sharing it all is that the message that we can go home again, back to a loving relationship with Christ, will help another claw their way out of the pig sty and back on the road.
I had one of those light bulb moments the other night, while setting aside time to read my bible and pray, a true enlightenment. This was no night light wattage but a full blown 3-way bulb kind of eye opener. I remember having wanted to walk away from the “lifestyle” we were so entrenched in, and being told that he didn’t know if he could be faithful to me if we did. His honesty, in hindsight, was a good thing. 95% of our friends were from that way of life, so even walking away from the wrong would have kept us exposed to it and I know would have caused me to slip back down into the familiar. At that point I was praying for help from God to impress it upon my ex to get us out, find us a church since neither of us wanted to return to the former one, but he was having no part. His words were that the next time he was in a church would be his funeral. When I prayed for deliverance I had no idea what was headed my way.
I’m not saying that God condoned my divorce or the way it came about. He hates divorce and it wasn’t what I wanted at all. I lost everything that was important to me with that marriage ending…my husband, living with my daughter, and soon after my son, my home…everything. My entire world was striped away and changed in a matter of months. I still clung to that life for a bit, going back to a club alone a few times before realizing that I did not belong there. So called “friends” turned their backs on me and others distanced themselves as I suddenly became single and a perceived threat.
I buried my pain and tried hard to keep a positive outlook, find the silver lining in all of my storm clouds. I learned there is a very thin line between love and hate, because to preserve oneself when their heart is shattered a person steps over onto the hate side and channels all that broken emotion into one equally strong but very detrimental. I lashed out and fired every mean and nasty thought I could at my ex to cause him the pain he had caused me. It would be months before the prayers I shot heavenward would start to be answered in ways I was able to see. No doubt because they were sporadic and I still had much to learn, there was so much more to be pulled out from under me before I would finally stand still long enough for God to help me out of the muck and back on the road toward Him.
During that time I returned to my old church twice for brief stints before deciding I could go it alone rather than subject myself too the judgmental eyes and attitudes. I had never really fit in there in the past, being a pretty independent thinker and one who questions the establishment at times. But I also found that going it alone was not working either. It was then that I began to seek a new place to worship. Even during that time I found myself living in sin with someone. We had tried a church that I enjoyed but it wasn’t mutually appreciated. I took it in a few times while he was working, and during those last months knew I needed to get over that final hurdle toward the life that is honoring to God.
Back in the Diva Den I’m still working on areas, like my potty mouth, but God is faithful to deal with the layers one at a time. My church home is a great place as I simply changed campuses and now get to be at the service with my daughter and future son-in-law rather than hearing the same message at another location. My prayer is that my son and his family might make it their home too.
As I am writing the story of all of this in great detail in the book, it is making me realize how far from God I had been, and how blessed I am to have lost all that I thought was important to be made right again and be able to stand before Him knowing that I am free from the darkness and walking, ever so imperfectly in the light of my Savior. And even the ex has left it all behind and gone back to church and his faith, minus the death and casket part, along with his wife.
Beauty from the ashes.