Changing My Perspective
Four years ago my lawyer and I stood before a judge. He in one sentence explained why we were there and with the tap of a gavel my marriage of 27 years ended. I was supposed to grow old with a person who no longer ‘loved’ me or wanted to be married. He didn’t want me because I wasn’t good enough. I walked alone from the courthouse to the parking garage grateful that I had brought sunglasses to hide my tears. I sifted through the memories from meeting my ex at church, a wedding, struggling through financial challenges, children, losing my mother and on the list continued till the conclusion in court. God had brought us together. The ex & I had scripture God had given us to confirm our marriage and plan for a future – and now we had put our vows to one another and to God aside. I remember telling people through the years ‘it is easier to stay together and work things out than to divorce. And on that day I had failed God so I was a failure. I labeled myself – it was like a visible tattoo that was leering at me in the mirror every time I gazed at myself to put on mascara, comb my hair or brush my teeth.
Doubts that I was ‘good enough’ and in my ability to be a wife and failing God consumed my thinking. Some of my friends grew tired of my rants about my ex and my constant belittling of myself. I kept the thought I had failed God to myself but repeated it over and over in my thoughts. I could see nothing good or beautiful in my reflection. I felt ugly and began to avoid looking at myself in the mirror. I was unable to see the light or hear God’s loving whispers. The shadows of doubt kept my attention. I felt like a failure as a believer and judged by fellow believers. Several friends remained present in my life. They listened and tried to encourage me to see the good things in myself and to read the Bible. I visited churches only to bump into people who knew me as Mrs. I was asked ‘how is Mr? What is he up to?’ and then I had to explain the divorce and the ‘shadows’ and doubts regained my attention. I came to avoid church like the Samaritan woman so I wouldn’t feel the judgement & rejection. I tried divorce recovery and participated in several online Bible studies, I read many self help books, perused the Psalms but my self talk and thoughts about myself kept me a prisoner of doubt.
But God had a plan and has plans for me. Several weeks ago I began an online Bible study “A Confident Heart” by Renee Swope along with one of my persistent friends. I am no stranger to God’s Word. I have multiple verses memorized but my doubt and broken thoughts kept me from embracing their light and life. I have not been hopeful. I have felt trapped in my life. Renee’s words have rung true – I have felt this book was written about me. As Renee poured out her hurts and doubts to her friend Wanda at the beach, I imagined myself with my toes in the water and sitting on the sand and poured my heart out to God. I continued to read on p. 67 “the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God” (2 Corinthians 1:3-4). And a little ray of light got through to my doubting heart.
My perspective about my value to God is changing and I am gaining confidence as God helps me keep my eyes on Him. God’s plan for me is not what I envisioned. He does not think of me as a failure. As I continue to seek God the words of Jeremiah 29:12 -14 which says “Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with your whole heart. I will be found by you and bring you back from captivity,” will become my reality. I am #moving forward