This November, November 2017, will mark four years that I have been single. This November will mark four years from when my former husband finally got up the nerve to confess that he no longer wanted to be married, because in his words, marriage was too hard. This November will mark four years of me finding my way to my center, to my peace . . . after spending more time than I care to discuss angry and regretful and lost.
Four years ago my former husband broke our vows, but you know what, he DID NOT break my spirit! Contrary to what I thought was possible back then, I am absolutely fantastic. I am happy. My joy is steady. My mind is clear. The stuff I thought I could not do without him, I've done--and some. The places I thought I could not go without him, I've gone--and some. The fun I told myself I would not have without him, I am having. When I tell you I have not missed a beat, I mean I have not missed a beat. God turned my sorrow into dancing. My tears into laughter. My complaining into gratitude. And while I would rather be in love than alone, I am great.
Did it take awhile? Yes. Was recovering painful? Yes. Did I think I'd ever feel this good? To be honest, no, not really. And that's being 100% transparent. For more than a year, I thought the tears would never stop. I thought the ache in my heart would never go away. I thought my belief in love was gone forever. But today, four years later, I am happy to report that my heart is not only healed; it is open for love. I'm happy to report that I am a better woman than I was four years ago. I am a stronger woman than I was four years ago. I am a more courageous woman than I was four years ago. I am living out my dreams and dreaming bigger ones.
With the consistent love of my sons, the unwavering support of a few friends, a lot of good reads, unceasing prayer, and God's Word echoing through every fiber of my being, my spirit is renewed and I am sooooooo glad about it.
My friend, maybe your betrayal wasn't a spouse who walked away from your marriage. Maybe the thing that has broken or is trying to break your spirit is a wayward child, or an ungrateful bestfriend, or the loss of a job, or a toxic work environment on a job you cannot afford to leave right now, or having been sexually violated--whatever that thing is, hear me when I tell you that the only power a thing has over us is the power we give it. Pain is real. Recovering is real. Being blindsided by what you thought could or would never happen in a million years is real. BUT, being stuck is a decision. Staying broken is a choice. Wanting something to be different than it actually is is wasteful. And constantly reciting the play by play of a story that only keeps the pain alive is exhausting. Listen, you nor I have time to live in a space where joy is not. We don't. We just don't have time.
I have a saving grace. My saving grace is that rhythmically I keep track of dates. Without writing them down, my soul remembers and recalls important dates. Something happens inside of me when the anniversary of an important date is near or has arrived. And what I have learned to appreciate about these organic, rhythmic reminders is they don't come to remind me of what I've lost or what's gone. Hear me, they come to remind me of what I have left or of what I've gained. They don't come to remind me of who I was. They come to remind me of who I have become. They don't come to remind me of how bad the pain was. They come to remind me of how liberating it feels to not be in pain.
Would you do me a favor? Would you let this message be a reminder of what you have left. What do I have left, Mischa, you ask? What you have left is the ability to choose courage. What you have left is the ability to choose life. What you have left is the ability to choose joy. Don't let it break you. Don't give it anymore of your time and energy. Instead, let it make you into the incredible human being that's waiting on the other side of your healing to meet you.