Originally published 3/1/2014
I’m a divorcee. That’s my truth. The word makes me shutter. It makes me feel like a quitter. I am. I divorced myself long before I got married. I let my insecurity rule me. I wanted someone to be weak for me. I wanted to be the one thing a person couldn’t resist. Isn’t that what love is? I thought the validation of a man would turn my rags of shame into a ball gown. I fell in love with the idea that I couldn’t be loved. It reaffirmed what I dared to whisper in my heart at night.
Each devastation was confirmation of my secret insecurity. I wasn’t worthy to be loved. I fell in love with my favorite poison: shame. You were my favorite lover, my reminder of all the things I could never be. The craziest thing happened when I dared to fall in love with grace.
I felt the fight I once reserved for the next text, the fuel I stored for the next heartbreak, and dared to love me. I wish I could pinpoint the steps. I wish I could go back in time and tell you how I changed my mind.
I just know that I decided my insecurity had spent too long on stage. I accept that no matter how differently I wish life had gone I can’t change it. Too many limits on my life were created by a past grace washed away.
Like, the fact that I’m a divorcee. I can’t change it.
The confusing part of owning your truth is fearing that people will say you’re being prideful or that making peace with your past means you’re not sorry it occurred. How long do we want people to carry their sentence? How many years do you hold your head down in the face of grace? I just wonder if our greatest disservice to God is doubting the strength of His grace and mercy. Perhaps we throw stones too soon and speak love too late.
I wonder if we focused more on showing the love of God that we could embody the beauty of being in His will. Maybe they don’t believe that our God is so loving because so many of us aren’t. Not to ourselves, not to others..
Are we as compassionate as the Shepherd who left the ninety-nine to seek one sheep?
Centuries later our gentle shepherds are frequently mistaken for a lynch mob. Maybe we can’t win any souls because we can’t agree. One has to wonder why we insist on placing so many boundaries on whom God can use. If they don’t come packaged in the way we like we dismiss them altogether. But what if God knew that Christ would have to break two fish and five loaves a bread and feed five thousand? What if He knew that centuries later He would feed millions upon millions? Those looking on the outside would say, “There’s no way He can feed those people with what He has to work with.” Just like they’ll try to convince you that God can’t use a high school dropout. Or time will convince you that you’ve been wrong too long to ever repair the damage. Life will convince you that you no longer deserve pure love because of your dirty past. My father once preached that the blessing was in the breaking of the fish and bread. Some of us are broken miracles. We get to remind the world God can break you to bless others. You can be more than enough with Him.
He preached the message before I was a divorcee.
Here I am broken to serve His people again. There’s a secret on the other side of shame. On my journey I’m learning that falling in love with me has less to do with how much I display the good in my heart and more to do with how I combat the shame. For some of us loving God can’t be achieved until we are willing to be courageously broken. My method may not be the one it took for you, but I’m so clear that His hand is blessing my brokenness. The weight of it humbles me each day. I’m grateful for every moment and opportunity that I’m used in spite of my fragile humanity.
I’m learning to be okay with getting it wrong.
I’m learning, again, to not allow shame to give me a sentence grace covered.
I really don’t want to mess this up. I don’t want to make misdirection and get this wrong. Help me to hear you so clearly I don’t mistake Your voice for the mobs that come to distract me. I hope to be so in tune with Your vision and in line with Your orders that fear has no time to reign me. Help me to no longer fall in love with my insecurity and while being blinded to Your strength. Thank you for helping me to embrace my story and to shine a light on our fears. I’m grateful for Your trust in me. Thank you for letting me have everything I wanted and for protecting me while I learned it wasn’t what I needed.
Finding My Pieces