This week it’s been brought to my attention that I possibly should not be writing at this time seeing as I’m still in pain, that perhaps what I’m offering up is not only not helpful but could be hurting my readers, even if inadvertently.
There is a reason, though, that I have chosen to write through my hard marriage and through my separation and through my divorce and its aftermath. Let’s say you find out you have leukemia. Would you rather read a book by someone who wrote about their journey from their chemo chair or a year or more passed their clean bill of health?
I have read just about every book out there on separation and divorce and I learned so much and I’m grateful to the people who wrote them. But not even one book that I came across was written from the middle of the pain. They were all written from a place of healing. Now, this has huge benefits; don’t get me wrong. The main one being that for those of us slogging through the pain, we can have hope seeing that others have made it to the other side.
But sometimes you want to hear from the person who is sitting in the chemo chair, who was just served divorce papers, who has just walked out of the courtroom, who just had their first holiday alone, who just watched their kids get picked up by their dad for the first time. You want to hear what they felt in the very moment that you are experiencing, not their vague recollection of how they felt about it a few years ago. (And I say this because I already barely remember my first Thanksgiving on my own, for instance.) And that’s what this blog has been about.
However, I want to sit with that observation and listen to what God has to say to me on this. My goals for this blog have been to pass along to hurting women God’s healing and love. To help women in difficult Christian marriages know they are not alone, know that they are not without hope. To support Christian women who are separated or divorced and remind them that their stories are not over, that God still loves them fully and will use their pain. And more recently, to advocate for those who find themselves in abusive marriages and let them know that help is available.
But if in the process of sharing my experiences and my heart, I have hurt people or led people astray, I am so sorry, and I need to think that through. For now, I simply plan to not write anything new this week, but we’ll see how that goes after that.
I’m grateful to you, my readers and audience…those walking this hard road right alongside me. God is with us all.
Writing in the middle of your pain – this is good. You have always made it clear that you are FOR marriage, and in only a few weeks you have provided me a place that feels less lonesome and more hopeful. Thank you.
I think you are wrong to worry about hurting people with your writing. I can only speak for myself. I am in the middle of the pain, the anxieties,the fears, the uncertainties, the anger, the mistrust, the indignation!! It is like therapy for me to read your words. I believe that God is talking to me and helping me through it when I read your words. I believe you have a gift from God that is the eloquence of what you are trying to communicate, and you do it in such a way that it reaches right into the readers heart and mind, and its like God is talking, helping, supporting, teaching, correcting me… dont stop Elizabeth. God Bless you…. Karen
Oh Elisabeth . I am wondering if this is an attack from the enemy. I have so benefitted from your blog. It has provided encouragement, reassurance, and hope. It has confirmed that I am not crazy. Every day I struggle with something new and every day your blog has been used by God to meet me right where I am. I know God has the final say on whether or not you should continue writing, so, I will join you in praying about this.
Sweet ones, I appreciate your support and rallying around me. But I’ve been walking with Jesus long enough to know that even hard words to hear need to be listened to and prayed over. I’m trying to do what’s right. I’m trusting that God will nudge me in what I need to do in response.
Sharing your pain and being honest in your journey is helpful to others. I know that I could not be theraputic or helpful on my painful journey. You do not claim to have all the answers but you have the heart to ask the tough questions and the willingness to tackle the pain with truth. I think you have a very different story to tell in the midst of pain and struggle then at the end of a difficult path. It’s the journey we are on and you can empathize and sympathize in a way that others cannot. You have never claimed to be innocent or faultless. Which is a reminder I need in my own life. I pray that you will take the time you need to examine what whoever has spoke to you in regards to and be back with us soon, sharing, living, praying and journeying with us. Your wisdom and understanding has assisted us to process and examine our own steps.
Oh, Elisabeth. This is a weary path and a burdensome task, to serve others in pain. I understand your need to reflect and continue healing and I applaud your willingness to examine. I do agree that the enemy loves to discourage those who are effective. You certainly deserve rest along with reflection! You are loved!
I want to encourage you to write and I know that you will, if the Lord nudges you to do so. I am on the healing side of divorce, about 5 years out and newly remarried and I have found your advice so helpful for the women I mentor in our church’s Divorcecare ministry.
Your advice is godly, scriptural and uplifting. I enjoy how you write – it is so real, yet so full of hope.
It is always great to take a vacation – I pray that you hear from the Lord in due time and know that He will direct your path.
Blessings to you,
Oh Elisabeth–I hope you will decide to keep writing! It is SUCH a blessing to me to know I’m “not the only one” who is experiencing the feelings. You give such good guidelines about whatever issue it is…I am hungry for your words. I never feel judged and always find your words valuable!
I completely respect you taking the time to pray and make sure that you are writing in the will of God. I do not have any idea what the answer will be for you – but respect you taking the time to find out 🙂 That in itself is inspirational, and a good reminder to all of us that no matter what we are doing in life we need to continually get on our face to hear from God and then obey!
I have been so encouraged by your blog and your writins before as I battle and stumble through a marriage in an absolute mess. 18 years ago when I stood before the Lord and my soon to be husband with a heart full of doubts, but somehow believing that “this” must be right because we both believers, never in a million years could I even have imagined what a mess my marriage would turn into! But here I am still trying to do the right thing because divorce is wrong and because I am so over ridden with guilt because of my own part to play in this mess. Yes your blog doesn’t tell me what to do as only God can give us each that direction, but He uses all avenues, and I find I’m not alone in my battles although sometimes I feel my story is so different to many as I carry my share of the awful sin in my marriage. But I love the encouragement I find here thank you for being so brave to do what you’ve done Elizabeth and to share and give others the courage to share their pain, grief and courage in sad and difficult marriages because even though we know the Lord is with us, it always helps to know we are not alone in what we go through as believers.
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Please know I respect you listening to others and sifting their words through the Father’s hand as He continues to show you His Way…..
I am with other women saying kudos for you continuing….I am past my pain five years now as I went through a seven month separation and our marriage was restored….finding through it that Jesus is Enough….I am now reading your blog to continue to encourage me, as God gives me opportunities to minister to other women…..
I gave your blog to a friend in the last month who is walking through a separation because I knew you blog would encourage her to persevere through the pain that is fresh…….
The question that I would ask to the one that questioned your writing….have they walked where you have walked? No one understands better than walking the same road and through it ministry is birthed to help others….God is greatly using you to point other women to Himself, Jesus….Much love to my sister in Christ
Elisabeth, please don’t stop writing. I have thanked God for you so many times, because you GET it! Finally, somebody truly understands – somebody who has been there, and is there. You get it. And we need you. We need your healing words. Please don’t stop writing. Praying for you.
Please don’t stop writing. I woke up to the fact that I was in an emotionally abusive marriage in August 2011. A couple months later I found your site and blog and read your book. I separated from my husband and we got counseling. I am choosing to stay in this marriage mainly because of my son and because my husband has made some changes. Your blog helps me keep my sanity. Even though my husband and I are working on things it is still very hard. I will pray for you as you seek God’s will. Really hoping you continue this blog.
Please don’t stop writing.
I have a wonderful marriage but I read your blog because I think it provides a very helpful perspective for dealing with the hurts inflicted by some non-optional people in my life. They do not live in my house but I could not avoid them for a very long time. I am recently “free” of that toxic relationship and so grateful. But I am also worn out from years of their negative influence in my life.
Your writing blesses me.
I would not presume to know what God would have you do, but when I read this post I could not help but be astonished yet again that for every strong, intelligent woman trying her best to follow God and be an example to others, there always seems to be someone out there telling her to sit down and be quiet for one reason or another.
Undoubtedly you will write different things in 5, 10, 15 years. But isn’t that true of every single writer in the history of the earth no matter their circumstance? There are too many Christians who only acknowledge challenges they have successfully conquered. Your voice is valuable. Let God alone be the one to silence it for a season.