How did you stay married so long?, usually whispered by women who were still struggling in their hard marriages and were looking for advice.
Why did you stay married so long?, asked judgmentally by those who didn’t hold to my faith who felt I should’ve packed it in years before.
Why aren’t you staying married no matter what?, also asked judgmentally, but this time by people who did hold to my faith but didn’t know the details of my situation or the intricacies of my heart.
So one day while at my computer, I realized that I had an answer to each one of those questions. And so I began to write and pour out my heart and it resulted in a four-part series featured on Crosswalk.com, that ended up – super ironically – being the number one marriage & family article for 2011 on that website.
That moment was pivotal for me. Because comments began to pour in. Some of them encouraging and supportive, and some of them cruel. So cruel that I jumped on my writers’ group Facebook page and said, “Girls, I’m thinking of asking the editor to pull my piece. It’s just too much.” But they did what writer friends do…..they rallied alongside me and told me that clearly I had struck a nerve and I should keep writing. Had they not said that, most of the content on this blog wouldn’t exist, Unraveling wouldn’t exist, and Surviving in a Difficult Christian Marriage wouldn’t exist.
But here’s the thing. I was just muddling through. I didn’t know what I was doing. I didn’t know what I was starting. I didn’t see the big picture. I was telling my story, tripping over myself, hurting others in the process. My goal was the greater good but I’m sure my motives were not one hundred percent pure.
I started this journey – of attempting to help hurting women by bringing them hope – in fits and starts, with blinders on, out of my sin and out of my pain. I hurt people along the way. I said wrong things. I dishonored my painful past and those who hurt me and even God.
I’m sure I still mess up. Each time I open my mouth and each time I punch down on a key on my laptop and each time I reach down into the recesses of my heart or my memory, I open myself up to hurt you, my readers.
So I remind you again today that I’m just a girl. A healthy-broken girl. A girl with a past. A girl who has made so many mistakes. In my marriage, in my friendships, in my mothering. I am not a professional. I am not a counselor. I am just a girl
I come to you in weakness with great fear and trembling. –I Corinthians 2:3–
But I am yours. And I am open. And I am trying. And I am willing. And I desire redemption. And I desperately want to help. And I am empathetic. And I remember the pain. And I can taste the healing. And I can feel hope. And I can see what you’re going through, and I believe you, and I know it and I get it. And though I am weak and I come to you in humility and in fear and trembling because I understand how high the stakes truly are, I will keep writing and I will keep reaching out and I will keep making mistakes but I am forgiven and I am free, because I am God’s.
If this post helped you, I would encourage you to check out “Surviving in a Difficult Christian Marriage”, found here, or “Unraveling: Hanging onto Faith through the End of a Christian Marriage”, found here.