So naturally the conversation inside my head went something like this~
(For all those other women.)
(It’s only a very short time away. NO time for arrangements.)
(perhaps next year)
(I’m not a speaker. I’m not a writer. I consult. I teach. I have a tiny little blog that allows me to sound off, get the words from my head to paper so I don’t have to make people listen to it all. I really have nothing important or world-changing to say.)
(And it’s a wee wee wee bit expensive, Lord. You might have just missed that little detail. Just helping ya out, here.)
Silence from The Heavens . (Whew that was close) For two whole weeks. Then. A gentle, firm nudge. With a loud resounding. “Go. Now”.
SO I did.
It went something like this: Rubbing elbows with, laughing, crying, listening to 730 women Worship, laugh, cry, sing, learn Live, Hope, and Dream. New Beginning
Sitting over dessert with Lin (you can meet her in One Happy Ending Love Story, An Anniversary Gift and A Stake In The Ground ~Transparent Tuesday) in we chatted about Life, Love , her lovely Marriage and my disaster.
She shared statistics. I nodded. She shared her volunteer work. I nodded. She filled in the unspoken. I nodded.
The Lord God reminded me of my purpose, my Wisdom, my humility and Courage through a lovely widow named Lin and her Happily Ever After. He reminded me I am an over-comer . I am a Pioneer of Great Faith, Bravery Hope and Joy .
Lin, in her work with women goes in and shares the Love of her Man and God. But she’s never ‘been there’.
“Shandra, you’ve ‘been there’. But you’re not bitter. You’re not stuck as a statistic. They’d listen to you. They need your Story. You’d give them Hope ”
I shared another little secret. “Lin the reason I cried when you told your love story is because it’s a Gift. The reason I’m here This entire trip has been an Anniversary Gift from My God, the Provider ” Totally orchestrated to perfection.
You see friends I was married for 24 l-o-n-g years. I tried everything. I listened to every bit of advice: good, bad or indifferent.
I got “back in there” : to fix it, figure it out, work it out…Til The Lord God spoke otherwise. Wisely, Firmly, with Finality.
Then I went into action.
You see it takes two to: fix it, figure it out, work it out. If you are in a relationship that is in any way consistently or systematically one sided, lopsided, toxic , u-g-l-y. Get knowledgeble Wise counsel. Now.
If you think he will change, or you can change him~think again.
February 4, 8 years ago, 10 days before my “for real” 24th Anniversary , I filed for divorce. (a definite stake in the ground, eh?)
Sitting with Lin, surrounded by 730 new gal pals, celebrating another year of Freedom. In Celebration of another year of Life , finishing a slice of most excellent Turtle Pie. I’ve found my Voice .
You see, Friends, God knows our heart’s desires. He knows our wants. Our needs. He knew this Woman is ready, willing and able. He celebrates my obedience and Courage every July. This year He just happened to whisk me away for pie, conversation, small groups and hallway chats with Mandisa, Renee Swope, Lysa TerKeurst, Holley Gerth and Lin →in lovely North Carolina.
So far the best Anniversary Gift yet . Wholeness. Happiness. Favor.
I am here today to tell you…God does hate divorce but there are many other things He despises even more.
Been there. Here today by His good Grace, to tell you~ it can be ok. We need to hear your Story. We need to know it will be ok.
Oh, and Happy Anniversary To Me!
The weekend post on that often splintery, but all too necessary, Stake in the ground . Y’all Come Back Now!
Often linking here: The Social Scene
July 2014 update:You might also enjoy knowing that since this time, Lin has published their great love story: