Yesterday a friend made the comment that I needed to be kind to myself and get the divorce on the roll. She ended her comment by saying that she thinks this would be the kindest thing I can do for myself unless I am still hoping to get back together with my then husband.
Choosing whether to walk away or Try Harder?
My response may have shown mixed emotions, luckily this friend is like a sister, she knows me. Sometimes I think she knows me better than I know myself.
I said that I didn’t think this is what is best for him. My ex. I said my aim was to give him time to settle and adjust. I keep going back to the fact that I believe he has an illness that no-one has ever helped him managed.
In my anger, I blame his parent and his sister.
And although I know, that I know, that we all just try our best. I pray that I will never be that ignorant in my parenting or relationships.
In hindsight, I know this is not what is easiest, or even best, for me. But like I explained to my friend, easiest would have been running away, choosing the easy way out, when I found out about the lies. Easiest isn’t the best solution at the moment. For me perhaps, but the whole situation isn’t all about me.
After a moment, I asked my friend. Do you think I am making things harder for my ex by choosing to prolong this whole thing? She didn’t care about what was best for him, her sole purpose was to have my back!
I really loved him
Here’s the thing. For so long I have been wondering if this was all a lie, could my love have been based on lies? Could I have kidded myself into believing that I love him? Could it have been ‘fake it until you make it’ scenario and I am just really good at faking? How could I love a lie? Was he lying when he told me he loves me?
Even while writing all of this, I know it sounds absurd. I know the love was real. But more than that I know a marriage can only work when two people are willing to work at it together.
God is gracious
God has been working in my heart the past couple of months. In little snip bit chunks that I can cope with. Even though I have been hiding from Him. Even though I have been actively looking for ways to escape my thoughts, His thoughts, healing of any kind.
It started with a nudge to pray for Babylon. I kind of hinted at the direction of my thoughts in this post. But never wrote the words. Jeremiah 29 is famous for the “For I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord. Plans to prosper you and not to harm you. Plans to give you a hope and a future.” All Christians know those words, most of us, off by heart and we have some sort of gift memorabilia with the words written on it.
Here’s the thing, we’ve isolated the scripture. The beginning of the chapter says the following:
This is the Message from God-of-the-Angel-Armies, Israel’s God, to all the exiles I’ve taken from Jerusalem to Babylon:
“Build houses and make yourselves at home.
“Put in gardens and eat what grows in that country.
“Marry and have children. Encourage your children to marry and have children so that you’ll thrive in that country and not waste away.
“Make yourselves at home there and work for the country’s welfare.
“Pray for Babylon’s well-being. If things go well for Babylon, things will go well for you.”
The South African government is my Babylon. My current employers are my Babylon. My husband is my Babylon. I took some time for it to sink in and some days it still takes some time. But I am trying to make myself at home despite my circumstances.
The same passage in Jeremiah continues by saying God’s timing. Not mine.
“As soon as Babylon’s seventy years are up and not a day before, I’ll show up and take care of you as I promised and bring you back home. I know what I’m doing. I have it all planned out—plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for.”
Did you notice the famous word? The Message translation says it slightly different and it is kind of refreshing. But here’s the thing, plans to prosper you and give you hope and a future, this is in God’s time. Not mine, not yours. And until then, we build our houses in Babylon. We pray for Babylon, we thrive in Babylon.
Me Before You is a book by Jojo Moyes. I watched the film yesterday with a friend. I loved the book, like most people I know. But I think it goes deeper for me. I think the book to me, means, people, get to make choices. Their choices aren’t always what you you would have chosen for them. Choosing is hard. Living with someone else’s choices is harder. But you can continue living, as you should. And it is your duty to live this live as fully as possible.
Photograph – Ed Sheeran
But it’s the only thing that I know
When it gets hard, you know it can get hard sometimes
It is the only thing that makes us feel alive
We made these memories for ourselves
Where our eyes are never closing
Hearts are never broken
And time’s forever frozen still
Inside the pocket of your ripped jeans
Holding me closer ’til our eyes meet
You won’t ever be alone, wait for me to come home
And it’s the only thing that I know, know
I swear it will get easier,
Remember that with every piece of you
Hm, and it’s the only thing we take with us when we die
We made… Full lyrics on Google Play
Perhaps choosing isn’t the hardest part, perhaps waiting is harder? Perhaps living with the choices someone else made is harder. Loving is hard.