They have decided that with over 300 members that it would be good to hear from any of them who want to participate in a weekly meme. In order to do that, CWO posts a quote every Friday in hopes that it will inspire us to jot down our thoughts. On each Tuesday following, they then will post their article at the ezine, along with links to the other Christian women online who are joining in with a post on their blog, such as me.
Blog entries can range from inspirational to light and humorous. Their quotes will range from the divine to the quirky--what I do with them is up to me. So here is my first participation in the CWO Blog Meme (which, for those of you who know me know that I LOVE to do memes)
~ Mary Pierce ~
When I came to look at the quote for this week's meme it really touched something inside of me. I know that truth very well. I have been thrown many curve balls in the past few years and quite a few have caught me upside my head. For the sake of my sanity and the care of my daughter, I "sewed" my head back on and just kept going.
Just to name a few before going on the purpose for my participating in the meme this week:
Living with my boyfriend
Found out in December that he very well could have a son that was almost 10 years old
Found out I was pregnant and it had happened in December
Found out that he indeed did have a son that was almost 10
Husband lost his job and was out of work for several months
My dad had such a severe mitrovalve prolapse that he ended up in the hospital for three months before he could have open heart surgery in order to clear the severe infection that had develpoed around his heart
My dad ended up with brain damage after surgery due to a variety of factors
My daughter was born
My dad tried to commit suicide the week before Christmas
Three days after Christmas my mom had a biopsy and they found out that she was in stage three breast cancer
My dad succeeded in ending his life at the end of January, but his body was not found until the beginning of February
The day after my father's funeral was my mom's first chemo session
I got laid off in the technical sector during a slump and was out of work for 3 months
My mom had a radical double mastectomy in August
My husband and I moved again in October
2003, which is where my story picks up, dear reader
My husband and I were having serious problems in our marriage caused by various factors. The marriage counselor said that we had pretty much been living in survival mode and had never had a chance to get to know each other as newly weds the way it should have been. I had met my husband during my "rebellious" stage and ended up marrying a non-Christian because I was going to do what I was going to do and nobody was going to tell me otherwise. Every decision has consequences, some more severe than others, some good some bad.
When the problems in our marriage got worse, he ended up striking up a "friendship" with a nineteen year old coworker of his in the fall of 2003. She was eleven years his junior. That "friendship" developed into more until he was going over to her apartment, while leaving me home with our baby and then he would lie to me about where he had been. They would go out in a group of their friends from work while I was told that I was neither wanted nor welcome to come along. By the time Christmas of that year came around I had had more than enough and I asked him to leave.
That same night he moved in with the little co-worker and lived with her for over a year, all the while telling me that he wanted to work on our marriage. I refused to do so while he was under the same roof with her. I still loved him and wanted to give it another chance so when he moved out in 2005, I thought we might be able to make a go of it. However, by that time there was too much bitterness and too many hurt feelings between us. He never acknowledged that what he did was wrong, in fact thought it was ok, and that hurt me almost as deep as the actual act of betrayal itself.
We never did really do too much in repairing the relationship, though it wasn't for lack of my asking and trying to get him to do things with me, and in fact, by the time mid-2005 came along I was just tired emotionally and mentally, tired of the anger, tired of the hurt. I had prayed and prayed about this and, while at the beginning of the separation I received messages from God, in a small quiet voice about extending grace to my husband and not giving up yet, this time it was different. This time I was being told to let go. But I just couldn't quite do it yet. My husband and I had been together both dating and married for almost 8 years. Married just short of 5 years and separated for almost 2 1/2 years of that marriage. I didn't want to be a failure at marriage, though the marriage had failed a long time ago.
In late November of 2005, I found out that he was seeing her again and was moving back in with her. At that time I decided to file for divorce. It was both the most difficult decision for me to make personally as well as a huge relief being lifted off of my shoulders.
Now, you may wonder why I have told you this story and how it actually pertains to the meme quote. Well, there are many reasons. First of all, there were many lessons learned by me as I was driven through these valleys as life "knocked my head off". Here are some of them I would like to share with you:
*Always keep your head up instead of down. If you keep your head up it is easier to look for the peaks and the rivers of joy contained on them, instead of focusing on the valleys of sorrow you are going through.
A song of ascents:
I will lift my eyes to the mountains
from where does my help come?
My help comes from the Lord
the Maker of heaven and earth
*When at a crossroads and wondering what way to choose (what decision to make), always, always, always choose the one that God has set before you. He will never steer you wrong.
*God is always there. Even when we can't feel His presence, He is always there beside us. We are never alone, even when we feel lonely.
*Need help? Ask God. God loves to provide for His children. Though the provisions are not what we may think of as an answer to prayer at the time – such as the ending of a marriage, whether it was a good one or not – God's ways are beyond our understanding so we just have to learn to trust and obey.
*Never give up. Keep going on and focusing on God. If God has brought you to it, God will lead you through it.
*Count your blessings instead of your woes. It will perk up your spirits and give you that extra bounce in your step that you thought was long gone.
*God gives us unexpected blessings at the most unexpected times. Just like the old song by Garth Brooks "Unanswered Prayers", indeed some of God's greatest gifts are unanswered prayers.
So, where does that bring me to today? Even though I was told Saturday that my ex-husband and his girlfriend were having an unexpected baby, created while we were still legally married, and admittedly that did knock me for yet another loop, my relationship with God is still back on the path it should have been on a long time ago. I may still stumble and fall more often than I like, but God is always there to help pick me up. I am closer with God and have more peace during times of frustration or confusion. I understand now that it is God's will that needs to be done, not my will and I'm working hard to put aside my will for His will.
God's biggest blessing so far after the divorce, other than the love of my wonderful and precious daughter? I have met a man who is not the man of my dreams. He is the man of my prayers. He is the wonderful, Godly man I have been praying for since I made the decision to file for divorce. Witty, kind and wise, he has made me laugh and smile more in the short time I have known him than in the last 6 years combined. He prays with me every single night without fail and in every prayer he includes my daughter, he even prayed for my ex-husband Saturday night that he would finally see through this latest series of consequences resulting from his actions that the hand of God has been guiding his life all along. How could I not already feel so much for someone like that? He is serving our country in Iraq right now and so the communication we have is limited to the phone and the internet. He comes back on leave in 11 days at which time we will be able to see what God has in store for the future.
I am indeed living proof that you can sew your head back on after getting it knocked off and keep moving forward. After the valleys of sorrow that I have been through, God has led me to the rivers of JOY on the peaks of the mountains that we find when living under His wing and according to His will.
Keep your head up!