The Write 31 Days Challenge – 31 Days,Every Day,One Topic
The onset of Summer and life at the new lake house was a soothing balm to my soul. Sunny weather is like that for me. As Kelly and I renewed our commitment to our marriage we began studying the attributes of God together, and God gradually began healing the hurt between us.
We found a new church with great teaching and beautiful people and it felt like the place we were meant to be. We wanted the Pastor to know who we were up front, what we’d been through and how we were healing, because now more than ever we (I?) hoped that our marriage survival story would somehow be used to help others.
Tell you what, you need more than a survival story to help others. Survival as a noun means, to manage to continue or exist in spite of difficult circumstances.
To offer real hope one needs to have done more than survive. One needs to exhibit real change in their life. Click To Tweet
Over dinner Pastor Rob and his wife Debbie listened to our story. Every single part of it!
At the end, Debbie took a deep breath, looked at me and said, “Wow, that’s a lot. You do know don’t you, that it’s okay to go on an antidepressant for awhile to get you through this? She also gave me the name of a good counselor. 🙂 🙂 🙂
Now before you judge what she said to me, her words were actually a relief to me, as I’d heard so many crazy things about depression in the past. “Buck up and get over it,” or “There’s something lacking in your faith.” She understood and empathized with my pain and wanted to see me well. Click To Tweet
By the way, the Pastor didn’t jump at our offer to start some kind of support group that night. Nope, not at all! Here, in this church, we would continue to grow together, and here God would begin real change in my heart.
But not quite yet!
For awhile I would deny my pain (because Kelly and I were getting better y’all!) and continue striving to be good in order to cover old and deep-seated shame.
I might’ve continued to do that for a long time (I know a lot of little old ladies living in pain) but our recent trauma wouldn’t allow my life of pretense to continue.
For awhile longer though, I was efficient at looking good at church and I also did a pretty good job of smiling my way through my work day. I’d always been a quick study on past jobs but now I found that I had great difficulty concentrating on and learning my new job. It was hard but I pushed through each day and my mask held. Haha! At least I think it held because if they saw through it I was probably the topic of some interesting lunchroom conversations. 🙂
Settling into our new church I looked around and comparisons ran rampant. My feelings of inadequacy deepened. Betrayal will often cause women to be distrustful of other women. I was not only distrustful of women but, I told our Pastor's wife that I hated women! She responded with, 'One day you'll be ministering to women then.' Click To Tweet
My comparisons to other women weren’t limited to what was on the outside. I knew who I was on the inside. I knew that I was forgiven by God for all my sins but I felt like my sins were so much darker than those of the “beautiful” Christians I was surrounded with. Especially that sin. That sin I was planning on taking with me to the grave. Click To Tweet
In our new community I was alone a lot. My husband’s new shift was two weeks of nights followed by two weeks off. When he was working I would arrive home from work just as he was getting ready to go to work and I was usually gone when he came home in the morning. Summer turned to Fall and Fall to Winter. Winters in the Pacific NW are dark, and dreary, and depressing. I hadn’t made any real girlfriends yet so when I wasn’t at work I isolated. Alone with dark thoughts that sent me into an increasingly downward spiral.
At my lowest I explained what I was feeling like this:
I feel like I’m walking on a tightrope and I’m way out in the middle of the rope with a wide chasm below me. I know I can’t turn back and that my only hope is to move forward, but I’m afraid that any movement at all will send me reeling down into the abyss. And that will be the end of me.
And in all truth, I wanted it to be the end of me.
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