A New Kind of Insecurity and Trying to Overcome
Recently, God has been showing me a sort of “second tier” insecurity that has erupted in my life as a result of gossip surrounding my divorce and remarriage. I did not see it coming and it caught me off guard. During and after all the lies and accusations were flying around, it was like I was on trial. Over and over again, I watched friends and family disappear. They looked at the evidence and found me guilty. Not everyone did . . . but about 80% did. I never knew when I would drop the other shoe. And the worst part was, I wondered and doubted about myself constantly. Could I really be what they were saying I was? Was I a liar? A taker? An adulteress? The line was blurred because of the confusion and loss swirling around in my mind. Seriously, friends, I do not know how I walked away sane. But, I did. I kept on believing that God has given me a sound mind. I stayed in His Word, even though there were parts that were hard for me to read. I refused to believe that my accusers had our best in mind (they didn’t). In fact, I found (later) that the loudest voices were the ones who are abusers themselves. It probably felt threatening to them that I walked away. They would not want their victims to think they could just walk away, as well . . .
Looking back, having healed from much and solid now in my relationships that stayed intact, I see what happened. Again, I was on trial. If I made a mistake, the baby was thrown out with the bath water. If I misspoke, the dam burst and “Oh, see? She IS a liar!!” If I dropped the ball while moving and was not what a family member wanted me to be during that time (i.e. returning phone calls when she was going through some trauma) I was deemed a “manipulator and a deceiver.” A friend wrote me, when I pulled away from him a bit, “I kind of see, now, why your sisters believe you are a taker.” It seemed that I had to be perfect. No mistakes. One mistake and I was of the devil. It is not that way in normal life. We all usually accept that we make mistakes. We forgive and move on. We understand; we show mercy. But, if you are on trial, ohhhhhh buddy! People on trial have to maintain perfection or they are ousted. People are watching. There is no room for grief; no room for the deep emotional struggles that come with a divorce; no room for being busy and not being able to return a phone call; no room for error.
My insecurity with these precious friends (who have actually stood by me) has kept me from some fullness of joy in my relationships. I cannot tell you, dear readers, how many times I was afraid I misspoke with these remarkable friends-that-are-now-family and then panicked, calling them or texting them to see if they still loved me. It got to the point of ridiculousness. But, see . . . they had received letters from my family members, describing me in heinous terms. They rejected the letters as crazy and stood by me, wholeheartedly, telling me things like, “I see the fruit of your life and you belong to Christ”. Another said, “I have never witnessed such rejection by one’s family.” One friend said, “Even if these things WERE true, am I not called to love you?” Oh … melt my heart. I had not experienced such love in a long, long time. People have even written of me directly and indirectly to folks on this blog … and Jeff and Barb have stood by me, having spent time with me and watched the signs in my life.
I have only recently (as in the last few days) decided not to chase people anymore. I did not really see what I was doing. But, I was bending over backwards for people because I was so afraid that they would believe the lies. And then what? Would their believing lies make them true? Of course not! I am solid in my walk with Christ. I love Him and I know Him. And I am beginning to believe that those who stepped on my neck when I was down do not love Him or know Him or they would have recognized me as one of His children. It is not my problem. I have not always been honest with friends when I have been hurt by them because I did that once and she completely shut me out, then. Just did not respond. Oh, it is so difficult to regain ground lost after divorce due to abuse. The ‘c’hurch has made this process hell. The aftershocks are brutal. The devastation seemingly complete. But, the truth is . . . . the devastation is never complete if you belong to Jesus. Recovery may be slow. But, there is recovery. And always a new start . . . and always a new beginning. That is the beauty of having the Holy Spirit as a Friend.
I did not walk a perfect path after leaving my ex. But I did the best I could. People think they know what they would do if they were in our shoes, don’t they? I would like to see them try to walk the path I walked and the paths so many of you readers have walked. I would like to see them try. And, while that sounds bitter . . . it is not. If they had to walk the path, I would be the first in line to love them.