A few weeks before officiating a 50th Anniversary vow renewal, I went to a gospel concert. I was mostly there to see Tasha Cobbs Leonard (I call her my personal worship leader) but I definitely enjoyed the other women as well. During one of the moments of exhortation, someone mentioned 1 Peter 5:10-11:
And after you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, support, strengthen, and establish you. 11 To him be the power forever and ever. Amen.
This scripture speaks more to heaven but I used it as a hope for my marriage. Trusting that the hard moments were but for a while and restoration, support, strength would be ours. I wrote the scripture over and over. I placed it in prominent places to be reminded to hold on to hope.
That same scripture would bring me comfort after my marriage ended. I also had a playlist to get me through. At the concert, during a worshipful moment I don’t think it was planned, but rather a move of the Spirit, the women sang Nobody Greater by VaShawn Mitchell that song and Turn it Around were on my playlist. I began to journal a bit at the concert as both the scripture and song selection catapulted me back to seasons where I wholly relied on God. Seasons where I knew I was not alone and that I couldn’t make it to whatever was next without trusting “Jesus, Jesus how I trust him. How I’ve proved him o’er and o’er. Oh for grace to trust him more.”
The healing journey is long, arduous. Scabs on scars are not pretty but much healthier than an open wound.
Whether you’re healing from divorce or some other matter of the heart, my hope for you is to know hope and trust in Jesus, and as you do, also know hope and trust in yo'self. That the pieces of you that feel scattered and broken can be restored, supported, strengthened and established.
After my divorce (and a long time after - sometimes still), I struggled with how small I feared I’d become. I secretly wanted to be a power couple not in money so much as impact.
I remember being told I was too ambitious - like Hilary Clinton. I’m not going to unpack all of that. But clearly, there was disdain for my drive. Recently while watching the Prime show “The Marvelous Mrs Maisel” I was validated and elevated by the words of Midge the main character, a divorced, comedian at a time women weren’t doing that kind of thing, she said:
“I want a big life. I want to experience everything. I want to break every single rule there is. They say ambition is an unattractive trait in a woman. Maybe. But you know what's really unattractive? Waiting around for something to happen. Staring out a window, thinking the life you should be living is out there somewhere but not being willing to open the door and go get it. Even if someone tells you you can't. Being a coward is only cute in The Wizard of Oz.”
Aye, time out for being cute…time out for waiting around to see… time to start living your ONE life with ambition, hope, rule-breaking, and laughter!
If you’re going through a hard time:
Select an anchor scripture: write it over and over until it becomes part of you.
Hold on to a song or playlist to get you through.
Choose a mantra: mine was “all will be well” from Julian of Norwich.
Watch something funny. It’s not an escape, it’s a way to hold space for the difficulty and joy at the same time.
Write affirmations to counter the negative self-talk you might be experiencing.
Assess whether any part of your hard time is due to someone else’s rule for you that you’ve adopted or a rule you might be feeling called to break (especially if it doesn’t line up with your values).
Simple, silence. Being still and embracing your enoughness and breath. Allowing gratitude to flow with each exhale.
© Charity Goodwin, 2023.