We construct walls around ourselves and our secrets, disable our feelings for fear of being found out by others. It is the war within that causes the most damage. The lies we tell ourselves, the discord between our hurting hearts and the facade we keep to the outside world. It takes courage and despair to look at our lives in a honest way, and there is always a cost to consider.
I have marvelled at the misconception that a divorce is an easy way out. The same goes for admitting our fears and failures. It is not easy. We speak about a mid-life crisis in a sardonic way, but secretly we sometimes despise our own choices, we continue on a path to nowhere, telling ourselves that it is the right thing to do. Don’t rock the boat.
And that was the same for me. I looked at my life, my children and eighteen years of marriage. When you hit the brick wall, the pretence falls away. I had a choice, I could tell the truth, and thereby destroy my house, or I could keep the status quo and thereby destroy myself. What would you do?
It is when the first rock comes tumbling down, that the truth reveals itself. It is almost inevitable that one small shock can cause everything to fall. Some of our walls fall later in life, but a crisis reveals the shaky foundations we created in our childhood. By the time you realise that your world is coming down, you feel alone and isolated. Your relationships are in tatters. There are numerous things to consider, and at first, that is precisely what you do. Look at the pro’s and cons; worry about the financial implications; stand before God and try to explain. I had to consider my social standing in the community, how I would live through the reality of loss. How a lifetime of sacrifice and love could amount to thís.
The decision came when I was honest with myself. I was keeping myself in bondage, I had to speak out. When we are in denial, we do not see things as they are – we see things as we are. I had to stop coping and start the healing process. It was time to mourn. It was a sad day when I realised I could blame no-one else…it was me, I had to change.
The real cause of humiliation isn’t being judged or attacked by others, it’s living in any way that conflicts with your real values. (Martha Beck)
Stop lying to each other; tell the truth, for we are parts of each other and when we lie to each other we are hurting ourselves. (Ephesians 4:25 LB)
You can’t heal a wound by saying it’s not there. (2 Peter 2:19)
They promise them freedom, while they themselves are slaves of destructive habits-for a man is a slave of anything that has conquered him. (Jeremiah 6:14 TLB)
Adam and Eve hid from God because they felt naked and ashamed.(Genesis 3:7)
What is denial? Denial has been defined as “a false system of beliefs that are not based on reality” and “a self-protecting behavior that keeps us from honestly facing the truth.” I had to face my life, a difficult and painful thing to do. How can words stretch around an entire sea of ache?
Fear. Failure. Fear of failure. Nobody starts a journey with failure in mind. You need to know that your old ways will not open new doors…it will not bring change. I had to deal with my life, work on the bitterness and feelings of guilt. I realised I had to learn from previous mistakes and release the past.
How? Show me how God?
Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. ( Isaiah 43:18)
The Lord is my Helper and I am not afraid of anything that mere man can do to me. (Hebrews 13:6 TLB)
It was in these moments of submission, the depths of my own inadequacy, that I learned who He is. God gave me the daily courage to persevere in doing what is right. He gave me the strength to face the battles, danger and giants in my life. The closer I got to the truth, the bigger the fear became.
What will people think?
The way that other people judge me is none of my business. (Martha Beck)
You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face…you must do the thing you cannot do. (Eleanor Roosevelt)
I had a choice; transparency opposed to impression management. Truth, like surgery, may hurt for a while, but it cures. God promises us in Jeremiah 30:17 (TLB), “I will give you back your health again and heal your wounds.”
Reputation is what other people know about you. Honor is what you know about yourself. (Lois McMaster Bujold)
When fear ceases to scare you, it cannot stay. (Gary Zukov)
I had to stop denying my pain. Stop playing God in my life. I felt powerless…
When an archer misses the mark, he turns and looks at the fault within himself. Failure to hit the bull’s-eye is never the fault of the target. To improve your aim, improve yourself. (Gilbert Arland)