Lounging there, I checked the text on my phone. It was a response from a friend. I read her message, responded, then tossed the phone back to the end of the bed. Except clumsy me didn’t toss it as soft as I had meant to. It skipped right off of the edge of the mattress and clattered to the floor. A brand new iPhone.
But I smiled. Because I could almost see him. I knew what he would do and say. He would have turned to me–a laugh in his eyes–and asked what was wrong with me. Or asked how long I had been tossing phones onto the floor. It would have been some cheeky one-liner that would have made us both laugh. Something about my lack of coolness which would have been utterly true.
Though alone, I laughed anyway. And I saw it like it was real.
So the tears came then, because it wasn’t real. I was there, alone. Just a girl chucking her phone off of the bed…where it clattered to the floor…then silence.
It’s a strange feeling–to laugh and cry all at the same time. Sometimes brokenness and trust exist in the strangest of ways.
Though torn in two, we can still breathe in and out. We can still rise and still carry on.
I still watch the sunset, and on rare mornings, the sunrise. I still walk into the bathroom and as the last step of the morning routine, slide the ring on my finger. It’s hard because I know it’s not really real anymore. The set of papers sent to the court said that I wasn’t needed as a wife any longer. But the court has a few more weeks until they are able to put their stamp on it and so I place the cold, metal band on my finger.
I didn’t spend twelve years of being faithful to stop now. I am a wife. I will see myself as a wife until the day comes that I no longer am. The lawyer tells me it will be this summer. July, most likely.
Until then, I pray. I cry. I laugh and I have friends around me. They wish me a Happy Mother’s Day and they still put casseroles in the fridge. Their husbands come to mow the lawn and my dad brings straw for the chicken coop. A neighbor brings over a ladder and takes down the Christmas lights in May.
My children ride their bikes in the street, and their laughter is good medicine.
I plant seeds in the garden and watch while they struggle to grow. I smile because I was brave enough to go sailing.
I accidentally lock myself out of the house and stand on a girlfriends shoulders as she insists I have the grit to climb the balcony. We giggle because we both know that I don’t, but with her cheers, I manage to scale the rail anyway. I grow up a little more and see that we will continue to grow up until God says we’re done.
A friend who has been where I am now, invites me to breakfast and it involves a walk through the woods. She traverses a log bridge with ease and even though I think I’m going to fall, I don’t. We celebrate with omelets.
When disaster strikes, we have no emergency plan for how to do this. No real readiness for how to navigate such loss. But there is the Word of God and He tells us in the Psalms and Proverbs–and a thousand other places–that He is sovereign and that He is Good. That He hears our cries and that He is the beginner and finisher of all things.
Through every moment of these days, He is teaching me about new beginnings and deep breaths. Of trust and knowing that it’s okay to curl up and watch a chick flick when there’s work to finish. Or to talk to myself in the quiet of evening when there is no one else to talk to. To begin a prayer journal and to grab onto hope that the future will be bright. It will be. So bright. It has been growing brighter every day and week since the darkness came and settled. Because God knows how to fight it back and He has.
Breathtaking, my courageous friend. This hope you nurture, this life you grow in that beautiful heart of yours… it is a gift of greatest worth. Just like you. <3
Love this post so much! Trust is woven through the darkness drawing us ever closer to the new dawn. God never fails and His loving arms hold us fast.
My sweet sweet friend. I hate this season of life for you, but I love your honesty, your bravery, and your heart. Continuing to pray!
Amen to all of this!!!
Oh, Joanne. You brave girl. Thank you, once again, for sharing your heart and not shying away from your brokenness. Praise the Lord He is faithful to us in our trials!
Jeremiah 29:11…..Love you sweet girl.
My heart breaks for you. Don’t know what to do, but pray for you. You will get through this. God loves you so much, more deeply than anyone else ever can. He’s got you. And, yes, I love you, too.
I cried while reading this. My brother is going through the same thing and talks to me every morning on how much pain he is in. I know he is. I went through infidelity in my life and the pain is so dirty that if not for the Lord coming to clean it up, it would have festered and poisoned us all. At that time I only wished that I was grieveing from a death as that would have atleast been a clean pain. One you could heal from, but then I reminded myself that as long as there was life, there was hope. I remind my brother that he is not the one who needs all the prayers, she does as she is a captive woman in the arms of the enemy and desperately needs our help and prayers. I remind him of all the scriptures of how then prey can be rescued from the enemies mouth, that though he cannot see it, God is at work always reaching out to her and woeing her once again to His side. The Lord told me once a couple months ago, “I am a good Father, I lead, not drive My children to repentance.”
Today as I go to prayer, I am praying for your beloved captive. God is at work. He never leaves and never forsakes and knows how to lead us to brokenness. God bless you dear sister. Please know that your posts and stories are reaching many. He has not forgotten what He has promised you. Not ever.
Oh dear friend, how my heart aches for you. Through my tears I’m smiling at the image of you climbing up to get back into your house, and carefully traversing a fallen log. It reminds me of a picture I once saw of my little girl on a ropes course (taken because I was home writing). In it, she held her hands out, studying her steps as she teetered forward across a rope. She had forgotten about the harness holding her up, and she didn’t see the instructor who was one step ahead of her the entire time, his hands held out, ready to catch her if she should stumble. To me, the image of you on the log, just like my girl on a rope, is breathtakingly profound. God is going before you, sweet lady, hands held out to catch you if you stumble. And where He leads you–however long it may take to get there–is bright indeed.
I love you and I’m praying for you and your family.
Oh, Joanne, your words and your heart are so beautiful. I know we don’t know each other that well, but I wish I could give you a big hug! So blessed by your testimony. God is so good and faithful. Praying His presence wraps around you and you sense His daily delight in you.
Grace and beauty in every word, sweet friend. Love you oodles.
The honest bravery which you have mustered up to post this makes me admire you even more. And your words nearly made me tear up! Also, the fact that you have kept on writing and soldiering through this difficult season shows your strength, and I’m grateful that you have shared it with the world because I think it’s something I needed to read, and I’m sure there are many women out there who needed to read this as well.
**hugs** I will continue to keep you in my prayers.
Here is a verse that has I have been leaning on recently…
“When you pass through deep waters, I am with you, when you pass through rivers, they will not sweep you away; walk through fire and you will not be scorched, through flames and they will not burn you. For I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your deliverer…” // Isaiah 43:2-3
You. Are. Amazing. AMAZING. What an example to your kids. What an example to the rest of us. God has blessed you with words, courage, spirit, grit, tenacity and boldness. You have opened yourself to use each and every one. No hiding. No shame. No guilt, my sweet friend. Marriages die, sometimes. That doesn’t mean you stop living. Keep moving, keep breathing, keep knowing that you have sisters who love you, even though we don’t see, don’t know, can’t imagine what you are going through. What you’ve been through. But what a story you have to tell, and we are all blessed by it. You’ll never know who you may encourage to cross that log, climb that balcony, or hit send on an email to an agent or editor… because you did it first. And they were watching.
Joanne, I love you, my friend.
Joanne, God bless you on this painful journey to a new completeness in Him. Your broken-hearted courage is an inspiration to us all. It’s a sometimes forgetful, fuzzy, clumsy time as you are noticing. God won’t waste a single tear nor one ah-ha moment. You’ll embed them in your stories and we’ll be the beneficiaries. And, He battles for you now, to restore the years the locusts have eaten. During the worst of it, I likened it to being shattered, then pieced together by the LORD into a new stained glass creation. Praying for comfort and strength in Him.
You are beautiful!!!!
Holding your hand in love and understanding.
Oh, hon. I know we’ve never met, but I just want to hug you! My heart breaks for you. Tears slip down my cheeks at the pain you are experiencing right now. I’m so sorry. I know the words are trite and sound so small, but they’re the first that come to mind. Along with a song, by Jonny Diaz, called “Weeps for You.” “Did you know that He weeps for you, ’cause He knows what you’re going through? Even when you feel lost and scared, He promises that He’ll still be there. Did you know His heart breaks for you? And there is one thing that’s always true – in the worst of times you never cry alone. Did you know He weeps for you?”
You’ll be in my prayers, Joanne. And whatever your future holds, I know that He will be there, walking through it with you, holding your hand and guiding you every step of the way.
What a precious soul you are! Your honesty, your bravery… it speaks volumes of you. How someone can make a decision and act on it that can change a world and a life that once was, is not how it should be. One that does that is full of self and not others. You, sweet girl, deserve love and laughter and happy times and they are there for you. With God by your side, beautiful is all around and you are a part of that.
I love your sweet spirit, Joanne. I’m praying for you. May God hold you ever close! *hugs*
Oh, Joanne, thank you for your honesty because I don’t know how anyone knows how to do this. My story is a little different because I’m a widow but learning how to be a widow at 43..yeah, no clue. It’s been almost 3 1/2 years and I’m still learning how to do this. All I can say is that you can do it. Baby steps….. Prayers for you and the kids.
Oh, Joanne. I am so sorry. Wish I could give you a real hug, so accept this cyber hug. Know I am (and have been) praying for you. Still planning a visit with you next time I am at my moms. Thank you so much for your writing, and for all you do for my family. You are a super special person. I love you.
Sending love to you and praying for you. Thank you for sharing from your heart. Beautiful words.
Thank you for expressing beautifully how so many of us feel in grief!
sweet Joanne, so transparent and vulnerable, so poignant and bittersweet. i feel your heartache as i read your post – and i triumph with you with each new step forward, gritty hard-earned steps. sending love and prayers and long distance hugz
Thank you for your honesty and bravery an inspiration for others in difficult times.
You’re better at this today than you were yesterday, and will be better tomorrow than today. Or not.
That’s the thing with unwelcome change; with grief. It’s a sneaky thief that comes without warning and tears at the garment we’re trying to mend, shredding our confidence in the process.
I know this is a scary, lonely time for you. I believe, though, that your courage to share your pain will bolster you and help you see that though you may be lonely, you’re not alone.
Love you to pieces, Joanne.
Joanne, I didn’t know you were dealing with all this. I am so sorry that it’s happening, but so grateful you have a Source who is LION-HEARTED in His love for you!
Oh, Joanne … I’m joining this circle of friends … hoping you feel surrounded with love … that you lean into our prayers. We can’t fix this. But we can pray. Wherever we are, we can be there for you because love and faith span geographical distances. Love you much, my friend, and I’m believing God’s sufficiency for today and all the days ahead.
Joanne, I’m so sorry. I’m on my face in prayer for you. Beautiful you.
Ten years ago in July my unwanted divorce was final. With lots of help from God, I’m no longer broken. My kids are grown and I’ve had to adjust to living alone. God has been faithful for me and I know he is for you too. You WILL feel whole again. I’ll continue to pray for you.
Beautiful ! You are such a strong amazing person.You are such an encouragement to me more then you know!! Praying for your family constantly ❤️
My heart aches for you, Joanne, but I admire your courage and pray that you will continue to cling to the One who comforts. This was a beautiful post, even through my tears. xx
Though I’m not on social media much lately, I think of you often, Joanne. My heart breaks continually–from the time I read your first post about it months ago. Know that I pray for your heart. ❤️
Well done, my friend : )
Joanne, thanks for your honesty and sharing your heart with us in this beautiful post. There are other’s whose hearts are breaking also and will be helped by your words.
I feel your pain and once was where you are now. It’s one of those parts of life that aren’t fair, but we’re blessed to have a God whose love for us is perfect and larger than we can fathom, He is always there – even in those quiet moments when no one else is, He wipes our every tear and gives us strength for each day.
I’m praying for you and your family. Wish I was there to give you a big hug, but am limited to sending a cyber hug. Love you, Joanne!!
My heart aches for you and your family, Joanne. As you journey through this darkness toward a brighter future, may the love and prayers that surround you help lift you up and carry you through.
Wow. I’m all the way in Norway right now but I felt like I went back to that day standing beside you all at the alter. My heart aches for you both. The integrity and honesty in this post will forever mark me. You are in my thoughts and prayers. The joy of the Lord is our strength and though darkness may come it can never stay because of the light in you. Keep shining it brightly for all to see. Jesus is King and one day all pain, suffering, and heartache will go away. He is making all things new.