Tag Archives: faith

A Letter to Myself About Glennon’s Divorce

 

Glennon Doyle Melton announced earlier this month that she is leaving her husband.

I admire her vulnerability in sharing about her marriage and her decision to leave. I thought about making this “A Letter to Glennon About Her Divorce.” But I’m not. Because this post isn’t about her.

It’s about me.Glennon Doyle Melton of Momastery has been a source of much marriage advice, humor, and more. When she announced her decision to leave her husband, it rocked me. It felt like something came loose in my heart - and what bubbled to the surface could not be ignored.

You see, Glennon closed her announcement with a very wise request: “Sometimes, when people make decisions about marriage, it evokes strong feelings in others. If my news does that to you today, please look inside and get curious about whether those feelings have more to do with you and your life than they do about me and mine.”

You could say her announcement “evoked strong feelings in me.” (I mean, if a full blown panic attack counts as “strong feelings.”) I realize I do not know every detail of Glennon’s journey, and I also know I shouldn’t project my life and marriage experience onto hers.

But likewise, I must be careful to not project her experience (and subsequent conclusions) onto mine.

My marriage isn’t an easy one. I see couples who appear to LOVE BEING MARRIED. I just don’t feel like that. Perfect example: one year, on her 10th wedding anniversary, a friend posted a picture online from their wedding and wrote, “If I had known then what I know now, I would’ve run down that aisle!”

I thought, “Holy crap, what a horrible thing to say.”

Then I realized she meant she would’ve run down the aisle TOWARD HIM.

In that moment, my mind instinctively pictured the bride running down the aisle and OUT OF THE CHURCH.

See what I’m saying here?

You guys, my husband is a GOOD MAN. But, if I had known 13+ years ago how hard this would be, how much ongoing work it would require – I wouldn’t have done it. I understand I may be the only one who feels like this. But I suspect I’m not.

Has it been ALL hard work and ZERO enjoyment? Of course not. (Although that’s what the voice in my head will try to tell me.) But do I always feel like, “I LOVE BEING MARRIED!”?  I’m sorry, but no. I LOVE reading books. I LOVE taking naps. I LOVE eating brownies.

I don’t always LOVE being married. I AM married. And the two don’t always go together. I don’t always feel like I fit here. And being married certainly doesn’t always foster my own peace. Glennon describes a still, small voice that guides her. Well, mine regularly says, “It’s not supposed to be this hard.” It whispers promises of freedom and escape. It beckons to me in the name of self-trust and self-peace and self-love.

If you read her announcement, then perhaps you understand how Glennon’s words resonated so deeply with me. Why her words evoked strong feelings in me. She said so many things I feel on a regular basis.

I was completely undone.

That still, small voice continued ringing in my ear long after I finished reading Glennon’s post. All evening, my head and my heart drummed, “God loves you more than He loves marriage. You have Jesus. Nothing can separate you from God’s love. Even divorce.

And you guys, I had a full blown panic attack. Because I very sincerely believe each of those statements are TRUE. Those statements do not contradict Scripture.

But I also very sincerely believe that the enemy was using that truth AGAINST ME.

Because do you know what ELSE can never separate me from God’s love?

My marriage.

When my marriage feels like such hard work, riddled with misunderstandings, unmet expectations, and hurt feelings (“It’s not supposed to be this hard!”), I can often feel overlooked by God. I tried to follow Him and His ways, and I still ended up in a marriage that seems to require more than I have to offer. SO NOW WHAT.

And then I feel alone. Like I’m completely on my own in this thing. Distanced from my husband in any meaningful way, and separated from the God who was supposed to keep it from being this hard.

But who in the world said it’s not supposed to be this hard? And just because I feel isolated from God doesn’t mean I am. And YES my marriage requires more than I have to offer. Because I wasn’t meant to come into this thing in my own strength. And neither was my husband.

“God loves us far more than any institution God made for us [marriage].”

This is a true statement.

And so dangerous out of the greater context of God’s love for me.

Because YES He loves me more than my marriage. But He can so greatly live His love out, to, and in me by walking me THROUGH my marriage.

And when I don’t feel like I fit here? You guys, God is reminding me that He made marriage big enough to HANDLE THAT. You don’t get smaller. Your marriage gets bigger. Marriage stretches. It grows. And you stretch. And you grow. And YES IT’S PAINFUL. But some of life’s most glorious gifts are borne through pain and stretching.

So, indeed, NOW WHAT.

My first “now what” is to refuse to trust the “still, small voice” outside of the context of what else is true. Fear is not the boss of me. And that little voice in my head? ALSO NOT THE BOSS OF ME. It may not be popular, but GOD is the boss of me. (And in Him, also TRUTH and LOVE.) So, I will seek to recognize God’s voice through prayer and His Word. Because He is trustworthy. And because He loves me even more than I am capable of loving myself.

Now what #2: Back to marriage counseling for Matt and me. Because it’s worth it. WE are worth it.

Now what #3: Let’s address that issue of “if I had known 13 years ago… I wouldn’t have gotten married.” Here’s the thing. Thirteen years ago I had NO IDEA what marriage would actually require of me. And I THANK GOD I DIDN’T. Because I would’ve missed the GIFT of the tears turned to laughter, the stretching and breaking and growing and healing. The miracle of making it through – over and over again. NOW WHAT I KNOW: marriage requires more than I can give because marriage is BIGGER THAN ME. It’s bigger than us. It’s bigger than always loving being in it. It’s bigger than sometimes wishing you weren’t.

Starbucks Confessional (I am a freaking hot mess. Now, what?)

Yes, God helps in our need. It's a broken world, and bad things happen to good people. But what about the messes I get MYSELF into? What then?I’m doing something that makes me nervous. I was feeling pretty raw and low last week and it spilled onto the pages of my journal. I’m nervous because I know I’m supposed to share it.

I wanted to edit it first – but not in the way I usually edit my writing. I could tell I wanted to edit the desperation out of it. Just take it down a notch or three. I can’t have you all thinking I’m losing it over here.

But what? I don’t want people to think I’m that broken? That flawed? That needy?

So I’m not editing it. Because maybe one of you needs to know that if nothing else, you’re not the only one who is that broken. That flawed. That needy.

And maybe you’ll find that the God who is big enough for someone as broken, flawed, and needy as me, can be big enough for you too.

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I’m low. And I’m apparently stressed, as I have a behemoth trifecta of a cold sore eating my face. I’m in Starbucks, face unwashed, Abreva on my mouth. Wow.

I’m low. I’m sluggish. I’m blasting music through my earbuds to drown out the Starbucks crowd.

I’m not going to run the 1/2 marathon I’m registered for this Saturday. I didn’t train. And why?

Just because I chose not to.

Just like every day I choose NOT to do the right thing. To give my body the healthy food it needs. And the time in God’s Word. And the break from so much caffeine and sugar. (As I sit here with my grande quad shot two pump white mocha Americano, thankyouverymuch.)

It’s like I’m rebelling against my own freedom. I’m rebelling against my own success, health, growth, victory. What in the world for? Why?

WHY?
WHY?
WHY?
WHY?

Laziness? Addiction? Oppression? Simple rebellion? Self-loathing? Pride? Perfectionism?

I don’t know why I do this.

Does it matter why?

I wake up tired. I go to bed tired. I walk through my day looking for my next cup of coffee.

I think about doing awesome things. But I do the opposite.

It sounds like Paul’s words. “I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do… I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For what I do is not the good I want to do; no, the evil I do not want to do – this I keep on doing… WHAT A WRETCHED [WOMAN] I AM! WHO WILL SAVE ME? WHO WILL RESCUE ME FROM THIS BODY OF DEATH? Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord!”

I only copied the part about “Thanks be to God” because I feel like I should, but it doesn’t feel real right now.

I need to write. But what!? WHAT DO I HAVE TO SAY!?

“I feel low. Blah blah blah.”

Well, I feel low BECAUSE I MAKE POOR CHOICES. I feel low because I know what my body needs, what my mind needs, and I REFUSE TO DO IT. And even do worse. No one does this TO ME.

I DO THIS TO ME.

I am rebelling against my own freedom and I am angry and ashamed and tired and fed up and sad and nothing. And low. Just low. And apparently anxious, judging by the aforementioned face-eating cold sore.

So what now? How do I even approach God with this? I’ve done it – AM DOING IT – to myself.

Adam and Eve come to mind. In the Garden. It was so beautiful. It was perfect. They could have so much, but they chose the one thing God said no to. They traded ALL THE YESes for the NO. They rebelled against their own freedom.

Were there consequences? Absolutely. Um, hello, fall of all mankind. [You can read the account in context here.] But that’s not what I’m thinking of right now.

I’m thinking of this verse:

“The Lord God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife and clothed them.” (Genesis 3:21)

He could’ve left them naked and ashamed. But He didn’t. He clothed them. He covered them. He allowed them to experience the consequences of their rebellion, but HE MADE THEM GARMENTS AND HE CLOTHED THEM.

EVEN THOUGH THEY GOT THEMSELVES INTO THIS MESS.

God called to them. He met them in their shame. In their defeat. In their utter failure. And He met their need.

And I’m trying REALLY HARD to not cry in Starbucks right now. Because I need that. I need Him. I need Him to come and get me in this pit. I can’t climb out to find Him. I need Him to hear me hiding, naked and defeated, make me a garment, and walk me back out into the light.

Please come, Jesus.

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Oh my goodness. A garment. Oh JESUS, YOU CAME to make garments too. Just like the Lord God did in the Garden.  You came “…to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair.” (Isaiah 61:3)

You guys. Could you use a new garment? Or any garment? Will you answer Him from your hiding place?

Ordinary Monday

Easter weekend felt so powerful – the kind of powerful that makes you think you’ll wake up feeling different the next day. But can I be honest? So far, today really feels like Just Another Monday. Disappointed, I prayed about it this morning, and God reminded me of some thoughts I typed into my phone over the weekend. During a moment of awe and wonder at the miracle of the Cross and the Resurrection, my heart had overflowed:

He loves me. And I am loved.
He sees me. And I am seen.
He hears me. And I am heard.
He knows me. And I am known.
He finds me. And I am found.
He chooses me. And I am chosen.
He redeems me. And I am redeemed.
He is risen. And so I rise.
Love wins. And LOVE. HAS. WON.

Today, on this seemingly ordinary Monday, I’m reminding myself that some things are true whether I feel them or not. My God has conquered death. He’s as risen on Monday as He was on Sunday. Jesus, help me live like I believe it!