Hi precious readers!
So good to be with you here today. This post is pretty difficult for me to write, but it felt necessary.
One of my best friends is walking a difficult road right now. Divorce after twenty-something years of marriage. Because she’s also a family member, I’ve had a front row seat to the magnitude of her suffering, loss and grief.
There’s a reason I write happily ever afters. Real life doesn’t always mean happy endings. Our free will is at play. I can make my characters do anything I want. For the record, I make them act with integrity, fidelity, purity, honesty and faithfulness to what God would want.
We real people aren’t fictional paper puppets though. God gave us free will. This is hard because where there is free will, there is sin and a devil salivating to sink us and our marriages in it. The drowning starts slow, with subtle lures of curiosity. The submersion happens hand-in-hand with false justification and self-deception. Pretty soon, we’re drowning in depravity and too prideful, entrenched or oblivious to ask for help.
It’s a terrible place to be. A horrible place to find yourself…unless you do and you depart from it. Deception is also a horrible place to see those you love blindly walking in it.
You speak truth. They won’t listen. What can you do? Pray. Worship. Root yourself in God’s word-the Truth. My dear friend, if you’re walking through the pain of abandonment, my heart goes out to you. God sees you breaking. God sees your fear and how the disillusionment disables you beyond comprehension. How you can’t seem to face the new normal but someone else’s choice left you without one.
You’re not alone. Never, for one moment.
God wants you to know He’s with you. He won’t leave you in your anguish. Nor should we leave one another alone in it.
Today in this post, I’m asking you to reach out in love to my friend. She’s so valuable and precious to me, but she’s been made for 23 years to feel worthless, toxic, a wagon-rattler who should be silenced. Her voice won’t be obliterated any longer. Not as long as I have breath. People hate me because I tell the truth. I don’t care. I will tell the truth anyway. So should you.
In light of this, writing romance has been HARD. How can I write a happy ending for people who don’t actually exist, when my dear friend, my heart, my sweet sister in the Lord sits beside me weeping over the loss of her lifetime?
What do you say to someone so broken she can barely go on living? You make phone calls to professionals on her behalf. You pray your guts out for her. You never cease to listen. you take time and careful thought to encourage. You take her to the doctor for meds. You help her get to her counselor even days she feels she can’t. You take her to a drive-through to buy her a cheeseburger just because. And because these are the things we take for granted when there’s enough in the bank and in the fridge and in our marriages and in our hearts.
What do you do when her anger boils over like a volcano in your living room? You listen. You keep quiet. You write out scriptures. You encourage her to focus on what God’s doing rather than what has been done.
I’ve been helping her all I can financially and it’s still not enough.
But Jesus is. He could make food and medicine appear on her table if He chooses. He could also speak one word and her body, heart and soul would be healed. He could put her accusers on their faces with one brilliant flash of light and truth. Yet He waits. We wonder why. We lament. It’s hard.
Often it’s a process when we want it to be pronto. God has good reason for us walking through the wretched fire of it.
How do you encourage someone who’s been abandoned?
All I know to say is, “God sees. God will bring the truth to light. God will clear your name. God will heal you. God will help you. God will provide for you. God will meet your needs. God will heal you of decades of spiritual, physical, emotional, psychological and sexual abuse. God will vindicate you. God will help you forgive. God will never leave you. God will never stop loving you. God will never abandon or forsake you. God will never break his vows or his covenant with you. God will protect you and strengthen you and meet every need you have. He will bring beauty from these ashes.”
God will, God will, God will. He just will.
The hard part? Acting right when others act wrong. Forgiving someone who has no remorse and no change in behavior, no repentance, no Godly sorrow for the sin literally killing your friend. The withholding of medical insurance and money she needs for literal survival.
Our hope: God sees the travesty. He sees the injustice. He has given me a voice through fiction and I will use it to help those whose voice has been stripped. So, forgive me friends, but this post is me, speaking up and out for her and others like her.
She desperately needs your kind words and prayers. She needs to know she’s amazing. That she’ll make it through this and that the best is yet to come. That God will rescue her.
She’s doing so much better than she believes. Of everyone in the situation, she’s acted the most Christ-like. Even above me. I admire and love her and hate that she’s hurting. I’ve battled hatred and bitterness toward those who’ve hurt her and those who’ve turned the other way and not helped her in the aftermath. She’s disabled, but God knows this. He knows it well, knows her well, is intimately acquainted with her grief and pain. The magnitude of it makes me sick and undone simply because I CAN imagine what it would be like if I were in her place. It’s horrible but I know God can restore hope and happiness to her life despite that someone else’s sin and abuse wrecked her. There is a difference in committing a sin and living a sin. God knows this. His opinion is the only one that matters. Integrity before God is the most important thing.
I believe the God of mercy will bring every dark thing to light. I believe the best of her life is yet to come if she continues to seek God first and foremost. I believe God will reconcile this situation and go after hearts that have grown dark. He will deal with the depravity and the deception. If you’ve been through something like this, or walked through it with a friend or family member, you know exactly what I mean.
As a writer of romance and happily ever afters, it’s very difficult for me to see a supposedly Christian marriage end in such devastation and loss. I’ve been trying to help her emotionally, but quite honestly, I’m not enough.
For today, for this blog post, will you write a piece of encouragement for my friend? It can be a scripture, or a prayer or anything you feel led by God to write.
Today, let’s shower my friend with love. Thanks in advance and I promise next month’s post will be less depressing and more uplifting. Thank you for allowing me this space to grieve with those who grieve, just as we rejoice with those rejoicing.
Love you all!
How do you encourage hurting friends and family members when romance goes wrong?
Your words will be warmly welcomed. I will print your responses out and surprise gift them to her on pretty paper.
Thank you, thank you, thank you for taking time to encourage a deeply hurting heart. For privacy’s sake, let’s call my friend something she far from feels right now:
Dear Wonder Woman, this post is for you and those suffering alongside you. You are worth more than words. We love you.