The 8 Steps I Took to Overcome My Greatest Trial
Sometimes I look back on the last 7 years and can hardly believe how quickly time has flown. It’s true when they say time heals all wounds and each new day is a day further from the pain. However, when you are in the middle of a trial, it seems like the clock cannot tick fast enough. Each day is agony. Yet, here I am, healed and new! As I reflect, here are some key things that directly contributed to my survival, and ultimately my healing.
- I never let go of God. My heart breaks for those walking through a trial without a relationship with Christ. There were DAYS ON END I laid flat on my face crying out for the Lord to take the pain away. I BEGGED Him to save my marriage. I wanted to wake up from the nightmare and have my life back! Yet through my tears and heartache, I still found my way into the Word. The Lord gave me scripture after scripture promising HOPE and PEACE. (Jer. 29:11, Isa. 41:10, Deu. 7:13, Psa. 138:3, Heb. 6:14 to name a few.) I held tightly to those promises and claimed them in Jesus’ name! While my marriage wasn’t saved, He has given me a life far beyond my wildest dreams. He truly redeemed every tear I cried!
- I sought out like-minded women with a similar struggle. After I turned to God, I immediately turned to the next most reliable source of information-the Internet (insert sarcasm)! I stumbled upon Marriage Builders and was able to immediately put my hands on resources I needed to cope. In addition, a sweet anonymous poster reached out and shared information about a special online community of women SPECIFIC for my situation. She graciously introduced me to a group of ladies that literally saved my life. I was able to share my heartache without fear of judgment or ridicule. Because many of them walked the road before me, they blessed me with valuable and courageous advice. And the best part? It was all anonymous! However, over the years, we have connected online and I have even met some of these ladies face to face. What a precious gift! They are the truest of friends.
- I dramatically increased my service work. One of the most rewarding things I do is serve others. While I’ve served my entire life, it wasn’t until my world turned upside down that I truly began to serve for the RIGHT reasons. I fell in love with the broken, and began serving in my church’s street ministry. In addition, I read Wrecked by Jeff Goins and signed up to go to Guatemala with a group of random people I had never met. I mean, what better time in life to take a risk? (Sure! I’ll go to a foreign country with a bunch of strangers!) This trip introduced me to a country that captured my heart and I also gained amazing, life-long friends.
- I read, read, read and read some more. In order to understand my struggle and how to best cope, I read almost everything I could get my hands on surrounding the topics of marriage, struggle, and surviving. Some of these books are listed on my Books I Love page, so be sure to check them out. The best way to survive is to arm yourself with the tools needed to pull forward.
- I chose NOT to air my dirty laundry. This is key! While I am a mostly private person, I specifically chose NOT to share the “going’s on” in my personal life. Nothing troubles me more than to scroll through Facebook and see lots of extremely personal information on public display. I did not want to be that person. While yes, it would have brought me momentary satisfaction in the form of revenge, I knew it was not of Jesus and I wasn’t going to do it. Now, there is a downside to this I’ll share more about in coming posts. I was TERRIBLY embarrassed by the actions of my ex-husband and kept my marriage troubles a secret for nearly 2 full years. 2 YEARS! Someone posted they were very shocked to learn I had gotten divorced because it seemed so quick. It wasn’t quick. It was a two year battle I fought alone outside of my parents and one close friend knowing (plus my anonymous online community). My siblings didn’t even know the struggle. On this side of the fence, I’m ashamed I continued to portray a happy, perfect life on the outside while my marriage was falling apart on the inside. I. was. wrong. In hindsight, I still wouldn’t “air my dirty laundry,” but I wouldn’t have portrayed my marriage/life as perfect, when it was anything but.
- I surrounded myself with solid, quality, Christian friends. I cannot tell you how CRUCIAL it is to surround yourself with like-minded individuals who love and support you. Once I moved to Corpus Christi, I immediately got involved with a ladies’ life group. These ladies became my closest friends. Some were single, some divorced, some married, some young, some old, some widowed. It was such sweet fellowship! They loved and accepted me at face value. They didn’t interject opinions or offer unsolicited advice. They simply loved me. And this played a HUGE role in my healing.
- I kept extremely busy. Idle time, for me, equaled too much time to think. Therefore, I didn’t allow much idle time. My job, by nature, is busy. There is hardly a time in sales when there is not something to do. Looking back, I can trace the Lord’s hand and know beyond a shadow of a doubt He laid the path of my work for such a time as this. (More to come in future posts.) In addition to working a ridiculous amount of hours per week, I found time for fitness. I LOVE to walk early in the mornings and began a regular habit of walking 2 miles just as the sun rises. It’s a precious time I spend in prayer with the Lord. It’s calm, peaceful and quiet. And once I moved to Corpus Christi, I reintroduced myself to USTA league tennis and played as often as my schedule would allow.
- I hired a life coach. During the two years of fighting for my marriage, me (and we) did attend a few counseling sessions, but honestly, my private online community equipped me better than any counselor. However, when the divorce was final and I was free from the pain, a new reality set in, and I had THE most amazing revelation! I HAD A NEW LIFE. A brand, spankin’ new life! I had the opportunity for a DO OVER. While I would NEVER advocate for divorce, this truly made the pain worth it. After a few years of being single, the Lord started to implant some new, “bet the farm” sized dreams in my heart. Dreams that were TOO BIG for me to accomplish and work through on my own. I honestly had so much opportunity in front of me, I didn’t know which way to turn. I needed assistance and direction, and someone to help me organize my life. After researching and talking to several close friends, someone recommended I reach out to a life coach at Building Champions. We had an initial conversation and I KNEW she was the one to help me plan my life. And let me tell you guys, this is one of the BEST investments I have ever made. We often invest our money and our time, but how often do we truly invest in ourselves? Don’t neglect yourself. Your dreams matter and if you need someone to help you work through organizing and planning your life, seek out a life coach.
These 8 things played a HUGE role in my healing. Looking back, it seems like I did some of them unconsciously, therefore I have no doubt the Holy Spirit was leading and guiding me in those moments. Other aspects were completely intentional. Nonetheless, I am healed and am I NEW!
Tell me some things YOU did to survive your greatest trial. Let’s make a list and blaze the trail for those who will come after us.