It’s perhaps become rather cliché, but one of the best ways of describing this life we live is a journey. As a Christian, I am walking a journey and creating a story. I believe that’s important. We are not just soldiers in an army or children in a family—though we are both of these. We are also travellers on a journey.
And I believe in being honest about that journey. I believe so strongly in telling that story. Our journeys have power, both the good bits and the hard bits. So I want to, once again, share some of my journey. It’s something I’ve done a few times this year, as my life has taken some turns I did not expect. If you want to chart some of that journey, the posts are here, here, here, here, here and here.
So why, after a few months, am I sharing again some of my journey? There are a couple of reasons.
The first is quite practical. There’s been a development in my life that I want to share. Regular readers will know that this blog is very personal to me, and I have shared honestly (but I hope sensibly) on here throughout the last year as my marriage has broken down and ended. It felt right to complete that journey here too.
I am now divorced.
Those are words which at one point in my life I never would have expected to write. Life has gone in directions I never imagined. But it has gone that way, and I have made peace with that.
Which brings me to the other reason for sharing this part of my journey again: I am at peace. I am doing so so well. More on that in a moment. But when things were very dark, I shared that on this blog and bore my heart. It would be so easy to simply move on now I find myself in lighter days, to carry on as if this part of my journey hadn’t happened, not to give thanks for it’s passing or for the lessons I have learnt.
It would be easy not to celebrate the light now that the dark has gone. I do not wish to make that mistake.
This too shall pass
One of the things my dad said to me a year ago when I phone him with my news was this ‘I don’t entirely know what to say to you because this is going to be so hard, but I’m reminded of these words: “This too shall pass.” ‘ It meant a lot, but at the time I could not see it.
I can now. When I video-called him earlier this week to say the divorce was final, I reminded him that he’d said that, and smiled, and was able to say with total honesty “And it has!” He smiled too. Because he knows that is true.
God has brought me through the pain and the sorrow I felt. He has led me out of the dark woods of depression that I found myself in for a lot of the year. He has brought healing. He has brought hope and joy, even excitement for the future. I say all this not to say I’m good for getting to this point, or to rub it in the face of other people who are in their own valleys. I say it because it is true, because it is part of my journey, because I want to celebrate the good that God has done. I thank Him so so much!
And He’s used so many things to do it.
A wonderfully supportive and loving family who have given everything I needed. Old friends who have encircled me and protected me. New friends who have meant so much in reminding me I have a future, not just a past. A church that has just loved me and let me be me, whoever ‘me’ was on any given day. A counsellor who helped me make massive breakthroughs in my thinking and in my wellbeing. The Bible, which seems even more beautiful than ever. The sustaining presence of the Holy Spirit. Worship. Prayer. Books. Messages from total strangers. Weddings. New experiences. Holidays. Sailing. Lakes. Sunrises. My calling and purpose crystallising and clarifying. All of these things have led me to this place of healing I now find myself in.
So in the past when I’ve shared my journey it has been to declare enduring confidence in Jesus and to commit, sometimes through gritted teeth, to keep seeking Him.
This time, I am smiling, and I simply want to thank Him. Thank you God for your restoration and healing in my life.
And also, thank you. To my family, my friends (you know who you are, even if nobody else does!), my church, people who have prayed, those who have dropped me a line on the blog to offer encouragement. I know that a lot of people read this blog who I have never met, and it moves me to know you have been praying and cheering me on.
So. That’s where my journey has led me to of late. I am so thankful.