Feel however you want about me, but feel it for yourself.

So, if you’re sitting at someone’s house and you’ve got that pit in your stomach because you just don’t feel accepted, or welcome…trust me girl, grab your cute little striped hey dudes you left by the door, and get the heck out off there now. Yes, I know they just poured you a margarita, with salt on the rim, but hear me when I say, that vulnerable moment you’ll have which prompts you to share “anything” on drink two… it’s already shared with someone who isn’t even there. That’s why there is a pit in your stomach to begin with. Good friends, and kind people; pits don’t accompany them. Growth, sunlight, warmth and happiness surround them, those are your people.

Your opinion of me should come from your interaction with me, not someone else’s opinion of me, stories of me, or even their interaction with me. Just yours.

Have you heard the saying, “Jealousy is the fun they think you’re having?” well I think we should add a saying onto that for assumptions. Maybe something like, “Assumptions are what other people make for you when you’re too lazy to think for yourself” no, that is a little too harsh. Here’s the thing, I have no inclination to think I will be liked by everyone and even more so, I have zero desire to be. We can be perfectly likable, good people and still be disliked by someone.

This past week I was talking to a friend who was hurt and I told her, “you can be the ripest, juiciest peach in the world, and there will always be someone who hates peaches” a quote I have always loved by Dita Von Teese, and then I added, “and don’t be surprised when it’s a peach itself.” She of course looked at me like I was crazy because what do peaches have to do with anything, but I explained sometimes the very reason we are canceled out has nothing at all to do with ourselves, it is simply the reflection someone else sees of themselves in us.

I wish I could tell you why people want to know about someone and go to every other person but that person. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure it out actually, it is because some people wish you well, but not that well. Moreover, they have no real interest in getting to know you, the actual person, they just want to know about you and any dirt that can be dug up – because they are bored, broken and hurting.

I can’t tell you the amount of times I’ve had someone smile to my face at the local wal-mart and then they’re trash-talking me on the way home. I hope you read that with a southern drawl, because it plays out in my head as such. There is comedian, what is her name? Leanne something, deep southern drawl, Leanne Morgan. If you know who she is, re-read the first two sentences again in her voice. That’s just how I meant it. (If you don’t know of her, you’ll want to google her, because she is hilarious! A bless-your-heart southern twang full of sass and gettin’ on.)

While it should be mentioned that you’re better off without these people, it is quite possible you’ll learn they same way I usually do. All heart, all in, and an unanswered text message later that says nothing, but ends a friendship. Why is it that people do that anyhow? Just respond to the text people, just say it, “I don’t like you”, ” I think you’re a jerk”, “you hurt my feelings” whatever the heck it is, just say it and then stop responding. Passive agressive texting is not it chief. Nothing irritates me more than no response or a lie. Ohhh the lies…

Someone lied to me this week actually, and it was one of those obvious lies, and by text even. On my phone, when I text, it shows if the person I am texting begins typing. I asked a question. She begins to type. Then it stops, and no response. It does that again for about five or so minutes until a response comes through with some cockamamey bullpucky that just made me want to call her out. But, did I? Nope! Why not? Because what is the point when I already know the answer. She lied. End of story. Maybe forty has made me less amicable with phony anything. I mean, I am running out of day light, years and life – I don’t have time for people who aren’t adding to my life, encouraging me and my dreams, supporting my family and building me up, not breaking me down.

So, if you’re sitting at someone’s house and you’ve got that pit in your stomach because you just don’t feel accepted, or welcome…trust me girl, grab your cute little striped hey dudes you left by the door, and get the heck out off there now. Yes, I know they just poured you a margarita, with salt on the rim, but hear me when I say, that vulnerable moment you’ll have which prompts you to share “anything” on drink two… it’s already shared with someone who isn’t even there. That’s why there is a pit in your stomach to begin with. Good friends, and kind people; pits don’t accompany them. Growth, sunlight, warmth and happiness surround them, those are your people.

Look, I’m proud to be a Christian woman, I liken myself to being unpolished and unrefined – but still a dang good Christian. (I have a post coming up about this, so you’ll want to check back on that one!) To me, that does not mean we have to be fake. I can love you with the love of Jesus and not want to spend time with you. The difference is that when I don’t spend time with you that includes time speaking about you, at all. My face can’t even hide being fake anyhow, the thoughts I think, are written in bold face print all my face for all to see. I kind-of love that about myself to be honest, it holds me accountable.

I will smile, wave, say hello and pray for you even if I do not care to interact with you. Even better, if I happen to not like you it will only be because of something that involves you and I personally. Either you did something to me, or I see something in you that reflects something that needs healing in me. Either way it doesn’t involve anyone else and that should be a two-way street.

Our small valley, oh my goodness gracious and all that is holy, it can be rough at times. The things I learn about myself are shocking even to me, I have a much more fascinating life according to my adoring haters. Do you know that another child isn’t allowed to like my child, because of their mom’s friend has an issue. Yes, this person, myself and my child have never had a falling out, we visit in public, but because her friend doesn’t like us – neither can her child. True story. Some people allow others to decide for them.

I also have a friend or aquaintance really who ran one of those free internet background checks on myself and handful of other friends, and then soon after, the invites stopped. There is nothing of interest in my background, aside from divorces or maybe our financial business but everything online is factual, right?

My favorite though happened recently when I was explaining where I lived to someone, and was cut off only to be told, “I know where you live actually”, and then whispered, “you rent, right?” I’m still kind of buzzing on this one, because one hand, so trivial and obnoxious. Yet, on the other hand, the whispering…that got me. I don’t care how this person “found out” where we live, or that we rent even… but the whispering. That said a lot.

Renting to me is not shameful, and given that it was “whispered” this person already assumed it shouldn’t be shared – but if they had known me at all – they would know I am an open book. In fact almost every detail of my life is online, in one blog or another on this site. You don’t even have to run a background check, research my address or ask someone else – you can read it all here or just for grins and giggles, prepare yourself for this, you could just ask me. Crazy, right?!

I’m different than most, if you want to know anything about me I will tell you. Every shameful detail of my past, every dark moment, every mistake – I am an open book and I will sit with you face to face and lay it all bare. I’m not concerned about you judging me, your opinions of me or why it is that you even want to know about these things. I will even be okay with you feeling some type of way about me after and us going our separate ways. That would actually make me respect you. What concerns me though, since I am being totally blunt and forthright is why you need to know?

What is it about highlighting, digging up or sharing peoples past hurts, failures and mistakes that makes you feel better about your life? Because, that. That is where the issue lays. Not with me or anyone else, not whether you like me or them, it’s and issue inside yourself that stops you from liking yourself and anyone else. Someone somewhere at some point lied to you and told you that you were unworthy, unlovable, unimportant and unwanted. Someone hurt you, let you down and now to feel above it all, you do so by standing on top of the people you kick while they’re down. People just like you.

I don’t have to know you to know that you are loved, valued and important to atleast one person, God, and most likely more than him. I don’t ever have to speak to you to know that you were given a voice to speak life over people not cut them down with your words. I don’t even have to see you, to know that you have beauty and kindess and love inside you – it is just hidden behind the mud and the muck of whatever hell you keep shoving deeper inside yourself.

Hate doesn’t feel good, spite doesn’t taste good and ill will weakens your soul. It is not what you were made to feel, to distribute or to know. It was not what you were made of even, because you were made from love, to love others. So, whatever it is, maybe it’s time to start digging up your own “stuff” and shaking off your own skeletons in the closet and doing some healing, some forgiving and some loving. The key is you have to start with yourself first, or else it won’t stick and you’ll be right back to the person I’ll pray for, but would never sit and have a margarita with.

And, I really like margaritas and kind people who just want to love me for me, and ask questions about who I am because they genuinely want to get to know me and ask for the same in return.

Quit Judging!

Trust me when I say that in my younger years of stupidity I was judgmental with unrealistic expectations. My preconceived notions of how I would wear and walk in anyone else’s shoes better or differently than they had were obnoxious. Especially when I was walking with my shoes on the wrong feet, to begin with, or barefoot even. Fast forward to forty-year-old, heavily flawed me, and while my shoes are now at least on the right foot, I just love walking next to anyone who doesn’t have it figured out, who has lost their way and maybe even a shoe or two. Those are my people.

I’ve always had a heart for the ones being gossiped and whispered about, the underdogs, the ones being bullied, the ones no one understands and label as “weird” or “different” because those are my people, they are exactly who I identify with. Originally I wanted to title this, Quit being @$$holes! With working on not cussing as much, at least when I am not driving, I’m trying to avoid that. At face value though, that is how it feels sometimes. People who set out with the sole intent of hurting someone else based purely on judgment and then suffocating them with manipulative shaming. To me, that is just not okay. To me, that is a heart issue, a fixable choice, a ‘you-can-totally-change-and-be-a-better-person’ issue and while it is entirely frustrating and avoidable, I know hurt people, hurt people.

Jay Shetty said, “That person you don’t understand. They’re a lesson you haven’t learned” and it is true. The more mistakes I make, the more situations I face, the more understanding and empathy I have for others. Trust me when I say that in my younger years of stupidity I was judgmental with unrealistic expectations. My preconceived notions of how I would wear and walk in anyone else’s shoes better or differently than they had were obnoxious. Especially when I was walking with my shoes on the wrong feet, to begin with, or barefoot even. Fast forward to forty-year-old, heavily flawed me, and while my shoes are now at least on the right foot, I just love walking next to anyone who doesn’t have it figured out, who has lost their way and maybe even a shoe or two. Those are my people.

We all have a choice in how we treat others, how we respond to situations and what we do with information learned. Knowledge is power and love is a choice. Meaning that you have a choice in what you do with the knowledge you gained and whether to use it for good or evil. You also know when you pick up a shovel intentionally digging up dirt on someone else, whether you have any business holding that shovel yourself. Do you ever stop and think, “why am I doing this?” or “why do I care so much about outing this person?” or even better, “Is this any of my business?” Imagine if you did, the outcome would be much different.

You parent differently than Susie, great! That doesn’t mean Susie is a bad parent. It also doesn’t mean it is your business or place to insert your opinion or announce it on social media, a group text, a church group or the grocery store. For the love of Jesus, just stop it! You know what opinions are likened to right? I’ll give you a clue, it was the third word, in the title I wanted to use. We all have opinions, they don’t all need to be shared. And, PARENTING IS FREAKING HARD! Trust me, I fail at it probably daily and guess who reminds me when I do? ME! So when Susie messes up or just goes about it differently than you, give her some grace.

If someone in your town goes to jail, and you pass their mugshot around the town like a bowl of mashed potatoes on thanksgiving – that’s continuing that cycle of shame. That is purposely discrediting, humiliating and judging someone based on a situation you know nothing of. And, you’re doing it to control people, and not just the person in the mugshot either, you’re attempting to manipulate and control every person you share that mugshot with as well.

Maybe you’ve never gone to jail, maybe there is no physical proof of your most shameful moment, but let us pretend for one second there is. Let us pretend I know your deepest secret, the one you plan on taking to the grave, and because you said something to me once, or didn’t invite me to something, or hurt a friend of mine even, I decided to write it on a billboard for everyone to read as they drive by it on their morning commute to work. How would you feel? Humiliated? Raw? Vulnerable? Angry? And, then imagine I responded with, “well people had a right to know, it’s public record” or “well Susie said it was true so it must be” or even better “how does it feel having a taste of your own medicine?” because these are just some of the reasons we recycle shame. Did you catch that? RE-cycle, meaning it once was ours in some manner or brings up something similar in our past.

Shame is something I think I will always take personal, and I know this isn’t about me, but shame is something I will always identify with. It is a personal jail cell where I have spent many of my years locked up. Shame creates whispers, shame is hard to admit even to ourselves let alone to another human being. And, shame is HEAVY, SERIOUS and deeply PERSONAL. Abortions, criminal histories, domestic violence, financial hardships, affairs, addictions, mental illness, etc. are all whispered because they carry heavy amounts of shame. Shame that only worsens when another person knows your truth and uses it to continue that shame. I mean, let’s be real and call it what it is – manipulative control, which is emotional and mental abuse. Sounds harsh I know, but it is true.

Timmy got another DUI, Molly relapsed, Amy had her kids taken away by DHS, Jessica got divorced, Mike abused his wife, Bobby got fired for sleeping with his secretary- again! The list goes on and on and it breaks my heart and pisses me off to no end when I read this garbage or hear about it. Did you think for once that possibly these people are struggling, and losing a battle that is costing them their OWN lives, and not YOURS? Did you consider for one second to not forward that text, that mugshot, that article and instead reach out to them personally, pray for them or just let them know you’re there? Heck you could offer to go to AA class with them, give them a ride to work, anything to help instead of hinder and deepen the shame.

Publicizing someone else’s shame isn’t even about what they did. It’s an outward reaction to a personal problem, your personal problem. You’ve heard the saying, “what Susie says of Sally, says more of Susie than of Sally” and that is what lies at the core of all of this. At the end of the day, you are allowed to dislike someone. You’re allowed to disagree with their choices even, but taking on someone else’s failures and differences, making and taking them personally – that is a YOU issue. The question at the heart of the matter is, What reflection are you seeing in them that is creating a monster inside you? That is the heart transplant needed. The cancer that needs cut out. The venom that needs suctioning so that the healing that needs to happen, can.

People will hurt us, that is the natural course of life. Trust me when I say that there are moments when I wish for one second someone could feel how I’ve felt in those moments of judgment, shame and isolation. Then I remind myself that if they are hurting me, they most likely already do. We are responsible for carrying our hurt with us as a method of destruction or as a tool towards grace and healing. You’ll never regret offering a heavy dose of grace instead of judgment because judgment and vengeance is not ours to give, but LOVE is.

Romans 12:17-19 Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone. If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord

Comparison

God wants you to know that you are not disqualified, that he never compares you to anyone else because he created you to be set apart and unique on purpose. There is not a person, career, monetary amount, sin or any other factor that can disqualify you for his love and purpose. God is not in the business of crushing dreams or hearts, he is in the business of crushing us into position to bear the fruit he planned for the purpose of his glory. There is no glory in heartache, only in love and multiplication.

This year I went to a Christian women’s conference, it was the first one that I had ever attended, and to say I was excited was an understatement. As I opened the flyer to read about the speakers, I did the unthinkable; I compared myself. It was unintentional at first, I was searching for any connection – something that would validate my past. Reading the snippets of their bios beside their head-shot, I stopped dead in my tracks. All I could focus on was their qualifications. The things that qualified them to be a speaker, to stand on the stage doing exactly what I want to do and what disqualified me. And, it is ironic because I am very aware that God does NOT work through “qualifications” and that the enemy was leading me to believe the lies that I was disqualified.

Each one of these women stood up on stage and shared stories of vulnerability, stories of fear and stories of how God had shaped or changed their lives. Truly beautiful and honest accounts of transformation in some form. The trials they had suffered were difficult, terrifying and significant. As I sat there listening to them 75% of me admired and respected them and the other 25% told myself “your dream is over, sister! You can never do this. You have too many.” Too many of this, too many of that – just too many!

They had been married for 10 to 25 years. All appeared to have a godly marriage, no mention of divorce or remarriage. There was not a testimony of addiction, sexual sin, anything that would carry a sin-shock once revealed. What would my bio read? Jessica Griffiths. Married & Divorced. Re-married & Re-divorced Again. Blended Family. Sex before marriage … oh ya, I can see the empty arena now. No thanks, I am good!

What impacted me the most though was watching one woman in particular ramping herself up to share her most shameful truth. It was crushing because of the heaviness of her shame, the things that made her feel unworthy or fearful were so minor in comparison to my own past. It showed me that we are so unforgiving of ourselves for the slightest infractions. And, that even someone with her qualifications, her education, status etc. was still fearful to some degree of judgment.

Sitting there impatiently waiting for her to work up the courage to share whatever carried such humiliation and embarrassment for her, I prayed. I prayed for her past to be even the slightest of something that mirrored my own. Is that awful? It sounds terrible to me to pray for something like that – but it was for a good reason, kind of. I wanted her to say something that would pull me into her heart, something that screamed – you’re one of us and welcome here. My need for it to be significant, something that would whisper “I’m just like you” was vital to feeling human, and still worthy of being a christian.

I prayed she would share something that proved that I was not disqualified. That I could share my story with other women, encourage and motivate them, become an author and not just be a flawed woman. But when she shared her truth and testimony, it was nothing like my past, and nothing I would have ever faulted her for nor condemned. In fact to me I would not have even categorized it as a sin. I honored her vulnerability, but dishonored Gods promise to myself. I ended up leaving the conference feeling disqualified. And, my heart broke.

For the next week I wrestled over my feelings. I wrestled with the idea of truly being disqualified. Would God call me to write and share my testimonies if I were truly disqualified? And as soon as I said that out loud, I realized I’m not sharing my testimony. I’m sharing how I survived, how I am saved by Gods grace and how he loves me. But I haven’t told you my actual mistakes. I’m safely tucked behind a computer, a quote or a blog post saying, “I’m a Christian”, “God is real” and that I know that I’m forgiven but I’m not sharing why or how I know this.

Here I am dreaming of the day I am able to speak life into women who are needing validation, desiring acceptance, and deserving of forgiveness – and I am already letting them down because my testimony is incomplete. And, God called me on that, right there in my car. He said, “Show them why and how YOU are NOT a disqualified Christian. Show them what disqualified you before the grace of God. Show them what qualifies YOU and THEM in my heart and that my mercy never fails.”

It was in that moment my heart softened, that overwhelming feeling of clarity and joy overflowed and replaced any ounce of doubt I had. It was in that moment the enemy was silenced and the series – The Disqualified Christian, was created.

There are times what God speaks to us it not meant for sharing, but there are also moments when it is meant for others to know. God is very active and alive within me and I would be disobedient if I did not share this with you today.

God wants you to know that you are not disqualified, that he never compares you to anyone else because he created you to be set apart and unique on purpose. There is not a person, career, monetary amount, sin or any other factor that can disqualify you for his love and purpose. God is not in the business of crushing dreams or hearts, he is in the business of crushing us into position to bear the fruit he planned for the purpose of his glory. There is no glory in heartache, only in love and multiplication.

 Romans 12:6 (MSG)

“Let’s just go ahead and be what we were made to be, without enviously or pridefully comparing ourselves with each other, or trying to be something we aren’t.” 

Gossip

We need to remember that church is a hospital, everyone there is needing healing in some manner or another. We all have wounds, scrapes and scars – those are reminders of our mistakes, our imperfections and what leads to humility and acceptance. They are pieces of our testimony which are meant to draw people in, to encourage them in having a closer relationship with God, and understanding his mercy and forgiveness.

What would you think if I told you that the majority of people who don’t go to church not only know but love God? Being unfamiliar with Jesus isn’t what is preventing a closer relationship with him; it’s us and our tongues. You’ve heard the saying ‘bite your tongue’ and I think we should be doing more of that.

The other day a feeling came over me that the reason most people don’t get connected with a church is that they fear judgment. The most obvious assumption would be God’s judgment, but it is not his judgment that is keeping people away, it is ours. For me, that was true for many years, especially living in a small town. The things I had worked on and began healing from, others were quick to rip the bandage off the wound – exposing my scrapes and scars to whoever would look.

We need to remember that church is a hospital, everyone there is needing healing in some manner or another. We all have wounds, scrapes and scars – those are reminders of our mistakes, our imperfections and what leads to humility and acceptance. They are pieces of our testimony which are meant to draw people in, to encourage them in having a closer relationship with God, and understanding his mercy and forgiveness.

This excerpt below explains gossip ingeniously and how detrimental it truly is:

“Who am I? I have no respect for justice. I maim without killing. I break hearts and ruin lives. I am cruel and malicious and gather strength with age. The more I am quoted, the more I am believed. I flourish at every level of society. My victims are helpless. They cannot protect themselves against me because I have no name and no face. To track me down is impossible. The harder you try, the more elusive I become. I’m nobody’s friend. Once I tarnish a reputation, it is never the same. I topple governments and ruin marriages. I destroy careers and cause heartache and sleepless nights. I wreck churches and separate Christians. I spawn suspicion and generate grief, make innocent people cry on their pillows. Even my name hisses. I am gossip.”

Charles Kimball

WOW! If that is not enough to make you take a step back and think for a minute, I don’t know what is. Take Kanye for example, the moment he shared he was saved, a moment that most people are overjoyed and even encouraged to share – was ruined by hypocrisy. Many people took to Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and blogs even to say – it was a crock. He was being interviewed not for the incredible transformation, or the power in our Lord and Saviors blood but the validity of it. Now, I understand the importance of discernment and knowing when someone is a false teacher or not – but that was not the basis behind any reports, interviews, posts, etc., the basis was a disqualification. The last time I checked, we aren’t who disqualifies.

“Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?  How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye. Matthew 7:3-5

Jesus tells us in the book of Matthew to focus on our issues, pasts, shortcomings, faults, and sins. Once those are remedied only then should you help your brother. Help him, not condemn him, there is a big difference. It is a sleight of hand trick in a sense that deflects a flaw normally worse than the individuals flaw you’re so eager to reveal. Why do we do this?

Gossip is likened to a tasty morsel and without gods help in taming our tongues, it is near impossible to break the habit. Judgment goes hand in hand with this also because one feeds off of the other. So, how can we limit this nasty package duo? Here are five ways I think could help:

  1. Sometimes the gossip comes to you. When this happens you should be able to identify it rather quickly, change the subject or defend the person.
  2. If what you are whispering involves tragedy, a plot of evil, discouragement, disgrace or someone else’s secret – let it die and not leave your lips.
  3. Disengage. You can do this by identifying why you feel the need to share something negative. There is most likely something underlying within you that is feeding that unhealthy desire.
  4. Pretend that either the person you are speaking about or Jesus is standing beside you. If you can still share it, go right ahead.
  5. Last but not least, we were created in Gods image and with that comes his reputation. Each time we judge, criticize or condemn another person, we make our father look bad. We were taught love, mercy, and grace – that is what he uses with us, why would we treat others any differently?

“But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere.” James 3:17 NIV

Divorce

Being divorced again rocked me to my core. All I wanted was a family and it caused me to hide from God, I was humiliated and shameful. It would take me some time before I realized that I didn’t need to hide what he already knew. Divorce to some is not a big deal. Being divorced again rocked me to my core. All I wanted was a family and it caused me to hide from God, I was humiliated and shameful. It would take me some time before I realized that I didn’t need to hide what he already knew. Divorce to some is not a big deal.

“So you’ve got a past, who doesn’t? What I need to know is if there is a place for me in your future?” – Andrew Hennings, Sweet Home Alabama.

That is one of my favorite quotes from the movie Sweet Home Alabama. The southern twang, the idea of first loves being our once in a lifetime love and the idea that what’s meant to be will find it’s way. That and I like to imagine that this is God talking to me as well, asking if I have a place for him in my future, regardless of my past.

Growing up all I wanted was a family, a husband, children, sitting around the table eating dinner together each night. That is it. Sure I had thought about what I would do for a living but nothing mattered more than being a wife and mother. My grandfather also told me that I should never date someone who I couldn’t see myself marrying. Which now makes sense, but then it did not. So, I set off searching for my head of the table and my perfect relationship. Blindly, it was a path set forth by generational curses that I was unaware existed. A path littered with infidelity, divorce, deceit, abuse – everything that seemingly disqualifies a woman to herself, a potential spouse and God.

Being divorced again rocked me to my core. All I wanted was a family and it caused me to hide from God, I was humiliated and ashamed. It would take me some time before I realized that I didn’t need to hide what he already knew.

Divorce to some is not a big deal, but to me it was. It meant that I had failed more than once at making a vow to God, and a vow to my husband. It meant I lied, it meant I let the three of us down and under it all – it meant I was impossible to love.

Being divorced once or twice seems more socially acceptable these days. In fact some religions require you to remarry immediately. But it is no secret that God detests divorce, in fact divorce was created by man, not God. So for me it was easy to assume that God detested me as well and I was doomed to hell.

But I was so wrong. In fact for those of us who have faltered and lost our way only to be found and repent, Jesus shed his blood to cleanse us and our sins – ALL SINS not just a couple that he sees fit.

Divorce does not label you as a person. It does not disqualify or discredit you. Maybe your spouse left you and you feel like no one could ever love you – that is not true. Maybe your spouse cheated and you asked him to stay because you wanted to work on things, and the cheating never stopped. Maybe you were unfaithful, you just grew apart, both wanted different things, couldn’t manage finances, agree on children – maybe you had different faiths. There are a variety of reasons that lead to divorce. And, they are all emotionally destructive. Even the amicable ones, can still sting.

My advice to you is just take it to God. Release it and release yourself. God cannot heal what you don’t reveal. And God is the ultimate restorer. You don’t need to carry the weight of yesterday into tomorrow.

Our experiences that did not work out as planned are not a label you wear that reads unworthy, failure or unlovable. Those moments that our plans failed are actually full of love, mercy and grace from God. That was Gods way of saying, “Okay, I let you try your way even though it was wrong and now I’m taking over because I love you enough to close this door for you.” God does not label you as anything but worthy. You say those lies to yourself and allow when others say them to you, to matter. Just like the lies I said to myself each time I failed, “I’m a failure.” “No one will love ever love me.” “I’m too damaged.” “Who wants to marry someone whose been married before?” “God must be really punishing me.” Wrong sister, Wrong!

Try to remember these four important truths when you feel like you failed or are unworthy of self love, Gods love or love from a spouse.

  1. God does not punish, he loves you entirely. All he wants is your heart. All that time I spent hiding away in shame, he knew. It is so funny when you wake up and realize GOD knows EVERYTHING – and he still pursues us. Read Jeremiah 29:11
  2. You control your self-talk. My goal for other women is being the drunk girl in the bar bathroom at 2 am – minus the drunk, and the bar. Those ladies are kind, they compliment, they care, they talk – zero comparison and zero judgment. I want women to feel loved, empowered, and valued just as they are. I need to talk to myself the same way. Try it. Read 1 Corinthians 13:4-7
  3. Trust me, there are good men who marry flawed women and vice versa. Oh this one is true. I should know. It took me 14 years of brokenness to find the one person who could hold me together – God. And, then my husband. My husband could care less about my past. He just loves me. And, that right there is proof of Gods grace.
  4. It is important to heal, to sit in your pain for a period and process it. Don’t place a bandage over something that is hemorrhaging – it won’t hold. You can’t move forward when so much crap is holding you back. You want to sort it out, to feel it, to experience the emotions and all that go with loss, heartache, and anger even. It is okay to feel disappointed.

All of this to say you are not disqualified as a woman, in this world or in God eyes for being divorced once, twice or more. In John chapter 4, there is a story of a Samaritan woman at the well. She had been married five times and was living with a man that was not her husband. Jesus sought her out. Jesus spoke to her. And, for the first time in the Gospel of John shared that he was the messiah, to a woman no less, who had been rejected, disqualified and discounted. If Jesus spoke to her, you are no different my friend.