Jaw-Dropping Revelations

Do you ever have those moments where puzzle pieces just seem to fall into place?  That happened to me recently in regards to my divorce through three separate encounters…

I never imagined that I would be divorced one day.  (It’s hard to believe it was final 5 years ago this week.)  In fact, growing up, I probably would have said that divorce was bad and wrong.  Period.

My world of black and white quickly turned shades of grey when I found myself in an abusive marriage. I deeply struggled with whether it was a valid reason for divorce.  Because of those beliefs – mixed with a healthy dose of judgment from those who didn’t know the whole story – I was left carrying a certain degree of guilt.  Thankfully – after a few recent conversations with jaw-dropping revelations – I’ve let it all go…

Puzzle Piece #1 – It all started with a conversation in my counselor’s office about boundaries.  “Sometimes the most healthy thing we can do for someone is NOT be in a relationship with them,” she said.  “You loved your husband well by leaving him.”  *insert Serena picking up her jaw from the floor.  I doubt my ex-husband would say the same.  And yet, the more I thought about it, the more it made sense.  By remaining in a relationship with him, I was enabling him.  In essence, I was condoning his abusive behavior.  My leaving made a statement – in a large way – that I wouldn’t stand for it. 

Puzzle Piece #2 – I happened to drop in on my old counselor, the one who walked me through my divorce.  His comment went something like this, “Serena, if you were still married to him, I have no doubt that you would be dead right now.  The way his anger and abuse was escalating, you would have either killed yourself, or he would have killed you.”  *insert Serena picking up her jaw from the floor. 

I often forget how bad my abuse was.  Don’t get me wrong…I’m not in denial.  I know it happened.  Yet, part of my healing process has been God’s grace in allowing me to forget.  And so when I go back to read old journals from that time or talk to those who walked me through it, I’m often re-awakened to the horror I survived.

Puzzle Piece #3 – The final piece of the puzzle fell into place in the midst of a conversation I had with a pastor at our church.  He quickly picked up on the proverbial scarlet letter “D” I see as plastered on my forehead.  “Serena, you are not going to be held accountable for his actions.” *insert Serena picking up her jaw from the floor.

All three pieces contain fairly simple truths – that I loved him well by leaving, that I likely would be dead if I stayed, that I’m not going to be held accountable for his actions.  Having all three conversations within a week was like finishing a puzzle for me, which resulted in me finally laying down the guilt and replacing it with a bold confidence that I absolutely, 100% made the right decision by divorcing my husband.  And in so doing, I saved a life.  My own.

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~ by Serena on January 14, 2010.

2 Responses to “Jaw-Dropping Revelations”

  1. *insert Angie reaching for a kleenex
    I remember your dark days, Serena, and all three revelations are so true… it has been a joy to watch and read of the spark in your “new life” – we love you!!

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