I Gave Up Everything In Order To Have it All.

ImageI remember when I left my home with nothing but a couple of bags of my kids toys, their clothes, my clothes and my car, that was it. I remember a friend asking me, “Are you crazy? How are you going to start over with nothing (basically only the clothes on your backs)?  Who walks away from everything”?  I think I smiled and said to her, ” I’m willing to let it all go because at this point, all I want is to be happy again & whatever it takes to get to that place again, I’m willing to give it all up to get back there”.  As I think back, that honestly had to be a “God moment” back then because there is no way any “sane” thinking woman with 2 children would’ve just walked away from “Everything”.  Her home, her husband, her means of making a living, her friends, EVERYTHING. However God knew best because I sure as heck didn’t.  All I knew was that happiness & peace were somewhere on the horizon for me again & it wasn’t at all tied up in the house, the cars, the broken relationship, the friends, etc.  He (God) knew that I had to let it all go in order for him to restore it.  By making the decision to give it all up, I was actually putting myself in a position to receive “All” that I had lost…and then some.

Now, as hard as it was to walk away from the home we had built together, the beautiful family we had started together, our mutual friends and what we thought was an amazing and unbreakable bond we shared, it didn’t matter anymore.  The thing that I wanted most at this point was peace and Joy and happiness again.  The “stuff” no longer mattered to me.  The idea and the image of marriage that we were portraying was no longer important.  All I knew is that I wanted to be happy again, so I let it go.  I gave it all up not knowing that it was all a set up in preparation for the blessings that he was about to pour down in my life.

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I didn’t realize that by giving it all up and deciding that my peace & happiness were the most important things to me at that time, that God was actually setting me up to have that and great deal more.  He wanted me to have it “All” but he had to remove the “Ideas” and the images of what I had perceived marriage to be.  Once he showed me that the “stuff” & the outside relationships didn’t make a marriage, it was that much more easier to let it all go, to give it up.  Now let me clarify the word “All” for those of you who may be thinking that I’m referring to the material aspect of “All”. No.  When I say that God has given me “All” in return for me “letting it all go”, I’m referring to the peace, the joy the amazing and indescribable love that I now have for my husband.  He gave it “All” back to me and a little extra!  I’ve most certainly been in love before, yes! What a feeling that is, right?  However at this moment in my life, the love that I experienced back then has nothing on how I feel towards my husband today.

Because of my divorce, I now love with absolutely no guard up.  There’s no, “if you love me today & show it, then I will too”.  We both have decided that no matter what mood the other person is in, good or bad, “Stank” (LOL!) or indifferent, it doesn’t change how we feel about one another. We’re here for the long haul. Taking care of one another and being considerate is not an option based on how you treat me, it is the order of the day and we both realized that by responding to one another in that way (only doing based on how we feel), that that wasn’t a marriage and definitely not one that God had anything to do with. So we had to allow God to repair the broken places in us and in doing so, he showed us, me more specifically, that giving it all up, was the first step to having it “All” again.

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God restored “All” that we lost in the divorce. We truly “thought” we loved one another back then but to have gone through what we’ve been through it makes you a little bit more appreciative of each other and it makes you love that much harder, the second time around.  So yes, I gave up “Everything”, materially that is, in order to have it “ALL”, mentally, physically and spiritually. Knowing what I now know, I would give it all up again, to be in the place where I am today.  Loving with no guard, no walls, no ridiculous expectations and no responding based on how I feel…okay, well not all the time anyways, LOL.  Now let’s be absolutely REAL for a moment.  Is life easy and is everybody walking around loving each other all day, everyday, ahh, No! LOL!!  However, our marriage is so much more stronger  and we’re convinced that nothing, not man created that is, can separate this bond that God has covered, “TWICE”. LOL. Yes, I walked away from everything, in order to have it all. #My Divorce actually Saved My Marriage.

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From Orpah to Ruth: How My Divorce Revealed My Destiny

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As most know the story in the book of Ruth about Naomi, the woman who had lost her husband and both her sons in the country of Moab and was left alone with her 2 daughter in-laws, Orpah and Ruth.  Well after the death of her husband and 2 sons Naomi decided that she was going to return back home to Bethlehem.  She said that she “had nothing else” and urged her 2 daughter-in-laws to “go back to your mother’s homes, I have nothing for you”.  Well after a bit of urging, Orpah, who would be “me” at the beginning of this story, lovingly kissed the cheek of her mother-in-law and left.  But however Ruth stayed and she vowed, “as the lord liveth I shall not leave thee”.

Now, my story.  I have to admit, if I could relate to any one of these 3 women in this story, it would be Orpah, initially that is. Now I know, most of us, when we hear the story of Ruth, do everything in our power to make some type of correlation or connection with who we are in our current situation to that of the likeness of Ruth.  And let’s be clear, we can all understand why.  Ruth is herold as “THE” woman in this book! She’s beautiful, faithful, loyal, strong and in the end, she gets the prize, Boaz! As well as a life filled with prominence and stability. Who wouldn’t want to be a “Ruth”?  But if we’re really honest with ourselves most of us, especially in this day and age, are probably more like Orpah.  Okay, I won’t put labels on anyone.  I’ll just say, during my divorce, “I” was Orpah in every sense of the word.

Be clear, I had no ill will or vengeful intent towards anyone, of which I don’t think Orpah did either. However, she just didn’t see a future tagging along with her dead husband’s mother.  Orpah’s husband had died, so she LEFT.  In my case, my marriage had ended, so I LEFT. Once Orpah had received word that her husband had died, or in my case, the divorce papers were signed, there was no need, at least this was my thinking at the time, to continue on in a situation where the other person (spouse) was no longer there. Makes sense, right? so I, like Orpah, lovingly and graciously LEFT.

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Now fast forward.  In learning a great deal more about my own marriage (as it was restored) and Ruth’s story, I realized that yes, I was most definitely an Orpah, seeing no future in a dead thing.  However, in looking back, there was a transformation taking place that I wasn’t even aware of. I learned that walking away (as Orpah had done to Naomi) was probably the easiest thing to do.  However staying and deciding that I will stay committed to that which God had called me to was more than likely the hardest thing to do, especially when you’re already divorced. What are you staying for Peaches? Why?

As I learned more about the story of Ruth, I learned that Ruth was going to be a foreigner in Bethlehem (Naomi’s homeland).  She didn’t know anybody (other than her mother-in-law), she didn’t speak the language, it was a different religion than what she had known, she was widowed, poor, tired and hungry but she was willing to stay and endure all of those hardships because she was committed to not only Naomi but to her late husband’s legacy.  Ruth realized that the person with whom she was once loyal to and loved and honored and cherished (her husband), she was still “spiritually” tied to, even in death.  However in my situation, there was no physical death which meant I was, even more so than Ruth in my opinion, still tied spiritually to my husband. And my destiny, as Ruth’s was, was tied to that which God had ordained and called to be, my marriage.

Now in realizing that my fate and destiny as well as the life that God had called me to was tied to that of my husband and the covenant of our marriage, leaving this covenant (as Orpah had done) would have cut me off from the destiny that God had already predestined for me.  Meaning that, the divorce and the restoration of the our marriage was something “I” had to go through in order for my purpose and/or destiny to be realized. Ruth was not going to meet Boaz while her husband (Naomi’s son) was still living and they were still in Moab. There had to be a death and then a commitment of loyalty to stay and “go with” in order for Ruth’s destiny to be revealed. She had to go to Bethlehem which meant staying committed to the covenant of her marriage (hanging in there with her mother-in law) even though her husband had died. In my case, staying committed to the marriage/the covenant even though, in my eyes, the marriage had died.

Just like Ruth, there would be no Boaz and no story of restoration and of great lineage to tell, had she left. For me, I would not be sitting here telling the world how God saved my marriage and my family through, and as crazy as it may sound, the death of my marriage…divorce.  Yes, I was an “Orpah”!  Honey I was “Gone”:)! But in time God showed me that I possessed all the characteristics of a “Ruth” by later deciding to stay (and fight for the marriage). God humbled me and I got back in line with my destiny.  I would have never walked in the fullness of what God had predestined for me until I had stood and “stayed” loyal to that which he had joined me to.

Bishop T.D. Jakes put it this way, “Nothing Just Happens”.  There was a bigger plan in play, for Ruth and for myself and had I just walked away (as Orpah did) the plan, the ministry, the book, the fact that I’m speaking to you now from a place of healing would have never happened because “Nothing Just Happens”! Therefore, my marriage, subsequent divorce, walking away only to realize that my loyalty and commitment to my husband was tied to my destiny, none of that just happened.  God allowed all of that so that I could be able to tell all of this and how, “My Divorce Saved My Marriage”.

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