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DivorceWise Newsletter
Issue 3 - 2001 by Kari West - Garden Glories Publications
Telling Someone

Welcome Survivor!

Welcome! By now you know that in this sisterhood, we know you by your scars. And guess what? In heaven, your Heavenly Father won't be looking at your achievement medals. He'll be scanning your heart, looking to see if you've been faithful-whatever happened. Your God will know you by your scars. Scars are evidence of what you have been through.

That's how the disciples in the Upper Room knew they were looking at the risen Jesus writes Judy from Ontario, Canada. A missionary wife in Africa for 13 years, she served beside her husband-until he left her. Judy knows about scars.

So ... if you're hurting from a betrayal, scarred from abuse, or just plain weary from being misunderstood or manipulated by someone you loved and thought loved you, you're in the right place. Welcome!

You are not alone. You are not going crazy. You will get through this, even though you don't believe it right now. We know-because we've stood where you now stand.

Here's what's new:

Available on-line are several magazine articles written by Kari: (1) WHAT'S THE HARM IN A LITTLE LIE? (September 1999 issue of Single-Parent Family). To view or request a complimentary copy of this magazine, log on to http://www.family.org/ (2) LYING-ISN'T EVERYBODY DOING IT? (May/June 1999 issue of The Plain Truth) and (3) GOING IT ALONE-SINGLE PARENTING (July/August 1998 issue of The Plain Truth). To view or request a complimentary copy of the magazine, log on to http://www.ptm.org/

I don't know about you, but my ex-husband's deception was more devastating than his affairs. Lies strip us of innocence. Lies humiliate us and shame us. We wonder if the person who has lied to us ever told us the truth. If you have been deceived by someone you trusted, you know that lies can undermine credibility, disintegrate relationships and erode trust. That's what I explore in these articles, along with a list of "Common Responses Liars Use to Conceal Their Lies."

In this 3rd issue of the DivorceWise newsletter, the featured survival story from a woman like you comes from Doni Kay in Colorado. Here are her encouraging words:

Personal reflection ... by Doni Kay in Colorado

One year ago, my husband of 10 years told me he didn't want to be married anymore. We had just moved half way across the country so that he could pastor a church. I had left family, job, church, friends, home and pets-and then, he left me.

God has become my support group as I go through this painful time. When He Leaves is a god-send. Through the stories in this book, I can allow myself to feel and express the pain and rage. I tell myself that there is hope for me because there has been hope for those women; and I find the courage to go on as they did.

I am finding divorce an unwelcome experience that now makes up a part of who I am. I have joined a Bible study of women who just happen to be-all of them-divorced! Yet divorce is not the focus of our study at all. God has blessed me with the beginning of a relationship with others who have suffered a similar loss.

It is so important, I think, to be brave and to take advantage of the opportunities that God puts before you. He is encouraging me to come out of my period of mourning, to grow out of my intense pain, and to share myself with others. The sharing may be very small, but I have seen that God still uses wounded hearts to help uplift others in the Body of Christ.

I was a little surprised though at the reaction I got from some women in the group when I mentioned that I pray for my ex-husband. They seemed shocked. Maybe they felt that this was holding on to the past or that some hurts are too painful to forgive. But how are we to truly forgive if we don't acknowledge the part that God loves this person who hurt us in the same tender, yet individual, way that He loves us?

How can I not pray for someone who loved me for a long time and with whom I shared so much of myself? I think that God hastens the healing process when we face our pain head-on. And who is better to face that pain with than God? Praying for blessings for my ex-husband helps me to let him go.

God is also now gently pushing me to consider other opportunities in my life that have nothing to do with marriage, but everything to do with relationships, with work, and with studying Him. I must admit to a little dragging of heels here. Hey, can't I just have a break?

But, no, God wants me to be actively exploring new area and I have to trust that His timing is better than mine would be. Yet I really distrust my own ability to make good decisions these days. It helps though to know that He will always encourage me, even if I make mistakes. Nothing is permanent on this earth, after all, except our love for others and the character that we will bring with us to the next life. So, maybe taking risks isn't such a scary thing in the long run? - Written by Doni Kay in Colorado

Help for today ... by Kari

You know, Doni Kay is right about how important it is to step out to risk new challenges and to meet new people. But it's not easy, is it?

Do you remember the first time after you knew you were getting a divorce that you stood in the doorway of a friend's house, perhaps even your church or a Divorce Recovery group and you wanted to turn around and run? Or those awkward moments of attending a friend's 25th anniversary party-when your own marriage only made it to 22 years? I do! I think probably one of the most painful moments was the first time I told a friend, "I'm getting a divorce." In fact, I have to admit that I couched the truth this way: "I think Ed and I are getting a divorce." Think?? Who was I kidding?

Let's face it, in the transition from married woman to single-again, there are times we all feel awkward. It looks so much easier and simpler to stay home and hide under the covers. I mean, no explanations are needed; no fears are exposed. But isolation doesn't white-out our longing for connection, companionship and community.

I'm so glad that Doni stepped over her awkwardness and found a great group of ladies to laugh and cry and pray with. The telling and telling and retelling of our story over and over again is so important to our healing. As we peel off the layers of pain, expose the shame and humiliation, open our wounds to the air, we begin to heal.

Then, we discover everybody has some type of scar. Eventually our humiliation lifts and we become transparent. And in our transparency, we offer others the freedom to show us who they are, too. As they sense our acceptance, they dare to peel the layers of their hurts and in time begin to heal. Out of what was originally meant to harm us comes something miraculous and good.

Doni Kay recommends these books to you: Disappointment With God by Philip Yancey and The Blessings of Brokenness by Charles Stanley. I've read both of them, so I can ditto her recommendation.

Let me close with Doni's own words. They offer food for thought. "Will I stop depending on God as I heal emotionally? Will I lapse back into complacency as my life gets more comfortable? It is important for me to remember that I always have a job to do-and that is to love others in a way that encourages them to be reconciled to God and to others."

A promise you can trust

"The Lord is with you when you are with him. If you seek him, he will be found by you, but if you forsake him, he will forsake you." ---II Chronicles 15:2

 "The Lord watches over the way of the righteous." ---Psalms 1:6

 "Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord." ---Psalms 27:14

- Contributed by Lisa in Indiana

Please stop by again soon

Please let me hear from you. I answer every letter and e-mail. Also, be encouraged to share what helped you through your divorce so others know they are not alone and that they too will survive. E-mail by Clicking Here or write Kari West, P. O. Box 11692, Pleasanton, CA 94588.

Copyright 1998 - 2002 by Kari West