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Issue 3 - ©2001 by Kari West - Garden
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
- 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.