Friday, April 01, 2005

No Pity Please

Well, I seem to be finding it difficult to write about things. Three blogs ended up being deleted in spite of weeks working on them. Not sure why exactly, but I just couldn't get myself to post them. Perhaps another time...

Most of the people reading this are likely friends of mine somehow or another, but I know there are some who don't know me, have never heard of me, or have met me in passing either online or in person who may wonder about me. So, I decided to share something that I've wanted to share from a personal level for quite some time. I'm going to tell you a little about me.

Two years ago (maybe a little more), I started watching my "white picket fence" life fall apart. Though I didn't know what it was that was going on, I sensed that my marriage was disintegrating. For the nine years before that, I'd devoured God's Word, listened to Christian programming, sought out advice of older, wiser Christian women, and read book after book with a genuine desire to be the woman, wife, and mother I believed I was called to be. There was not doubt in my mind that I "had it made" when it came to my marriage. In my minds eye, no man could light a candle to my husband. I wanted no one but him, my eye never wandered... He was my Prince Charming, my Knight in Shining Armor. I loved him.

In the summer of 2003, my husband told me he was planning on leaving me. Oh, the fear that overcame me! I wept, begged and pleaded with him to stay. And stay he did! But I knew in my heart, he did not love me and was only staying out of pity. Suddenly the books I was reading were a lot different than the ones I'd read before, the questions I was asking more mature, God fearing women changed as well, and my mission as a wife also changed. I was fighting for my marriage, with my whole heart, mind and soul. Almost every instant of my days were consumed with fear that my husband would leave me. And I wanted him to love me, to be committed to me, to not leave me. He saw that, and to this day I believe that he only stayed as long as he did out of pity.

In the months that followed his telling me that he wanted to leave me, my disposition changed a lot. I was slowly beginning to believe that I was going crazy. I was not functioning in my home as well, I was losing my temper from time to time, and I would find myself crying over the silliest things. My husband did not love me, and I knew it. Suspicions that there was someone else grew with time. The more those suspicions grew, the crazier I felt I was becoming. I was also becoming angry with God. Hadn't I been faithful? And my desire to have a marriage with Him as my foundation...Wasn't that a lovely desire? And didn't my children need their father to be seeking his Father?

Well, in January of 2004, IT happened. One night, he left. I didn't see it coming. I truly believed he'd stay, if only for the children, if only to do "the right thing", if only... If ever I wanted to stop existence, it was then. How thankful I am that I had five little people needing me, especially the baby! My ten month old child's needing me kept me going each day. I wasn't functioning well, but I was functioning. It took no time before my home started to look like something I could get my children taken away from me for living in. I wasn't checking my mail. I wasn't paying my bills. I wasn't going to the gym. I was doing little to nothing outstation of the bare minimum to be sure the kids' basic needs were cared for. Sometimes, I'd cry tile there were no more tears or until I felt I'd vomit. The mourning for my marriage was the complete opposite of bliss.

Within a very short period of time, I saw that God was teaching me something beautiful through this very, very ugly thing that was happening. He'd taught me that He truly is my ALL. I was humbled over time as I'd realized that I'd been idolizing my husband and my marriage, that I'd been seeing my marriage as sort of a status symbol, and that I'd not been empathetic toward other brothers and sisters in the Lord who'd suffered loss of their marriages.

How exciting it was to me, even through the pain to watch my Lord grow me up! He became my ALL finally. I'd hit my "rock bottom" and could only see Him when I looked up. When my idol had been stripped away from me, for the first time I was truly and fully relying on God. The concern for what others thought of me was diminishing day by day and being replaced by an increased desire to glorify my God with my whole heart and mind, to take the circumstanced I was in and not quit. God was doing something amazing in my life and I couldn't wait to see what it was, even if it meant enduring what I was going through. I continued to fight for my marriage until there was no more fight; I was determined to win him back (and I'm glad I did so) if at all possible. I will not get into the details, but my dissolution of my marriage did happen upon biblical grounds and my conscience is clear regarding the matter.

Well, this whole new world of being single has hit me hard. Being a single mom of five children is difficult, and I'm sure that goes without saying. The divorce was excruciating financially speaking. My children suffer with issues they'd not be suffering had my marriage stayed in tact. I battle loneliness and a desire to have someone to walk through this life with. But, something beautiful has happened; I've become a better version of the Gretchen I was before. My God has blessed me abundantly because He and He alone is my All. He and He alone is my source of joy, contentment, and peace. So, if you know me and you feel sorry for me, for my circumstances. Please change your pity to praise, prayer and thanksgiving. God is good, He has been good to me, and He will always faithful to me!



Anonymous Paul said...

Wonderful testimony. God bless you & your kids.

4:49 PM, April 01, 2005  
Anonymous Rebecca said...

Gretchen-I did pity you at the beginning of the dissolution. I watched you grow and remain strong, at least in the presence of others. I love you and support you-pray for you and praise you for your strength. I have always thought you were an amazing woman and continue to think highly of you. When I think of a Godly woman and mother-I think of you. I have not pitied you for some time now because the strength and dependance you have on God. I miss you and am glad you posted this uplifting testimony of how Christ really does love us and care for us.

1:34 PM, April 02, 2005  
Anonymous Yeb said...

Dear Gretchen, It was encouraging reading your testimony. The things you go trough is something I went through as well, and I also became stronger and not weaker. My faith grew instead of failure. I am so glad I met you!
keep writing and don't let anyone stop you from becoming stronger and from becoming the woman God has in mind for you to be!!!

3:58 PM, April 02, 2005  
Anonymous Peter said...


Though I could never truly know your pain, I am always here for you. Remember, it is not the trails in life which make us stronger and define who we are, it is what we choose to do with them. We have limited control over the events live brings to our door. But, we always have the option to lay it all at the alter and give it up to the Lord. (James 1:2-3) Love you always sis! --your lil bro, Peter

8:53 PM, April 17, 2005  

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