Friday, July 29, 2016

The Ugly Truth

"Always choose the ugly truth
over a pretty lie."
~Beau Taplin

If you have been following me a long time, you know my story. 

You have probably read every word of the story that I wrote almost 3 years ago, and you have shared with me in the heartache and triumph of my fall to rock bottom and my rise from the ashes of a shattered life. 

I have never shied away from my truth.

I have a call on my life to use my story for His glory, because the hard reality is this: divorce, cheating, and extra-martial affairs have become a pandemic in this country. 

We have bought the lie that OUR happiness is all that matters.

We are bombarded with this lie in the media through the celebrities we follow and the television shows we watch. We have become numb to the ugly truth behind this pretty lie. 

If our husband's make us mad or don't listen to us, we run to our mother, our sister, or our friends. We listen to them tell us how "wonderful" we are and how we "deserve" better. 

If our wives disappoint us, we tune them out. We find a younger and more beautiful model or at least someone we believe truly "gets" us and shares "our" interests.

We pour our time and energy into relationships with people who are just as human as our current spouses instead of fixing what is right in front of us. 

We expect each new relationship to fulfill the lie that requires them to be the sole dispenser of our happiness, and if they fail-which they will-we move onto the next one. 

It's a vicious cycle. 

It's a road that can only lead to one place: destruction. 

I know this because I have been there.

There was a time in my life that I expected other people to fulfill my happiness. 

Me-the good, little Christian wife with the "perfect", little Christian life-bought the lie.

I drank the koolaide.

I was thirsty for the superficial love and false acceptance the world told me that I "deserved".

It was a deep, dark place that left me broken and completely destroyed.

But, like one of my favorite quotes by J.K. Rowling says, "Rock bottom became the solid foundation on which I rebuilt my life."

I have spent the last 2 years, 10 months, and 29 days rebuilding my life, so that I can sit here today and tell you this:

It's not worth it. 

Yes. I am happily remarried.

Yes. My husband and I work very hard every single day to actively and amicably co-parent our daughter with my ex-husband and his wife.

But, the consequences of my actions and my choices haunt me every single day.

There are nights I go to bed without my daughter and important things I have had to miss or learn how to share with her stepmom. There are holidays I don't have her and moments I experience that I wish she could share with me. There are hard conversations that I have to have with her almost on a daily basis and a "new normal" I don't think any of us will ever fully get used too.

 There are people in my community who won't even look at me-who still turn and go the other way in the middle of a Wal-Mart aisle if they see me. People who have been affected by the far reaching grasp of my choices. People I don't even know.

There are things I will never get closure about and apologies I will never get to give.

I still have nightmares. I still beat myself up.

I physically dread the day my daughter finally asks me about that time in my life, and I often wonder how that conversation will go.

And these are just some of the consequences.

I have also had to experience this from the other side of the coin as an adult child of divorced parents.

I live everyday with the consequences of my parents choices and actions.

Holidays suck and birthday parties are awkward.

I have trust issues and therapy bills.

Just because I was out of the house and months away from my first marriage, doesn't mean that my parents divorce didn't affect me.

And this is the ugly truth.

These are the things the media doesn't tell you.

This is the behind the scenes look that you miss when you're watching TV.

This is the verse that is always missing from those love songs.

And this is the line in those Pinterest quotes that your missing.

Because, these are the true consequences of a really pretty lie.

Marriage is hard work. 

It is a choice you make every single day to love someone not inspite of who they are, but because of who they are.

Happiness is hard work. 

It's a choice every single day to be content with the life God has chosen to give you.

It is not a emotional state. It is a mental state.

Making the right choices is hard work.

If doing the right thing was easy, the world would be a perfect place.

Owning the ugliness of your truth is hard work.

I can promise you that there is nothing easy about it.

But, the freedom that comes with owning it and working through it is indescribable.

I will never forget the day I found freedom from the lies I had been telling myself.

It was a freedom that was only possible through Christ.

Because without His forgiveness and my true repentance from a life that looked nothing like the life He had planned for me, I honestly don't think I would be where I am today.

Yes. This is the stuff the world keeps forgetting to tell you.

These are things that you don't want to hear, but that you need to hear.

I don't know where you are on your journey or what flavor of koolaide the world has convinced you to drink, but I know this: it's never too late to hand them back the glass.

To say no to the poison and the lies.

To say yes to the life God truly has for you.

Will it be easy? No.

But, I can promise you that it's worth it. 

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