I came across one of my favorite quotes during an especially vulnerable time during my divorce. The quote is by Abraham Lincoln and was exactly what I was feeling:
“I have been driven many times upon my knees by the overwhelming conviction that I had no where else to go.”
I had tried everything within my power to make my marriage better. I had read self help books and tried idea after idea for 18 years to improve my situation. I had been in the rat race to make myself better the entire time. I was sure that I could fix this. I gave 110% of everything I had to offer. I had run as fast as I could to catch a man that I could not catch. I had put my heart and soul into just being better so that he would love me. A better wife, a better mother, a better friend, just better. I knew I could become enough if I just prayed and just tried harder. I was worn out, I would plead with heavenly father to help me or to let me leave. I couldn’t meet the unspoken expectations.
I was a failure. I was tired. I couldn’t run anymore. I was weary.
It was then that I fell upon my knees. Recognizing that I couldn’t not save myself, my kids, my husband, or my marriage. I prayed like I had never prayed before. I had real intent. I cried and I plead, I needed help. I didn’t know how to be better.
This was the start of almost 2 years of the worst pain I had ever felt. The most loss I had ever had, and the most change. My chest never felt heavier than it did at this time, I faced exposure and lies, that tore my heart into shreds. I lived life with puffy eyes, a shattered heart, and broken soul. Several times a week I faced criticism and negativity from my ex. Hearing from this man that I had adored for 19 years that his new girlfriend was so much better than me. That he was so happy he no longer had to be married to me because I was so bad. His messages were cruel and hurt deeply. I remember telling him that what he was saying was hurting me and asking him to stop. That he could go and live his life happily he didn’t need to continue rubbing salt into my wounds.
I thank Heavenly Father dearly for leading me to a counselor 3 months prior to my husband leaving the first time. That counselor was key in my ability to cope with my marriage falling apart and ultimately ending. She is an earthly angel who has gifts to help broken women. To this day I love her dearly and thank God for her. He sent many angels to me from all walks of life that eased my burdens. People would show up at my doorstep with exactly what I needed to keep going.
Prayer, studying the Book of Mormon, and temple attendance became key to moving forward. Those three things gave me strength that I did not have on my own. I fell upon my knees more than I ever had in my life pleading for guidance and direction and God sent me what I needed. For the first time in my life I knew that he knew me. I knew that he saw me and I knew I wasn’t alone. He really did carry me. I gained a deep conviction in his love for all of us. I gained a real testimony of forgiveness and how the atonement can heal us from our own sins and the pain of others sins.
Today I continue to thank him because through all of the pain he gave me some amazing gifts. I have more love and compassion for those that are suffering because I know what suffering feels like. I don’t want anyone to be alone, I am so happy to sit and cry with people. I think I was born with a gift to love unconditionally, but he has deepened that.
Assignment for Healing: Kneel in prayer and hand your burdens over to your heavenly father. He knows you and he loves you. He will not leave you alone. Ask for the things that you need.
You can do hard things.