1 Corinthians 10:13
There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.
I can’t tell you the number of times I have looked at this scripture and wondered if it applied to me. In 2013 when life flipped upside down I was stretched farther than I had the strength to bear. I would fall to my knees begging and pleading for God to give me a break from my broken heart. I hurt! My brain was confused, unable to handle and accept what was happening in my life. It seemed as if the hard work and love I had put into my marriage was for nothing. I couldn’t understand how a man that was supposed to love me, care for me, and cherish me…. cast me aside so easily for his addiction. I felt lost and broken, and I felt as if I was being tempted beyond my capacity. I had moments when I did not think I was going to make it.
Looking back on those moments now I can see how far I have come. I did make it through the heartache and the pain and now I stand on the other side. I am able to see how a loving father in heaven brought me slowly to higher ground. I can remember the process and I now can see that I held the key and the magic to my healing. I believe without a doubt that you hold the key to yours.
I came to understand that the key was not on the surface, I had to dig deep inside myself, in a dungeon, to recognize my potential and to find the way out. That my escape would not come easy. I would have to find the keys to many doors before I would see the light of day. When I started I had no idea that each key that I needed to escape had always been within me.
Door 1: To open this door I had to start taking care of myself. I put the needs of my family, work, and friends before my own. I recognize that mothers do this all of the time, but I also came to understand that when I did this I really was not able to give my best self to anything. As I started to do things I loved to do again, I saw an increase in my energy. Instead of watching television with my kids in the evening I wanted to play with them. The time I spent with them had more quality.
Door 2: The next door was hard, I had to become shame resilient. It started small at first, no more than an idea I came upon. I did not see how it was possible to become free from the weight of ‘not being good enough’ that was on my shoulders. I had no idea that this was the first key to my healing. I leaned into an uncomfortable place, with the HOPE that one day I would feel differently about myself. The process was hard, but with each small success, I was able to take a small step forward towards freedom. (Steps to Resilience)
Door 3: I had to learn how to set boundaries with other people who had taken advantage of my goodness, my value, and my time. I learned that by setting boundaries I was teaching people how they could treat me. Before this moment I thought that boundaries meant I was trying to control others. I thought I had to do what they wanted so that I could be loved, appreciated, and valued. When the truth was actually the opposite, people did not love, appreciate, or value me because I did not set boundaries.
Door 4: I had to let go of people who didn’t want to respect me. One of the hardest things I have ever done in my life was letting my ex-husband go when he refused to offer what I needed to feel safe. It broke my heart, then seeing my children suffer broke my heart again. I wanted so badly to have our family back together, but deep down I knew that if I gave in the circumstances that surrounded my marriage would never change. I knew that affairs and betrayal would be a part of my future if he was unable to make the small changes I required.
Door 5: I had to rediscover who I was and see myself as I actually am. After 19 years of being told I was unkind, not able to connect with others, and negative, I started to believe the lies. My ex-husband was the master at pointing out when I messed up. Unfortunately, he was not the only master, I didn’t believe that I had much to offer either. My negative self-talk kept me more trapped than he did. I found a key was I had to quit telling myself how bad I was. I had to stop the negative internal dialogue. I did this by using the three-second rule. When I would think a negative thought, I had to catch myself, then count to three, then change the negative talk to something positive. It was not easy, but as I practiced I became better and noticed an increase in my self-esteem.
Door 6: The last door was scary, and freeing at the same time. I had to own my story. All of it! The good and the bad. The pretty parts of my life and the ugly. I had to own the successes and the sins. I had to see both the gifts that heavenly father has given me and I had to see the weaknesses. I had to do a moral inventory of myself. Doing this brought many tears, and heartache as I was able to see things that I had done wrong in my marriage, including enabling my husband’s behavior. However, looking at myself and owning it was what brought me into the light and finally free from the darkness.
It took me about 2 years to find each key and walk through each door. It was not an easy process, each step was harder than I felt I could manage, and yet each key gave me hope for a brighter future. I look back today and I can see how that scripture applied to me after all. With God’s help, I had always held the key and the magic that would lead to my healing. I believe that you hold the key to yours.