Last week was a good one, compared to the many struggles we’ve faced recently.
For a couple who hasn’t been getting long very well over the past several months, Tim and I have certainly come together in regards to the posts I’m writing. The only way to explain it is God, because only a month ago we thought this marriage was over.
When things got really tough last summer, and I could feel my husband’s heart turning away from me, I spent a lot of time crying. I felt rejected. I felt helpless. And I felt extremely disappointed that my marriage was nothing like I dreamed it would be.
It’s disheartening to come face to face with the reality that things have not worked out like we planned. When our dreams are lost, we normally experience a period of grief. One of the things our counselor mentioned right after we first met him was that the marriage we thought we had was gone.
We would need to give ourselves a little time to grieve the loss.
The hard part for me was letting the feelings have their way.
After all, I am a problem solver. I like to take action and see things come together. Lying around feeling sorry for myself fixes nothing, so I would tell myself to quit whining and get moving. I knew I could be sad for a little bit, but then I had to buck up and figure out what God wanted me to do next.
The trouble was, at that point, God didn’t want me to do anything but rest in His arms and cry.
A couple times my prayer partner Joanne told me to just let the feelings come. She said not to push them away, but to tell God everything I felt and let myself actually experience the hurt. My other confidants agreed with her.
There is a time for action, and a time to be still.
As my counselor said, I needed to learn to let things get a little messy. I don’t like messy…
So I tried to just be quiet more often. Squash the urge to figure out a way to fix my problems. Rest in the arms of my Savior and tell Him how much I hurt. Let Him refresh me with strength and courage to face just one more day.
I read a blog a couple months ago where the author said she was learning how to be gentle with herself when she made mistakes. I loved that terminology “be gentle with yourself”. So I have started using that phrase when I get wound up.
When I see another mistake I made, or when I feel overwhelmed with emotion, I try to give myself this new pep talk:
“Be gentle with yourself, Jen. Don’t set your standards for the healing process too high. This is only a season, and getting upset with yourself makes it harder.”
What about you? How can you be a little gentler with yourself? Do you need to let yourself grieve what you’ve lost?
©Jen Cudmore 2015, All Rights Reserved
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