Stages of Grief: Acceptance

I'd been living with my parents for several weeks. The distance was healing. With each passing day, I felt myself becoming a little more grounded, a little more still. As I reconnected with myself and my Savior, lessons that I'd already learned returned to my mind. Years earlier, when J and I were newly married, we'd experienced a crisis that had nearly resulted in divorce. As I ran on rolling, country roads, I accepted once again the things I'd come to accept then: 

  • I could not rely on J or our marriage to make me feel valued, fulfilled, beautiful and whole. I was all of those things regardless of J or his actions.
  • J was not responsible for my happiness and I was not responsible for his. I accepted that I only had control over my own choices and attitudes, not my husband's. 
  • I accepted that J was not the sum of his mistakes.
  • I accepted that forgiveness was a gift. I could give it freely and without condition.
  • I accepted that I was a mortal, flawed woman married to a mortal, flawed man and the only way to navigate the many things that felt 'true' was to rely on Heavenly Father.
  • I accepted that God's version of things working out and my version of things working out would not always be the same-- but that God's version was always better, even if it was more painful.

One night, I woke to an alert on my phone. It was an email from J, and it wasn't good. I stayed awake to think, write and pray. As dawn broke, I laced up my running shoes, stepped out the door, and pleaded aloud.

For weeks, every time I asked for guidance, the word whispered to my soul was, "patience." But this time, I felt with certainty that I had to give J a choice. Move out, or the children and I would stay in Grangeville.

That was the moment that I finally accepted that even if it was true that I'd been right to marry J; even if it was true that I'd been told to stay; even if it was true that we were meant to bring these children into the world; even if it was true that I could be happy and at peace regardless of J's actions; even if it was true that I loved him; even if I did everything 'right', J and I might still get divorced. I accepted that J had his agency and that I may someday receive the whisper, "enough". I had to accept that it would not be a failure.

God's version of things working out and my version of things working out would not always be the same. But I accepted that God's version was always better.


Creole Wisdom said...

I just wanted to check in with you today and offer my support. Far away from where you are, in MN, a girl is praying for you. I hope you and your family find whatever is best and needed. I know God's plan is not always our own and that He is not responsible for the choices we make out of free will. Thinking of you and sending you good thoughts!

Aimee said...

You are a women of great faith.
Loving the boundaries you were created on your/his happiness and responsibility to the marriage. SO healthy.

hessfam said...

Just thought I'd check in on an old friend...I am sorry you have been through so much. I'll keep you and your family in my prayers. I have always found you very inspirational and I know you are an amazing person. I hope the best for you and your family (hugs).

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