We all have heard the phrase, "been there, done that". The days leading up to my loss left me in a panic and emotionally drained. I felt that I was the only one going through the wormhole of despair. Fortunately, I had been though couples' counseling and had been given the opportunity to begin counseling on my own. I still remember the question asked of me like it was yesterday from the counselor, "If your wife walks out and leaves you, would you be ok?" The question hit me like a ton of bricks.
"No, I would not be alright. What is the reason for living? I snapped. This all ran through my head. This question lead me on a journey to great books, authors and new found friendships. I quickly began to learn that with the USA population is now over 50% single by choice, by loss or by divorce. I was in a larger company than I expected. Well respected author and host of the radio call-in program, New Life Live, Dr. Stephen Arterburn was one of those many individuals with unexpected loss. He too had been married over 20 years before his wife up and left their relationship. This well noted author and counselor had created a line of books just to help tell his own story complete with answers, thoughts and insights in dealing with such loss. Stephen was also the creator of the "Women of Faith" ministry that has touched the hearts of over 1 million women over the past 20 years. So, the pain of his grief was intense and the agony of his loss was as deep as mine. I could completely relate to his writings.
We all know that it takes 2 to thrive in relationship and it takes only 1 to refuse to continue to work on a relationship. Stephen's book called, "Healing is a Choice", was a breath of fresh air to me. He touched on his past pain and his inability to fix his position in life. Here, I realized that intense, deep friendships would help me process my present and lead be back onto level ground to my future. My past could and would no longer blur my present and my present would become brighter so I could see into my future.
From here, I continued to seek out new friendships with those with similar stories. A good friend introduced me to a book called, Second Firsts by Christina Rasmussen. My friend had been through divorce and had a child succeed at suicide. In an attempt to learn more about processing suicide, she dove into the pages of that book. What she found was that it helped her process her disintegrated relationship that had occurred by divorce and set her free to move on in life towards her future. I too was quite touched by the book and had learned much from this author that had lost her husband to cancer. This lesson was a big blessing to me and one that I share freely with many of my friends.
It was at this same time that the Genesis crew started talking about all of our various losses. We all realized then that the Lord is so faithful to bring broken people together to talk through and walk through pain and grief in order to accelerate healing of our hearts. Through the intensity of changes in my walk with Christ and through the deepening of my fellowship with other believers, I am blessed to be in a better place today. God is good, always!