When divorce happens to YOU

I didn’t think I would ever be as publicly straight forward as I am about to be about the topic of divorce, but after sitting with the Lord I felt I needed too. For others going through the same thing, if I can offer any kind of encouragement, there is not only light at the end of the tunnel but there is gold all along the way.

I am walking out divorce with several friends, myself included. Some of them didn’t want it, their spouse choose it. Others needed to get out for their safety. In my case, I was the one who chose divorce. Almost one year ago I knew I had to get out of the marriage I was in. Let me be very clear. I am NOT here to throw my ex under the bus. My heart is to sit and talk to you about what happens when this horrific thing happens to YOU personally. Because it is horrific. No matter who chose it. The loss of dreams, betrayal for many, and so, so many broken promises which results in a broken heart thats bleeding out from every side.

You don’t marry with the expectation you’re going to get divorced. Well, I sure hope you don’t. When you get married there are usually always some kind of unrealistic expectations but you never think its going to come down to taking off your ring, filing papers, and standing before a judge. But, thats what has happened to me.

I remember when I first took off my ring. I was almost numb.

How did it come to this? How was I here? How did two people who (in the beginning) loved Jesus so much come to this place? Would I be shamed as the woman for choosing this? How many rumors would circulate about me as people tried to guess what happened between us because I chose this?  Would I ever laugh again? Would I ever love again?

Everything in me wanted to crumple under the weight of this deep loss. To give up. To just let go. To not care. I wasn’t supposed to be taking off my wedding ring. All of this wasn’t supposed to be happening. I was supposed to be loved, cherished, and supported. The reality is, none of those things were true.

Your heart response to the knife gutting pain will be the very thing that carries you into your next season of life. I knew I had to get on my knees and cry out to God. He was the only one who understood the pain screaming inside of me. I could never cry enough tears to let all of that pain out. Screaming, yelling, punching things helped for a moment. But the pain, oh the pain.

Like a raging fire it burned hot seeking to destroy everything in its path. And I knew it would if I let it.

I knew I would end up a complete mess and probably an alcoholic if I didn’t respond correctly to this pain that tried to ravish my insides.

In the very beginning it was playing worship music almost 24/7, journaling 6-10 hours a day, and my friends who kept me afloat. I was texting my friends almost all day everyday for the first couple months as I grappled with this decision I had made. Thank you Jesus for sweet friends who text you at 3am as if it’s no big deal. I was trying to sort out everything going through my head and heart so I wouldn’t be overtaken by it all. After a while I found my feet again and began to be able to stand on my own. But the tears still flowed, oh did they flow. (They haven’t stopped yet btw.) Then before I knew it I was running again with new friends that pushed me to believe again. Not only was I running but I was laughing, joyful and at complete peace. I was me again, but an even better version than when I had met my ex. I am now a beautiful, laughing, crying mess. Very aware of the undeserved grace I have been extended in this process. What I have now is an unshakeable peace that overrides every fear or doubt that tries to slip back into my heart that was once traumatized by fear.

God recently spoke a phrase to me that summarized the past couple years perfectly.

“The enemy thought he was going to destroy you, instead he awoke the lioness”

I started laughing and crying all at once. The phrase hit my spirit and I knew it was truth. Where I had been beaten down emotionally, where I had every right to give up and ‘surrender’ to depression, I chose to run to Jesus and fight for my heart. I ran to the only one who could pick up all the broken pieces and put me back together as if it had never been broken. In this process I re-discovered just who I was. How had I forgotten? He created me a lioness. Fierce protector. Playful at times. But don’t you dare mess with what Gods given me, I will pounce. Funny side note: I found a prophetic word someone had spoken over me 7.5 years ago saying this very thing about me having the spirit of a lion, willing to protect what Gods given me. Of course it was lodged in a chapter of the bible that the day before I had been talking to God about- Well, lets be honest. I told God don’t you dare send me a confirmation using this chapter cause that would just be too over the top, my heart wouldn’t be able to handle that kind of goodness. Guess what my extravagant God did 😉 Yep. He loves to give good gifts. Not only did He confirm, but He reminded me of who I was just when I needed it.

I may forget the promises spoken over me, but God never does.

Walking through divorce looked NOTHING like I thought it would though. Don’t get me wrong it hurt like hell, and it still hurts on occasion, but walking through the grieving process was different than I imagined. There was a peace through the whole thing that was what kept me focused on God and His ability to finish the work He started in me. If you’ve ever heard Rita Springers song Defender you know what I am talking about. It took every bit of me that was angry as hell, that wanted vindication, and allowed the Lord to be charge of that. Trusting that he would be my defender. All He asked of me was to sit with Him every day and give all of me and He would heal me. It goes against everything we are taught. When we are knocked down we are taught to knock the other person down, or at least spew nasty words to prove our strength, to prove our worth. When you release the need to prove anything you’re able to receive everything.

Instead, God asked me to just sit with Him and He would take care of the rest. He wanted to love me back to wholeness.

Friends, this is where the magic took place. In this place of surrender. I spent over six months in this deep pursuit. Desperate to know the goodness of God, I didn’t care if others thought I was wasting my day spending almost my entire day everyday on my knees, or on the floor barren before the Lord. Most of the time weeping as He just loved on me. Showing me where I hurt. Showing me how His faithful love that can heal that wound. I just had to say yes. It was always my choice. Your healing is your choice. God will never force you into receiving His love. He is however standing right next to you waiting for you to let Him carry you into wholeness. If you are in this place of walking out divorce I urge you to spend the time investing in your heart. Today is the perfect day to begin this journey. He is so faithful to meet us time and time again.

God kept telling me He was even better than I imagined, that the dreams He had for me were better than I could imagine. While I couldn’t quite see it every time, deep down I knew it was true. I didn’t know how but I knew it was. So I chose to believe.

I chose to believe that the impossible was possible.

As I released the pain, as I let the tears flow I discovered the beauty that is the love of God that heals every broken place.  I found my source again. My living water. My hope. God was taking what should have NEVER happened to me and was declaring promises of restoration and redemption for my life. He took the deepest pain and hurt and because of my YES to the process He began showing me more places I hurt, more places I wasn’t letting love in my heart.

Instead of just picking up the broken pieces He was bringing to remembrance dreams I had since I was a little girl that I had given up over the last couple years. As He did this He showed me He truly was the restorer. He wanted those dreams more than I did. Through this process I have seen His perfect love truly does cast out ALL fear. Fear didn’t have a place in my heart any longer. Where it had made a home for so many years God showed me that not only did it not have to be that way, but He didn’t want that for me. He wanted me to know the security of His love. I now walk with an unshakeable peace deep within me that knows I am loved by God.

Friend, if this is you. If you are currently walking out divorce I want to remind you. This is my reminder too.

You have not missed your chance at love.

You are loved.

You too will love again, deeper than you ever imagined.

Just because one person didn’t want you, doesn’t mean God doesn’t.

When you choose to surrender the deepest of pains, you will be filled to the deepest measure. What happened to you was NEVER supposed to happen. He is even angrier than you are about it. God has spoken this to my heart several times and every time He does I fall more and more in love with God. Knowing He is trustworthy. The injustice that occurred to me was NEVER Gods desire. He does not want to be associated with such a horrific thing. But He never left my side through it all. And He will never leave my side as I begin this journey of life after divorce. In this journey I have re-discovered myself and I continue to every day that I say YES to this journey. And its just that. A journey. I have no idea where I am headed but as long as He is by my side I will dive in head first. Because He always leads well. There are so many gold nuggets along the way as you walk out divorce. I pray you are able to see them. If not, pray God would open your eyes to what HE WANTS for your heart today. I guarantee you its beyond what you could ever imagine.

As I finish up, here I want to say: I’m not looking for pity or sympathy by sharing my story. I honestly don’t need it. I’ll take all the prayers you have, but pity I don’t want. I have always and will always share my story with a hope to inspire and encourage. This is my testimony of His goodness. I pray that you are encouraged and strengthened that God makes everything beautiful in its perfect time. You too friend, he will restore and redeem every last broken piece if you let Him.

If you’re going through divorce and want to chat. I would love to hear your story or how I can pray for your heart. Comment below or send me an email to: kymberlyjanelle@gmail.com.

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Honor thy father | Fathers Day Edition

photo credit:KJP

(re-post from 2012)

Today is fathers day. One of the Fathers Day traditions in my house is to make dad breakfast. I have always done this task. This year he choose Belgian Waffles with fresh strawberries. So 45 mintutes before breakfast I rolled out of bed, brushed my teeth, got in my car and drove to the store. I walked into the store, grabbed my organic strawberries and got into line. All seemingly mundane tasks. Until I began talking with the clerk and the man behind me.

The clerk asked a typical question. “Do you have any plans for today?”

“Yep, I am making my dad belgian waffles with strawberries” I replied.

The man behind me grumbled “I wanna come to your house, all my kids are asleep.”

“Oh no” I told him.

He continued “I gotta make my own d*mn coffee. I asked them if they wanted to go out to eat for breakfast, but I am gonna have to go to breakfast myself…to h*ll with them” He said. Obviously upset.

It was in that moment of talking with this once stranger that I realized the simple task of making my dad breakfast was much more than that. It really is a way to honor my father. To take time out of my morning to say thank you.

[Food is the way to a mans heart after all right ;]

The seemingly small things can mean the world to another. Don’t underestimate taking time out of your day for someone.

So today I want to challenge you to take 5 minutes out of your day and honor your father. Whether that be in words, in action. Take time to say THANK YOU. No father is perfect, no father has it all together. I know that. Not sure what to say to dad? Ask God for His heart towards your father, and speak that life over him. Today I learned that the little things really do mean something to dads. Maybe you haven’t talked to your dad for years, maybe you haven’t said I love you for awhile. Why not start today?

Today my hope is you choose not to be the child of the upset father that I encountered at the store, but choose to be the child of God who desires to honor and love their father in there imperfections and weakness.

The hour that it took to wake up, go to the store, and make breakfast meant more to my dad than even I know. Choose to honor your father today ladies. Would love to hear what you are doing today to honor Him.

Social media: Choosing not to judge

I love social media. I know people who see it as a deep dark hole of narcissim but I see it in a completely different light and I would love to share with you my view on social media and why I partake in it on a daily basis. I actually have a couple posts on this topic. This first one is talking about choosing not to judge.

I have no shame that I take selfies. I don’t judge others for taking them either. We don’t know anyones story. Sometimes we share our story in our little captions other times we leave it blank. What we don’t know is the story behind that selfie, that food picture, that picture of their home…It could be that girl felt like crap all day and then pulled herself out of that funk, put some makeup on and felt good and decided to take a selfie. It could be that mom has had a laundry pile the size of Texas the last two weeks and finally her bed is clear of any trace of laundry and looking at her bed perfectly made brings her peace and she snaps a picture. Or maybe that person posting pictures of them and their partner posting sappy posts has actually been through a near divorce and so taking pictures of them hugging, kissing, and loving each other is a way bigger deal than we realize.

What about that mom that only posts pictures of her smiling babies and kiddos laughing? Have you thought for a moment maybe its because she is so overwhelmed with the late nights, and long days of fits, sleepless nights, and crying that by posting the smiling and laughing pictures it is a reminder to her that yes there is relief, there is beauty in the mundane.

Granted not every person that posts on social media falls into these categories but I know from experience from friendships that this IS the case for some, if not a lot of moms and women. So instead of judging them for “putting on a facade” of “only posting the perfect pictures” stop for a moment and consider there is more behind the picture than meets the eye.

So here is to social media. May we learn to grow from and with each other. Strengthening and not shaming. Encouraging and not envying.

I would love to hear your thoughts on this topic!

 

Real talk: Shame

Sometimes I wake up around 2-3am from a dream and find myself with some kind of insight into my life or someones life around me. This morning was no different. I woke up at 2am with something heavy on my heart. I thought about just going back to sleep and journaling and blogging about it later but I knew I needed to get up and write this out. So here I am.

This morning I want to talk about shame.

Every person responds to shame differently. Some run and hide. Some run to things, substances, porn. When I felt shame I would stuff my face with food. I would try and match what I was hearing in my head with my reality. Shame is a cunning and deceiving little thought that tries to seep into the bloodstream that is our thought life. 

Now as an almost 30 year old wife and soon to be mother I refuse to give into shame. Shame does not define me, nor will it ever. I also refuse to allow others shame to define me. This is a powerful place to live. Being able to let the ammunition of lies that may try and tell me otherwise to just bounce off and not affect me. It’s taken years to get to this place but I can honestly say I stand strong in my identity. 

10 years ago I allowed shame to infiltrate my life for one to many years. I allowed consuming thoughts of not being enough physically to haunt and drive my every move. I gave into those thoughts by embracing an eating disorder and running from guy to guy trying to find worth somewhere in the midst of shame. Yet these behaviors led to more and more shame. Shame for bad choices, shame for making myself eat more than I wanted. I became obsessed with covering my shame, and yet at the same time giving into it when others weren’t looking. 

Shame teaches us we are the problem. It can become a cycle of self loathing. Shame can drown us in feelings of worthlessness, it’s a vicious cycle of calling us out on whatever we have just chosen to do that is shame driven and then drives us to do it again and again because we don’t know any better. It really is a cycle.

It’s a death trap. Physically, mentally, spiritually. 
I actually came to giving my life to christ over 5 years ago because I could not handle the shame, the self-hatred that I had been giving myself to. I knew there had to be more.

“Come unto me, and ye shall find rest unto your souls” Matthew 11:28-29 

was the invitation that I could not resist. When I choose to lay down those thoughts of shame and trade them in for the truth about me I found myself re-energized to live life. I found that I had allowed myself to believe lies about myself that were never true.

After that night I got saved 5+ years ago I never once starved myself and there was an inner knowing within me that I was meant for better, I was meant for more. Relationally I would go through a season of testing that truth and I wish I could say I never once gave into the lies shame feed me but it was actually some of the hardest times. The silver lining in that season of life was that when I finally stepped back and looked at the relationships I had been choosing I realized I had been settling for way less than Gods best for me. It was the wakeup call I needed at that time. (I will also say I wish I never went through what I went through in that season of life. However I did and because of it I know what it feels like to experience things I never thought I would have)

I also want to clarify when I say a season of testing that truth I do not mean that I felt like God was testing me. I honestly don’t know how much I believe in God testing us. What I do believe in is lies, shame, and fears hating when they lose. They will try to get back what was once theirs. 

Thing is, I was made for so much more than what I had allowed shame to tell me. When I would listen to the lies that shame would feed me there was always something deep within me that knew this wasn’t really what life was about. It was as though I had blinders that kept me focused only on what was directly was in front of me. So if something better was in front of me I wouldn’t have seen it. I was so focused on the lies I was being fed, and feeding them. When I came out of hiding so to speak from my shameful habits for me it was binge eating in my room and then running from guy to guy trying to soothe the pain. The lies I believed led me to believe I wasn’t enough and I should just eat all the food in the world. This left me feeling out of control and like crap so I would go looking for men willing to take me so that I felt some sort of control, some sort of worth. Then the shame would start all over again as I looked at the situations I put myself in with these men.

I feel like for us women shame can come in so many forms, it is usually tied to feeling like enough. Physically, as a mom or wife or girlfriend, and sexually. For men it is usually sexually in the form of porn.

If this is you, I just want to take a moment and say you are worth so much more than whatever shame is telling you. Shame is a liar. I’ve walked this path and I can tell you there is something so much better for you out there. Choosing to live outside of shame, opening up and allowing people to love you for you is better than you can imagine. You have to step out from the shadows though, step out from your hiding place and let go. 

Practical tips on how to avoid taking your spouse for granted

We don’t mean to do it, but it can happen and a lot of times it does happen. What is that? Taking our partner for granted.

In my relationship + marriage we have been through some pretty extreme highs and lows. Through it we are coming out learning how to love each other well and live grateful for the role the other one plays in our lives. I thought I would highlight three of my favorite ways to not take my husband for granted.

Don’t assume… Don’t assume he knows you are thankful, or hurt, or happy, or sad. Share with him. This doesn’t mean you need to have a 3 hr tearful talk everyday but keep him in the loop. Same goes for him. Don’t assume he is happy just because he hasn’t said anything.

The question game…Ask him thought provoking questions. I play a little game at bedtime with the kids I nanny and they look forward to it every night. Its called the question game. Each night I choose how many questions we will do. Its typically anywhere between 1-3. That is more than enough. They get to ask me any questions and I get to ask them any questions. The questions typically range from what was your favorite thing you got to do in school or with mom and dad, what did you have for breakfast yesterday, what was the hardest thing you had to do today, what made you mad/sad today? Now I am not saying you need to play this exact game but ask questions beyond just “how was your day?”, “how did work go”. The questions are so open ended. Now with that being said, sometimes for us women thats all we need before we spill the beans of everything we did that day. haha. I have been guilty of this.

Thank him…It is so easy to get caught up in the responsibility of day to day . Even if taking out the trash is his responsibility don’t hesitate to thank him for doing it. The more you thank him the more you will see how much he really does do around the house. Even if he still doesn’t understand how to put his socks in the hamper sitting 6″ from them lying on the floor 😉

I would love to hear how help yourself not to take your spouse for granted.

the best thing I can do.

The best thing I can do for my relationship is to have God time.

Without it I have nothing to give.

I can only give what I first receive.

Without time in the word I quickly fade. Really. I tire quicker, I have less inspiration, I do not have enough to give to myself and to others.

Without taking time to worship God, to sit in His presence and give Him the time due to Him I find myself lost and weary.

 

the best thing I can do is to spend time with God.

I once was blind but now I see.



three weeks ago I went on a blind date.

the first blind date I had been on in years. He had asked me out to lunch, I said ‘sure’. I tried not to think to much of it, but I was of course excited to see who this man was.

The day came for our first date. I was ready three hours before the date started [you could say I was a little excited]

First was lunch [insert his friends coming to same restaurant to embarrass him a little], then we walked to a shop around the corner. Next we found ourselves at a coffeeshop sipping our drinks talking for hours about the mystical union of God and dreams and visions. Next up was heading over to his friends place were we all sat around worshipping Jesus. By then it was dark out so we decided to go for a walk to the park to lay out and look at the stars, we played tag, hid from security. It was better than a fairytale. It was my reality. We walked back to his friends place in complete awe of what was unfolding before our eyes, we then finished off the night worshipping Jesus again. By the time we said goodbye 10 hours had passed.

3 weeks ago I found myself on a blind date.

10 hours later I found myself with my mind completely blown at what God was doing in our lives. Here was a complete stranger yet everything just fit, it just worked.

Today I am in awe of the goodness of God. Trying to wrap my mind around it all- I probably won’t ever completely comprehend it.

I am undeserving. Yet God in His infinite love desires to pour out every good gift upon me.

God has fast forwarded my life in such incredible ways since moving to KC. It is completely stripping me of every idea I had about relationships and earning what I have. Its been the best thing to happen to me. I am experiencing freedom in my life that my heart dreamt of and my spirit longed for.

BTW, Expect some guest video appearances of Joe and myself in the future. He loves making videos, so we will be talking about dating and relationships and God in the weeks to come either here on LWKJ or be.loved 🙂

to all the single women…i dare you.

 

Women this is for you.

Single women I am speaking to you.

I want to dare you.

I dare you to stare insecurity in the face. I dare you to allow God to face you with your weakness, with your inability to control every circumstance and situation that comes your way. I dare you to acknowledge the fears you’ve associated with being single and with being married.

I once heard Corey Russell say ducktape your foot to the gas pedal and go straight into that wall, because your going to hit it at some point. So just go after it. [The wall being whatever is hindering you from Gods love.] That is exactly what I am daring you single women. I dare you to face your fears in the eye. Those fears of being alone the rest of your life, the insecurities of not being enough.

You are beautiful, you are worth the pursuit. Just because that guy that you are crushing on doesn’t see that does not alter your identity. You are who God says you are. Lovely, Pure, Holy, Beautiful. You ravish His heart with just one glance. What you do for God, you cannot do for any man. What God can do for your heart, no man can do for you.

So before racing into a relationship, or attempting to get your crush to like you. I want to dare you to take a moment, a week, a season, and face whatever you’ve been running from.

I dare you to allow the Lord to purify your heart, you mind, your soul. So that when the day comes that  you are in a relationship there are less walls, less restrictions for the Lord to be able to love that person through you.

Love is patient. Love is kind. Love is long-suffering. Love does not boast. Love is not self-seeking.

Allow God to write love on your heart. To erase the fears, the doubts, the insecurities. Allow God to be your everything.

I dare you to let God be your all in all.

Why do I make you this dare? Because I took this dare, I take it everyday. I make the choice everyday to allow myself to sit in the gaze of the Lord and allow His burning eyes to purify me. It is choosing to everyday let go of what hinders love in my life. It is knowing that Id be worse off if I held onto my baggage and fears than to encounter the love of God. I dare you because some of you need that prompting, some of you have been waiting for that reminder that it is worth it to let go.

I am writing you as a single woman. I am not writing you this dare while being in a relationship or married. I understand what it means to take this dare. I believe its worth it.

So, again. I dare you. Take some time tonight to release to the Lord what has hindered you. I promise it will be worth it. Let love in 🙂

And remember…

Perfect love casts out fear.