Relationships

7th year wedding anniversary

My heart is beating so fast as I pen this. It is never easy to be real and honest about areas of your brokenness but this is where I am right now…

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Source: Pinterest – dramandanoelle.com

 

Today, 9 May 2016 could have been my 7th year wedding anniversary. I wrestled hard on whether to use ‘would have’ or ‘should have” or ‘could have’ so I guess it would have or could have been if we had stayed married, and should have been as we had promised each other to. It has been 3 and a half years (same amount of time the marriage lasted) since I’ve been single again and quite a journey it’s been. This time frame is significant for me because I believe I am turning a corner where this matter is concerned.

Divorce is so affecting. I didn’t realize exactly how much I’d be affected by this decision and its aftermath even years after the fact. Before I got married I always had so much to say about divorced people until I walked the path myself. When I walked out of court a divorced woman, I was shocked that months of planning a wedding and R100 000 later, all evaporated in 4 minutes with me on the stand answering “yes mam,” to a magistrate who seemed uninterested in the fact that I was bleeding internally, that my marriage was coming to a disastrous and painful end. Too many years as a divorce decree-er must do that to a person. I noticed she wasn’t wearing a ring and wondered if she had also been down that road. A few years earlier I had stood before God, my pastor, our family and friends and declared “till death do us part” and 4 years on, I was no widow but the marriage was over. You’re better off a widow that much I can tell you. At least then you’re guaranteed support, love, acceptance and the opportunity to love and be loved again. Once you’re divorced, it gets tricky. There are so many schools of thought on the matter and whilst you’re still processing the fact that you’re going through a life changing experience, there’s an immediate uncertain future to think about. Doctrinal differences relating to your new life are part of the package although not something often openly talked about in churches in general.

Upon a change in my marital status, I found that some were cautious about me being in their midst as though divorce was contagious. Some husbands were concerned about my proximity to their wives while others were very vocal and bold about schooling me on what divorce was and what this now meant for me. I knew I would have to deal with comments, conclusions and gossips. That’s life. These were some of the things I needed to come to terms with given my new badge. I visited a church once and the preacher said something to the effect of ‘if you’re divorced, you’re doomed. Your prayers are not heard because you’re no longer in right standing with God.’ You know what the craziest thing in that moment was for me? I believed him. Not because I believed what he was saying was true, or because he had a significant position in my life for me to believe him. I knew that wasn’t true, but I believed him in that moment because divorce can be so damaging to a person’s emotions. It can make you feel very inadequate and unworthy and unloved and and and. Another happily married wife said to me, ‘you must have not loved God enough or you must not have lived a holy life, because you can’t love God and divorce.’  I don’t hold it against them. After all, God ain’t done with us yet. 😊. I could write a whole book about what not to say to someone going through a divorce.

According to some teaching, being divorced also disqualified me from being called, anointed and gifted. Being divorced disqualified me from ever identifying myself as a child of God who could unashamedly declare His love. How dare you talk of God’s love! Another said. Do you not know that God hates divorce? So how dare you speak of God’s love when you’ve done something He hates? This is the ugly and much untold reality of a divorced churched person. This D-word would take me a while to get used to. It’s a word that brings a lot of shame, disappointment and a reminder of failure.Who in their right mind gets married with the intention to divorce? I still believe marriage to be a sacred and lifetime covenant. The fact that my marriage didn’t work out hasn’t affected my views on that. My inability (without it having been for a lack of trying) to live up to my promise does not nullify the sanctity of marriage.

Truth is, I had many plans growing up in the dusty streets of Phasha Village and none of them included divorce.  No, divorce wasn’t part of the plan. I would be 30, publishing best-seller books, flying all over the world, married with kids, mentoring girls, preaching, funding people to study and working on building homes for the homeless. That was the plan. Not divorce. I was a young zealous girl with gifts that were starting to emerge who had great promise. That was the plan until I disrupted it all by deciding to get married and then 3 and half years later chose to leave my husband. A decision I do not regret. My regret is in the fact that my marriage ended and that I failed God, my ex-husband, myself and all the witnesses to our union. The regret I hold is perhaps in how I got into the marriage – a blog for another day. Can the plan still be realized? So as a young woman who loves God and who had a failed marriage, I am still trying to find my confident place again in the kingdom.

Slowly but surely my life is taking shape. I am on the mend and God is busy putting together the broken pieces of my life. Here are some of the things I learnt in the process…

  • We are all a work in progress. None of us have it all figured out all of the time no matter how we look on the outside.
  • What God speaks over you trumps anything you or others could ever say.
  • God’s love is utterly unfathomable; His grace and mercy is ridiculous. No wonder the Gospel is called the good news.
  • The most difficult lesson for me was to believe that God still loved and accepted me. The thought that I could take all my pain, my disappointments, my brokenness, my shame and all my mistakes, and surrender them to Him in exchange for His acceptance, His affirmation, His healing, His forgiveness, His righteousness and His love, was for me difficult to accept.

Is this the end of my story and what will end up defining me and the rest of my life? Certainly not. This is only but a chapter in the book my Creator is writing.

Follow up blog here… 

Check out the 5 lessons that divorce has taught me here…

 

 

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Check out my eBook here
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21 thoughts on “7th year wedding anniversary”

  1. Yo cc Tumi, this got me into tears. I always read on your blog, but this went straight to my heart. I remember your wedding, beautiful wedding it was. I admire your strength, u are one of the strongest women I know. U have despite your brokenness kept it together. I take a lot from this piece, I learn a lot from it as I plan my own wedding. Thank you for sharing this. Keep well.

    1. Oh Pos! Yeah, it was a beautiful day. Most of us concentrate so much on the wedding preparations and very little on the marriage preparation. All the best with your marriage preparations. Let Jesus be the centre of all you do.

  2. Love this! God did not appoint us to do half the things we do as Christians. He asked such basic things of us: Love him, love people, tell people about him.

    Jesus treated the hurt and the broken with such tenderness, care and special attention. Jesus is an incredible God. Getting to know him is our greatest Honour.
    And what he says, is the only thing that matters about you. He loves! He forgives! He heals! He alone had the authority and the right to judge us for our sin, but he doesn’t! Imagine.

  3. In life we need people like you Tumi. Who stands for rights n who believe. You such an inspiration to many. I thank you I learned a lot from you. May God richly bless you above and abundantly all dear.

    1. Hey Busie. We cannot afford to only show people our areas of strength because now and then life throws us with curveballs. When I can be vulnerable and honest about my struggles / mistakes and how God is walking with me, I may be able to help another in the same boat. Let us be each other’s rocks as humanity.

  4. You’re so strong, though. I don’t know how you do it. I never would have guessed that these were happening. Guess it shows that God’s got your back. And you will get through it. We overcome by the blood of the lamb and the word of our testimonies.

    Ey, mara doctrines! We neglect to love people! Modimo a re thuse!

    1. Hey sweetie – I know I cannot call you little anymore but as my little sister you have seen some of it and are testimony to what God can do in a person’s life. You have your own testimonies to share with the world. All of us have stories to tell and when we share them, we are able to touch others. I have hope. Jesus is building His church and when He is done, we shall come forth as gold. There may be casualties along the way but building it, He is. Love conquers all.

  5. I have tears rolling down my cheeks as am reading your blog, I am only going through everything now (two years later) after your blog. The pain is too much to even put into words. The rejection from people which ultimately makes you feel like God himself has rejected you. I even at times contemplate going back just for the shame to go away, but then my senses come back again. I truly believe that all shall pass soon, am comforted by 1 Peter 5:10 “And after you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to His eternal glory in Christ, will Himself restore you, secure you, strengthen you, and establish”. Thank you Tumi, hope to see you one day.

    1. Hey Bonnie. Oh my word. My heart is shattered. Of course I remember you. I was looking for you last year because I had received a message on Facebook from someone who claimed to be you and asked me to give them money. I told the person to call me because I was suspecting that it’s not you. Do you mind sending me a WhatsApp on the following number so that we can chat there. +26772684134. I won’t accept your comment on this page because it will be public and akere it’s quite personal. Let’s chat.

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