Boitumelo Vero Rikhotso

Destined for greatness!

Is happiness the real purpose of marriage?  April 24, 2017

Filed under: Life,Relationships — Boitumelo Vero Rikhotso @ 4:18 am
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We sometimes say we leave marriages because we are no longer happy and God wants us to be happy. How true is this statement though? Are we supposed to be getting married to be happy? Shouldn’t we be happy beings before getting married? Placing this much responsibility of your own happiness on another party is both unfair and unrealistic because people are fallible. We will disappoint them and they will disappoint us. So often times we get married for the purpose of being happy. This kind of thinking bothers me because it precludes that my happiness is dependent on another person doing something I want/like/agree with, an event or something outside of me, and something yet to come. So essentially until I acquire that, my happiness is on standby, and happiness is always in the future.  I am not happy because I don’t have a car I want, or I am not happy because I don’t have the job I want, I am not happy because I don’t have a bigger house, or I am not happy because I have no kids or because I’m still single. So in this context then, it’s like marriage becomes the end (happiness) and until then, a person kind of exists in a holding position.

I believe this is why people can sometimes feel stuck or bored after getting married for a certain period. Could this be because people put so much expectations on a marriage or on a partner than it / they are able to hold? How about we look at marriage perhaps as a means to an end instead of the end? In the beginning of time, God created man and put him in a garden before giving him a companion. So this teaches us a life principle. Perhaps one needs to tend to their own ‘garden’ call it purpose, assignment etc… ideally (as far possible as they can) before they get married. This way, marriage then becomes a vehicle through which God affords both of you the awesome privilege to experience someone coming along side you, in support of your bigger purpose. So I submit that we shouldn’t be getting married just to get married or to be happy, or even just because we love each other. Because when we are done saying we love each other, and are having all the sex we can have, what else do we do and talk about? What else connects us other than our physicality? In our quest to avoid sexual immorality, we sometimes get married for the wrong reasons. How about we then look at happiness as a by product of a good marriage instead of its purpose? How about we re-look the reasons we are getting married? Is it for ourselves and our own needs? The Bible encourages us to do all we do for His glory (1 Cor 10:31). So whether we are pursuing contentment in our single lives or faithfully trusting God for a marriage, it should all be for His glory.

I have no definitive proof but I believe unhappy singles make unhappy couples because all that’s changed would be your marital status. Otherwise you’re the same person, just with someone you’ve promised forever to and whether or not you’ll be able to live those vows is a matter of time. I like to say, be content where you are. Let God use you where you find yourself and be happy in your current season. If you are not enough without it (whatever the ‘it’ in your life represents), you will not be enough with it.

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I have a new name… April 17, 2017

Upon a cross they hung a man who redefined who I am….

I have worn the label ‘divorcee’ with so much regret, shame, guilt, condemnation, and humiliation. I use the word ‘worn’ because that’s exactly what I feel I did. I woke up each morning and put on the label as one would wear a garment or shackles that are so weighty and often began my days with an outlook of defeat, being unwanted, unloved and shamed. Some of the feelings were real but some were only perceived. Oh the mind – so powerful. I could not see myself as anything else other than a divorcee shunned forever with no hope of ever finding her footing in the kingdom again. Maybe this may be difficult for others to comprehend, but I’m sure those who’ve walked the path will understand especially when you feel responsible for the act. Having been the one that walked away, I carried a lot of guilt over the decision and agonized for years over the responsibility I felt I had even before the marriage. Taking sole responsibility was of course misplaced but holding on to the label and torment felt right. It felt like punishment I deserved for my iniquitous actions. It’s like when you’ve sinned and you try in vain to wash it off from your flesh and mind. Futile exercise because none of us can wash sin away so the cycle continues.

For the first time in 4 years I can finally say I have forgiven myself. The past Christmas and the recent Passover were very significant in my rebirth. It is a journey I’ll continuously write about because I’m learning so much in the process that I want to share. But no longer am I going to sit in my ashes of guilt and shame when God offers love, forgiveness, peace and joy. So I wake up to my authority and identity in Him. A beloved daughter of the most high God. That is my new name. BELOVED! I have been reminding myself of all He’s spoken over my life from when I was still young, and I can still see His fingerprints at work. He confirms His covenant over my life daily and I’m learning to receive again from a God I thought wanted nothing to do with me anymore.

One thing is sure, the ishmaels and messes of my life will no longer define who I am. I will no longer give myself labels. I will no longer allow others to label me. I have surrendered all naming rights to the One who believed I was worthy enough to die for, even before I took my first breath. That for me is still hard to comprehend. In my excitement I called a friend to share what God had done for me. She quickly told me I was deceived and that I was finding ways to justify myself. Maybe I am, but a gospel that only works when I’ve behaved perfectly, but fails spectacularly when I’ve misbehaved is no gospel at all.

Today I leave my divorce at the cross, where it belongs, never to remove it again. It was nailed with Christ as He was bruised for my sake, and there I leave it. Healing may be a journey, but as far as forgiveness is concerned – all settled at the cross. It was for freedom that Christ set us free. Freedom is his standard. Enough torture, enough torment, enough accusations and enough condemnation. I am free!

Upon a cross they hung a man who redefined who I am….

 

When is the right time to have a DTR? February 27, 2017

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I must say that a DTR is a new concept in my vocab. Excuse my delayed reaction because I hear it is quite an old phenomenon. So, a DTR is a conversation people have to Define The Relationship. Usually, this kind of conversation is held by a couple who feel they need to have clarity on what they are doing. Perhaps they have gone on one or a couple of dates, or they have been ‘dating’ for years but are not sure where their interaction is going. If you feel that way in your relationship, perhaps it is time to have a DTR. Suppose you took your phone right now and scrolled through the contact list, would you be able to DTR on each name you come across? The difficulty and danger of relationships that aren’t defined is that boundaries are usually blurred, the rules of engagement are not clear and unmet expectations can be quite disappointing.

I have heard that some relationships fail before they even start due to how we act as women. The guys I have spoken to have told me that sometimes all they want is to go out for coffee to try get to know a girl better, but before they know it, that girl has put them up as a profile picture and calling him a boyfriend. Guys run from that sort of thing I gathered. For us women on the other hand, if you ask me out, or you chat to me on the phone, the natural inclination I gather is that you are interested in me and then my mind WILL go into overdrive. It takes a lot of will to put those aside and try be as ‘going with the flow’ as men expect us to be and I think if guys can understand a little bit of that, and us understand that sometimes coffee, means just coffee, then we can make some inroads into getting to know how we each process.

Having said all that, where matters of the heart are concerned, I personally value clarity. Perhaps you are a DTR right away kind of girl (meet him today and tomorrow ask what you guys are doing), or, you may be a go with the flow DTR later kind of girl who is happy to delay “The Talk,” but at one point or another, a DTR is inevitable. In my own experience, I have found that when I do not know what we are doing, I find it difficult to manage my expectations. I have an overt kind of personality where I wear my heart on my sleeve and so having a guy who is around my space but cannot place in a category is a struggle for me, and for a couple of ladies I have spoken to on the matter. So the guys in my circle, both Christian and non-Christian were happy enough to share some of the reasons they approach girls;

  • Texting buddy – given the way guys are texting more than calling nowadays, this is really becoming a pandemic. But these kinds of relationships usually don’t go beyond texting. The people seldom meet but texts can escalate from casual to more explicit texting defined as sexting. For those who may not know, sexting is a form of texting where the messages are suggestively sexual in nature. I could go into details, but I think you get the drift. Facebook is one platform where these kinds of relationships are rife.

  • A friend – I will admit that this was only mentioned by a handful of guys. Most said it was very rare that a guy would approach a girl for the pure reason of having a platonic relationship with her. Some said they would befriend a girl for the purpose of getting to the girl’s friend. But yeah, a guy could be looking for just a good old friend.

  • A friend with benefits – This is a friend from whom the guy will expect some benefits especially sexual favours. These people are not dating or in a committed relationship. In fact, in some cases, they may be having other partners but they meet up for the sake of sex.

  • Potential life partner – This guy is looking for a committed relationship. So he is dating with the sole purpose of developing a friendship that could potentially turn into something serious, possibly marriage.

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I am sure there are probably many other reasons guys approach girls, but the above are those I chose to focus on. So then, at which point in your interaction do you have the talk? Guys tell me that in relationships, especially the beginning stages, they are finding room to breathe and enjoying the moment whereas girls are thinking, is he the one, what kind of a father will he be? Whilst a guy is on today, the girl is a couple months/years down the line.

In trying to find harmony on the matter, there are differing opinions. Some say after 2/3 dates, some say after a year and some even say before agreeing to go on the first date. I just feel that as soon as one part of the pair starts to have some level of emotional connection or attachment, the DTR is necessary to ward off misunderstandings. In fact, as soon as one party feels they do not know what the relationship is, I think they should consider speaking out. I would prefer for a guy to initiate a DTR, but as a girl, if you feel like your interaction with a particular guy is starting to confuse you, by all means ask.

The Bible calls for us to guard our hearts with all diligence for out of it flows the issues of life. That certainly includes not allowing confusion to rule. Confusion if not of God and if a guy cannot be honest with you about what his intention are, rather walk away than find yourself immersed deeply in love with no cushion to hold you up when you discover that the guy wasn’t actually interested in anything other than a physical connection, or just “hanging out.” Having a DTR provides one with clarity and gives one the power to make the decision of whether what the one party wants, is what the other is also looking for.

NB:

To the guys – know that your actions speak volumes to us, so please be clear.

To the girls – know that not all guys asking you out are asking to marry you, take it easy. So be careful about what you allow. There is no need then to kiss, touch or flirt on the first date. Be careful what you are also communicating.

Above it all, may the Lord be your guide as you brave the tough dating waters of the 21st century. It sure isn’t easy.

If you have had a DTR lately, I would love to hear about it.

 

It sort of, kind of, almost fits December 17, 2016

Filed under: Relationships — Boitumelo Vero Rikhotso @ 10:00 pm
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The wedding season is full-on and bells are ringing in all directions. Outfits and festivities are the order of the day. Choosing a life partner is such an important decision, not one to be made lightly. Duh! You may think, but you’d be surprised how many of us make this huge decision with not much thought. This got me thinking about my own memory when I made this very life-changing decision. When it comes to choosing a life partner, one size DOES NOT fit all.
At times when people are in relationships, they are unsure about certain aspects of their partners’ mannerism or character or even beliefs. We then let “love” lead and ignore some of the things we are concerned about, discounting them as unreasonable or convincing ourself that it’s not that bad. There’s a saying, “love is blind.” It seems there’s something about love that makes one blind to misdemeanours until people are married, then there’s miraculous healing and the errors are so glaring.

I once attended a friend’s wedding with a boyfriend whom I was looking forward to introducing to my then pastor as my husband to be. Upon introduction, the Pastor’s wife, Pastor Stephanie slowly but steadily shook her head. “Something is off,” she began and shook her head once more. “It sort of, kind of, almost fits but not quite.” Disappointment settled in my heart because deep down I knew exactly what she was talking about but I wasn’t really prepared to hear that. Or to make any admissions to that fact. “I feel like you’re trying to make a circle fit into an oval shape and from far it sort of looks like it fits but, on close inspection, not really. I don’t know him and I’m sure he’s a great guy, he’s definitely handsome and you guys look great together, but something is off and I think you know it too.” She concluded and that was the end of the conversation.


She wasn’t the only one who felt this way; at least she was honest about it. Others also told me a similar thing but I wouldn’t change my mind. I was going to get married and I would pray everything through.

In our desperation as women, we tend to settle for what is not God’s best for us because we are more fearful of the thought of being alone than braving waiting, or living a single life. For how long? We wonder. What if this is my only chance? What if no one else asks me to marry them? We then make the big mistake of entering into marriages for wrong motives and with men whom we love at their potential, or at how they’ll be ‘when’ they change. If you were to honestly accept your boyfriend/ fiancé as he is right now, would you still marry him? Are you not more in love with what he could become? So he’s your little project right? You’ll change his wardrobe, his hairstyle, his partying lifestyle and his careless use of money. Once you’re done with him he’ll be a different man right? So we marry men and then turn our marriages into little reformatory schools for people we’ve vowed to love. Often they never live up to our expectations and poor guys fail the test they never knew they were taking.

I have no doubt that as women we have a great impact and influence over the men in our lives. So it’s not that I’m speaking against. No one is perfect so you’re never going to find a perfect guy who ticks all the boxes. All men, just like us have weaknesses or areas we don’t like about them, or that they won’t like about us. But you have to be ok with his weaknesses. You can pray for them but they have to be the kind that you’re willing to live with in case he never changes. Suppose your boyfriend is untidy as a way of example. Is it a deal breaker for you or not? Perhaps he loves on you and spoils you but he chooses to go to gym on Sunday morning instead of church. If what you want is a man who’s passionate about the things of God, will you be able to stand your ground or be swept by the tide? Are you resolute about the things that are deal breakers or are you waiting to get totally in love and try to reevaluate then? This may not work.

I’ve said a lot in my previous blog regarding focusing on a wedding rather than the marriage which you can read HERE. Oh yes! By all means look forward to the wedding. It’s an amazing celebration that should be thoroughly enjoyed. Wear that lavish dress and go all out to make it the most memorable day of your life. Be ravishing, after all we dream of this this day from childhood and it should be as beautiful as you’d like to have it.

But before you say ‘I do,’ as best as you possibly can, make sure in your heart you’re sure about the man you’re about to walk the aisle with. If you’re unsure, rather wait. Often I wonder how things would have turned out for me had I listened and waited a bit. Why do we often feel the need to rush into a marriage? At times especially as Christians we tend to run away from fornication and into marriage and for some this is like out of the pot into the fire. Now sex in Christian relationships is a blog for another day. So, choose wisely. Don’t lie to yourself. If you have a problem with something that hasn’t changed while you were dating, and it’s a serious deal breakter for you, then by all means, take a pause and evaluate. What’s a few months of prayer and counsel vs a lifetime? Be honest with yourself. At times it won’t be something that’s glaring. So perhaps he does got to church. So it’s not that it’s a triangle trying to fit into a circle. It could be a square trying to fit into a rectangle. So it’s not totally off but not right either. What I know is that God speaks to us. Are we listening?

We are expects at selling ourselves a lie. We know how to talk ourselves into anything. Let it not be on choosing a mate.

 

Things to consider before / when dating someone with a child/children (Especially when you don’t have your own) June 28, 2016

Filed under: Relationships — Boitumelo Vero Rikhotso @ 6:06 pm
Tags: , , , , , ,

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Source: tv-shows.prettyfamous.com

At almost 35, people are often surprised at the fact that I don’t have children. If my grandmother could do anything about it, I swear she would. Last year she said to me, ‘Vero, when I was your age, I had more than 5 children already. What are you waiting for? Jy is groot genoeg!’ Oh well, that’s my grandmother and I love her to bits. To me, it’s just another day at the office. I don’t feel like there’s a missing piece to the puzzle of my life so I am not perturbed by people’s constant questioning of my biological clock.

I recently stumbled upon a Television series titled ‘Single dad seeking,’ which is pretty much a form of dating show where single dads are looking for love. The dads go online to find love and then choose a partner based on video interactions online. The women then move in with the dad and his child(ren) to try out the whole dating scene and see if they would be compatible with each other. I could have told them this was a bad idea, but that would drain the sap out of reality Television now wouldn’t it? I was intrigued by what the men would look for in choosing the women. Things like, she’s a teacher so she must love children, she’s very hot, she smiles a lot, she’s so attractive, she says my son is cute and seems interested in my children and so it goes… I chuckled. Needless to say, as they started their lives, thing s were not so rosy and I couldn’t help but relate with some of how the women felt.

A disclaimer before I continue. I am no expert in relationships or parenting – quite the contrary actually. So I speak from my own experiences and observations which may vary with yours. This blog will be geared more towards dating a guy with children as that’s what the TV series is about and that’s what I’m familiar with.

One of the most difficult things for me to adjust to when I got married was what felt like an invasion of my space. Not only did I have to share a house with a new husband after I had lived alone for a while, but there was also another little presence to live with. I suppose I always wished or dreamt that when I got married it would just be my husband and I for at least two years before children came, but that was not always possible. So in a way, having to share my husband was something I had to get used to. Over time it got better and the house had so much life with the little guy around, but it was certainly not as easy to adjust to as I had thought.

Being an overnight parent was overwhelming. I woke up one day and I was a parent! No preparation, no pregnancy, no 9 months bonding, nothing. I didn’t know it would be so difficult. I must say that it took me a minute to process. Here was a man whom I loved and by extension it meant I also loved his son or at least was expected to. Often we don’t link this equation. I know some ladies think ‘I don’t have to love his child, I love him.’ Oh you couldn’t be more wrong. It’s a package sweetheart, take it or leave it.

When a couple is in love and they plan their future, they each have their own dreams and expectations of the relationship and of each other. Another great disappointment for me was the fact that if we had our own children, nothing would be new to him. He knew what each cry meant, what stages the child would go through, discipline methods, different types of formula and diapers etc… He had been down the road before, and although he assured me he would be just as excited, the thrill of having a baby together as first time parents would not be there and that was a dream I knew I had to surrender. It may seem insignificant, but it may be something to consider if you’re a sentimental person. Perhaps this could also be looked at in a positive light because as least one of the pair does know something about children. Besides, my mom tells me that no two children are the same and that my siblings and I were all different and thus required different raising strategies. Oh well… worth a thought.

Single parents I have spoken to and in my experience place their children as number one and I completely get why. When a parent considers bringing someone else into their childrens’ lives, they have to keep the children’s interests at heart, it only makes sense. It is just something the other party needs to consider because often it may feel like one fights for attention.  As someone who doesn’t have children, some of your decisions / suggestions as a non-parent about the child may come under some serious scrutiny. It may not be easy to overlook that, but just be aware if it does happen. It’s true that I wouldn’t know how a parent would respond in every single situation, but at times it may feel as though being child-less also rendered one brain-less. What this can potentially do in the long run is make one feel despondent and as though you can never measure up in your daunting attempt to mother.

The baby mama is going to be a part of your lives and it is not all of them who will be open to a relationship with you depending on the circumstances of the breakup. In the same breath, there are women out there who are not interested in the drama but more in the best interests of their babies so not all of them have dramas. I certainly didn’t have major baby mama dramas other than our differing opinions in how she should be included in our lives. I didn’t always agree with how he dealt with her, but for my peace of mind, I knew that I could never wish her away and that now and then, her name would come up and I would have to be a big girl and address the matter at hand without being personal. The baby’s mom and I developed a good relationship in the process which is an ideal situation for the sake of all involved.

It was told to me that the child would at times act out and hate on me and although I was prepared for it, it sometimes still took the life out of me. When he would say things like, ‘I want my mommy,’ ‘My mommy doesn’t do it this way,’ ‘You’re not my mommy and I hate you,’ these can be quite hurtful. I think children naturally wish for their parents to be together and you may look like the stumbling block to that dream hence the outbursts. Also, not all couples really talk to their children about the effects of a break up and these can have lasting consequences on children. Just remind yourself that it’s not in all cases that the children really hate you in the true meaning of the word, but more what you represent; a stumbling block. You represent a hindrance to the child’s family being complete so perhaps for a child, it’s probably one and the same thing. Learn how not to let that get under your skin, otherwise, you can easily slope into an evil step mother. It probably is a confusing time for the child so you will have to adult and empathize.

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Source: cyn.com

It is not easy to love someone else’s child as your own especially if you have no idea how it feels like to love your own, or if you don’t have a great desire to have them. Lately, I have an inch of an idea since my nephew was born and I love him to heaven and back but I’m told it’s not the same. I have friends who have adopted children and would kill for them and also friends who were raised by step fathers with amazing relationships. Perhaps in the beginning you will use a little bit of heart and a little bit of head as you get used to the idea and hopefully, you move to using a lot more of the heart as you learn how to be an instant parent. When dating a person with children, you are going to have to understand that they are a package, and if you cannot accept their children, I would caution against pursuing the relationship. If you are not honest about how dating this person really makes you feel, you are only extending life problems and could take it out on an innocent child.

So take a minute to think through your decision before pursuing the relationship. Blended families are all around us. Some are flourishing with great compromise, love and communication, while others are experiencing great difficulty. Go in with a lot of love to give and be honest with yourself. Love that man and his child if you choose to proceed because you can’t successfully have one without the other.

Having said all the above, I would love to hear from single parents how they deal with dating. I can’t imagine its easy trying to find love as a single parent or is it??

 

Lots of weddings, very few marriages  May 26, 2016

Filed under: Relationships — Boitumelo Vero Rikhotso @ 5:16 am
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Source: Disney fine art photography & video


I occasionally enjoy watching programmes such as Say yes to the dress, Married at first sight and South Africa’s beloved, My perfect wedding. The central theme to all the programmes seems to be the pursuit for the perfect wedding day. Perfect dress, perfect decor, perfect car, perfect suit, perfect hair and makeup and so the list goes.

Judging by the many wedding geared TV programmes and weekly wedding updates on social media, perhaps perfect weddings are not that much in short supply as we think. Statistics South Africa gives a very different picture however telling a grim story on the destiny of these unions. The latest findings show that 150 852 people wed in civil marriages in 2014 and 24 689 people got divorced, 3,4% higher than the previous year, and mainly initiated by the female partner.

I look at brides living out their dream weddings and recognize that spark. I’m telling you brides can be so gullible. Women will move mountains to get the wedding of their dreams. Movies do their bit also by devoting the entire movie to the pursuit of a girl/boy until the altar. It’s as if the whole plan is to work hard towards getting the person, bring them to the altar and then as it is said in the fairy tales ‘and they lived happily ever after.’ It’s no wonder a wedding gets us all giddy. Only the reality is not always a Cinderella story. Whoever said pursuing stopped beyond the aisle?

Couples take a lot of time, months and even years preparing for a one day event called a wedding and hardly any time preparing for the lifetime commitment of marriage. I’m reminded of one lady who was not willing to go through a 6 weeks marriage preparation course because it was too long and in no time at all, the marriage had collapsed. She lamented her rushed decision and wished she had given counselling a chance.

I remember when my ex-husband and I were cautioned by one couple who counselled us to consider postponing our wedding as they felt the need to help us through some areas of conflict they were concerned about. We looked at them being married about 40 years and considered them too old. We would be the exception we thought. We believed that no one in the world loved each other the way we did and discarded the counsel.

I’ve heard of two couples who after having gone through marital counselling decided to postpone the wedding. One couple got married after postponement and the other called the wedding off. Now that takes guts. Although people see red flags during the dating stage, these are often ignored as people give the old reason ‘but I love him/her’ and in they walk into a mess.

Going through counselling gives no guarantees but what it does is help one see things from a different perspective. It opens couples’ eyes to other more important things apart from choosing either a chapel or garden wedding, vanilla or red velvet cake and whether to use tiffany or draped chairs. Counselling tends to let people get out of their puppy-eye selves into discussing the not-so-romantic matters of in-laws, whether to have separate or joint bank accounts, how to deal with conflict although it’s difficult to think of conflict when people are in love, how many children to have if any and what would happen if I get a job halfway across the world and I want to take it? Other issues such as faith, sex, past relationships and decision making get discussed. All of which could make or break your marriage.

It seemed unreasonable to some couples that churches such as Hope Restoration Ministries and a few others were not willing to marry a couple unless they had completed the premarital counseling program. Yes, in some cases people may do the counseling just to check the box and get the license to finally marry, but the seed would have been planted.

Take the time to invest into your marriage as much as you take the time to go on a slimming program to look your best on your wedding day. How about having dating couples genuinely going through marriage programs even before a date is set just to offer them a chance to approach marriage in a more realistic way? Would that change mindsets? Would that make a difference? No one is perfect, no one knows everything and counselling gives us an opportunity to learn from those who’ve gone before.

 

7th year wedding anniversary May 9, 2016

My heart is beating so fast a 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 the plan 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.

 

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