Having a Difficult Day…

basketball closeupI had a really difficult day recently.

I’m not sure why but I reverted back to being very annoyed by my ex-husband.

My youngest daughters had games that day and my oldest daughter invited him to sit with us – which is a very normal thing – but that day I could barely stand it.

I just wanted him to stay as far away as possible.  And I absolutely didn’t want to talk to him.  Or even hear him.

I don’t know why I felt such revulsion today.  I just did.

And I just really really don’t want to be that woman.  I want to be gracious and kind, but today I struggled to be civil.

There have been things lately that have made me annoyed with him.  But I think it would be wrong for me to complain and list all those things.  It would be wrong for me to air our dirty laundry – well, his dirty laundry.

But don’t I ever want to…

I know it is wrong.  And I try hard to do this divorce thing right.

I have to say that I was surprised by how strongly I felt the negative stuff today.  I don’t usually.

Does anyone else have those things sneak up on them for no apparent reason?

Am I the only crazy person?

I know to some degree all the revulsion, annoyance and downright dislike is understandable, but God calls me to be more than someone who acts understandably.  I’m pretty positive He calls me to act “in a manner worthy of my calling.”

Okay.

So what does that mean exactly?  What is a manner worthy?  And what is my calling?  Those questions brought Micah 6:6 to mind:

He has shown you O Man what is good.  And what does the Lord require of you? 

To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.

Act justly.  Acting with a clear understanding of right and wrong.  At first glance I feel like this one supports my desire for justice for my ex-husband, but further thought showed me something slightly different.  God expects me to let Him administer justice.  And maybe the right and wrong I should be concerned about isn’t my ex-husbands, but rather my right and wrong.  Am I acting justly in my own life?  Do I live a life that has clearly defined right and wrong?   

Love mercy.  Don’t just offer mercy, love it?!  Really, love it?  I love it when it’s applied to me, but do I love it when it’s applied to someone who has hurt me or offended me?  Not so much.

Mercy could also be translated “loving-kindness.” Kindness…honest I’m trying.  I really am.  I desire to be Christ-like in all my interactions – even with my ex-husband.  But sometimes it is soooooo hard!

Walk humbly with your God.  Humility. God wants me to walk beside Him, not in front.  He wants me to understand that everything is not about me, but rather about Him.  And when I think about it, even my ex-husband’s betrayal is more about his relationship with God, his sin against God.  Maybe that recognition could help me let God handle things.  Again I just gotta get out of the mindset that everything is about me, because then I can stop feeling so put upon by interactions with my ex-husband (and the innumerable other things in life which annoy).

It’s all stuff I could apply to other challenging relationships…could probably isn’t the appropriate word…should is the word…I should do that.

I’m hesitate to use that word – should – some people bristle at it.  Sometimes I bristle at it.  One of my friends calls it “shoulding” all over each other.  And I absolutely believe there are times when we shouldn’t say should (which I guess is kind of a “should” statement too) – but there are some that you just know are okay.

You should love God.  You should honor God.  You should obey His word.  You should love one another.  You should tell the truth.

You should because those things are good for you…in fact, they are great for you!  If I know something is the very best thing for you, am I wrong in saying you should do it?  If I say it sweetly, gently, and gracefully?  That’s the key – the tone and heart with which it is spoken.  Maybe a kind suggestion or encouraging word instead of a ‘You know, you should be…”

And that goes back to Micah 6:6 – can I step out of myself enough to truly act justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with my God?  Can I not worry so much about everyone else and what they should be doing and instead focus on how I can live a life that honors God?  Can I not worry about anyone getting their due because I realize that I’ve experienced Jesus’ done?  Can I trust God with a difficult day?

Golly, I hope so.  I pray so.

Next week I go back to the basketball courts to watch my little girls play.  I’m not sure if their father will come, but if He does I am going to be praying that God will give me the ability to act justly, love mercy and walk humbly with Him, so that I can smile, chat and even sit next to my ex-husband.

It’s something I should do for my children’s sake…and even for mine.  It’s miserable being fussy.

Difficult day or not, I’m choosing to act justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with my God.

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13 Comments

  1. Oh Sue, I pray for healing and real forgiveness for you, and that peace that surpasses all understanding. My divorced parents were civil and downright congenial for my entire childhood, into my adult life and for many years of their 6 grandchildren’s lives. Both were remarried for 25-30 years and we often spent holiday dinners together. Then 2yr ago a very old hurt was brought up and my dad snapped – and wanted to never lay eyes on or speak to my mom again. This caused our entire family great pain. It was then clear how much bitterness and anger was under the surface, disguised but not healed. Then a month ago, he died taking all of this baggage with him to the grave. May Jesus truly transform… for the benefit of many generations.

  2. Your story is mine AND I am so very Thankful that God is using your voice to reach me. I too struggle with leaning on God and realizing that I’m good about injustice except where I am concerned. Forgive me? Sure. Forgive so and so? I catch myself in far too many but’s.
    I do realize that I am not so much angry anymore, however I would simply prefer to just not have to interact. And I can see that whatever my lesson is, it does not include avoidance. Thank you for your message today and a perfect scripture to meditate on.

  3. Yes, girls I do not have any better answers. I am thankful to have to not deal with him on a daily basis, but I do get frustrated at him for the whole situation. So I will thank you guys for also sharing and helping and reminding me that I am not the only one with crazy thoughts 🙂 I will just keep saying over and over to look toward and focus on God!
    Shanda

  4. Sue,

    I have been reading your blog for about a year now and just wanted to share a revelation with you that I recently discovered. A great man of God advised me that the reason I still felt so much pain is because a piece of my heart was still with my husband. We have to love God with all our heart (Luke 10:27). So I began researching this and found these articles. I have pasted the links below. They have helped me realize that until I am thankful for everything in my life…the bad, the good, and the ugly I have not really given and love God with my whole heart. I hope this helps you. God Bless you.

    http://www.seekgod.org/message/lovegodwithallyourheart.pdf

    http://www.gty.org/resources/sermons/52-29

    • Barbara,
      THANK YOU so much for thinking of me. I will be reading these articles today. I’m excited to see what God reveals. I hadn’t really thought about the idea of loving God with all my heart being impacted by my grief…I’m going to ponder that some more! Thank you again.
      In Him,
      Sue

  5. I am so glad to see this blog. I am struggling to show God’s love to my ex-husband when I would rather pinch his ears off. Nice to hear another’s story and scriptures that come to mind when fighting resentment.

  6. I need to keep this in mind for parent-teacher conferences coming up next month. We still go together to them.
    It’s very hard to want to be merciful to someone who has betrayed you; I still struggle with wanting revenge.

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