It’s been a tough debate, trying to decide whether or not I should share this post or not. It has a good message, but it’s always hard feeling vulnerable. I cried a lot while writing this up to share at church this past Sunday and I was so scared to share it then. Even now I’m nervous about sharing this part of me with the world. But the message is a good one. It’s a message of hope and it’s a message of understanding. It seems like the world needs more of that these days, so I’m sharing my story with you in the hope of helping one other person who felt the same way I did.
This is my story.
In June 2008 I was married and had just moved to Oklahoma City. In the fall of 2009 my marriage fell apart and we got a divorce. Most people, when they get divorced, they have someone to lean on. Due to the timing of my divorce, I didn’t have anyone to stay with until I could get back on my feet. My mother and sister both said I couldn’t come stay with them, my brother was living in a dorm and my best friend was living with her mother because she was going through her own divorce. The one church friend I had was in the process of moving, so I couldn’t stay with them and I was still relatively new at my job and didn’t have a relationship with anyone there where I could ask someone if I could stay with them for a few months. All the friends I had outside of church and work were my ex-husbands coworkers, so there was nobody I could ask for help. My only option was to find a cheap place in town and stay in Oklahoma City, 18 hours away from my family.
At first I was okay with my tiny apartment on the cheap side of town. But then things started happening that made me feel more and more alone. I didn’t have the support of my family that I needed and my coworkers weren’t the kind of people that I wanted to spend a lot of time around outside of work. They were good people, just good people who enjoyed drinking, partying and swearing a lot. Not the environment I wanted to be in during my free time. As more of the post-divorce depression and feelings of failure, brokenness and loss consumed me, I had no one to turn to.
As for my church, that was a bit messed up. I went to one ward for a few weeks until someone noticed I was new. They asked me where I lived and then told me I wasn’t in their ward boundary, I was in another ward. So, I started going to that ward. Then they noticed I was there and the same thing happened: “You’re not in our ward, go back to the other one.” It was very disheartening to be told by these two wards that I didn’t belong in either one and to go to the other one.
Needless to say, I felt very unwanted and even more unlovable.
Due to all of this and some things that were happening at work, I became more and more depressed. I quit going to church for several months and spent all of my time outside of work alone. I felt like I had no one and that nobody wanted me.
One day, these feelings were particularly strong. I spent almost the entire day crying and feeling like I should just give up and stop even trying. Nobody in this life wanted me, so why should I be here? I felt like all I had to do was make the conscious decision to give up and everything would just be over.
During a break at work I decided to go outside and lay on the grass. It was late spring and I really wanted to enjoy some sunshine. Sunshine and pretty clouds usually make me feel better, but this day they did not. While outside laying on the grass, I cried and cried and cried and talked to Heavenly Father and told Him everything about how I was feeling. I told him how low I was, how lost I felt, how I felt like He was ashamed of me because I’d gotten a divorce and that I felt unworthy of His love. I told Him how much I felt like giving up, but that I was scared to. I didn’t want to die.
While laying there on the grass and pouring my heart out to Him, I began asking Him for help. I told Him that if I could just be assured that one person cared about me and that one person wanted me to live that I would be okay. I told Him that I could go on if there was just one person out there that loved me. I asked Him to please give me a sign that He was there, that He was listening to me and that He cared about me. I could just have that, then I would be okay.
Moments later, as I was laying there on the grass, something happened. It was a beautiful day, blue skies and puffy white clouds. Birds were chirping and the air was still. There was no breeze and nothing was moving, but in that moment, I felt a hand brush my cheek. The touch was gentle and full of love as it brushed my tears away. As I felt that touch, I knew that I was loved. I knew that I was cared about and I knew that Heavenly Father was there for me, that He listens to me and that He will always be there for me. I felt strengthened and assured that He would always strengthen me.
In that moment that He brushed my tears away, I felt a tender peace enter my heart. I was still sad and felt like things were never going to get better, but those feelings weren’t as strong as they had been. I felt like someone was there with me, lifting my burdens from me and giving me the strength that I so desperately needed. By the time I got home a few hours later, the utter despair and hopelessness I had been feeling earlier felt like a distant memory. I wasn’t cured of my sadness, but I felt like I could bear it better. I was no longer alone.
Over time, things got better. Now, almost 5 years later, I feel like a completely different person. Those feelings I had on that day have completely vanished from my life. I feel whole and I feel well. What I couldn’t see that day, I can see very clearly now: there are more people in my life than I realize that care about me and love me. That doesn’t mean I always see it. Life hasn’t always been easy since then, but every time I feel low and every time I feel like I’m not wanted, I look back on that moment and remember that God cared about me enough to wipe my tears away when I was sad. He took the time that day to assure me, one little person in this great big world, that He is there, that He is listening and that He loves me. If He’s willing to take the time to do that for me, then I know He will do that for you. Whenever you feel sad, lonely, unwanted or uncared for, God is there for you. Even if you feel like you are unworthy of His love or that you’ve done too many things wrong for Him to ever forgive you, He is still there for you. All you have to do is ask and He will be by your side. God loves you and you are not alone.