A crisis presents an opportunity for change. For many, change doesn’t happen unless there is a crisis. The threat of my marriage falling apart 2 months in was crisis enough for me to seek for whatever means possible to save it. My marriage limped along for 15 years as I hit it with every remedy I could think of or find. From marriage counselling and workshops, to self-improvement books and courses, I was going to make my marriage a success no matter what. But, it was all in vain. It ended in January of 2012.
It wasn’t until January of 2017 that I realized it wasn’t all in vain. I heard a talk given by Wayne Dyer as I cooked dinner one evening. He said something that stuck with me and helped turn the tide for me in dealing with the continuing frustration I faced with my former spouse. Dr. Dyer related that the Tyrants in our lives are actually Master Teachers. He went on to explain how challenging people we have to deal with in life are actually teachers to help us learn how to strengthen ourselves in areas where we are weak.
I pondered over that a bit and asked myself what things was I weak in that my former spouse had given me the opportunity to turn into strengths? Instantly my thoughts turned to the religious upbringing I had and the lessons I learned in Sunday School. Then, an epiphany hit me that changed the way I looked at religion altogether.
For years, I had been a follower of secular teachers, from Napoleon Hill to Tony Robbins. That evening after making the connection about Tyrants to Teachers, I realized that all the things our modern-day Success Coaches and Leaders have taught can be traced back to the teachings of Christ.
I decided to turn to the scriptures to find out what Christ would have me do. I was prompted to study the Law of Charity. It certainly is easy to practice charity with the homeless down at the shelter but try practicing Charity with someone you once were intimate with who later would send several emails wishing for your death.
Over the years since our divorce, my former spouse had declared himself my “enemy” and was set on making my life a living hell as best he could. So, I thought to myself, “Who better to practice Charity on than someone who declared himself my enemy and sought for my destruction?”
Once I committed myself to practicing the Law of Charity, I soon discovered I had another weakness. Pride. Over my whole life, I had grossly misunderstood pride. I thought pride was the stuck-up rich girl at school, or the haughty CEO at work. I could point out prideful behavior in others, but I couldn’t see it in me. I couldn’t see that my anger and hurt was fuel for keeping my pride strong and preventing me from practicing Charity. My pride looked like anger, mistrust, and being reclusive.
I had to endure some serious humbling experiences before my pride was defeated and my heart was able to open and receive the truth of Charity. When I started practicing the Law of Charity with my former spouse it seems like the Universe wanted to help me out by throwing one hurdle after another at me. The years of 2017 and 2018 were the worst! Hindsight showed that those were the best years of growth for me.
Let me explain.
I found myself on my death bed in April of 2017. I was bed ridden for nearly 4 months. When I recovered, I experienced several more heartbreaking losses and then had a relapse 6 months later followed by 9 months of recuperation.
I couldn’t believe all the misfortune that befell me in 2017 and 2018. I thought God hated me and I was being punished. I wanted the planet to stop so I could get off this massive unpleasant ride. I was done. I lost so much, that it broke me. At least it felt like it at the time. What actually broke was my pride. It took that long, and possibly longer than I realize, to endure the breaking of my Pride.
Looking back now, I realize all the amazing things that happened during that time period which served to open my eyes to the truthfulness of the Gospel Principles of Christ – the True Master. I learned a powerful lesson that there are blessings associated with living the Principles God has set forth. These principles are not meant to hinder us, but to elevate us.
By mid-2018, my sworn enemy – my former spouse, sat by my bedside to help nurse me back to health – simply because I surrendered my pride and anger, and accepted Christ into my heart fully. Not Wayne Dyer or Tony Robbins, but Christ himself.
I was elevated through adversity. By sinking low, I was raised up. By experiencing loss and sorrow, I was able to experience joy and abundance like never before. By surrendering, I won.
By choosing Christ as my Savior, I am saved from Pride, Anger, and a host of other damning vices that would keep me from enjoying life to it’s fullest. Best of all, I am enjoying peace with my former spouse and that is the best thing ever.
I have lived with and without God in my life, and I have found that when I live as a disciple of Christ, life is so much richer and rewarding. This is not to say that life is easier, but it’s possible to have peace and joy in life even during the worst of times.
“Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” John14:7
Don’t be afraid to accept the peace Christ offers. It’s so worth it!