Are reconciliationa and forgiveness possible after divorce?

Published 12:00 am Friday, February 3, 2012

By Angela Gobble
For The Salisbury Post
“Sometimes you have to lose your life to find it.”
I will always remember the head nun saying those words to Maria in “The Sound of Music,” and here, six years after a divorce, I can say that I know what she meant.
After a 17-year marriage (20-year total relationship), I never dreamed that I would have to take the journey of a divorce. While I do not believe that God causes divorces, I do know that God allowed mine, and the healing process DID allow me to find my life — allowed me to find “Angela”!
I will never forget that afternoon when I heard the words from my husband that he needed to follow a different path. He sat me down and said “I don’t mean to hurt you, but I’m going to have to ask you to let me go.”
Being a spiritual seeker for most of my life, somehow I knew that I would be OK. My former husband and I had come to an amazing relationship of love and forgiveness and had been good stewards of the life lessons that had come our way. We had seen God work amazing miracles in our lives, and why was I to doubt that this would be any different?
After the news of the impending separation, of course I was devastated, sick, a basket case, feeling unworthy, and an emotional mess. I did not eat or take a bath for a week, nor did I have any clue how my life would continue…but somehow I knew that God did not bring me this far to abandon me.
I must pause to say that my husband had chosen to reunite with his first love, the girl he had been engaged to 30 years ago, when he was 18 years old. When he said that he had to follow his heart, there was not much I could say that would contradict that. He told me that God had assured him that I would be okay, and that otherwise he would not be making this move.
I knew him well enough that I believed him, and because of some very difficult life lessons, my former husband and I have come to a place of unconditional love and forgiveness.
Oh, and yes, I did do all of those things that divorced people do. For a while, I would not leave the house, and I would tell everyone that I was OK. I would go to the grocery store in the middle of the night, hoping no one would see me, for if they did, I felt they would know just by looking at me that I was divorced.
Well, that was in October of 2006. In December of that same year, I found a book entitled “Spiritual Divorce…A Catalyst For An Extraordinary Life,” written by best-selling author Debbie Ford. I knew I could put one foot in front of the other, one baby step at a time. I made a call and hired a life coach and have never looked back!
The principles described in the book are the ones that will be shared during the book study, “Healing Your Heart through Spiritual Divorce,” which begins on Monday, Feb. 6th , at 6:30 p.m., at First Baptist Church.
Just to whet your appetite and get your curiosity up: My first husband, his current wife, and I went to court together to get our divorces; then we all three went out to have a meal together. I made their wedding cake.
My first husband’s wife is now my good friend, and we talk almost every day.
Recently on the top of Dunn’s Mountain, about 150 people joined to share in the testimony of love and forgiveness as they watched me remarry, and there was my former husband and soul sister involved in the festivities. It was obvious that those in attendance could share witness to the healing that this work had delivered. Someone said, “Is this a wedding or a church service?”
At my wedding my new husband and I did a lot of the music, and my first husband and his wife did the other music. She also helped me make my wedding cake! (We call it our “Peace of Cake.”)
And, who was by my side at my wedding as matron of honor…you guessed it…my first husband’s wife! The three of us have experienced true love and forgiveness, and we have a wonderful relationship — understandably not for everyone — but I feel we have been given a miraculous gift!
The three of us (my former husband, his wife and I) have a miraculous relationship today because we believe in each other and we want the best for each other. They followed their heart and it allowed me to find mine. I have nothing but the utmost love and respect for both of them.
The greatest gifts I have received are self-love, worthiness, self-acceptance, forgiveness, courage, deeper faith, a closer walk with God and the list continues. Yes, these are the gifts that I have received from this work. I am stronger than I ever thought I would be! These gifts are also available to anyone willing to do this work as they heal from any loss.
Here is the thing: It does not matter what the loss is. It can be the loss of a relationship, friendship, job, home, money, self-esteem and the list continues. This work allows you the healing of any of the past baggage that you are carrying.
Isn’t it time to stop carrying around the baggage of the past?
Angela is a Certified Life Coach helping people with any type of loss.