I recently saw my ex-husband at the gym. The sighting both surprised and baffled me. First of all, I haven’t seen him at the gym in probably 4 years (though the fact that I didn’t go for 2-3 might have something to do with that). I wondered why he still goes to that particular gym. It’s not especially convenient to his house. Then I wondered why he was there so late in the morning. It was after 10 am. He was at his locker so I assume he was leaving, but regardless, that’s late.
As I walked past and glanced at him, I thought, “is that…?” He’s always been slim and in good shape but he looked extremely thin, almost gaunt, which is why I briefly questioned if it was him.
Keep in mind this entire scene – the sighting and the mental autopsy – happened in a space of about 5 seconds. And it was completely devoid of emotion. There was no anxiety. No racing heart rate. No residual affection or anger. There was nothing.
I thought how strange it was to see the man that I spent nearly half of my life with, that I have babies with, and to not only barely recognize him, but to have no feeling for him. If you’d told me 6 months ago that I would be here, I wouldn’t have believed you. As recently as the fall I realized that I still “mourned for Saul” (1 Samuel 16:1). I was still bitterly and begrudgingly accepting this unexpected life I was living. No. Scratch that. I hadn’t accepted it. I had resigned myself to it.
Resignation is defined as:
- the act of giving up; to give (oneself) over without resistance; acceptance of despair or surrender.
Resignation is passively allowing feelings of despair and defeat to rule your mind. Acceptance, on the other hand, is a verb, meaning it’s active and requires effort. I needed to be deliberate about coming to terms with my reality.
After asking Samuel why he was still mourning over Saul, the Lord told him to DO SOMETHING: go to anoint the king that He had chosen.
The LORD said to Samuel, “How long will you mourn for Saul since I have rejected him as king over Israel? Fill your horn with oil and be on your way; I am sending you to Jesse of Bethlehem. I have chosen one of his sons to be king.” – I Samuel 16:1
I got tired of holding on to the ashes of my scorched past; as I got weary of feeling the grimy residue on my skin; as I longed to be purged of the pain and to receive the promised beauty, I began to actively and deliberately work on accepting what was.
I believe the sighting of my ex that day was God’s way of letting me see the progress I’ve made in this area.
Set your gaze on the path before you. With fixed purpose, looking straight ahead, ignore life’s distractions. Watch where you’re going! Stick to the path of truth, and the road will be safe and smooth before you. – Proverbs 4: 25 – 26
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