I love an inspirational quote just as much as the next girl. I love a bible verse set in front of a majestic setting, or an Instagram post telling me how strong I am because I am a woman who has seen tough times, or a Facebook reminder that the sun will come out tomorrow. I even love a quirky saying on a t-shirt. Seriously. I love it all. I read it all. I judge it and contemplate how it pertains to my life. Sometimes I even screenshot it and save it for future use in the divorcedyetdevoted Instagram account (which, by the way, you should be following). I know you know what I’m talking about. They are unavoidable. Little pockets of wisdom to guide you through life, whether you want them or not.
I try to stay away from any quote that tends toward the negative. Basically, the ones that bash men. The ones that tell me that because I am a woman I don’t need a man, or that any man who doesn’t find me devastatingly attractive is a moron, or that men are only good for one thing and one thing only. Look, I’m all about women empowerment…but not at the cost of negating an entire half of the human population. And you wanna know my deep, dark secret? I like men. Not all men, obviously, but the truth is I have some wonderful men in my life and I am a better woman for their respect, love, and support.
As a divorced woman, I don’t want my divorce to define all of who I am. I have seen many women grow bitter from their divorce. Their hearts seem to freeze over. They become man-haters. The possibility of finding a “good man” seems utterly ridiculous. Y’all, this has to stop. It must. One man’s terrible mistakes cannot define us, as women, for the rest of our lives. Why would we ever want to give our ex-husband’s that much power? Yes, we are scarred and a bit broken because of their actions, but we ain’t down yet!
Call me lucky, but as soon as my life started to tumble out of control, God sent an army of strong men to yank me out of my downward spiral. Wonderful examples of how a man should treat a woman. It seems that whenever one man had to exit my life, God sent another one to pick up from where he left off. My father is the most supportive man I know. My brother-in-law is an excellent father, husband, and defender of my sisters and me. My best friend is a man whose heart speaks the same language as my own. I have the most confident and protective big-brother figure in all the land…if you mess with me, he will find you. My friend, Danny, believes I can literally do anything in the world. He has more confidence in my abilities than anyone I know. And today I get to spend the day working with a wonderful friend, a man whose generous spirit knows no bounds. God put Timothe back into my life at the perfect moment. As I continue to mend, he is a fierce example of a gentleman who shows me respect on a daily basis and challenges me to grow in the knowledge of my personal strength. He constantly lifts me up, while pushing me forward. He is a true dreamboat. These are just a few examples of the male blessings in my life. I could honestly write an entire book entitled “The Men Who Stepped In When My Ex-Husband Stepped Out.”
Yes, I am a strong woman. Yes, I don’t need a man to get through this life. Yes, I pay my own bills and take care of myself and travel around from job to job just fine and dandy by myself, thank you very much. I am woman…hear me roar! I will roar about all the new things I am learning to do. I will roar about other fabulous women who are killing it at life. I will roar about my fierce female friendships til the cows come home! But I won’t roar hate. I won’t let one man ruin the reputation of all men. I won’t let hate be my battle cry.
Any kind of hate is dangerous. Allowing our hearts to accept the feeling of hate will only take us further away from God and his perfect plan for our lives. The answer, is to learn how to love again. The men in my life have taught me more about true love than my ex-husband ever did. Embracing their love will help me learn to love others better. Choosing to give love will heal my heart. Acknowledging the love around me allows me to love myself. And loving myself means being devoted to my life. Be devoted. Now that’s something I’d like to read on a t-shirt.
1 Peter 4:8 “Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins.”