My family stayed in New York for several days. They never came back up to my apartment or spent any more time with my ex-husband during that trip (or ever, for that matter). Instead, we did every possible activity available to do in New York City during the holidays. It would take several blog posts to fully describe all of our activities during those few days, but family vacation planning isn’t really what this blog is about, so I’ll spare you the play by play. I’d rather focus on certain moments. I’ve started to refer to memories like these as my moments of mercy. Mercy can be defined many different ways. When most people think of “mercy” they think of God showing forgiveness to some one who should be treated harshly. But there is another definition. Mercy can also be thought of as a kindness to someone who is in a bad or desperate situation. That’s the kind of mercy God showered down upon me.
I don’t think I’m a talented enough writer to properly describe the amount of pain I was in during this time in my life. And the reality is that I would have to endure even more pain in the months to come. If I’m being 100% honest, I spent about a year of my life in constant pain. When I didn’t think it could get any worse, it did. When I didn’t think it was possible to hurt any more, the suffering increased. When I had begun to try to handle one disaster, another would arise. It was a living hell. A constant hell. In many ways, my agony was all consuming.
Now here’s where the “but” comes in. BUT, even in this ceaseless hell God showed me moments of mercy. When I think back to the time I spent with my family in New York I certainly remember the agony I was going through. Of course I do. BUT I also remember drinking hot apple cider at The Boathouse in Central Park. I remember walking with my sister in the snow. I remember seeing the Christmas Tree at Rockefeller Center. I remember taking my father to my favorite pub. I remember watching my mother’s face as she watched the dancers in a Broadway show. I remember Cheyenne meeting us for my dad’s birthday dinner. I remember those moments of mercy clearly. Those moments of reprieve. Those gifts.
They are gifts in more than one way. Yes, the time I spent with my family was a gift during a terrible period in my life. Being able to feel loved and enjoy my life for a few days was certainly a gift. But those precious moments of mercy are also a gift today, because now when I look back to that year. That miserable year. The year before the healing could even begin, I have happy pockets of time that I can recall. I can say with confidence that I did not let the actions of this man take away an entire year of my ability to feel anything but pain. My ability to feel loved. My ability to give love.
Kiddos, that’s mercy. Mercy that only our Heavenly Father can give. God has given us all free will. Sometimes people use that free will to make poor choices that hurt others. My ex-husband was one of those people. Then God, in his infinite wisdom, sprinkled moments of mercy throughout my life. Not just so that I could make it through a rough patch, but so when I looked back I would be reminded of God’s provision in my life. Reminded that I am always being held by God. Reminded that HE is the author of my story. HE is the great architect of my life. HE is the artist who will mold me, with his merciful hands, into the woman HE created me to be.
Psalms 145:9 “The Lord is good to all; and his tender mercies are over all his works.”