I’ve been writing Project 52 for 43 weeks now. The last few weeks have been difficult. I was happy to get Week 43 into one post simply so I could stop thinking about it.
This morning, I’m feeling compassion for Younger Sondy. I want to tell her:
Hey, Sondy, those years were hard. They were spotted with, infused with, saturated with joyful moments – but they were hard.
You were being told over and over again that you were a bad person and a bad mother, impossible to live with. You fought those lies. You thought somehow if you were more spiritual they wouldn’t hurt. That’s a lie, too.
But Younger Sondy, things got better. Much better.
You prayed so hard against divorce. Prayed so hard that the husband who loved you would come back, that he’d have a change of heart, come back to God, and because of that come back to you.
Younger Sondy, that didn’t happen. But over the time of praying, you learned so much about trusting God, about placing those you love into His hands.
And when you finally filed for divorce, you knew you weren’t going into it lightly. You knew you had given the man you had loved every chance to change his mind.
Yes, you were humbled! Every judgmental thought you ever had about people who are divorced has come back to bite you! But God is gracious. Yes, Younger Sondy, you needed that humbling. No, you weren’t even close to being a perfect wife. But again, God is gracious.
And Younger Sondy, your life is so sweet now!
Those milestones that happened in Year 43? They were only the beginning!
You are now Youth Services Manager at a Regional Library. You thought it was a little crazy, but you’ve discovered your peers really respect you! You are passionate about your work and your calling. (Okay, there are some down days, but overall!) You even bring playful math activities into your work! You get to play with babies and you get to read stories and talk about books and watch children learn!
And – believe it or not – twice you have been on the ballot to be on the Newbery committee! And you might even get on it! WOW!
[Edited to add: You DID! You got on the 2019 NEWBERY COMMITTEE!!!]
You’re still writing Sonderbooks, still shining light on great books.
You own your own home! And it’s by a lake and the views and the walks you can take feed your soul.
And people love you, Sondy! Okay, you’re not in a romantic relationship yet, but you have many solid friendships with both women and men, and your life is rich and full because of them.
The folks at Gateway Community Church are still like family to you. You’ve been in several different small groups, and now one meets in your home. And the friends you’ve made that way still care about you and pray for you.
And those awful experiences? They’ve given you a ministry and a message. You have new compassion for people going through tough times, especially in marriages, and you can testify that you KNOW that God is faithful.
So, Younger Sondy, God didn’t give you what you asked for – bringing your husband and your marriage back. But God has been fully gracious and loving to you, even during that difficult process.
No, you weren’t stupid to keep praying and hoping that he would come back. You were learning. You were trusting.
And God has been faithful, all the way.
Keep going, Younger Sondy! I know you will! Don’t lose heart, and seize those many joyful moments! In retrospect, they’re going to far outweigh the pain.