Monday, April 4, 2011

Becoming a Woman of Integrity

You may not know this about me, but I'm going through a divorce. I can't go into the reasons here, but suffice it to say, it has necessitated counseling every two weeks for me.

About a month ago, my counselor threw down the gauntlet and challenged me to be a woman of integrity.

I thought, "I'm already a woman of integrity."

But then I realized that integrity requires daily decisions. It isn't something where you can stand on your past laurels of moral high ground. It is a day-in, day-out, resilient and deliberate and conscious decision to stay above the fray of temptation.

And what is temptation?

For me, it has encompassed a few things:

1) Staying off of the social network Twitter. Believe it or not, I'm actually addicted to it like crack. But I had to realize that being on Twitter, for me, invites drama. Currently, my real life is so dramatic that I don't need anything else fueling adrenaline. It's time for me to rest, and it's time for me to step back. That said, to be a woman of integrity, I've set up parental blocks on my computer so that I can't even pull up the site without deliberately choosing.

2) Trusting God in the face of bleakness. I have another blog called, "Family Giving," in which I discuss being willing to give financially in spite of difficulty. But last week at church, I did not tithe. I was scared. I was facing an enormous hurdle in the coming week that I knew would decimate my financial future. So rather than trust God with my 10 percent, I clutched it. I allowed the offering plate to pass under my nose. To be a woman of integrity, I must trust God, even when I don't see the future. Especially when I don't see the future.

3) Staying single for the time being. My divorce probably will not be final until June, at the earliest. But already, I feel like I'd like to start dating again. I hear all of your collective groans right now. And that's exactly the point. To be a woman of integrity, I have to put my needs on a shelf. I have to focus on the well-being of my 7-year-old child and on his needs as he deals with the separation of his parents. I need to dig deep into my heart and mind and heal completely from several years of suffering. Even if I met someone for a cup of coffee, an emotional attachment could result. That would lead to a distraction from the matter at hand, which is healing fully and protecting my child. Will I ever heal? I'm sure I will, because I know I'm a very different person than I was this time last year. Some people might say, "Go for it! Have fun! You deserve it!" And that would be true, except that if I proceeded with dating right now, I would risk losing the richness of a meaningful relationship because I moved too quickly. It would be like settling for McDonald's one hour before sitting down to a meal at the Four Seasons. And not only that, doing so right now would just be morally wrong for me. So to be a woman of integrity, I have to say no, even to friendships with men to whom I am attracted. If it's God's will for me to find love again, I have to rest on Him for my best future.

You can see how being a woman of integrity for me isn't easy. Too many times, we'd love to take the smooth path and be happier in the short-term. But often, that results in decisions that compromise our very integrity.

But I can't become a woman of integrity on my own strength. That's where Jesus comes in. "My yoke is easy, and my burden is light," He tells us. Guess what. That applies to decisions that would affect our integrity.

So take His yoke upon you and lean into Him.

You can be a person of integrity. But trust Him for it.

The rest will fall into place.


  1. I'm sympathetic to your plight.

    Once your divorce is behind you and you've had time to settle your emotions, things begin to seem brighter.

    You're experiencing the most painful part. It's not a sin to compare your experiences to chemical withdrawal. In fact, that is precisely what you are going through.

    Brains are complex, WONDERFUL structures that really do physically react to external stimuli. One only need ask another that has been deprived of a single sense to know just how much perception of reality can be drastically altered.

    My divorce is final. The emotions that plagued me for so long have faded into bittersweet memories that I call upon from time to time. I dredge them into the forefront of my being so as not to repeat my previous mistakes in judgement.

    Over time, I've learned that I must first be able to love myself before I can love another.

    Some would label that method of thinking as "Narcissism". I consider it to be something more akin to:

    Breaking through the mandatory barrier of self loathing.

    See yourself, see your child, look at the Universe.

    Imagine some person who only found out that you existed recently.

    You're known.

    People care.

    I'm one.

    From what I've learned in a few clicks, you're ready to move ahead.

    I can tell you from experience that you'll think thunderstorms, songs on the radio and random posts are all meant to make you feel horrible.


    The Universe isn't either For you or Against you!!

    When I saw the Milky Way for the first time and understood our place in the Universe in comparison to the explanations I'd been told as a child, my divorce proceedings began.

    The Universe is AWESOME again!

    My best hopes for a swift recovery,


  2. Kol!
    Thanks so much for the encouragement! Your note tonight means more than you could possibly know.

    God bless,