I meet new people all the time. And there's often a point in the conversation that goes something like this:
OPTION A Them: Where are you from? Me: New York. Them: How'd you end up in Atlanta? Me: Well...
OPTION B Them: What do you do? Me: I'm the founder of a ministry in Africa. Them: Oh wow. What are you doing in Atlanta? Me: Well...
OPTION C A variation of A or B.
And then I have to try to follow the "Well..." with some sort of explanation.
It's got me thinking about the words I use to sum up my current life situation.
I'm short and sweet and to the point. I certainly don't unload my two-and-a-half-year heartache on them.
I don't answer with bitterness or anger or resentment. There is sadness in my words, for sure. There's grief in my eyes.
And I simply state the facts.
But now I'm wondering if I still say more than I actually should.
My six-sentence answer usually includes:
- I've been married for 9 years.
- My husband and I ran a ministry in Africa.
- He had an affair.
- He decided he wants a divorce.
- I'm living in Georgia for a season of restoration.
- I'll be going back to Africa.
And all of that is true.
But I wonder if I'm hiding behind #s 3 and 4. Because I feel like I have to mention the affair and point out that he left me.
But I wonder what my motive is.
My unconscious thought in that moment is that simply saying I'm going through a divorce leaves the question of why. And they might think I cheated. Or assume I'm the one who chose to leave.
So I seemingly take on a defensive position right from the get-go. I fight to maintain my image right from the start.
And maybe I shouldn't.
Isn't that just plain ol' ugly arrogance? Or at the very least, insecurity?
The fact that I am the head of a ministry adds to the complexity of this for me. I don't want people to wonder who left who when I'm asking them to trust me to lead Thrive.
But maybe I need to let truth speak for itself.
And let God defend me.
Right from the get-go.
I don't know. I'm still trying to figure this one out.