When I found myself in unfamiliar territory, facing a divorce that I didn’t want, I experienced pain and rejection that I have never felt before. I was in my mid-40s, alone to finish raising my teenagers, hold down a full-time job, and pay the mortgage. I was overwhelmed, tired, and worried, but mostly filled with the most incredible pain I have ever felt.
Because of my gospel foundation and my desire to live righteously, I knew I had to forgive my ex-husband. I knew it was important to not be critical of him in front of the children, but how was I going to get past those feelings of rejection that made me want to cry out in agony?
Day after day in my anguish, I turned to the scriptures, seeking direction from the Spirit. I searched diligently day and night. I needed to know what I could personally do at this unfamiliar crossroads of my life to follow the Savior’s example, to heed His call to follow Him.
As I studied the scriptures, I wrote down each attribute of Jesus Christ that I desired to develop in my own life. I recorded teachings from the stories and parables that He shared during His mortal ministry. I noted the things that spoke to my heart about forgiveness. I diligently penned in my notebook the hardships and trials that the Lord faced and how He overcame them.
Over time I recognized that His pain was much worse than mine, yet He forgave those who hurt Him. He was a perfect example. That notebook, filled with lessons from the Lord’s life, became a source of great strength to me. It was my lifeline. Following His example, I was determined to endure my trial as well as I could. I was willing to move forward through my pain.
It worked! Now a few years later, I am blessed to have a good relationship with my ex-husband. Even though he has remarried, our relationship as the parents of our children is sweet and pain free. By following Christ’s example of not criticizing him, I overcame the negative feelings of pain and rejection. I can love!
What a valuable lesson I learned during this intense trial. I am grateful for my Savior’s perfect example. He is my rock and my foundation. And I never feel alone. I have His love, His Atonement, His perfect example, and the love and blessings of a beloved Heavenly Father.