eat pray loved me

Lisa (my wife), Casile (my daughter) and I went to see Eat Pray Love yesterday. (Right off the bat I would say the movie has to augment the book. The movie by itself, I surmise, wouldn't do as well. Read the book first.) I cried right from the start! This happens once in a while. I recognize, even while it is happening, that there is something much deeper going on than me being emotionally touched by a chick flick. Same thing happened when I saw The Notebook after I was fired from Streams International Ministries in 2002. I realize it is unlocking pent up emotions. Usually grief. I'm a master of pretending that I am stoically braving the fallout. I need to exhibit control to you. I need you to see that, in spite of the severity of my circumstances, I am Christlike on the cross of my affliction. Then, like an ambush, a movie will pierce through my pretense and unlock an ocean of hot tears, betraying my charade. To myself. And to others. I cried for the rest of the day. We went to the matinee. It was a long day. At the beginning of the movie, as in the book, Liz realizes that in spite of the fact that she invested everything into her marriage and that she built it into what it had become, she was very unhappy. It was killing her. After much anguish, in one fell swoop she ended it. Thus began her year long road to recovery where she had to forgive herself and move toward her own happiness and trust love again. This is what broke my heart open. I realized that I had spent 30 years building a ministry. I fully invested myself in it. I gave everything to it. I sacrificed so much for it. I couldn't begin to tell you how much it cost me. I'm not trying to raise a pity party. I'm just telling you how much it meant to me and how much I was willing to relinquish for it. I took it seriously. And then one day I realized I wasn't happy. I realized, much to my shock and sorrow, that it was killing me. I no one else, I had to end it. I had to do it. Believe me, I would have continued sacrificing everything to it. But I'm afraid I would have, if I kept going, sacrificed my own children, my own wife, and my own soul to it. I would have sacrificed everything in an unholy immolation and lost my own happiness forever. Even my soul. But I hurt so many people. I disappointed them. I confused them because I had built this and wanted it. I loved it! I was the most seriously invested in it all. So why did I ask for a divorce? It didn't make any sense to them. But I had to do it before it really did kill me and everything I cherish. And I did it in one fell swoop. Suddenly. It's only been a few months. When I first resigned I felt the immediate loss of the burden. The weight was lifted right away. It felt good. But I still haven't forgiven myself for what I did to the church, to my family, to my friends and to myself. I have brought complete insecurity, instability and financial ruin to my home. I have lost so many friends (again), and I have left people and my church bewildered. I know we will all be better for this. One day. But no one sees it yet. Including me. I will find my happiness. But I have a ways to go. And every time I allow my heart to break, it will open it up even further to forgive fully, to trust without caution, and to love again completely. Of this I'm certain. Sort of.
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