I had the pleasure of meeting Rachel Dawn, author of NowWhat?, over the summer. She was warm and incredibly transparent. The world needs more of this, pure honesty. This is me, this is what happened, this is how I’m using it.
Her book Now What? shares the lessons she learned rebuilding her life after divorce, regaining her courage, and reigniting her dreams.
Without further ado here are a few words from Rachel Dawn:
On Divorce, Failure, and New Life…
I kept thinking these thoughts, “you couldn’t even keep a marriage together, what makes you think you can lead people, make an impact, or do anything significant? I felt like I couldn’t be used by God anymore. I felt like I had blown His plan for my life, and if you’ve done that, then what? Where do you go from there?
“My marriage failed. Therefore, I failed. Therefore, I was a failure.”
Years later, I got engaged and began preparing myself for remarriage – I read 16 books between my engagement and my wedding on marriage, divorce and remarriage – I found that I was not alone in my feeling of failure.
I couldn’t see how my life could ever look like the picture I once held in my mind. I was still very hopeless.
Now What? isn’t just a book for mid-twenties divorcees – although divorce is my story, and the perspective from which I speak – it doesn’t matter what circumstances led you to your “Now What?” moment – you will still relate to the truths and applications in the book. It doesn’t matter if it’s the death of a spouse, miscarriage, job loss, failing out of college, a medical diagnosis…. any of these events can bring you to a point of looking upwardly and asking “Now What?”
Throughout the book, I share what I learned on my journey toward remarriage. In those difficult days I spent so much of my time reading. Reading and learning was such a huge part of the restoration of my story and my life.
Through the process I was trying to figure out the reason my marriage failed. I discovered that it was in part to incorrect ideas and expectations I had about marriage in the first place. I share my conclusions and insight in Chapter 7: The Myth of Prince Charming and Other Lies We’ve Been Told.
So many of us have been told this fairytale our whole lives, it’s been reiterated in every book we’ve ever read, every movie we’ve ever seen, and even every youth group or church camp we’ve ever attended. There is this myth that there is one special person for you, in all the billions of the people in the world, and if you just wait for that one person, everything will be perfect, you will be blissfully in love and live happily ever after.
This is what we do, we look for “that one”, and we get married to our Prince or Princess. Then, the first time we realize we are no longer blissfully happy, our thought is, “oh no! I made a mistake! I married the wrong one! Because surely if this was the one, there would be no way I could ever fall out of love with them.”
It’s a lie – because we fall into this grossly misguided line of thinking, we run out of our marriages looking to find the right one again.
I know that’s not the only reason for every divorce, but, I would wager it’s the reason for a quite a few of them, whether people even consciously realize that’s what they’re doing or not. It was absolutely what happened in my first marriage.
Before my getting married I had read all these marriage books like “His Needs Her Needs” and “The Five Love Languages”, when my husband wasn’t “filling up my love bucket” I became angry, bitter and disenchanted.
Now those books are fine books, I still even recommend them to my readers, but, you have to have the appropriate mindset about them. You have to understand first and foremost, no marriage and no person is going to make you happy. You’ve got to find that happiness yourself, on your own, and that’s something you’ve got to work out between yourself and God.
Having experienced this loss and walking through the healing process my heart now is so passionate about sharing it with others – with everyone having a ‘now what’ moment – so they can step out of that place of deception and stop sabotaging their marriages and/or their own happiness by relying on it from another person.