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Divorce & Annulments

In my life, lots of ridiculous things have happened to me. Like the time I got out of my car at a crowded restaurant and the seat adjustment lever had caught my skirt and pulled it right off as I stood up.

Nice.

Thank goodness my mother brought me up right and I was wearing a slip.

Or then there was the time when I was on a date and we were having coffee. The coffee was so hot that when I sipped it, it burned my throat and I began hiccuping that lasted for almost an hour.

Totally embarrassing.

I could barely hold a conversation.

And one evening I was having a glass of wine with my friends and I actually swallowed a fly that was buzzing around me. (Don’t ask.)

Often times, I chalk these moments of mortification up to the incredible potency of the prayer The Litany of Humility, which my spiritual director had suggested I pray every day. Be careful what you ask for… it really does work.

 

An unforgettable job

I think the one episode that took the cake was my career as a telemarketer at a dating service in Los Angeles after my divorce. I was starving to death trying to keep the lights on and the bills paid and figured I had to eat someday, so I frantically searched for a job in the evening that didn’t involve waitressing (not that there’s anything wrong with that – I had done that before, too).

So I answered an ad for a telemarketing position that ended up being right around the corner from my home and only four hours a night but promised big bucks. Turns out, the job was cold-calling the greater Los Angeles area at night with the goal of setting appointments for people to come in to this dating service and find the love of their lives. But here’s the catch: The only info I had on these people I was calling was their name, address and phone number, and the type of credit card they had. I didn’t know anything else – not even if they were married or free to date!

The big bucks promise was there, I just had to perform well to receive it. And so I accepted the challenge.

One night as I sat there getting hung up on for the bazillionth time, I had a reality check: I looked at my reflection in the window in front of my desk and made this mental note: I’m divorced, angry, and depressed, and I am the one trying to give people hope and convince them that they will fall in love and be happy forever? Really?

What the heck is up with that?

 

A divine purpose

But what was so amazing about that period of my life was something I couldn’t identify at that point. Time needed to pass between me and the failure of my marriage so I could one day look back and see that God had me doing what I was doing for a distinct purpose (as He always does). In the four years I worked for that company, I had learned some very important communication and marketing skills and eventually moved up into management where I gained extremely helpful experience – all this to take with me as I went forth to found my own company, become a public speaker, and write books and other materials to help Catholics suffering through a divorce find hope and healing.

I certainly didn’t understand it at the time, but God knew exactly what He was doing. I think sometimes He likes it that way. :)

I know that being single can be really tough, especially during the holidays and especially if you’re divorced. But I pray that you will remain like a little child before Him, trusting your Father that He is guiding you and giving you exactly what you need for this moment in time. And as always, count on my prayers for you!

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15 Comments

  1. Stephen-725391 October 28, 2011

    “Be careful what you ask for… it really does work.”

    How so?

    Looked up the Litany, sobering. But again, How so?

  2. Stephen-725391 October 29, 2011

    I googled “Litany of Humility” and this website is what I found – Quite interesting and instructive and humbling all at once.

    • Lisa Duffy
      Lisa Duffy October 31, 2011

      Hi, Stephen,

      About 3 years after my divorce, a priest suggested that I begin praying the Litany of Humility. I read it once and came back to him, saying “This goes against everything the world says I should be doing to heal from my divorce?!?!?!” And he was right to insist that I pray it. A few years later, another priest who was my spiritual director challenged me to become “passionate” about that prayer. Despite my tongue-in-cheek humor in the blog, it has been a great blessing in my life and I realize my need to never stop praying it.

      • Stephen-725391 October 31, 2011

        Lisa, You were challenged to be “passionate” about the Litany. What does that mean, how does it work, some direction because I don’t have a spiritual director?

        • Lisa Duffy
          Lisa Duffy November 3, 2011

          In asking me to become “passionate” about the Litany of Humility, I know that Fr. Jeffrey was emphasizing the fact that becoming humble is the best way to imitate Christ. Truth is humility and being humble allows you to live in the truth at every moment. My favorite modern-day example of this is Mother Teresa, and our Blessed Mother is the example “par excellence” after Christ.

      • Stephen-725391 October 31, 2011

        For all here, this is where I found the Litany and the surrounding stuff has really helped.

        http://www.chastitysf.com/humility.htm

  3. Stephen-725391 October 29, 2011

    Lisa, I first encountered you and your story at DivorcedCatholic.com. I was quite taken by the poignancy of your travail thru divorce, annulment and the happy outcome (on going I suspect). It is very difficult, though not impossible, for me at twice your age (at the time of your divorce) to gain, let alone maintain an outlook that happiness will come. Be that as it may and notwithstanding the sometimes sheer terror faced, when alone, that the path you advocate will lead to naught, I remember you words and your story and my past life that lead here to naught. I look forward to your blog here and the Daily Inspirations that you author. Thank you

    • Careese-449851 October 30, 2011

      I agree Stephen. These articles are helpful. Thanks, Lisa!

    • Lisa Duffy
      Lisa Duffy October 31, 2011

      Thanks for your kind words, Stephen. My prayers for you!

  4. Jennifer-485990 October 30, 2011

    Lisa, your comment about wearing a slip really cracked me up. Most women these days don’t seem to wear them. Lucky you were! Thank you for a great article.

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