Sunday, September 7, 2014

The beginning of an end...

Alright I asked everyone to give me some subjects to write about.  I love writing, and feel in the zone when sitting with a pen and a journal, or in front of the computer.  Where I can just let go and the thoughts just seem to pour out.  A good friend has been nagging me for so long to write a book, and I guess as I entertain that idea I know I have a huge book about life in front of me, but yet its so big I didn't know how to break it down.
So here goes nothing.

Tonight I will write about life after the devastation of divorce, the struggles, joys and deciding to move on rather than staying stuck.

Two and a half years ago my now ex husband asked for a divorce, I remember the pain so vividly... I remember being in a place of desperation of agony and a dry desert of sorts... I remember the tears that trickled so painfully as I couldn't manage to stop them.  I thought life as I knew it was over.  And then I came to a place of trying to save something so lost.... And I tried for so long however, marriage will never work when both parties aren't equally invested in stopping the train from wrecking, it becomes one person laying on the tracks while the other tries to save him/her.  But I fought hard, and sometimes honestly not as hard as I probably should or could of.

At a point I decided the battle was over, but I still keep putting one foot in front of the other praying to my savior to save this marriage.  I decided the battle was no longer mine to fight so I got out of the way.  And that's when I believe now that the true fighting went on.

Then out of no where one day I came across divorce papers, I was blindsided.  I felt like the very foundation we had created for 12 years, was exploded into tiny rubble like pieces and I stood at ground zero, with the dust of my life brushing across my face and falling at my feet.  Other than the day I lost my son I had never felt such complete loss and utter confusion.  Dreams really did go up in smoke!

Life as I knew it was over, here I stood in ground zero as a single mom of 5 kids on earth, no job, no family to help pick up the pieces.  And I will say as horrible as it all was looking back now, I had a peace from God about it all.  I was devastated and sad.... That's normal and I think something would be wrong with me if I didn't feel that.  But I also know deep down, God had fought the battle.

My ex husband isn't a horrible guy, he just wasn't the right man for me.  He got in the way of me keeping Jesus in my target, and I think somehow maybe I got in his way of bumping into Jesus.  I don't know if he has found him and accepted him, and if he ever will but I truly believe God knew what was best for everyone involved.

As much as I loved that man, and tried the best as I could in human flesh, I wasn't good for him either.  We loved what was so uncomfortably comfortable.  I now see that we didn't have what we needed or should have.  I'll explain this more later.

In the months that followed I lived life on the roller coaster of divorced death, that's not a real term but go with it!  I lived the deep dark, clinching my jaw so tight, knuckles turning white...screaming until no one could hear me downs.  And then the breath of fresh relief as I came up.... and the downs weren't so bad steady straightaways.  The highs came much later, I don't think I got the highs until probably about 6 months later.  And only then because I was able to see the scales fall off.

The moments where I was blessed by glimpses of hope, of what was but I refused to see.  Moments of clarity that our so called uncomfortably comfortable relationship was so toxic and unhealthy.  We kept bound to each other out of fear of the unknown and for me living out my vows of for better or worse.
But I wasn't quick to feel the highs so much even then, because the nights became lonely, and the days more mundane than ever!  And the tightness of doing mommy hood all alone, some days to much to burden.  I knew it was inevitable it wouldn't stay so calm, another wave of grief would quickly pull me under.
Whether it was a missed child support payment, a daycare job lost, another school issue with my older boys.  And some days those school issues were enough to make me raise the white flag and say " I am out!!!", "God I didn't ask for any of this, I tried I stayed still... why me?".   Days of "God why would you allow this?"

And slowly over the next few months of calmness in my heart, I heard him, I know deep down in the stillness he spoke to me, it may sound crazy and I am ok with sounding crazy.  But God reveled it to me, in the Jesus with skin on people in my life, in the day to day conquering that was happening in my home.  In the moments when I seriously thought I was drowning, he lifted my chin up.  I was able to take a few more breaths to keep my head above water.  And then I realized none of this had anything to do with me.

God may save some people, allow other to die.  Save some peoples children and not others.  Make some men change their minds and love their wives deeper, more Godly and it all works out amazing.  But he didn't do that with mine.  And I no longer began to question the why.... But rather the now what?
What am I capable of, what can I change? where can I go from here?  what can I do about this rubble and dust? what can I choose today? what can I teach my kids from this? where can Glory be given to God?

And then my life changed..... The darkness of the night no longer engulfed me.  I find a joy in a big king size bed all to myself, a remote I could change and watch what I wanted, a few days a month to myself to be selfish with, a joy in working on me and not trying to work on someone else, a joy in going to church as often as I wanted without guilt, a joy in being me who I was created to be with no limitations, justifications or explanations.  But uniquely me.

Then I found joy! Not all the time, people who know me well know that sometimes it was still really hard.  Some days not so bad but a pinch of complication.

I would say the hardest part about the death of my marriage was being a single mom and the whole world truly lays on my shoulders, even financially.  Sure he had child support but if he didn't pay one month, it didn't fall on him it fell on me to keep a roof over my kids heads and food in their mouths.  I had to suck up pride a few times and admit I couldn't do it in the beginning.  It sucked and it humbled me. Many times I told God, "I can't do this today, and why did you entrust me with so much, I'm screwing it all up.... I'm screwing them up!"

And then something magical happened.... The sun rose from the darkness and a new day began.  I was just kidding on that magical part.  But I think we think we have to have it all together all the time, and do it all right.  And the funny thing is each day this always happens, we get another chance.

At some point earlier this year the loneliness subsided, which I knew would be my next struggle.  I was used to having a mad beside me, to agree and disagree with, someone to tell me what to do when I didn't have a clue or didn't want to make a choice.  I was used to being able to put my arm around him, and have someone to share the burden of life with and the joys of life alongside.  So for the first time since I was a teen I was on my own.
It was really hard at first, the nights always proved to be that tug of your not worthy, you'll always be alone.  And I didn't embrace it at first, I wanted to run from it.  I was unfamiliar with solitude.  And then day by day I really began to enjoy it.  And being in a relationship began to scare me more than being alone.
I was afraid of liking my new life of my own and wasn't sure I'd want to selfishly give that freedom up.  And then the thought of all the "stuff" and responsibilities that come along with liking and loving someone else terrified me.
Not because I wasn't capable of that, because in all honesty I love so deeply and I care more than I probably should.  I am a caretaker by nature, a fixer.
But I needed to take this time to fix me or really allow Jesus to mend me, and show me just how beautifully he created me.

For the first time in my entire life I began to love me, and I mean really love me.  Now that's not to say I've become this "Oh I am the best thing on this planet, and God's gift to the world, I love each and every inch of myself"!  Oh heck no....... I know I struggle with body image still, but I know where there may be flaws Christ is working, and there is something beautiful I just need to take the tainted scales off my eyes a little more.  I am comfortable most days in my own skin.  I see that while I may not love every inch of my physical body I do deeply love other things about this woman God created.
I love my heart, my passion to be Jesus with skin on in peoples lives in a way I have never seen another person created, I love my compassion and empathy.  I love that I can be an open, authentic, transparent book with all of you.  Because my pain and my story does nothing for me.... But it does everything for Jesus!  And for some of you.

And some point I began to flirt with the idea of finding a companion, someone or some people to do life alongside.  And it was so hard to be so vulnerable to possible hurt and pain, and getting outside myself.  To learn new things about myself and be open to possibilities.  To aim for something better this time and not live out the generational curse of loneliness.
I joined a few singles groups, I chatted with people some men or creepers really lol.  I went to a few things, I created an online profile at Christian Mingle.  And I did all of this without praying about it.  Then one night that part about doing all this without Gods will or praying about it hit me...... And it hit hard.  Over the next few weeks I began to pray, a few days prior to praying I remember sitting at a friends and telling her that I was ready to start praying to God about finding me a companion.  As I prayed over the next few weeks I found myself in a different place once again, my heart was awakened and renewed.
The scared part of me that wasn't sure I could do life alongside a man, friend etc... Slowly left, and the complete paralyzing fear of finding someone who would love my kids all 5 of them seemed so insignificant

And then one day I took a brave move and smiled at someone on Christian Mingle, and we talked, and talked and talked some more.  It seemed so effortless and joyful.  I truly believe this happened because I made a choice to pray and trust God with whatever he decided was best for me.
Whether that was more time alone to be selfish or time to connect and become friends with a man.

I'm on a road that seems impossible, crazy and not at all what I would have thought God wanted for me.  I feel like a young girl, except I have a more mature heart and things aren't as care free as a young girl.  Over the past month, I've had to open up to this man and be authentic and real.  Raw and honest.  Some days its still overwhelming to me.  Not in a bad way but because this isn't what I once again planned for my life, I thought I was in control and God once again showed me it's not about me.  He is allowing this amazing man in my life for this moment.

I'm trying not to hold onto what that means in the future.  I am living in this honoring myself with my feelings and who I am.  I am living on the edge of self acceptance and bravery.  Taking each breath as it comes, each moment as it lands here.  Each hug, kiss, lovely thought as it passes through.  Because I have no idea what God has in store and I am done trying to think I have it figured out.
For this moment this man, is showing me what real love is.   Not because he loves me but because I love him and can't expect anything in return.  Because he likes some of the things I find unworthy about myself.  He is so good with my kids.  For now he is a Godly amazing example to my boys for what it is to be a man of God and integrity and he shows my daughter what its like to be held, honored and cherished by a Godly man.  The part that I said I would explain later is right here.  This man is helping me show my children what a good relationship looks like.  My kids hardly ever saw my ex husband and I kiss.  Both of us at fault, but now even though they think its nasty and gross making comments as they run off,  I also see that smile on their faces and twinkle in their eyes when we kiss.  I think because they see their mom deeply and genuinely happy.
He has made me throw out my list of rules, because he breaks every single one.  I thought when my ex husband left me that this time I had Jesus on my side so I had it all figured out.  Gods sense of humor seriously cracks me up.  Because my list..... Didn't have this man on it.  And yet here he stands, and here I pray God allows this to be!

I'm choosing now just like I did last weekend as I stood in line for the roller coaster, which by the way I HATE roller coasters.  To take a risk in the dreams of something better.  Even if that means I clinch in fingers so tightly they turn white, and that I am left with bruises from the highs and lows, as I take each and every turn trusting God along the way.  That no matter what happens at each hill, and sharp crashing corner, all bad things come to and end, and even the good things.  But this isn't my home, someday no matter what happened it will all be gone.  So I am choosing to trust and enjoy!