Friday, October 11, 2013

Joyfully Free



I am sitting at the dining room table in my pajamas unable to sleep in these wee hours of the morning. There are so many things roiling around in my head that my mind just won't shut off. I want share some of those thoughts with you, dear reader.  But first, a confession:

I lost my backbone.

Somewhere along the way of this painful, nevertheless blessed, journey of divorce I became a jellyfish. I let my divorce define me. I shrunk away from too many things because I was hurting and ashamed. I allowed what another person did to me become the reason that I shied away from taking responsibility for my own happiness.  I went through the motions that I needed to in order to survive and in order to see that my children were thriving.  But not thriving myself -- until now.

Let me back up and let you in on another secret: I used to attach such a stigma to the word, "divorce."  Even now, it sometimes feels like a dirty word when it passes across my lips. The fact that I could say "my divorce" in the above paragraph is mind bending. My divorce no longer is a shameful thing. It is my claim to freedom.

I AM FREE!

And that backbone?  Make no mistake:  it's back.

My wise sister in law told me a few months into my separation, that I would one day be glad that God allowed this divorce because He would cause good to come from it. Blessings that I would not have experienced otherwise. I nodded at her words, but had a hard time imagining it to be true. But it is.

Do I wish my children had their mother and father living under the same roof and happily married?  Yes.  But it would have to look radically different than when we were married before.

RADICALLY.

I am no longer satisfied with ho-hum.  I am no longer willing to put up with the conditions the way they were.  I was only satisfied with ho-hum before because I allowed myself to be convinced that I didn't deserve anything better.

I was wrong.

Were there good things about the marriage?  Yep.
Are those good things still good enough?  Not even close.

NOT.EVEN.CLOSE.

Today I took my children to a pumpkin patch that was more like an amusement park.  We had a
blast.  I looked around at all the families riding hay wagons and eating candy apples.  Moms and dads with kids in tow, all enjoying each other.  For about 6 seconds I felt sorry that my former husband wasn't there.

And then I decided that I would re-frame my thoughts. Instead of feeling lonely, instead of feeling bad that I didn't have a husband or a father figure for the kids to share in this experience with us, I purposed to be joyful.  And I was joyful.  I am joyful.  In spite of the fact that my children's father removed himself from our family to join another: my sweet little family is intact.  And we can have experiences like today and be joyful about them.

You may smile, dear reader, but I feel a little like a Star Trek character.  This is a new frontier for me.  A new adventure that I am embracing.  The unknown, but in a good way.  Because I know Who goes before me.  I know Who has my six.  More importantly:  I know He loves me with a faithful love.

Counting it all joy,

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