I was completely shocked.... the one year anniversary of my divorce has come and gone unnoticed in my life.
Last year, I thought this day would hold so much sorrow and pain... but I had no idea how much freedom there would be in forgetting about it. I've been so busy working on my own life and the goals I've long since set aside that I didn't even realize that August 29th had so much significance. But, then again.... I'm realizing that it DOESN'T hold any significance. The only day it did was in 2008.... that awful day when my world came crashing down and my love had come to an unfortunate and bitter end.
Instead of being sad lately, I've been able to see the fruits of my emotional labor. I've dealt with the pain created by my previous circumstances HEAD ON over the last year, unafraid of the path ahead, and even though the process seemed (seems) endless, it's finally paying off. At the beginning of this journey, I found a quote by Anne Morrow Lindbergh that perfectly described how I felt then... looking upon the ashes of my previous life and at the long road ahead, "It isn't for the moment that you are struck that you need courage, but for the long uphill climb back to sanity and faith and security."
A close family friend helped to encourage me through the darkest moments of this process, and while he has counseled people for the last thirty years, he described my divorce as the most painful he had ever seen. I could have taken prescription medications to get to this point. I could have pretended like everything was ok. I could have refuse help given to me to take care of my children. I could have pridefully pushed everyone away in order to appear "strong".... but I didn't do any of this.
In my darkest moments I cried, I pleaded with God, and I collapsed under the weight of my circumstances. Embarassingly, at times I wished I could have my ex-husband back, in spite of the way he treated me. I lost faith in myself and in my abilities as a mother. I also simply lost MYSELF along the way, somehow.
But, I was fortunate enough during these painful times to have one of my many true friends take me by the hand and help me regain my strength to stand on my own. That's the most difficult thing for a newly single-mother to learn. Standing on your own is scary... and being comfortable in your own skin is not easy at first. You're still dealing with the failings of your past life and how it affects your present.
Once you finally accept your circumstances, and thank God for being where you are instead of where you were... a miraculous change happens. You start to breathe again. You see the simple pleasures in your life for so much more than the little things they are. They become a daily destination. Being fully absorbed in watching the steam rise up in swirls from your hot cup of tea, watching the deer eat birdseed out of the feeder in your yard at 2 am, admiring a spotless sink, watching your children joyfully gobble down a perfect cobbler you made from scratch... these no longer become fleeting moments, they become an experience. The daily moments of beauty in our lives hold so much more joy when we see how devastating life can be, and rarely do these moments go unappreciated again. That, in itself, is a blessing. To not see our lives as the endless chasing of the next milestone... but just to take one beautiful day at a time, and to be at a new level of awareness in our life experience.
Lately, the verse that means the most to me is...
"See, I have refined you, though not as silver; I have tested you in the furnace of affliction, but, for my own sake I do this. How can I let myself be defamed? I will not yield my glory to another." Isaiah 48:10-11
I am proud of the scars that I bear from my divorce. They remind me of the pain I have overcome with the help of God. God "looked beyond my faults and saw my needs", and I am increasingly grateful that He set me free from the hellish marriage I was trapped in.
My focus is on the future... the life for my boys, my life, my education, wondering if God intends for me to be married again, and on the wonderful friends He has put in my path. To love and encourage everyone that He puts me in contact with and to be a good representation of what God's love can do in a life.
I'm overflowingly thankful today for my beautiful home, my beautiful children and God's perfect love. One year later.