Saturday, September 5, 2009

One year later... a whole new life.

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.


  1. Thanks so much Erin...I really needed this today. I am so proud of you! You are a inspiration to me!

  2. Erin, you have such a beautiful soul. Not only do you write beautifully, but also *what* you write about is beautiful. A person cannot even ask for a life such as yours to have the musings and insights that you have. I certainly see God's hands and fingerprints all over you and your boys! Thanks so much for sharing your journey. I especially loved the part about catching the fleeting, precious moments in your world. Prayers and love, Lady! ~Jenna

  3. Erin,
    I had no idea... it's sounds like you've been on quite the journey... thanks for sharing it. And hang in there!

  4. Erin I am so proud of you!! You hold strength that many people only pray for, and I admire how you don't hide the sorrow. I regret not keeping in touch the last few years but I know I have a lifelong friend and sister in you. You rock White Oprah!!

  5. You are so strong girl. I've seen this in you since day one. Although you've suffered greatly-- you kept a positive outlook and made lemonade of out lemons. Your three boys are SO blessed to have you as their mother. I know they will grow up to appreciate you, admire and respect you and to defend you. Those boys are so lucky to have YOU in their lives to raise them in a household that obeys God and follows His commands. Because of YOU (and God's provisions and guidance), your boys have the chance to become strong godly men! God bless you!! I'm proud of you!

    And... I want to talk to you soon! :) I love ya!

  6. Hi Erin! I recently found your blog and love it! I, too, have survived the hell of divorce but had not one, not two, but three child custody cases add to my life to try to find a way to deal with. I have had days where I didn't know how I was going to get out of bed and breathe, but God has been my strenght. He has given me hope that no matter what happens I will be with (all) my girls in time. Ok - just wanted to say HI and I hope you and your babies are doing well. Merry Christmas!

  7. Thank you so much for your sweet comments, Beth! God takes us all in a path that we least expect so much of the time, but He always knows exactly where we are going and how He is going to lead us there in spite of our difficult circumstances. I will be praying for a resolution to your situation and for peace in your spirit! I cannot imagine the pain you must be in. May God continue to bless your resilient spirit in the new year!