I am a survivor of life and the many storms that have invaded my space. In my last post I shared a bit about who I was and who I am and I want to continue my story of survival. I am not a survivor of cancer but of….dare I say the word…..D-I-V-O-R-C-E! I often wonder how I have survived one of the most horrific life events a person can experience. I believe that death of a spouse is easier because the surviving spouse can hang on to the good memories and not question every one of them or question the true motive behind unexpected gifts and mementos. Death would have given some closure where divorce lingers in my life like a bad dream. Let me explain.
At some of the oddest moments I feel slapped in the face as a person of divorce. For instance while sitting in church. One of the first things I missed was holding hands with my love in church during prayer time. Other times I really missed were our “togetherness times” such as car drives together spending those special moments catching up. We always kissed each other every day, and I missed that kindness. I missed the little physical touches that naturally come with marriage.
I also feel slapped by divorce when couples who were married in 1976 as I was celebrate their latest anniversaries. While I am so proud of them and happy for them I feel the sting of divorce especially since I looked forward to my 40th and 50th thinking I would enjoy them as much as I had our 25th celebration. But divorce ruined that hope and there is no way I will ever enjoy another lengthy marriage. Survival demands that I accept this fact, hopefully with grace.
Divorce stings come so unexpectedly. Weekends were really tough in the beginning. Saturday afternoon was our time to go shopping and often we went out to eat on Saturday night or Sunday after church. I still can’t make myself enter certain restaurants that were really special to “us”!
Getting myself to the point of not making disparaging remarks about my ex-husband has been a tough haul, but I am surviving and hopefully as each year passes I will get better and better at showing grace and mercy. This is especially important because of my eleven year old and the ongoing custody issues. But even my adult daughters and their families deserve to have a relationship with their Dad if they want and I must not stand in their way. As I said, this was a tough issue for me, but with grace and mercy and a ton of biting my tongue I hope that I am doing better in this area. So what is my secret to survival?
I have survived because of three things. The first is friends who were willing to listen even when it hurt to listen to me. The second is family, especially my aunts and my Mom and my precious little boy. And the one main constant in my life, the one who never failed me, never faltered nor judged my tears…Jesus Christ. Had I not been a Christian I would have never survived. I dove into God’s word and found such wisdom especially in the book of Proverbs. I will tell you about my faith next time.