Pictured above is my latest writing companion. My little one is at camp for the week, so I’ve been spending some real intense time finishing up my book. Working on the book has me at times fighting back tears of sorrow, re-reading the story in disbelief that all of this really happened. And then moments later, tears of overwhelming gladness seeing how beautifully God has pieced my life back together.
Here is the next book teaser in the blog series. It is 12 of 15! There is a bright light at the end of the book tunnel. I am feeling accomplished and excited to share the final product with all of you.
- SQUARE ONE
“…The label of being divorced frightened me. But the label of being divorced before 30 TERRIFIED me. Even though I fought for my marriage and was not at fault, I couldn’t possibly explain that to EVERY stranger on the street. I was now the target of so many assumptions I didn’t sign up for. I remember driving to my first job interview during the divorce in a total panic. All I could think of were ways to describe to this principal why I was unmarried with a two year old daughter. As if my marital status really had anything to do with my qualifications as an elementary school teacher. Either way, my happily ever after took a really wrong turn!
I would say starting all over was a long and gradual process. It took time, and that’s why it was genuine. When BD was in the affair (before I found out), he was acting very odd, and the whole double life was causing a huge disconnect. This started the gradual separation between him and I. When news hit, and he moved out, the general public knew nothing about the troubles in our marriage. We went to weddings together, we celebrated holidays together, and on the surface level, it appeared as if nothing was wrong. I was not ready for this reality, mostly because I was expecting the huge turnaround. I truly acted as if nothing was different. Then when BD came home, I tried desperately for things to go back to our happy go lucky fun couple self, but it was just impossible. His attachment to the homewrecker and his lack of desire to stay married gave me little to work with regarding the happy couple. It did help in the continued detachment and healing on my end, though. By the time he moved out the second time, he hadn’t hugged me in months, so I didn’t miss his affection. He hadn’t talked to me all that recently and the time spent together was nothing quality. Let’s just say when he left that second time I wasn’t sad because I missed the connection we built; I was just super disappointed that he gave up so easy.
With all that, I did feel like I was unmarried for about a year and a half before the divorce process started. Not because I wanted that status, but because my husband’s heart belonged to the other women.
At this new place in my life, I was not quite ready to jump into a dating relationship. I did make some fun new friends and would often laugh to myself about what my online dating profile would look like:
Hi! I love Jesus and drinking beer. I have a crazy fun group of girlfriends that are unlike anything I could describe. I don’t recycle. Oh! And I’m a mom! I believe in prayer and want my life to look like The Gospel. I also like road trips, picnics, and spontaneity.
Seeking: A man of God who will drink beer with me. A “real” Christian, who will love my daughter, as much as I do. A critical thinker. A man with mental stability, a non-alcoholic with no history of pill addiction. A real honest Abe. Sarcastic and attentive. Affirming, but not smothering. One who welcomes doing things God’s way. Oh and by the way, if we get married, I’ll most likely have many specific issues/requests such as NO female friends, mobile phones always in a central location, not allowed to come home late from work, and your wedding band must be super-glued to your skin … Take a number! Who wants a piece of this?
I challenged myself to get involved in “young adults” groups that offered social activities, bible studies, and overall outlets for me to meet other single people. I wasn’t looking for my next soul mate, but more just single friends. The majority of my friends were married and in some of those friendships the dynamic turned to a blurry awkward, something I wasn’t all that fond of. Husbands of my friends didn’t know how to treat me or what to say. Their cancer eyes were real, and they were as confused as I was. It was a healthy step for me to switch from couple mode to single mode.
Having our daughter helps a lot more than it hurts, but regarding moving forward socially, this brought a lot of sadness. I was involved in a Mom’s group and for a long time, I could not go to any of the organized family events. The idea of being around other young, growing families brought me to tears. Last year we were that adorable family in church, and now I am alone while my daughter spends the day at the beach with BD and the other woman. The brutal reality of this truth did help me to book my days by the hour when I wasn’t with my daughter. Instead of surrounding myself with married couples with young children, I would fill my time with all things I enjoy as an individual. It helped ease the pain my little family was in the company of the homewrecker.
This new stage was very freeing. Even though it was not the outcome I wanted, it was an outcome. One I could accept, pick up the pieces from, and move forward with. It gave me time to bring back some of the confidence I had lost. It gave me time to become comfortable as a single person, a single mom, a Ms., and the list goes on. I let go of many roles I once loved and embraced ones I thought I forever let go of at the altar. It was a tough pill to swallow, and there were some real difficult moments in there. But like everything as long as you focus on seeing these hard moments as refining your character and transforming you into a stronger person, there’s purpose. And there you have it, that’s what any hardship is about, finding the stronger you…”