How Divorce And Remarriage Changed Me

I was the girl who had a picture perfect plan. The “idealist” as my counselor likes to call me. Each person plays a role, every rule is followed and everything falls seamlessly into that perfect white picket plan. But that’s the keyword, I was “just a girl.”

Something happens to a girl when life deals you that inevitable “adult” card. That promise of “trials on this land” that your naive mind always seems to think won’t touch you – at least not too detrimentally. It’s that trial that may tarnish your perfect reputation you’ve fought so hard to keep. The trial that makes people question your moves because they’ve never been involuntarily thrown into something you swore would never touch you.

Five years ago, life blew the doors open into that first true trial. The kind that can change the course of your life forever. I was forced to decide one of two roads: I would either crumble and soak for the rest of my life with that permanent frown that stays with the ones who choose to crumble (you know the one I’m talking about), OR I would find purpose in it.

It took a while to find purpose in divorce. I walked through the grief, the mornings where there was nothing to wake up to, the evenings with no one to cook for, the smaller laundry loads, the bitter taste of widowhood that comes in it’s own divorce form, and the idea that something has destroyed the dream every little girl has of life’s untarnished milestones.

But, somewhere along this story, I went through a refining process that I think can only come from the kind of trials that touch your core and force you to re-evaluate what you’re made of and perhaps why you’re here.

I learned…

that being exposed to Sunday School and beautiful sermons my whole life were a great foundation, but there’s a point in life where you encounter the ultimate decision of finding truth in all of it. It’s time for the message to come alive and become a part of YOUR truth. It’s that moment where I cried, “Ok, I believe in everything I’ve been taught, but you’ve got to show me that all of it is true and you will get me through this like I’ve been promised all my life.”

I learned…

that the cliche is so much truer than I ever believed – “Forgiveness is for you, not for them.” It doesn’t make any earthly sense. But when you finally let it go, it’s like a physical burden is lifted. There’s no more comebacks to conjure up, no more death looks to put on, no more quiet games to force. Just living and grace. And the relief that vengeance is not in your hands.

I learned…

through my counselor and amazingly graceful and patient second blessing (aka husband) that showing love doesn’t mean condoning or a blow to your own reputation. It means you can look past the hurt, the disdain, the disagreement, or the circumstance to live out grace the way He did on earth. If our goal is to become like Him, the actions have to follow suit. They can be uncomfortable, unconventional, unaccepted, or misunderstood, but they are everything He was. Love and grace.

I learned…
that your perfectly written story is never the one you set out to write. But if I never lost grip of the pen, I may have never experienced this refining. I may have never realized that destiny doesn’t come in a perfect box but often evolves from hard, messy life. If my mess is what will help me walk others through this, then I’m ok with picking up the pieces the way He would have me do it.

If you’re walking the journey of questioning where it all went wrong or losing grip of the picture perfect story, I get it friend, and I’m all ears.