D-day +1year

One year ago today I got divorced. I had to look up which day it was which I think is a pretty telling sign of how much I’ve healed. I don’t even think about my past life or husband and sometimes someone will mention something about Jim and it shocks me… oh yeah, I was married.

This last year hasn’t looked anything like I expected it to. I generally liked my life before and was wanting so badly to get back what I lost that I thought God would just fix that for me and I could get back on track right away with a replacement husband. I thought I’d immediately start dating someone who would turn into my future husband and life would just be easy and wonderful and I could pick up where I left off 4 years ago. Instead God had some things to teach me and over these last months he’s gently been telling me that I can’t just get back what I lost… that I have to start looking and believing for something new. Something that will shock me a little.

I always joke with my friends that I’m living my life backwards. I got married and had kids, THEN I was single, started dating and had roommates. Dating and being single in general has been such an interesting experience for me because it’s something I’d never done before… also because nearly every one of my friends is not in this life stage with me. I’m the only one and I’m pretty sure I provide lots of entertainment for them. Over this last year I’ve gone out with lots of dudes, some of them pretty wonderful and lots of them not-so pretty wonderful. Entertaining IS a good word to describe it. But now I have such a clear picture of exactly what I want. I’ve been surprised by things that I never knew I wanted, things that I now know I can’t live without…so much so that it kind of scares me that I’ll never be able to have it.

Trust has been, as always, the cornerstone of my existence. Any time that I start to find myself in a downward spiral, I realize that I’m not trusting the plan that God has for me. Now more than ever, I realize that I have NO CLUE what the next year will look like. What will I be writing a year from now? It could be ANYTHING. I see how good this uncertainty has been for me. I’m the one who always has to know the plan, and see twelve steps ahead. And I don’t get to do that right now. And that’s exactly what I need.

Over this last year I’ve developed some really deep friendships. Even though I was married for 12 years, I never knew true intimacy. Through these friendships I’ve learned intimacy. I’ve learned to lay myself wide open and let people see all the scary corners of me. I’ve learned to take risks in safe relationships and let myself be known. And I’ve learned how to seek that same openness in others. I’ve allowed myself to depend on community without the all-consuming need that could never be filled. (That’s because everything I really need is within me.)

Being a single parent is still something that I forget that I am. And the really weird thing is that even Jim isn’t a single parent. I would have never thought he would be the first one to be un-single. When things get hard my friends have to remind me, yes, you’re a single parent… this should be hard. But the kids and I are finding our ways though and overall things work pretty smoothly and everyone is doing pretty well.

This year hasn’t been without pain and the consequential lessons that come from pain, but it’s been nothing like the years prior. There is a rich thread of hope that weaves it’s way through every day of my life that wasn’t there before. And there is this deep seated knowledge of who I am and what I can do that gives me such comfort and peace. Pain is always necessary for change and learning and I now welcome it (mostly anyway).

This year also hasn’t been without great joy, a multitude of shining moments that I will always treasure. Mostly because I have come into my true self so wholly. Life is open to me in ways it’s never been and I just gobble it up with a voracity that can’t be quenched. I just want to live more and more life and it has been so amazing to be able to do it, on my terms, whenever I want!

What I know is that this last year has been so full. There’s only been a small handful of hard moments compared to the dump truck of good ones. I continue to be surprised over and over again at the path my life has taken and just how GOOD it is. I went into this with eyes wide open, ready for whatever came and it’s all been so amazing. I’ve learned to embrace the seasons of my life, knowing that they will be fleeting, never to be had again. I’ve learned to embrace pain and the lessons it brings as well as treasure every good moment. It feels so cheesy to say that I’ve had a second chance at life, but I really have. Life is new to me in every way and I couldn’t feel more like God knows exactly what he’s doing with me. And that is such a relief!

Who knows what will happen next, but I’m excited for what that might be…

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