Thursday, 2 January 2014

It Is Finished.

On May 2, 2006, having finally made the most difficult decision of my entire life, I walked out of my marital home with nothing but my bed and a suitcase full of clothing, and moved into a tiny basement bachelor suite. I didn't have room for anything important...including my children. For months, until I could afford a bigger place, I went back and forth in the early and late hours of every day to be with my children at their dad's place whenever he wasn't there. Singing my little boy his usual bedtime song became bittersweet and I cried through the words: "Rest and relax knowing Jesus is near / And when you wake Mom will be right here." On the nights I knew I wouldn't be there when they awakened I had to change those lyrics.

I moved many, many times over the years, each time trying to make a better home for these three children who struggled with the painful knowledge that their parents were no longer together. They couldn't understand why all these moves were necessary, and though each time I tried to build a home that would be comfortable and welcoming for my family, of course they preferred to be home with Dad, the place they had lived for years.

There were court battles and custody issues and financial fights. There were attempts to reconcile, knowing that this pain was too much for our children to many times I thought I should have - may have preferred to have - just stayed where things were difficult for me, in order to spare them the suffering that comes from a broken family. There were tears of pain, tears of frustration, tears of heartbreak, tears of acceptance. There were misunderstandings, there was hopelessness, there were thoughts of suicide when it got really bad.

There were revelations. Through recognizing my culpability and my part in the breakdown of our marriage, I began to see the things that I had done wrong in a different light, and have learned to take responsibility and accountability for them. While I don't believe that my former husband will ever forgive me for my failings - although for his own sake, I pray that he will be able to - I have learned to forgive myself, and I feel fully forgiven and blessed by a loving God who has brought me to this point. I wish it had not taken such huge mistakes, blunders and setbacks to get here, but I can find peace in where I've ended up.

Today, seven years and eight months to the day after I walked out that door, and two days after what would have been our nineteenth wedding anniversary, my divorce is final. This in itself is not a cause for celebration; the end of a marriage is never something that I will celebrate. However, it is a time for reflection, for remembrance, for thankfulness, and for relief that - although repercussions of my choices will always remain - this particular part of the battle is finally done with, and I can move forward in life no longer tied even in paper to that time of pain, suffering, loneliness and regret. So, with tears even now, it is a quiet observance of the fact that I and my children have gotten this far through it all, and now I can finally say, "IT IS FINISHED."

Thank you to all of you who have seen me through these past many years.

"Without the setbacks, I would not appreciate where I am today." - Sarah Trowbridge

1 comment:

  1. My dear friend,

    I was the kids for three divorces. You know that it hurt me because you were my friend during the one when I was 15 and the one when I was 18. Something that I might not have told you is that those divorces were painful, but also an incredible relief. Having a broken home is not ideal, but it's ten million times better than having a miserable home, with parents who are fighting all the time and lying about things being all right.

    I think that there is truly nothing more emotionally honest that you could have done than acknowledge that your marriage was over and go on to do the best you could for your kids. I know that it wasn't easy, they didn't always understand, they acted out. Remember that kids only act out that much when they are sure in their deepest hearts that they are truly loved and will be forgiven. And by going through the hard times, you taught your kids that honesty is more important than appearances. By going to your ex's home to see them whenever you could, you taught them--although the lesson may still be sinking in--that a good mother sacrifices her pride without blinking when it comes to her kids. And by accepting responsibility for your own failures and forgiving your ex for his, you are teaching them Christian values.

    We've been friends for 28 years this fall, and I feel blessed for every day of it.

    Much love.