Thursday, May 17, 2012
I've been (unofficially) on my own for two years today. It's an Ebenezer milestone – a monument to how far God has brought me.
I hate to use reality-show parlance, but this post-divorce life has been, and continues to be, a journey. The progress has been incremental and hard to see in the short term, but when I look back over time, I'm amazed. Somewhere along the line, I finally, fully adjusted to being a single person. I stopped feeling like I was missing a limb and everyone could see my injury and incompleteness. I stopped feeling sad or weird or conspicuous about doing things alone, or hanging out with couples. Independence, and sufficiency as a single person, has come to feel really normal. It happened so gradually, I didn't even realize it until recently.
I still have bad days, but they're different. When you're in crisis, everything gets boiled down to its base level. Now, with the crisis far behind me, life is more complicated. Now I'm running a marathon with no clue where the finish line is, or how to recognize it, or whether I'm even running in the right direction, and some days that's very hard to deal with. And, with the way things are going, I'm constantly faced with the real possibility that I might never remarry or have children. That this is it. I tried to reach a place of being okay with that, but I gave up because ironically, it was making me miserable. At this point it seems best to think about it as little as possible. I don't think I'll ever be okay with it, but if I am, it'll be a work of the Holy Spirit and not of me gritting my teeth and trying hard. Borrowing trouble is unnecessary.
But if this is my forever life, it's a pretty good one. I'm surrounded by love and companionship and community. I live in my own little personal paradise. I can do whatever strikes my fancy and read as many books as I want. If I ever decide to take a risk or do something crazy, no one is holding me back but me. I know at all times what's happening under my roof and where my money is going. I'm comfortable handling a lot of things on my own now, but help is always available if I need it. I can evolve and find my way without anyone telling me what to do or be. I have a unique opportunity to serve as a single woman in the church and show others like me that they are valuable. I get to play a special role in the lives of my siblings' and friends' kids. I am happy. I didn't choose this path, and to a degree, I will always feel my loss and wish it hadn't happened. But the person I am now, this whole, braver, purpose-seeking person, was born out of the ashes of my marriage. When my ex walked out, he unleashed the woman I was meant to be. I'll never regret that for a minute.
God has never failed me on this road, and I have to believe that this is still just the beginning!
Being confident of this, that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. - Philippians 1:6