Today is 8/08/18.
In 8 days, I will have been divorced for a year. I know, I know….a lot of people get divorced. But the pain still exists. The struggle still exists. It is a very real thing. The effects of it don’t disappear in a few weeks, a couple months, a year. It takes awhile. I suppose it’s different for everyone. Some people find ways to move on quickly. Some people take time. Maybe I’m somewhere in between.
I never imagined myself divorced. But I am. And in that circumstance, I have come to some abrupt realizations of how I’ve been seeing myself and how I operate in relationships.
They are this….
I am a lot. I am a very emotionally intense person. I feel things very, very deeply….much more than most probably. And in that, I discovered that I have frequently operated in a very out-of-balance fashion. I tend to constantly apologize for my tears, my feelings. I make jokes about myself and my emotions. I make excuses or diminish things that are part of my God Design in hopes that I will be not be rejected. I’ve made excuses or diminished my own out-of-line behavior in order to keep myself in my own victim bubble. I have been known to completely set myself aside for the comfort of others, even when it is wrong to do so. I sometimes make decisions that are based on manipulating people in order to “keep them around.” I haven’t always chosen to take a breath before I respond in confrontation…and I’ve used those reactionary emotions as a battering ram. I’ve tearfully (manipulatively) glossed over anothers sadness or frustration with me by ignoring their feelings and in turn, aggressively bulldogged them with my own. In other words, I behaved as if my emotions were the only feelings in the room.
Can you see the pattern? Is the picture becoming clear?
I don’t say these things to, yet again, be the victim. I am no victim! I say these things becaue they are honest realizations about myself. If I don’t choose to look them in the face, own them, and walk in accountability, I will repeat them. Over and over again.
I have been asked about dating and I’m just going to be honest…I don’t feel confident to do that yet. For a few reasons.
First, I am not comfortable with where I am physically. Before you jump to conclusions, let me explain. I have struggled with my weight and physical appearance for a lot of my adult life. I have attempted to lose weight and get healthy numerous times. What I realized, just yesterday in fact, is that I always made those attempts for someone else. I wanted my husband to think I was more attractive. I believed that if I became a certain size or weight, he would stay with me (manipulation on my part). Some of that was in my own mind, some not. He promised me at one point that he would take me on a trip overseas if I lost 100 lbs. I see now that he was just trying to help motivate me in the goal that I had set for myself, but back then I chose to believe that he didn’t like how I looked and wanted me to be something I was not. Ultimately, I started crossfit because I believed that if I was what he wanted, then he would love me. What is crazy, is that I never saw it. I thought I was doing it for myself and only for myself. I was not. I was doing it to make people happy with me. But I need to do this for myself. I need to have my own motivation, not someone else’s. So I’ve started crossfit again because I want to feel good. Every day. Not just on good days. I want to be able to play on the floor with my grand babies. I want to fly overseas comfortably. I want to hike. I want to ride a bike. I want to lift heavy stuff. I want to do a pull up. For me. Because I can.
Second is that my marriage was hard..especially the last few years. I felt really burned…and I don’t want to carry that into any potential relationship. I want to own my part honestly and work through the ugly, painful, dirty stuff so that I don’t take it out on someone who doesn’t deserve it. I don’t want to be constantly suspicious of another’s words and actions. I want to love fully….without the reservations of old hurts. To put it bluntly, I don’t want to be the same person I was in my last relationship. I want God to be at the center and I long to do it His way and only His way. My dream has always been to have a marriage that is a picture of His love. I want a relationship that is a witness of who He truly is.
Right now, I don’t know if that’s His plan for my life or not. And I’m okay with that. I have learned that I can live on my own. I have learned that my worst fear can come true and I can come out thriving and alive…because of who He is….not because of any great accomplishment on my part.
Third is that I have a little boy in my life who needs me right now. He needs consistency. He doesn’t need more people that come in and out of his life that he gets attached to. He’s had more than enough of that. It’s time for him to be a priority…to be chosen. And I choose him.
If I had had my wish, I would have been able to learn these things while I was still married. I wasn’t. I was too stubborn and too busy living in my emotions to listen to how God wanted me to find His way through these hard things. He asked me to go His way more times than I can count, but I just kept thinking I could do it later….when I finally had courage. I kept thinking that surely God wouldn’t allow my family to fall apart. But He didn’t make my family fall apart. We did that. And so, I learned these things in the hardest way possible. Through loss.
God allowed me to be sifted because I asked Him to. He allowed it because He believed me when I said I wanted to go deeper with Him. He allowed it because He knew I could do it, even when I was sure I couldn’t. He allowed it because He wanted me to become the warrior that I am now. He wanted me to be one who walks with His authority. To bring His hope and His healing to the lives of others who are broken and hopeless.
This journey was not for nothing. And just like me, your road is not going nowhere. It means something. It may take longer than you like but it will get you where you are meant to go.
A little post script…Why did I highlight all the eights? I’m pretty sure it’s significant….The number eight in the Bible signifies Resurrection and Regeneration. It is the number of a new beginning.