Driving home from work today; I started thinking about the would be anniversary that will be here on Wednesday. It’s my first one as a divorcee. I really took a minute to stop and see if I felt sad or missed that part of my life. You know what I miss? His family. The rest of it… nah! Someone said to me a few weeks ago, “This is not how I pictured my life going.” I thought, “well me neither.” Then I wondered, “Does anyone’s life ever go exactly like they picture it?”
As I drove along I was bombarded with thoughts of, “you weren’t good enough for him, that’s why he left you.” I almost took a trip back down that road, but something inside me clicked. I thought, “No! He wasn’t good enough for me!”
Before someone as usual, misunderstands, let me clarify… I’m no better than him. I have made some pretty crappy choices in life, just like most people do from time to time. One thing I know is that you don’t walk away from someone you love, not willingly at least. Love is not just a feeling when things are going great and you are happy. It’s a choice when you are mad. Love is doing what’s best for someone else, even when it’s not easy. Love is listening, even when you’ve heard the story they are telling a hundred times over. Love doesn’t leave… Period!
You know what though? Some people just don’t get it. They toss the word around like a weapon, used to get the things they want. It’s like they think it gives them power over the one they say it to. A funny thing I’ve learned is that love is most powerful when given without expectation, or ulterior motive. That’s when it has the power to transform.
There has been such heartache and suffering in the little town that I’m from here lately. So many people out there are hurting. I’m no stranger to pain. I know what it feels like to think there is no way out of what you’re feeling. The past year has given a whole new meaning to the phrase, “this too shall pass.” It’s hard to believe that last Christmas I was sitting alone in my house, wondering why I was still breathing. It truly felt like I was never going to get through the hard stuff. I’m sad to say that more than once I begged God for death, thought about disappearing, and almost did. I wouldn’t wish what I’ve been through on even my worst enemy. Well, if I had a worst enemy….
At the same time I wouldn’t go back even if I could. I’m so thankful that God didn’t answer those prayers. I’m still here. I made it this far. Even though I worry that things could fall apart in this new life I’ve been given, I wouldn’t trade one second for a thousand years in my old life. There are two kids and their daddy here, who love ME!
I’m grateful every day that I get to be apart of their lives. Even on the days when the three year old strips off his clothes and laughs while peeing on the couch three times in a row, or when his sister disagrees with everything I say. When a glass of soda gets spilled all over homework, or someone is puking all over the back seat of my car… I understand that all of these things are perfectly normal. They are just kids! We are learning how to do this thing together. I’ve been so worried about stepping on toes, that I let every little thing get to me. Can I call them my family? I’ve prayed so hard about the answer to that. They have a mom and a dad that love them very much. Why would they need me? Why would they want me? It’s a very tricky situation, that generally fills my little heart with anxiety. A few weeks back I woke from a dead sleep and felt God strongly directing me to “pray for them like they are your family.” Ever since then, I have.
I know that I’m not out to replace anyone, or be the star of the show. Years ago God placed in me a servants heart. I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about where I’ve come from, and I’ve made a decision. I’ll do whatever it takes to enhance the life of this family. I want to teach these babies about giving love with no expectations, being kind even when you don’t feel like it, and JESUS! I sooo want to teach them about Jesus!
Oh I’m sure tomorrow I’ll think about the day someone made a promise to me that was supposed to be for life. I’ll then remember the day that promise was irrevocably broken. At the end of the day I’ll leave work and get to spend the evening snuggling and watching cartoons with these little ones(and their dad) that have somehow pretty much became my world. Sounds like it’s shaping up to be the best un-aversary I’ve ever had.
I know that miracles happen, every single day. I just happen to believe that when a heart is ripped to shreds God sometimes sends little pieces of it back to you through people.
A friend said to me just the other day, “Thank you for being a strong woman.” At first I laughed to myself and started to say, “I’m not strong, I’m so screwed up.” I caught myself before saying that. I realized that somewhere along the line the brokenness in me became strength. The hurt transformed into lessons learned. Where what if? would step in, I find why not? standing in it’s place. So maybe, just maybe, I am strong.
P.S. If you look at me and see that strength just know that it’s not my own.