Updated: Nov 16, 2018
Divorce. The nasty "D-word". Ugh. Seriously the biggest, scariest emotional roller coaster I have ever been on. It was a nightmare. One of those you feel like you'll never wake up from.
My ex-husband wasn't around much while we were married. If he was around, he was drunk or high. I was very close to being a single parent while I was married, so stepping into the role of full-time single parent as a divorcee wasn't as scary for me as it is for some; albeit I did find it very intimidating. Mostly I was intimidated by the realization that I truly wouldn't have a fall-back to help if life got crazy and that I would be completely alone.
I was blessed to have a stable career prior to my divorce, but knew I was going to have to do better due to the huge financial mess I was left to clean up and the understanding that I would never receive any sort of support from my ex-husband. I found a good job and worked hard. I paid off every cent of debt and rid myself of all financial stress, which was absolutely crucial for survival.
I'm still working hard and I don't think that hard work will end any time soon. Let's face it, raising children alone is just plain tough. It's physically, emotionally and financially challenging. That's just the nature of this crazy, beautiful life.
I feel like I've climbed Mt. Everest twice with a full set of very heavy luggage on my back, but the hard work has been totally worth it in the long run. This journey has helped to bring my own limitations into perspective and has brought me so much closer to the Lord. I have been blessed to learn so much about who I am meant to be as a woman and a mother. To start seeing my purpose.
The Lord has been with me every step of the way and His presence has been undeniable. I attribute my prosperity after divorce to Him and Him alone. He gives me daily strength to create stability and to make sure my children grow up knowing they are loved and adored. To make sure they know Him and that they are loved by Him. He has provided for all of our needs without fail.
While I still struggle with residual depression and anxiety, I am earnestly trying to love and accept myself just as the Lord does. I'm accepting that this is now my life, and want to live it for His glory. Because of His grace, I am able to do that. Even as a divorced woman.
I think so many of us in the single parent role look back and think, "I never thought I would be here." From the time I was a teen, I wanted to be the kind of wife and mother who does daily crafts with her kids, teaches them to bake and shares sticky hugs, all while having life figured out. You know the one. The famed "Pinterest" mom. The perfect mom. The perfect wife... But I'm not her.
Divorce brings about chaos and the requirement for adaptability.
I am now the kind of mother who forgets to remind her children to get their daily homework assignments done, forgets to look at take-home folders on the daily, has teachers calling constantly (because I forget to do the above), forgets to play tooth fairy every single time, has dark circles under her eyes 24/7, and runs on caffeine with an average of 3-4 hours of sleep per night. Many times I can't even find the energy to make it to church on Sunday mornings. Funny how life turns out, right?
Even though it's crazy-busy, my life is truly amazing and I try my best not to sweat the small stuff. I do what I can and accept what I can't do.
I have learned to manage my time and my resources to decrease stress. I've learned to save money and how to find my way out of difficult situations. I've learned to manage the chaos. I've adapted.
I'm often told I'm super woman, but being super woman is an incredibly lonely place to be. People assume you can do it all and that you don't need or want their help. So, they don't bother to offer it.
While I really appreciate the compliment in being called "super woman", I have a really big issue with being referred to as such. It associates me with someone who can do it all effortlessly. Someone who keeps it together, looks amazing while doing it and remains calm at all times.
I am definitely not that woman. I need help and I fail daily. I freak out and sometimes let stress get the best of me. I look exhausted. I feel incompetent because I am divorced. I honestly admit that. My cape is tattered and torn, my strength is lacking and I cannot possibly do it all alone. That's where the Lord comes in. He is my strength for this difficult season.
Prayer is my lifeline. It keeps me grounded and keeps my depression and anxiety in check. Talking with the Lord eases my pain and reassures me that I can do this. It provides me with the super powers I need to raise my children alone and reassures me that He is with me always. He loves me even though I'm divorced. I can call on Him at any time and He will answer. Because I am His.
Divorce is not easy. It is excruciatingly painful and damaging to all parties involved. No wonder the Lord doesn't like it! With that being said, I am absolutely convinced that the Lord has incredible plans for mine and my children's lives and will use divorce to fulfill those plans. I just have to keep trusting and praying for those plans to be revealed.
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.