Say hello to my family. It isn’t exactly the family I imagined I’d have. My husband, the girls’ father isn’t in the picture anymore, literally and figuratively. For a long time after he left, I felt like a failure. It took a few years, lots of counseling, support from my daughters and son-in-law, and loads of prayer to finally understand I wasn’t a failure.
I did spend lots of time being mad at God. I couldn’t understand why He didn’t answer my prayer to save my marriage. Slowly but surely God guided me to an understanding that sometimes He doesn’t say Yes, but He says I have something better planned for you.
I am no longer on the journey to a 50th wedding anniversary and it still disappoints me, but I’ve experienced so much joy in the last few years, I am beginning to grasp God’s plan. I don’t have the power to see into the future so I don’t actually know which direction God will be taking me next. I’ve moved 6 times since 2012 and have gone from living in 4200 sq. ft house with a pool and home theater to a 1000 sq. ft duplex. I live in a town I didn’t even know existed until a few years ago. I live here because I wanted to be close to my daughter and son-in-law.
In less than 18 months, they will be moving across the country to the Northeast. My other daughter lives in CA. Again, having my girls living so far apart wasn’t part of my plan. I still pray God can work it out so we can all live near one another. I will continue to work daily on trusting him,
My life is going in a new direction and I am waiting to see where that leads me.
If you continue to hope someone who continually disappoints you will change, its best to stop hoping. Most people never change. A tiny few will surprise you and change. I know because I surprised my girls and changed.
However my ex-husband (30 yrs of marriage), has for their entire lifetimes, disappointed them. And now after five years divorced, he has sunk even lower. I endured being treated as though as I was invisible and now he is doing to the girls.
How you ask? Always staying focused on himself and his comfort. Handing over gift buying to his live-in younger girlfriend who doesn’t know either of them. And my daughters have no desire to know her. Every time, which is rarely, they see their dad, they say it’s like he’s on something. He’s not himself. He makes odd comments. He doesn’t follow through on promises.
It breaks my heart for my daughters. I asked my oldest if she thought he treated them so poorly because they are also my daughters and remind him of me and all his betrayals? Her response was no. She believed he saw his parents and his own siblings as his real family. She and her sister were just some unimportant extended family.
So stop and think this Christmas season, if you are a person of integrity? Do you make people feel valuable and loved? Are you interested in those close to you or is your focus solely on your own life? Do your children know you love them and they are the most important people in your life? Change is not impossible, but it does take hard work. If you are someone who continues to hope my advice is to stop. Pray you can accept this person as he is and not to allow his problems to hurt you.
Have you ever had a time when you thought to yourself, I am living someone else’s life. This isn’t my life. It must belong to some other person because in my life I am not alone and struggling. I’m not living in a nondescript town with no friends and no life. In my life I’m not working 50 plus hours a week with no health insurance. This black and white life with no color, can’t be my life.
My life is supposed to be colorful, full of friends, family and experiences. I’m supposed to be living in a quaint town with lots of history and four seasons. In my real life I have a circle of close friends who are there for me and I for them. My life is full of travel opportunities and chances to learn and experience new things. I have a home which is always open to friends and family. I give my time and talents to my church and those in need. I don’t work 50 hours a week. I don’t worry about getting sick because I have health insurance. And I don’t get lonely because I have a loving and caring husband. That is my life or I should say the life I imagined I would have.
Then I wake up and realize my real life is what I first described.
I think this young blogger has set some high but very obtainable goals. I haven’t set any goals for myself in several years. Disappointment always seemed to follow me around but God is slowly changing my life perspective. So, tomorrow I will take the time to make my own list of 2017 life goals. Follow the link to read:
My life has changed in major ways in the last 10 years. I became an empty nester, a mother-in-law, and a divorcée. I’ve been a hospital patient, a surgical patient and have become a woman whose childbearing days are over. I’ve moved six times and filled out thousands of job applications. I’ve lost my father, watched a family member fight a rare type of cancer twice and win and I have learned someone else I love is fighting cancer. I’ve fought depression at every turn. I’ve seen my daughters’ father and his family treat them as though they never existed and I’ve watched them persevere through it becoming better women because of it. It has been a crazy and an emotionally and physically challenging 10 years. I’ve experienced some highs, my daughter’s marriage, my youngest college graduation, my oldest getting a master degree. I watched my son-in-law take the Hippocratic oath and become a doctor. I saw my youngest brave a year living abroad. I’ve also experienced the worst years of my life in the last ten years.
They say nothing in life is guaranteed. I’d disagree. You can always be guaranteed life will not stay the same. There will be periods of highs and lows with lots of nothing much happening times. I know I am ready for a change in my life. It’s as though I can feel it coming. I just pray it’s a change for the good.
You are probably wondering who is Demelza and why would I want to live like her? She is a wonderful character created by Winston Graham. A poor miner’s daughter living in an abusive, desperately poor home, she is swept into a new world when she is brought home with Ross Poldark to work as a house servant in England post American Revolution.
Now am I saying I want to work as a servant. The answer is no. But Demelza has a love of life, a roll up your sleeves and get to work, I am blessed view of life. No matter what tragedy she faces, even when she makes her own mistakes, she quickly rebounds.
I am going to quote the book in this my first blog post. Now married to Ross, Demelza has just lost their young daughter to a morbid throat disease and she herself has almost lost her own life to the same. A feud is broiling between Ross and his cousin, Francis who married Ross’s sweetheart, Elizabeth. And to complicate matters more, Demelza caught the disease while nursing Elizabeth, Francis and their young son. They all survived but precious Julia was lost. Now if I had been in that situation I would have had Ross’s attitude, an attitude of anger, sadness, overwhelming hopelessness and a desire for revenge. However Demelza ends the book with the following:
“When something happens,” she said, “like what has just happened to us, it makes all our quarrels seem small and mean, as if we were quarreling when we hadn’t the right. Didn’t we ought to find all the friendship we can?”
For me the simple substitution of happiness in the place of friendship and disappointments for quarreling makes it applicable to my life and my divorce.
When something happens, like what has just happened to me, it makes all my disappointments seem small and mean, as if I was disappointed when I hadn’t the right. Shouldn’t I ought to find all the happiness I can?
I love Instagram. I see photos from all over the world taken by everyday people. There are lakes, mountains, cafés, flowers, old buildings, hotels, boats, dogs, cats, interesting people and so much more. Sadly I am currently stuck living in a place which offers dead fields, flat land, Walmart, McDonald’s, uncared for homes and not much more.
My heart cries out because it’s not home. I want to go home but I no longer have a home. I am alone with no one. Although one daughter is here with her husband, they have a life and are not responsible for me. I haven’t been able to motivate myself to reengage in life these past three and half years. Nightmares have returned to haunt me.
Nothing has changed. Nada.
Everyone recognizes the universal symbol for happiness, the yellow happy face. I’ve been reading articles about the fear of happiness. I’ve often wondered if I am afraid to be happy again and if so why?
I’m afraid the happiness won’t be real. It will only be illusion. My life experience consists of giving love to an illusion. My happiness was an illusion. I don’t trust myself now to recognize what happiness is. I understand happiness isn’t a perpetual state of nothing ever going wrong but I thought I was happy. Now looking back, especially when I look at old photos I can easily see I lack the spark of happiness. It makes me sad. Will I make the same mistake again?
I know I spend too much time worried about what other people think. It keeps me inhibited. It makes relaxing difficult and I miss out on enjoying the moment. I could give a long list of reasons why I worry but ultimately none of them matter. The only thing which matters is I am missing out on fully embracing life.
I found a new app for my phone. It is called You. It is free and it speaks of micro actions. They are very small steps you take towards making changes in your life. There are prompts. You can follow people. I’m going to do my best to make micro actions and ultimately change my life in a big way.
It is fairly common for most businesses and churches to have mission statements. They can be quite simple or complex but the mission statement helps define who something or someone is and how they want to contribute to the world around us. I’ve tried writing my own personal mission statement but always seem to lose focus. How specific should I be? Do I need an individual statement for each area of life? Can I write it so it is clear, concise and helps me become the person I wish to be? Whatever step I take, I need to begin by trying.
I have found a great, FREE, online tool which can help you write your own personal mission statement. At Franklin Covey they walk you through the process. They ask the questions and you supply the answers. When you are finished with the process, they provide you with a well written and concise mission statement. You can go back and tweak it if something does not reflect your original meaning. Once you read it you may find you want to go back and add or delete something. It is very easy to use. Below is my personal mission statement made at Franklin Covey.
- I am at my best when I am helping people.
- I will try to prevent times when I have no purpose.
- I will enjoy my work by finding employment where I can write, read, answer questions, and be creative.
- I will find enjoyment in my personal life through writing, reading, creating, giving back to the community, spending time with my daughters and traveling.
- I will find opportunities to use my natural talents and gifts such as making people feel welcome and included, explaining things, being a friend, writing and being creative.
- I can do anything I set my mind to. I will write a book, travel the world, and learn to speak French, Spanish and Italian, buy a home so I can invite friends and family to make memories with me there, and volunteer to help girls.
- My life’s journey is about loving my ex-husband, freely offering forgiveness and ultimately being betrayed. It is how I am healing from the hurt with the support of Heidi, Chris and Kari and rebuilding a full life including the possibility of love with a new life partner. My journey is about making a positive contribution to my family and community.
- When I am 80, I will be a person who is surrounded by my daughters, their husbands, my grandchildren and my life partner. My church and community friends will be there to celebrate the positive and loving impact I have had on them and my community. I will be celebrating what I can accomplish in my time left on this earth, my faith in God and the legacy I will leave behind.
- My most important future contribution to others will be my daughters’ deep faith in God and the knowledge he is always with them and will never leave them. I will have also taught them the importance of forgiveness, loving support and leaving behind toxic people. These qualities will enhance the lives of everyone with whom they come in contact.
I will stop procrastinating and start working on:
- Taking better care of my health through diet and exercise.
- Returning to my faith by joining a church and becoming an active participant.
- Believing in myself and my ability to succeed, be happy and to be loved. Giving up the idea I am doomed for unhappiness and to be alone for the rest of my life without a loving life partner.
I will strive to incorporate the following attributes into my life:
- Unconditional love
- Compassion in action
- Deep and abiding faith despite unanswered prayers
I will constantly renew myself by focusing on the four dimensions of my life:
- Taking control of my health by choosing a healthy diet and adding an exercise program.
- Joining a church, getting involved and beginning to study the Bible again.
- Signing up to learn something new
- No longer isolate myself by finding areas in my community in which to become involved.
The above photo is a moth. Now when I find a moth in my apartment, my cat hunts it down until it is caught. I never think about the possibility the moth may be beautiful because I don’t look at it under a microscope seeking the intricate details. As I continue this journey, this transition I have come to understand while I have faith in God, because He didn’t answer yes to my prayer for the big picture of life, I haven’t been able to see Him at work in the minute details of my life.
I spent so many years believing God would come to my aid and save my marriage, heal my husband that when He didn’t, I lost hope. I don’t know if my faith was weaker than I believed it to be or if the sadness of heartbreak of the situation blinded me to the point I couldn’t see God in the midst of the heartache. With some time for retrospection, I know it’s the second. I was hammered so hard, I lost my ability to see God at work in the midst of losing the life I loved.
My children are patient with me. They understand all which was lost. They realized long before I did, their dad wasn’t really a father. He was nothing more than a sperm donor. He has no conscience, no heart, no ability to feel empathy. His world is his own and he turns his back on those of us who love him, because it is easier to pretend he has a perfect life. Sadly it is a perfectly false life, created by Satan to make him feel better. While I may have suffered, cried, been in the depths of depression, I have managed with the love of my children to see slowly learn God in the midst of this mess.
I can’t say I see God everyday. I don’t always seem Him in the minutia. Most days I have to give 110% to see Him working in my life. But day by day, with the prayers of family, friends and my blog friends, each day gets better. It might be two steps forward, one step back, but it is still progress.