Friday, October 19, 2018

Redefining Myself

In June of 2017 I discovered that my husband of 22 years no longer wanted to be married to me. From this point on I will refer to this as The Event. I find it difficult to find words that can adequately express the pain I experienced in those first few months. Most of the time all I could do was breathe, because all of a sudden my life didn't make sense anymore. I also cried. A lot. Each morning was a kind of torture, because the reality of The Event would come crashing in on me once again. So I turned to my Heavenly Father and pictured myself curling up on His lap, the way a little child looks to the comfort and safety of her Daddy. He gave me the strength and courage to do the next thing. Eventually all those next things led to seeing my eldest off to college, signing divorce papers, selling the house and moving into an apartment with my youngest.

The divorce was final in January of 2018. I had been a wife for over 2 decades, and I wasn't quite sure who or what I was anymore. I really loved being his wife. I used to be one half of a whole, but The Event left me feeling broken and incomplete. The greatest joy of my life had become my deepest sorrow.

So there I was, 44 years old, in a wheelchair, and a single mother. Yes, I was a mother, and that would never change. Motherhood is the other great joy of my life. That lovely 17 year old became my reason to get out of bed every day. I used to say, jokingly, that I lived the life of leisure, because I didn't do much cooking, cleaning or laundry. I used to cook when I was still on my feet, but I have been in my chair for 13 years.  I basically had to start from scratch. There were a few times I had to say, "Wait! It's still raw in the middle, don't eat that!" Nevertheless, I had to keep trying. We had to eat. Eventually I got better at all the household things, and even surprised myself at all I've been able to accomplish.

Except for the time I spilled boiling water on my legs. That's an entirely different story that I will share another time.

Today I sit here, still a little broken, but I know who I am in different way. I know that I want to be who God has always planned for me to be.  Even though there has been so much loss, there has been more of Jesus in my heart, binding up the broken places. I have lived His faithfulness. Not seen or known it, but lived it every moment. He has carried me with every breath and every beat of my heart. I want to do more than just make it through another day. I want to choose life. I want to love the Lord, my God more every day. I want to cling to Him because He is my life and my strength and my joy.

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