Darn You Forgiveness {1 Yr Post Divorce Rant}

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Change. Blame my lack of blogging on change.
God bless consistent. Or boring. Or mundane. 
I'd be a-o-k with that but change (although for good) is flooding my world.

One of my roomies moved out and now the other is too...from two to none in one month! 
I changed jobs which resulted in a change of co-workers (obv.), schedule, and wardrobe!
And, I even changed gyms. I had a little moment when I stopped my boxing membership because that placed served me so, so well. Not just in my physical fitness but my emotional well being. Those poor bags took a beating but I always left less angry than when I arrived. 

Change isn't my thing. I am very much a creature of habit but I'm learning to embrace it.

...Back to my actual thoughts that I set out to share...

I remember saying once that I don't believe in divorce. In being naive, it made sense to me that if you loved enough to marry, then you would always love enough to fight to stay married.

Hypocrite much? Indeed.
Because here I am, exactly one year after sitting before a judge, raising my right hand, chin quivering, and hearing what had constituted my completion be flayed into oblivion. I am among the 50% in America. I am exactly who I swore I would never be. That is me, I am one of those.

It still makes my stomach turn to hear the word divorce. Queasy almost. And I despise those forms where you have to circle your marital status. Why can't they just say single or married? Why is it necessary to have to circle "divorced." I know I am divorced people, I still have his last name. I don't need to circle a little word to remind me that my marriage failed. 

It stinks. It hurts. It robs. It devastates. 
To think that my divorce was finalized a full year ago almost seems impossible. I spent the past twelve months separating us, rediscovering me, stabilizing my new reality, and healing in God sized ways. Though there were moments of intense pain, and outright anger (insert anger therapy via those punching bags), deep sadness, and an overwhelming longing for what was supposed to be, the year was rich with healing. Sometimes I am in awe of how good the year unfolded. I am ok. More than ok really. I know that and I recognize how far I have come with the hand that life dealt me. I read once that, "Physiologically, hearts broken from love lost rate among the most stressful life events a person can experience, exceeded in psychological pain only by horrific events such as a child dying." Death of my child and a divorce from the one whom I thought was my forever...simultaneously. Oh what heartache. Praise Jesus that He can redeem when quite literally everything is broken. 

I loved him with all that I was and a part of me will forever. We shared the majority of my life. He was my first and only love. For 12 years, we built us. Over those years, we had real memories. Real memories filled with joy and happiness and warmth. And for that, a part of me will love and care about him forever. It is true. I don't wish him harm or evil or retaliated pain. I pray peace, and healing, and hope for him. The very same I pray for myself. That is hard for others to understand once they know the reality of how we ended. But, I don't need a eye for an eye. I don't need him to know compensated pain. 

Instead, I want to get to a place of genuine forgiveness.
But, that's just it. I want to get to a place of forgiveness. 
Not merely uttering words but a transformation so deep that it frees.
I am not there. Bits and pieces. But fully, 100%, no hold backs, unhinged, all-in-forgiven, no.

Shouldn't forgiveness follow repentance? Shouldn't it go hand and hand with the words "I am sorry." Shouldn't, wouldn't, couldn't? I can justify, rationalize, and validate until pigs fly. It is a work in progress. Some of the most raw memories are so drowned in deceit that it makes forgiveness a struggle. Despicable and wrong and a blatant selfishness. When those memories surface, a pain wells up so strong that I have had to literally utter, "Aly, you are ok." I have to hear it to believe it when my mind is so lost in the reality of the choices made. 

Jesus Himself commanded the Pharisees to cast the first stone at a woman caught in adultery if only they were without sin. And he commanded not only forgive but to forgive seventy times seven times. And in the sermon on the mount, there is that nice little section about loving your enemies. That is right, those who persecute you. 

Oh forgiveness, darn you. 
Someday. Someday I believe that it will come. 


"Feelings take time to heal after the choice to forgive is made...we acknowledge that it hurt, that it mattered, and we choose to extend forgiveness to those who hurt us. This is not saying, 'It didn't really matter', it is not saying, 'I probably deserved part of it anyway.' Forgiveness says, 'It was wrong. Very wrong. It mattered, hurt me deeply, and I release you. I give you to God.' It might help to remember that those who hurt you are also deeply wounded themselves. They were broken hearts, broken when they were young, and they fell captive to the Enemy....This doesn't absolve them of the choices they made, the things they did. It just helps to let them go - to realize that they are shattered souls themselves."  
- Captivating (Written by John and Stasi Eldredge)


Just keeping it real. 

Abby Is Going Global...

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Last January, I acquired not one but two roommates. I had been living solo in my home for about five months when two of my little sisters asked if they could move in. One was starting her career and the other completing an internship prior to her college graduation.

I wasn't a fan of living on my own but was just starting to feel accustomed to my new reality. I wasn't sure if I was ready to take on roommates...after all I was in the midst of a divorce and had just endured the first of the holidays without my daughter. I could barely take care of myself let alone two of my little sisters. And that was that, despite being 21 and 23, I still saw them as little. I envisioned our living situation more as me having to parent them and Lord knows parenting myself was all consuming.

The last time we had lived together, I was 22 and they were 15 and 18 so for all intent and purposes, they were still 15 and 18 to me. Nonetheless, knowing there were spare rooms at my home, they both moved in in January.

It was about a week in when we had an in depth discussion about finances that I realized they were indeed adults! I remember it being a dose of reality for me to view them as grown people despite calling them 'little girls.'

It has been nothing but goodness having them in my space. Audrey works the night shift so she is around less but Abby and I have sorta become two peas in a pod. She is calm, laid back, and relaxed and perhaps I am the opposite. But luckily, she just goes with whatever crazy idea I conjure. She is always up for a challenge, an adventure, a self timer picture, or a deep conversation.

We meal plan, grocery shop, and cook together. She decorates, crafts, and gardens with me. Together we get our fitness on, running our first 5k and our first half! We pretty much share the craft room and our closets. When I proposed the idea to bake and decorate a bazillion cookies in honor of my Addy's first birthday or changed the flower arrangements a bazillion more she embraced it. When I chopped my finger instead of a veggie, she calmly accompanied me to get stitches. When I thought it to be a good idea to paint my room she grabbed a roller and politely required me to just buy furniture already. When my spirit gets down or I feel that little sting from life, she accepts my tears and reminds me how far I have come. She puts notes that make me smile in my lunch box and hangs motivating signs around the house. But more than that, she is my pew mate on Sunday mornings and my nightly devotional wind down companion. She is optimistic, encouraging, and chalked full of hope. She is calm by nature but down right hilarious and has dance moves for days. She is a dreamer and she radiates her faith.

It will be quiet around these parts for a few months because Abby's moving to Uganda.
She has been an unexpected blessing.

As much as I will miss her, it brings me great joy to watch her live out her passion. It was never a question of if Abby would find herself abroad but when she would be lead. This is her time. He is going to use her in big ways and her spirit is oh-so ready.


As her big sister, I am so proud of her because where He leads, she follows. 
There are big, big things in store for her.


And sidenote: 
It is good thing I will still have Audrey living with me because she too makes me happy...I'm just going to need her to work a whole lot less...extra shifts are overrated. 

Three of my little sisters have all lived in this house so I am just waiting for the youngest to take her turn! Come on already!

And Abby, your room will be waiting for you upon your return.
 #roomiesforlife #seriously

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