When I was very newly divorced, I wrote 5 short articles, which as a series I called “Recently Singled Out.” I was hoping they would one day help others. I had no plan for publishing them, and no one read them. I tucked the hard copies away and totally forgot them, only to be found just now as I’m starting my blog! God is so good! 😉 I’m pretty sure I had never heard of a blog in 2006. I’ll share them here, labeled “article” with my voice as it was (present tense in 2006). I’ve added a few notes, labeled “perspective.”
2006 Article: In the middle of a divorce or any life crisis, even more “bad” things are likely to happen, because we are stressed, distracted and not fully ourselves.
2013 Perspective: I remember one day when, returning home from getting a cast on one child’s broken arm (2 days late after a misdiagnosis), I ran over our Jack Russell in my Suburban! My healthy child was at a swim meet with no mom watching, so I had to wake up my child home alone with mono to hold the dog on the way to the vet. The vet (who was in the middle of surgery when we all busted in the room) took one look at the dog in shock, and sent us home without Bandit. He believed the little guy would be dead from internal bleeding in no time. The good news? Bandit only needed two stitches! (We believe he is a “fenine” with 9 lives). At the time, I took this all in stride without tears or much emotion at all. It just seemed normal. I was in survival mode – with no idea that most of my days were crazy!
2006 Article: My life has been so unbelievably “bad” that countless people have told me I should write a screenplay. It would have all the elements of sensation needed to excite Hollywood. The biggest problem is that when the story is told, my last two years don’t read as credible! All that just couldn’t happen to one person in such a short time.
One day a sweet friend sent me flowers with a card that read, “I’m thinking of you.” I didn’t know if she was thinking of me because of my marital issues and separation, my ex husband’s cancer diagnosis and subsequent move back to my house, or because I had found my aptly named lab, Punkin, dead in her crate Sunday morning. All deserved tears, and all happened within days of one another. My sister still insists I should write a country ballad full of that week’s heartache. Maybe one day I’ll be able to tell my story with poetic humor. Nashville, are you listening?
Until then, I have learned through it all to see the good in “bad” situations – even to laugh in the face of it all. Punkin could have died a slow death. God knew we couldn’t take that too. While his cancer delayed my divorce by many months, it afforded me the time to get my emotions and mind in check and to strengthen myself for the process. Mayo (where we sought treatment) is near the beach, so it gave me a respite I could never have claimed at home. I also had a sister nearby, and both she and my brother-in-law were with me through it all.
I have found it is also essential to find humor whenever possible, even when I feel such despair that I’d like to curl up in bed all day or maybe even not wake up. Though usually short-lived, and now infrequent, these days are real. I don’t want to deny them and give the impression that I can always laugh or be thankful. I cannot.
I knew that I had made great progress the day I had a double blow out! After picking up a sandwich, I was trying to turn out of a parking lot. The lady in front of me was moving too slowly for my mood, so I did a u-turn and went out of my way to use the other exit. My mind drifted and I hit the curb – hard. I blew out both tires on the right side. My car already needed four new tires, and I had almost bought them the day before. I was truly thankful not to be buying tires number 5 and 6 in less than 24 hours. I turned on the hazards and called AAA. The wrecker wouldn’t be there for 20 minutes, so I ate my sandwich. For some reason the battery died too, and with it my hazards. People started honking and cussing me like I had randomly chosen to have a picnic at the intersection!
I started laughing out loud! About that time my sister called (I put her on speaker so the angry drivers would just think I was crazy and talking to myself). I told her I just had a double blow out, and it was the BEST thing that had happened to me in a long time! I meant it in all sincerity. If I had used the other exit, I most likely would be in a ditch. The tires I needed were in stock. The wrecker arrived quickly and also changed my battery. My sandwich didn’t get soggy. Except for the blowouts, everything had gone incredibly well! 😉
Like I said, sometimes I feel downright gloomy. But this mini wreck served as an example of what a difference perspective and thankfulness can make. Divorce could definitely be compared to a double blow out! Despite how wrong my life seems right now, just after my settlement, maybe I just need to shift my perspective to all the ways I have grown through all this.
2013 Perspective: More than 7 years later, I can honestly say I am thankful to God for all I have been through, because of the wonderful ways he has used adversity to teach me growing dependence on Him and a surrender and humility I never knew before. And what faith He is growing in me! I am learning to trust Him ruthlessly, because He has come through when I am utterly weak and powerless. He has shown me time and again that he knows me by name, and cares intimately about my life and my heart for Him.