My greatest fear after the divorce was final – was for my children and their future. I had been a homeschooling mom for 7 years and going through a divorce with the kids in the home felt…unhealthy. And I was concerned.
I had heard someone say regarding single moms, as long as your children have one stable parent – they will be okay. So that became one of my life goals – to be the stable parent.
And so once the gavel came down in the courtroom, I went to breakfast with my parents and then I returned home – I threw myself down on my bed and I cried my eyes out for 2-3 hours until there was a knock at the door. A dear friend was standing there with a coffee in her hands for me and she came inside and sat down on the couch. I literally sobbed on her shoulder. She cried with me and held me and was the arms of Jesus to me that day.
And then she needed to go because the kids would be home from school soon and I needed to pull myself together – I needed to attempt to be stable.
The next 6 weeks were a blur. My now ex-husband was away in another state and Christmas was coming and so he would return for Christmas. We celebrated that morning together as a “family” and he stayed for a very long time as the morning turned into afternoon. We had cinnamon rolls and played a family game and then he helped me out around the house with things that needed fixed and we began to talk.
Talks of reconciliation and remarriage began.
By February, he had moved back home and was sleeping in our finished basement.
You know that feeling when you are on the first hill of a roller coaster – a super steep one and it’s clicking as you go up…yeah – that’s how I felt. I wanted reconciliation but I was scared.
Over the next 7 weeks, we went to a counselor for the first time together, we met with my parents one on one to discuss our reconciliation, he came to a family get together and was welcomed back, we attended a new church together as a family, we looked at a new home to purchase to start over again and then he invited me and the kids to go on a spring break trip to his new home a few states away.
After a long flight with a lay over in one airport and then a 3 hour drive, we finally arrived to his new home. My brain was struggling to process what I was experiencing. I put on a brave face for the kids and tried to go with the flow but I was disoriented by seeing this new life he was living.
This is the part where the roller coaster is at the top of the hill and now we are flying down the other side. I figured you only have one life to live, so figuratively, I put my hands up and decided to embrace the moment and enjoy the ride.
We had a great week together. As the week went on, I began to love his new place. The weather was beautiful. The town was interesting. His new friends were nice. I experienced some adventures I had never experienced in my life time. He took us to fascinating places and my time with the Lord there was amazing.
But now here is where the roller coaster begins to twist and turn.
Something was still off with us. By God’s grace, in the most bizarre way – a discovery was made and it was evident his heart was farther from reconciliation than I had hoped.
Now we are upside down on the roller coaster and I want out.
And so we flew home – just me and the kids. For a few weeks there was confusion on his end, as he was torn between two worlds – two women. And then the phone call came…The roller coaster ride came to a screeching halt and this is where we both got off the ride.
How did I let this happen? Again?
Am I too much?
Am I not enough?
Why are you not answering my prayers Lord?
My children! What about my children? I was not just fighting for me – I was fighting for them.
I had done absolutely everything I believed I could to reconcile. There was literally nothing left in me to give.
And so with no regrets, I moved forward letting him go…the grief process began as the slow fade of everything my husband and I had built for 19 years of marriage and 4+ years of dating, began to slip away.
Since then, the last three years between us has been a slow fade. There were talks of reconciliation a few more times – that I’d guess you would say turned out to be false starts. We have celebrated every Christmas morning together as a “family” and have done other special days together as a “family”.
Learning healthy boundaries has been difficult for me. My personality tends to be warm, inviting, optimistic, idealistic and trusting – so this has been a challenge for me to figure out what is appropriate – I’m still figuring this out even now.
In 2017, I found a godly counselor to walk along side me as I began to deal with my grief. She was a godsend! I saw her for about a year straight and now I only go to see her when I am in need of working through something new that I am encountering.
Though our separation and divorce was mostly peaceful -I want to be transparent and say that we have had our fair share of times of conflict and volatility in the last few years. It has not been a walk in the park. We’ve had some very ugly moments. Moments I don’t think could be avoided. It just is what it is.
As the kids grow older and parenting gets more challenging, co-parenting is not as smooth as I had hoped. He still lives in his home in another state but also has a home nearby where the kids visit him.
The children are no longer homeschooled. They are attending a local Christian School and thriving there…and only by God’s grace – somehow I am still standing and very stable.
But I have been through the valley of the shadow of death (Psalm 23:4). My journals are overflowing with thoughts of living in the light, while wrestling with the dark and so I pray that the pain and heartache that I have walked through over the last 5 1/2 years will not be wasted and can somehow be an encouragement to you.
So I’ll begin next time sharing my notes. And though I can’t tell all the stories from the last 5+ years – I wanted to share this part of my story as the context for Courtney’s Notes.
Until next time — Keep walking with the King.
If you missed Part One titled: The Day My Marriage Died – you can read more >>here<<.