Updated: Nov 12, 2020
Navigating divorce, vocation, and my new post-Covid reality.
Here’s a wee and overdue update—especially for you non-Facebook peeps—including both concrete facts and ongoing mental musings. I'm aware that I've not been blogging for weeks right after launching my Messenger series. I've actually been writing loads, but solely in the privacy of my journal. Time just slipped away as I navigate mega-transitions between returning to work full-time, the kids back to school after months at home, starting a new job in a new field, Ray moving out, my divorce final next week, plus, plus, plus! Here are some-somewhat random highlights. As always, I hope my experience encourages you if you're mid-mire.
Another Book…This One About RECOVERY!
I was invited to contribute to a new Guideposts devotional on recovery and loving people who struggle with addiction. It was surprisingly emotional to revisit some of these moments, but I’m so very grateful that 1) I can feel those feelings and thus heal them and 2) I don’t live in those dark places anymore. I hope the book will be a giant blessing to you.
Very cool that I’ll now be in 5 (wowza!) books in the coming months.
Living apart is working remarkably well and the kids seem to be doing great. I’m not going to borrow trouble. It’s all good and I believe God can do that so no point in fretting. We’re splitting custody 50/50 and Ray has an apartment across the way from my house, which is super for all involved.
Speaking of which, God is pouring out grace in ways I cannot begin to describe, big and small. My heart is light and full of love, and to be truthful, I feel freer, truer, and more myself than I have in 17 years. I'd like to believe the same is true for Ray.
I have made 74 attempts (slight exaggeration) at blogging about my divorce and am still working on a brief reflection for my beloved MWJ editor, Janet. I cannot seem to do it right now, particularly in 300 words or less. Key reasons why:
1.) There’s really no way for me to share much without dishonoring confidences or harming Ray, and the kind, cooperative co-parenting relationship we have, or, by extension my kids. Not yet anyway.
2.) I have a public platform and Ray does not, which just ain’t fair since he surely has his side of the story. Even though mine is the right one, of course 😉.
3.) It’s difficult to not feel like I have to justify something that is absolutely, positively between God, Ray and I—a profoundly personal matter that has been unfolding since the very day I got married. My DAD says I don’t need to justify myself. Nor do you.
4.) I have some concurrent and not entirely unrelated stuff I’m processing and it’s simply too tender and frankly, sketchy, to discuss in an open forum at this time. Nothing that will set me aflame in hell, but it just has to play out a bit before sharing. Will be more interesting later anyway,
5.) As much as I value vulnerable sharing in the hopes of helping others, I don’t feel led to share my process right now and don’t want to risk sharing unhelpful or misleading reflections. I trust God knows best on the timing and substance of it all and look forward to more down the pike. HOWEVER, if you’re a woman in a challenging marriage and want to chat, please message me and I’ll get back to you.
6.) Having said all that…for the record, I didn’t find Ray in bed with the Florida Auxiliary Ladies’ Golf League. Nor was I having a dalliance with the pool boy (sorry). And there was no physical abuse. Private. I’m grateful for your understanding.
In a sudden windfall of opportunities, I was offered a full-time ELA teaching position at the public high school seven minutes from my house and two minutes from Isaac’s school. The unexpected job arrives on the eve of my divorce being final and my needing a reliable income, health benefits, etc. (God.) The school is the very high school Pierce and his buddies will attend next year. The hours are magical for me, 7am – 1:30ish and once again, God’s fingerprints are all over it. He’s showing up in tangible ways. While I’m not formally trained as a teacher, I feel supernaturally equipped and have loads of support.
Honestly, I can hardly believe they pay me to do this cuz it’s so much fun, while being undeniably challenging. (I may just have to become a teacher activist.) It’s also rather healing, since I was an odd duck in high school and missed out on the whole thing really, and had loads of troubles at home. I feel loving affinity for these young adults already and am really, really privileged to be part of their story during this wacky time in history. I’m learning lots and drinking from a fire hose, which leads me to...
Unfiltered & Don’t Shoot the Messenger
My start date was aptly timed with the final episode of Unfiltered “Darned Good Objections,” my wildly unpopular series I nonetheless felt very strongly about completing. I’ve been brimming with inspiration about Don’t Shoot the Messenger, which I’d thought was intended for before the election but alas, will not happen in the next 72 hours. Honestly, I wasn’t campaigning for ANYONE but God, since I truly believe He’s the only one who can fix this mega-mess we’re in.
Still, though I feel the series ripening in me, it simply hasn’t crystalized and thus, I’m just waiting until God gives me a clear go ahead. Now, of course, I’m quite busy getting into a rhythm for school and that’s gotta be my priority. I’ve written and, in general, journeyed with God long enough to know that when He wants it done, it will simply come together effortlessly and as suddenly as this job landed in my lap.
For me writing is a balance of discipline, mental margin and magic. I cannot sat how often I’ll be writing now or if and when I’ll finish the Messenger series. I sure welcome your prayers.
They say major life transitions can be a catalyst for unresolved griefs and other repressed feelings. While I see these changes as liberating milestones in my spiritual growth, they are triggering quite a bit of reflection and emotion. More than anything, I want to be fully present to this process without stuffing, numbing or fleeing in any one of the many ways I have in the past. If you, too, are going through some stuff, I urge you to remember this:
Love, Love, Love
God loves us and however hair-raising this ride sometimes seem to be, He can be trusted to use even the wonkiest things for good. I urge you to look for the love or love lesson in your circumstances, whatever they are.
Trusting God makes...
The rollercoaster more thrilling than scary.
The questions more curious then critical.
The feelings more healing than harmful.
The dastardly detours less daunting.
These days, I prefer to relax and enjoy the ride to wherever He’s taking me rather than resist to my detriment. I hope you'll do the same.
Jesus stands in every gap. Not because I’m good or smart or strategic or faithful, but because He is. Everything.
Above all, He is love.
Hugs in hazmat and warmest blessings until next time.
Not-So-Random Sidebar Reflections...
I can't help but note how colorful fall leaves capture the essence of this time in my life in the sweetest way. Until recently, I thought the vibrant color of fall leaves was something akin to death throes. It's really not. During the growth season, chlorophyll green overshadows the other leaf color pigments. As the weather cools and daylight dwindles, leaves can't generate the glucose to sustain the chlorophyll. As it diminishes, the true colors of the leaves emerge. The blazing yellow, orange and red hues of fall finally shine.
Here on Florida's Suncoast, the change of seasons is more subtle, but still ever so real. Subtle or striking, this turning parallels my own experience.
Solomon reminds us that there is indeed a season for everything under the heaven, including this new beginning. (I suggested a powerful little exercise to unpack this passage a few weeks ago. <<Check it out.)