Archive for December, 2014

It’s the middle of the night and I’m awake. Been a long time since a painful memory from my failed marriage has kept me up.

Listening to my go to song, “Forgiveness”, by Matthew West on repeat song on my iPhone. Knowing that I need to let it go as holding onto this buried hurt will do nothing but cripple me at this point.

Yet here I am, giving power to a past hurt that serves to do nothing but injure my hurt. Torn between the concepts of hurt and forgiveness yet knowing the second is the only path I can take.

My soul is hurt and it’s hard to even pray but I know the Holy Spirit is making my hurt known to the Father. It’s hard to forgive. I’ve written about this many times, over the years.

Torn between needing to experience the pain that comes from healing and the desire to want to let it go. Like many years ago when I knew that I needed to forgive my ex spouse I prayed for years for the desire to want to forgive him. God worked in my heart that time and since to forgive this one who hurt my heart so.

Wishing hurt away does nothing productive. I’ve learned from experience that it is necessary to truly feel the hurt before I can experience the gratitude to God when He frees me from the hurt. I’ve learned it is allowable to feel the hurt as long as I don’t get stuck in it. Or try to bury the hurt without turning to my Heavenly Father and asking Him to free me.

The concept of forgiveness has nothing to do in my case with reconciliation between the two parties. It is about forgiving someone who has never once asked for forgiveness. It is about laying down the hurt at the throne of God and realizing that God sent His son to die for not only me but for my ex spouse. Knowing that Jesus’ spilled blood was for everyone. None of us deserved for Him take our sins, to take the penalty of our sins. Yet He did. And on the cross He forgave those who put Him to death. What a picture of forgiveness.

Lord, give me the desire to want to forgive this particular hurt tonight. I know that I can only give forgiveness if You change my heart Lord. Change my heart, Lord.

God is my constant. Tonight I was thinking about all the wild things that have happened in my life. I was struck by an amazing sense of thankfulness.

In 2008 I was facing my first Christmas alone. My ex spouse has filed for divorce a couple of months prior, I had just started a job, I was broke, worn out, frazzled and just broken.

But God was my constant. My world and the people in it changed literally overnight and for someone who does not like change that was really hard.

The next couple of years was a blur. It was filled with hard work, always hard work. It was filled with more tears than I ever thought I’d have to shed. I didn’t think I was going to make it.

But God was my constant. He was there, with me in the sleepless nights and in the heartache. He was the one thing that didn’t change.

Having bipolar disorder, there is not a lot of constant in my life. The past twenty some years have been filled with the adventure of living in this body I was created for. It’s literally been like a roller coaster. A roller coaster called a mood disorder.

But God was my constant. I held to him when I didn’t see the light, when the depression got so bad I checked myself into the hospital for help. Multiple times. Some might call me crazy but I think the crazy people are those who don’t get help.

Friends come, friends go. Family changes. Divorce rips through families like a tsunami. Mine and my family members. New family came and then went. But God was my constant.

The thread of my life is Jesus. He is what sews the patchwork of my life together and who mends me when I break. My life has become this amazing patchwork quilt full of people: my family, my children, my friends, neat people at my church, great people at my work. God is the thread that ties all of us to each other.

I lost count of how many times I’ve moved in 15 years. I’ve had many fluffy animals come into and out of my life. Change wasn’t welcome but it wasn’t a stranger either.

But God is my constant. I’m not sure where I’ll be tomorrow but I deeply comforted by the fact that the creator of the universe not only knows my name but how many hairs are on my head right at this very second.

He’s the constant to this girl whose world doesn’t have constants. And I know that no matter how my world changes He will always be my constant.

Today I found my joy again. I was really sick with an infection for a couple of weeks which led me to feeling physically ill.

Then add to that a really mean spirited lady at work and some stress with that. Compound that with a small bout of depression and you have the perfect bipolar storm.

It came, it threatened to bury me but I’m still here. My parents and family always tell me how courageous I am but I think it’s more that I’m stubborn.

When stress threatens my peace I have learned over the years what to do. I rest. I sleep. I eat good for me foods. I take appropriate medicine. I spend time both by myself and I talk to those that I love and who love me. I cry, I sing, I worship with both my tears and my song.

I spend time with my dog. He’s better than any therapist I’ve ever seen and I’ve been to plenty over the years.

I pray. I listen to what I think God is teaching me.

I care for my body as God cares for my soul. The two come together again and the bipolar storm clouds roll away.

The sun has come back out. Thank you, God.

I hate Christmas. There, I’ve just come out and said it.

I don’t hate what we celebrate on Christmas – the birth of Christ. For that I think we shout it from the rooftops and the highest mountain tops!

But I still hate Christmas. Part of me loathes even getting on Facebook or any social media this time of year. Seeing happy, joyful, in tact families is a very painful reminder that mine is not.

While I love my friends of old and newer additions what you need to know about single and or divorced parents is this: sometimes Christmas just sucks for us. We see your family photos by beautifully decorated Christmas trees adorned with beautiful ornaments, surrounded by smiling children and secretly cringe.

My family didn’t really celebrate Christmas with presents or a tree until I was in high school. The only present I got every year was from my Grandma Sailors and we would open it on Christmas family vacation every year. That was always cool. It was not because of lack of financial means but a philosophical choice my parents had made. Which I’m not sure was such a bad thing.

By high school my parents started doing Christmas with a tree, presents and all. It was nice. I mainly just enjoyed my family all being together with my nephews, niece, etc. I liked making homemade fudge and tapioca pudding with my dad. Making peanut brittle, peanut clusters, turtles, cookies and more with my mom.

Christmas is super hard for a lot of single moms who juggle paying bills with their desire to have something for their kids to open Christmas Day. I sound like a bit of a whiner because I know that I have so much to be thankful for this year. It’s just the depression talking and most likely it will go away December 26th.

Christmas for divorced moms can sometimes mean not knowing exactly when you’ll have your kids this year. It means being flexible with how you celebrate. It means sitting and listening to all the wonderful things they’ve got from their dad and celebrating in their happiness as you realize that it is not about me. It is about them and their joy, which can come from whomever can provide for them.

This season is a painful reminder to this divorced mom that things won’t be the way they were but that new things are possible. Like a newly decorated Christmas tree (decorations that is). None with a tie to my past. First year I’ve actually loved my tree. It’s all mine/ours. New start, new phase, new ornaments.

I hate the greed of Christmas. I hate the idea of lists. I hate the concept of being good and you’ll be rewarded. Not sure what we’re teaching our kids with that thinking. Not sure how us giving gifts to each other is reminiscent of the wise men bearing gifts to give to baby Jesus.

So those are my thoughts about Christmas celebrating. I am thankful for the fact that God sent His son to be born into this would so he could grow up and die to take our place, this offering us salvation. I do not hate that as THAT is Christmas.

Please just know this season is not easy on some of us. Yes I am the Grinch. I hate Christmas.