Forgiveness


Forgiveness is not pretending like it didn’t happen or like it didn’t hurt. That’s called lying. Forgiveness is a decision to release a debt regardless of how you feel.   Tony Evans

Can I forgive M for leaving me the way he did?

Can I forgive M for leaving this world the way he did?

and even moreso, will I forgive M for leaving me the way he did and will I forgive him for leaving this world the way he did?

Right now I feel a bit like Susan in Miracle on 34th Street as she repeated, I believe, I believe, it’s silly, but I believe. I just keep repeating I forgive, I forgive, it’s hard, but I forgive. I now realize that one day it won’t be hard and that’s when I will truly be able to say Yes, I can and do forgive M for everything, and it will be a miracle on my street when that happens but until then… I forgive, I forgive, it’s hard, but I forgive.

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Strength


It’s been a Pinterest sort of day. There are a LOT of quotes about how strength is realized after having been through something.

Some people get months and years to go from D-Day to divorce, I had 60…. days — not months, not years. Some days, I’m tired of pretending to be stronger than I really am. I’m tired of pretending that I don’t think about M, that I don’t think back to the past eleven years of my life. And some days, I’m in a good place, thankful for the strength that has shown itself in the past two months. Thankful for the strength that has been willingly given to me by my friends & family.

But now it’s a different kind of strength I seek. I seek one day for the strength to stop counting days since D-day, days since M left, days since the divorce was final. I also wish that I had the strength to stop replaying the image of M & her in my mind … images of her attending church with us, images of her having lunch with us… truth be told, I imagine it was more like me as the third wheel to them. I still have a physical reaction thinking about them “together.”

I seek the strength to admit that in the midst of my marriage, I ceased to exist and I seek the strength to forgive myself for letting that happen. Recently someone told me that I need to take care of myself like I was taking care of a child. I don’t have children, but the concept was not lost on me.  I would never let a child go to school without breakfast,  I would make sure they were bathed, and had clean clothes and that they had good, healthful food. I would make sure their physical, emotional, mental, spiritual needs were met, I would speak kindness to them, encourage them, etc.  I started crying as she was saying this because I have realized that in the midst of the past eleven years, I was so busy dealing with everyone and everything else that I forgot to think about taking care of me.

With that in mind, I’m going to resolve to let go of the thoughts that rob me of my strength and to be Ok with the fact that I can’t do anything to change the past but I can control today.  And I’m going to “act” as if I’ve got the strength I seek is already in me so that one day I will wake up and realize I haven’t added just one more day to my countdown calendar but that I’ve added one more day to MY life.

Picture 2

No Doubt


I’m trying to pack and I can’t. It’s not the physical task involved, it’s the emotional weight that putting things in boxes represents. Each time that moving boxes have been involved, there has been some life-changing event that we’ve always tackled together and now I’m left to pack up my own stuff and you will come later and pack up your own stuff. And maybe it’s that your stuff is the “big stuff” so no matter how much I accomplish, to anyone looking in from the outside it doesn’t look like much has changed.

My craft studio contains so much “stuff”…. Stuff that I did by myself. Each piece of paper, each inkpad, each stamp was selected by me. It was mine and I spent a lot of time in that studio. I always said that I was blessed to have a husband who let me have a space of my own. I bragged about your support of what I did and I was thankful that you never held it against me. I was grateful for the opportunity that my little crafts would bring and the cash that would come with those opportunities. Often, they paid for some extra groceries or even take-home when we’d do dinner and a movie from the comfort of our living room.

Your space consisted of the couch or the bed. No matter which, you always had your computer and were always playing online games. I didn’t fuss at it because like you let me have my space, I figured you needed yours… a way to just find time for your mind to unwind. Looking back, it was just a way for us to not talk — to have Netflix playing in the background, to share a common laugh or gasp at what was going on, but we forgot to talk to each other.

I remember saying to you as we were driving to the airport before you trip, and after a particularly tough weekend of talking through a lot of things, that I felt closer to you than I had in a long time and yet, I couldn’t just reach over and hold your hand. We dealt with a lot of feelings those first two days…D-weekend. It’s a shame we couldn’t deal with them earlier.

You sent me a text that said you were sorry that you couldn’t share your feelings in a way that I understood. So am I. You said that if I had only asked if something was going on, that you would have told me. I should not have had to ask. You said that you were sorry you let it get as far as it did. I agree. And yet again, I wonder, is it easier to say sorry now… now that you are sure this is over?

I paid my half of the lawyer’s fees; will you pay yours? You were so anxious for this to end and confident that it would just 19 days ago but you struggle to come up with the full half of your responsibility? You tell me you have just $8 in your wallet until payday and I want so badly to offer you some money so that you can get some new pants for work but I don’t. There are things I want to tell you but don’t. Things that I think you should know, things that would make your life a bit easier but I won’t.

You see, for so long, I was always taking care of the loose ends while you were making deals. And now, you say you go from couch to couch between two homes, one being hers and the other a woman who knew exactly what was going on and didn’t speak up. I know where each lives and it doesn’t make sense. You are always driving her car no matter where you say you slept. I think you are lying and even if you aren’t there isn’t much now that would convince me otherwise. I question your questions, I question your answers, and I question your motives.

Yesterday, I received a text from you asking me if I was going to “shaft” you with the rest of the bills (namely, because the house bills are all in your name). Where in the world did that come from? Again, my response to you is have I proven myself to be so unfaithful to you and my responsibilities to this marriage that you doubt I would continue? You have no sense of boundaries with the chatter that is going on around you. You doubt me, because you doubt yourself.

But you see, I don’t doubt you. I don’t doubt that you will find a way to figure it out. I don’t doubt that you will have your cake and eat it too, I don’t doubt that you will come out of this feeling as if you have been justified in all of your actions and I don’t doubt that you will wake up one day and realize that I’m gone.

Queue Stupid Boy by Keith Urban

Oh, Annie!


The sun will come out tomorrow, but it can also come out today.

I can feel myself transitioning from the sadness and into something brighter. The raw emotions are finding their way back to normal, if there is such a thing in my life right now.

Tomorrow you start your job at the U… we waited years for that job to come along and looked forward to taking time off together. I realize now that perhaps you weren’t excited about taking time off together, but rather you were excited to have a job that offered you benefits and a steady paycheck. Be assured of this my husband, I do wish you the best at your new job but never again will I wish you the best at the expense of myself.

My friends have rallied around me in a way I never could have imagined and I know that I am being held. The bitter sting of hearing the retelling of conversations you had with people about us, about me, is starting to lessen and I realize that it was not a reflection of me at all. The weekend you told me you had an affair you also told me that you didn’t think you owed me an apology and you weren’t sorry about it. I told you that the worst part was that I always had your back and I always fought for you but that you didn’t want to fight for me –you didn’t argue.  I now realize that I don’t want you fighting for me. You aren’t strong enough.

The reminders of you around the home are losing their shine… the empty shower caddy that seemed to scream at me each morning after you left now has a new home… the trashcan.   The “bat light,” our once common signal for a daily reminder now stays off. My mornings aren’t measured anymore by second glances to make sure the signal is set. It’s laundry day and there is just enough for one load of whites and one load of darks. I’m amazed at my free time.

Unfortunately, the reminder that is with me constantly is the impression on my ring finger where once my wedding band was worn. I used to spin it when I was in meetings … now, I twirl a pencil and it’s not the same. My fingers reach automatically for my ring each morning from the jewelry box and I have to conscientiously focus on just getting earrings. The house is still incredibly deafeningly quiet and I feel like this roller coaster ride of emotions right now is just at the top and I wonder if I’m going to come screaming down fast.

Sleep is still sweet when I can get it and I still hope that you are the tiniest bit uncomfortable on your “couch.” I shake my head writing that. When you came back to the rental and told me that she offered you her couch, I thought to myself…surely you think me a fool—she offered you her bed just two weeks ago, you think I believe you’re on the couch? I’ve questioned so much over the past fifteen days and rightly so. Even now I find that while what you tell me is not always a lie, but it is also not fully the truth and it’s hard to accept at face value what you tell me.

There is however much that I do accept. I accept that while you can’t/won’t love me like I need to be loved, that doesn’t mean that I am unlovable. I accept that I looked to you to be the things to me that that I should have looked to the Lord to be for me. I accept that my life will forever be different but that different can be good. I accept that you may never offer me an apology and I can’t put my life on hold waiting for one. I accept that today may be a good day, but tomorrow may not. I accept that choices have consequences and both of us are living with the consequences of choices we made, but only we can allow them to define us. I give myself permission to mourn the loss of a life that taught me so much and I give myself permission to move on.

As I look back over my journal entries, it is amazing how the first few days were filled with aches of reconciliation and revival and now they are filled with acceptance and forgiveness…of myself. Today is the day that the Lord has made, I will choose to rejoice and be glad in it.