Beauty from Ashes

All changes, even the most longed for, have their melancholy; for what we leave behind us is a part of ourselves; we must die to one life before we can enter another. – Anatole France

Sometimes, I stop writing because I have this fear of people finding out my deepest, darkest thoughts. I have this “blessing” (which often feels like a curse) of writing EXACTLY how I feel. So, if I’m feeling something less than desirable, sometimes I don’t write about it, which means that I don’t write, at all. But, after a few months of working through some of what I thought were undesirable thoughts, I’ve realized that a lot of internal healing has actually taken place and that just MAYBE there was no real guilt to be had anyway.

Dustin and I have been married for almost 2 years (woohoo!) and things are going SO well. They’re actually going so well that I sometimes feel guilty. I feel guilty because I’m divorced.

The truth is that Decembers  are always a little bit tricky for me because inevitably I have to see/discuss/communicate more with my ex-husband. It just happens. Especially now that we have various school events to put on both of our calendars. So, we experience things like, “I’ll wait by the front door for you because Lilly wants us to walk in together.” or conversations with Lilly about separation and why we can’t just be a “family”. Or the inevitable “WHAT IF’s” that surface. What if I had been the person I am today back THEN? What if I’d been able to love MORE? What if I xyz… or he did xyz… etc.

So, you can see how being a newly wed with a small child & a baby on the way could lead me to feel quite a bit of guilt about such thoughts. Then, comes the whispers of, “but, if you’re happy with Dustin why do you think/feel these things?” & obviously, writing about such topics isn’t quite desirable since I’m the wife of a church planter.

But, you know, since I’ve been allowing God to truly heal me in this area & to discount the lies and whisper more truths… I’ve realized quite a bit.

1. Thinking that talking about these things is going to somehow destroy what God has been doing is a lie.

2. I’m human. Having emotions and thinking through circumstances is a GOOD thing; it’s healthy.

3. It doesn’t make me weak or broken to consider decisions that I’ve made & realize that I would have done things differently — but there are reasons unbeknownst to me, why I didn’t — and having these thoughts doesn’t make me love Dustin or enjoy our marriage any less. In fact, it makes me that much more grateful for second chances and the beauty of what God has begun in our lives.

I spent quite a few years of my life feeling guilty, feeling like I don’t deserve to be happy because of my divorce — and, if I let my mind wander long enough — I’m sure that the “what if’s” could steal every last breath that I have because the whispers are quiet & they are dark; they can quite literally drain the life out of you.

It would honestly get so bad that I would look around our house & quite feel guilty because everything is going so well. It would break my heart to be so happy; I would cry because Juliette will have the life that I had hoped for Lilly.

Now, I realize (most days) that God is sovereign & that I don’t need to feel guilty because the truth is that most of what I think/feel/love/cherish now have only come to be from the last few years of truly seeking and trusting God. And, I know that the more I let go of the guilt and cling to the promises of God instead, the bigger blessing I can be and the more present I can be where I am in life right now.