Every so often, I hear a person refer to that couple, those parents, or that woman as being in a negative light because they or she are "split up" or "divorced." Just this weekend, after helping a young girl who had just suffered a drug induced medical problem, I heard this from her parents about the other "bad" parents they know. Immediately, I became conscious of my bare left ring finger since I had already spoken lovingly about my children. You see, I am a single mother.
Divorce was never supposed to happen to me. I was supposed to grow up, marry, and die old and happy with that man. I was not supposed to have a different last name than my children. The term "ex husband" was not supposed to be in my personal life. But here I am, legally allowed to use my maiden name, locking my own doors at night, working a full time job while being a full time at home mom.
Many people have wondered why things are this way, and here it is: I am divorced because there was severe abuse in my marriage. Sexually, emotionally, verbally, and physically. I have had to do things that I never wanted to do. Things happened to me that I never wanted to happen. Many people who saw us had no idea what was happening behind closed doors...but it's awful hard to tell someone when you are barricaded from escape, your phone is taken away, and your hand is squeezed so hard that you have no choice but to drop your car keys. You can't always run fast enough, or say the "right" thing soon enough. Sometimes, you get to the point where you eventually convince yourself that you "want" to do certain things just because then at least it's easier to get through the required actions, and you know you will continue to be pressured until you give in, anyway.
I am not divorced because my husband left me (I "left" him), because we argued about money (we didn't), or because we got tired of each other (well, I think he got tired of the kids and me, because we weren't even allowed to be in the living room when he was home at night towards the end of things). I am divorced because I couldn't do it anymore, and my children deserve a home where they are safe physically, emotionally, and mentally (hey, maybe I do, too). God comes first in my life, and my marriage was not allowing that to happen because I wasn't safe and our home was inundated with sin. It wasn't a choice. I just couldn't do it anymore, and I never will again.
Fast forward to now, days less than a year since I left. The kids and I are in the best place we've ever been. We saw a change in the children very shortly after leaving--they were more peaceful, joyful, etc.. People are still telling me that I look alive and happy again. And me? Well, I am finally at peace because I am healed emotionally, safe, and I can now worship God without someone restraining me. We play at home now. We sing. We dance.We pray as a family. We smile and laugh. We tell Bible stories and go to church. And my life is God's now. Again. That's where I belong. My hope is only in Him. My heart, He holds. He rescued us and lifted us out of that place.
My ex-husband, I have seen a lot of changes in him since we left. However, there are some things that I don't think will ever change. I hope the best for him, but if it wasn't for him being my children's biological father, I would have had nothing to do with him since February 1, 2011. I praise God for giving me life again, and for giving my children a future without fear.
Oh, and I have a boyfriend. Yes, a single mother of two children, working in a male-dominated field (I am a Paramedic), who is dating. And you know what? It's a gift so precious from God to me and my children that my face still hurts from smiling so much, even three months after he became a part of our lives. Talk about a perfect substitute in our lives--WOW! My life is not what I had planned, and previously, I think I judged people who had broken marriages negatively without even realizing it, either. Sometimes, though, brokenness is a blessing because sometimes getting to where you need to be requires breaking through to the light. And that is what we did.
Your glory is so beautiful, I fall on my knees in awe.
The heartbeat of my life is to worship in your light, because your glory is so beautiful.
My life is Yours. My hope is in You only.
My heart, You hold.
'cuz you make this sinner holy.