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New Beginnings, Part 2

I am officially divorced.

Officially, a single woman who no longer has a husband. Who is now responsible solely for herself.

It is a bittersweet feeling.

On one hand, once I saw that the Judgment gad been entered, and the date our marital status ended, I was elated. Mostly because this had been an ordeal and a process. One I didn’t think would be so hard since he didn’t want to participate in the divorce and told everyone he didn’t want the divorce, but at the same time did not want to be with me or around me. I feel like I have some trauma from all of the stress surrounding this when all I wanted was to be loved and for our marriage to work, but the other person wasn’t willing. I wasn’t given a choice. So I made my own, even if it meant looking like the bad guy and taking the blame a bit. I am so glad it is over.

It is the ending of what I thought I wanted and needed and the beginning of something else.

A new beginnings part 2. Ha!

On the other hand, the news makes me sad. Because we all know, those of us who have walked through divorce, you don’t get married thinking it will end. It wasn’t supposed to be this way. Getting a divorce from the man whom I swore forever to, and meant it, was not what I wanted. Forever meant something to me and it still does.

It makes me sad for my kids, that they now have divorced parents. I know that is hard for them at times, although, they took the news incredibly well when I informed them that everything was over.

I don’t know why I expected them to be more tearful, disappointed, or upset. But I did.

They were good. And they will be good.

The kids will be just fine.

Like I had shared in a previous post, just because our family is not what it used to be, it does not mean we are broken and worth any less. You should see how far the three of us have come after these last few years.

I am a different woman than I was at 23 years old when I walked down the aisle to a future I believed would have been filled with adventure, love and more.

Now, at 40, I walk toward that kind of future still. Just without a husband. That‘s okay. That’s good even. I realize that I may never get married again. That I may still end up alone. I don’t want to end up alone. Nobody does.

But I am content to be alone. Because I have been alone for awhile. While being alone, I grew. I dreamed. I connected more with myself and spent a lot of time loving who I was and who I am. Even the ugly parts that someone else believed were too ugly to stay with.

The work to improve the things I could improve, and embrace the parts of myself that I know and love.

That is hard to do when you immediately latch onto a new person or get in a new relationship when one ends.

The word alone terrifies people because for a lot of us, it might signify being lonely. But that isn’t the case. Let me be clear. I want someone. But I don’t need him.

This is counter to what a lot of people will teach, specifically the church, but I am convinced, more than convinced, that you don’t need a spouse in order to survive and make do in this world.

We have so much more to offer this world than just to be husbands and wives and birth humans. Those aren’t bad things. I don’t want to sound like I am bitter about marriage. I am not. I am not entirely opposed to the idea. I will be more picky, that is for sure. Ha!

I am not getting divorced twice! That was stressful and hard! No thank you!

But I am an individual. My heart is deep and loving. I want to make people smile and feel rooted. I want people to know Jesus. I want them to see Jesus in me.

I also want my kids to see what it means when you completely rely on God, regardless of whether things are good or bad in life. I want them to have deep roots in their faith. Deep.

So that when they leave our home and begin their own lives and go after their own dreams, they won’t stray too far from the roots that have been planted now.

My kids have watched me over the last three years. Some of their observations have been painful, meaning they can be brutally honest. I do not pretend to be a perfect mother. To be real with a lot of you, I feel like I fall short more than I win. I am not trying to earn any sort of sympathy or attention by stating that. Truly, I have a lot to work on, even still, as a mother.

But, as I am often reminded and encouraged, that is why we need and have our Savior. Grace is for everyone, even those who don’t deserve it. Forgiving yourself for your own shortcomings is hard work. We like to focus on our negatives and all of our positives get thrown to the side, as if those don’t carry weight anymore because we fail.

Who decided that? People did.

So glad God doesn’t do that.

I want joy, love, faith, happiness and adventure for my kids. Should they choose to get married (I do want some grandkids!), I hope Madi realizes she doesn’t need a man on her arm in order to be of worth or value. That she can work and make her own money, and provide for herself, and should she choose to, love a man and build a life with that man…..if she chooses. That she knows her independence and confidence and ability to earn her own way is not a liabiliy, but an assett. Should she choose a man, that she chooses a man who loves the Lord, desires to lead but not control her. Root for her and want her to win. That is what I want for Madi.

I want my son to, should he get married, have a woman who roots him on. Encourages him to go after his dreams, but is just fine on her own. She loves the Lord. Loves people. Loves Sean, but doesn’t need him to survive or make her dreams come true. She wants him because she wants to build something and go after her own dreams and invite him to come along. I want my son to not be intimidated by that kind of woman, but to desire that kind of woman. That a woman with a strong heart and is free and is confident by herself, is a woman who ultimately loves deep. He can trust in her.

I want all of those things for my kids, should they choose them, because that is not what I had in my own marriage. That’s the truth.

It feels like a ton of weight has been lifted off of my shoulders now that this is done. For the longest time, freedom was the word I was using, but truly, it is now independence. I can truly start to embrace being independent and doing things on my terms. My way. I don’t have to ask for permission from someone who couldn’t stand if I was away from the house for more than 3 hours. To not feel chained and to put myself first for the first time in a really long time. It feels good. A lot of you may not relate to what I am saying. I hope you don’t. You shouldn‘t if you are happily married.

But, there are far too many of you who do. So, if you are wrestling with whether or not you should feel happy that you are divorced, I am going to go ahead and tell you that it is okay that you are happy. Because if it was hell, then for crying out loud, allow yourself to be happy that it is over. The pain is over.

Time for a brand new start. Time for you. Let the others who do not understanding and want to Cherry pick and throw Bible verses your way do so. It doesn’t mean you have to listen or take them in. Ignore it. They didn’t walk in your shoes. Celebrate this start of a new chapter even though it might be a little uncertain and unsteady and you might be wondering how you are going to pay all the bills. I get it! I do. Right there with ya!

But you don’t need anyone else. You just need to trust that God will provide and meet you where you are at. Provision may not always arrive as a check in the mail, but God provides. I am literal, walking proof of God’s provision after walking through literal hell.

So take a deep breath. Trust in His goodness.

Let’s celebrate new beginnings. You got this.

Tiffany Rhea

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