Sunday, September 19, 2010

Fabulous Quotes

“Divorce is hard. It’s difficult to close a chapter in a book that you thought you’d be writing forever, but it can be just as exciting and rewarding to write a whole new book.” ~Kela Price

“Part of knowing ourselves is also being able to accept who we are and to value ourselves regardless of our flaws. Accepting who we are allows us to value our worth without conditions or reservations.” ~Diane Greene

“In a society where 50% of first marriages and 67% of second marriages end in divorce, more time needs to be spent on nurturing our marriages as opposed to nurturing our divorces.” ~Kela Price

“The key to effective co-parenting is establishing realistic expectations and healthy boundaries, and to go slow and allow the relationships to organically evolve instead of forcing the issue of everyone being one big happy family.” ~Kela Price

Sunday, August 15, 2010


I had a hard day today. We went to church this morning and if I'm being honest, church has not been high on my list of priorities this past year or so. I've had some anger issues with the Big Man upstairs and I know that He totally gets it too. I know that He's there waiting for when I decide to try and trust Him completely again. I miss church though. And as we sang during worship and my eyes welled up with tears, I really thought about WHY I miss it.

In the past church has been a refuge for me. Not so much church as much as it is my faith in the Lord and my relationship with Him. See, even when things were rough, even when I was secretly dealing with all my exhusband's crap, I still always had my relationship with God. I spent many, many nights alone, journaling and listening to worship music. God was just always there, always leading me and guiding me to the right answers, to the right actions on my part. He and I had a very open, two way communication going. Then my world came crashing down and I had a lot of questions for Him. I had trusted Him with my life...I just didn't realize He was allowing so much crap to happen to me behind my back. Now I could sit here for a long time and tell you all the right answers for the faith "dilemma" I've been having. I could tell you every Christian response to my doubt and anger but it doesn't do much for me. See, I KNOW all the right answers, but that doesn't make it any easier when you actually walk through the hell. I'm just one of those people, one of those Christians, who has to live it and learn it myself, who has to experience it. Everyone else can tell me what I'm supposed to do but I have to have God show me Himself. I have to walk through it. I can't just believe that God will heal me, I need Him to walk me through it. If that makes sense. I know that with opening myself up about my faith and the huge trials it's gone through this last year, I'm also opening myself up to criticism. But I'm ok with that. Oddly enough, I've faced A LOT of criticism this past year. Even though I'm the one whose husband cheated and abandoned, people still like to criticize and judge me. And also oddly enough, a lot of those people are the ones who are most vocal about being Christians. So that leads me back to my tears in church this morning.

I could sense an urging in my heart this morning as I listened to the worship song about God "holding me now". It was the words but also the heartfelt praise of some around me. That's one of the things I've always loved about my church. If you're praising God and you feel the Spirit move, then raise your hands to Him and praise Him, who cares! And I was always so rejuvenated and replenished after one of my church's worship services. What was different this morning though, and what has been different in the past year is my anger at God. It holds me blocks my passion towards Him. Ok God, I cried my heart out to You for so long about my husband, about my marriage, about my heart being completely used and ignored... And for what? I know that He has purpose in the events that have been my life and I am beginning to see more of them. But it all felt just a little too personal, a little too deeply cut right through the middle of my heart for me to just say, "Oh, ok, well if He has purpose then it's ok for my husband to cheat on me and it's ok to have my marriage of 10 years fail!" So as I sat completely disturbed at church this morning, I also realized that A LOT of my anger this past year has been with other people and caused by their actions. I hated walking into church and getting the "Oh...there's that poor dear Jen who had her husband cheat on her and did you hear about...." looks from people. My church also has a lot of police families that Mike and I were friends with and I hated running into them (except for the Dazey's, God love them :)), hated hoping that they wouldn't see me because I never knew whose side of the fence anyone mutual was on. I just hated it. I hated pretending that everything was fine because if I ran into someone that knew me and my situation, I would end up comforting them, reassuring them that I really was ok and was not going to kill myself. I hated when other people would act like their life was just so tragic and though it sounds mean I wanted to scream at them, "Seriously?!! Do you have any idea what my kids and I are going through right now??!" It's not just my fellow church congregation that I'm talking about though, I have had a lot of issues with some other Christians I've known for quite some time. I've learned that a lot of times Christians hide under the label of "Christianity" to be especially viscous in their judgment and 'holier than thou' attitudes. While I could go on and on about this, I also sat there and realized that there have, in fact, been genuine and amazing Christians that did step up and offer their love and support to me. And then sweet faces popped into my head and made me Shannon, who didn't even know me all that deeply but allowed the Lord to use her to say the exact things I needed to hear at that exact moment. She was vigilant and faithful in reminding me of the Lord's love and her love for me and the kids. I cannot express how many times her words or texts or emails deeply encouraged me and gave me the strength to keep going. Or there's Sara, who also knew exactly what to text me at just exactly the right moment, especially in those first few days of horrible yuckiness. She was there for me, making sure that I knew I could come to them for absolutely anything I needed. Then my mind goes to all the people that have been there for me and the kids...some of these people didn't even know me that well but expressed love to me like they'd known me my whole life. Sometimes their sincere concern and care alone was enough to bless the socks off of me. Truly. And I would lay there at night (sleep has been elusive for the past year or so) and wonder why they cared so much? was truly the Lord's love through them. They love the Lord so much that they are literally overflowing with His love and care for others. Then there's the people that have known me for quite a while and they loved me up even more going through the rough times, not caring what that meant or what they sacrificed for my sake. Like Nik, and Gretchen, and SO many others. Then there's the people I don't even know by name that helped me...the cash left on my doorstep, the utility bill that was mysteriously paid, the anonymous cards in the mail containing gift cards to Walmart and King Soopers, a cashier's check with just the amount I desperately needed. Those are just a few. So my thoughts went from my anger at God and irritation with church and the bad of Christianity, to the good that He did for me this past year, through people that were eager to love and to be a stable source of unconditional love for the kids and I right when we were desperately hungry for it. Then I was reading Jody Lander's blog tonight (sorry but I'm too tired to link it) and I found this:

“I believe deeply that God does his best work in our lives during times of great heartbreak and loss, and I believe that much of that rich work is done by the hands of people who love us, and dive into the wreckage with us and show us who God is, over and over and over.”

(S. Niequist)

And it touched my heart deeply. I love the mental picture that "dive into the wreckage with us and show us who God is" brings to my mind. And again those faces popped into my head...too numerous to name them all out loud. So if you're reading this and you were one of those wonderful people, thank you. Thank you for loving me, for loving my kids, and for loving us enough to do something about it. I am blessed. Michael and Riley are blessed and my heart cannot possibly express what you've done for us, what you've meant to us. You've been the hands and feet of Jesus at a time in my life where I was beginning to doubt Him. You've been the love and encouragement I needed to keep going, to not give up, to find one more ounce of strength, to find that last little glimmer of Hope. I know I won't ever be able to repay the kindness I've been shown, and maybe that's what's so humbling about it, but I will forever be grateful. I pray that someone loves you the way that you've loved me. So tonight I go to bed counting my blessings and thanking God that even when I was mad at Him, even when I was on my knees yelling at Him, He still provided and He still loved me through human hands and words. And I am grateful.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

September 7, 2009

My entries about my divorce ramblings will be pretty random because I'm just going to blog about what's on my mind. This is a journal entry from last September.

"10 years ago we vowed to love each other until death separated us. We vowed to forsake all others, to stand by each other through good and bad. On that day I made those vows with my heart, knowing at times it would be hard, but believing our love was strong enough to make it. We saw our share of trials and at some point our paths began to separate. I held tight to what we started with, doing all I could to fix it, change it, perfect it. You turned elsewhere, shutting the door to your heart, never letting me in again. I can't seem to figure out how...

Was it a gradual thing or something that happened overnight? The pain that came that night on November never left me, no matter how hard I tried. I can still vividly remember weeping by myself in the living room all night while I cradled my very pregnant belly, feeling like a knife just went through it. For years I tried to make sense of it, daily wondering why I just wasn't enough. It doesn't matter what all the books and professionals say. As a wife there's never a good enough explanation to ease the pain and the lonliness that a husband's betrayal brings. And no one gets it unless they've lived through it.

No I understand why the Bible "allows" a marriage to end after adultery. There's no recovery from the emotional depth of betrayal, even though for years I tried. Betrayal takes everything you are and leaves you doubting yourself. It has a strange way of producing guilt, even when you weren't the one to break your vows and turn to someone other than your spouse. It makes you question what kind of person you are, inside and out.

Much like infertility does, it makes you question your worth, your value, your identity. Because it doesn't matter how hard you try or how badly you hope and plead for a miracle, the fact is that you're just not good enough. Not enough to fulfill desires, to meet unmet needs, not enough to make him happy and satisfied.

What is too hard to fathom or accept is that you make these decided to break our vows, you betrayed our family, our marriage, our life together. Yet I am the one left broken and reeling. I'm the one who traded 12 years in for brokenness. For a hurt so deep it feels like one breath will crack my chest open. Even though it's all "new" revelations, my heart knew a long time ago that you were gone, that you had checked out. But you made it about me, blaimed it on my emotional heart, made me feel guilty for feeling and the shame in that is that I let you. The pain has been there for years...years of lonliness, years of my open heart being met with a cold and calloused one. The same one who vowed to love me, honor me and protect me. Ironic that the one thing I needed protection from was the only man I gave my everything to. How is that fair? How did God let me do that? How could I have allowed it to go on for so, so long?

So that leads me to Hope and the anger I have towards it. For 12 years I hoped...longed for, begged and pleaded with God for a marriage where he loved me as much as I loved him, even though my love was more often a choice not a feeling. It was committment to the realization that even though I didn't feel "true" love, I made a vow and I would do everything in my power to fulfill that vow and hope against hope that it would be returned.

All those nights alone...
the tears cried in secret...
the ache of dying to be held...
just wanting to be loved.

And then the happy face, the portrayal of what everyone wanted to see. Lies and deceit while secrets so deep and painful ate away at my heart, buried deep within, changing me from the inside out.

So am I any different than this man that stole my life? And who is the judge of that? I lied, I hid away the truth in order to cover up and protect. But what angers me to my very core is that instead of protecting, I only enabled him and harmed myself. And why? Because I gave up hope a long, long time ago. I realized very early into our marriage that it wasn't at all what I had hoped for and I wondered how I could have been so blinded. But he made me feel so unworthy, that I didn't deserve to be loved the way every little girl dreams, the way God made our hearts to be loved. So I shut down and gave up what mattered to me. I only let my heart out through journaling. But now I question who is to blame?

Am I just as guilty?
Who was I protecting?
Him? Me? The kids?
I feel like I did the damage to some extent...
I allowed it to go for so long
Out of my own fear, pride and cowardice.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

What divorce has taught me.

What I’ve learned through divorce….

…that I took being a Stay-At-Home Mom for granted.

…that I am willing to do whatever it takes to provide for my children.

…that I’m stronger than I thought I was.

…it’s easier being alone than it is living with someone who doesn’t respect you.

…my kids are pretty incredible to go through what they’ve gone through and come out still laughing.

…that you can be hospitalized for exhaustion.

….that nights without my children are a real life nightmare.

…that God still cares even when you’re on the floor screaming at Him in anger.

…that there are people that genuinely care about you.

…there are people that pretend to care because they want the latest gossip that is your life.

…that my house stays immaculate when my kids are with their dad.

…that I’d rather have a dirty house than an immaculate house.

…that you lose friends you never thought would abandon you.

…that you gain friends you didn’t even know you had.

…that people like to judge, especially Christian people, though not all Christian people.

…that it’s really hard to open up to anyone after you’ve been judged so harshly.

…that out of everything that’s happened the last 10 years I have two incredibly amazing kids out of it and for that I would do it all again.

…that it’s possible to be so exhausted yet have your mind filled with so much that it’s impossible to sleep.

…that my idea of the perfect day is dinner and a board game with my kids.

…to be continued…

Monday, June 28, 2010


I feel like I'm finally starting to get back in touch with my emotions and go places that I haven't let myself go this past year because they were too painful and I"m tired of being in pain. But now those places are starting to creep out. I've been thinking about starting a blog again, just a place to get things out and maybe start honestly sharing what God has brought me through. I saw this quote on Jody Lander's blog and that was my confirmation that I want to start writing again.

"For God to use your painful experiences, you must be willing to share them."

So I guess it's time to share them. Where do I start?! It's been a LONG year...for now I'll just try and come up with a name for my new blog. Hmmmm.....