(Image taken from Google Images)
One of the many challenges I faced was learning to be a single woman. The fact that I was middle-aged and had never lived alone did not help my adjustment to my “new” relationship status at all.
I had no idea how many “things” in my life would be impacted by my sudden singleness. I had to get used to no one being there every time I came home. I would return to an empty home that was completely silent. No one would be there to welcome me or ask how my day went. If I didn’t make it home, who would know immediately? There were days that I just needed a hug. Not possible. Prior to divorce, I was totally oblivious to the issues facing single adults.
I had to get used to cooking a meal for ME to enjoy. I would no longer get the joy of sharing meal times with my family. I had to learn to eat alone and appreciate the blessing of having food and the ability to prepare my own meals.
I had to learn to enjoy my own company. This took some time because my life always centered on my husband and children. I hadn’t really assessed what I like or enjoy. I realized my life was lost in the lives of others. Now, the “others” have moved on so I had to get a life and establish my own identity! Man…who needs this!!!
In order to discover what I enjoyed, I decided to be open to new experiences. You know, come out of my comfort zone. I found that I enjoyed movies (at home or at the theater), going to live plays/shows/musicals, taking vacations with my kids and grandkids, and sharing meals and conversation with friends.
It became VERY clear to me that I had to make sure that I planned a fun activity on my weekends. I weekends off and although it’s almost 7 years since my divorce, I still have to ensure that I do something that brings me joy every weekend. I have found that if I don’t have that connection with a friend or loved one and create opportunities to laugh; I will be extremely sad.
I feel that I have been very blessed in that I have not had significant battles with loneliness. I have had moments of loneliness, but, by God’s grace, they have not been many nor terribly excruciating. I MAKE A POINT to connect with people! There is no replacement for social connection. God designed us to need one another and to deny that need is to inflict harm to the soul and spirit.
Divorce forced me into self-exploration and I am grateful for that. I am not grateful for divorce because I hate it just like God does (Malachi 2:15-17). I am grateful that God took my tragedy and brought about something good! Because of this experience, I learned that I still harbored a love for learning that caused me to return to college at age 49. I learned that I could feel wholesome and complete with God alone. I learned that I could be happy with a good video and a bag of chips. I learned to take risks and grow as an individual.
I have learned oh so many lessons in the last 6 years and 10 months. But, there is one train of thought that truly liberated me from my self-pity and negative view of myself. It was the realization that – Divorce is what happened TO ME; it does not define WHO I AM. Learning to separate the EXPERIENCE from my evaluation of self opened up a whole new world to me. It changed my mind FOREVER.
Remember, there is SO much more to you than what has happened TO YOU! I gave control of my life to God. I told Him that I realize that I truly suck at guiding my own life and I humbly and willfully submit to His leadership for the remainder of my days.
COMPLETE surrender to the Lord has brought about a re-birth I never thought imaginable!
Psalm 32:8 (AMP) –I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go;
I will counsel you [who are willing to learn] with My eye upon you.
Scripture references retrieved from biblegateway.com