YOU WILL BE OKAY

"I don't want to die without any scars" - Chuck Palahniuk, Fight Club

this post is not about divorce. it is not about family, or religion, or the modern church. it is not about making mistakes, it is not about regret, it is not about growing up, it is not about being happy. it is not about happiness, sadness, or loneliness, or being married, or single. 

but really, it is about all of these things.i don't want it to be. friends, i don't want to write about all these things.

however, i need to share these things. i need to write down what has gone through my mind. i need to tell you, so that you can know these things. because i believe that there is no meaning to anything that happens in life until you are able to relate to it and form meaning from it. nothing really has meaning, until you make it meaningful. it's just events and things, until you do something with them. until you form out of a huge mess something that fits together in a way that allows you to learn and share. and i believe this is why i write, and why i read and try to learn.  i believe this is one reason why people have relationships, and why we talk to one another. because we are just a huge mess until we start to fit together in a way that gives us something to hold onto, some meaning.

one of the first photos i took inside my apartment after the divorce.

some of you know i was married once before, not to the amazing man i am married to now. i got married on february 28th, 2002 to a different man. i had known him for quite some time. we met in church. i liked him. he was four years older than me and had graduated from college earlier that year. we had both been brought up in the church, and because we were adults, and we liked each other, and had been dating for quite some time - marriage was obviously the next step. we both came from families where our parents had married young. and while some people cautioned us, or mainly me, about making such a big commitment at such a young age, i was determined that this was the right choice. i was eighteen years old when i got married, seventeen when i got engaged.

and over the course of a little more than five years, it all fell apart. if i am honest, it started falling apart as soon as it began, or at least it felt that way - despite what i may have led others to believe. it was as though i got married, realized very quickly that i had made a mistake, and then spent five years trying to reverse that mistake, all while grieving my slowly failing marriage. while trying to make it work and still feeling deep down inside that it wouldn't. really giving it my everything and hoping that it would all fall into place while watching it all crumble down slowly, piece by piece. does that sound sad? i would hate for you to think it was so sad, or that i didn't have happy moments during that time. but well, honestly, it really was sad. and when i finally decided to file for divorce, after years of trying so hard, and going to tons of counseling, praying, crying, and compromising, that was sad too. there were many people who did not understand, there were people who were angry with me. there was a husband who i had promised to stay with forever, but who i knew i couldn't. there was a whole lot of hurt over those five years, and many things that should have never happened. there was a desire to make it work, but just so much exhaustion, and resentment for years of hard work that only led to more horrible days. but in that sad mess, where i felt that surely my life was going to end, and that my family would never again love me again, and that i had lost everything, including my faith and my mind... during all this i found peace, hope, and so much happiness.

it was not an easy thing to do. despite what some may think, i don't think divorce is ever an easy thing. it hurt me, and my ex-husband, and our families, and friends. i questioned whether i was making the right decision many times. the majority of my family members did not agree with what i was doing, my church could not agree with it, i had a few close friends who did support me, and then there was the issue of God. i questioned whether God would still love me, and how i loved God if i was getting a divorce. i cried a lot.

but eventually i found myself alone in a very weird little apartment, living for the first time by myself. i was skinny from hardly eating, and a bit frazzled from never sleeping, cashing in everything i had just to make the rent. i had never lived by myself, and questioned my sanity because i dealt with this new life by being in constant motion until i would collapse from exhaustion (if you ever want to help someone who is going through a divorce, bring them food, or offer them a place to sleep - eating and sleeping on my own were by far, the hardest adjustments to make). it was not easy, not at all. i struggled, and cried. days went by where i would realize that i had lost relationships, a church that i loved, and family members. but through the help and support of good friends, and over time i realized it was going to be okay. i understood more fully than ever that God will always love me, even if i make mistakes, and that i would be okay. 

i began to date, eventually met christian, fell in love, finished school, bought a home, got married, had a baby, and now life is sweet and fuller than i could have ever imagined it.

i am not telling you this to say divorce is the answer to a hurt marriage. i am not going to debate marriage, religion, or beliefs on this blog. 

so why am i talking about this? well, i guess it has just been on my mind, as february 28th is coming up. i have realized that i don't think i really ever have talked about it on this blog, and it was a huge chunk of my adult life. also, divorce isn't a very happy topic, and it is not one that people really like to talk about, but it is a relevant topic in our society (if you aren't divorced, i am sure you know someone who is). while i do not have any formal religious affiliation at this time, i was raised in the church, and struggled greatly during my marriage and even more during my divorce. divorce is not tolerated in most churches, and it usually makes people in the very least, uncomfortable.

and i would be lying if i were to say it didn't make me uncomfortable. since i have had chloe, i have made the decision that at some point she will know that i was married to and divorced from someone else, before i fell in love with her father and married him. this is not going to be something easy, and i imagine i won't tell her about this until she is older. but i will tell her because i want her to learn that i made a mistake, a big one, and that it is alright to make huge mistakes. i want her to also know that we should learn from them, and even better, try to learn from others mistakes. but that life is not lived without making mistakes, and when she does make a mistake that her parents will be there to love her, that God will be there and will love her, and that life will continue to go on... that she will be hurt, and heal, and then she can move on and become stronger, wiser, and make decisions that will bring happiness.

but i do want to tell you too, that if you make mistakes, even huge ones, that you will be okay. all is not lost. whatever it is that you are going through - you will be okay. there can be happiness, and hope, and love. it may not come easily, you may loose things, and people that you cherish, deeply. you may feel that you have lost your mind and your faith. you may feel that things are without purpose and that life doesn't make any sense. well, it doesn't need to always make sense. enjoy it, learn from it, hurt like hell, heal, and move on. be stronger - you can be. you will be okay. i am telling you this from experience, and as someone who is still learning and living.

you will be okay.

all my love,

leah.

5 comments:

  1. i found your blog recently and I love your honesty and the way you share.

    I know SO many wonderful people who have had first marriages that just didn't work out, but ultimately it was for the best. so I know for sure that you are not alone. thank you for sharing your story so bravely.

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    Replies
    1. thank you for visiting my blog, reading what i share, and for your kind words!

      i checked out your blog and love it! so glad you commented and i found it!

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  2. Wow- this is the first post of yours I had ever read, and its beautiful! I`m hooked! Thanks for sharing your message of love & hope. This will help people & mean so much to them when they are going through hard times- thank you!

    http://somesnapshots.wordpress.com/

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  3. i also just found your blog from a comment you left on someone elses.

    i love how you are able to write in such a clear way. thank you for sharing this. i love when people can admit they made a mistake and that it's ok. it reminds me that i can also make mistakes, and actually they make me stronger.

    following your blog now!

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  4. What a beautiful post! So honest. I think that's something that lots of people struggle with- that they can make mistakes, even big ones, and it will be ok.

    ReplyDelete

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