I have NEVER refer to myself as a divorcee, i mean why should I define myself according to an incident that took place in my lifetime. To be honest, I was never one to prance around my married status anyway. I won’t start now.
Our pastor had a powerful sermon on Sunday: the core message was “Who is defining you?” it made me think of the many terms that our society uses to define us in general. Its so important for us take stock of the adjectives we use and allow others to use when referring to us. Words are powerful .. words have life. And if you allow someone to label you in a certain way you are saying you agree with their sentiment. For me refering to myself as a divorcee is living in the past. Divorce is not my vocation, its not a career (well….not to most people anyway), its an event.
Another term I loath is “single mom”. Its fills me with so much despair. I am definitely not alone in this parenthood journey and where does that leave God? Has He not promised never to leave me nor forsake me? He has also blessed me with amazing people; my mother, my friends a support base like no other. I also feel like it blocks all prospects of attracting a “Other Whole” (not other half). Besides whether Im single or in a relationship or married how des that impact my primary role “mother’?
Ephesians 1v 4-5 reads:
4 According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love:
5 Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will
I have made a decision to see myself and define myself the way God sees me and that is as a princess. I chose to define myself the way I see myself as a I am as a mother, a SUCCESSFUL entrepreneur, a SEEKER of truth and the DAUGHTER of the most high. A divorcee never heck I’ll even accept being called a returned solider before I accept that.
*** Returned Soldier is a local slang term for divorced women people
ART: Dryad by Séverine Pineaux 1960 | French Fantasy painter & Illustrator
Last week I attended a braai in commemoration for a dear high school friend that passed away. As somber as the reason was it was, the braai was such an uplifting and enjoyable event. And as all social events go (when women are involved anyway) the subject drifted to relationships. I shared my story and and one of women remarked ” ahh Im going through that right now”
Her boyfriend of 10 years had impregnated another woman. Her pain was so raw…I saw myself in her, instead of building her up and comforting her, telling her she deserved more and that that kind of indiscretion was usually an indication that love had left the room or rather respect. I told her that her man loved her because despite his messing up, he still came home to her, Asking her for a second chance. At least he loved her enough to try.
WHAT NON-SENSES WAS THAT?
These are the communal lies we have been feeding each other from generation to generation. And now we are finally reaping their fruit.
So when I found out my ex husband has impregnated a girl…I did nothing. I stayed put, didn’t even leave him for a day. Actually the day he told me Im almost certain he went to spend the night with her. (thats what my gut tells me). I thought to myself, perhaps it had in fact been a mistake. After all I had never caught him before, everybody deserved a second chance. After all he loved me right. Men always chose their wives in the end …right? My gut told me otherwise but I was so accustomed to being told that _this was acceptable behaviour. My mother stayed after my dad got another woman pregnant and well everyone I know has a half brother somewhere. In fact its become such a norm that when people look alike, we often tell each other to check with your father if he he has anything to tell you.
I sook the advice of many women, I respected. They all gave me different advice YET two things in common. The first being that the other woman was to blame (the general consensus was that she used muthi on him. The second was that he loved me at the end of the day (men are weak-the weaker sex...really) and I should make an effort to be the wife he needed me to be. This meant of course that I was to blame. My mother told me though that the moment he did that-she knew my marriage was over- she just couldn’t tell me. It was a realisation I had to come to myself. I understand where she coming from…I just wished she had told me anyway.
So I stayed ; with a man I could obviously see…no longer loved me. He never came clean…completely. Didn’t want to go to counselling. Threw himself into the church and made every excuse not to spend time with me. Perhaps I can not blame him for no wanting to spend time with me. I was so angry…HOW COULD HE LIE TO ME FOR SO LONG? NO I was LIVID…. I was never allowed to express my concern, my hurt because I was told that he loved me and every time I brought it up it would be focussing on the past. He was a changed man.
Nobody shared in my outrage… except for my closest friend. Nobody held me and cried with me. Nobody told me it was okay to hurt … nobody allowed me to grieve. The anger just built up and built up…..A seed of bitterness was planted. A seed of unworthiness took root.
Almost 3 years later I found myself passing on that bitter fruit to another hurting woman. How I wished I could take back that moment….and break this painful cycle in our society.
My hurricane was my husband walking out on me and my beautiful two kids, a month after i had given birth. I found myself a single mother of two. Not exactly the predicament a good christian girl would find herself in. My church at the time (the place I thought I would find solace at) shut the doors and nobody wanted to “get involved”. I was lonely, humiliated and broken! I couldn’t pray, I couldn’t eat all I did was cry myself to sleep. Dear God, how could you allow my family to be ripped apart?
The amazing thing that happened is that in him leaving, I found myself. The girl I found was broken, had a low self esteem and no sense of worth despite the front she put for the rest of the world. I strongly believe that we attract who we are and the broken man I attracted was a result of the broken girl I was inside. Those parts were broken long before my marriage. Which is why this blog not an attempt to “out” my ex-husband. Every person has their own journey, my place is not to judge. The thing is, we once walked the same path. You can not write my story without including him…I mean how do I explain these two gorgeous kids that are a result of our union. Rather I write it to record my journey to discovery… along what I see as the this yellow brick road of life….seeking my Oz and all its beauty.
God will always send you hints when you go the wrong direction….Oprah once said ( yes I quote Oprah) …it starts with a pebble on your back , then a brick and if you don’t pay attention the entire wall will fall on you. His leaving was that brick wall. So I say, pay attention! Nobody wakes up and leaves a marriage, the signs are always there. We need to listen to what our true self is telling us, the self that was present in God when he created the oceans and their undiscovered mysteries.
Your hurricane doesn’t need to be the end of a marriage, it may be losing a child, a job, a sibling. What I do know though is whatever it is : its all going to work together for YOUR good, no matter how tragic it is.