Some of you know some of my story — of how my husband of twenty-two years insisted on walking away from our marriage. This happened over four years ago, and sometimes it’s hard to believe it’s my story. Friends have encouraged me to write more about that experience and what I’ve learned, but it’s really hard for a variety of reasons. First, it’s not only my story. It’s also my children’s, and I’m sensitive to that and to the fact that he is their father. Second, I don’t want to overshare, and I don’t want to dwell. And, honestly, it still stings. But I think I should share what I can, because I remember how very desperate I was for every morsel of encouragement and hope when I was in that deep, dark valley. If my story can help someone else, I’m selfish to keep it to myself. So if I can figure out ways to put my thoughts together, I’ll share them here from time to time.

One of the things I’ve found curious as I’ve moved through these past years post-divorce is how my previous life seems like it’s not my life. Everything I found out was such a shock, such a complete and total up-ending of the life we built for over two decades, that I really don’t know what was real and what wasn’t. I’ve questioned everything.

But as I decorated the Christmas tree last week and unwrapped hundreds of mementoes collected throughout all those years, I was reminded that YES, I did live that life. It happened. The memories are real. I really did visit those places, make those friends, worship in those churches, make a home over and over again. I cared. I loved. I didn’t just dream it. And even thought that life is gone now, I still remember.


so many memories of our 8 years in Hawaii on the tree


evidence of my brief foray into smashing plates and making ornaments


a souvenir from our 2 years in Japan


I bought this one in my favorite city — London

So I decorated the tree feeling that now ever-present sense of bittersweetness. I felt sorrow but I wasn’t crushed by it. I took joy in remembering and was thankful for that. Surely that’s progress, right? I can’t take credit for the progress, but I know the One who can.

If you’re where I found myself about four years ago, or if you know someone who is, I can tell you that it gets better. It’s not a straight line, but more like a crazy stock market graph with lots of highs and lows. Pain hits at the oddest times , and it still hurts to say “ex-husband.” But God is always good and faithful, and I’ve found that He comes through for me. It’s often not in a way I expect or even want, but He’s faithful. Even when I’m hanging ornaments on a tree.

This I know.


9 thoughts on “bittersweet

  1. “Trust Him when dark days assail thee
    Trust Him when thy strength is small
    Trust Him when to simply Trust Him
    Is the hardest test of all”.
    Just those words to remind me, has gotten me through accepting the deaths of
    my Son and my Husband.

  2. Thanks for sharing your heart. I will forward this to my sister. I think this will encourage her tremendously. Sending you a hug.

  3. What an inspiration you are to me and so many others. I’ll never forget the day hearing from you that you were getting divorced. Your life looked so perfect on Facebook. It was a good reminder that as I look on FB and celebrate with my friends their joys, there are also great hurts behind each picture. So proud of how you have walked through the last four years. Thank you for writing. You are amazing! And God in you in amazing too. He shines brightly through you. And I’m sorry for the journey that you have been on…but glad that you are better because of it. God redeems all things. Love you!

  4. Well, I thought I had commented, but I don’t see it here. So, if it magically reappears, you know why. 🙂

    Thank you so much for sharing your heart. I remember the day you told me (by FB) that you were getting divorced. I was so surprised because your life on FB looked so happy and perfect. It was a good reminder that while I can and do celebrate with my friends by what they post on FB, there are often stories of hurt and anguish underneath as well. I’m so proud of you and how you have walked through this journey you have been on. You are amazing! And the One inside you is amazing! He is in the business of redeeming all things. You are an inspiration to so many of us. Keep writing. Love you!

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