Thursday, February 13, 2014

I think about Divorce on My Birthday...(Now there's a title you can't pass up)

Every year my birthday roles around and every year I have mixed emotions that have absolutely nothing to do with the rising numbers of my age, but rather with my story.  I am a child of divorce.  It is the only story that I have ever known.  I was born into this world to two parents who loved me to the deepest parts of themselves but who no longer loved each other.  I don't share these things with you to make a good sob story.  It's just fact.  I was born into a world where a mother and fathers love didn't reside under the same roof.

I wasn't a part of the story when the marriage was falling apart.  I entered the world when it was over.  And so every birthday I bleed for that day that took place 29 years ago.  Don't get me wrong I celebrate myself for days and days some years but deep down in the darkest parts of my soul I grieve.  I place myself in that cold hospital room and I just flat out hurt.

I hurt for my mother being all alone.  What must she have been feeling as she laid in that bed and the contractions flooded through her body?  She was excited and lonely and terrified, which I know because I would have been those exact things.  Then all of the sudden there I was in her arms.  Did the fears of the future subside or did they just intensify?  Because there in her arms was this real live baby girl and I was hers.  I adored her and I needed her and I depended on her.  Things all of the sudden got a lot more complicated and I can just see the weight of her new life tormenting her hormonal mind.

I also hurt for my dad.  What did it feel like to walk into a room where the women whom he had once loved was holding the child that they made together.  Was there regret?  Regret that things hadn't worked out.  As he held me did his heart hurt for when he would have to turn around and walk out of the room without me?  Did he go home and cry over all the things he wouldn't be a part of in my life?

Then I hurt for myself.  This is a life that I have lived.  I have lived divorce.  I have lived it for 29 years and its still messy for me.  I have cried countless hours over emotions that stem from being loved by two families that lived states apart and are completely different.  I have cried because I have two siblings that I didn't clock many hours in with so we don't have lots of memories doing life together.  I've cried because I don't feel like I fit sometimes.  I've cried because my girls have to have so many grandparents.  I've cried because holidays are just really hard.  The honest truth is that I still cry over it.  It is a hurt that I carry in my heart and I am learning that it will never go away.  It is a part of my story!

Yet I want to make clear that though there are many things to cry over there have been beautiful blessings on this journey too.  There are people that are a part of my life who couldn't have been had divorce not been a part of my story.  For starters all three of my siblings!  I kind of like them and they are sort of big deals but they never really had a choice in this whole story so today they get no air time.  But there are two people who had choices and they chose to love me....

The women that my dad married, Lisa,  has taught me many things.  She opened up her heart and her home and welcomed me in.  There isn't a manual for this...welcoming a child into your house for three weeks in the summer kinda thing.  You're a parent to them but can you yell, can you get annoyed, what does this kid like to eat, what do they like to do?  Does this kid like me?  Together we paved the road and figured out what it looks like when you don't get to spend too much time together.  She welcomes us with open arms when we roll in to town with our troops and take over the house!  ;)

 Then there is the man that my mother married.  His job was hardest in my eyes because I was there all the time.  I visited my dad and Lisa but I lived with he and my mom.  When we first met I called him Kenny and then one day I called him dad because I guess in my young mind he had passed the test.  I don't remember the day at all but I imagine that his heart beat just a little bit faster.  He is my dad.  I have two dads.  It's confusing to lots of people but to me it is what I know. I have a dad who helped conceive me and who loves me but who has never been close enough in distance to do the every day parenting.  Then I have a dad who came in my life a few years after I was born, took me in, and chose to love me unconditionally as if I was his own.  He helped coach my softball teams, wrote me letters, kept on me about homework, lent his shoulder to cry on, grounded me, let me do his hair, had tea parties with me, read to me in weird voices while acting out the stories, bathed me, and did everything else that really good dads do.

So, I am lucky and blessed and broken.  I hate divorce.  I don't judge a single person who has gone through it but I hate it.  Jake Weber is stuck with me and he knows it!  He knows it most importantly because he knows Gods stance on the whole issue but he also knows it because he sees what it has done to me and he wouldn't wish that on our girls in a million years!

I have gotten insanely off track though.  Lets find our way back to the yellow brick road.....which takes us back to my birthday.  This birthday hit me like a bolt of lighting.  God is using it!  I just cry as I type these words.  He is USING the divorce right now in my life.  He is taking some of the most heart wrenching parts of my story and he is turning it into his glory.

One day Jake and I will adopt a child.  We will welcome them into our home and our hearts.  I cannot wait for this day to come.  I dream about this day.  If you know me then you know I talk about this day all the time.  I have been pouring over everything that I can get my hands on to prepare for this day.  I have been stressing and analyzing and obsessing and God just stopped me in my tracks on February 9th and delivered to me the greatest birthday present that I will ever receive which I have shared with not a soul until right now....

 I have prepared you for this Jennifer.  I have come before you and I have set this in motion.  Trust in me.  Surrender to me.  Don't you see what I have done child.  Don't you see that the divorce was not an accident.  It was by design.  I took it and waited and now I will use it.  Out of your pain their is healing.  You will adopt a child one day and you will get them.  You will get their suffering to a degree that some adoptive parents don't.  You will understand that some things cannot be healed.  You will understand when they are quiet on holidays.  You will mourn with them when they aren't feeling like they fit in the family and you'll know why they feel that way.  You won't want to replace their birth parents you will just walk beside them and love them.  You won't expect it to be easy and painless.  You won't know all the answers but you'll have the wisdom to be okay with that.  I will bring glory to MY name through the years of past pain and the years of pain to come.  I will be exalted.    

I just finished reading Jennie Allens book Restless which I highly recommend.  She's a bit ADD in her writing but I just love her for that!  In it she says, "Can you really not see that your story has birthed your passions?  What if the darkest moments of your life God intended for good?  God speaks through story because that is how we best understand the most important things."  That was my prayer in this blog post.  Sometimes I blog to process things out loud.  That was not what this was.  This I shared because God got the glory and that is worth sharing!      

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