Friday, March 10, 2017

Loss and gain

This past year has been filled with unthinkable pain and unimaginable comfort. I have felt the greatest loss I thought I could feel and yet I gained so much.
Perspective. 
Friendship.
Knowledge of the Lord.
Joy.
Confidence.

When I was first going through the devastation of separation and divorce I could not have imagined all that I would experience.
God truly makes beautiful things out the dust.

Sunday, January 22, 2017

What I would have said to myself in the beginning

This single mom thing is hard.

This being divorced thing is so difficult.

This new life and "new normal" is challenging.

I am almost a year out from my seperation and although I know I have sooo much still to learn and experience, I feel like I'm in such a great place.
A place I didn't think I would ever be. A place that 10 months ago I didnt even know was possible .

So if I could go back to newly broken me, just in the beginning of this journey, I would have a few things to say.

1.) The sun will shine again.

When I come across newly single moms or just women who are experiencing a heart break or a divorce or ending of a relationship I often tell them that the sun will shine again.
When I first was seperated everything seemed so dark. Everything was so bland. I couldn't see any happiness and I didn't know if I ever would.
But I did ! The sun is shining so bright in my life!
The sky is darkest right before the dawn. The light is breaking.

2) Your pain has a purpose, God will reveal it in time.

There is a song that I played on repeat during my darkest days.
It's "Thy Will" by Hillary Scott and some of the lyrics says
"I'm so confused
I know I heard you loud and clear
So, I followed through
Somehow I ended up here
I don't wanna think
I may never understand
That my broken heart is a part of your plan
When I try to pray
All I've got is hurt and these four words

Thy will be done"

This song became my heart cry. Thy will be done. I'm broken. I'm confused. It doesn't make sense. I'm lost. But I will trust You God.
Now looking back I'm able to see God's hand in my life so intricately.

My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts," says the LORD. "And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine." - Isaiah 55:8.

If I wouldn't have been separated/divorced and on this journey I would have missed out on some incredible friendships. I wouldn't have experienced a level of deep love for the Lord in this season. I probably wouldn't have even found my church that has become such a big part of my life! (When we seperated I had to return to working so I had to put the boys in full time daycare. One of my son's teachers goes to that church. She invited me one day and I fell in love. But if I wasn't seperated I would have not put them in THAT school and met her!).
When you get a little further in the journey you are able to look back and see how God is piecing things together.

3.) Feel the feels.

I'm a cryer. Always have been. Probably always will be. I cry when I'm happy, sad, mad, and everything in between.
During the beginning of my seperation/divorce... I cried until I had no more tears left. Until my eyes hurt. It wasn't fun. It was ugly.
But I truly think you need to feel the feels to get to the other side of it. You need to feel the anger.... Don't stay there! But feel it and then release it to God. Feel the loss. Feel the bitterness. Grieve how you need to grieve but always ALWAYS take it up with the Lord.
Don't numb yourself with substances or relationships. You have to go over this mountain to get the other side.... Otherwise these hurts will show up time and time again. Feel it and release it to God.

4.) You do not have to be alone in this.

You need people! You need support. You need prayers. You need advice. You need a shoulder to cry on.
Go to counseling! (I saw a Christian counselor for a few months and it helped me find some amazing inner healing ). Reach out to friends when you are feeling sad. Text that person you know will pray for you.
We are not meant to do life alone as it is ... But In a transition like this... It's even more clear how much we need each other.

 Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. - Romans 12:15

*And if you're reading this and have a friend in this type of transition ... Please reach out to them . Go for coffee. Text. Video chat. Let them know you're praying for them. Send them an inspiring quote. You have no idea what a world of difference it makes.*

5.) Keep your hope.

Hope is sooo important to me. I hold on to it tightly like child holds on to their lovey (i mean not my children .. they never caught on the the joy of a sweet stuffed animal to comfort them ).

The Bible says that hope deferred makes the heart sick (Proverbs 13:12) and oh boy have I felt that sickness before. 

When our world is spinning and we don't know which way is up, it can be very difficult to see hope in the situation. When our heart is broken and we are overwhelmed with bills and the kids won't listen , hope seems like a far off distant dream. 

But hope is there. 

"Yes, my soul, find rest in God. My hope comes from Him. " - Psalm 62:5. 

Not only hope but rest too!!! Oh that's what I need. God has you in the palm of His hand. He loves you. He is here for you. Don't lose sight of that. It doesn't make sense now and it's not fair. 

I will never ever say that this was God's plan all along for my life. He is too much of a good God to allow my children to grow up in two homes. He is too much of a good Father to have planned this level of heartbreak. But we live in an imperfect world with imperfect people who make choices and have consequences. 

But I trust Him and have Hope in Him. 

 "He has made EVERYTHING beautiful in its time." - Ecclesiastes 3:11

- . - . - . -

I still have so much to learn but it no longer scares me. I love my life... Even though it looks different then what I first imagined. But God has met me every step of the way just like how He is with you sweet one! 

Lessons, hope, and love. - Monica 

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Joy - a word for 2017

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Okay, I know I'm like two weeks late but better late then never, right?

I am incredibly happy to see 2016 be over with and so excited for this fresh new year.

I have no resolutions because... Well... Let's just be honest , I probably wouldn't stick to anything and then just disappoint myself.

So, I chose a word to focus on this year.

JOY.

Finding the joy amongst the pain. Recognizing the joy in the midst of confusion. Accepting the joy in the simple moments. Believing in the joy to come in days ahead.

What are your resolutions ? Or did you choose a word?

Happy happy 2017!

- Monica

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Healed & Whole


I have been quite honest with this whole separation / divorce / single mom situation that I found myself in. It's hard and emotionally draining at times but I have to open and honest in my little corner of the internet. If not for anything else... For myself. So I can look back and see how I was broken, but the Lord fixed me. To see where I was once left me in despair I am now rejoicing. I want to share experiences and learning moments so I can look back and see hope -- no matter my situation. That is my heart . So even when it's uncomfortable and I'm still processing I will share.

I am currently in that "processing" stage with wholeness.

The other day I was talking to a sweet single mom friend of mine about being healed and whole. And for the first time I realized that there is a difference between the two.

I was thinking that they were one in the same. That because I felt truly healed that it meant whole too.
Now I realize I was wrong. So so wrong.

I can talk to about ex husband without wanting to scream. I can carry on a conversation with him without trying to find a way to be hurtful. I can say her name without a glimmer or jealously. I can talk about their engagement without that twinge in my heart.  I no longer say "divorced" with sadness in my voice. I am able to talk about my boys living in two homes without crying. I sleep on a dry pillow every night and my showers are no longer a place where I run to release the tears. I see the Lord working in my life and I have so much hope.
I. Feel. Healed.

But a friendship that quickly turned into a compromise showed me how not whole I am.
{Eek. Here is the uncomfortable honesty}

I told myself that I would NOT run to anything besides Jesus during this situation.
But I found myself lowering my standards because of loneliness.
I took comfort in a friend ... When I should have taken comfort in God.
I spoke with him instead of praying.
I rebounded. I KNEW there was no future and yet I continued engage in this friendship.

Now I need to be honest on this blog. The good,. The bad, and the ugly. And this situation and how I acted was not my shining moment. But it's real.

I tried numerous times to cut things off and yet it never stook. The conversation was empty words and I was doing a terrible job of representing Jesus to this guy.

After a few days of amazing prayer and an empowering conversation with my mentor I realized I do this pattern over and over again.
I'm in a good place with myself and with the Lord and then some boy comes along and - poof - I'm gone.
I have all of these Morals and all of these standards that I desire to live by but for whatever reason I compromise and forget all about it. Doing things and believing things I told myself I wouldn't do or believe. And then I get completely lost.

Not this time!

Once i opened my eyes to that reality -- I could then make a change.

I want to be WHOLE too.

Where my steadfast love is unwaivering no matter my circumstance or marital status.

I know I am His and that is enough.

I will wait this time.

I will wait.

I will be healed and whole.

So I am taking some time for me. Some Bible studies and getting involved in my church. Taking a break from dating and guys. Working in being whole and satisfied in Jesus.
And it actually feels great !

Honesty, new beginnings, and love,
-Monica

Saturday, November 12, 2016

A fresh start reminder


The other day my littlest mister was sick so we stayed home from school and work & had a mommy son day.
Besides the coughing and runny nose we had a great day!

Ran errands.
Had Chic Fil A for breakfast.
Snuggled.
And my favorite - walked the Christmas section of target.

As I gazed on all the beautiful Christmas items I realized this will be my first divorced Christmas. The twinge of pain and sadness quickly rushed over me as I remembered previous Christmases.

Decorating the tree our first Christmas together and how exciting it was. The Christmas bulb I used to announce to my ex that I was pregnant with our first son.  Our first Christmas with Seth and seeing him stare at all the wrapping paper.  The Christmas I was pregnant with our second son and how  anticipated the following year of joy from having 2 children. And last Christmas. Both of my boys unwrapping the presents we got for them.

All the emotions and memories flooded me like I had fallen off of a boat into the sea and I couldn't figure out which way was up or down.

But as I walked each aisle and saw more and more ornaments and wreaths and ribbons I realized something.
Even though I am not married.
Although it will just be me and my boys on Christmas and the decorating will be up to me.. I am starting fresh.
Much like winter breaks way to the loveliness of spring -- my mourning will break way to a fresh new dance.

So, next week I plan to get new ornaments. New decorations. New stockings.
And rejoice in this new life and new journey that I am on.

Ornaments, Christmas trees, and love - Monica

Sunday, July 3, 2016

an open letter to the next woman to marry my {ex} husband #graceovergrief

dear next woman who is going to my marry my ex-husband,

Hello.
 I know hearing from me may or may not be awkward.
And it is possible that I may or may not know you personally but you are about to embark on a journey that I once walked.

And our paths are now intertwined because of my children.

You are going to be their stepmother.
You will influence them, help guide them, love them, and nurture them.

 You will love their father and because of that they will learn from you.

They will look to you for support.

My biggest prayer is that love will be in the home.

Things did not work out between their father and I but I pray that things go differently this time. That he has found someone he meshes with, someone to spend his life with, and that the honor and respect that the two of you share will be evident in the children's lives. That they will always feel safe. That they will always feel loved and put first.

I pray that you and I can get along. That the past stays in the past and it doesn't matter what happened. We can put the children first. We can look past hurt, confusions, and problems and we can see the children. And as long as we all work on focusing on them, that happiness will be present in both homes and families.

I wish you both happiness, love, and extreme joy. Because when those 3 things are the foundation of a family then everyone prospers.

Above all.... thank you. Thank you for choosing my children. When you decided to marry their father you chose them and I am just thankful that they have someone else who will love them completely.

xoxo, Monica


Saturday, June 25, 2016

why I don't want to become your friend right now #graceovergrief

This season is a weird one for me.
One that I never imagined having to experience.

single mom.

divorced.

figuring things out.

I know that I need to surround myself with community and not be a shut in... but its so hard to "put myself out there."

I don't want to explain why my children are not with me that weekend.

I don't want them to notice my empty left hand.

I dread having to explain to them that I am going through a divorce or that I need to leave so that their father can pick them up.

I want them to see ME and not the sadness. To experience ME and not feel like they have to walk on eggshells. Its hard enough for my friends who I have known for years... let alone someone I am barely getting to know.

I am still new to this state. At least I still FEEL new. I have been living here in the Midwest for about 2.5 years and yet it still feels like I pulled up yesterday. I still use GPS everywhere I go. I still have to google places around town and my connections are few.

Nobody really knows what to see when someone is going through this type of grief. Especially when they don't know you that well.

So, people I encounter, I DO want to be your friend. I do. I want hang out and build relationship. I want to tell you how I am doing and what is going on. I want to grab coffee and watch our kids play at the park.
But this season, this journey is strange. I don't know how to navigate it.

Friendships are hard. And with a divorce that you never imagined happening... it can also be embarrassing.

I am a mess. And I wish I could show you happy-go-lucky-always-smiling-Monica.... but somedays its mascara-running-ben-and-jerry-eating-Monica and other days its so-angry-I-could-scream-Monica. And occasionally I can go from one Monica to the other in the instant. And its hard to figure my way around that. I don't want to scare you or overwhelm you.

So thank you for enduring. Thank you for pursuing. Thank you for praying. And thank you for reaching out even when I don't reach back. Know that it is not going unnoticed.

xoxo, Monica