The truth is, I didn’t really feel like writing today. My first thought was “What does it even matter anymore?” And then I listened to a podcast by my new bestie, Rachel Hollis, and I got fired up and I realized it totally DOES matter. My thoughts and feelings four years after the fact matter for many reasons, but the biggest and most important of all these reasons is…I don’t hate being divorced.
I used to think of my label “divorced” as a scarlet letter. This mark of Cain that I had to endure forever. A chain of shame I would carry around for eternity. Heavy. Exhausting. Sad. Then, my feelings evolved and I started to heal and I felt my scarlet letter turn into a scar. A battle wound. Divorce became a war I had survived. I was still standing. Still moving. Shame turned into acceptance. Divorce became less about what happened to me and more about how I chose to live with my scars. The heaviness of my divorce embarrassment became a different kind of heft. Now I felt the weight of the armor I had created to cover my wounds. Divorce wasn’t a club of humiliation that I belonged to, but a club of survivors.
But who wants to merely survive life? What a waste. Hating the term “divorce” meant I hated a part of who I was. F that. I don’t want to be ashamed of myself or hate myself or wake up every morning thinking “gee…I survived another day.” I also refuse to let one word define any part of who I am. One man’s selfish decisions. One chapter of my life. One legal document. No, thank you.
And so now, four years later, after the shame has melted and the wounds have begun to heal…”divorce” has changed yet again. Instead of wearing it as a scarlet letter or a suit of armor, it has become my super hero cape. Does this mean I’m all of a sudden proud of my divorce? No…but it means I’m proud of being strong enough to realize I was created for more. Proud that I left an unhealthy relationship. Proud that I never became the stereotypical jaded and bitter divorced woman. Proud that my heart has learned to love again. Proud that my faith has grown. Proud that I have the courage to grow…to change…to refuse to hate that word any more.
Because, as my girl Rachel would say, “If you’re not growing, you’re dying.” And there’s no way in hell I’m dying.
2 Peter 3:18 – “But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and forever! Amen.