“Oh my gosh, it looked like you were praying!” I stood up from the recording station and turned to the step-mom of my three children, a half grin lifting a corner of my mouth.“Kind of felt like it too!” I replied, flipping between my fingers the small stone sized device that now held my voice, a message to me. “I had to repeat the ‘prayer’ a few times to get it right though!”
And we both laughed, my laugh light and soft, and hers’ deep and bold matching our other contrasting features—she inches taller than me with deep brown eyes and hair against my blue eyes and blonde hair.
And together we each took a hand of our grand-daughter, Mya, who has slipped between us to grab our attention.We were at Build-a-Bear, a store where you can pick an un-stuffed toy and then stuff it with whatever items that bring you love, and even create a birth certificate and purchase clothes for it. With us were my daughter and her fiancé, (my grandchildren’s parents), Mya’s two year-old brother, my youngest daughter, my ex-husband’s step-daughter (my children’s step-sister).
Together we were celebrating Mya’s 6th birthday.The other day a friend commented to me on how amazing I was to have been so accepting of my ex-husband’s new wife, and how well my ex and I have co-parented together since our divorce. My ex-husband has been re-married for about 8 years now, and we have been divorced 18 years. Over the years, I have spent many family gatherings aside my ex-husband, his wife, and two step-children, my ex in-laws, brother ‘n laws, and sister ‘n laws. I have sat at many my children’s graduation banquet tables with my sister as my ‘date’ alongside my ex-husband’s new family.
And it is good.And with all humbleness, I am very grateful I have this. And I know this will not be possible for everyone who has endured divorce.
But I do know it took an act of humbleness, of accountability by my ex-husband.This act of accountability came when we were divorced for approximately two years and he gave me a letter of apology, recognizing his role in what he had done, and acknowledging how much what had been happening within our marriage had been hurting me.
And I recognized how much my behavior, my reaction of shutting down and then finally quitting (and as one who my ex-husband always saw as giving more than 100% in all I take on, this was really hard for him to accept), hurt him.It was us acknowledging our failures, our roles in the melt-down of our marriage where we really were each other’s best-friend, that helped create our co-parenting situation; a situation that, although still had struggles of course, allowed love and respect to grow in our hearts for each other. And then spill on to the children, who I strongly believe need to come FIRST in any divorce situation.
It was a friend who shared his story of accountability (never blaming) that inspired me to write this post. A different post than I usually write. Yet, I feel God wanted me to share this part of my story, a small part of even a bigger redemption story that continues to unfold in my life as He takes me deeper in this healing journey for a purpose that I am not yet clear on.
What I do know is I have seen His miracles first hand in my life, and in other’s lives as He transforms my mind through the understanding of His love, His forgiveness, and His grace.
And it is good.
I pray, my friend, you will see God redeeming the situation you may be in, and hear His promptings, His voice to lead you on His path of grace.
PS. My Bear turned out great, by the way! When I squeeze his paw he tells me ‘I am a woman who loves and accepts herself inspiring hope by showing the redeeming power of God’s grace!’