When I originally had thought about this post it was to address “what do I do with the memories and the pictures of my past”. The vacation pictures, birthday party pictures, special event pictures, etc .. all memories captured in a moment of time when I was married, when I had an intact family. How do I process those feelings of loss, those feelings of what will never be again? In combing through the multitude of pictures I had taken in years past to capture what were joyous and momentous occasions – I saw something that made me stop and think. I found myself looking very closely at those pictures. More so at ME in those pictures. Then I started to compare pictures of pre-divorce to those of post divorce and I think the question that I was looking to answer in this post was visibly answered and closure found. So let me show you what I mean:
Here are pictures of me and my family pre-divorce. They look good right? We did many things as a family and a married couple. We vacationed sometimes 2 or 3 times per year, never the same place twice. We made many good memories that me and my children still reminisce about. Which is why it was so hard for me to look back at these images. I looked with sadness and a sort of longing for the familiar that was my life for so long.
Then I looked at my post divorce pictures and saw an raw unadulterated JOY in my face. With me now being truthful with myself, I could look at the old pictures and connect that there was a sadness in my spirit that didn’t loom over me in my recent pictures. I noticed that I was no longer isolated and so many pictures included people in them. It was evident that I found my silliness and zest for life again. And although my life looks different now than I had originally planned it to at age 44, it is GOOD, VERY GOOD.
And there were so many pictures I wanted to include, it was so hard for me to choose. The one picture of me and my kids on the ride at Disney is the funniest. That was our first trip as a redefined family unit and we all felt the difference – the lightness in the air and our silliness came out – staging pictures on this ride – we must have done it 5 times. My recent photo library is filled with fun photos showing my travel adventures, my experiences with my friends and extended family, sporting events that I attend, concerts, gatherings at my house, time spent with my kiddos, etc. and every one of them brings a smile to my face!
So what was intentioned as a post about dealing with the unfamiliar and uncomfortable images of the past found itself as a post about joyous transformations. Not all change is bad, uncomfortable – yes, but sometimes much needed even at our resistance of it. There is no doubt that it is hard to look back. I know sometimes I think where did I go wrong, why did I stay so long, why did I choose the paths I did – but it was those very choices that made me who I am. I even think sometimes, will I ever have “that” – you know the “white picket fence family”. There is no clear answer for that, as my crystal ball isn’t functioning these days. That reality makes me uncomfortable, truly uncomfortable, sometimes so much so that I cannot find my “Center” with not knowing what my future looks like. But I sit in that space and cling to GOD’s word: Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you”, declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future”. And there you go…. when you hold to that TRUTH I know my future is in the right hands.
Joy, Transformation, and the Hope for a Prosperous Future….. all found in looking through some pictures.