Society as a whole categorizes people – all people, into many slots. Over 40, 65 and older, white, black, asian, College Graduate, High School Graduate and last but not least – Married, Single or Divorced. When you are young and in your 20’s checking the single box is ok and your still good as long as you don’t carry that status over into your 30’s. And I have heard several people say that that is mostly a southern thing – that our southern population feels the need to marry our young off as quickly as possible after they graduate high school. I felt that pressure – hence I was married at 20 years old. But its the other status I want to discuss in this post – the Divorced status.
I can remember when our separation was new and I had just filed for divorce, I could not bring myself to say I was divorcing or that he was my ex-husband. A full session with my life coach was spent talking about this and working through it. It had alot to do with just getting use to my reality and being ok with what the truth was but the other part was subconsciously knowing how my peers and society would view me.
Women who are divorced are viewed as “broken” . Maybe its a leftover generational viewpoint from the older generation where divorce was a rarity – I am not sure where it comes from but it is there. There are people, even those close to me who have never walked this walk and don’t understand the daily struggle but look at me like I am wearing the proverbial scarlet letter “D” stitched to my very being. All the while those same people are trying to “Fix” me, which is code for marry me off. They would never say this outright but all of their conversations with me have the same undertone to them – hurry and find a man and get married again and all will be right in the world – I won’t be broken anymore. Wait, Stop, slow your roll! Maybe just maybe I don’t want to be married again. Maybe Not Broken doesn’t always equal Married. Maybe if I am “Broken” I should be fully healed from a controlling, toxic relationship first before moving straight to jump off the marriage cliff again. Maybe the effort it takes to be in a forever relationship like marriage is just more than I want to give at this moment in time.
So I examined and prayed about that term “broken” and here is the amazing thing that some may not realize about broken things. Those are the very things that GOD uses. All throughout the bible he uses the beggars, the prodigals, the weak and the wounded to tell the story of the love, compassion, mercy and grace that comes flowing from above. For me that very fact gives me hope that there is a purpose for my pain. For me it means that I can contribute from this experience, even though I am divorced. That I do have something to offer even if society views me as Broken. What story would I have to tell if I had the “All American White Picket Fence life” that I once portrayed that I had? I can answer that question now – I would have nothing but FAKE news to offer. I faked it for so long that that should be viewed as broken. My true “BROKEN” story is one of strength, purpose, obedience and beauty from ashes.
Divorce does not always equal broken… sometimes it equals healthy and whole. Sometimes its a stage for you to show your beautiful daughter just what you’re made of and allow her to see the strength you have from clawing your way out of that situation into a beautiful UNBROKEN life…… and she does see it (see her Facebook post after my first blog post below).
VICTORY! Her view of me resonates so much with my soul. Knowing that I am teaching her life lessons through my walk makes it all worth it – every tear I have shed, every judgement that has been cast upon me, every bad day…. all worth it.
So I’ll take broken…. and for now I will gladly check the box next to Divorced and wear that Scarlet letter D because the alternative is to move in the direction with the flow of society and quickly get to checking the married box again and I am just not ready and neither are my children – Bigs or Littles.