It just so happens that shortly after I filed for divorce this past summer a fierce storm hit Natchitoches. While our street had been spared many times in the past, this time was different. The kids and I were home alone. Nestled in our laundry room with a flashlight we said a few prayers. Based on the loud noises and our house vibrating we were certain extensive damage awaited us once we exited the safety of this interior room.
Once we thought the storm has passed we walked outside to see if anything was left. There were massive trees and power lines down and, since it was after dark, the exact devastation was hard to calculate. One thing we noticed was the chain saws mixing with intense thunder and lightning in the background.
My 22-year-old pear trees had fallen on the roof and my daughter’s car. We couldn’t get past the porch because of the debris. Four neighbors showed up to ask if we were okay and if I wanted them to start removing the trees. My insurance agent mind took over. I needed photos for the potential claim before we removed anything.
Then my over protective genes took over. I said it may not be prudent to run chainsaws while it’s lightning.
The next morning I had countless friends and neighbors who showed up with chainsaws, blowers, and mostly importantly, a servants heart to help clean up the destruction. Within a few hours the trees were removed. My daughter’s car had minimal damage so the dream of a new sports car quickly faded away. Once we finished my house we continued down the street offering assistance.
The storm was a wonderful distraction that kept me from dealing with the wounds of a fresh divorce.
I spent rest of the summer going through the motions of trying to be a normal person. Whatever “normal” meant. A lot of my time was devoted to making sure my daughters were less devastated about the divorce than I was. I also spent lots of time with my friends and family. They all made me feel loved and listened to. But I was still hurting, and hiding it.
It was the longest summer of my life.
Once early fall hit I vaguely remembered a longtime friend posting a link to her church’s website. I went online to see if they offered divorce counseling. I didn’t see anything on the website so I messaged my friend. She quickly told me where to find the information and mentioned she had attended some of their other life care classes and really benefited from them.
It just so happens, they had a divorce class starting within the next two weeks. When I attended my first class I was extremely nervous. I prayed before I went and asked God to open my heart because it was badly wounded and scarred. I wasn’t sure anything could reach me. At the meeting, we introduced ourselves to the group. As luck would have it I was the first one in line. I bravely said my name and how long I was married and then, out of no where, the tears came and they wouldn’t stop. It was as if my soul had finally made peace and I knew I was about to take a journey of healing and restoration.
I met weekly for eight weeks with the most amazing group of women from very different backgrounds and in different stages of healing. Some were married over 30 years, some were thinking of filing for divorce, some were abused mentally and verbally and some were divorced for a long time and just now dealing with the emotional trauma.
During this class we had a bible study that was tailored for divorcees. We had “share time” and at first I found it very hard to really share the depths of my hurt, as did the other ladies. Week after week we became more honest and open and this was when the true healing began. I can honestly say that this class made me a better person. It made me a more forgiving person and a better mother during the darkest time of my life.
It just so happens, I experienced lots of storms during the summer of 2017 but God met each and every one of them with hope, help, healing and faith for a brighter future.
God also opened my eyes to realize there are no “Just So Happens.” God happens. God is continuously orchestrating our lives to make beauty out of our ashes.
Psalm 27:4-5 One thing I ask from the Lord, this only do I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord and to seek his temple. For the day of trouble he will keep me safe in his dwelling; he will hide me in the shelter of his sacred tent and set me high upon a rock.