I’m not going to lie. It is difficult to move forward after your spouse of 24 years leaves you. I look back on the first few months now and think, “What the heck was I thinking!? Why did I beg him to come back!?” I’ve now got the perspective of two and a half years removed from him. Life is good. It is different, but is IS good.
Y’all, I allowed him to make me think that I couldn’t live without him. For years he would tell me that if I ever left or we ever divorced, he would take the kids from me. He told me that I couldn’t make it without him. He told me over and over after he left in 2016, “You are going to end up ALL alone.” Guess what? I am not alone! For starters, God never leaves us. Second, I have been blessed with so many amazing friends who have helped me through this trial–old and new friends. God has put amazing ladies in my life who are going through the same things, and none of us is alone! We may have more time by ourselves in our own homes because our husbands left, but we are not alone. My life is full of laughter and joy once again. God is good. All the time.
When I find myself at home alone now, I try to use my time wisely. In the beginning, staying busy helped me occupy my mind so that I wouldn’t fall into despair. I would turn on the Christian radio station (KLOVE has been a blessing!) and work on a project. I found that paint is cheap and can make all of your spaces at home look brand new! It’s amazing what a few coats of paint can to for your home and your outlook on life! I took on one project at a time and have made my surroundings more peaceful and beautiful. What started out as a means to survive is now one of my greatest pleasures. I now LOVE my home and I am building a better life!
I’ve spent a lot of time reading and praying, too. I am a work in progress, just like my house. God uses these hard times in our lives to draw us closer to Him, IF we allow it. I learned to fix things I never thought I would be able to fix myself. God has given me the strength and courage to do these home improvement projects on my own. His grace has kept me going on those days I didn’t think I’d make it through the pain. I cried out to God and He has restored me!
I am doing a good job keeping of up the yard and I have learned to paint like a pro. In fact, a handyman I hired to build the little retaining walls told me he thought I did an excellent job of painting! Yay me! It’s been difficult, but through hard work and prayer, I am finally on the other side. I spent many nights unable to “turn off my brain”. I would toss and turn all night long. As anyone knows, when you lie in bed awake — you start thinking too much and many times, despair creeps in. I found that the physical labor of these small projects made me physically tired and I was able to sleep better at night.
The last two weekends, I have worked on my back deck. Last weekend, I hung the string lights I have wanted to hang for at least 5-6 years. This weekend, I painted a table, the deck door and a few planters. I also painted a few pieces of wood art for my front door and deck. I’m finally back in touch with my crafty side!
If you are dealing with an estranged husband or divorce, I want you to know that it does get better. You WILL find yourself again. God wants His best for you–He will use this time of hardship to help you grow into the person He created you to be. Trust and believe.
At the bottom of the pictures, I have embedded a YouTube video of a song that really helped me through the dark, difficult days- Sound of Surviving. It’s still on my favorite playlist.