Thirty, Flirty, & Thriving {Divorce, Special Needs Parenting, and Other Hard Stuff}

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I used to write. And now I don’t. Lately, I’ve been thinking that might need to change. You see, I’ve always been of a mind that there isn’t much point in going through hard things and learning hard lessons if we aren’t able to share those lessons….not that I am the greatest of teachers, but, if, even only one person is able to glean a bit of encouragement, or hope, or learn something the easier way (like from my mistakes) then it’s worth the risk of vulnerability that comes with sharing your soul via writing. So here I am, again, and I’m going to start in the middle, where all good stories begin.

You know that scene from the movie 13 Going on 30? The one where the sweet thirteen year old girl desperately  wishes to be “Thirty, flirty, and thriving,” and then it turns out thirty isn’t so flirty and there isn’t so much thriving as she had hoped? Well that about describes 30 for me.

Life came crashing down all in a single moment as I received news that would eventually end my first marriage. Rewind a bit to failed adoptive placement and a miscarriage, fast forward a bit to an Asperger’s diagnosis of one child and an “unknown delays” diagnosis of another and you have my “thirty, flirty, and thriving.” Not exactly how I planned things. I’m pretty sure that’s how it’s gone for most of us….not exactly how we’d planned. When we were young and fresh I don’t think any of us planned to be the person who lost a child, or couldn’t conceive in the first place, lost a spouse or ended up divorced, became disabled or had a disabled child, lived through cancer or didn’t live through cancer. Looking around now I see so many hard things we’ve all lived through, hard, hard, things.

The thing I’ve learned is that God is all about redemption. And redemption doesn’t really look the way I thought it did. I thought it was neat and tidy, instant and complete. But it’s not, at least not yet. Redemption is messy and painful. It is the slow stitching back together of a painful wound, that, in this life still carries a scar. Wounds heal slowly. Scars sometimes still hurt long after they first appear. Some painful things are here to stay. But I believe with all my everything that He makes beautiful things. He breathes life into death and makes something new out of what is broken and bleeding. And I’m holding onto the hope, for me, and for you, that He’s not finished with us yet.

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