A year ago about now, I received a phone call that made me do a happy dance, then made me sob. Today, a year ago, a judge declared me a single, unmarried woman. At the time then, I was so thankful the divorce stuff was finally over and I could really start getting into a rhythm. It's so funny, because a year ago, I would have thought I would've been miserable still now. While I do get frustrated, I am not miserable.
Last night, as I was laying in bed, I was thinking about what was on my list of stuff to do today, knowing full well that I might be emotional, or sad or something. I decided I would do whatever made the girls and I happy and just wing it. So, after a much easier morning, I decided to run. Run long, run hard, run fast. And then... It was like someone somewhere was telling me I wasn't allowed to run. First, the stroller had a spider living in it. Not a big deal, but yuck. It took a few extra minutes to clean out the web. And, I've used it recently. We drop Sara off at school, and head out. Second, the girls wanted nothing to do with running. They wanted to go home. They didn't like their shoes. I forgot their chocolate milk. One pack of fruit snacks between two sisters, and neither was happy.
I never experience this much sadness at the start of a run. I usually have two little girls cheering for me to run fast. I told myself to run a 1/4 mile and see what they would do. I ran a killer mile and a half. The first mile was less than 10 minutes, I was at the turn around point in about 5-6 minutes after that. When I started to turn around, they both complained! They weren't ready to head back to the car, and honestly, neither was I. As I was running, I felt such peace and freedom. I could hear the birds singing, the leaves crunching underneath my feet, and the girls giggling about the squirrels that kept darting out in front of me. It was cool (notice the sweatshirts??) and seriously felt like fall. The colors and just beauty out there today just blew me away. I ran to the top of the greenway (I do think that monster hill is definitely worse than the first monster hill, too!) and then the girls put their hands up all the way down the hill. They thought it was a rollercoaster. It was fun. They were laughing. We finished 3.9 miles in 46 minutes. And, I was pleased with that. Those kiddos are heavy! :)
I let the girls out of the stroller while I stretched. They love to climb the tree that is at the trailhead. I was just getting ready to pack it all up when a couple stopped me. The woman had a funny look on her face, and I knew I was gonna get chewed out for letting them in the tree. I could just feel it. And, ever so thankful when it didn't happen. The man chuckled and told me if he had to run pushing a stroller, he wouldn't run. He told me they had seen me running with the girls several times, and were always so motivated by me. They didn't understand how I did it, either. It made me feel so good. I motivated someone. And, all I was doing was running.
A year ago right now, I rarely got out of my pajamas, unless I had to go to work or church. Yeah, it might sound nice, but really, it wasn't. I never slept. And, I seriously mean never. If I got 3-4 hours a night total, I would have been happy. I was miserable, I hated being alone, I hated the fighting, the anger, the constant flow of tears. I was so angry that God hadn't done what I thought he promised for me. Words don't do my state of mind then justice. I honestly don't even know how I survived. It was a battle I would wish on no one. I was terrified of men, doesn't matter who he was, I didn't like him and would seriously avoid any talking to them at all. To put it nicely, I could probably say I hated the entire gender. And, back when I was praying for this miracle of healing and restoration, I never even thought the healing and restoration would take place in me, instead of my marriage.
Even though the last week has been one of the hardest I have had in a while, I am so much better than I was. Someone told me it would take a year for me to really feel good about life again. I remember that comment feeling so defeating. I didn't feel strong or empowered, it made me feel weak. I sit here this afternoon thinking about some pretty amazing things. First, I have friends who love me and accept me for who I am, and know most of what I have been through. No judgement, just friendship. They lifted me up when I couldn't go any farther. Second, I am learning men aren't something to be hated or feared. There are a lot of good guys out there. I am learning to be aware, but not fearful. And, I am thankful that I am learning accepting help isn't a weakness. It is hard and humbling, but sometimes, it is okay.
I am just totally blown away when I think about it for too long. More than anything, I am really thankful that I have had the experience. Without it, I wouldn't be in the place I am now, my relationship with God wouldn't be anything like it is right now, and I am figuring out who I really am and what I can accomplish. I have learned so much about myself, my life, the kids and a lot about a person's real character. It's not been an easy year, but it has definitely been a positively life-changing one!
I really want to thank those of you who have helped me this year. I know I didn't allow many in, but if you were there for me in any way, I can't thank you enough. I am not where I want to be, but I have a great start. Not really sure what is coming my way, but I am really excited and ready to move forward. God is so so good!