Wednesday, February 29, 2012
Leap of Faith
This blog is dying a slow death. But since today is February 29th (leap day!) it made me think about my gigantic leap of faith. I don't want this blog to be a divorce blog but I hope you will indulge me one more time.
When my marriage hit the rocks 18 months ago, I didn't want to give up. Divorce was never in my plans and never even seemed like an option to me. I thought Sam and I would be together forever, literally. But things change and I have learned that we are only in control of our own life, as much as we would like to control other people. As time went on, I began to realize that things were not getting better.
Sam and I were going to marriage counseling every week but somehow, in the very deep part of my heart, I knew this marriage wasn't going to work. And it killed me. I couldn't even look at my kids without crying because I knew how it was going to blow their world apart. As a mother, you want to do everything in your power to protect your kids from sadness, disappointment, and heartache. So, it was heartbreaking for me to know that I was going to be the one causing that for them...or if not causing it, I was not going to be able to protect them from it.
Fast Forward a bit to somewhere last fall. Sam had moved out and I was doing my best to be a good mom, keep up with my church callings, my friends, my workouts, the laundry and everything else. I remember climbing into bed one night and feeling defeated. I honestly just couldn't see how my life was ever going to be good again. I knew, at a minimum, it was never going to be the same. I remember saying out loud "I feel hopeless." I picked up my scriptures and opened to where my bookmark was in Moroni, chapter 7. I was at the end of the Book of Mormon and I came across this verse:
"And again, my beloved brethren, I would speak unto you concerning hope. How is it that you can attain unto faith, save ye shall have hope?
And what is it that ye shall hope for? Behold, I say unto you that ye shall have hope through the atonement of Christ and the power of his resurrection, to be raised unto life eternal, and this because of your faith in him according to the promise.
Wherefore, if a man have faith he must needs have hope; for without faith there cannot be any hope."
To me, this was an undeniable miracle. Here was the Lord telling me to have hope in the very moment I needed to hear it. If I claimed to have faith, how could I not have hope? Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and the Atonement gives us ultimate hope. I fell asleep feeling peaceful and hopeful for my future.
Not long after that, I knew that it was time to get divorced. Divorce is not a decision that anyone makes lightly. But one day, I just knew. I knew I didn't want to wake up every day wondering if my marriage was bad enough to do something about. I knew divorce was the right decision for me and Sam and our children. But I was scared..terrified really. Here I was, 34 years old, and I had never paid a bill, never done our finances, never shoveled the walk. I have a law degree but I haven't worked in 8 years. I was worried about how I was going to make it financially. I was also terrified to be ultimately alone in the world. When you are married, you are a team; you win together and you lose together. And from now on, it would just be me. Not to mention, I was worried about being responsible for four kids who needed me for spiritual guidance and to be the leader in our home. It was, and is, an awesome responsibility.
But that is where faith comes in. I have been promised that there are brighter days ahead in my future. I know the Lord has big plans for me. I know he will take care of me and my kids and make up the difference where I fall short. I knew I had to take a leap of faith into the dark but there is light on the other side. That's not to say I don't have bad days. And to be completely honest, I have moments where I miss Sam. I miss the life we had. But you know what? Things are good. I am happy. My kids are happy. I am hopeful. Life goes on. Divorce is an end to a marriage but it doesn't have to be "the end." For me, it feels like a new beginning to the rest of my life. So it is appropriate that 2012 is Leap Year...It is my year!