Confessions of a Superhero

Confessions of a Super Hero

Other possible titles:

If I tell you what I really think, will you call me a bitter divorcé ?

Words you write when you are out of Xanax.

There is not enough Botox in the world to hide the fact that I feel tired and old.

Misguided Musings of a 30 something single mom.

 

In just two years I’ve become a real life super hero, this is my story:

We don’t have to talk, we are not friends”.

That was all I could manage to say. That was the last thing that I said. I didn’t look at him again. I didn’t look at her either. I just rolled up my window and drove away. I don’t know where they went. Maybe to celebrate his new found freedom, or to revel in the fact that they had won some great prize in an out of court settlement that included very little time with the kids and even less financial support. I don’t know where they went, and does it really matter? He had made his choice and I would make mine. And so I closed the door on ten years of my life.

Ten years of hopes and dreams.

Ten years of joy and laughter.

Ten years of fighting and strife.

Of contention and hurt and more heartache then our marriage was capable of withstanding.

I closed the door behind me and stared out into a world full of terrifying possibilities, armed with only the tiniest glimmer of hope that somehow, in the end, all the wrongs would be made right.

“In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

John 16:33

 

It’s important to note that by this time I had been a single mom for over a year. Gone were the nights of holding my children as they cried themselves to bed and then slipping into my own bed to do the same. Gone was the fear and worry that my former “stay at home mom” status would prevent me from ever getting a good job, or a good job that I liked. Gone was the fear that I would never be wanted, and that what I could offer would never be enough. And the loneliness that once threatened to rob me of all future joy; was more of a dull ache only noticeable when I focused on it, and I never did.

 

At this point in my life I tried to date. I use that word “try”, about as loosely as you can use any word, because in hindsight, I did not “try” at all. I got out of these “relationships” exactly what I put into them, basically nothing. To be fair, I’m not sure I was ever good at dating… I mean, I was married at 21 so that leaves only my high school boyfriends to chime in… but please don’t because that would be insanely uncomfortable.

The point is this; it is extremely awkward for Christians to date after a divorce. Call me a hopeless romantic, but still hard to forget how, “the one” turned out. And while I totally agree there are a lot of someone betters out there for me, I am plagued with the reality that there is also someone worse, and that guy makes being single seem pretty stinking wonderful. And so, I am content to wait. On time, healing, confidence, hundreds of cats to take over my home and drive me out into the street where I am forced to make new friends, God, anything… I am just waiting. And trusting that when it is right, I’ll know.

Things that steal my joy:

Not having enough time with my kids.

Watching them miss their dad.

Knowing that my chances of marrying Bradley Cooper are basically non-existent.

Seeing them disappointed.

Knowing that even at my best, I will never be both a mother and a father.

Seeing them disappointed again.

Being so tired my body aches.

Seeing them disappointed again and again and again.

Commuting 2 hours a day and then coming home and feeling like a zombie.

The road map of wrinkles that line my forehead.

Things that bring me joy:

Being able to provide for my kids.

Daydreaming about sharing a front porch and a double rocking chair with Bradley Cooper.

A community of friends and family who held my arms up when I was too weak to walk.

Disco dance parties in my daughter’s room.

The way my son looks at me with such gratitude and pride when I come home from work.

All of the things that make up Elly’s world.

All of the things that make up Nicky’s world.

Knowing that I am building a legacy in them, and they will always be my proudest accomplishment.

Interesting work.

Cute clothes.

Knowing that I am not alone, and that I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

Feeling loved every day.

Having a front row seat in the lives of two really cool little humans.

Remembering that this is only one chapter and that the rest has already been written and is just waiting to be read.

 

In truth, some days are awesome and other days suck. I can appreciate that I am not a conventional superhero. An argument can be made that there is nothing super or heroic about me… get behind me Satan.

Although it may be fair to say there is nothing spectacular or even particularly interesting about my life right now. I’m trying to do the best with the cards in my hand, like all of the other amazing parents I know. Still, there are seasons of motherhood that seem more trying than others. This has been mine. And so, you will forgive my bold self-proclaimed superhero status, and just remember sometimes I need to be reminded that I am more than a conqueror.

“No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.”

Romans 8:37

Love,

Shaena

PS,

This blog is for moms like me. Your lives are not perfect, but you wake up every day and you do the best with what you have been given. You are beautiful and your story matters.

 

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So… what now?

My darling friends,

By now, most of you know that my husband and I are divorcing. For some of you, this news is a huge disappointment. My heart hurts for you. I assure you, in many respects there is no one more disappointed than me.

Divorce is vicious, and ugly, and painful, and super sad. Like… SUPER sad. Honestly, I have worn my sweet friends and family ragged with tears over the past 6 months. My friends are rock stars at letting me go crazy and loving me through each outburst. (Seriously, if you don’t have friends like that, do whatever you can to find some… better still, BE THAT FRIEND). Also, my parents are super hero’s…so there is that.

But, that is not why I’m writing. I’m writing because of a question I’ve been asked several times. More like several hundred thousand times. A question that swirls around in my head and my heart like thick smoke making me dizzy with heartache. It’s a question I honestly don’t know how to answer.

“So… what are you going to do now?”

In short, I have no fricken clue!!!

The long answer is this; I am going to hope.

I’m going to hope and I am going to believe in the things unseen just like I always have.

I’m going to trip and fall and learn new things. Things that I might not otherwise know.

I am going to proceed with caution, guarding my heart, and watching where I walk. (There is all kinds of sh** out there ya’ll… it’s good to watch your step.)

I’m going to watch my head for signs of bitterness and pray my heart stays supple.

I’m going to ask for a miracle that allows me to grow strong without growing hard.

To exude confidence without arrogance.

To be satisfied but never complacent.

To give and receive grace often and without expectation.

Hope.

This world is messy, and complicated, and frustrating as hell. So, while I am going to allow myself time to be angry about how unfair life is, I am going to put a timer on that crap. (Like, a literal timer. 15 minutes max). Seriously, those kinds of thoughts will poison your heart faster than a McDonalds diet.

Instead of allowing negativity to consume me: I’m going to love people. Better than I ever have.

I’m going to love my two babies. Maybe I’ll squeeze them a little tighter or rock them a little longer.

I’m going to teach them about faith, and family, and failure, and hope.

I’m going to pray. I’m going to rest. And I am going to give thanks for every new day.

And I might blog about it every now and then. ;0)

This life is a bit of a mixed bag, but there is so much sweet, so much joy, so much silliness, and so much hope.

To my sweet friends. Thank you for your letters, phone calls, texts, gifts. They kindled a flame that gave hope of a future fire. You are world changers and I love you. Xoxo, S

Irreconcilable Differences

A good marriage is the union of two forgivers.

Ruth Graham

Irreconcilable Differences

Few would admit that they love a good fight. To suggest otherwise would make me seem crazy.

But statistics prove we either love to fight, or we are just too lazy to forgive.

Our unwillingness to do the work in our relationships, made famous by a little check mark next to a box that reads, irreconcilable differences.

If we were honest we’d admit the truth behind the irreconcilable mind is that we’d rather fight than forgive.

See, forgiveness is hard, but divorce… that’s a whole other story. You don’t even have to share my beliefs to agree that divorce is too easy; just check here and you’ll be free.

So instead of forgiving, we continue to fight and we start to think, “maybe next time we’ll get it right”.

And when the fighting reaches it’s ceiling, and the walls come crashing in on this whole “marriage thing”, we just shake our heads and sigh, “I guess he wasn’t the one for me”, and mark an x next to a tiny box on a page that reads, irreconcilable differences.

Irreconcilable differences, quit lying to me!! Get your hands off my marriage! Come, and see what I see.

I see a man on a cross, beaten and bleeding. To cover the very thing that made me think of leaving.

He say’s my marriage is worth it, and He’s not lying, so that divorce you are selling, you can keep it, I’m not buying.

I know true freedom isn’t found through sever. No, the kind of freedom I want, is only realized in surrender.

So I chose to lose more fights than I’ll win, and forgive often and freely; to let love, peace, and hope back in.

Because Truth, given a chance, will correct and restore. And will reconcile to Him all our differences from before. So maybe, one day, we won’t need that check box anymore.

Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. Ephesians 4:32

This is not the blog I originally set out to write. The blog I wanted to write fit nicely into 3 points that would be easy for you to remember and hard for you to ignore. Tools for your ever-growing toolbox, complete with poor attempts at humor. I planned to write that blog…and someday I might. Instead, however, I just want to beg you to make today freedom Sunday, and fight to forgive the people who’ve hurt you.

In no way am I suggesting forgiveness is easy, but I will say this:

God gives freedom through forgiveness unlike anything I’ve known, and there is enough grace to cover a whole multitude of wrongdoing. If you are struggling to forgive, I’m praying today is the day that you break free! Let God change your heart, and you can change the world.

If you’re not struggling to forgive this morning, would you join me in praying for marriages and relationships that have allowed difference to divide and sin to separate. Would you pray that they would know the freedom found in Jesus’ forgiveness, and be willing to extend that same love in response.

I’m praying for marriages this week. That they would be radical reflections of Jesus’ unending love for you and me.

PS… I’ve missed you

The Marriage Race

A high profile divorce made headlines again yesterday, and I prayed for you. I prayed for you and for me, for anyone who is or will be married in this generation or the next. I prayed for the future of marriage in general because sometimes it seems like the gates of hell are set against it.

The gates of hell, will not prevail. Matt 16:18

So I prayed for us, and then I wrote this blog.

A marathon is a long race. I’ve never run one. The closest I’ve come to a marathon is a 5k and it nearly killed me, but the two races share a common goal, just keep running, and finish the race. Even if it hurts, even if you are tired, just run.

When I ran my first 5k, my friend Janae ran the entire thing with me. You should know, she could have ran circles around me, but chose instead to serve as my own personal cheerleader. It was 19 degrees and there were many times I wanted to quit. But each time, there was Janae, smiling next to me encouraging me to just keep running. Her boundless energy drove me to insanity, but I knew she wasn’t going to let me quit. I venture to say had I tried to quit, Janae may have thrown me over her shoulder and carried me to the finish line. By the end of that race, I was running better than at the beginning, and all I really remember about it was how great it felt to finish, and how thankful I was Janae hadn’t let me give up.

During the race there were moments of joy and excitement, but it was at the finish line when I realized it had all been worth it, that I received my reward.

Marriage is like that. A race. For some a marathon, for others a 5k, only God knows the distance you’ll have to run but the principle remains the same.

Just keep running.

The reward of marriage isn’t realized instantly, although there are so many moments of great joy, the reward comes when we realize it is worth it… all of it. We cheat our spouse and ourselves when we lose sight of the reward and drop out of the race.

Just keep running.

Run past the hurdles. Few go into marriage blind, assuming there won’t be any trials, they assume instead they will be strong enough to jump over them… most are wrong. Truth is, we aren’t that strong. On our own, our flesh is the only strength we have, and like it or not, our flesh hates marriage.

Don’t be fooled, your flesh can’t love your spouse; it can only love the way your spouse makes you feel. Your flesh is dangerously narcissistic. Once that feeling of love is gone or challenged, a heart ruled by the flesh is ready to quit the race.

Just keep running.

Greater is He that is in you, than he that is in the world. You have everything you need to push through life’s hurdles. Submit to the spirit in you and let Him fight for your marriage.

Just keep running.

Submitting to the Spirit might mean lightening your load (Heb 12:1), getting rid of anything that threatens your race. Look, the message of this world is this, “if it doesn’t work you can always get divorced and there won’t be any consequences”, drop out, quit the race. This message weighs down any marriage! Each time a trial comes, you’ll find yourself wondering if this is your marriage not working or thinking it might be time to bail. Have you heard that message? It’s everywhere. If it’s in you, ask God to clean it out, and run.

Just keep running until you finish the race.

How long is the race? Until death separates you. That’s what you promised. That’s what you agreed to when you said I do, on that day when forever didn’t seem long enough.

You don’t have to run alone.

There is a friend that sticks closer than a brother. He will never leave you or forsake you. He knows each tear you’ve cried. He is your ever-present help in times of trouble. He will bind any brokenness, and carry your burdens. His name is Jesus, and He knows your name too. Hold Him close to your heart, and He whispers in your ear, “keep running. I am your reward”.

I haven’t finished this race; I’m only eight years in. But I am still running. When hurdles pop up… and they always do… and when sin weighs me down, and it sometimes does, by God’s grace and strength I choose to keep running. Every time I have a chance to quit and choose to run instead, I grow stronger; we grow stronger, faster, better. There is great reward in being faithful.

Just keep running.

I don’t know what kind of hurdles you will face, and maybe it seems overly simplistic for some scenarios. But ask anyone who’s finished and they will tell you it is worth it in the end. God won’t give up on your marriage, and He is willing to carry you across that finish line, if you need Him to. However you make it across, He is cheering for you every step.

Believing God for radical marriages that change the world. Praying for you this week.

You can read how death saved my marriage here.