I have been reading Brene Brown, Courtney Martin, and a few others about how we only share our stories of failure, disappointment, and pain once we have “overcome” them or found the “silver linings”. We only tell our stories once we know the ending and miss out on sharing the vital growth and benefit we experience while living through our difficult times. So I am sharing this today even though it is still very much a story in process. I am still a story in process.
I woke up this morning and I am legally single again. Just like that. For the first time since July 3, 2010. A judge put a date on a paper and chose the day that my identity changes and that’s today. It’s surreal.
I still legally have my married name though. Until I go through the same process I took to get my married name – County Office, Social Security Office, DMV, U.S. Department of State, Banks, Airlines, etc. That’s surreal too. Somehow our (his and mine) lives and families are still intrinsically entwined together and yet also could not be any more separate at the same time.
When I went to sleep on July 3, 2010, I thought I would never be single again. And even though neither of us died, today still feels like grieving a death. A death I knew was coming and have already been grieving for almost two years but a death nonetheless. And I wish that there were a marriage funeral because I need ceremonies to mark significant changes. Especially changes in being and identity. Not just waking up on a randomly assigned day.
Another surreal thing: six years ago yesterday we got engaged. A proposal and a decision that were the furthest thing from random. Six years ago, I said yes to a whole life with him. Somehow an entire life and not enough life in those six years. Six years that feel so short and so long at the same time.
Tomorrow is the first day of Advent which marks the beginning of a new church calendar. A new year and cycle of sacred days and celebrations. The beginning of a season of waiting for and celebrating God with us. Hope. Peace. Love. Joy. The here with us and the yet to come. The already and the not yet.
Two years ago our separation coincided with the beginning of Lent. A season of recognizing the frailty of man, mourning sin and pain and brokenness, intentionally partaking in suffering, and trusting God for new life and abundant grace and mercy. My experience of Lent will never be the same after that year of confronting my own frailty and brokenness in a deeply profound way.
I am deeply symbolic person so I believe that everything means something. But I do not know what all this means. So many beginnings and endings in such a short time. So much grief and joy all crammed in together. Yet I am at peace with not knowing. In the midst of grief, I know deep peace. Instead of worrying, I am waiting.
Waiting for Emmanuel. Like we all have been. Like we all are. Just waiting for God to show up.