I’m a different person than I was two days ago. I’m a different person than I was February 26th, 2018. Im a different person than I was on April 23rd, 2017. I’m a different person than I was on May 5th, 2016. I’m a different person than I was on November 2nd, 2013. I’m a different person than I was September 7th, 2011. I’m a different person than I was 20 years ago.
This past May I turned 36, some days a few minutes, hours or days seems like an eternity. Other times 20 years seems like a blink of an eye. Those dates above most likely don’t mean anything to most people who will read this except one other person. So let me fill you in.
About 20 years ago I met the woman who would eventually become my wife 15 years later. At that time we had mutal friends and would occasionally hang out. Over the years we had a few awkward unofficial dates. Over 10 years after we first met we started officially dating. A little less than 5 years ago we got married. Along the way we had two amazing kids together.
By the end of 2016 things had made a turn for the worse, we had went from loving couple to two people sharing a house that could barely stand each other. Now we both had our faults and I won’t air all the dirty laundry and personal issues, but by the end of April 2017 we could no longer live together. At that time I moved back in with my parents. My wife and I weren’t on good terms, but we did make our children a priority and while they were sure to feel the effects we did what we could to soften the blow.
At the end of February 2018 I lost my job. I have battled depression off and on my entire adult life, by this time I was drowning in it. It’s a battle I still face daily. With the masks we all wear most people will never notice. As I write this my divorce was finalized less than 48 hours ago and my last unemployment check will be coming this week and like the past 15 months I’ll be sleeping on a futon at my parents house.
This blog isn’t meant to be a pity party or to try and say my problems are bigger than anyone else’s. It’s actually about a much bigger issue of what do you do once you have diagnosed the problem. Do you feed it or resolve it? Do you go it alone or do you have back up? I’m not talking about calling your buddies and looking for a fight. I’m talking about Psalm 121.
Where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord. If it wasn’t for my faith I’d be an even bigger mess than I already am. As tough as this situation has been on me I know it has been hard on my soon to be 7 year old son, but I’m glad to see that he’s picking up on lessons it took me decades to learn. As I tucked him in at bedtime he started crying. He said he was scared of night time and the dark. As adults our usual reaction is to tell kids that there is nothing to be afraid of. In hindsight we aren’t seeing things from their persepective as we are often afraid of things we can’t see or have no control of even as adults. It’s his response when I asked him what would help him be less afraid that got me. “Daddy, we should pray. We haven’t prayed in awhile.”
I used to pray with him the same simple prayer every night, but somewhere along the way it fell off the bedtime routine. Something we often take for granted he noticed and still knew what to do in his time of need. A lot has changed in 18 months, and I can admit I don’t always remember to read my Bible every day. When I’m faced with a huge problem sometimes my first instinct isn’t to pray, but when I put my trust in Him it takes weight off my shoulders.
In the time since I moved out of the house I shared with my wife, until the day of the divorce me and my now ex-wife didn’t always get along and there may be times in the future where we don’t either. We both realized though that just because we can’t be in a relationship with each other doesn’t mean we have to hate each other. Especially with children involved the better we get along the easier it is for them .
Both of my children love the water. So from Memorial Day to Labor Day we can usually be found at the lake at least once a week. Often on these trips my ex-wife would come with us. These trips and other family adventures have been somewhat common, but often when I tell people they look at me like I have three heads. It’s like some people think that the only time we would interact is when we were picking up or dropping off the kids. I understand that some people have that type of relationship with their ex and have their reasons.
For me I think it’s good for the kids to not only see us get along but also get to spend time with us together. It also helps us as individuals move on with our lives as the grudges and drama aren’t weighing us down with everything else.
As I move on down the path that lies ahead I look past the divorce papers, beyond that last unemployment check only a few days away. I know where my help comes from.