The roar of cheers in a stadium, to the shrill scream of fear, the deep manly husk, to the carefree belly laugh. We are surrounded by noise, and stunned by silence. An orchestra of sound clangs in our waking ears and whispers in our sleeping moments.
We are always searching for more. Something new. Something better. Something to replace the old with louder, more intense beats. We are never satisfied with silence, never content to stop, to be still. We are always reaching, clambering, fighting, begging for more. More money, more fulfilment, more love, more sex, more career advancement, more, more, more… We get caught up in the world, in the season of children, sports, taxi driving, bills, church, community events. We fill our lives with ‘us’, with others. We pressure ourselves, and put unrealistic expectations on others. We stuff our feelings away with the busy, the hectic, the noise, and somehow take pride in it. We live for tomorrow, instead of enjoying today’s moments. We are never satisfied because tomorrow never arrives. So we continue the clang. We strive to be heard above the roar of the city streets, and noticed amongst the rush of the subway.
Have we all forgotten the sound of silence? Have we forgotten the sound of the soul? So many of us are searching for ourselves amongst the noise, but if we stop would we find ourselves in the melody of silence?
Perhaps it’s time we hushed the noise. Perhaps its time we took minutes to listen to the sound of our heart. To listen to the tiny whispers inside us instead of the continued gongs that dominate our lives.
What if we found release? What if we found we all had a happy spot deep down inside of us that we have forgotten? What if we found the cause of the emptiness we feel? What if we found answers? What if we found purpose? Motivation? Understanding? Joy?
What if we found peace?
What if we found our hands lovingly dancing over the piano of our lives? What if we see dark notes interspersed with the light ones, and realize they create a beauty, a melody, a fragrance. What if we realized beauty is not found in flash cars, and nice houses, but beauty is found in friendships and love? What if we watched fingers caress the darkness, and break out into sunshine? What if we allowed ourselves to be swept up in the magic of melody and drenched in the sound of silence?
What if we all took a moment and changed the repeating clang in our head to a tune that captivates our soul?
This world is an orchestra of sound, and largely we get choose the melody we dance to. What tune are you going to dance to today?
The autumn leaves fall gently to the ground… The beauty gone, the branches raw and bare. Stripped back, empty, forlorn. To the naked eye it holds little appeal, & just the same…….
The rooms are barren and bare. The door shuts. One final time. The walls that hold 44 yrs of memories, now silent and still. The house that holds a thousand secrets, now barren, now bare… Stripped of the life it once held… Empty, forlorn…..
A home is not merely a structure, but thousands of memories in every way. The foundation of truth, the cornerstone to a child’s heart. A home is not merely a house, but where love meets anger, and kindness meets toughness, where tears find joy, where a family grows together and a place when all else is gone – the memories linger, the lessons are cherished, and those that remain are carried by the love that was shared.
So as the door is closed, one final time…..The walls are silent, the rooms are bare. There remains just two certainties – a house, just like the barren branches, will bloom again come spring…….And family will always be carried in the heart, long after the final curtain is drawn.
So much of the work I have done on myself and for myself over the past three years has been about bringing who I am together. After years of compartmentalising my life, fracturing myself to live up to expectations of those around me, I have been pulling my life together. One life, one me.
As part of that, I want to bring things I have written together. So excuse the post dump…. its all me… just me in one place. The messy, the passionate, the loss, the parts of me over the years that have been silent. It’s a coming together.
I just came across this. I wrote it in Sept 2020. Its good advice. I took my time. I didn’t hurry the process. I’m pleased I didn’t. Disentanglement takes time. The answers did come. My life today is much more than I could have dreamed of or imagined. There is nothing magical about it, yet everything is magical. If you find yourself in here somewhere, don’t be afraid to give yourself the gift of time:
So much has happened since I last posted and I hope to catch up soon. I’m currently in a weird place where the pendulum is swinging both ways.
It can be confusing. Unsettling. Where will I be in a years time? Is this too hard? Will I be single forever? Can my husband and I work things out? If we do, can I ever truly be happy with him?
As one thing falls into place, it seems another changes. Tick. Tick. Tick. The pendulum swings. We get on, we are friends. Tick. Tick. Tick. I can’t do this. I don’t like him. Tick. Tick. This is too hard. Tick. I want what we can do together. Tick. Tick. What does God require of me? Tick. Tick… and on it goes.
I have come to a place that tomorrow doesn’t matter. I only need to have today sorted out, next week sorted. Not next month, or next year. It will sort itself and no amount of worrying about it will change it.
I get to choose. I don’t have to stay with my husband. Is it good for me to stay and better for me to leave? Or is it good for me to leave and better for me to stay?
I don’t have the answers. There is no crystal ball. There is good, there is God and there is also choice. But there is no hurry. I’m not looking for a replacement. I’m not looking for a fling, or some love. I’m taking care of me. Looking after my relationship with God. And the answers will come.
With hubby stuck behind closed borders we can’t see each other. This is a good thing. Space is a good thing. Time to change is a good thing. Time to talk with no expectations is a good thing. There is no rush. If we decide we have nothing to pursue then that is ok. We will be ok. If we go down the road of reconciliation that is also ok. But right now the most precious thing we have is time.
Time to become the best versions of ourselves. Time to explore life alone. Time to reflect and recharge. Time to dig deep and heal hurts.
Nothing will be wasted. The pendulum is swinging, but one day it will be still. We will have our answers. And we will both be ok whatever our future looks like.
Sometimes others want answers of us. But we need to quieten their voices. If we can spend 25 years fighting for a marriage together, then a year or two years apart to decide if we can do another 25 years doesn’t matter.
We have time. Don’t let anyone hurry you. You won’t miss out on anything. You will be pleased for the investment into yourself. You will be pleased you took as long as you needed. Your future will be better for it.
So breathe. Slow down. Take time. Inhale. Exhale. Become at peace within yourself and your joy come. One step at a time is all that is required. So give yourself the gift of time. For you. For your heart. For your soul. For your future.
Go with the pendulum swings until the day your future becomes clear. Don’t be afraid. The answers will come.
It’s been one of those moments, one of those weeks. I have to write it down. On May 16th the hammer fell. I wasn’t there to hear it, but I can picture it. As the judges gavel banged down, it was finished. It was over. 25 years of marriage, 2 years, 2 months of separation, over, done. It was final. Divorce application granted.
To be honest, I was at work. It was just another day. As I checked the courts online 5 minutes after the time of the hearing, the results were in. It was a relief. Done. Dusted. Closure. Until it wasn’t. I then learnt that here in Australia while the judge has signed off, the documents take one month and one day to be processed before the divorce is considered final. I walked that week in deep disappointment. Deep sadness. It was already a long, hard and tiring journey. I just needed it to be done.
Once I accepted that (it took about a week cause I was so focused on it), I realised that it didn’t make a difference. When she hit that gavel down, it was over. In the two weeks since, I have literally become a different person. The period of waiting is done. The new season I have been waiting for and longing for is upon me. These last two weeks it is like a spiritual force has been lifted. A weight has been taken from me. I am no longer tired, I no longer want to stay at home, I no longer want to be silent. I want to LIVE! But not just for me, for God. When I have tried to explain this, some people have told me that it is the freedom that makes me feel like this, or it is the release from the trauma and the closing of the chapter. It may be…. but it is also MORE.
The last two and a half years, and probably before that were like walking through quicksand. Once I made the decision to leave, there was the guilt, the sadness, the numbing pain. There was discouragement, then hope that maybe we could work it out, only to have the hopes dashed again. Then came the spiritual brokenness of being treated like I could be someone’s ‘bit on the side’, the unworthiness of more than one person’s offer of sexual pleasure, of which then they planned on going back home to their partner/wife. There was the search for a job during Covid, the renovating, the days and weeks spent painting, the selling of two houses, the stress of cleaning out everything, splitting funds, trying to find a new home in a booming market, finally the shift, and the time to settle down. It’s a lot. And doing it while you have five children, albeit adults, is still a LOT. I’m thankful for their understanding and support. Even after shifting, the first six weeks, I just wanted to rest. I was tired. I knew a new season was coming, but it didn’t feel like it was here. I just felt done.
But the last two weeks. Its hard to describe. I have had life, and hope. Whereas before I felt alone at church, suddenly I find myself in community there. Where I couldn’t find my place, God has brought not one, but two opportunities and places to serve him – one helping people with their finances, and another helping to lead a small women’s group. I have helped in a food truck feeding the homeless, I have visited friends, and I want to go and I don’t want to stop. I’m no longer surviving life, but I am beyond thriving.
A few nights ago I went to a prayer and worship night at church. My pastor prayed over me and had a word for me. He said that God was making a mosaic out of my life. That where I saw the brokenness, God was crafting it into something beautiful. He said that where I saw the mound of broken pieces, that actually they were already in place, and there were only a few more to go before the mosaic was finished and would be completed. He said to keep my focus on God, not on the rubble, because all that rubble was going to become a thing of beauty. To be honest, I was thinking to myself ‘hmmmm there really isn’t much left, I am feeling very healed’ – until a lady started praying for the men of the church. That they would rise up and be the men God wanted them to be, that they would be devoted to God and Godly husbands etc etc.
At this point I wanted to walk out. I couldn’t pray for them. I just felt my whole body tense up and react to these prayers. I asked God why as others also started praying for the men. I realised it was because I still view men as abusers, controlling, domineering, selfish, liars, and cheaters. It was a deep seated belief. (Like my son says – that is understandable). So in that moment I had to surrender to the idea that actually there was still some healing to be done. But God. Only God. Within two minutes one of the men started praying. He was praying for the same thing. But he said something in his prayer: “God I pray that the strength of men doesn’t come from the creases in their elbows, but by the bend in their knees.” This was and is truly a man of God. He knew that his strength had nothing to do with lifting weights, but everything to do with being on his knees in front of a living God. This was the very man I needed at this moment. He showed me there are men who don’t use their place to hurt, but use it to care. There were men who truly love God and spend their lives trying to honor him. There are men who pursue holiness, who crave righteousness, who want to live in God’s will, and His will only. So, it was a night of revelation and part healing all in one go. Since then I had two ladies who were there come with separate words the received from God over my life. It was so special.
But, back to my point. My days have suddenly changed. Where once I filled them with sleeping or tv, now I am filling them with people. Where once I dragged myself out of bed, now I get up with a sense of anticipation as to what the day might bring. Before I was struggling with studying God’s word and now I am craving it. Before I wondered when my new season would finally begin, and now I’m LIVING IT!
I am wanting to understand more about the spiritual significance of a divorce, but all I can believe is that the moment that hammer hit the wooden block, the old season was finished. The ties that bound me and kept me spiritually trapped were lifted off. I was released. I was free. Not just in body, or emotion, but spiritually free. The significance of the last two weeks, of so many things falling into place, of such a change in me, of the work God is doing in me, of going from what felt like nothing to being ~plonk~ in the middle of a new season. It can only be God.
We think a hammer falling is just a hammer falling. I’m convinced it was as much a spiritual release. It is over. It is done. It is finished. The future awaits and it has never seemed brighter. When the judge wields that hammer down, it truly is the end of the matter.
What is standing in my way right now to becoming the authentic me? Not just the authentic me, but the me I dream of being. Who even is that person? What does she look like, sound like, feel like? There are many things I could write in here. I could say its my life, I’m about to shift house, I’m going through a divorce, I’m tired (a favourite), being overweight blah blah… But the truth is – the biggest obstacle in my life is my mind. Everything seems and feels so hard sometimes. I am very self aware, and with that also comes a lot of thinking about self, often critical thinking which leads to being hard on myself and talking down to myself.
To be honest, often fear and lack of motivation hold me back from being me. Firstly fear – what if people reject me. That hurts my heart. It is easy to say I don’t care, but the truth is that most of us want other people to like us. If I could list a load of roadblocks and then the offset of those perhaps it will change how I look at things… lets give it a go:
Fear – Do things anyway. Be brave. Have courage. Its true that most things we are afraid of don’t eventuate in the way we anticipate – so why not look at life with positive anticipation and walk boldly into the next season.
Motivation – To a point, I am lazy. I am more externally motivated than internally motivated. So lets set some goals. Lets find external motivating factors that will put me on the path to freedom in my life.
Shifiting house – so much of what I want to be or want to do involves this move. This move signifies the end of my marriage. It signifies a new season of moving forward, and that is exciting. The truth is, I won’t change, my motivations won’t change, and my weight won’t miraculously change by shifting house. The shift needs to be in my mind. So why not start with resetting my mind now. Lets start with setting small attainable goals I can build on once I shift home, rather than be disappointed that nothing has changed once I shift homes.
My divorce. I really am so disappointed my my ex-husband. Disappointed that he really hasn’t learnt anything. He still fabricates the truth, he still manipulates people, and he still chases the almighty dollar. I can’t change that. I also can’t change that he didn’t sign the divorce papers even though he promised he would. That too disappoints me. But….. there is no point wallowing in self-pity and the what ifs. I cannot change another person. I can only move the process forward for myself. So to finalise this, to bring closure, instead of waiting and hoping, I need to choose to be the one to bring this to an end. There is a grief in it. A grief I don’t get to grow old with someone. A grief my kids don’t have the perfect family unit, and the grief that life should be different to what it is. By bringing closure, it also symbolises an acceptance of this. Life IS different because of divorce. Life IS tinged with a sadness for now, but it certainly isn’t over.
Lastly, the longest running battle of my life… the biggest obstacle. Honestly, I think I have been on and off diets since I was 14 years old. That’s almost 35 years. The dynamics have changed though. My weight isn’t a roadblock because of what I look like, rather, what I fee like… my energy levels, the high blood pressure, and the chances of more medical complications if I don’t rectify this in the coming months and years. I eat because I am bored. I eat sometimes because I am lonely. I eat because it gives me some sort of satisfaction. But it blocks my future… I can’t play games with the kids because I have no energy, I can’t do anything physical for long because I have no stamina, I am constantly tired. The truth is I deserve better. My body deserves better. My heart and lungs deserve better. To truly love myself means to embrace a healthy lifestyle… to have some discipline, and to feel good by eating less. Truth is I KNOW this ! The times I have eaten less, I definitely feel better in mind and body.
These are the biggest obstacles in my life. They all start in the mind, but end with an action. None of them will be overcome by wishing things to happen. Each and every one requires and action on my behalf. Some require little attention, and some require a lot. The truth is my mind often tells me I can’t do it. Looking back over the past two years I know I can. I have left my husband. I have found a job when there were very few. I have changed jobs to a place everyone thought I was mad to go to – and believed it was the best thing (it actually was!!). I have sold two houses, renovated or co-ordinated renovating requirements before sales. I have saved money, and I have kept my head above water. Sometimes it felt like I was drowning. But I didn’t. Sometimes I was so afraid to do things, but I did them and enjoyed the process. Sometimes I got angry with God while waiting on him, but He would always answer – I could always trust him. And I can trust him again. I can trust him to give me strength when I want to hide away. I can trust him to help me say no when its easier to give in, and I can trust him to help me overcome all these obstacles in my life.
This year I want to conquer all of these! Maybe I won’t be fully there, but at least progress will be made. 2022 is a year for tearing down the obstacles so when I turn 50 in 2023 I can be fully, authentic me. I don’t want to just dream this… I determine to make it a reality. But most of all… I pledge to be kind to myself while on this journey.
Way back (feels like forever ago) in 2019, I remember thinking about all the firsts and lasts that were happening. If I knew that at the end of 2021 I was still in the same house I’m not sure I would have coped. Its a good thing we don’t know the future. Yes, we might know parts of it, but we can’t predict what will transpire – who would have predicted Covid? Who would have predicted lockdowns, being jobless, facing homelessness? Not me, that is for sure.
As 2021 draws to a close, I have had 2 extra Christmases in my home than what I predicted. I don’t have the divorce papers in my hand yet, and I don’t have peace in that space. 2020 was certainly a downward spiral. I was lost, vulnerable, jobless during a pandemic, and at times soulless. My life was deconstructed to the nenth degree. Everything I knew. Marriage, myself, my family, my stability, my relationship with God. It was torn apart. Oh I lay bare so many times…. time where I could hardly face the next day. Days where I was consumed with anger, or sadness, or grief. By the end of 2020, I had every foundation rocked and I escaped bruised, battered and worn.
Walking into 2021 seemed to bring hope. And there was hope. I was wading through quicksand trying to find myself. Trying to align who I was with the actions I was taking. The who I was, who I wanted to be, and who I knew God wanted me to be were at war with each other. Now to be fair… I always gave myself 2-3 years to get myself together. I knew there would be work involved in healing. My goal was always to be healed and on life’s new trajectory by the time I was 50. Well, I have about 380 days to go or thereabouts…. and oh how gracious time is to us!
2021 has brought hope, and light, and a lot of change. From job changes, to housing sales and re-purchases, from marriage to babies… there has been a lot of change in my family. For me, its been like a long held sigh. Not a sigh of despair… but a sigh you relax into. One that at each step you see the ends, you embrace the closure of circumstances. Oh there have been times I have let myself down. Times I have stumbled and fallen. Times I have clung to a life raft… but there have been significant times of healing. Significant times where I could put the past to rest. Times I could forgive myself, where I could allow myself grace. There have been times of hard work, times of confusion, insecurity, trepidation. But most of all…. there has been this sense of moving forward. Not being stuck, but continually moving forward in who I am and in the circumstances.
2021 has seen a job surrounded by beautiful people. Ironically it is back at a place that held a lot of pain for me. I knew that God brought me back to heal those places that bled, and I’m so pleased he did. He has not only healed them, but placed a family around me. a place where friendships are old, but new, a place where people are genuine and lovely. I’m so thankful for that. He has placed me in a team that likes to have fun and is a good place to be. He has gifted me family. Children whose eyes have been opened to their father. Children who will come into bat for me. Children who have spent time renovating, giving me strength, holding me when I cried and encouraging me when I stumbled. Oh I am so thankful to God for wonderful children.
So as 2021 passes… I am thankful to God. For my family, for my job, for taking my hand and leading me through the year, for putting up with my impatience, for guiding my choices, and for healing so many parts of me. Last of all I’m so thankful for finance approval for my new place to live in 2022! What a way to end the year.
As I look forward to 2022, I know there will be times of hardship, there will be times I will be on my knees, but there is so much to look forward to. Firstly, the grandbaby coming in February. How can you not be excited about new life and a wonderful Mum and Dad for baby to be blessed by. I’m excited for moving, and all that comes with it. I’m excited for continued freedom and growth, and healing. I’m excited to go deeper with God, and to free up the space in my brain to soak in his presence, to linger with him.
In looking back, the last two years have been incredibly challenging. But I stand. I stand in God’s grace, in His love, and humbled by his compassion and forgiveness. I stand knowing I am loved by God, but also by family. I stand thankful for beautiful friends who have held my hand on this journey. I stand knowing that I am finding the me who was hidden for all these years. I stand knowing tomorrow will be better than yesterday. I stand knowing that I can move forward with strength and dignity. I stand thankful for my wonderful counsellor who has listened and inspired me to keep going. I stand looking forward, but being thankful for the hardships.
So thank you 2020 and 2021…. if I knew what you held I might have made different choices… but I’m so thankful for the future being somewhat a mystery and for the growth and strength that will come through it.
Happy New Year to everyone out there. May 2022 bring you strength, growth and contentment.