Yesterday was my anniversary. It would have been thirteen years.
In the early summer of 2016, my Wife had enough of being miserable and that was the end of it. While we made it to ten years, it was just a formality at that point, while we waited for the divorce process to complete. Talking about my marriage isn’t something I do too often here, because it’s a dark cloud in the distant sky, despite the sun shining right now.
Right now, you couldn’t tell, but when my divorce was happening and the year or so after, I didn’t see light at the end of the tunnel. I lost hope. I lost faith. I gave up.
It wasn’t until things began to shift when it came to the kids, that I started re-gaining that hope and faith. As time went on, the kids needed their Dad more and more.
Before you ask how I could not simply just be there for them as much as possible as it was, I ask you to look at life for me at that time. Before the divorce, I was already withdrawing from my family. The end of my family was coming and I was powerless in my own depression to do anything. Of course, what I didn’t know was it wouldn’t matter if I did do anything, the end was already there.
If I didn’t hit bottom, God wouldn’t have used my situation to make me the Dad I needed to be today. No doubt in that statement. In a time where I questioned and cursed God, mocked His words and planned my own suicide, God was using these moments to strengthen me. Not the man I was then, but the man I was going to be at the end of that season.
If it weren’t for what I went through, the realism of how bad of a Husband I was, and how poor of a Father I was, I wouldn’t be where I am now. I wouldn’t be this man who can handle so much more than I ever could before, despite there being only one parent at home.
It took a little over nine years for my Wife and I to realize that neither had hope anymore. It was at that moment where I began the journey I am on today, and that is putting these kids first.
It’s hard being a single parent, especially when working from home. The personal sacrifice that comes with the role is beyond what many can imagine. At any time during my marriage, if you said to me I’d be in this situation in the future, I would have laughed, then panicked. That wasn’t me back then. I was impatient, selfish and many other words I’ll not go into.
I remember before I moved, my Wife and most of the kids’ stuff was already gone. It was the first night the kids were not home, they were with her. I opted to eat pizza, turn the TV on and get lost in my thoughts. I can remember getting up and going into the kids’ room to check on them and it hit me; I screwed up my life and my family’s life, and now I don’t have the options to go see my kids’ faces anytime I want.
I’m ranting. What I am trying to say is, without my divorce, I wouldn’t have found God’s strength through my weakness. I wouldn’t have found joy through my sadness. I wouldn’t have found out what it meant to be an involved Dad through my worldly instincts to pull away.
No matter what you are going through, there is hope. There is a light. Even if you don’t see it. I didn’t see it and almost took my own life in that dark time. Keep walking. God’s light is there, and He has amazing things for your life.