There is an age when people blossom and mine was 7 years old. It was a big time in my life. I received my first puppy, I learned to swim, I learned how to ride a bike, and my favorite accomplishment was that I wrote my very first song. It was about the Pilgrims because they fascinated me and I titled it “I Cried Land-A-Ho”. Creative, huh?
I was also aware of something no child should ever know. I was aware of what a heated argument between what my mother and father looked like. Now everyone has their tendencies, but at age 8, I was ready for it to be over. I was ready for the permanent, heart-wrenching word: divorce.
Now without relaying the private matters of family or pointing fingers, something must be said about how divorce changed my view point. First, we must look at some striking childhood facts of mine:
To tell you the order though is an impossible task. They were spread out and sporadic. I said it was for the best and yet being raised by my mother with three other siblings, I longed to have more of my father in my life. I didn’t find peace with missing parts of my childhood until I was about 18. My last two years of high school were filled with crumby decisions, uncertainty, and loneliness.
The night before my 18th birthday though I found myself praying about my future, my future husband, my college, and my career. The prayer was my first genuine heart-to-heart I had with God in years. Almost instantly my outlook and prospects in life began changing. Who I surrounded myself with also had been altered. No longer was I concerned with acceptance. Gone were the days of fretting over not being liked and not speaking out for my faith, beliefs, and morals. I was like a new person. But what changed? Why did this occur?
You see, as a society we see a divorce as a split between a man and a women for various reason. It is a severance of marriage vows by church and state. The word divorce used to make individuals cringe, but now it is becoming a norm. I completely disagree with marital divorcing, but for the purpose of this blog think of my personal divorce as a release of this vast delusion I had been intimately connected with, controlled by, and even physically and spiritually harmed by. This delusion, that began and stemmed from my parents’ divorce and circumstances prior and post to their split, overtook my line of sight for many years. Then with prayer and taking my focus off of my problems, pursuit was clear. I had to stop seeing the “woe is me” delusion and stop the excuses.
The quest began. After I divorced my delusion, I found something beautiful and it is my favorite virtue. It helped me step forward even further from the past. I found contentment.
Contentment is a funny thing. It is not going to jump in your face and say, “I’m here, pick me and you’ll have me for life!” Nothing in life is ever that simple, and being at peace with where you are in life’s journey certainly is not. Being faithful in marriage, in sport, in a job, or task is essential to fostering a joyful attitude. Being content takes out the regret and looking back on the delusions in life and steers a focus and drive in you to remain calm, carry on, and strive for dreams. We see contentment as settling or lazy when in fact it is peace and purpose driven. It is saying I will stay in shelter during the storm and wait for my rainbow.
One of my favorite verses from the Bible is when Paul states in Philippians 4:11 – “I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances.”
As soon as I divorced delusion, containing contentment was a possibility, a reality, and an aspiration!
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