Is it still an anniversary?

16 years ago today I got married.  It was my day to be the princess.  All my little girl dreams come true as I married my knight in shining armor.  Well, not exactly.  Our marriage lasted 12 years.

May 30th has brought a variety of emotions through the years...
1997 - anticipation, excitement of my wedding day
1998 - happiness
1999 - hopefulness & joy looking forward to my first child
2000 - determination to advance my career
2001 - enjoyment of learning & growing
2002 - struggling to make ends meet
2003 - growing capacity to love with birth of 2nd child
2004 - anxiety over feelings of discontent in marriage
2005 - concern that husband's drinking is not something he can control
2006 - frustrated with trying to "fix" my husband
2007 - helpless
2008 - worried & protective over my children
2009 - heartbroken that it is not in my power to fix what's broken & that our divorce is almost final
2010 - hopeful thanks to the grace of God
2011 - focused on new beginnings with my new marriage
2012 - proud of my kids' resilience
2013 - reflective on the lessons learned

What I find on this anniversary is that even as the years pass, there is still a feeling of mourning over the loss of a little girls dream.  The way life was "supposed to be" wasn't the way life happened.  
It's not that things don't get better. They do. It's not that I'm not happy with my husband and our blended family.  I am. But once a year a date comes along that can't help but remind me of the girl I was & the dreams I had for the perfect family, one that didn't include ex's & steps, and all the complications therein.

People who get divorced know it'll hurt.  They know they're tearing their lives apart. But they're often shocked by the feelings of loss and mourning over something they can't quite put their finger on.  I call it the loss of the dream, and I don't know if it ever totally goes away.  But the good news I've experienced is that overcoming the hurt will make you stronger.  God's grace will see you through.

 

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