Let the New Chapter Begin

The original title for this month’s blog posting was “Being in the Right Place at the Right Time….. and What to do About It.” I had planned to share how wonderful the last 4 weeks had been.

Don and I had moved into our new home; I had sold my condo and he had a wonderful contract on his home; little coincidences and “it-just-so-happened” events kept occurring such as we needed to quickly get a painter and we just so happened to talk to the staff person at Sherwin Williams who just so happened to have us call Harry the Painter who just so happened have a two day window in which he could paint our home; and so forth.

Over these last wonderful 4 weeks since we moved in, we had countless “it just so happened” stories where we were in the right place at the right time.

When hearing all my “Being in the Right Place at the Right Time” stories, my friends would make remarks such as we “had good karma” or “it is fate” or it is a “God-Thing” and it was “just meant to be”.

I really did not know how to interpret all the wonderful events but I decided that the reason behind the “good luck” ….. the whys…… it did not really matter. Instead, what mattered was that I focus on being grateful and thank God for all the “Right Place at the Right Time” moments.

And thus, my ramblings were going to center around gratitude and being consciously aware of the good happenings in your life and to be grateful.

That was going to be my original story…. until last Thursday evening, November 19. On that night, Don abruptly ended our engagement and moved out. He left the next day for Florida, where he is going to live.

To say that I was stunned is an understatement.

Over Friday and Saturday, being stunned was replaced by gut wrenching sobs….. I will miss more than I can say the companionship I had found; tears would flow freely as I thought about having to learn how to be alone again and how to be single again….I cried over the loss of having someone’s hand to hold and being special in someone’s life…. I will miss lingering over glasses of wine and dinners and laughing and the quiet companionship that being connected to someone you love brings to your life.

I never thought, after my divorce, that I would love anyone again and I loved Don deeply. We had been together since March of 2013. I enjoyed being with him all the time. I was comfortable with him. I laughed all the time. I found joy again. All those thoughts would fill my mind and the sobs would come pouring out of my heart.

Sobbing and sadness would be at times replaced by being overwhelmed. I am going to have to sell this home that I just purchased in September; I will need to find a new place to live; I will need to move; I will have to change all my address information again; I will need to cancel utilities and restart them—having just done this 4 weeks ago.

As we were merging two homes, I gave away furniture such as my bed and my sunroom furniture … I gave away personal possessions and dishes and other belongings. I will now have to start over with replacement items. The to-do list is long and scary and I will once again be doing it on my own. It takes more energy than I think I have.

There have also been moments of great anger. I spent Thursday and Friday night at my son Chris’ home but slept here on Saturday night. Being alone in the bed and staring up at the dark, I was totally overwhelmed by anger at God.

Those of you who have read the September 2013 post that told the story of “The Gentleman Caller with Smiling Eyes” (https://janetfhaldeman.com/2013/09/25/2013-09-25-the-gentleman-caller-with-smiling-eyes/) know that our dating would not have occurred if not for my internal spiritual voice telling me to send Don an email regarding a St. Patrick Day’s hike.

On Saturday night, I found myself screaming out loud at God that He was cruel beyond belief—how dare He guide me towards this man if He knew it would end this way.

I had friends email me that God has a plan for me and that he will comfort me and take care of me. But my internal reaction to those comments was don’t talk to me now about God and how He will help me…. I had been angry in the past with God when I prayed for years for Him to help me heal my marriage and He did not.

I was even more furious with Him now—to allow me to find such joy with another person after the pain of my divorce and then to stand by and allow it to end. Where was God and if this was His plan all along, then I want nothing to do with Him or His plans.

I have also been told that I am strong and I have been down this path before and I can go down it again. But as I lay in bed Saturday night in the darkness, I was also yelling out loud that I don’t want to be strong and I do not want to have to go down this ##%@#% path again.

By late Saturday night I was a complete mess. I gave up trying to sleep and felt compelled to read last month’s joy filled post about leaving my condo (If These Walls Could Talk) and beginning my new life with Don. It has turned out to be more prophetic than I realized—but just not in the way I thought it would be.

I had written: There are times in life where you come to a crossroads… to a defining moment or a defining season. When you come to a crossroads in life, it may seem overwhelming and scary.  There may be many things you cannot change or control. But you can control how you face the crossroads….. and your actions become a part of your legacy—your story.

The walls and rooms at my condo watched over me as I entered my crossroads season…. a season where I chose to fill my life with courage and laughter. They watched as I grew and changed into a woman who had self-confidence and pride—and who believed in herself. They became more than merely rooms with furniture and walls on which I hung pictures. Instead they became the base on which I built many wonderful memories. They were no longer empty and sad rooms but were filled with joy and laughter and the warmth that comes from loving others.

……..There is a saying  “Home is where the heart is” and my heart is now with a kind and generous man… who has smiling eyes… who makes me laugh and brings joy to my life. And with this man, comes new walls and new rooms. I know these walls and rooms will soon be filled with love, laughter, and joy… and that the memories created here will be a part of a new story… one that I am looking forward to writing.”

On Sunday morning, I awoke with swollen eyes and a blotchy face and was completely drained. As I sat with my cup of coffee and looked outside at the blue skies and sunshine…..I had a million thoughts going through my mind.

My life is once again shattered into jagged and broken pieces and I am going to have to pick the pieces up and put them back together. I am once again at a crossroads season—a defining moment…..and it is also once again a crossroads not of my choosing.

And yes, there will be new walls and new rooms in my life… just not the ones I am currently living in. I do not know yet where these rooms and walls will be located. It will be up to me to determine what will fill these rooms once I find them—will it be tears and sadness and self-pity and anger? Or, will this unexpected twist in the story of my life be written so that the new rooms and walls can also be filled one day with love, laughter and joy?

I have learned this much from the past……. the choice is mine. But it takes energy and determination to not give in to darkness but to aim for joy. Right now, the rooms and walls I live in are filled with darkness and pain..…but I can change that.  It will not easy but I can replace the darkness and pain with light.

As I write this today, I accept the fact that I will be dealing with mood swings and raw emotions. One moment I am fine and I feel courage rising up inside of me; the next moment a memory enters my mind and my insides are sucked out of me and the tears are pouring out and my voice breaks and I am simply overwhelmed by great sadness.

But I hold on to this…that on Sunday morning, in the daylight, I realized that my friends and family are right…. I can be strong….. I can walk down this path again….. I can hold on to my faith and the tensions and conflicts that arise when one is a disciple of Christ….. and these tensions can make one stronger….I can learn to listen for that small still spiritual voice and let it guide me…. And I can find joy again.

I am looking at blank pages in my story of my life…. And I will find ways to write laughter onto those pages.

Let the new chapter begin.  

jfh