Raising Magnolias

Because it's never too late for happily ever after…

I came across a letter that I received a while back from a woman who I do not know. She writes:

I have come to anticipate your blogs. I believe you’re someone I would enjoy and feel honored to call a friend. I read your blogs because you make me feel and laugh and, well sorry, but also as a cautionary tale and sometimes I am filled with dread.

Her marriage, no longer fulfilling. A life of pretending and sadness. She’s worried about “sharing her children” and wondering if she could bear having her “ex pick up the kids and drive to another house across the city.”

She asks.

How do you bear it?

Are you happy?

Will you be soon?

The past couple of years are in many ways a blur and while I remember receiving this note, I can’t remember if I responded.

I wonder how she’s doing. What she decided. What’s she’s having to bear.

I want her to know that I am happy. At least the world’s version of happy.

I smile a lot. I laugh more than I cry.

But happiness is fleeting and circumstantial and with divorce comes a permanence of events and arrangements and it makes for a hard-happy.

So maybe what I want her to know is that I have joy. The joy of the Lord is my strength an at the heart of my family, there is joy.

How do I bear it? Simply this:

I have no other choice.

And, I’m embarrassed to say, many days I don’t bear it at all. I crumble under the weight.

Do you have a different choice? Then make it.

Last week I rejoiced with my friends who are embarking on this journey. I rejoiced with friends who are not rejoicing themselves. But I only do so because for them, this is victory.

Freedom.

And there is no.

Other.

Choice.

Do you have a different choice? Then make it.

And if you don’t have a choice?

If you are being abused?

Emotionally.

Verbally.

Physically.

Neglected.

Have you been abandoned?

Then there is no choice. And you will bear it—

The hard-happy.

For that simple reason.

You got no other choice. (Add a little southern drawl with that.)

Last week, I worried that I came across as a cheerleader for divorce and I don’t want to be cheer for divorce. I want to cheer for women.

For my friends.

For my sisters in Christ.

Divorce is hard. And ugly and there are days that I still wonder—and dream—and play the what might have beens.

Ann Voskamp says we have to fight hard for the joy.

For our children.

For ourselves.

And I’ve fought hard and I’ve watched friends fight hard you never get “over” it and you never get “used” to it.

Whatever your “it” is.

It just becomes a part of you.

And who I am kidding? You don’t bear it because it’s unbearable.

But then there was Jesus. And Easter. And glories of glories, He bears it all.

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Today I was praying about my book. Mostly, I was praying that I would have the discipline and the time and the opportunity and in my praying came this:

I want to write a book that points to Christ. I want to write a book whose pages are filled with hope and humor and that will ultimately lead the reader into their own journey of healing.

Currently, I’m working on the chapter outline. And I’d like your help. You know my story. You have walked this story and lived this story and yes, I need your help.

Name a chapter.

Think about my story. Think about the stories I’ve written and I’ve shared and name a chapter for me.

Maybe I’ll have contest or something. Oh yes! Bribery works! I’ll have a drawing and there will be a prize and I have no clue what that will be, but let’s pretend that the prize is going to be awesome!

But, in order to play along, you must give me a chapter idea.

How do I bear it? You.

Your prayers.

Your encouragement.

Your village-help.

You.

You’re already part of my story. Be a apart of my book.

Chapter #1.

Go!

(Please comment on Facebook, comment here or you can email me your ideas at myra.katherine@yahoo.com.)

Now, take  a look at some of these joy-filled smiles. (Yes. That’s a picture with me and a very handsome man and yes, those are happy smiles.) 🙂

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