“I think it’s important to have closure in any relationship that ends – from a romantic relationship to a friendship. You should always have a sense of clarity at the end and know why it began and why it ended. You need that in your life to move cleanly into your next phase.”-¬†Jennifer Aniston

The past year has been very hard on me, personally. It has affected every aspect of me and how I live my life, and at times I have been a very bitter, sad person. The personal struggles I’ve endured have crept into every part of my life, and especially my art; I’ve found it hard to find the will to keep capturing life and to keep finding the beauty in everyday things the way I used to. It is very hard to live your life and find the strength to get up every day when you are stuck dwelling on all the things that make you sad or upset. I found out yesterday that my ex husband, who was my best friend, my partner in crime, and the love of my life for 15 years, is getting remarried this weekend. I won’t lie; it hit me hard for a lot of reasons and I have spent a lot of time talking to the people closest to me to figure out how to deal with the swirl of emotions within me, and I went to bed last night praying for God to guide me.

This morning I woke up with a sense of clarity about my life and how I have chosen to dwell too long on the things that have went wrong in the past year instead of on all the the things that have went right. Yes, my marriage and family crumbled. Yes, I had to uproot my children and start over. Yes, I have also had to watch my father’s health deteriorate at the same time and struggled to find my place in this new life. But… I am home in the same small town I grew up in, and I’ve been welcomed back with open arms. I have almost all of my best friends and a lot of my family right here, and they have been here every step of the way to help and encourage me and my children. I have a wonderful little house and amazing landlords, and I recently was able to get a new vehicle on my own without having to ask for help, which is a big deal for me.

Thinking of all these things made me realize this morning that it’s time for me to stop talking about how sad the past has made me, and how hard the struggles were, and focus on all the blessings I’ve been given along the way. I’ve tried to do this before, but somehow gotten swept back up in all the negativity and feeling sorry for myself. But the main thing is that is it time for me to truly forgive my ex husband for what went wrong and thank him for all the happy times we had. Any relationship has its ups and downs, and no relationship is ever perfect. We both did things to hurt the other, and it’s time for me to truly, seriously let it all go. It’s not good for me to keep focusing on the bad memories and replaying them over and over in my head, and it’s not good for my children to see the hurt and anger in my face and eyes when certain things come up. But most importantly, if this new woman is going to be my ex’s new wife, she will also be my children’s step mother, and I want to believe that she will be good to my children and that they’ll be happy when they’re around her. It’s important for my kids to see that they don’t have to choose sides or feel torn between their parents’ happiness.

Please pray for all us. This isn’t an easy thing for me and it surely isn’t easy for my kids. It’s a huge adjustment, and there are more big changes coming in the months ahead as my ex and his new wife move to a new duty station, sending my children’s father far away from them and limiting the time they’ll get to have with him. We will all need strength and encouragement as we move into this new chapter of our lives.

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