My sweet kids (and sweet niece) and I are on our now-annual vacation to Michigan. Last year I wrote about vacations being hard as an almost-divorced, single mom. And now, one year later, I am in the same place. We are walking the same streets, going to the same restaurants, sitting on the same beach.
It’s hard to believe that another year has gone by. Four years ago, we came here for the final time as a family of four. Three years ago, I found a dump online (didn’t know until we got here how bad it was) and brought my children on our first just-the-three-of-us vacation. Two years ago, we stayed at a lovely place but I have almost no memories of that time and how I felt (though if I had to guess, I wasn’t doing well). Last year, I was a month shy of my divorce being final and I was imagining holding hands with a non-existent partner as I walked to the beach.
And then this year. This year I’ve had no huge revelations. This year I had hoped to let my mind rest but I am battling two legal issues that are lingering and wearing me down. This year, we went out to eat each night and got ice cream at Nancy’s each night and my son ran to the end of the pier like he does every year. This year, I walked the beach on my own for a bit and sat there and didn’t think deep thoughts but just let the waves lull me into a bit of a trance.
And then I walked again. No one in sight either way. And I had that moment when I felt so very alone.
Sometimes I love with everything in me being alone.
But this time was not just alone. It was a deep loneliness. And I cried.
When I was broken up from my boyfriend in college at one point, I remember thinking that it would’ve been great to take a break from him for maybe a couple years but just have the assurance of knowing that we’d get married by such-and-such a date.
I cried on the beach not so much out of a loneliness in that moment, though I was. But I cried on the beach because I don’t know if I’m going to be walking that beach alone every year we come here for the rest of my life.
I know my kids love me. I know my family loves me. I know my friends love me. I know God loves me. But I am alone a lot of the time, and I just may be forever.
And so I cried. I think it’s time to go home.
Maybe you, like me, feel that you were created to be in partnership. If that is the case, then you can trust our Lord will bring the right partner at the right time. Accepting that we are alone for a season was easier for me to accept than believing it would be for always. That said, I’m proud of you for acknowledging the hole and grieving what isn’t right now. It’s good you feel the support of children, family and friends and of course the Lord. But it’s okay to sense loss, too.
Wow – this was a powerful post. I, too, wonder sometimes if the marriage I had (with all its flaws and stressful times) is the only marriage I will get to experience on this earth. I realized not too long ago that I have never felt truly loved by a man in my entire life. My father was a troubled soul who was abused as a child and was at his worst abusive, and at his best indifferent, to me and my brother. My Ex never cherished me or treated me with respect. I often felt like the maid or that I was simply there to serve his need to have someone to control. I long to be cherished and loved by a man just as I am…and the way God intended for men to love their wives. It’s sad to think that this may never happen for me. I guess it’s the same for women who long to be mothers and yet are childless. There will always be an ache – an empty place.
Sorry for the depressing post!! This probably didn’t help you at all!
I had the exact same feelings this week….
I was alone for twelve years after my divorce and had soooo many of the moments your write about….the only thing I had to hold on to was that I had a promise from His Word – I Peter 5:10 and the last three words were “and settle you.” I just assumed that meant that my Heavenly Father would “settle” me WITH someone. After several years of nothing happening I began to wonder if I had misinterpreted this promise and so I started trying to tell myself “okay, Kim..whatsoever state you are in therewith to be content”. Yet the loneliness stayed and stayed and stayed. Finally, after my children were raised and 12 years of loneliness, I met the most wonderful man! He was going through horrible marital problems and a divorce during ALL those years that I was so very lonely, but if I had settled I would have missed out on a true treasure!! I believe singleness is a special calling and isn’t for most. God has that precious man for you – He’s just smoothing him down, getting him ready to appreciate the truly remarkable woman you are!! In the meantime, He’s using you in a magnificent way!!!
What is it about loneliness that is so powerful? That feeling that no matter what, no matter how many people show up, walk beside us, love on us, we still walk this journey alone. No one can hurt for us, process it for us, fight off the emotional attacks for us. We take His beautiful hand and ask Him to hold us tighter, but our fleshly selves desire human connection, that feeling that we are priceless to someone that a wonderful someone is journeying with us completely. We are human. Loneliness is not what we were created for. We were created for relationship. But in the meantime, what to do with the loneliness? I wish I knew. Praying for you in your lonely place.
Wow again, I bet you think I am a stalker at times but I swear…you are in my head and on my shoulder. This can only be the Holy Spirit working through you and God clearing showing me that there are so many women that needed to hear your words. I believe God uses you – like I have said before. Your post a few days ago about 4 affairs…wow….I wrote a similar blog post called spiritual infidelity vs physical infidelity. I don’t have th following of readers like you, but a few read my stuff – and I have shared that one I wrote and many of yours on Facebook with my hurting sisters in Christ ….but, again…YOU nailed it.
So sorry for this time at the beach – but like the song says – ‘nothing is wasted – in the hands of our Redeemer’…anyway, I prayed for you as I read it and thanked God HE directed me to your blog when I needed it the most.
I do believe that HE will redeem your broken heart completely. Completely. It has been 3+ years since the fateful phone call that brought an end to my husband’s betrayal – but prior to that – there were YEARS where I was having a crush on anyone that showed me the littlest bit of attention. I was also longing for a man to cherish me….our lives were so intertwined with the enemy and we were both so deceived. In the past 14 months, there has been MUCH restoration and in the past 2 months – God continually reminds me that HE does replace the crud with MUCH good and happiness….so, I believe that you will walk that beach again – it maybe be next year….or even several years from now – but, you will read back to this vacation and SEE even more of HIS true design for your life. Bless you – thank you for being real in this world – Sincerely – Michelle Pritchard –