Sheila had been married for 37 years when her husband decided to end their marriage. For the first time since she was a teenager, she was "just Sheila" and began to learn that while she once thought of herself as half of a pair, she was actually part of a much bigger whole.
The experience showed me how much I needed friends (after all, for 37 years, he had been my best and mostly, only friend!) It made me rely more on God and to see His face in the face of my friends. It made me realize that I need girlfriends....those people who will root for you and tell you the truth at the same time. I've never paid much attention to girlfriends, but this experience has taught me that they are sometimes the face of God that you need and they are singularly loyal. I still thank God for my girlfriends, whom I think were heaven sent!
I am currently caring for three of my grandchildren. My daughter recently divorced and has a very demanding job. My days are spent focused on them...teaching them boundaries and inspiring them to live a life of faith. Would I have chosen this course? Absolutely not. Do I resent what I'm doing? Absolutely not.
I think we have this idea that we can choose our communities, but often it is God who connects us--if we are open to it. I spent most of my life connected to my husband, but when he chose to break that connection, my ability to live in communion wasn't shattered. It simply strengthened in many other avenues...my relationship with God, with my daughter, my grandchildren, my girlfriends... My life is rich with connection--even if I still mourn the one that used to be the most important to me.
© Cathy Hutchison 2012