Sunday my littlest pumpkin turned 6; and he had his first all-class party! It was really a drop-off type event at a gym, so all the parents came and went – except for me, John (my ex-husband), his new wife, and Lizzy (Papa’s ex-wife).
And no. Surprisingly. Two years ago I could probably not have imagined a couple hours together with this group of people, spent so pleasantly discussing things like the impending birth of my ex-husbands new son with his new wife.
But things do change.
And healing actually happens, freedom happens; and grace makes even the impossible .. possible. Grace is not passive or benign; it actually has the power to change situations and breed new life. Especially with the added elements of time, and diligence to keep weeding our own hearts of parasitic sins like unforgiveness.
Walking out grace in this unexpected life of ours has not been simple, and was never a one-time choice. It is still as regular a necessity in my world as exercise and hydration. But it is becoming easier; I am familiar with the cycles, the triggers, and the freedom that always comes on the other side. And I know now from my own actual experience, that it is always, always worth it.
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I told Papa about the party when he got home from work that night. And I said I was thankful. Thankful to get to see them each more for who they are; individuals with hearts and hurts and hopes, lovingly created by the very same God. The same God who is always working toward the end goal of wholeness and restoration.
It softens my heart. Hearing about how Lizzy used to climb trees as a child and spend hours in them; hearing about the pregnancy issues Frank’s wife now faces; it keeps them human and real to me. It keeps them out of the realm of becoming just entities that sowed pain into our lives. It keeps it from being them and us.
Because chosen or not, there is only us. We are all in this together. Raising all these children, each doing our best within this crazy unexpected paradigm to knit a life of real joy and security for them.
Our lives now share a complex web of choices and chain effects, from gifts to Christmas break to finances. The only really sensible way forward is to operate for, and not against. We continue to ask God for tangible love for them, and their significant others, and their new babies. We ask for His eyes to see them as He does, and His vision for what is actually possible for our family. And so far, He has totally exceeded all my expectations.
It keeps them human and real to me.
It keeps them out of the realm of becoming just entities that sowed pain into our lives.
It keeps it from being them and us.