Healing Through Community: After Divorce
January 13, 2020
Healing Through Community: Online
January 27, 2020
“I was going through a divorce, I moved into an apartment with my daughter, got a new job. This is it I’m starting my life over, I’m totally fine...and I could not parent my little girl. I couldn’t do it. I had to call my parents and I said, I think I need you to take her for a little while. It was the summer and I said, “I just can’t look in her eyes and not see pain and anger and resentment and regret. And, my parents so graciously took her for the summer. (Which is now our grandparents camp tradition because they live in a different state.) But, I just remember, I needed to be alone. And, I thought at first because I was going through a divorce and I just needed time to reset. And it was really helpful, but even alone I couldn’t sustain. I had lost me, I had lost so many parts of me…I lost my joy.”

That’s a snippet of my interview with Heather Mcfadyen on her Don’t Mom Alone Podcast. I cried through the words as I tried to keep it together. (I was on a podcast interview after all!) Those words stirred up something in me from almost 4 years ago that I haven’t forgotten. And it’s this; as we go through seasons of change and hardship, ups and downs, being a mom is just not best done alone. We need people, we need community, we need their wisdom and prayers and support. But, more than that, our kids need us to have community. Our kids need their moms to call on friends who can tell us that we’re overreacting. Our kids need their moms to practice the humility needed to have other adults speak into their lives . Kids need their moms to have shoulders to lean on and community to wipe their tears when the shame is just unbearable.

And, not the type of community that will cause the shame, but those that will sit with you in your brokenness and point you back to a God that says there’s no need to walk in shame because you’ve been forgiven. We need people in our lives that love us BECAUSE they fully know us. The good the bad and everything in between. It’s the type of posture that we saw Peter encourage the Gentiles to walk in in 1 Peter.

Peter, as some of us know, was not only tasked to lead the apostles but to also spread the love and light of Jesus to Non-Jewish Christians. So, Peter is writing a letter to them addressing their past hurts, their hardships and ups and downs and he gets to this point where he begins to unpack who they should be to each other and even their enemies. And, in chapter 3:8 he says; “Finally, all of you, be like-minded, be sympathetic, love one another, be compassionate and humble.” He was instructing them to act in the same way that Jesus did for us. He was giving us a blueprint on how community should treat each other and it’s the same way that my community treated me when I went through the toughest season of my life as a mom.

My friends sympathized with me. Even when they didn’t themselves go through a divorce or have a child with intellectual and behavioral disabilities, their hearts still leaned in my direction. They loved me deeply. Called me, checked on me, made me laugh and reminded me that I was seen, known and loved. And, they were humble. They opened up and got vulnerable about their own struggles in being a mom and wasn’t ashamed about it. Community healed me, and I believe it can heal you too.

So, be brave enough to be broken. Open up and lean into a community. Don’t hide, don’t be ashamed, be all of you. A fully imperfect mom, with a perfect God and community to help you along the way.

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Toni is a host, communicator and consultant from Houston, arc. And, in this digital age of anxiety, she is teaching people all over the country that you can be young and a boss, and you can be broken and worthy. She doesn’t want you to just face your demons, she wants you to quash the illusion of your brokenness so you can live the most colorful life possible.Connect with Toni to learn more.

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