Never did I ever think that at 40 I was going to be divorced with 3 kids. When you're younger and you are just dating, and you have a girlfriend and you breakup, it can be difficult but there wasn't any definitive future. When you're married you think, well thats it, this is the one I am going to grow old with. Sure there are ups and downs, and there are times where you reminisce about when you were single and were free, and compare it to life with kids and a dad bod.
I had a great fulltime career in the military, we both didn't have much and we had been through some really tough times, but we had each other. We had our family...we weren't a statistic. Then the outside influences started to pile on...finances, kids getting older, not enough "alone" time, stuck in the rut of life where everything is the same...out of shape...but we had each other...and that wasn't enough. Then came the lies, the outside forces of "friends" then a few short months later, it's over.
While I was going through this, I tried my hardest to wrap my head around the situation and try to fix what was wrong. I am a mechanic on one of the most advanced aircraft in the USAF, I could make that $30 million dollar aircraft fly, I could lead a team of mechanics literally halfway around the world and keep those jets flying, I could certainly keep my marriage from falling apart right? Nope...just wasn't God's will. To add insult to injury my full-time job was crumbling, finances were crippling, my step kids were turning against me, "family" had turned against me, and the one that I thought I was going to be with forever was leaving me.
I was just about to turn 40...when I thought I could take on all these issues at once, only to realize that I was outgunned, outmanned, and out of time. That's when the depression set in. That is when things became really dark. When things that would normally I would take pleasure in, no longer was making me happy. I would delight in my kids, but the stress of having my step kids turn their back on me after raising them for a decade was starting to take a heavy toll. Everywhere I went in my neighborhood I would get looks from people. I had so many lies told about me that people would just either look and sneer, or completely ignore me or turn their back.
In hindsight it was the best thing that happened to me because I was able to see people for who they truly were. Didn't mean that it didn't hurt, but it was a good thing. Work was starting to get to me, the toxic environment and not knowing who to trust, with the exception of a few people who are and always will be family, was becoming increasingly harder to deal with. I would cry to myself while at work in my office, I would cry on my way to work, I wasn't sleeping, I didn't have an appetite, I would hear the rumors and people laughing about how I was "going to pay" and how I deserved what was happening to me.
By no means am I perfect, but I was loyal, loving, and always involved in my family life. Depression set in so bad that I would have panic attacks, and I had to visit my doctor and put on anti-depressants...which really didn't help. I couldn't sleep, my mind was always wandering about what my life was becoming. Then it happened, she moved out, the holidays were a nightmare, my "leaders" at work turned on me, and nearly ended my career...and the divorce became final. Having to live life as a single dad with doubts of how this was going to work, feeling like a failure, feeling like I still had so much to accomplish n that broken marriage or still save it.
what I realized that very same week that my divorce was final that I wasn't alone, that this was a new beginning, and that God loved me more than I ever realized. I was baptized, I was finding new opportunities for my military career and new opportunities for life after the military. I lost the "dad bod"...well still finalizing that but wayyyy better than before lol. I noticed things that I couldn't while I was married, and was truly thankful for those who didn't matter to be out of my life for good.
Everyday is still a struggle, but I learned that loving myself was one of the first steps to actually healing. I found a new purpose serving Christ in my church. I also started Faithfully Led so I can help others in need like myself. The mental anguish I went through almost made me the statistic among men that is men are 3 times more likely to commit suicide due to a divorce than divorced women. I find myself saved because God saved me and showed me my purpose. To share my story of heartbreak and despair. To learn how to deal with the anger, and to deal with the loneliness, financial hardship, change in career....but it's an everyday struggle.
So...now what? Well life is just getting started. Life is now beginning for me because of what I learned. I know that God is so great and he is so loving to give me a new purpose that everyday it gets a bit easier. The vices that I had are slowly becoming nothing more than a memory. I know that I have real worth, and purpose. I know that there is a woman out there for me that will value me and love me for me, and not just what I do or what I can provide. Don't get me wrong, I still cry occasionally, I still think about how I could fix it...but then I snap out of it and see my future for what it is...bright and with purpose...and so should you.
You need to find your purpose because you have one. You need to seek God and have a relationship with him. Not a religious one, but a personal relationship. Once you have that bedrock, that foundation you can build your mansion!! You can't build a house on sand but you can build it on a raised foundation and enjoy the view. It may not be clear right away, and thats ok. You need to get your mental health in order. You won't be able to find your purpose if your mind isn't clear. seek help, friends, therapy, God. Get your mind right and show the world that your purpose is bigger than the lies that are being told about you and CRUSH IT!!!
Take this time to do what you want to do for YOU...be that example for your kids. Look at yourself in the mirror and decide to hold yourself accountable to become greater...and give yourself permission to do so!!!
This isn't the end....but only the beginning...write your story!!