The best part of divorce

I’m coming to the conclusion
that the very best part of divorce
is having absolutely no help.
I don’t have a long list of friends
that I chat with on the phone for hours on end,
invite over for dinner
or join at a movie theater.
On the contrary, I am quite alone.

I had a fabulously wonderful thing happen to me this summer
that left me questioning every relationship from my past, present and future.
It was fabulous ONLY in that it opened my eyes to some
deep-seated Polly-Anna-isms that had been rose-coloring my life
in what I believe is probably an unrealistic and unhealthy way.
It was painful … and surely very needful.

In honesty, it brought me to a list of unanswered questions about
what constitutes a friendship
and whittled life down to a few people who are solidly planted in my inner circle.

Of those, I spend time with only three of those friends
on a consistent basis.
All have walked a path similar to mine in some fashion
and understand my struggles, failures and victories.
None frequent my home.

So truly, in my own home, I am alone.
I don’t have anyone to back me up with my children….
to love them daily, face to face … direct, love or  encourage them
or  tell me I’m doing the right thing when I find the need to discipline.
I don’t have anyone to help me with running errands
or figuring out how to repair a fallen deck or fix things around the house.
I am on my own.

And the longer I am alone
the more I see this as a gift of divorce.

Because this gift causes me to rely
fully, completely and wholly on God.

When I’m struggling with insecurities, I’m asking God to show me the truth.
When I’m wondering how to repair some-broken-something, I’m asking God for instruction.
And when I’m pondering how to be in two places at once, I call on His cloning methods.

This morning, I found my home without hot water. It’s only been four short years since the hot water heater was replaced. At the time of replacement, I requested that the appliance have a valve for incoming AND outgoing water.  As Joy has gotten older she has followed the pattern of her older siblings. She has moved from ten minute showers ….. to twenty and thirty minute sauna experiences. So, I’ve begun to execute the “Ten Minute Hot Water Shut Off Method” to oust her from the bathroom … in the same fashion as her brother and sister received.

Last night, I turned off the water
only to later find that the valve wouldn’t return to the “open” position.
Great. Just great.

I had no other choice than to figure out how to fix it.

I tend to choose to research and buy parts FIRST,
then go home and take broken things apart
rather than taking it apart and THEN going to the store.

Hardware Store Brass Plumbing

First thing this morning, I went to the plumbing store
where I’m getting to know the guys by name.
So far, Grady has been the super helpful!

My STUCK hot water heater outake valve

I took photos to help me explain things.
I always research terminology and phrases so I don’t walk in using dumb words like
“thingy” or “knob” or “whatchamacallit.”
And because I couldn’t find size reference,
I used a seamstress tape to measure the circumference of the pipe leading into the on/off valve.
It was soft and flexible and worked better than a metal tape measure.

Yep! I measured my brass plumbing pipes with a seamstress tape.

I took the tape measure into the store with me so I could confirm the pipe size before buying.

Yep. I took the seamstress tape TO the plumbing store with me.

And I’ll be honest.
I was r.e.a.d.y for some man to make fun of me for taking in a seamstress tape for my measuring tool.
I was ready. I was going to look him in the square face and say,
“Ya know what? I don’t know what I’m doing but I’m going to figure it out! You can laugh at me if you want.
But, I’m being brave.”

…. alas … I didn’t get to use my strong retort.

But, I was ready!

I discussed the situation with the guy at the store. I decided I’d try to force the valve handle to turn before replacing it. It is solid brass and only four years old. It shouldn’t be broken. But, I bought a new one, just in case I did break it while I was man-handling it.

James came in and helped me look it over.
With a screw-driver and some extra force, it moved back to the “open” position.
*whew*  I was so thankful.

But, ya know what I thought as hot water began to flow back through the pipes
to the kitchen and bathrooms?
All I could think about was how amazing it was that I’d figured out something else …
and how God really, truly, surely will help me
with the tough stuff that I don’t understand.
I don’t have to know how everything will work out, I just have to take the beginning steps.
I don’t have to completely understand what to do next … I just need to do some.thing!
Looking for parallels in the spiritual physical world ....

And so, being alone is a blessing.
I have nowhere to turn.
I have no help.
And it’s a really good thing …
because I’m learning more and more
that God really is an ever-present help in times of trouble. Psalm 46:1

10 thoughts on “The best part of divorce

  1. Felt like posting this a little more privately…I know what you mean, and it is a good thing…I have learned to be independent, and that is worth a lot…I see my mother, now a widow, struggling with the simple tasks that are now so easy for me, not being able to make decisions that I make all the time for myself, I have killed (or let go) the snakes in my yard, replaced the water line from the street to my house, replaced light switches and ceiling fans, and haul yard trash to the landfill in my trailer…But I have to say, I am not as happy about it as maybe I should be…MISS you girl! Wish we lived closer!


    1. Yes, Lisa. You’ve been at it longer than me. Good job for recognizing all the areas that you have been brave. And you replaced your water line? Girl! You rock!
      I wish we lived closer, too!


  2. Isn’t a great sense of accomplishment when you are able to fix something with God’s help? I have done many of the same things over the last 8 years. I remember the first time I jump started my car and I thought it was going to explode when I turned the key. I have jump started many cars since and taught two daughters and 3-4 women how to use jumper cables. I took my toilet tank off to paint behind it and have dealt with many a plumbing issues. Many decisions have been made and I can say right or wrong I know I can live with those decisions. I can truly say I really do like my life now. It can be lonely sometimes but it can be so joy filled at times too. Those times exist whether you are married or single. So in my best Tim the Tool man Taylor voice and grunt, I say hey hey you go girl! A seamstress tape, a pink hammer and a drill can coexist just fine!!!!


  3. Shelly,

    I know that you get it. And I’ve enjoyed watching you (via FB) tackle big jobs.
    I love what you said: “Those times exist whether you are married or single.”
    That is so, so true.
    But … I think I’d rather be single and “lonely” from time to time
    than married and “lonely” most of the time.
    Life is good. I celebrate.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s