After a midlife divorce, so often we’re lonely. Sometimes we’re lonely because a big part of our “past self” is gone and we don’t know who we are now. Here’s what Elaine St. James, author of Living the Simple Life, has to say about a teenagers thoughts: “‘I’m lonely for myself.’ Erin (9th Grader). Erin speaks eloquently for many of us. We’ve been so busy being the good wife … the good mother …. the good daughter … the outstanding employee … the successful entrepreneur, and everyone else’s idea of what perfect is, that we’ve lost touch with who we really are.”
Who am I? After a midlife divorce that question looms larger than ever, and each of us has to begin to answer that question for ourselves now. Even though the superficial answers to that question can change, the true answer is more real and deep than any description or label.
Even though we no longer have the label “wife,” we fulfill all of the roles that still apply … mother, daughter, friend, employee, neighbor and a myriad of other names we attach to ourselves. That’s okay, but what we need to focus on is that the person we really are transcends every role we fill (or no longer fill.)
For a while, I wondered what to do with myself when one of my longest, most cherished roles was gone. “Wife.” I was no longer that role to my wasband. And at first, that thought made me cry. But not having that role does not change who I am at my deepest level.
I am, above all, a worthy, unique, loved, cherished child of the Most High God of Heaven! I am this above and beyond all else. He will never abandon me or toss me away or move on to a new “soul mate and best friend.” His love is steadfast and unshakeable. We should do the best we can to fill our other roles within the context of our true identity as God’s child. We should be the best mother, sister, friend, employee that we possibly can. But when we are doing our best before God, his opinion is the only one that really matters.
The result is that we re-discover who we really are …. A glorious, loved child of God who has the promise of blessings that we can’t even imagine right now. Trust that promise. Be that person completely. It rises above and enriches every other role we will ever have.
“The fear of human opinion disables; trusting in God protects you from that.” Proverbs 29:25 (The Message)