As an only child raised by a widowed mother, I always dreamed of growing up, getting married and living happily ever after. When I graduated from BYU, I did find a companion, married in an LDS temple and settled down to living my dream of eternal happiness and bliss.
Ten years later, three sons had joined our family when infidelity entered my ideal world and eventually lead to divorce and dissolution of our marriage vows. As I struggled on alone as a single parent trying to guide my sons to follow gospel truths, I learned many valuable lessons and strengthened my self worth as I dealt with my new challenging situation.
For anyone reading this who is trying to navigate through divorce while trying to raise a family, here are somethings that helped me:
My church was a big help as home teachers and scout leaders stepped in with their good examples in working with my sons. I became a den mother and encouraged my sons in their scouting, church attendance and priesthood duties. A loving bishop listened to my problems and gave me good advice. The church’s singles program gave me opportunities for meeting new friends in my same situation and offered fun activities for me and my sons: hikes, picnics, conferences, dances, etc. Although singles dances were a challenge never to be forgotten, many individuals did meet a future companion there. That happened for me someyears later.
Family members were supportive. Grandparents tried to maintain relationships with their now estranged daughter or son in laws through the grandkids. Loyalties were divided and forgiveness needed by all. Other extended family relationships had to be restructured. I missed out on being an aunt to my former husband’s siblings’ children. But time moved on. Non-custodial parental visits were disruptive of our family schedule but necessary for my children to understand that they still had two parents who loved them very much. Parents must work cooperatively for the good of their children.
Grieving for my losses was made easier by the gift of forgiveness which came from my Heavenly Father and freed me from self-pity and moved me towards acceptance of this new situation and eventually remarriage. In the process, I wrote a book about my experiences entitled: Discover Your Voice After Divorce: Writing Workshop for Healing and Recovery. Available as an e-book http://www.amazon.com/
kindle/dp/B00GQ0OV8U/. For more about my life see my bloglettersfromlin.blogspot.com.
Despite dealing with divorce, the dream of an eternal marriage didn’t die for me and never will despite all the turmoil in the world, and subsequent experience with remarriage.
Because of the truths taught in The Family: a Proclamation to the World, which reflects things I've learned as a member of the Church through-out my life, I know that it is Heavenly Father’s plan for families to be together forever. For parents to remain true to their vows and set the proper example of commitment and love for their children to pattern their lives after. But for those who do experience divorce, don’t blame the concept of marriage, but rather the free agency and choices of those who choose to leave the comfort and safety of marriage to wander in the world seeking for fulfillment elsewhere.
I have found and continue to find strength, comfort, and guidance for my life as I've lived and believed in the Doctrine of the Family.
Thank you, Lin, for sharing with us today. If you enjoyed this post, please feel free to share it on Facebook! We are sharing our family-related photos and the reasons why we love the proclamation under the hashtag #ILovetheFamilyProclamation all month long.