I woke up this morning in utter shock that I am actually divorced. I had to say it out loud to sort of remind myself. I am divorced.

Here are the facts: One, I have been living apart from my now ex-husband for two full years. Therefore, I’ve had some time to get used to this single life and single parenting thing. And two, I was served with a petition for dissolution of marriage eleven months ago so I’ve had some time to get used to the idea of, you know, actually being divorced. Except, here’s the thing. I did not see this coming. I know, only a crazy person wouldn’t actually expect divorce papers to not end in divorce, but that’s where I’ve been living apparently (in crazy town).

This is really happening. Yesterday, as I stood in front of a judge and listened to questions being answered, my legs were barely able to hold me up. And then I heard this question from the other attorney, being asked of my ex-husband,

“Is your marriage over?”

Without hesitation, the reply came, “Yes.”

Seriously, in my head, I was screaming, “It is?!?” Because honestly, deep down, I thought the trigger would never be pulled on this.

So what all this means is, yes, I’ve gotten a bit used to parts of this new life of mine, but oh my word — I didn’t think it was going to actually happen. I’m so far from being healed and ready for my next chapter in life that it’s not even funny.

I’ve cried through my wedding DVD and laughed through tears over sweet love letters from our college days.

Two years in, I’m just getting started. Though I was kicking myself for being so sad yesterday because it felt like I should be two years in already, it’s actually just “day one” for a huge part of my heart that didn’t expect this to be my life. I have felt a thousand and one emotions: anxiety, sorrow, rejection, doubt, abandonment, and even gratitude for the good things that came from our marriage. I’ve cried through my wedding DVD and laughed through tears over sweet love letters from our college days.

This divorce – this forever severing as the decree calls it – will be my largest regret and sadness for the rest of my life, no matter what else is in store for me. I will walk through the rest of my days holding in one hand, “we should have never married,” while balancing “but I wouldn’t trade my children or my friends or anything good that came from our marriage,” in that other. It’s all a mystery. One I will grasp lightly and gratefully, knowing I’ll never fully understand the why’s behind it all.

There are so many moments I would change, so many words I would give anything to take back. So many tears I wished I hadn’t cried, so many actions I wished I would’ve taken. And yet, here I am. Not one moment can be changed. My fragile, now unraveled and undone, marriage forms a huge part of who I am. I can’t go back. And I wouldn’t go back.

For today, and a few todays to come I’m sure, I’ll look over my shoulder. I’ll wonder. I’ll cry. I’ll be sad, and walk slow, and sigh. I might conjure up a smile or two thinking on the good things.

Today I am requesting permission to be sad for a while…from myself, from God, from the people in my life. But then there will be a time — sooner rather than later I hope — when I will know it’s time to move completely on. Today is not that day.

The ink is dry on paper. But the ink is not yet dry on my heart. That’s going to take a while. Gratefully, I’ve got the time — all the time in the world. I’ve got God, my patient, gentle Healer who will hold my hand, walk alongside me, make all things new, and promises – absolutely promises – to bring beauty from these ashes.

This article was written by: Elisabeth K. Corcoran

Photo Credit: Charles Marley