It’s no secret that I parent two of the planet’s best teenagers, on my own. When I first embarked on that journey, I can readily admit that I was angry, bitter, overwhelmingly devastated and understandably at a complete loss. Back then, it was a journey I wished I never took. Today, it’s the journey I’ll never trade. Here’s why.
One of the most poignant things we must keep in mind about pain and disappointment is that first, it’s only temporary. I know when you’re in the trenches, having grenade-like situations explode in your life, words like temporary seem imaginary, like something from a fairy tale. When you’re on the front lines coping with betrayal, abuse, or rage, phrases like “it’s only temporary” do not even register as a legitimate claim. BUT, if you hang in there and deliberately decide to keep moving forward, keep putting one foot in front of the other, keep choosing to focus on what is ahead and not what’s in the past, you WILL see that it is temporary. Why? During this time of determination, your mindset begins to shift. Your strength returns as hope slowly thaws the frigid places in your heart leading you to whisper “I can do this.”
Second, no matter what the offense, there will always be an opportunity for reconciliation. Now, let’s be honest. If you’re like me then naturally you think reconciliation should happen when you’re good and ready for it. It only stands to reason that if someone offends me, they should quickly move to make amends–and by quickly I mean right now. This is not always the case–it wasn’t for me.
To reconcile or reconnect when there is an offense, is NOT easy. It is only possible if forgiveness and healing has already paved the way. This reconciliation was years in the making because it took me awhile to release and forgive. I knew that in order to be the kind of parent my children deserved, I’d have to sacrifice everything I had. Ergo pride, ego, bitterness, rage, and hurt all had to go. One by one. Day by day. It happened. Not overnight, but it happened.
Fast forward to today. Today, I’m whole, healed and ready to co-parent my teenagers, as they move forward into the next phase of their lives. Today, I can co-parent, without the slightest hint of resentment, animosity or even jealousy. I’m elated that reconciliation has come knocking on our door. Now, let’s be honest. I’m Momma. I’m always going to be Momma and that will never change. At the same time, I’m not going to usurp or hinder the splendid thing that is at work in my teens and their father. I’m not the glue or the go between. I’m just me looking, smiling, and enjoying the fulfillment of prayers and promises.
Does this mean everything is all good now? No. But like I said earlier: keep focusing on what is ahead and not on what has passed. In our house, we take it day by day; moment by moment and that’s all anyone can hope to do.
Reconciliation is possible, but at a cost. The questions is, are you willing to pay the price? Are you willing to move beyond the pain of yesterday and into the promises of tomorrow?