Butterfly


When I was a little girl we had a flower bed full of purple Lantana.  On spring and summer days we would grab an empty Folgers can and poke holes in the plastic lid and set out to catch some butterflies.  They were the little bitty ones that were gold in color.  They were always there and we had a blast.  It was kind of like fishing without the wait.  It was fun as we’d jump up and down with glee when we caught one and we would have contests to see who could catch the most.  When we got bored we would lift the lids and let them all go.  But we loved those butterflies.

I was thinking about that today because I got an email telling me my divorce papers had been completed and were being sent in the mail.  The wait is almost over.  My limboland is coming to an end.  And it made me think about how my limboland has been like time in a cocoon.  It has been a time of transformation.  What I was once I will never be again.  Changed in almost every way – forever –  but still the same being.

I did it.  I finally did the divorce papers myself.  My husband and I met in December before Christmas and discussed how to settle our lives.   It was a horribly sad evening, but it was time.  He has not been my husband truthfully in over two years and I was hanging onto a picture I had in my head that was based on false information.  I was holding onto a dream not reality.  So I took the information and the decisions and I found a site online that would help me sort out the paperwork and I sat there alone on my couch completed the forms that would end my life as I knew it forever.

It is something I wish he had done.  Not only to spare me the agony of it but because he is the one that moved out.  He is the one that ended our marriage.  But despite having another woman from the get go, he did nothing.  Strange but really not so strange if you knew him.  He is very passive and I did most of the decision making in our marriage.  Which of course he resented me for but he is now relying as well.

So the papers are in the mail and will arrive in a day or two and we will find a notary and sign them and then file them at the County Clerks Office.  And that will be that.

The end.  We were married in January of 1991.  It was 19 years this month.  19 years ago when I walked down the aisle at our church and listened to my sister sing “I Will Be There” by Steve Curtis Chapman.  Wow.  I haven’t thought about that song in ages.  Very sad.

I had always thought of a divorce as a massive failure on my part.  And I guess it was.  It was.  But in the end I was like the person give CPR to a dying victim.  Beating their chest, blowing in their mouth for too long.  Everyone around me knew it was dead.  But I kept beating it, I kept fighting for it.  I kept hoping.  But it was dead.

It’s sad.  Very sad.  But its time to begin again.  Its time to move forward.  I have laughed more in the past month than I have in the past two years.  And I’m ready to laugh again.  The question is, am I ready to trust again.  After being shattered.  I wonder if I’m broken.  Irreparably.   Behind the smiles is a very timid heart.

I guess its kind of like when a caterpillar changes into that butterfly.  You can’t be a caterpillar and a butterfly at the same time.   I can’t be what I was ever again even though that defined me for most of my life.  It is gone.  It is over.  Forever.   I am a changed woman.  I’m coming back from depression and sadness and finding hope and confidence again.  And I can do this.  I can.  I know I can.  I can be the butterfly.

I can say good bye to what I thought life was and embrace something else.  And honestly I can see now that it can be better than I ever dreamed or hoped it to be.  I am getting a second chance.  Not because I went out and grabbed hold of it.  Not because I was dissatisfied so I decided to make the change and take the reigns.  No.  Life happened to me.  And I took what came and I managed to keep my head above water until the storm passed.  I waited my time in that cocoon.   And oh my, was that time painful.  But I let God do his work in me.  I looked deep within myself and know I could have been a better person, I could have been a better wife.  I see myself for the sinner I am who is completely dependent on a savior, on Jesus for any hope of being good and holy and righteous.  And I resigned myself to do His will.  As best as I could follow it.  And I think my life as a butterfly will be more colorful, will be happier, and I will believe that I am lovable.  And like the butterfly I will be adored by my children and the people who love me for the beauty they see in my transformation.  I can do this.

3 responses to “Butterfly

  1. You ARE getting a second chance and you will burst into that butterfly and take the world by storm. Amazing courage to do what you do, particularly after 19 years. Good for you, you are a beautiful writer as well.

  2. Pingback: Fetch « Improvised Life·

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