This year my son asked me if I thought it would be okay for him to experience Christmas with his dad. My heart sank but I know how hard that must have been for him to even bring it up. I put on my supportive face and gulped as I said, "You are old enough to decide where you would like to spend your Christmas. If you want to be at your dad's house, we can ask him about that." That was a very hard statement to get out. I stumbled over my words after that because an instant feeling of sorrow for myself and the traditions that were now going to be obsolete this year were too much to handle. My selfishness went into overdrive as I thought of every reason why it wasn't fair to me that I was left in my marriage which left my family broken on holidays and now it is resulting in my son spending an important holiday away from me.
It is interesting how the feelings of my divorce and frustration over an undeserving situation came flooding back to me. I went through the cycle of denial and that he would change his mind, then to depression when he sounded sure of his decision. This changed into anger at my ex-husband again for putting me in another lonely place by his actions many years ago, and finally acceptance.
Through much prayer and love for my son, I realize that while this is hard on me it is even harder on him. He has to struggle through every holiday, birthday and day-to-day living feeling torn between two people. He will always wonder if choosing one parent over the other has caused hurt feelings or frustration. He may not always get to be with his dad when he wants to or with me when he wants to because bottom line, our divorce has caused him to feel in the middle. It is my job to make his desire to experience a Christmas that he remembers with his dad a special one for him and that he sees support from me and not a guilt trip or sadness.
God will teach us powerful things when we experience the hurts and frustrations in this life but we choose to listen and act in love. I look forward to what God continues to teach me throughout this journey as a single parent.
What is God teaching you?