Monday, November 15, 2010

Letting go of pictures...

    I had a picture once. Okay, twice. Okay, I've had tons. But my first one was the one all little girls have. You're going to grow up and marry your prince charming, have little dwarfs that serve you and create some beautiful babies. But it wasn't long before I realized what a disservice fairy tales had done to little girls lives. My friend and counselor told me "without illusion no one would ever get married." And I have to agree. There has to be some element of believing Prince Charming resides in that man you've encountered to actually get you down the aisle to commit the rest of your life to him.
   Almost three and a half years ago I found myself in a court room,  a judge declaring my thirteen year marriage over. There were no children to cherish and nothing left but the fragmented ruins of a horrifically broken picture. I pictured sixty years and grandkids on the front porch, and long winded conversations about how good life had been and how grateful we were that we had happened upon one another. But life would in no way turn out like my picture.
   I had another picture. A picture that I would become a non-fiction author. But the only thing that found me was rejection letter after rejection letter telling me that no editor thought it was worth publishing. The rejection drove me to discover what else was inside of me. And I discovered a beautiful gift of story. Fiction stories. However, the moment that I signed my first publishing contract for my first book "Savannah from Savannah" it was a bitter sweet moment. It was the death of a "picture" if you will.
    Interesting though how life when lived with a belief bigger than yourself and a plan bigger than our humanness can grasp the end of my marriage plummeted me into the world of journaling in order to heal. My computer became a tablet for my pain. My fingers would dance across that keyboard every day, some times multiple times a day to simply get out the hurt that rested in the soul of me. That was over three years ago. I am still writing down the journey of that healing.
      The healing that that journaling produced, in open prayers to God, was a story. My story. A story about my broken picture and the God who rescued me in the middle of my pain. A story that became my first non-fiction book called "Flying Solo: A Journey of Divorce, Healing and a Very Present God" to be released in January. This is a story I would have never wanted to tell. Producing a dream I had always had.
     I've often told people that closed doors are as much as blessing as open doors and deserve just as much gratitude. So, in this month of gratitude let me just say, I am so grateful even for the closed doors in my life and the broken pictures. Because they have allowed me to discover how beautiful God's pictures can be. Would I have ever wanted my marriage to end? Absolutely not. Would I have given up this story to have it whole and together? Absolutely. But that isn't how my story has been written. It has been written this way. And so I will choose to be grateful.
     Seven months ago I walked down the aisle to a beautiful man. A man who captured my heart and made me the "bonus mom" to five amazing children. I told him on our wedding day that we may not have sixty years together but I would cherish every day that we did. And choose to be grateful. In this season of this time of remembering what we're grateful for. Take some time to recall the closed doors in your life that have led to some amazing discoveries. Life is full of fragmented and broken pictures...but it is also full of beautifully written stories. I will take the story I have been given over the pictures that I lost any day...They are mine and I am grateful...
Denise makes her home in Franklin, Tennessee with her husband and five bonus children and  shih-tzu. She enjoys a good book and Coca-Cola. And football- Yes South Carolina Gamecock football!


Karin Gillespie said...

Can't wait to read it, Denise. GREAT blog.

River Jordan said...

And what a perfectly, beautiful cover! I can't believe (hint, hint) that this is the first time I've seen it. Love it, love it!

Ad Hudler said...

Denise: I agree with River: Awesome cover!