Gerri, Jazmyn & Malik
I have decided that it is finally time to begin to write my story in an effort to help other women who find themselves struggling to identify their purpose.
It was just a little over 4 years ago, while living in Albuquerque, NM, when my life, as I knew it, was completely uprooted when the person to whom I was married decided that he no longer wished to be married – to me. At that time, we had been married for almost 20 years and while we had our ups and downs, the option of divorce really, well, was just just not a realistic option that I chose to accept.
During those weeks and months to follow, I remember the emptiness, pain and sadness I felt. I also remember the isolation and embarrassment…….and anger. Our children were in high school at that time and both were dealt with this change in family dynamics in very different ways. I made the decision to be the “strong mom” and not show what I viewed as weakness. I was there to love on them and nurture them as only a mom can – all while ignoring my own sense of loss and hurt. In fact, I remember my angel of a therapist telling me that I would need to address my own feelings sooner or later. She allowed me the time to focus on my kids…that was until almost a year and a half after the man I thought I would grow old with walked out of our home. That was when I received the papers in the mail to confirm our finalized divorce…that was the day I crumbled…that was the day that I had to address my own needs. Thankfully, my therapist and my kids were prepared to help me.
Now during this time, I was a mom and also a co-founder of a wonderful non-profit organization. I loved both roles and I loved that I could do what I loved. The non-profit organization was not something that would allow me to cover my expenses, so I was able to find an incredible opportunity working at a brand new medical center. That experience was absolutely priceless! Unfortunately, considering my post-divorce financial status, the decision to close the non-profit organization, of 5+ years, had to be made. While that felt like another terrible kick in the gut, I knew it was the right decision.
I spent several months considering my purpose in life. I found myself struggling with understanding why I was going through what I was and what I was supposed to learn and do. During this time I ramped up my prayer life, I sought comfort in my faith. I realized that while I wasn’t weak in my faith, I did need to focus on becoming stronger in it. I began reallocating the time I spent worrying to more time spent in dealing with things I could affect. I gave my worries to God and never looked back! It was time to get my life together for the better.
In August 2012, my daughter, Jazmyn, began college out of state. After the divorce, living arrangements required that she and I shared a room for about a year. While we were very close, she was excited to go off to school and I was excited for her to do so. I was so excited for her to be able to go away to focus on her education and growing her experiences. My son, Malik, was just getting ready to enter 11th grade, but had already been very frustrated with school. Sidenote: I homeschooled my children for 6 years during elementary and middle school. He was doing well in school, played sports, and very active, but was just ready for his next step. Malik, with my blessing, took the 3 weeks before school was scheduled to start and tested out of high school and got himself accepted into college. He would take the fall semester off then start at the first of the year.
WOW! Talk about changes!!! Well, after learning a month later that my ex was getting remarried, I decided it was time for me to do what I needed to do – jump back into life with both feet! In December 2012, I sold or gave away most of my possessions and moved 1500 miles to Columbus, OH to start anew! THAT is one of the best decisions I have made! It’s not always been easy, but I have never looked back or second guessed that decision.
Jazmyn and Malik are AMAZING young adults who continue to make me smile. I am so thankful that they are the two who have been on this journey with me. It was a painful thing for all of us to do through what we have, but they have grown and developed so much strength. They have even shared with me on numerous occasions how what we have come through has prepared them to help others even over the past 2 years. I know that because of what I’ve come through, I too have been able to be of greater service to other women who are struggling on different levels. Now that I am completing my certification as a holistic health coach, it is extremely apparent how my struggle has prepared me to help others.
I am thankful and I’m truly blessed!
Until next time…