My counselor told me the other day that I needed to belong to something again. When I lived at home, even though it often seemed like a war zone, it was the war zone that I belonged in. I’d don my camouflage and my battle armor every time I graced the doorway, but it was where I belonged. My kids’ friends parents, small groups at church — all places and people with whom I belonged. All of these have been lost in the alienation resulting from the separation and divorce proceedings.
Not long before the separation, my kids were encouraging me to get a hobby. They were telling me that I needed to have another outlet for my energy.
“I work 50 hours a week or more and then the rest of my time is spent with you guys,” I said. “My hobby is my kids.” And so it was. I spent weekends on the sports fields, evenings helping with homework and relationship troubles and car troubles and taking care of animals in the house with the kids. Most of you were the same way. Once the separation hits, you really do find yourself alone. Your “My hobby is my kids” concept is out the window along with all your kids’ friends’ parents, your church, your small groups and pretty much every other facet of your life. You literally have to start anew because you’ve been alienated from everything else in your life.
So I am looking for places to belong now. Ran into a friend from church at the airport. This is one of the friends that is allowed to talk to me still! He encouraged me to try a specific different church in my area and invited me to his small group (not made up of couples). Maybe a place to belong? If anything — it was God showing that there are places for me still.
I’m working on the softball league, maybe a place to volunteer as well.
I’ll keep updating on the success (or lack thereof) in this belonging thing.
Update #1 – April 26, 2013
So I spent some time out at the volleyball courts this week subbing for some no-shows and had a great time. Looking forward to my small group this Friday and a single parents small group at my new church this Sunday. 3 places to potentially belong in one week.
Update #2 – April 28, 2013
Very much enjoyed my small group on Friday evening. This Sunday I went to the church I think I will be attending from here on out. Incredibly powerful music and message. I went to the welcome table, got their packet of stuff and then went to a volunteer meeting to see about getting on a team to help with welcoming others on Sundays. When I got home, I signed up online for their Service Project weekend coming up in a few weeks. Finally, all weekend long I’ve had the opportunity to email back and forth with a new blogger friend who’s been giving me input on my journey as well. The message in the service Sunday was about accepting the gift of “Sabbath” and using one day a week to truly rest in the way God had planned it. More than about belonging, it was about setting up little rituals at the end of the work week to signal your mind and your body that it’s a different time. I need to work on that as well. So progress has been made. Good has been done here today.