When you find yourself in an alienated situation, you run the gamut of emotions from helplessness to anger to frustration to hopelessness to agony. At some point or another, you’ll take even the smallest kindness as progress. See my previous post for an example of this.
It’s very, very important to do this. You’re not grasping at straws, you’re not reading “things into the situation.” If you are able to even find the smallest things, like a text that isn’t angry, or your daughter holding the elevator for you at the DMV and allowing you to ride down with her and her boyfriend, then these small things can be steps to building a foundation for reconciliation.
Both of those small things happened in the last month with my daughter and then we had the water bottle gift earlier this week that all gave me hope that something was beginning to cause the ice to begin to thaw.
I was scheduled to deliver her new laptop to her yesterday morning and then she texted me to say she wasn’t home and could I just drop it off on the porch. For some reason, I had envisioned me delivering it in person to her, showing her how to use Windows 8 and downloading office for her and getting the chance to just talk to her a bit about ANYTHING but the divorce.
So I was a bit forlorn as I drove to their new place to deliver the laptop, but noticed that they were driving down the long driveway, coming home, just before me, so I hoped maybe my vision would pan out.
In my wildest dreams, I couldn’t have imagined that I would spend 90 minutes or so with my daughter and her Mom, just, as she put it “catching up.” I learned about their new jobs, my daughter’s approach to her senior year (at a college, not a high school – which sounds like a very cool program). I learned about their new horse and everything I wanted to know about their new home. I got to meet the new horse and say hi to the old one as well as the dogs and cat. They invited me in and we sat talking at the kitchen table while I worked on the laptop.
I got to share with them some of the things happening in my life and they got to see me as the calm and honest and decent guy I am, not this thing that they have made me out to be in the last 8 months. As I left, I gave (and received) a great hug from my daughter and did the arm hug thing with my ex wife. They walked me out to the car in the twilight and we chatted a bit more.
Then my ex broke down in tears (no one had said anything to really trigger it, that I could tell) and my daughter went over to comfort her. I stood there not really knowing what to do and so after about 30 seconds, just said, “I think I overstayed my welcome, guys, I’m sorry, I’m going to head out…” and I drove off. I texted back my daughter to say much the same thing and she replied that I hadn’t overstayed the welcome at all, but that they were just remembering the way things used to be.
It took me 3 miles before I couldn’t control it anymore and just wept. I wept for the answer to MONTHS of prayer. I wept for the lost time and the missed moments I was hearing about with both kids. I wept for the loss of the dreams and the marriage.
I had been praying that when this moment came with my daughter that I wouldn’t break down in tears or get emotional in front of her. That God would help me be calm and relaxed and myself. All of those things happened. I wept because God had answered my prayer, sooner than I’d expected and in a way that just blew my mind.
After decompressing with my best friend — I have said before here that I can’t just ignore emotions, but have to try to understand them. My best friend is such a huge help with that. Plus, he needed to hear the good news.
After I left his place, I thought for a while about a couple of things I learned about praying for the impossible. Sorry, this is probably going to be a bit preachy, but I just feel like all of you struggling through this need to hear it…
1) Pray. Get others to pray. Pray for specific results (in this case, a change of heart in my daughter and son). Pray for specific events where those results could occur — many of you were praying for us yesterday because of my “long odyssey” post.
2) Live in a way that honors God in spite of not seeing answers to your prayers. I’m not saying be perfect, none of us can do that. But talk with God and read and meditate and spend time with Him. Whatever he’s called you to do — do that, until he’s called you to do something else. Psalm 112:4 “Even in darkness, light dawns for the upright.”
3) Be ready and patient and (Most important) Expectant for the answer to your prayer.
Thanks for all your prayers. We’ve built a small foundation upon which to rebuild our relationship. There’s a very long road ahead of us. But I have hope.