I never dreamed that I'd be divorced. That word "divorced" always felt dark, desolate, and to be brutally honest, shameful.
"People who get divorced are failures."
That's what I thought. I think most people in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints have some stain of stigma when it comes to handling a divorce.
I want to change that.
But first I have to start with my story. Please understand, I tell you my story not to shame or talk bad about my ex-husband. I don't intend to use this product to focus on what went wrong or mistakes that were made or betrayal caused. I want women to use this journal as a focus forward, because life goes on! And it can be a glorious life!
But it's important for people to understand where I am coming from.
I met my ex-husband while serving a mission. We didn't really talk much in the field at it wasn't until the night were were to return home that we talked and connected. We went on our first date February 2015 and were married by October.
Five days after our honeymoon he told me that he felt as if he never should have married me and that he wanted to leave but knew it was the right thing to do to stick it out. Five. Days.
For three years we tried to make it work. We had our ups and downs, as I'm sure any marriage does but, I knew from the beginning I would never satisfy him. I couldn't be what he wanted or ever be enough for him.
In October 2017 I prayed to know if I could leave. I was no longer happy and had developed plenty of my own mental illness struggles in response to the marital strife.
In the temple the words from Doctrine and Covenants 24:8 came to mind:
"Be patient in afflictions, for thou shalt have many; but endure them, for, lo, I am with thee, even unto the end of thy days."
I knew it wasn't my time to leave and that I would just have to endure. Almost a year later, September 2018 my husband came home and told me he was done.
Six weeks later we were legally divorced. That was a Tuesday.
On a Friday, I was driving to meet a friend and became so angry with God. "Why are you doing this to me?" I cried. I felt as if I had done everything "right" by the Church's standards.
I can tell you the exact place I was on the revelation hit me: "This is not for you."
It was then that I realized I would have to make something good out of this trial. Heavenly Father needed me to be brave so I could help others. I didn't want to write a book, because my words aren't what can help.
I want to give voice to women who may not have had a voice. Tell YOUR story. Writing in my journal was my lifeline, my prayers, my therapy. I wrote, wrote, and wrote in my own journal and felt like this was something that needed to be out there.
So, I started designing. It went through a few different phases before landing on the design you see today. I truly believe I had God's hand in making this prompt journal and I cannot boast in my own strength.
9 months later, the finished product is what you see now.
That's my story. I could go into more detail (and feel free to email me if you'd like!) but I think that's all that needed to be said about my divorce. My focus here is on the future.
Life Goes On is here to remind us that life, reality CAN and WILL continue after a divorce.