A New Ring For Him, A Punch in the Gut for Me

wedding bands divorce

I felt as though I’d been struck in the gut when I noticed the new wedding ring on his finger. He’d come to pick up our daughter. Sunlight flashed off it as he reached out to take the papers I was giving him. He must have been wearing the band since his wedding three months earlier, but it was the first time I’d noticed it.   My daughter and her dad drove off, while I was left with a stunned feeling of loss and grief that I couldn’t understand. I talked myself through all the rational intellectual thoughts: I knew he was remarried; it wasn’t a surprise that he would be wearing a wedding ring; he hadn’t been “mine” for eight years. Knowing all that, why did I feel this way? Was it jealousy? Did it renew my feelings of abandonment or of loneliness? Wedding Bands and Marriage Vows The wedding band is a tactile symbol of the eternal vows pledged on the wedding day. My ex-husband’s new ring was certainly a reminder to me of tour wedding vows broken by divorce. Even though our divorce had been eight years prior, there remains a lingering feeling, with varying intensity, that something…

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At-Home Lenten Retreats

Lenten retreats for divorced Catholic Moms

  I’m going to admit an embarrassing truth: I really don’t want to make any sacrifices for Lent this year. Why should I add suffering to my life  when I suffer so much already? Not all I “suffer” is from my divorce, but being divorced does make life a bit more difficult than life in a two parent home. Add a couple scoops of physical health issues that are sometimes debilitating. Then the cherry on top of that sundae – my concussion 2 years ago that resulted post-concussion syndrome (also called “mild traumatic brain injury) and left me with issues that come and go with various intensities. So I haven’t been able to work much. And I haven’t been able to write much. But I’m able to be a pretty good mom most of the time to my sixteen-year old daughter and that right there is a huge blessing! I’m surrounded by an abundance of blessings – a beautiful and safe home, loving family and friends, a church just five minutes away, beautiful palm trees year round here in Florida. But despite my multitude of blessings, it can feel as though I don’t have the strength to make any effort beyond surviving…

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Divorce Terrified Me, But A Simple Prayer Saved Me

Text When Divorce terrified me this one prayer saved me

Lisa Duffy of “A Million Unheard Souls”  invited me to be a guest writer on her blog for divorced Catholics. Lisa has been a ray of hope and inspiration to me as I’ve healed from divorce and it’s a privilege to write over there on her channel at Patheos. I’m excited about this new project and hope you’ll come visit with me and with Lisa over at her blog on Patheos.com. Lisa Duffy is an divorce recover expert and I highly recommend her blog, books, and other resources. In my first post at “A Million Unheard Souls,” I shared deeply personal feelings and the simple prayer I clung to when my life was falling apart.  Shattered Glass, Shattered Lives One teenage angst-filled day, I angrily slammed the bathroom door. Within seconds, the mirror over the sink was tipping off the wall. It struck the two hanging lights in front of it and all five feet of it continued falling forward towards me. I still remember the feeling of shock as I stood there watching the impossible. I instinctively raised my hands to cover my face, shards exploding around me. It was unexpected. Terrifying. And there was nothing I could do to…

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A Prayer by St. Ignatius For When You Feel Weak & Helpless

Have you felt helpless or weak as you’ve gone through divorce? You’re not alone. St. Ignatius didn’t go through a divorce but he wrote a great prayer for those of us who are suffering in any way. His “Prayer Against Depression” applies to much more than depression, but any time it feels like “all is darkness” and we need a bit of hope. St. Ignatius of Loyola was a strong 16th century man, a soldier. Why in the world did he write a prayer about weakness and  helplessness?” Hard for to imagine, isn’t it? It just shows us that saints had feelings too, just like ours. They cried, they feared, they hurt, and they hoped. I’ve cried, feared, hurt, hoped. And through prayers like this one of St. Ignatius, I’m reminded of God’s love and strength. I shared this prayer on A Million Unheard Souls on Patheos.com,  but I also want to share it here with you. Hope it blesses you. Prayer Against Depression by Saint Ignatius of Loyola O Christ Jesus, when all is darkness and we feel our weakness and helplessness, give us the sense of your presence, Your love, and your strength. Help us to have perfect trust in…

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Divorced Catholic – Support, Encourage, Inform

 My Big News! Lisa Duffy has invited me to add my voice to her blog “A Million Unheard Souls” .  I feel honored that Lisa asked me to be a contributor and excited about this opportunity to share encouragement and hope with divorced Catholics. You can read my articles here at A Million Unheard Souls is on the Catholic Channel hosted by Patheos.com. I hope you’ll visit me there! Lisa Duffy’s Divorce Ministry Lisa has been providing support, encouragement, and resources for divorced Catholics for over twenty years. Not only has she written for many other online and print publications, but she also offers one-on-one divorce and relationship coaching, speaks at conferences and more. Lisa is now happily remarried but continues to be committed to her ministry for divorced Catholics. I hope you’ll come visit with me over at Lisa’s blog for Catholics recovering from divorce. I first learned of Lisa Duffy’s divorce ministry shortly after my divorce. It was this website, DivorcedCatholicMoms, that introduced me to Lisa and her work. That was back when I was a reader rather than a writer here. I still remember my hurt, confusion, and loneliness, feelings I’m sure you understand. Online resources were important because I worked during the…

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God’s Mercy Reached Out to This Divorced Catholic

Woman covering face in need of God's mercy

I’m sharing with you a podcast by divorce recovery expert Lisa Duffy who has been a great inspiration to me during my divorce recovery. There were few resources for divorced Catholics years ago, and there still aren’t many. Through the mercy of God, Lisa is an author, blogger, and speaker who has ministered to divorced Catholics for fifteen years. She has also appeared on NBC news as a divorce recovery expert. All for us divorced Catholics.  When Lisa’s husband walked out she was left alone, abandoned and angry.  Instead of turning to God, his mercy and her Catholic faith, Lisa listened to the well-meaning advice of co-workers and friends. They encouraged her that she would feel better once she started dating. But re-entering the world of dating didn’t heal the pain.  In the podcast below, be encouraged and inspired as Lisa Duffy shares how God’s mercy found her as she struggled through the pain of divorce in Episode 13 of Catholic Grandma Kristine Franklin’s podcast series “Mercy Unwrapped,”  Here is the encouraging story of God’s mercy in the midst of her ruined marriage.   You can visit her site at LisaDuffy.com for more podcasts, articles, and divorce recovery resources. Every woman’s experience with…

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Suffering: “Did You Ever Ask God Why?

Angel statue pleading with God

Have You Ever Asked God, “Why?” A while back a reader asked me, “Have you ever asked God why? Did He answer?” Most of us have asked “Why?” There are so many why’s to ask God: Why are you letting this awful thing happen to my family? Why aren’t you listening to my prayers? Why did you let us get married in the first place? Why couldn’t he love me? Why wasn’t he faithful to his wedding vows? Why dn’t you stop bad things from happening in the world?  So my short answer is, yes, I’ve asked God “why?” many times. Sometimes it seems as though He has answered and sometimes it feels like lonely silence. A Lot of “How” Before the “Why” When I first learned my marriage was in trouble, I was too stunned to ask God “why?”  At that point, I was just scrambling to keep my life from unraveling. It was a blurry year and a half before we actually separated and eventually divorced. During that time the gut-wrenching betrayal of abandonment and emotional devastation consumed me while I struggled to accept and adjust to a new reality. My depression and anxiety kicked it up a notch and medication only took the…

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5 Keys to Healing After Divorce

If you haven’t heard of Lisa Duffy yet, you’ve got to meet her through an online webinar she’s offering November 28th at 4pm. Lisa is presenting one of her most popular presentations “5 Keys to Healing:How to Heal After Divorce.” This is a free webinar, a gift that can help us move past divorce and to happiness. Attending the webinar will be easy and Lisa Duffy is sure to be an inspiration. Lisa wrote the books Divorced. Catholic. Now What? and The Catholic Guide to Dating After Divorce: Cultivating the Five Qualities That Free You to Love and currently writes at CatholicMatch and Patheos. Lisa speaks with great compassion to those of us who’ve suffered through divorce. Her spirituality is inspiring but never preachy. I heard this presentation in 2011 at the Journey of Hope, a conference for divorced Catholics, and it was great! It is a step by step road map to help us leave the past behind and move on to the future. She is a real person, a Catholic woman like us, who has experienced the devastation of divorce. You can learn more about her and her ministry to divorced Catholics at www.LisaDuffy.com. There are limited spaces available, so I encourage you to…

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