Eliezer – Journey

I’ve been increasingly drawn to the original Judaic back-stories and socio-economic-cultural contexts, while desperately wanting to unpack some of the things I read in the Bible. I keep going back to Messianic traditions, their relevance, and deeper meanings juxtaposed within the contexts of modern life and Ancient Wisdom. In other words, I know there is so much more than what is obvious.
One of the first impressions that a musical/broadway type film ever made on me was The fiddler on the roof – the song that Tevye sings about what he would do if he were a rich man. He mentions all the obvious things that most of us would want to do…and then towards the end of the song, with true feeling and a surprising depth of emotion, in a sudden departure from everything worldly, he sings that he’d have the time to finally sit in the synagogue and pray to his heart’s content…and discuss the learned books with holy men. the learned books here being the Torah and the Tanakh. Even as a child growing up in a Godless, semi-atheist/agnostic household, I never could shake that line off…I kept seeing Tevye’s longing etched in the lines of his dirty face and wondered why there was such an attraction to God and the Holy Book. Now as an adult, I understand why he didn’t have the time. Back then, I tried other religions and texts, but nothing satisfied…and when I became a committed Christian, I understood the longing. I am still not very good at sitting down and resting in God or conversing with Him on a regular basis. But I am growing…and learning. Back to the Bible, I continue to be drawn to the Old Testament to understand the nature of God and Jesus and therefore my place in Him.

…this turned out longer than I intended…but I will leave it be…perhaps someone will benefit from my thoughts. The reason I started this post was because I found this video, a Parsha, explaining one of the stories that I have wondered about. I’ve read and heard preaching that confirms that the reason Eliezer’s account is written twice is because it is important. And readers of the Bible know that anytime there is a repetition of a word, phrase or verse in the Bible, it is worth deeper study. I wasn’t looking to understand this story at this time…I was actually trying to understand Ruth & Boaz…and trying to understand my own issues and problems in romantic relationships, dating the wrong men, marrying the seemingly right man, and then wanting a relationship, but being afraid of everything it entails…(overshare, I know. Shush already! and NO! I am not dating or ready to date!!). But my story isn’t unique…and I know that this season of my life is a season of latency (Freudian latency? Perhaps my adult acne is indicative of my impending adolescence? jk!)…where nothing seems to be happening, but a lot is happening. So then, my personal question has been about this ‘journey’ that I am on. God had brought Moses to mind..and then Samuel…Jeremiah. People in the Old Testament who made seemingly redundant and extremely arduous journeys into the wilderness and back into civilization. Journeys which left them panting and exhausted, depleted and broken….and yet, generations together benefited from their commitment and obedience to God. Those have been difficult lessons for me, inspiring, encouraging, but still….difficult. There is no glamor in the prison for Joseph, right?!

Anyway, this time, while studying about Ruth and her obedience, God brought back Eliezer into the picture. And with that Rebekkah came. In a flash, I saw my grandmother, my mother, myself and my daughter…some mantles are hard to explain. With so much focus on generational curses and entanglements, we forget that there are generational mantles and character traits that God in all His zealousness guards for Himself. He doesn’t allow anything to come against these traits, behaviors, and beliefs…and sometimes even when we engage in self-destructive behaviors, He ensures that the very core of who we are is protected. Of course, this cannot be generalized. But perhaps if you look within, you can identify some traits as well. Hardwired into the DNA, even if we run from some of these Godly traits…and make our beds in hell, behold! He is there! (Ps 139:8).

Be blessed and encouraged! Whatever you are waiting for…your Eliezer is on His way to find you. And while you are waiting, think on this – Whose daughter are you?

 

It is well…

Life is difficult.

It doesn’t matter where you are, there comes a time in everyone’s life, when we say, ‘this is too hard! Why?!! It sucks!!’, so on and so forth. We blame people, situations and even curse God. Lost in the bitterness and anguish of our own lives, we forget everything and everyone, except that which brings us misery. We give over own very existence to that which makes us miserable…and that misery sustains us. We talk about it, think about it, come up with vengeful, hateful thoughts and dream of vindication. The wound festers and just when it starts to develop a crust, we scratch at it again and make it bigger. Soon the wound gets bigger than it was at the beginning.

Sometimes, it lasts for a long time and some other times, it last a couple of hours. Whatever the duration…it is during these moments of desperation, that our very character is forged. Until a person has passed through such difficulty, his or her character remains untested, therefore is like a ship that hasn’t passed the test to determine if it is sea worthy. So, one never knows if your character is pure gold, or diamond or copper with bright polish. All you have is your own conviction, which is really no evidence.

So, this refinement is essential to becoming better…purer, if you will! So then why resent it? We do not hate and curse bitter medicine when we know it will save us from certain death. Then why hate difficulties and the ebb of life? Perhaps, we don’t recognize the importance of pain. Pain is the body’s way of telling you something is not right, therefore, go fix it, take care of it. Similarly, challenges are an indication that something broken in your life is being fixed. And sometimes…often times it doesn’t make sense to us. And that’s ok. Because contrary to what many people believe today, we are not God. There is only one God and we are not Him!

Many years ago, I heard the story of Horatio Spafford, narrated at Church, during one of the longest and annoyingly difficult time of my life. It was like a dull knife had been scraping the same spot on my skin for years. I was desperately trying to get pregnant…but was not yet ready to do all the serious treatment. I was mired in depression, hopelessness and felt directionless. My husband couldn’t help with my pain, so he went silent. We drifted apart. I became a recluse even among people and withdrew from happiness. Note that I said, I withdrew from happiness…not the other way around. I was like this for a many years…trying to find solace in the many things that entertained me and kept me feeling useful. But I was hollow inside!

It was during this time, that I heard about Horatio Spafford. I had sung the popular hymn for years before that. Every time I sang it, tears streamed down my face and it renewed my hope in the Lord! My faith only grew stronger and I trusted Him more. But I did not know anything about the person who wrote the song. You can read about it on the internet. But I will tell you anyway.

This man Horatio had a beautiful family, with four daughters. I gather, they were the pride and joy of his life. I imagine his wife was lovely and that she was a devoted mother to these girls. Horatio was a successful lawyer who understood the long term prospects of real estate and therefore, invested heavily into the real estate of the budding city of Chicago. He was successful and respected and life was going just right. He probably felt blessed and felt the favor of God upon his life. But one night, a fire started in a barn…some say a cow kicked a lantern over, others say other things. But, a fire broke out. And that fire destroyed much of Chicago, destroying buildings and killing people. Horatio of course, lost a lot of property and money. A couple of years later, the economy buckled. Railroads failed, unemployment peaked. I assume Horatio had invested in railroad as well because that was the future back then. It was the start of a 7 year period of financial crisis in the US. Horatio decided he had had enough and decided to take a trip to Europe. Perhaps, he was taking a vacation. But more likely that he was making a trip to salvage whatever he could of his European assets. Either way, it was a very grim scenario. So he bought passage for the 5 women in his life and himself and got ready to sail. But just before, there was some unfinished business that needed attending to and Horatio decided to send his family ahead and join them soon after. And the ship sank in the Atlantic Ocean! The girls perished. His wife Anna survived. She sent him a telegram from Europe and said, “I alone survived…what should I do…”. That desperation, questioning…how terrible for a parent to lose all her children and still survive. What would you do, if that were you?? Horatio, moved and pained set sail immediately to see his wife. And as his ship crossed the Atlantic, the captain of his ship, called him as they passed the doomed spot where where his girls met their fate. He pointed the place out in the water and explained that they were probably 3 miles under them…somewhere in the cold water. I cannot imagine the sorrow of Anna having survived or of Horatio standing over the watery grave of his beautiful babies. Unable to kiss them one last time or even see them. He wrote the now famous hymn He was perhaps writing it to bolster himself…to pin himself to the foot of the Cross when every bit of his human nature was egging him to turn away from the One who allowed such a disaster. Instead he chose to hold on to the Truth. He believed that his children were safe in the arms of their Maker. I like to imagine that the Holy Spirit rested upon him that night and gave him grace and peace. And he wrote….

when peace like a river, attendeth my way, 

when sorrows like sea billows roll,

whatever my lot,Thou hast taught me to know,

it is well, it is well, with my soul….

He knew how sea billows roll…he was on one, about to be overcome! But he remembered that God had taught him to know that it is well with his soul. That the difficulties of life…the losses and deaths are inevitable, as life itself is fleeting. But, the One who breathed life into everything and set the stars on their course is always in control.

Horatio and Anna, rebuilt their lives and had three more children. The middle child, a boy of four, died of scarlet fever. The other two girls survived. The Church said they were being punished. And that’s what religion does. But faith, and grace…ah the beauty that comes from those places! Religion is ugly. Legalistic. Judgmental and perhaps just plain mental too! But faith…that’s another matter altogether.

Horatio, Anna and their daughters, eventually went on to develop a community of believers who played a pivotal role in helping people during World War I.

If the Spaffords had given in to the sorrows of life and the sea billows has rolled over to consume them, I wonder what would have happened? Of course, no one would have remembered them. And perhaps they would have never had the love in their hearts to minister to others who were weary and suffering. Every loss, and every suffering can find a purpose. It might not make sense to us…how can anyone make sense of the loss of innocent children. It is truly pointless! Until, the one left behind, can process the pain and find the courage to step out of that pool of sorrow. And then when the heart is opened, Love, Light and Son-shine can seep through and empower that heart to reach out to others.

Sorrow was never meant to sustain anyone. God never willed for anyone to remain miserable. So, remember…it is well with your soul! No matter where you are in life…it is well with your soul!!

Thumbnails in the closet

I write in my head a lot. And not all of my thoughts make it to paper or the screen. But some thoughts come with an urgency that cannot be ignored. It wakes me up when I’ve fallen asleep exhausted and I come waddling from my warm bed to the computer to get those thoughts written, lest they keep me up any longer. My daughter is tangled in her soft pink blanket, snoring softly, oblivious to the thoughts that trouble me.

Earlier this evening, I picked her up from school. I hadn’t seen her in 3 days and she will be going away for 6 days the day after. Visitation with her dad and mid winter break with him. 2 households and parenting plans and all the heartbreak that comes with divorce. But I digress.

Earlier this evening, I picked her up from school . She had a big shy grin for me like always and blew me fishy faces and heart signs and kisses in the minute that it took her to walk up to the car with her teacher. I knew she missed me. As she gave me a hug and settled down, I saw her carefully in the rear view mirror and then forgot to exhale. My adorable princess was in a beautiful braid that went around her head and was way too complicated for her father to come up with. He won’t even brush her knots out, let alone try something like this. And I knew who had braided her hair before my daughter told me. I feigned excitement and enthusiasm and smiled as genuinely as I could. She had asked me if I was upset. It was that obvious and I couldn’t fake it anymore.

Now before I continue, I must tell you that I was very good at the faking. The hiding, the pretense…was super good at portraying that all was well with my life. But since the divorce, I have been on a healthy diet of honesty and truth and other such impolite things. So, I was a bit rusty at the pretense, but for my 5 year old to have picked it so quickly, I must have been more than rusty. I felt terrible that she had noticed and I tried a quick band aid on the moment with a distraction that didn’t work. So, I boldly opened up the conversation and started praying under my breath.

S informed me that she had a sleepover with ‘the’ woman’s child, at dad’s house. Wasn’t the first time. The braiding had happened yesterday. And dad had allowed her to go to school today in yesterday’s braid. So that I could see it. The same way dad sent our daughter dressed in this woman’s kid’s nearly torn, hand me down clothes. Has happened more than once and usually happens when he has lost a trial against me, or has had to concede in some way.

I am not unreasonable or territorial, so don’t even think of telling me that. It’s one thing if this woman was the official girlfriend or wife. I would have considered her role an important one and would have hoped that she was a good choice. And after checking her out, I would have welcomed her to become part of the village around my child and I would have been thankful that she had a woman in her father’s household to help her out. But I don’t know what she is. She is very married to someone else and is definitely more than just a friend to my ex. My daughter once asked me if she was her stepmother. Another time asked if they were going to get married. Another time she asked why her husband was never around. And then she asked me if I had to die for her to get a stepmother. My child is 5. And this woman and my ex have dragged my 5 year old in the toxic mix that they are in. My daughter is confused and is too young to process these complexities, despite her precociousness. She doesn’t need this so early in life when she already has so much to deal with.

So far, I have handled these questions with tact and have tried to strike a healthy balance for my daughter. But today was extra difficult. It was not just the braid and the other woman. S told me that she had really missed me when she saw this other woman. Whenever she comes around, S thinks of me and wishes I was there. She had tried to tell her dad that she wanted to speak with me on the phone, but was not able to. She said, “I thought he would know what I need when I was sad, but he didn’t.” When I explained that she needed to express clearly and ask for what she wanted, she said she didn’t think he would listen. And then she said something that broke my heart and I couldn’t hold back the tears. A few months ago I had ordered for some photo prints and they came with the thumbnails printed for reference. S had been playing with them. She had cut them up and put them in a little baggie and taken them over to her dad’s house and I didn’t know of it until she told me today. Apparently, he did not want her to have regular photos of me, so she had snuck these small thumbnails and hid them among her things. And last night, she curled up inside the closet and took out these tiny thumbnails and cried because she wanted to see her Mom and she didn’t know what to do.

When I see my child sad, the first thing I ask her is if she is missing her dad. And then if she wants to talk with him. She usually says no…but I ask anyway. And then we talk about him and it helps her. And so the thought of her curled up on the floor looking at these tiny pictures of her mom…I am still crying.

I have said that this is good for her…will make her tough. She’ll find a way to navigate this and cope. But today all I can think of is that it is wrong….it is wrong that her dad puts her in situations which make it harder than it has to be for her. It is just wrong!

Perfect 1st day!

New years. New beginnings. At the close of every year, people all over the world spend time reflecting. Most people are willing to do this and have traditions about it. A few others reflect because everyone around them is doing it and it is hard not to get caught up in all that communal introspection. As paradoxes go, so many people who introspect and reflect do so vocally. The holidays bring many opportunities and often, all this deep and personal stuff becomes public. Resolutions have been fashionable for a long time. Now I think it is becoming fashionable to not have resolutions. Which is a small mercy if you don’t really want to know what other people are resolving to be-do-be-duh the coming year.

Several years ago at a New Year’s party we went around my large circle of friends talking about our resolutions. The circle was literally large. People had resolved to be healthier, spend more time with family, work on those extra pounds, work on that promotion, finish that degree, peace, spirituality etc etc. My turn came and I said, ‘I want to start making money’. The room went quiet. It wasn’t as lofty as spiritual growth or as expected as better health. It just seemed to be something that the college kid in the corner there would have said. But here I was all of 32, saying something that most people in my life didn’t realize was on my mind. A friend politely raised his glass and everyone drank to my resolution. The previous night, my ex and I had been in another of our fights and he had for the N’th time said something along the lines of ‘you are worthless since you don’t make money and ‘support’ yourself’. Never mind that I was in a place where I couldn’t work legally and I was in this place because I was supporting his very successful career. But all that ugliness aside, I was certain that I was going to make money, now that my work permit was on it’s way. None of the friends in that party knew this background. Two days later, I found out I was pregnant. I forgot all about my resolution…well I pushed it out of my mind quite forcefully. I got busy with the pregnancy and planning and all the love I felt in my heart and life. I had waited for an incredibly long time for this and I was sure this pregnancy was going to change everything.

The point is that no matter what you resolve to be-do-be-duh, it is just that. A plan. Doesn’t mean life unfolds the way we want to or plan for it to or that we have the insight to determine what direction the year ahead is going to take. Predictions, forecasts, stock markets and smoke screens. Sometimes all this this planning ahead can drive me crazy. I have a very dear friend who plans. A lot. In many directions. The plans have alternate plans which have alternate plans. I love him to bits, but my mind kind of switches off in minutes when the planning starts. Because, it is exhausting to me to plan like that. I mean, what really is the point. What ever is to happen, will happen. I plan to take it all in my stride. That is a plan I can follow. I have started enjoying my plan-less, spontaneous life. Go with the flow, yolo, take it as it comes etc etc. Most people have been gently reminding me that I can’t do this forever. That I need to FOCUS! I agree, I do. Truth is that I too have desires for every year, like everyone else. I pray over these desires, and release them to God. And then I ask that His will be done in my life. Of course, I thank Him for the year. In fact, for years now, the countdown is usually spent in silent thanksgiving in my mind. No matter where I am, how crowded it is, how loud it is, how many people are hugging/kissing me, how inebriated or not I am, my heart is full of gratitude and prayer. I’ve been doing this for a very long time. Last night, I actually slept off on the couch in my friend’s house. With a smile. I woke up when the fireworks came on the TV, said happy new year a couple of times and closed my eyes again with a smile. I refused to get up and annoyed a few friends and amused others. Of course, I was doing that thank you God bit as well.

This morning, I got up from my friend’s couch marveling at the warm sunshine and biting frost and realized how light my heart felt. I missed my daughter terribly. She’s with dad this year for the new year’s eve/day. I made my friend a cup of tea, she made me breakfast. And I drove back home along the road to my old home. The home where I lived last new year’s eve/day. The house that was my dream house. I know it sounds terrible, but one of the saddest things for me about my divorce is the loss of that house. I had spent 2 years looking for it and it met almost every single criteria on my very demanding and long list. The house was representative of so many things I wanted for my life, but were never going to happen in my marriage. It truly was my dream house, but I wanted more. And so, someone else was being blessed in that house now and I was glad for them. I miss that neighborhood. It is full of families and big luxurious homes. And lots of trees and forests. I saw deer almost everyday when I lived there. Now that I don’t live near my old house surrounded by the woods, I don’t see deer very often.

I have a secret idea about the deer. It isn’t secret anymore, now that I am telling it to you, but there are probably just 2 people who knew about what I feel about those deer. One is my daughter, the other is my Mom. And now, you know it as well. I believe that on days, at times, when I really need to know that God is near me and I really need to focus on Him rather than shhhtufff, He sends a deer or 2 or a herd along my path. You see, every time I see the deer, I am forced to stop whatever I am thinking or planning or worrying or yelling or crying or fussing or complaining about. Because the privilege of being able to witness God’s magnificence, creation, goodness, provision and mindfulness, at such close quarters, in such unexpected ways is not something to be taken lightly. These reminders have brought me through an extremely difficult couple of years.

But I now live in a slightly more urban place with a lot more people, smaller houses and the woods are further away. I don’t see the deer anymore. I’ve thought of them so much and looked for another little miracle that I can feel the same way about. Perhaps I don’t need reminders anymore. Who knows!

This morning as I was driving past my old house, I was thinking about how I have never really driven into the street and seen the house since I moved out 10 months ago. I realized that I didn’t really want to. And then, right there…in the middle of the street was a fawn. It looked at me in the eye and then slowly ambled off into the woods. It stood there for a while longer looking at me and then then just like that it was gone. I am once again reminded, that no matter how imperfect life can be, it actually is perfect. I woke up on a friend’s couch, felt love, spoke with my angel to wish her, felt warm sunshine on my face, felt that everything is going to be alright. And I saw deer! Now I am sitting in a Starbucks writing this, sipping on my latte, ignoring the work that needs to be done, seeing the gorgeous mountains in the distance, memorizing the way they catch fire when the sun shines on the fresh snow and I am feeling the sun warm my back….on the 1st of January 2015. Life is beautiful…and this moment is perfect, just like all those other moments that I have lived and breathed. This is contentment. Once you’ve tasted it, there’s no going back.

Wishing you peace, contentment and the ability to hold on to hope, even in the midst of life’s maelstroms.

Blessed and Happy New Year!

May the sun shine on you always!

Personality!!

I always knew I was special. As in special, not someone with developmental issues, although some would argue that is the case.

I remember a heated debate with my cousin/best friend and my mom when I was about 16 or 17, about why I thought I was special. Why I thought that I WAS different. But no matter what I said, they countered that I was just imagining it. That I wasn’t really different, just naive to the world with very little exposure. They were right, but not entirely. I ended that debate contemplative and moody. But I refused to believe that I was like any other 16-17 year old girl. Perhaps I was just a cocky, arrogant teenager. Perhaps I was beginning to understand intuition. Over the years, I have done things differently than my peers. Some were radical, other stupid…but they were different. I didn’t say I was a genius…just different. And special! 🙂 We all need that sort of encouragement, often times self encouragement, especially when we are down in the dumps. And I’ve been down here for a loooong time.

Struggling single mom, trying to get a business to take off, trying to wrap up legal and divorce related crap that just won’t stop, losing all my money in legal fees and not able to do anything about it, trying to get a job to make up for the draining pocket, still getting abused by you know who, trying to keep a healthy balance for my child and myself and getting told to suck it up and stop complaining on the rare occasion that I do. I mean…It could be worse. Believe me I know that! But this place I am in is bad and I’ve been here for a long time. I’ve lost friends, people that I thought were sisters have betrayed me, friends who promised to stand like brothers have forgotten me, and the realization that no one can really be your sister or brother has finally sunk in deep. I understand that people don’t like talking about problems. So I don’t. The few times I shared with even close friends, I was told, sometimes discreetly, that I was over-sharing. I’ve been advised to get counseling, when all I wanted was a friend, not a counselor or advise. The loneliness, abandonment and sorrow that I experienced for years as a married woman is now intensified as a divorced woman. Because my choice to leave a man and a marital status also opened my eyes to the reality of the other people in my life. Extended family, relatives, so called friends, so called well wishers. People who loved me and ate at my table and enjoyed my generosity turned around to curse me and call me loony. People who met my ex through me chose to remain his friend even when they came to know of some unacceptable, unmentionable things. They denounced him in front of me and made strong clucking noises, but yet chose him over me.

But I am not wallowing in a pity party here. Before you get all weepy and start feeling sorry for me, know that I am happy. Truly happy to be rid of all the negativity, drama and the people who have created it for me. I say these things because I must. If I don’t express the ugly reality of what has happened in the past 2 years, it doesn’t mean that it doesn’t exist or continues to plague my life. It does. I am not ashamed that I am going through this. I chose this. And it was the best thing I could have done. I pretty much hit the reset button 2 years ago. And like my dear Ma reminded me, I took years to become this tangled up. It is going to take a while to untangle. So I’ve exercised patience, drawn upon grace and tried to complain as little as possible. One of the biggest blessings has been the ability to help others the way I wanted to be helped. I listen, counsel and try to be patient with new friends who are going through similar, sometimes worse, often isolating experiences. I have met new people, made new and truly eye opening discoveries about myself, become more confident about myself than I have ever been. Even at it’s worst, it is still good. I am so grateful for that conviction. I know that I am a champion! And champions go through utter crap to become formidable and fierce.

But then the reason I stared out this long-ish post was that I had a good hard laugh just a while ago. I’ve done personality tests before. I’ve known what my type was for years. It was always a toss between 2 similar types. I’ve never given much importance to these types and stereotypes. But I was filling out an application for for a job and it required me to take a custom personality test. Out came the results. As expected, I was one of the 2 types. But it had a little note at the bottom. And it took me right back to that argument with my now estranged cousin/best friend and my mom. And I had such a long hard laugh…tummy hurting, eyes watering, knocking over stacks of papers kind of laugh. Irony, validation…encouragement…hogwash, marketing gimmick whatever. Some might not even see the humor in it.

But here’s what it said.
INFJ – The most rare personality type. Only 1% of the population are INFJ’s

The other personality type that I am diagnosed with some other times –
ENFJ – 2.5 %

So…for those of you who said it, and those of you who always thought it, but were polite and didn’t say it, and for those of who who thought there’s something off about me. – I suppose I am a misfit eh?!

Phew! Thank goodness I am special and I am different!

I toldya!

The real irony

Today, I got a fresh stack of trial material to read through. A fresh stack of accusation, insinuation, character assassination to accelerate the overall putrefaction of a relationship that is 16 years of age. This relationship did NOT end with the divorce. Oh no!! This relationship is never going to completely end. Most people don’t understand this. But when I had a child with this man, this former love of my life, we got bound by blood and DNA. And a beautiful and precious little angel.

You want to hear the real irony of this whole drama. We named our daughter years before we even got married. It was all so romantic. It was not easy for me to get pregnant with my child. She was born 10 years after I got married. And a few months before she was born, in the middle of the happiest time of my life, I knew that I could never be truly happy with the father of my unborn child.

I remember that moment. I had my hand on my belly where she was kicking me and making  her presence known. I was smiling and memorizing everything I could about this moment. And it hit me like a thousand paper cuts all at once, that I would never be completely happy. That it was not because of me, but because of where I was, who I was with. That my options were to live a lie for the rest of my life and perhaps taint my daughter’s life with this lie, or to summon up the courage to do the unthinkable. That moment was fleeting, the epiphanies were staggering. But the process had begun. I had willingly ignored every warning signal before this one. But this time I knew that it was not about me anymore. So, I did what any woman would have done. I prayed. I committed it to God. I told myself it was hormones. I kissed my husband when he came home that day and I did it with every bit of love in heart. I put those thoughts away and refused to think of it again. But I was not any woman. I was me. And I was lying again to myself and I was smart enough to know that I was doing it. And I knew it had to stop.

But that’s not the real irony of this whole drama. We named our daughter years before we even got married. And our daughter’s name means ‘the uniter of people’. I have so many reasons for ending my marriage. My daughter was one of the reasons I found the courage to leave my marriage. But her name in light of that marriage…I don’t even know what to make of it. I hurt for her. For the loss of that…whatever it was.