The formation of a natural pearl is almost a miracle: a fragment of something that the oyster accidentally ingests gets embedded somehow on the inside of its shell, and the oyster surrounds that something with countless layers of mother of pearl to produce a rare and precious jewel.
Recently I have ingested a irritating something. I was faced with a predicament with my former husband. I was served a petition in February, stating my x was suing me for custody of our son. It came as a bit of a shock since most of our divorced relationship we have been very amicable toward each other. I felt I had always been accommodating (maybe too much) in order to keep from fighting over our child. This was a painful matter in my childhood, when my parents went through a 4yr custody battle all in the name of love. I swore to keep this a pain never to put my own child through.
Back in the fall in 2006 I had Chandler go and stay with his Dad during the school week since I was going to be working a full time job that required nights. I had several other options for Chandler's care, but taking into consideration how I would rather him be with one of his parents than some other care the decision seemed easy. I felt I had made the right decision and little did I ever think it would turn on me the way it has. It's a very long story and the build up has been evolving over two years now. For most of my years of a mother, I have been in the home and very involved with our children. Only a mother can truly understand the involvement and surreal love that encompasses our children. I believe strongly that you don't take children from their mothers. It is instinct to become a bear of a woman when any thing gets between a mother and her child.
Given this situation and knowing the position I stood, I was confident that I had nothing to prove to any one as far as who I am as a mother. I hired a lawyer and a month later we went to court. That day I saw Scott with his lawyer,in the court room excruciating emotion erupted from my soul and for a brief moment I felt what it was to hate. Every thing that had been buried from our past all hurts I felt I had put behind, had now resurfaced and forgiveness was far from what I could open my heart to. The ruling of the commissioner was harsh and far from my expectation. I was given 6 nights a month for my parent time and ordered to pay Scott child support. I could barley stand and struggled to keep my composure together, I felt my heart and guts had been ripped from me, my confidence as a mother was shaken and my soul felt stomped upon. Out of anger I questioned God, where was he? I did not want to fight, fighting felt so wrong in all this. Fighting is never best for anyone. Stephen and my attorney talked some sense into me and we made the decision to appeal the case. I suppose there is a difference in fighting over something and fighting for something. May 16, Things ended without going to court. The week before our hearing Scott and I agreed to do mediation. All went well, was basically a 50-50 split. I felt good walking away that day, knowing we did our best to come to a resolution. Neither of us got what we wanted, but we could walk feeling content and dissolved any bitter feelings. Life is to great a gift to live in bitterness.
The growth through all this has been forming and creating a beautiful pearl, with out this speck of discomfort and all the emotional mayhem there would be no jewel. A true test of character. I let the bitterness go and tried to find peace within, still managed to find away to try and love the opposing side. I felt at times I was at war, but was I at war with Scott or was I at war with myself? There is a way to find peace midst a storm. A hint of glimmer in things that appear ugly. Choice, it is our destiny to choose what our world becomes. Look for good and that's what you will find.
I adore my husband Stephen, my hero and true best friend. Part of the beauty of cultivating this pearl was realizing what is most precious to me. My relationship with my husband, my children and all my family, Robert's and Preston's. Most important, my relationship with God. All my relationships grew more deep, sincere and meaningful. The realization that not for one moment did I ever stand alone or will I ever stand alone. I hope by the end of my life I will have cultivated enough pearls to have a whole necklace.