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Sweet Sorrow

Eighteen months ago, my children were safely ushered to bed and my husband sat in his matching recliner to tell me something that would shatter my world and reality as I knew it. He loved me, but not enough. It wasn’t me, but him. Our marriage was the reason for his crisis of faith.

He was going to divorce me.

All these words felt like an invisible force slowly consuming me. I felt hot and cold , unable to speak, and had to focus on my breathing. I was in a fog of shock and disbelief. I will forever remember the pain that hit me in waves over the following days, weeks and months; but at that moment I was numb.

What I was unaware of at the time, was that this deep and painful grief I was experiencing, would result in an abundance of God’s love and presence.  I would come to know and understand the truth of our Lord being near the brokenhearted and experience a peace that truly does defy understanding.

I wept alone in bed that night, just footsteps away from my children whose worlds were to be shaken the next day, asking God to help me.

Thankful for International time zones, I called my parents at 1:30 in the morning, 7:30 their time. I emailed my priest and was able to meet with him that morning.  In the weeks that followed, I couldn’t eat, and felt my body ache with grief, but I was loved.

God placed me and my children in the palm of his strong and kind hands, protecting us.

As a small flame is protected, so were we.  I felt as though our heavenly Father made us a nest of those who loved Him and who loved us. We were brought food, so much food. Masses were offered, treats were left on the doorstep.  Most importantly, we felt His nearness and continued to feel that over the following months.

We saw the face of Jesus in our community; our Parish, neighbors, friends and family.

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Shona Terrell

Shona is a British single mama to four wonderful American children. She feels closest to God outside, or when enjoying a beautiful art form such as ballet, art, or music. She fell in love with, and converted to, the Catholic church 13 years ago. God has been very good to her.

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