Today someone made a comment on my instagram page for my book that reminded me where I was emotionally three years ago. This lead me to clicking on her page. Her posts looked very similar to mine back then.
She was questioning, how does it feel when your ex is quickly moving on, even wanting to marry another woman after so easily discarding you?
“My ring finger on my left hand feels oddly naked, like it forgot to put on its bra and mascara before it left the house.”
That’s the first line from a chapter of my book, Divorced and Forty. (P.S. You should order one on amazon if you’re going through it.) I wrote it a few months after my marriage ended in 2016, and at the time, the “phantom pains” of my missing marital appendage- my wedding ring- were intense.
I knew all about these “phantom pains” from my ex-husband, who had amputations as a result of military combat. He would wake up from time to time in intense pain, and say something like, “My right hand hurts.” Which would have seemed normal, except for the fact that he didn’t have a right hand.
The first time he said it, I thought he was kidding, as he always kept a great sense of humor despite his injuries. He also wasn’t one to ever complain, so I figured out quickly that this was a real thing.
According to the ever reliable web MD (as well as my ex’s explanation), phantom limb pain is a common occurrence among amputees. “After you have part of your arm or leg amputated, there’s a chance you could feel pain in the limb that’s no longer there. This is known as phantom limb pain.”
This is also known as having someone rip your heart out of your chest and yet still carrying on in the world as if everything is fine when in fact- you are definitely not fine- when your heart has been – well, ripped out of your chest. You’re like a zombie. The walking dead.
My message today for those who are fresh out of a long-term relationship is this -your heart will eventually find it’s way back to where it belongs.
Along with not feeling like a part of you is missing, you will stop the habitual ritual of fiddling absentmindedly with your ring finger. Then, one day, you will wake up, and you will take a deep breath, and the weight of sorrow will be gone!
My message to this woman, who I am just a few steps in front of, was to hang on and to tell her that one day, she too will be free. That bare, naked ring finger? It means- in more than one way- that you are free. Think of it this way, you are not only free from someone who was incapable of valuing the masterpiece God created you to be, you are free to.
You are free to remember…
Who you are.
What you really want.
Who you want to become.
Why God created you and what His purpose for your life is.
You were made for more. This is your window of opportunity to allow your heartbreak to propel you to your purpose.