I'm still struggling. It is interesting to note how I have ups and downs. Last night, I tried attending a new (to me) Young Adults group in Tampa at a different parish than the one I regularly attend. There was a wedding rehearsal going on when I arrived. Such a beautiful and intimate setting, and such a pretty inside of the many-windowed church lit amongst the pitch black night sky.
A couple months ago, there was a wedding at my own parish as I pulled up for confession. I had to turn around and come back home, to attend confession at another time. Not that I'm not happy for couples getting married, but the thought of ever marrying again and experiencing the blessings in life that come only with healthy marriage just seem so far off--even unattainable--as I (still) await what I pray will be a favorable annulment decision (for remarriage) after 18 months. Evidently the diocese where I filed my petition is backlogged with cases due to an extremely high number of divorces. Sad that so many Catholic marriages are failing.
Meantime, I can't even get to first base with dating. It has been three years since I lived under the same roof as my (ex) wife, and nearly two years since the civil divorce was final. She is practically married to a guy she met at work, and has had support of nearby friends these past two years. My life has become completely isolated, with seemingly no hope for recovery, as I've moved to a new place, then lost a career, and moved to another new place (Tampa) where I'm trying to get my feet back under me. Want to talk about loneliness and heartbreak? Coupled with the unplanned career change and move from friends across the state, the effect has been purely devastating and even debilitating at times.
Being treated very poorly by a woman I had met after moving to Tampa last year, who claims to be Catholic, didn't help. I had wanted to simply be friends with her, and really needed someone who could show me around, introduce me to other Catholics, and help me settle in. She was trying to rush me into marriage when I'd made it clear I sought only friendship due to lack of an annulment decision. She did some things subsequently to intentionally hurt me, to include calling me after she had established a relationship with someone she had met, to tell me of her new boyfriend and that she didn't want to be friends with me. She didn't return a couple of calls/texts a couple days afterward, so I'm not going to chase. I never understood people who intentionally try to hurt others, especially folks who claim Christianity and then act in ways contrary to our Catholic faith.
So, have been very alone the past 9 months. With career loss, moves, and my father's death, this time has been the closest thing to hell that I can imagine. I'm just now starting to move ahead on my own with efforts to build a new life here in Tampa after feeling numb the first 8 months here. It takes much courage and prayer... not much I've done in this life has been harder. But, I am finding opportunities for character development, reflection, and growth that may not have come otherwise. And, perhaps our Lord has a reason for giving these tests at this time. I don't know why, but am certain He does know, and one day--on the other side of all this heartache--perhaps I'll look back and have a feeling of peace and understanding as I see how this time was a time of building faith, growing closer to our Lord, and building a capacity to love others much more deeply than before. Have certainly picked up a healthy dose of humility through experiences endured the past few years.
Yeah, having a difficult weekend... Things will get better. Prayers for all others going through similar circumstances,