My Story: A Little Deeper

I have a confession to make… and I probably shouldn’t be making confessions just 5-weeks post having a baby, but what the heck! Here’s my confession: this blog is called “Graciously Authentic,” yet for the past year I’ve been hitting writers block, because it feels like it should have been called “Authentically Vague.”

The large majority of my life over the past year has been totally up in the air, things have been changing and I have wanted to honor that they weren’t final before I talked about them and dove into it here. I wanted to process some of it first and I do that very well through writing but it seemed pre-mature. So instead, y’all have received just a lot of “life is really, really hard right now” blog posts. I was being as authentic as I could at the time, still praying that the situation would change.

Things are 90% final now and I am ready to share now, so the jig is up.

First things first, my sweet sister asked me why I wanted to blog about my life as of late and that’s an amazing question I feel needs to be answered before we dive in. I have gone through some batshit crazy things over the past two years of my life – experiences and circumstances that when you’re going through it all you can think is “You seriously can’t make this stuff up.” Experiences that have left me on my knees sobbing, running to my counselor for help, thankful for amazing friends who come along side me and pray, and most importantly they have brought me closer with my God who never leaves me or forsakes me. I have changed more as a woman in the past 2 years than I have in the past 20 combined I would easily say. I have matured, realized so much about myself, learned more about God’s character, learned how to deal with crazy life circumstances with GRACE, and so for those reasons I am going to share with you. If my story can help just one person realize that your circumstances shouldn’t dictate your attitude and that in the end God is always trustworthy, then I’m glad I wrote it out. He is always the ROCK we should lean on during tough times and should trust in.

I do want to clarify that sharing my stories and circumstances will always be done in a way that honors anyone I talk about or refer to. I am not out to bash anyone specifically, but rather just tell MY story in hopes that it blesses someone else. Also, writing is my way of processing, so if you’re reading this it’s sort of life you’re reading my journal entries. So welcome to my world :)

Celebrate Life Session by Kate Whitmore
Amazing Celebrate Life Session by Kate Whitmore

So alllllll of that to say that I’m in the middle of getting a divorce, which therefore makes me a new single mom.

Now let me explain: last fall my husband told me that he wanted a divorce which came as a total shock to me. I won’t get into the nitty gritty of it all, but I will just say that I wasn’t expecting it and felt like someone had punched me right in the gut and my wind got knocked out of me. I felt that way for weeks- I didn’t have an appetitie, wasn’t sleeping well, continously just felt SICK to my stomach. It was from that point on we have been separated.

Fast forward three weeks and I suddenly felt sick again. But this time it was full blown nauseous – like so nauseous that I had to lay down. It was then that it hit me. Holy cow, I have no idea when my last period was…. And I just KNEW. As in, I felt God already confirming to me that I was pregnant.

I knew with 99% accuracy that I pregnant, I just felt it. It was then that all the signs and symptoms made sense. I thought I felt sick from the stress and sadness of the situation, when in fact it was that I was pregnant with my sweet little boy.

So then I took a pregnancy test. Then I promptly called my dearest friend who is a nurse and just asked, “How accurate are pregnancy tests?!?” To which she responded, “Very accurate. But go buy another one just to be sure…. And some pre-natal vitamins.” So three pregnancy tests later, I was now 100% sure that I was indeed pregnant.

And from that point on I knew my life was going to look a lot different than I thought it would be, but even in that moment of total shock and confusion I felt God’s overwhelming presence over me. I felt a settling peace that while I had NO idea what my future looked like, HE knew. And as long as I’m listening to Him and following His lead He would guide me through whatever we encounter.

The past 10 months have definitely been the hardest of my life, full of really high higs and really low lows. The day I went to the OB to get my first ultrasound I also was interviewing lawyers. Because that’s normal, right?? That’s the juxstaposition that the past year has been for me. Going through a divorce while pregnant and then with a newborn is emotional x100. Divorce is painful enough – the betrayal, the questioning, the confusion and all the pain – then add some extra hormones on top and let me tell you, it’s just one giant party!!

Want to know the best part? I had been on birth control for YEARS and there were no baby plans in our future. So there was a huge part of me that in my heart I knew this child was ordained and anointed by God. That has been a big comfort to me: while this might not have been my ideal plan, God isn’t surprised by any part of my story and He’s walking with me.

I can honestly say that these past two years have been the hardest but sweetest times of my life. These are the experiences that have sent me falling on my knees before Jesus, broken and absolutely a mess. He has been my sustainer. He has been my husband. He has been my comforter. He has been my rock. If I hadn’t gone through these things, I know I wouldn’t be the woman I am today with the faith that He has so richly blessed me with. I’m so thankful for all the crazy circumstances, because God is making beautiful things out of me, out of these messy circumstances.

Winston Jacob and I are a family

Jacob, Winston and I are a family now. I have no idea what the future holds for us, but I know God’s plan is bigger and better than anything I could dream for myself so I’m trusting in that. I know all of this will work together for GOOD in my life and in Jacob’s life so that is my primary focus. Am I scared? Yes, sometimes. Do I wonder what my life is going to look like? Yes. Are there big major dreams and goals that I have for my life that I’m questioning now? You bet. But I really am trusting in God’s goodness. He knows my heart, He made it. He knows my dreams and desires, He put them there. I am choosing to trust HIM instead of to fear.

Thank you for reading along and if you’ve been walking on this journey with me, THANK YOU. I couldn’t have done any of this alone.

I am finally glad to be truly authentic with you – it feels like I have been holding my breath for a long time and I’m just now starting to release it.

My name is Kristen and I’m a single mom going through a divorce, but that’s not all of me. That’s just a part of who I am. I’m also a follower of Jesus, an entrepreneur, a friend, a writer, a dreamer, a photographer, a friend, a daughter and a sister, a Target lover and a shoe-aholic. I’m going to start chronicling my stories regularly here on the blog. I hope you’ll join me on my journey of being totally authentic and honest. I think it’s about time we all shared in our struggles and triumphs together because We Can Do Hard Things.

Much love and lots of big hugs,
Kristen

p.s. Just wanted to state that I’m against this divorce and it isn’t my wish, however divorce only takes one person and that makes me very sad.

30 thoughts on “My Story: A Little Deeper

  1. You’re awesomely strong mama, even if you don’t feel it sometimes. I’m always impressed by your energy and joy! Hang in there!

    1. Thanks Kate! I’m so thankful for dear friends like you. When I think of you, I think of your STRENGTH and the tenacity that you love your sweet family. I hope to be like you when I grow up!! Love you!! xoxo

      p.s. I want to do CrossFit too… and then have your abs. Not too likely, but I will try. :)

  2. I am so, so proud of you and the grace with which you’re handling all of this. Seeing it in person is a privilege, and the way you rely on the Lord is inspiring. He is holding you, guiding you, keeping you in His care – it’s so clear. Love you and your precious boy!

    1. You’re so right whitney, He sure is guiding me! Thanks for being a sweet friend to me and listening during these times. I can’t wait til we get to go have our lunch dates again. I love u!! xoxo

  3. i am proud of you. You are a mighty and courageous woman of GOD. And YES HE WILL work all things together for the good of those who love HIM and are called according to HIS purposes. HE HAS YOU & JACOB right where HE wants you:) PRAISE HIM!

    1. Ohhh friend, thank YOU for walking with me and being a PRAYER WARRIOR for me and my little family during these times. I’m PRAISING God for my family and for you!!! xoxo

  4. Your bravery and faith in the face of all of this has been really inspiring to me. Love you friend, and praying for you and little J!

  5. Wow. As a survivor of a divorce (with no children) I can loudly proclaim “GOD NEVER LEAVES US” and beauty truly can bloom from ashes… God bless! Tiffany (wife and mother to Kasey Blue, 2 years).

    1. Tiffany, Thank you for sharing and for commenting. Your story is an encouragement to me and I too believe that he makes beautiful things out of ashes. I’m believing in that big time!! Blessings!! xoxo

  6. I was brought to tears by this post, Kristen. I can’t imagine how your heart must be breaking while at the same time being filled with so much love from Him and from your precious new baby. You are such a strong woman and it is inspiring that your faith has not been damaged by all this, but strengthened instead. Thank you for sharing your story and best wishes to you and your family. -Melanie Tracey

  7. I love you, Room! I wish you didn’t have to go through such hard things, and all at once :(
    But I am praying for you and am glad that I know such a strong and courageous woman! <3

    1. COOB!!! I’m with you about the hard things all at once, but I’m so hopeful that this is the end of the crazy hard things. There’s such joy ahead and I’m thankful for that! I hope y’all are doing well, I miss seeing you!! xoxo

  8. What huge courage you have…. I admire you…, your little one sure is lucky. Everything happens for a reason! I truly believe that! Huge hugs to you!

    1. Thank you so much Maureen, I really appreciate your encouragement! I have huge admiration for you too!! Hugs!!! xoxo

  9. Years ago, my friend Sara D Harper and I attended (my first) PUG meeting in Nashville. I remember meeting lots of friendly faces, including The Gray’s. I wasn’t able to attend but a handful of PUG meetings, but I loved everyone I met. I remember Sara and I meeting you. You seemed so sweet and interested in what anyone had to say. I would say that you even seemed nervous but I was probably nervous so that couldn’t been just me.

    A few years later, I was in a tough time during my life and I attended Cumberland Church. The church band performed “You’re Beautiful” by Phil Wickham and I cried through the entire song, hearing it for the first time. When I turned around to leave, I caught a glimpse of you sitting behind me, tears streaming from your face, and you had been singing the song at the top of your lungs. I asked you what the name of the song was and you told me.

    Now I log onto facebook and see this link on my newsfeed.

    It’s SO odd to me how you’ve always stood out and made little cameos in and out of my life, probably without even realizing it. I truly feel like I was meant to read this- more than I can even admit to myself.
    I am so glad that you keep God so close to your heart and trust him so deeply. It is so clear to me that he uses you in the lives of others- even in my own life. “You’re beautiful,” Kristen. I can’t wait to see the awesomeness God has planned for you, Winston and Jacob. Thank you for sharing. It helped at least one person.

    1. Whew Tanya, I literally started crying (see a theme here??) reading your comment last night. I’m blown away by God’s continual faithfulness in our lives and how intricately he weaves all the details of our lives together. I’m not surprised that I was sobbing in church, that’s not unusual but I don’t remember that exact memory so thank you for reminding me. “You’re Beautiful” is one of my all time favorite worship songs and I actually got to hear Phil sing it in concert last fall as I was walking through all of these very hard things. I sobbed through it that time too :) I’m thankful for you sharing your comment with me, I sincerely treasure it…. and now I think we shouldn’t just make “cameos” in each other’s lives but become true friends!!! So many blessings and thank you for your dear encouragement. Lots of love! xoxo

  10. Kristen, first let me say you are an amazing woman. You have no idea how your story has touched me. Though my circumstances differ from yours it is great to be able to look to a friend who has the strength to lean on God at times like this. That is a woman I pray to be. I can’t say that I have been as trusting in my situations but I am working to be. Your story has made me see the light of how to overcome heartbreak, trials, and those times when you feel so defeated. And right now is one of those times for. I haven’t followed your blog in awhile but for some reason God was drawing me to it today and now I know why. You have blessed me more than you know. To you and Jacob I will be sure to put you both in my prayers, that God continue to keep his loving arms around you and that you continue to trust him. Thanks again.

    Shayna

  11. Kristen I just saw this come up on my facebook and clicked to read it. I am oh so sorry for you and am completely praying for you and for Jacob (and Winston too!). I cannot imagine what you are going through but you have such a good attitude and are committed to God’s will for your life so I know you will do the best you can do with God helping you with every step!

    1. Sweet friend, thanks so much for praying for us and for commenting! I’m thankful for your encouragement and I hope I get to see you soon. You’re right, God sure is guiding my every step. Love u!

  12. Good for you Kristen! I did not get a chance to marry but I thought I was on the road to making the happy family I had imagined and went forward with having my baby. Only to be a single mother like you, a year and some change later. I refer to my feelings as “what I imagine a divorce would feel like” because I believe that is the very last option. All of that has been really hard (such an understatement)! On a brighter note, my preemie daughter (3lbs) is now a happy, giggly, curious busy body 2 years old……basically the best thing that ever happened in my LIFE! I know that she was created out of a space where love was formed (thanks to my counselor) and I thank GOD for her everyday. I am just now beginning to be hopeful for what tomorrow will bring for my personal life. Thank you for sharing, YOU DID THAT!
    All the Best!
    Kris
    (I love Kris with a K!)

  13. When I think about you…even as a little girl in church, I think about a big beautiful smile and eyes that would light up the world. I am so sorry for all that has transpired in your life that has brought you deep pain, but I do hear the “joy that cometh in the morning,” resonating through your words. I am also thankful that that little babe of yours will be seeing your beautiful eyes and your tender smile the first thing in the morning and the last thing as night. My dear sister was a single parent with a baby. And yes, it was a very tough go at times, but she clung to the Rock that was bigger than she was and she had days when she soared and days when a strong wind could have blown her over. I am seeing her on the other side and thinking too that you are one amazing young woman with one amazingly ordained little boy. He must have some kind of powerful destiny set aside for him…as does his momma. I don’t know if you remember me from CPC and other places, but you are now on my permanent prayer list. Thank you for sharing your tender and beautiful heart. May the Lord put a hedge of protection over you and your boy.

  14. My mom told me about a quote recently that I love: “You can’t control what may happen to you in this life. But you can control who you want to be after it happens.” You are such a shining example of this! I know this blog will inspire many. xoxo

  15. You are AMAZING Kristen! Thank you for being so brave to share your story. What a blessing you are to so many! Sending you HUGE hugs and love. xo

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