(570) 871-3930 jen@jencasper.com

As the year 2013 comes to a close, I am drawn to going over the past 12 months.  The lessons I have learned, the people I have met, the lives who intersected with mine, and the things I have let go or that have let go of me.

When the year began, I was newly divorced.  I was licking the wounds a short marriage brings.  I contemplated life, set realistic goals for myself and aspired for a different life.  I met men who I thought were different than what I had just walked away from.  How wrong I was.  I thought I was growing spiritually as a person and that I was learning.  I grew confident, secure, and allowed myself to continue on a path I thought was right.

Today, as I look back on my many decisions, my many actions and what I thought I new just a few short months ago, I realize just how wrong I was.  It takes a big person to admit they were naive.  Or you could say it takes a person who has woken up to realize just how dreamy they thought they were.  Today, I look at the circles I made, the things I allowed, the people I allowed to enter my life and create a havoc only another person can create.  The key to this story is allowing.  I allowed it to happen because I did not realize I was allowing it to happen.

There was faithful day in September when I met a man who made me weak in the knees and gave my heart a pitter padder I won’t soon forget.  I will never forget when he told me he was taken.  My heart fell out of my chest like broken glass.  Later that evening, he came up to me and asked me to come to his work…to see him again.  Confused, I just brushed it off.  I let it be, or at least I tried to.  I prayed to God and asked him to take away the image of his face, the look in this eyes, that smile, the sound of his southern drawl out of my ears, all of it or to bring him closer.  I gave it to God.  I prayed to him.  God listens to all prayers and he listened to mine.  He brought the images even more to me…in my dreams, in my day dreams, in my vision, and brought the man closer to me in life.

A relationship was started and after a few short days I knew it should be let go.  I should walk away from this.  There were signs.  There were feelings.  My gut knew, my heart knew, but my heart sought this out.  I heart asked for a person to enter my life, I prayed for someone to sweep me off my feet.  Within a short period of time of six weeks, the honeymoon and the relationship was over.  I released him from my life.  As he drove away with his things in the back of his very packed car, I began the countless tears, the emptiness began to settle in, and the questions flooded my mind.

Whenever something bad happens, we ask ourselves “Why did I not do this differently?”  I asked myself the same thing.  “Why did I wait so long?”  “Why does this hurt so badly?” Then comes the pep talk from friends and family.  “Oh, you deserve better.”  or “You will find another who treats you better.”  And the wise comments from your children, “I thought he was the one in the beginning, and then, he just changed.  It was then I knew…he was not for mom.”  That last one, that hurt.  My son, age 10, saw it and just allowed for me to find out myself.

This year has been about choices, decisions, and lessons.  I made choices based on the information I had.  I learned from these lessons.  The hurt that is left behind from these choices is not disappointment, but rather a grief.  A grief that grips the heart.  The grip is so deep it is immobilizing.  The immobilization is because you thought you had it together.  You thought you had it figured out and then come the day it appears you got it, nope, you don’t.

Moral of the Story for the Year 2013:  Release what you can, learn from the experiences given to you, live in the moment and enjoy each second.  You don’t know what is around the bend that is okay because it is as bright as you can imagine.  Learn from your choices.  Make the decisions for yourself and always ask for information.  When you give up your right to make a choice, don’t blame another for the making the choices for you.

2014 serves to be a time to embrace change.  The knowledge and lessons you learned in 2013 will serve you wisely in 2014, so use this information to your advantage.