It was three years ago that I finalized my divorce.
It’s that point where you suddenly realize that one chapter is ending and another beginning.
Where you are forced to take whatever was once holy and cherished, to fight a personal battle for whatever cause you are fighting for and come out the other end pretending that you haven’t changed, all the while trying to reintegrate yourself into that semblance of life and society that still remains the same even if you yourself are completely different.
And as you begin on the road towards your own personal exodus, you are constantly reminded of the fact that you willingly walked away from the life that you were once used to, often times filled with doubt and remorse and wondering if maybe it’s not too late to turn around and go back.
But it is too late because whatever comfort and familiarity your life offered you up until that point, you have decided to leave it all behind you and jump.
And as you try to stay focused on everything you were told to focus on (you know, the important stuff whatever that may be) you can’t help thinking about that one impending reality that you have no idea where you’re going to land, if you are going to make it and how much it is going to hurt upon impact.
But what at first seemed like a decision that you have made for yourself eventually becomes a fate that has been chosen for you, as you find yourself unable to fight the force of gravity that has now taken over.
And there before you stands a pillar of fire, a barrier, separating you from your past and those who still want to reconnect with you (for better or for worse), knowing full well that you are no longer able to return. The decision already made for you.
So you forge ahead on your own personal exodus with great trepidation and fear, through the depths of the Red Sea, bravely facing the unknown ahead, fearing that at any moment the walls might come crashing down upon you. Some of us turn around momentarily to look back at what our lives once were, but then just as quickly turn back around to face forwards in anticipation of what our life journey ahead is inevitably going to become.
Our first footsteps are slow, treading softly as our feelings of despair inevitably join together with our renewed feelings of hope.
Without hope, there is no way we can achieve our goals.
Hope and love.
Anyone who has made it to this point must choose to take that final step out of the river onto the safety that the dry land offers, joining the ranks of those we love and those who love us in return, all united in a common goal: to live and to be free.
We become engulfed with our own conflicting interests of not willing to let anyone sap us of our energy and strength and yet always being willing to reach out our hands to help someone who has not yet had the strength to rise above the murky sea ground and to reach dry land.
But we must remain focused, all of those negative feelings which we once carried on our backs should be forcibly left behind us to sink like a fading memory, to the bottom of the deep dark sea.
Gone but never forgotten.
And with our minds and souls free to rebuild, we suddenly start to explore the idea that had been merely a little seed during our exodus and has now begun to nurture itself and to blossom into a beautiful new creation.
The idea that we too deserve to dance on the banks of the river.
We have talents and beauty and the right to make a life for ourselves that will not only give to others but will also make us feel happy, proud and fulfilled.
And as we dance we learn to create and to love and to connect to those around us who are dancing too, whom we never would have met had we not taken that initial leap.
Sure, we might falter sometimes because even that strong faith which we hold fast to like grim death itself, is tainted with the poisonous skepticism that continues to flood our very beings.
Sometimes we find ourselves betraying the God who saved our very souls merely because of the mistrust that is engrained into our very beings. And we continue to wander, never really knowing when or where our journey will end.
But even as we go about our daily lives, we feel the warmth of the sand beneath our feet, the shade of the clouds above us and we awaken each morning knowing that our basic needs are provided for seemingly by the work of our own hands, a gift from God worth so much more to us than the sustenance that we once received from the hands of others.
We know that we are finally home, in our own land, and at peace.
This peace still makes us waiver, never letting us forget where we came from, sometimes a daily reminder and other times a fleeting memory that jumps into our consciousness like a marker on the side of the road, entering our thoughts almost as quickly as it leaves.
With this new found zeal for life, we learn to maximize every waking and blessed moment knowing full well that this is where we were meant to be. We were given a second chance to make an impact and to leave our own personal imprint in this world, however fleeting, where and with whom we choose to leave it.
This is the story of a modern day exodus.