27 May 2019

One Little Prayer to Help You Date More Wisely

I was very nervous about dating again after my divorce and annulment.

Honestly, it kind of overwhelmed me.

I was afraid I would be tricked or deceived by a man or worse that I myself would repeat mistakes again from before I had gotten married. But the funny thing about pain in life. is that it has the potential to be a beautiful teacher. And as I began to date, I saw I had learned a lot about myself and had gone through a lot of personal healing that made me a healthier, more self-aware woman.

I remind myself of that as I work through a recent break-up from the first serious relationship since my divorce. As I do more healing work, I find those same fears from before starting to creep in.

Satan thrives on the lies we tell ourselves, he loves to play on our innermost fears and insecurities.

Some of the ones I wrestle with most: 

You will always be alone. 

You will be hurt or tricked by a man again.

The desires of your heart will never happen.

God is not faithful or kind.

You will never find someone to share your life with.

You get the idea.

Maybe your tapes are similar or different to mine.

The problem with Satan is we must not entertain what we know are lies or deceptions from him. We have to send him and those thoughts back to Hell where they belong.

As I have been personally working through some of those old fears recently, I was reminded of a piece of helpful advice my younger sister gave me when I first started dating after my divorce and annulment.

Specifically, a prayer to help me make better dating decisions and trust my gut better this time around.

Ask the Holy Spirit to make things very, very clear.


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21 May 2019

New Friends, Projects, & Showing Up for My Life

I have been struggling to write more here in this space over the last few months for a variety of reasons.

Honestly it has been a mixture of trying to find my bearings after a breakup, working through my feelings and sadness while finding a new rhythm for my life. Work has been a little busy since Easter and I have been reviewing some books a few friends recently published.

Shortly after breaking up, I was really blessed and grateful for some new friendships enter my life that have blossomed and flourished. They have been a real gift to me. I am grateful for friends who came into my life when things just felt sad and messy, they have been such a bright spot.

One such friend was Christina
We have been Instagram friends for a long time, but when she sent me a message saying she'd been praying for me recently (not knowing about my ending a dating relationship) we just started opening up and sharing a lot more going on in our lives.

Since then, we have become dear friends on Marco Polo. And we have developed a new project together called, Still Here. It is called Still Here because divorced people are still a part of the Church and we need to do a better job of ministering and caring for them. We hope eventually to form a permanent online presence and are really excited to see where Holy Spirit takes all of it.

If you know of a woman in your life for whom this would benefit and support, please share the group with her!

As two Catholic, divorced women we saw a huge lack of resources for Catholic women in this area. We have decided to start a closed Facebook group to offer support and encouragement to women who find themselves in this situation. 
And I am super duper excited to get to meet her in real life this summer when I visit her. 

Over the last month, I have been thinking more about dating and feeling ready to do so. I have spent time reflecting on what I learned from my first serious relationship since my divorce. I am so grateful that it was safe and healthy (of course not perfect), but I am grateful for the lessons and gifts of the time we shared together.

I have dipped my toes back into online dating. It is going okay-ish. So far I have had one really crazy date, sent lots of messages, gotten a few back, and then had a weird messaging interaction with a guy over Facebook. 

It feels a little frustrating and scary to be back here again. And I know I have to keep processing things with Jesus on why I am right here in life right now, and that is a work in progress.

Being open and showing up to live my life is hard sometimes, especially when I wish it looked different.

A dear friend recently reminded me that I cannot be afraid or avoid messy feelings sometimes; just name it and choose how to respond in spite of them. More importantly she said, you have to learn how to be okay with yourself, that me and God together are enough. I know she is right. 

I really came to learn those lessons for the first time in my life after my divorce. But maybe I need to strengthen those skills right now where life has me. A prayer on my lips a lot right now is, Jesus, help me to trust You with the desires of my heart. So between that, and asking Jesus what He has to say to me about how I feel where life has me feels like an honest and authentic place to be.

I am excited for summer. I have some fun road trips planned with my new car, two weddings of friends, and hopefully getting to speak at an out of state Theology on Tap. I am going to do a 10K run. I am trying to balance having a variety of fun things to look forward to while being open and stepping outside my comfort zone a bit more.

So that is where I am right now: the new and exciting and everything else in between. 

The pre-order sale is going on right now for the Blessed is She 2019-2020 Academic Planner. This year there will be the two sizes, the regular and the mini.
The sale ends on May 27, so grab yours here.

And thank you as always for using my affiliate link.

Hope spring is turning out to be beautiful and glorious wherever you live! :)

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07 May 2019

Divorced and Catholic? You Still Have a Place.

I didn't know what to do and I was afraid I would be judged harshly.

Several months before I decided to move out and pursue a divorce, I was inwardly struggling with how I could be treated or perceived in the Church, especially with my work in parish ministry as a lay woman.

I had met with the former rector of our local seminary, and laid out my fears and insecurities:

Would I be judged? Would people at work come up and ask what happened when they noticed my last name changed? Would I be a "less than Catholic" because I was the one who left and started divorce proceedings? Would I still be a part of the community because now I was divorced? Would I be treated differently?

This kind, pastoral priest leaned over his desk and said to me with such compassion, "Patty, God hates divorce, but He doesn't hate divorced people."

When I think of my wrestling with this idea of having a place in the Church as a young, divorced woman, I reflect on those words I heard in that priest's office that day.

For divorced Catholics, both men and women, these and related questions are very real concerns.
When part of your identity is in being someone's spouse and that no longer exists, it feels scary and unnerving. I think even more so for Catholics who practice their faith and are trying to follow Jesus with their whole life.

So shall we just address the big pink elephant sitting in the living room?

If you are a divorced Catholic, yes you 100% still have a place in the Church. We need you just like we need every other person.

Your experience matters.
Your story matters.


And if you know someone who has gone through a divorce please share it with them.

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04 May 2019

When You Have to Break Up With a Good Guy

Maybe you have been there like I have.

You meet a man and hit it off. The conversation flows easily, you are attracted to each other, and fins lots of interesting things to talk about. You balance each other out, laugh easily, and get along well together. 

Later on, you have vulnerable, honest conversations on things like boundaries, healthy sexuality, expectations, spirituality, past relationships, your hopes and dreams, etc. 

You decide to seriously date each other. 

You spend more time together with both of your families and friends. You continue to learn, grow, and explore life together. You feel peace in that decision, in pursuing a committed relationship with this person. Time goes on, and perhaps you see a future with this person through the sacrament of holy matrimony.

But then somewhere along the way, the peace leaves you.

And for whatever reason you may not fully understand yourself, you don't have peace about moving forward in dating this person.

Has this ever happened to you in dating and relationships?

I am working this out in my own life right now. Several months ago I broke up with a good, honorable man who I thought was the right guy for me.

While I have perfect peace about the decision, there are several things I am doing right now to help work through and move on from this relationship.


What has helped you work through and heal from past dating relationships?

I am curious to here what is helpful for other people. :)

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