It was hard for me to start dating again

It was hard for me to start dating again

My divorce has been the best thing that has happened to me. I never once was upset with Heavenly Father. The second I found out my husband was leaving me, I was on my knees. The first few months my knees were literally blue and purple because I was always on my knees–I had bruises! That was the only source of strength I had, and it was the only source I needed. It wasn’t that I was gaining strength through learning all these doctrines; my testimony and my strength were founded on the love I know my Heavenly Father and Savior have for me. It was just such a growing experience for me.

After eight months in New Zealand, you went back to Provo. Was it hard to go back to a singles ward?

At first I went to my family ward in Utah. My bishop was like, you might want to consider attending a singles ward. I did, and it was awful. I was terrified of all the guys in the ward; I thought they were all terrible people. At one point my bishop called me in and was like, Kenna, you need to be nicer to all the guys in the ward. I was just projecting what I had gone through onto everyone and it wasn’t good. For some people it’s not so bad, but it was very difficult for me.

What advice would you give to other young people considering marriage?

In my case, I wasn’t spiritually grounded. I was worthy to attend the temple, but I didn’t have the spiritual maturity that I have now. So I would say, number one, make sure you are completely grounded in the gospel. Number two, realize that you may have different timing than others; your plan is different than other people’s. Number three, don’t settle.

There’s this strange culture here that we’re running out of time and getting old, and we’re not going to find anyone. It’s terrible! I watch my friends go through it; everyone feels this desperation to get married. But the Lord has a plan for us and He has our timing set; we need to trust that.

What advice do you have for people who have recently gotten out of a difficult marriage?

I would say, the Lord is aware of you and your situation. He has the ability to turn any tragedy into something beautiful. If we seek for His help and guidance, that’s exactly what He’ll do. I would also say honor your grief. That was something a friend of mine told me during my grief. Our feelings matter. It’s okay to hurt and it’s okay not to be okay. It’s hard, but it’s a part of mortality.

What have you learned about yourself?

I learned how committed I can be to something. It was really good for me to see how committed I was to working on a marriage, and to really realize that I would have done anything to save it. If at any point he had come back and said, “I’m so sorry, let’s do this again,” I would have done it again. I would have tried. That was really helpful for me to learn about myself.

I also learned that forgiveness was harder for me than I would have liked it to be. I thought I was a terrible cavar isto person because I still had hard feelings. It’s a process and I had to learn that Christ loves everyone and wants everyone to return to Him. That was very humbling and very hard for me.

Steve Jano Author