I held up my bare finger, the one that had once boasted a gorgeous diamond ring. Divorced. For the second time. I was a woman of accomplishment, a school principal. Mother to two beautiful girls. Yet I was a magnet for men who were not what they seemed. Why couldn’t I get marriage right?
That morning, my lawyer had called to tell me my divorce was finalized. I had known it was coming, but the emotions that boiled up surprised me. Anger. Shame. Confusion. I didn’t want the girls to see me like this. I dropped them off at my sitter’s house. Then I retreated to my bathroom and proceeded to have an epic pity party.
“God, do you even love me?” I choked out. “How could you let this happen to me again? Don’t you care about my children? Our happiness?”
I’d grown up in New York City, raised by strict parents of Jamaican and Portuguese descent. They instilled in my four siblings and me the importance of using our God-given abilities to succeed in life. My mother was a nurse, with a side business as a cake baker and designer. My father owned a construction company and used his basement barbershop to minister to young men. We kids were expected to be just as driven. I pushed myself to excel in everything I did—academics, piano, art. Marriage and family were sacred. Divorce was something spoken of only in whispers.
In college, I fell in love with literature and writing. I earned a master’s degree in education and got hired to teach sixth grade for a school district on Long Island, on top of teaching art at an inner-city school.
I often got assigned the kids the other teachers had given up on. The problem students. But I discovered I had a talent for keeping them engaged, motivated. I mentored several students outside the classroom and got involved in citywide programs. That’s how I met Husband No. 1. He worked for the New York City mayor’s office. Smart, motivated, handsome. And he had Caribbean roots like mine. That confirmed he was the one. I didn’t even have to pray on it. We married.
Then I discovered how little we actually had in common. Like the fact that he was a smoker and didn’t exercise, while I loved in-line skating. We were opposites in our approach to handling finances and emotions. He had zero interest in praying or reading the Bible together. Our first year of marriage, I got pregnant and gave birth to a baby girl we named Zaji. Parenthood didn’t bring us any closer. We divorced a year later.
Continue reading your story on the app
Continue reading your story in the magazine
The Legacy of Flight 93
An Army officer remembers his cousin Rich Guadagno and the other 39 heroes who died in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, on September 11
After two divorces, did I really know what I wanted in a relationship? Did I even know who I needed to be?
“God Will Bless Your Business
George Turner was sure the pandemic would spell the end of his struggling bike shop. His pastor had other ideas
The 46th Peak
We decided to do this last hike of the challenge together. Partway down, I heard my husband scream
Challenge Yourself to...Connect More!
Eager to emerge from the loneliness of lockdown and socialize again? We’ve put together a list of 15 challenges for reconnecting with the people you care about—and making new friends too. Focus on a few activities, or pick one each day to try over the next two months. Pay attention to how your relationships flourish!
Reason for Hope
I feared my son would never get off drugs. Until an art class changed my heart
He was the dog I always wanted. But he came with baggage, a little like me
ALONE WITH MY FAITH
The pandemic left a lot of us feeling isolated. Including me. But it opened the door to something deeper in my music and in my soul
How two strangers found friendship and healing as they came to terms with the legacy of slavery
70 Years of Hope & Inspiration
Elizabeth Sherrill’s life as a writer has been a journey of the soul, a journey that also became the very soul of Guideposts magazine
THE SECRET TO A HAPPY LIFE? Prioritize Fun
This is a summer like no other, with life returning to normal after a year and a half of lockdowns and restrictions. If you’re feeling conflicted about stepping back into the “business as usual” rat race, you’re not alone. The stress and isolation of a global pandemic and social upheaval have led us to rethink our values and consider a reset. What do we do now? If you ask me, it’s time to dedicate ourselves to a very important pursuit –– having fun.
JOHNNY'S HOLLYWOOD HIT LIST
Asked to resign from the Fantastic Beasts franchise. Written out of the mega-successful Pirates of the Caribbean’s next outing.
LIFE IN THE AIR
Senior Moments The trade-offs of airline-pilot life
ONE TRICK TO TRAVELING CHEAPLY: FLEXIBILITY
So you want to travel on a budget.
It’s easy to see why Barbados has long been favored as an escape to the sun
What to Expect If You're Flying in 2021
Policies enacted by the airlines in 2020 may change air travel for the long haul.
Jamaica – License to Thrill
Where to play like James Bond and rock out like Harry Styles in Jamaica
An Aviation Mentor
Why it’s so important
Holidays at Sea
Plan ahead for seasonal and special-occasion sailings.
IN SEARCH OF PLAN B
WHAT ARE YOUR SAILING PLANS FOR 2021 AND BEYOND? ELAINE BUNTING INVESTIGATES THE OPTIONS FOR SAILING IN AN ERA OF UNCERTAINTY