Filling Up The Void In My Heart

The last Sunday of July is Father’s Day in my home country and August 10th is my dad’s birthday. I miss my DAD. He is my HERO in so many ways.

  • He always finds a way to LIFT me up, CHEER me up, replace my tears with GIGGLES and SMILES, and help me see my own STRENGTH when I feel weak.
  • He gives the best HUGS ever and his WISDOM is only equal to the immeasurable JOY he shares with everyone that crosses his PATH.
  • He has always BELIEVED in me, PRAISES me, and offers advice when I feel LOST.

Milciades Fernandez ~ The Positive MOM dad

I’m CELEBRATING my daddy. He’s many miles away… with my siblings, but he’s always with ME in my heart! And although I am happy and I know it’s a blessing I have such an amazing dad and he’s still with me, I am crying. I would like to be there. I want to go HOME.

You know, this is a touchy subject, but a lot of people approach me and comment on what a wonderful thing is for me to have been able to come to the United States and, I’m not complaining, but they create a different story in their heads than I have in my heart. I didn’t come here in search of opportunity; as a matter of fact, it was the complete opposite.

In the summer of 1999, when I came as part of the Work and Travel program, I fell in love with a man whom I ended up marrying in the Dominican Republic in 2001. At the end of that year, I was hesitant, yet I still left a successful corporate career, my loving family, my supportive friends, and the first home I ever owned to move to California and start a family.

A little over 3 years of marriage and life as a stay-at-home-mom, and soon after a week-long cross-country drive to Florida, I was suddenly left a single mom of two toddlers to start over again. That’s when I started wondering why on Earth had I given it all up for this man. I was so hard on myself. I felt like such a fool.  Have you ever felt like you wasted time, energy, and resources on someone who did you wrong?

I felt so angry, frustrated, humiliated, ashamed, scared, hurt, clueless, demoralized, crushed, and alone!

The worst part was feeling STUCK: I couldn’t go back home without full legal custody, which ended up taking almost three years to achieve.

I am blessed to say that God helped me to bounce back and I gave myself permission to turn my passion into my paycheck by becoming a success guide, mentoring moms worldwide to get started on their own entrepreneurial journey so they can enjoy time with their kids while doing meaningful work in the world.

I am in the United States by choice now – and grateful – but I still miss the Dominican Republic, my family, my friends, my culture. I used to travel there a lot with the girls, but I haven’t been able to renew their passport without their dad’s signature and it’s been almost three years since I’ve been there.

Every holiday, birthday, and special day, I feel a void forming in my heart… and I feel tempted to beat myself up about my first marriage.

Despite all that has happened, and that I haven’t seen him in almost a decade, I can say my ex-husband has blessed me so much: he first gave me my first two daughters, then left them behind (which means I got to keep them – yay!), and through his departure he removed a huge stumbling block, allowing me to see my strength and get back to the path toward my purpose.

My eyes are swollen, yet my heart is full once again, because I know God knows the eternal puzzle that I can’t see in my own understanding, and that grounds me in trusting that “all things work out for good” and helps me remember that I am so blessed to have such an amazing dad who loves me… just as I am.

As I continue to struggle, I’ll continue to fervently pray about this situation. Will you join me?

Elayna Fernandez - Author - 
Speaker - Success Guide to Moms and Mompreneurs
© Elayna Fernández ~ The Positive MOM

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81 thoughts on “Filling Up The Void In My Heart

  1. You certainly have my prayers. I admire your passion to continue motivating others and sharing encouragement …which is also my passion. 🙂 God bless you and the children and comfort you while you wait on God’s timing until you can one day visit your home again and see your dad and extended family. Hugs!

  2. I definitely understand being both grateful and resentful toward your ex! I’m the same way with mine!

    Even with full custody you need his signature for a passport? That is terrible and VERY inconvenient!

    I wish you the best of luck in finding a way to bring your family home!

    • Thank you for your understanding, Kelly. Sometimes we feel like we are the only ones – and I think you know what I mean.
      It’s crazy with the passport deal – I’ve tried so much and sent all documentation they asked for to see “if” they would waive that, but they haven’t so far. I’m going to keep on trying.

  3. This is a beautiful story and I admire you for standing up for other single moms. I have been there done that, its not easy. I agree my mom and dad were there to help me when my own life seemed to be falling apart.

  4. This is a beautiful story of struggle and happiness. I can tell in your words that you are a fighter and have come out on top! Good for you! That is fabulous!! Keep on fighting for those girls!

  5. I used to be so angry at my ex until I realized I was only hurting myself. He didn’t care if I was mad at him. He was off having a grand time. I had to learn to forgive, but never forget. Great post!

  6. Happy belated birthday to your Dad. I too have a close relationship with my father. He’s the one who taught me how to read at 2 1/2 years old. He exposed me to so much at a young age. He’s shaped me into a well-rounded, competent and resourceful woman. So, I completely understand how it feels to not be able to be in your father’s presence for his special day…

  7. It is too sad that you can’t go home to visit. Maybe your Dad can come visit you? My Dad died 13 days before my 16th birthday–at the age of 63 I still have not gotten over it- I am sending positive and strengthening thoughts your way.

  8. I admire your strength and passion. My dad lives 3,000 miles away and I haven’t seen him in a few years. It’s never easy being away from family.

  9. What amazing story. I to had gave up so much for a man to find myself a single mom after 9 yrs of marriage. During my marriage I became disabled and couldn’t work. Times like this just show us how strong as woman we are. We as woman can never give up. Good Luck and prayers sent your way. Thanks for sharing.

  10. Good thing is that now in Florida you are a bit closer to your true home
    Stay positive, you have made your choices and they are bringing you good thing you have seen and many more to come!

  11. My dad is many, many miles away from me too. I haven’t seen him in four years and he has never met my two-year-old daughter. I hope we get to see him soon, but circumstances have permitted us thus far. I pray that you’ll be able to see your father soon.

  12. I absolutely admire your positivity! I’m not sure that I would have the same outlook as you after everything. I hope some day soon you can take your girls & go see your father. <3

  13. It’s so hard at times to find the positive when you’re going through such difficult times. I’m so glad you have been able to do this.

  14. I was taught that everything happens for a reason and it’s all a blessing in disguise. I’m glad you’re now able to help others but wish you could see your dad as well. I miss mine.

  15. Perhaps turn your focus…instead of thinking about the void you feel, think of that part of your heart that your loved ones fill regardles of the distance between you…

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