There is no question that divorce is painful. It’s the pulling apart of two souls. I look at my soon to be ex-husband and I’m sad. I mourn over the loss of future memories. I mourn over the pain I have felt the last seventeen years. I wonder why some people are blessed with amazing marriages and I’m getting a divorce.
I’m fully aware that this was a choice I made. I only wish that people didn’t feel the need to judge me.
I’m not talking about the moms in the carpool line or the friends who sleep in every Sunday, unfortunately, I’m referring to the friends that I sit next to in the pews at church. People I have called my extended family, who I trusted with my deepest hurts and secrets. Friends I have trusted to care for my children since they were babies. People who should have surrounded me in my time of need, instead of turning away because they were uncomfortable talking to me about the struggles I was facing, or maybe they are turning away in disapproval over my choices.
Many of you who are reading this right now understand the pain I’m referring to. You may not be getting a divorce, but you might have a child who is addicted to drugs or pornography, or you might have a husband with a wandering eye, or a child who has turned away from the church. The pain comes when we see someone look away when they see us or completely avoid us when they normally would have reached out to see how things are going. In this age of social media, it’s doubly painful to see that friends have gathered but didn’t include you. We all have things that bring us pain, whether it’s a person or moment, I’m learning what matters is how we handle that moment.
It’s easy to act like the hurt never happened. I am a master at hiding my hurt. A cheerful smile can hide a lot. It’s when we are alone that we have to deal with the pain. It’s in these quiet moments that resentment can creep in, but it’s not a real party until bitterness shows up. Resentment and bitterness can create walls faster than Bob the Builder.
I’m not preaching to anyone. I struggle against flesh and blood just as much as you do. Do you want to know the truth? Can I be real? This is a daily struggle for me. I wake up every morning and before my feet hit the floor I read my Bible and pray. I think I’m the neediest Christian I know. I’m constantly asking God for reassurance that we are going to be okay, asking Him to help me show grace instead of ugly tears, and asking him to tame my tongue. Angry words can be poison to the soul.
The one thing that has helped me get through these moments is God. He lifts me up and shines through me when I’m utterly broken, which I am most days. I’m learning that it’s in those moments of hurt that I’m being tested and refined. I may not have handled it right this past Monday, but today maybe I’ll handle it a little better and the next time maybe a little better than I did today. It’s a process, my friends. It’s not something that happens just because we pray once. It’s a growth that happens when we feel the pain and then turn it over to God.
I hope that as you walk through the next week you will offer yourself some grace and then offer it to those around you. We will make it through this valley and once we do we will be able to look back and see how the path we took was the right one for us.