Two nights ago I experienced what may have been my lowest point after court date. I listened as my hurting daughter cried, screamed, and targeted me for this heartbreak. She doesn’t know where to put the blame for the worst nightmare of her little life. But I am her safe place, so that night, I got the beating. I listened to her anger towards me. Every word punctured me deeper and deeper. I should’ve “stood up and made him stay; fought for our family; maybe a new family is better than ours; we’re the only ones divorced in our whole family,” ….what failures we are as parents.
This was all his doing, but I couldn’t tell her that. I couldn’t bash her daddy in that moment as much as I wanted to so that she would lift that heavy weight of blame off of me. I couldn’t tell her how much I did fight in prayer, in words, at times pleading with him via email to stay. She just wouldn’t understand. I had to take it. All of it. Until I fell to my knees in my bathroom to recover from it.
Divorce hurts. Divorce hurts double when it hurts your children.
Sometimes I feel like this is punishment for idolizing marriage. That couldn’t be farthest from God’s character and how He works, but I can’t help but feel that way sometimes.
Boy did I follow through with “valuing” marriage when I pledged my commitment to someone I knew struggled with their sexuality. I pledged to “walk out his freedom with him.” That’s probably the deepest form of commitment – when you KNOW they can fail and yet, you still sign up.
Go me. I was an all star in the world of betrothed wives.
I had mastered “in good times and in bad” before I even walked the isle.
And isn’t this how Christ loved the church? Knowing she may fail Him, yet He is unwaveringly committed to us? Maybe I should’ve never compared an earthly marriage to the ultimate heavenly marriage.
I thought, surely, my commitment combined with God’s mercy would see us through, and we would make it. He was an open book. He shared his struggles in hopes of keeping the darkness in the light and overcoming it. He shared his story with people who were doubting God’s love and mercy…proving to them, God is with them and has a plan for them no matter what they’ve gone through or what they struggle with. Surely, we were going to make it. We were going to beat the odds.
And then free will came along. Life got boring (for him). In came a mini mid life crisis mixed with the weariness of “waiting on God,” and we were doomed. I’m not sure what he was waiting for. For the desires to disappear? What if freedom didn’t consist of them actually disappearing but freedom would be found in overcoming his actions? Maybe overcoming your actions comes first, and then the desire disappears? I don’t know. What I do know is this was not God’s original plan for anyone -whether born into it or not. It was not the original perfect plan for me, for him, for marriage in general. So we shouldn’t be surprised when it comes accompanied with so much pain. When “life gets boring,” anything looks better than home – even the personal destruction you’ve been fighting your whole life to avoid.
I’m not sure how I’ll ever explain free will to my seven-year-old. I’m not sure what I’ll say next time she throws a tantrum and blames mommy for not stopping all of this. Or how I’ll continue to use self control when all I want to do in those moments is call his phone and set it down next to her so he can hear her pain. He doesn’t see this pain. She doesn’t show it when she’s with him. I can only hope He’ll give me the wisdom. For her sake; for her heart.
He alone knows why He let this follow through. He let it follow through. I’m still coming to terms with that. I’m still coming to terms with free will and how it can wipe away God’s will in your life in an instant. Not that He can never restore it, but the wipe out, oh the wipe out. It’s so hard to watch it go down. But if He let this follow through, there must be a purpose here.
I am learning why God let’s some things go; let’s marriages go – unhealthy marriages.
I am walking in the significance of the absence of the breakthrough I expected -a concept I never fully understood until I heard this sermon. This is so worth the time to listen to:
Answers Matter, by Bill Johnson