We survive divorce, but the broken pieces remain.

I’ve had the great opportunity to be a part of a radio program (WWIB.com) involving weekly segments of Divorce Care. I will be facilitating our church’s program in just a couple of weeks. My next Stepfamily Rx conference is set for April. I’ve been doing articles for a women’s magazine, and recently was asked to be a keynote speaker at a Christian women’s conference. My book is being edited and we plan to have it launched by the end of April. Divorce, remarriage, families, and kids have been swirling in my world for the past couple of months within the scope of coaching and helping those divorced or in stepfamilies. I believe it is God’s plan for me to do these things.

Maybe I’m feeling overwhelmed. Maybe that is why this year felt more bittersweet than other years when it came to our family’s inability to get together in one place at one time for Thanksgiving and Christmas. Or maybe it was simply that although we survive divorce, the broken pieces healed, they still remain and affect our lives. I’ve been remarried now for over 15 years and divorced from my sons’ father since 1991….it shouldn’t be such a big deal anymore right?

I was going through my paternal gramma’s recipes the other week, preparing for some holiday baking. Some of them were in her own handwriting. A flood of memories began to wash over me and the way life was. Her handwritten words caused me to feel she was standing right next to me. Life used to feel simpler, more grounded, more “together”. I was very close to my grammas and my family had established routines with my grandparents for visiting and for holidays. It seemed a bit of a clash of memories regarding my “undivorced” childhood family life to now…which includes divorced family lives. I read and hear of families fighting during the holidays, stepfamilies trying to get schedules down, bitter emails and texts between ex-spouses.

I needed to vent today, release the sadness in my heart and share with you that if you are not divorced….please don’t. I know…I’m divorced and divorced twice. With that said, that doesn’t make me an advocate of divorce. It’s nasty business. Unless there is harmful or biblical reasons, which separation should first be pursued, please try to work things out. Kids can deal with fighting parents because they are still their family. Kids feel sad and unstable when one of the two people they love the most leave the family. Kids can go to school and roll their eyes and sigh….”they’re fighting again”, but they are despondent and torn to admit their family is broken and doesn’t exist anymore as it used to.

Marriage is work, marriage is not easy. Marriage is God and both husband and wife. We can survive, stepfamilies can find harmony and happiness in their newly formed nucleus, but we cannot imagine how the future events will change. We have no control over them and have to accept situations that are difficult and cause interruptions in past traditions. I am happily married today and thank God for who and what I am and all that He has blessed me with. But in pursuing my divorce, I did not envision the brokenness that would spread, the melancholy that I would feel as my life and the lives of my sons unfolded. I am sure my husband did not either in his divorce. I was struck this year with my husband’s daughter not with us for either holiday, and both of my sons had other plans for Thanksgiving; one son and his family not with us for Christmas and the other son and his family were able to be with us a few days after Christmas. It used to be a lot simpler….

I pray for all of us separated, divorced, remarried…..and I pray most of all for the kids of divorce. Love each other, forgive often, laugh when you don’t feel like it. Respect marriage and all that God intended it to be.

May your New Year be the happiest ever. God bless you.

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