Divorce and Peace

June 24, 2012

I’m in the process of a divorce.  Have been for a while, if you weren’t already aware of it.

Very few of you know the whole story, and if you don’t, please don’t expect to find the entire story here. Such stories are better shared over coffee or a beer than by writing about such life-altering things on a blog or on Facebook. Though I admire the people who publicly write openly about such things, I’m not sure that I’ll ever do it.

What’s been on my mind, lately, is how others have been reacting to things.

I understand the hope and desire of so many for things to work out… family, friends, and fellow saints all hope to see what is “best” for the situation. Yet when someone has dealt with something for so long, must accept reality for what it is, and has done so through peace and grace, it does little good to quote scripture and push obligations onto that person.  Especially when they’ve been required to walk a path that meant letting go of their own prior beliefs and principles about such things.

Making the shift from an incredulous husband into a forgiving and helpful ex has been both peaceful and incredibly freeing.

I’ve learned a lot of things over the past couple of years.

  • I’ve learned that as much as we’re called to forgive completely, cheap forgiveness is related to what Bonhoeffer called “cheap grace” – which is forgiveness without repentance, without true confession or a resolve to recommit and repair. Such forgiveness does not build up a relationship. It may allow it to continue, but it continues on with a weaker foundation, not a stronger one.
  • I’ve learned that even the wisest of people can be completely wrong and misguided in foundational ways.
  • I’ve learned that religion has a tendency to make people feel empowered and entitled to tell you precisely how you should act and respond in any given situation.
  • I’ve learned that the New Covenant of Christ is far more concerned with the way we treat others than it is with legalistic concerns.
  • I’ve learned that our greatest strengths are directly tied to our greatest fears and weaknesses.
  • I’ve learned that I’ve been as guilty as anyone for viewing others who have gone through divorce with eyes of judgement and condemnation.

 

2 responses to Divorce and Peace

  1. As someone who has actually walked this path, I can definately relate to how you feel, though every situation is unique. I also have had my own eyes opened and have been humbled to see how self-righteous and judgemental I was for most of my life. Fortunately, the Lord does not stop loving us when we are not perfect, and even more fortunately, He does not stop loving us even when we try so hard to be, or when we try to convince others to be (YIKES!). As a matter of fact, He IS our perfection. I spent most of my life trying to be perfect, and for the most part I was. I thought. In reality, my external life may have looked perfect, but in fact, my soul was a mess. I lived my own life, by my own energies, with my own best interest at heart. It is EXHAUSTING to work so hard to do the right thing, even if you have the best of motives. We talk of not eating of the tree of the knowledge of GOOD and evil, and of Living by Jesus, the Tree of Life. But talking of ideals and actually living His Life are two totally different things. His Love is so different from ours, and our ideals of love. It seems I have been on this same journey over and over again. I also think that the more competent and self-reliant you are (characteristics I have always prided myself on), the harder it is to truly understand our need for Him. My own journey has given me a glimpse of my own independence and thankfully, He has broken me over and over again, and I have had to turn to Him, and rely on only HIm. I know that I need this right now and no doubt over and over some more.
    While, of course, it is sad to come to such circumstances as these, Life does go on. I love you both. I do hope the best for both of you, and the munchkins. My hope for both of you is that you will experience more and more the indwelling Life of Christ, and be more and more captivated by Him.

  2. Derek.

    I was going through the list of people that I follow on Twitter, saw your name, wondered what you were up to, and saw the link to this post.

    I completely, totally, completely, totally, and utterly understand. Totally.

    I hope that you have people around you who support you. I’ll be praying for you and your family. I know how helpful it is to find people who know what’s it’s like. If there is anything I could ever help out with, please let me know. I mean it.