There was no possible way that I could prepare myself for this. Many times before this I had shamefully wished it to happen. How stupid of me for that thought to ever cross the threshold of my mind? In my anger I wanted everything to stop. The world to just stop and just give me a break. What I craved was peace, harmony and for us to be complete. They don’t teach you how to cope with this at school. They don’t give you a handbook on how to take on a role like this. School doesn’t tell you what to do when your parents are going through a divorce. You just go through it.
You know those adverts you watch on television, the ones where your eyes are graced with this idyllic view of the perfect family, the perfect holiday with everyone in harmony with each other – the ones where ‘perfection’ is metaphorically slammed onto their foreheads. I used to want that. I guess in some ways I still do but that is exactly what it is – “ideal”. No family is like that. No family is perfect 100% of the time.
There is no easier way to put this other than – divorce sucks. It really does. I think it’s more the sense of lack of control that you have as a child. Floods and floods of thoughts fill our heads as children of the divorced that go a little something like: was it our fault? What could we have done to prevent this? Why is this happening to us and when will this all be over?
The whole framework of the family unit becomes utterly destroyed. It falls out of reach from your fingertips and shatters into a million heartbroken pieces that may or may not take you a few years to gather up again. Divorce is that knife in your back that you don’t expect and boy, does it hurt. It hurts a lot. More hurt, pain and unanswered questions pile on top of each other and most of the time, we don’t know what to do with it.
I was around 17 or 18 when my parents separated, my mother moved out of the house in pure defiance and of not being able to cope anymore. In a way, it was almost retiring from many years of hurt in a brave and courageous defeat. We all knew that it was for the best but that doesn’t mean it makes the whole ordeal any easier. For a while I felt like my mother had gone missing from my life, although she wasn’t far away I missed not having her around the house.
Gradually as the years rolled on I held on to so much anger inside of me towards both of my parents. I would find myself pressured to take sides, I would hear insults thrown and pasts being brought up. I remember coming to a place of just sitting in front of the Lord and just weeping. I remember being at such a loss for words that I didn’t even have any thoughts. I remember going through a time of numbness and hopelessness and of unhealthy mind-sets where I would never see an end to this turmoil of my family being ripped apart. I grew angry and moody and my whole being was shaken from doubting who I am in Christ to letting my studies fall rapidly to the wayside.
However there was someone that would hold me together when my world was doing the opposite. The hatred that I felt did not last long, let me tell you. I had an incredible support system throughout all of this that God raised up to help me.
Most importantly God held my hand throughout the whole process. The relationship that I maintained with God enabled me to be there for my little brother, who took the transition much harder than I did.
After countless nights of crying to the Lord behind closed doors He was strengthening me. I may not have all the answers as to why my family had to go through this, maybe one day I will find out. All I know is that from those times of hardship God turned into good, to the good of all His people and I can safely sit here and say that my relationships with both of my parents and my brother has never been stronger.
Yes, at times I do wish that we were all together again but then I remember what it was like when we were all together – the fights, the struggles and I look back and think no, those moments aren’t worth going back to whether you could have prevented some things or not. I am getting closer and closer to my parents everyday despite being away at University. I look back and I realise how much time I wasted holding onto hatred in my heart that wasn’t good for my soul.
When I let the Lord into my heart and I mean really let the Lord into my heart – He replaced all of it with love. A love that expands towards my parents every day, accepts their differences, their quirks, their annoying ways and loves and embraces them for who they are, who the Lord is moulding them to be and trusting in Jesus to determine my moves.
If divorce has taught me anything, it is to remind myself:
- The Lord is my strength
- I must trust in Him
- I cannot waste my time in anger
- I must love always
If your parents are going through a divorce right now I want to pray God’s healing and restoration into your life. You may not see the clearer picture at this moment but trust me He sees it and one day you’re going to find out. But in the meantime every day you have until then holds a choice – you can choose whether you want to serve Him and His kingdom or you can choose whether you want to serve the Kingdom of darkness.
Remember that divorce is not your fault even if your parents have said that to your face before, regardless, they are lies and you must speak Jesus’ name over the power of those words that they may have no effect on you. Our Father is the only one who on this earth and far beyond it will be there for you constantly especially when your parents, siblings, friends or boyfriends can’t – what a marvelous relationship to invest your precious time in. Keep on keeping on and let the Lord carve you into the beautiful masterpiece He has been working on since before the world began.