Sometimes it hits me out of nowhere, when I’m least expecting it, and I wonder at how the dam could so easily burst when I thought the waters had all dried up. One minute you’re filling in forms and before you know it that insensitive piece of paper wants to know exactly what date your marriage ended on. I still cry sometimes.
No, it’s not the desperate, dark grieving kind of crying, the kind that once had me getting help because my children deserved to have a mom growing up. It’s not self-pity, either. That kind of crying is like your soul swallowing up the shards and letting them slice away at your broken heart–it only intensifies the pain. It wasn’t that.
I guess you could liken it to a healing salve. It’s the kind of crying that comforts. Wraps you in a hug of ‘I sure wish you never had to go through this’ assurance, and lets you feel like you’re still worth something. It’s when God lets you lean on him and lose yourself in his compassion.
Whoever thinks divorce is an easy solution has never had one. I don’t say that with fingers pointing in any direction–I have enough of my own ‘stuff’ to deal with to keep me out of everyone else’s for the rest of my natural life. It’s just that it kills. It really kills.
Sure, there is healing and recovery from it. There’s healing and recovery after a tsunami, too, but I don’t recommend one as a way to clean out your car port.
So I filled in the form. I had to stop a time or two and just let it out. All those dates I’d rather forget: the date we got married, the separation, the divorce… Then I got to the end and had to fill in today’s date (yesterday’s, now) and it was like someone opened the blinds and let the light shine in the shadows,
and I felt I should build my altar. This is it.
June 28th. I was still a teenager. No, not your ‘happy girl next door’ kind of teenager–the restless kind. The kind that couldn’t-find-anything-good-in-life-unless-she-was-drinking kind of teenager. The one who’d dropped out of school because she was going to live her own life her own way–who wanted, more than anything else, to be free, but carried her dark addictions with her everywhere she went.
It was the day I came to God when he called me out of my darkness to trust in his Son. It was the day I laid all my burdens down and sailed away six inches off the ground for so long. It was the last day I ever felt the overwhelming craving to have a drink–ever. And the day God promised he would never leave me, though I have lived in constant fear of it for so long.
But, today–looking over those forms, I know it to be true. I can look back over my life and see that he has been with me all the way. He has been with me EVEN THOUGH so much of my struggling has been my own making. I have often stumbled and fallen in my faith; have let God and others down, have been certain that next bolt of lightning had my name engraved on it.
But, though he’s taken me out to the wood shed a time or two, I’m still his. I can’t tell you how good that feels. The Lord is good to those whose hope is in him… (Lamentations 3:25).
I still cry sometimes,
but I don’t mind anymore.