It hit me right between the eyes, and I immediately thought I need to write about this, for you see, I have lived this. Time passed and life happened---I am busy as a bee with volunteering and family this fall. For some reason (as if I didn't understand Who), this very blog has kept reappearing in my social media stream. I have rolled it round and round. I have made a full circle from where I originally intended to go. The HS is teaching me some really important things about my fellow man.
As the blog states, divorce is the death of a marriage. I would not wish it on anyone, but there are times when divorce is the best answer. Mourning the loss of someone while they are still alive is an experience I hope none of you ever have to endure. There is no ghost to haunt you, but instead the real thing is still living and breathing. When I first began to think this over, I was reminded of the feelings I had in those early years after my marriage ended of the abandonment by the church. The truth is, The Church just does not know quite what to do for us or with those of us who have experienced broken marriages. The best they can come up with is to offer classes for those of us who feel broken. Perhaps we are a reminder, this could happen to you. I certainly never expected my marriage to end, and just as sure as I was blind-sided, so were all those in our circle of family and friends. Maybe I am a reminder that there are no guarantees in life. Who wants to be reminded your world might fall apart?
Though I grieved deeply, there was no funeral to attend, no visitation to express sorrow, and no flowers and cards sent and nary a casserole~not one! During these few weeks of thinking this over, I have come to understand that though most did not know what to say and avoided the subject and me, there was a core group of friends and family who pulled tightly around me and helped me grieve. They were as devastated as I was. Even though originally I thought The Church had failed me, I have come to understand in these past few weeks, those who unfailingly stood by my side were The Church to me. They loved me, grieved with me, listened to me, and even cried with me. They were God's gift to me in those early years and I am so thankful for each and everyone who loved me well. No, they didn't bring casseroles, but they did something even better--they sat and ate with me.
The truth still stands today--that as a divorcee, I sometimes feel as if I am treated differently. WHAT should the church do with divorced members? Love us. Treat us like you treat everyone else. Don't ostracize us. One church I attended in Texas had a Sunday School class for divorcees. THAT is NOT where I want to attend. We all want you to treat us the same way you treat your married friends~the same way you did before our marriage ended. The most wonderful small group I was ever a part of had members from all walks of life~married, widowed, divorced, and single. It was a beautiful representation of the world and we all loved each other and were a wonderful example of the early church. We came together with one purpose--worshiping and pursuing the One True God.
After weeks of pondering, I have come to this conclusion~we don't know what to do with those who are different. Not all of us are divorced, thankfully, but most of us have something that makes us different. Most of us suffer from or have family members who suffer from addictions, mental illness, terrible secrets, abuse, anger issues, cancer and other life altering illnesses and the list could go on and on. Different--socially, economically, physically, emotionally~any kind of different. We are tentative and apprehensive about approaching those who are not the same. That wonderful book, Same Kind of Different as Me, does a great job of explaining not our differences, but how we are the same. We all have a God shaped vacuum, we all want to be loved, and we were all created to be in relationships. I am praying for the courage to step out of my box and explore the similarities and embrace the differences. I am praying to love others as God loves me--
And now I give you a new commandment: love one another.
As I have loved you, so you must love one another.