The Perfect Life…
I literally thought I had the perfect life. Of course, I was eight years old and didn’t really think about what an ‘imperfect life’ would be. That is, with the exception of the commercials I saw of children in foreign countries with flies buzzing around their faces. That obviously wasn’t perfect. The child-like joy of life is not to worry about what could be, but to live in the moment. I lived in the moments with my family.
We played together, we ate together, we went to church together. One fun memory was the night when we rented a VCR from the video store and picked out a movie to watch together as a family. That was a highlight for sure! …But then something happened that shattered the innocence of my ideal world.
The Moment of Change…
I’m not alone in what I’m about to share. There are so many other people who have lived this story or variations of it, but when its happening to you, it feels like you’re the only one in the world experiencing the shock and shift of life. …My parents got divorced. I no longer had both parents at home to spend evenings and weekends with; both parents to eat a Sunday dinner together after a morning spent at church. I was now a child of a single father and a single mother.
I had no way of knowing what this would do to my life. I barely even knew anyone who had divorced parents because my world was pretty small. What do you do with something like this when such a big change happens? It’s not something that eventually goes away, although I prayed nightly that my parents would get back together again. It’s not something I would hide since I’m an external processor and I needed to talk to people in my inner-circle, but not immediate family, about the changes in my life.
There was so much self-shame I experienced because now I was a child in ‘one of those families’ through no fault of my own. I grew up being taught that ‘divorce is wrong’ and ‘God hates divorce’ and all of a sudden those same people who had taught me these principles and rules now broke covenant with each other and with me. I didn’t know what to do with it! I didn’t know how to reconcile what was happening in my life with the things I had been taught. I didn’t know how to mend and fix the brokenness. Where do I go? Who do I talk to? I was so filled with shame to be a child of a divorced family.
Here to Stay…
But there was One. There was always One…The One, God, my Heavenly Father. I am so thankful that I believed in Jesus as my Savior from such a young age. When my heart hurt, I could pray to Him. When I didn’t understand what was happening, His arms surrounded me. When relationships, finances, housing, family, and school was just plain tough as a result, He was ready and waiting to listen. God was my anchor. He was my provider. He was my steady place. What I learned about God in this part of my life has carried with me. What was hard pressed and shaken in my life, resulted in new strength and fortitude. I discovered the truth of the verse below because of my connection to God through the hard time.
We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.2 Corinthians 4:8-12 (NIV)
I was not alone. I could always turn to God. When things in my life weren’t perfect… He was.
My friends wrote a song birthed out of their experiences of meeting the ‘God who stayed with them’ always and through everything. Be encouraged and lifted up by the One who is ‘Here to Stay.’
2 thoughts on “The Shock and Shift of Life”
Thanks for your vulnerability and honesty. This is a blessing to me and others. God is faithful!
He really IS faithful! He’s so faithful in multiple ways that we don’t even see or comprehend. I’m glad my vulnerability is blessing you and others! Thank you!