Saturday, October 26, 2013

Divorce through the eyes of an Adult Child...

I wrote this blog entry 2 years ago and I never published it. It's been sitting as a draft. I came across it tonight and spent time reading it. The delightful thing about this is that now, 2 years later God has brought SO SO SO much healing in so many of these areas. It was a gift to read it and realize how deeply God has resolved some of the hurts related to this. God has done a great healing in my relationship with my Dad. Praise God!! He continues to mend the broken places and bring His truth into my heart. I'm eternally grateful!!

June 2011....
Lying in my bed, nestled in the crook of my husbands arm, he sleeping and I lie awake. Unexpectably the feeling comes again, it washes over me. I try to push it away, ... but it comes anyway. I feel rejected and abandoned. Not by my husband, not by Jesus, and not by my family.... I just feel it.

I try to rationalize the feeling away... I remind myself... "there's no reason to feel rejected or abandoned right now. My heavenly Father loves me, my husband loves me, I have 6 precious children, and I am blessed beyond anything I could have imagined."

All of this is true yet the feeling comes and I don't know what to do with it.

In the quiet, in the dark, I cry. I am gripped with sadness. I get out of bed; I put my fingers to the keyboard and I write. I do what I said I would do: I let Jesus in. I resist the covering up and the closing up and give in to the breaking down so Jesus can do the building up.

I remind myself that this, this is what Jesus told me to do. To bow down low in His presence, to bend my knee in humility, to allow myself to be real, to resist the shutting down and running from, I open wide in expectancy of Him to heal and transform me.

I told Jesus I would yield myself to Him so that I can become healthy and unhindered and live in the joy He has for me in the present. I'm trying to open up even though I feel like closing up and at times giving up. Jesus has much more for me than what I've allowed Him, and I have a whole lot stuffed down that I haven't given Him.

I weep. I weep for what I wanted, for what I needed, for what I deserved, for what I never received. I am there. I am that child again.

Jesus gently rests His finger on deep roots and I hurt. He reminds me that in the ripping up of roots the weeds die. I know it's harder to pull a weed up at the root. It requires more strength yet if not pulled out at the root the weed grows back. If removed, the soil has more room to yield new fruit and the ones there can grow healthier. He reminds me that with the pulling up and pulling out the pain is also released. My flesh, my fear wants to buckle down deep, to hang on, to resist and not give in to the pulling up, knowing it will hurt. By His grace though, I release. I press on and I press into Him. I will not reject any healing He wants do.

I've hesitated blogging about childhood struggles out of respect for my parents. I pray that this is fruitful, for me, for Him, and for those reading that may relate or need to be encouraged to become real and open before Jesus. I do not in any way want to disrespect or dishonor my parents. I love them deeply and I know they love me deeply.

Growing into an adult, becoming a wife, and now also a mother it's evident to me that hurts left undealt with don't just go away. Hurts left buried will carry over into the present. If the dark isn't brought into the light it has the ability to seep right through our hearts out onto those we love. Eventually the past distorts and taints the present.

The present is the gift of life that Jesus died to give us. He wants us to cling to and rely on Him in all things. If we aren't willing or able to move through and beyond the brokenness and disappointments of life they continue to hurt and the cycle continues. These broken places aren't just areas in our life we can choose to "get over" or "put in the past". We have to make the choice to let Jesus come in and shed His light and His truth so we can live in His freedom.

Looking at divorce through the eyes of an adult child.... the feelings are a bit misplaced. I didn't know how to deal with things as they came. I found it odd to process becoming a "child" of a broken family when I was already an adult.

I doesn't really matter what age you are. Divorce hurts. It doesn't just hurt, it crushes the spirit. It breaks the heart wide open. It's natural to want to cover up, who wants to expose a heart that's broken.

There's a certain depth of security that is ripped right in 2 when parents divorce. It causes a process of grieving, of what was, what wasn't, and what will never be.

I was 24 when my parents divorced. Isaiah was 2 and Caleb was 1. My parents had been married 25 years. I remember back to when it happened; I was convinced that it just wasn't affecting me that much. I was fighting my own struggles at that point, battling post-partem depression and I was busy taking care of a baby and a toddler. It shouldn't have come as a surprise to me considering they had fought my whole life. My dad had told me many times that he was only staying for us until we were out of the house. Yet deep down I couldn't believe it had really happened.

I didn't see my dad much growing up. He mostly spent his days and evenings working. He was good at his job and more than that he was good at helping and caring for people. Life at home wasn't something to look forward to sometimes so I think he found it easier to just stay away till late evening. My parents separated a couple times in my late teen years and at times it felt like they were not only shutting each other out, but they were shutting God out. In truth they were.

When my parents divorced (and even during the times they seperated) it felt like a deep break came in our family. Our feeling of together was broken and it hasn't been the same since. We didn't have the common thread of "family" anymore. As the years have went by I have missed our family. I miss the connection and the togetherness even though growing up our home wasn't one that felt "together" there are roots there that I grieve. I still dream with my family together, I still slip and say "Mom and Dad".  I still notice and grieve that they aren't together. I think all of us are missing out, and I hate too that my kids don't get the gift of married grandparents on my side. My heart just hurts.

I miss what we had and what we didn't have. I have confusing thoughts and feelings about concepts that formed as I grew. I don't understand why if my dad didn't want to be with my mom, then why did he left us with her. I've spent a lot of time being angry at my mom. For some reason it's been easier to face and deal with my issues with her, but with my dad I feel a rejection and abandonment that runs so deep I have been afraid to face it. I can hardly make myself verbalize or write or even think about the hurt. I just want to shut down and hide! But underneath all the "it hasn't bothered me much that my parent's divorced" it breaks my heart...There were times where they fought about money, sometimes money we as kids needed or wanted, there were times where they fought about parenting, sometimes I don't even think they knew what they were fighting over. Some parts of me question why they didn't fight harder to love each other better for us, even if only for us. As a child I was confused at my dad for being so eager and passionate about helping others, yet from the inside it didn't seem like he had that time and effort to give us attention. I hurt that he wasn't there for us then, and I hurt that he's not there for us now, I hurt that my mom blamed so much on my dad then and I hurt that she blames so much on him now. There were struggles as a child, I think we all have that from varying degrees no matter what the family dynamic, but divorce just intensifies the pain already there, and brings a whole new host of hurts with it.

When 2 people decide to give up the bond and covenant they made with God and each other the immediate response is immense brokenness. That brokenness breaks off and crushes all the people around it. It's the complete opposite of the very nature of God. The unconditional love that He has and desires for us to have with Him and each other is broken. If I read what I am writing and look at my feelings I realize that a lot of these hurts and thoughts are still in the eyes of a child. Once again I realize that I am that child stuck in the middle of it all.

So as an adult having experienced divorce of my parents, it still hurts much like a child. The roots do go back to some earlier times, and I'm willing to walk there with Jesus if that's what it takes to walk now as an adult, unhindered and able to embrace and accept the love and joy that Jesus has for me now in the present, and also the awesome things he has for me and those I love, in the future.

I was lying to myself, and to others when I said "divorce when you are an adult child doesn't hurt all that much". the truth is it cuts the heart deep no matter what the age. It's not God's intention, it goes against the very essence of loving and being one. I had prayed diligently as a child and teenager that God would somehow heal my parents and that their relationship would be healed as well. It was a blow to my spiritual relationship with Jesus when my prayer was not answered. But over the years, I have grown to know with every ounce of my being that God's love pierces the heart as deep as we let Him, and He never never leaves us. And beyond just that He longs to bring a deep deep healing. One that heals and doesn't look back. One that makes the heart long to run to Jesus... and we are never turned away. Praise Jesus! This is what He died for.

And so with all of this I give it all to Him and I listen...
He whispers His love to me. And as He speaks, I remember the Promises He gave me long ago...

I will never leave you nor forsake you. Heb. 13:5

Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor my covenant of peace be removed," says the LORD, who has compassion on you. Isaiah 54:10

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. John 14:27

The Lord your God is with you. He is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you and He will quiet you with His love. He will rejoice over you with singing.
Zeph. 3:17

Though my flesh and my heart may fail, God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. Psalms. 73:26

Isaiah 43
1 But now, this is what the LORD says—
he who created you, Jacob,
he who formed you, Israel:
“Do not fear, for I have redeemed you;
I have summoned you by name; you are mine.
2 When you pass through the waters,
I will be with you;
and when you pass through the rivers,
they will not overcome you.
When you walk through the fire,
you will not be burned;
the flames will not scorch you.
3 For I am the LORD your God,
the Holy One of Israel, your Savior;
4 Since you are precious and honored in my sight,
and because I love you,
I will give people in exchange for you,
nations in exchange for your life.
5 Do not be afraid, for I am with you;

10 “You are my witnesses,” declares the LORD,
“and my servant whom I have chosen,
so that you may know and believe me
and understand that I am he.
Before me no god was formed,
nor will there be one after me.
11 I, even I, am the LORD,
and apart from me there is no savior.
12 I have revealed and saved and proclaimed—
I, and not some foreign god among you.
You are my witnesses,” declares the LORD, “that I am God.
13 Yes, and from ancient days I am he.
No one can deliver out of my hand.
When I act, who can reverse it?”

18 “Forget the former things;
do not dwell on the past.
19 See, I am doing a new thing!
Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?
I am making a way in the wilderness
and streams in the wasteland.

"The Lord says, I have loved you with an everlasting love, I have drawn you with loving-kindness. I will build you up again and you will be rebuilt". Jer. 31:3-4

"For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future". Jer. 29:11

"I can do all things through him who gives me strength". Phil. 4:13

"Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God, And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ". Phil. 4:6-7

Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God". Psalms 32:5

"But as for me, I will hope continually, And will praise You yet more and more".
Psalms 71:14

And so with this hope and love on my mind...

"I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus". Phil. 3:12-14

"Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything." James 1:2-4

"The Joy of the Lord is My Strength." Nehemiah 8:10

"How great is your goodness, which you have stored up for those who fear you, which you bestow in the sight of men on those who take refuge in you." Psalms 31:19

"Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever." Psalms 107:1

Continuing to thank Jesus for His love gifts.... # 339-351

Joy comes in the morning.

Little ones swimming at grandma's.

Grandma teaching them to swim.

Tues. night Renewal group, getting to share in one another's burdens and pray for one another.

The Word of God, It is life to me!

Zucchini bread with Zucchini fresh from my mom's garden

Little 3 yr. old "helping" make that bread. (thank you for patience!)

Oldest son turning 12 on Thurs.

The healing and restoring of relationships. (even 10 and 11 yr old brothers)

The bond of family.

Laundry, laundry and more laundry

His strength in our weaknesses.

New mornings

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