I Never Thought Divorce Would Be Part of My Story

This article originally appeared at MandyScarr.com.

fem-divorce

I share this because I know others need to know. I share this because maybe you need to know you aren’t alone. Maybe you need to better understand what a friend is going through. I share this with permission from my Mom, and I share this with a heart heavy for all who have walked through this difficult journey. Thank you for your grace as I share, sweet friends. Pull up a chair, I want to show you my heart.

Just over two years ago, my entire world as I knew it changed. I had just become a new mom, and was trying to figure out breastfeeding and sleep deprivation and all those fun things that new mamas wade through. It was supposed to be a blissfully happy {albeit challenging} season in my life, but that’s not how the story goes. Well, at least not the happy part.

My Dad left my Mom when my little man was just 3 weeks old.

It wasn’t a mutual decision. It came out of the blue; trust broken, relationship severed, never to be repaired. There’s so much more to the story. But really, all you need to know is this: sin took over.

My heart shattered into a million pieces on that day. A day I will never ever forget. A day I actually remember more clearly then the very day my son was born. A day that was burned into my memory forever. And I’ve spent two years trying to navigate waters I never thought I’d ever have to wade. Divorce. In my family, on my doorstep. A very real part of my life.

Sure, I had had friends who had walked this journey with their parents. Sure, I had read stories about divorce. Surely I thought I understood. But I had no idea.

I didn’t understand the pain that would come when I look at my wedding pictures, my family still intact, my parents together by my side.

I didn’t understand the pain I would feel passing my parent’s wedding anniversary on the calendar each year. After nearly 40 years of celebration that date now striped of it’s meaning and instead ushering in sadness.

I didn’t realize how painful it would be to hear my friends talk about their parent’s perfect marriage. Their simple words dig deep into my heart with great pain reminding me of exactly what I no longer have.

I didn’t understand what it would be like to have a child of my own who would never know my parents together.

I didn’t know.

I didn’t know that divorce hurts just as bad when you’re an adult.

I didn’t realize how my relationships would change. With all of my family. All.

I didn’t realize the effects it would have on my marriage, or on my parenting.

I didn’t realize the walls I would build. Towards my man. Towards my people. Towards my God.

I didn’t realize it would affect me so deeply.

Two years ago, on that very day, I lost my words. I’ve struggled to write, to talk, to share. I’ve struggled to pray. For two years. Even part of my personality took a sabbatical. For two years.

I didn’t grow up knowing Jesus. We met on the best blind-date I’ve ever experienced. I didn’t know I needed Him, I didn’t know I wanted Him. But there He was – perfectly perfect, and all that I needed.

But even after years of following hard after my Savior, my foundation still wasn’t built on The Rock alone. My foundation still clung to the world, to the security of my family – a thing I believed would last forever. But just as the grass withers and the flowers fade, so can families. In this fallen world, this is our reality.

When an important piece of my foundation crumbled beneath me on that day, I realized I had been building hope half in Jesus, half in this world. And this world? It isn’t sufficient for me.

I praise Jesus that His half of my foundation held firm.

The Builder of my soul gently picked me up when my world crumbled and laid me (tears, sobs, crumbs and all) on the part that was solidly built on Him. He has gently and carefully spent every day of the last two years rebuilding the piece that crumbled. The piece of my foundation that wasn’t built on Him.

It’s all still really hard to talk about, the events of the last two years. I feel like I’m slowly re-emerging; coming out new and refined. Coming out of a wilderness season refined by a fire I never thought I’d endure. But in the end, it’s a fire I’m grateful He carried me through.

This new foundation has given me a fresh understanding of His grace and mercy, His goodness and faithfulness, His love and truth in a whole new to-the-depths-of-my-core kinda way.

If you’re a child of divorce, I’m so so sorry. Even now, tears well up in my eyes as I write this to you. I’m SO sorry. I wish we could have coffee and love each other well through our stories, hugs, and a box of Kleenex.

If you know someone experiencing divorce in their life, be there. Be steadfast, grace-giving, loving. Lend a shoulder and just sit and listen. Be cautious with your words and love well. Be comfort. Be Jesus; love without judgement and with gentle eyes and a gentle heart. And pray. Pray for them, over them, with them.

Divorce isn’t supposed to be, but it is. It is by grace alone that we come out the other side set on a firmer foundation, refined and redeemed. He can and He will redeem what has been lost. Hold fast to Him, sweet friend. He is victorious over it all.  The broken pieces of our story, and our broken families, He will redeem it all.​

He’s still rebuilding my foundation, He’s still refining me. But slowly I’m re-emerging. Slowly I’m stepping out in a new refined confidence; one built on Him alone. And I’m grateful for the journey, even if my heart is still heavy and the tears still come quick. His grace is sufficient, and a foundation built on Him, it’s the only thing worth standing on.

This article originally appeared at MandyScarr.com.


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Mandy Scarr
Mandy is a disciple, a writer, a reflector; a lover of all things beautiful. A wife to J and Mom to little j, living in Washington, D.C. Mandy is making the choice to step out of lukewarm living -- choosing to zealously pursue Jesus instead. Join her in this journey at mandyscarr.com.