My parents of 24 years are divorcing this month. They have lived in separate houses for almost 11 years. This is not meant to be a criticism of their choices-but an examination of my own choices in dealing with this situation.
"It's a good thing to have all the props pulled out from under us occasionally. It gives us some sense of what is rock under our feet, and what is sand." ~Madeleine L'Engle
The 7 of us have responded in a variety of ways-by shutting down, by voicing our opinion, by trying to keep peace, by trying to reconcile, there are times that I thought including everyone would help, times that I thought excluding would help.
There is a way to move past the accusations, hurts, pains and unforgiveness-but it is not a human-ly way.
It's no surprise that I like to read. A book I finished recently titled "Growing Grateful Kids" by Susie Larson addresses many of the issues I am currently struggling with. I've been reflecting on her words and on scripture to help gain perspective in this situation.
Susie Larson says, "Any unhealthy adult who keeps blaming his parents for all of his own shortcomings will never get anywhere in life. At some point we-as adults who had imperfect parents-have to brush ourselves off, figure out where we are lacking, and get what we need from the Lord. As do our children."
"You cannot impart what you do not possess."
"God has ordained you and appointed you to bear life-giving fruit, and to leave an impact on this earth that lasts long after you're gone. Your children are part of that fruit. Invest in them. Teach them about this living, breathing God we serve."
"Deal with problems head on! Every single day remind yourself that YOU are the object of God's affection. People don't get to decide your worth (or your child's), because God already has. Memorize scripture that affirms who you are in Christ. Daily reject rejection! Daily declare that there is a wide gap between how people affect you and how God affects you. His voice matters most. As God frees you from these past experiences, you will be better equipped to help your children navigate through the normal relational difficulties that take place in childhood."
"As parents our responsibility is to model God's love for our children. We can't always tell what effect our efforts will have, and sometimes the lesson isn't fully learned until after time has done its part in seasoning the message."
And from Gary Smalley, "Never let your child walk away with a closed spirit. Always make sure you work through the issue to the point where you see them open up to you again. If you leave their spirit closed, their heart will eventually grow cold and you'll lose the opportunity to speak into their lives and lead them in the way they should go."
In spite of my family's circumstances, I am not allowing my mind to be overcome with thought of, "Why did two fathers choose to abandon me?" If I go there, Satan can much more easily gain footing in my life over my pity party.
It is no small matter or coincidence that I am now married to a youth minister, that 62.5% or more of the youth live in poverty, and that many, many face the same extenuating circumstances brought on by the choices of their parents.
Pray for me in the coming year, as I open what still seems like fresh wounds so that these young adolescents know they are not alone in their struggles and that these struggles do not have to define their life in Christ.