My sister lost her second tooth, and I was 731 miles away. I wasn’t there to see her lose her first tooth. I wasn’t there to see my brother say goodbye to his school friends from a different state. I’m not there to see their summer right now. While this is typical of being a product of a divorced family, separation is the only stereotype I allow myself to live by. The textbook definition states that divorce is “the legal dissolution of a marriage by a court or other competent body.” The textbook wants me to believe that the only solution to my life is to be separated from one half of my family at a time. The textbook wants me to believe that since there’s a judge who ruled in my life before I knew how to speak, much less testify, God can have no further ruling in who I am to become. The textbook wants me to buy into the lie that God’s power has not, and will not be present in my life. The world definition is that divorce is not only common, but contagious. The world wants me to believe that what has happened in my past is not only my fault, but what I and the majority of this generation will be subject to as we grow older. Once again, the world limits God’s power in my life based on a statistic.
But our lives hold more value to God than just a statistic.
My definition of divorce is tiny fragments of my heart being spread out across this continent, dwelling in houses I’ve never stepped foot in. It’s my siblings excelling in schools that I don’t know the mascot of. It’s being the only car in a desolate grocery store parking lot on Christmas Day so that my time is split evenly. Yes, it is tears and screams, and lashing out with pointed fingers of accusation as to who hurt who first. Yes, it is pain and the anxiety of separation. It is my dad working in another country. It is my mom sitting with me every day to cater to my every need. It is long late night drives, from one home to the next. It is troubled goodbyes I wish were never said.
But it is not what some lofty psych scholar wants to label my family. I am not broken, neither is my mom, my dad, or the other members of my blended family. Yes, my family is split across interstates and time zones, but those barriers just represent the cracks on my heart that would have never been filled with such relenting love had divorce not taken place. Yes, divorce can be caused by lost feelings and emotions that my 16 year old brain shouldn’t know of, but it is also an example to me of what love shouldn’t look like.
The divorce that took place in my life when I was 3 years old was not God leaving me subject to a lifetime of grief. In fact, the divorce is where God began to fasten my future together. Through His love, He has healed my broken heart, piece by piece. No, it hasn’t been easy, but I know that it will be worth it when, through God, I have a family one day, when the pattern of giving up on love is broken by God’s unfailing love for me, and when I have the ability to minister to others through the pain of my past and the abundant plan God has for me. I will not give into the fights when I have seen better days, but I will work, and love, and forgive, not forgetting the burden my family carried to get me to the better days.