Following is a short piece I wrote for a local Christian newsletter in June of 2004.

Child of Divorce

Malachi 2:13-16
“Has not the Lord made them one? In flesh & spirit they are his. And why one? Because he was seeking godly offspring. So guard yourself in your spirit, and do not break faith with the wife of your youth.”

634 Turwill Lane. It’s the one with the white birch tree in front. This is where my family ended. At the tender age of 6, my family was destroyed by divorce. From that point on my siblings grew up living two different lives, one with our mom and one with our dad. I am sitting in front of the house where it all started, but I know I can’t go back.

After twenty years of being pressured by society to just accept it and move on, I am finally allowing myself to FEEL something about my parents’ divorce. I have been overwhelmed with a flood of emotions lately. I wish that my parents had fought harder to hold together the family they chose to create. I wish it so that I would not have grown up with conflicting values or segmented family memories. I wish it so that I would not be so afraid to trust others. I wish it so that I didn’t strive so hard to be perfect in order to gain some sense of stability. And I wish it so I would not run away when things got hard. I wish they would have fought harder to win one more battle in the war Satan has declared on marriage and family.

It has surprised me to learn how devastating divorce actually is for the children involved. Our society, churches included, seem to sugarcoat the short and long-term effects of divorce. I hear it referred to as a “fresh start” for the spouses involved, but for the children it is a painful destruction of stability. When the parents remarry they call it a “blended family,” but for the children it is an unnatural arrangement and a constant reminder of the brokenness of their original, God-given family.

What God is teaching me in my own life is that broken marriages result in broken children. He is showing me my brokenness and bringing my hurt and pain to the surface. Some days the emotions are too overwhelming, but I hand them over to God because I know he is with me every step of the way. With one issue at a time, I am growing and healing from the inside out. Through all this I have hope because I know he is filling me with his Spirit in order to make me whole again. I believe we are all broken people for one reason or another. I also believe that God can make us whole again. Give him your brokenness, your pain, your fears. Let him do the rest.

“O let him have the things that hold you, and his Spirit like a dove will descend upon your life and make you whole.”