For years you would see me and my whole family at the early Sunday worship hour. Same spot each week. In 2010 my wife asked me for a divorce and my world started to crumble around me. Three of our four kids wanted little/nothing to do with me. I faced huge compiling debts, and my young business was failing, forcing me to go on unemployment. I stopped eating, could barely sleep and was sad and cried every day. That was my life while going through my divorce, It was bad. Perhaps you know people that have gone through a divorce. Prior to this experience, I had multiple relatives and friends go through a divorce, and to be honest, my reaction was pretty lame. You may just as well told me it was going to rain. I had no idea how devastating it was. Until you experience a divorce, it’s hard to relate.
So please permit me to try to help us all relate to divorce. You know the feeling you get when you get pulled over by the police? It’s similar when you have a police officer serve you court papers at your home or work. Do you know what its like to go to court? Any legal battle can be daunting. It is awful when your family, and all of your possessions are at stake. Do you know what its like to have a loved one pass away? Its not exactly the same, but to me losing my wife I loved felt like becoming a widow. How about the experience of being a social outcast? When I was going through the divorce, I felt like I had no place to fit in. Not with families, not with my single friends, and it seemed like everyone we ever knew picked a side, and I lost touch with the people that picked the other side. Have you ever experienced tough financial times? That awful feeling when you don’t know how you are going to make the house payment, or the car payment, or buy groceries. The legal costs for a divorce are oppressive. There’s your lawyer, your spouse’s lawyer and even a lawyer for your kids. Plus now you have two households, two house payments and two sets of utility bills. Imagine if you had to pay a huge legal bill, and if all of your bills doubled each month. Picture walking up to the house you and your family have lived in for years. Inside is the typical gathering of friends and family present to celebrate a birthday. You go the front door and knock and have to wait for someone to let you in.
Imagine day after day, week after week, dropping your kids off and telling them that you will see them on the next scheduled visitation. Worrying if something happens on the off day, that you will not be there for them. Imagine becoming an empty nester after every other visitation. One day, a full house, the next day an empty one. Imagine after being married and faithful to your spouse for years, and wanting things to stay that way, but you cannot hang on to it!
Divorce is awful. And I went from barely noticing when someone was going through a divorce, to being painfully aware and empathic to how much turmoil a person in that situation is facing.
I was blessed to have the support of my church and my family when I was struggling so much. I am also hopeful for others since Bloomingdale Church will be offering a divorce care group.
We were not created to handle burdens by ourselves. I tried counseling – it didn’t solve my problems. I talked to friends/family, but often they couldn’t relate. Unfortunately our world offers plenty of poor decisions, like hit the bars, overwork yourself, become a recluse, or Jump into another relationship.
What I needed was a safe environment, some honest people I could relate to, a group of people to share and struggle together through these issues
This is what the Divorce Care group is all about:
- Its an inviting, inclusive group coming together to help each other in this ugly situation.
- It’s relational, sharing unique problems that most people don’t understand.
- Its an opportunity for growth, change, development, restoration.
Now over five years after my wife asked me for a divorce, I can tell you that I am truly blessed. My life has stabilized around me. My journey has provided me with some amazing stories of God’s love, some really wonderful friends, and a closeness to God that I only experienced in these troubled times.