Sunday, March 10, 2013

Embracing the last resort

Photo attribution here.

I have this memory. It's from the end. We were separated, but still trying to work it out. It was Sunday morning. The night before had been yet another soul slaughteringly, but all too common night of misunderstandings and failed attempts at reconciliation. I had cried so much by that point. I'd done the crying during the fights, the crying alone while he was asleep next to me in bed, the crying to friends and family and such massive amounts of crying alone. This is a special kind of crying. It's the kind that feels like your body is being heaved about by ocean waves of grief, shaking, rocking, dry heaving, sometimes at night, sometimes on a lunch break, sometimes on Christmas, but always ending in utter exhaustion. That day I just laid there. The tears were still pouring out, but it was in the garden hose sort of way; quiet, still, almost peaceful, but dead inside. The hole in my heart had grown to the size of my head. I was curled up on our bed, ready for church in my favorite retro dress, waiting while...let's call him The Mr., was quietly ironing his shirt.

"You look like you're so sad you're going to die right there," was all he could say.

Silence. More crying.

Then, I heard this voice. It came from my own heart the way that God usually does. It resonated just enough for me to notice. It was calm, but unflinching and strong. "It's okay, baby. It's almost over now."

Divorce, in almost any circumstance is sad, but the world of a faithful Latter Day Saint, teetering on the cliff of matrimonial demise is an especially, epically complex place of torture. This world is full of words like: eternity, covenant, endure, sacrafice, commandment, priesthood, sin, temple and should. It's confusing and painful in a way that can only be known to the disciple inhabiting it. It's lonely, black and terrifying. It's not a stage in God's plan we're prepped for in Sunday School.

Also, significantly, many, many disciples of Christ have lived or are living in this world for a time. For some it's now merely a dark thread in a newly crafted tapestry of their second chance. For others it's an oppressive and all encompassing, unrelenting reality. My divorce has changed me in many ways. One of the most apparent changes to me is how incredibly unsafe and shaken I feel. Shaken, like tsunami shaken. Shaken like the death of a loved one causes someone to be shaken. Shaken down to my deepest strongholds. If I listen to my soul she is almost always saying the same thing in various ways. "Where am I safe?"

When I was on the verge of filing for my divorce less than 6 months ago I searched for such a place. I wanted somewhere that I could see just a few steps ahead on this unique path of ending what was once thought to be an eternal marriage. I wanted a place that was doctrinally sound, but a place where I could also be truthful about how deep the pain was and is. In my limited internet searching done a few nights right before bed I couldn't find such a place. Now that I am just a few steps into this journey I'm creating one.

Welcome to the place where people understand what it's like to be not married, but not single, where people can relate to feeling like you flunked singles ward, and where it's okay to love God and admit that you're mad at Him. For this time, however long it lasts, we are neither here nor there...yet, here we are. Where is the place for us in this church of families?

It's here. Welcome to the family of the devout yet divorced.


  1. Oh hi. Thanks for being your wonderful self and sharing yourself with the world. I'm not good at that--you inspire me :)

  2. Hi Lindsey! I just now found your blog from seeing your post in the canyon rd ward. I don't know if you remember me.I always thought you were super cute and wanted to get to know you more! Thank you! for your blog..from what I have read you say to eloquently what I could not describe...of my divorce, while being an active part of the church. It's so hard for members to understand. Thank you for your example to me! You are not alone...

  3. Thank you for your candid yet sensitive voice.