Photo attribution here.
"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.