Saturday, April 27, 2013

I don't understand.

Photo attribution here.

The most universal question in this Devout yet Divorced community must be the question of why?  Why did I let this happen? Why did she do this to me? Why didn't I see it coming? And inevitably we throw God in the mix, like most of us did when we were getting into this mess. Why, when I asked God if I should marry my ex did He not say no?

It was two years in the making for me, asking that question. I'd been faithfully awaiting the day when he would come home from his mission and pop the Q. I was absolutely dying for him to while simultaneously being scared out of my mind. (I mentioned the track record for my parent's marriages, yes?) What this confusing combination culminated in was a sincere, but kind of haphazard moment stolen at work, of all places, where I directly asked God if I should marry the man I had long ago devoted myself to. His response was interesting. What He said was, "You can. It's going to be difficult, but you can." I quickly interpreted this to mean - you will probably have financial troubles. The Mr. hadn't gone to college yet. *Note: That's not what God said. But was I troubled with such trivial things as what I was certain would only be monetary? Of course not. All you need is love. If that was good enough for John Lennon, it was good enough for me. The thoughts that The Mr. could ever be anything but adoring, devoted and endearing, or that John Lennon likely was a bazillionaire when he wrote that song had not even entered my twiterpated consciousness.

Getting married after a short courtship is a gamble. I won't speak out completely against it, because I've seen it work out. However, there is no avoiding the fact that it is irrefutably, undeniably, (to me now) terrifyingly a gamble. So if this gamble was destined to work out so tragically for me, could God have said something like, "Absolutely not," or, "Sure, but it's a terrible idea and will break your heart and end in divorce," instead of, "You can, but it will be difficult"? After all, Latter Day Saint women are up for difficult. Our lives are built on the backs of pioneers who walked across thousands of miles of frozen ground without shoes, burying their babies along the way while their husbands were off on missions. Difficult? We got this on lock.

Perhaps your story is similar to mine. In retrospect we see moments of doubt we harbored. We wonder if that feeling was a warning that we ignored in the wake of romance. Or perhaps you took every precaution, and felt 100% assured. Either way, the answer is yes, He could have been more clear. And I'm convinced now after this most recent study, that He may very well have wanted to be. So, why wasn't he?

These thoughts come from Moses 7. The Lord has taken righteous Enoch into his bosom and is showing him the state of things. Satan has a chain around the world, causing there to be darkness, and he's laughing. The Lord, which is to say, the God of the Old Testament, Jesus Christ, is watching the earth and crying. Enoch is confused. He asks Christ, (paraphrasing) How can you be so upset about these things? You have millions and millions of creations in the world. How can you weep over this moment?

Christ then responds, "Behold, these thy brethren, they are the workmanship of mine own hands, and I gave unto them their knowledge, in the day I created them; and in the garden of eden, I gave unto man his agency. And unto thy brethren I have said, and also given commandment, that they should love one another, and that they should choose me, their Father; but behold, they are without affection, and they hate their own blood." (Moses 7:32-33)

I have always admired Job for one powerful phrase he contributes to the Bible. After trials that make even the heartache of divorce feel minimal, he boldly declares, "Though He (God) slay me, yet will I trust Him" (Job 13:15) I can think of no better application of this verse than to these moments where we find ourselves again and again asking God why. I have had moments in post divorce aftermath where I have felt crushed, eviscerated, even slain or betrayed by God. These feelings are real and can feel completely justified, but somehow they always leave me lacking. There is no light in them to sustain me. After nights of masticating these thoughts for sleepless hours I am left once again seeking truth. The truth I've found is this:

Jesus Christ (and therefore God, since they are one in purpose and character) loves me, enough to cry over what He sees happening in my life. If He loves me that much, then there is a part of Him that wants to prevent any pain from befalling me, especially knowing that He would have to suffer that same pain in Gethsemane. When, knowing all, He chooses not to interfere or even leads us to pain, it must be an even greater act of love. As a teacher, mistakes and heartache are some of God's choice tools for sculpting our character. He allows us to make our choices knowing He will ache with us, He will grieve with us. And when we cry, the God of the Old Testament does not remove the cultivating force from us. His tender heart cries with us, the workmanship of His own hands. I cannot know why some things will come or others have passed, but I do know that the Man who is willing to walk even this road with me is a Man I can trust.

1 comment:

  1. No comments yet on this post? What? This was amazing! I very much agree with you. I can see how all the terrible pain I have been going through has made me kinder, wiser, more compassionate, more loving, able to feel greater joy, more aware of how precious my testimony and the gospel are to me. Maybe there was no other way I could learn these things.