Growing up it never occurred to me that there were kids in my neighborhood, school or church who were going through the effects of divorce. I never even thought about it once. I was always told how outgoing, friendly and sincere I was to other people and how it was noticed that I went out of my way to help anyone who was feeling down. How did I never notice such a growing epidemic in the people around me?
I think back to friends that I had and it becomes painfully obvious that I was so absorbed in my own situations that I never really thought about the pain my friends were going through, at least not on this deep of a level. That is, not until it became my pain. I think that a lot of us can resonate with this feeling when we look at a situation we know nothing of and are not directly affected by. We tend to give a sigh for the hurt and even pray, but how does it really affect us? Are we drawn to comfort, give friendship, or even standing in the gap for the hurting soul? This realization of the intense feelings that children of divorce go through has never been as clear as when my very own flesh and blood became a victim.
On most days my son appears very happy, content and full of life. It can be deceiving to what emotions are happening within him, even during happy times. If I am not paying attention to his actions and words spoken I could miss an important message. He may not show it but there is a lot processing in his mind every day. One day I was thankfully listening and I heard his heart speak.
We were driving from a fun day out. He had just finished laughing at a joke and drinking a special treat. As we passed residential houses, he glances over to a child playing with her dad in the front yard while the mom looked on from the porch. He says under his breath, "must be nice to have a mom AND a dad."I addressed the comment right then and there and with much more compassion than I have shown to anyone I spoke these words...
"You do have a mom and a dad. We both love you very much. I am sorry that you are feeling the pain of an adult decision and circumstance and I will do everything I can to create memories for you that are special to you. Your journey is different than that little girl's journey. God will bless your life differently than he will bless hers. Her appearance is something you admire, but we never know what her situation truly is. Let's pray that she is indeed in a good family home and that she feels the same amount of love that your father and I have for you. I know that you miss your dad and I want you to always know you can talk to me about that. It's okay to feel what you are feeling but please remember that each person has their own journey. Your journey is special and out of it I know you will be a blessing to the Lord and others."
Let us not only remind our children of their special journey, but also ourselves. We have the potential to do great things if we focus on the future and resist the temptation to let the past dictate our future.