Divorce is a perplexing way of life…

By:  Lianne Johnson, LPC

Today is Sunday and its just before 10AM.  10AM is when my church starts yet I am still at home.  It is safe for you to assume that I have chosen to play “hooky” from church.  I fear that I have succumbed to many enticing realities that staying home has to offer to me on this Sunday morning.  In St. Louis its raining and overcast, my house is quiet because today is a “dad” day, and to be honest I’m exhausted from my youngest son refusing to sleep well for 3 nights in a row.  So I am staying home from church to enjoy the peace of my home, to allow my mind and heart to rest, and to prepare myself for yet another week of chaos.  And while the choice to stay home is good for me, I sit here aching in my heart with the reality that my choice to stay home means I will not see my sons today, and I will not see many friends today, and I will not corporately sing out to the Lord and worship Him.

You see I am divorced.  Its true.  I am a divorced christian woman with 2 young boys who finds myself in the continuous perplexing state of not really ever feeling content with my decisions.  To be honest, since being divorced (which is a recent reality for me) there are not many days where I do not feel split within my being.  Take my decision to stay home today as an example.  While I am glad that I allowed myself to make a choice that cares for my needs, at the very same time I want to scream at myself for making it.  The internal tape in my head sounds something like this: “How could you choose to rest over seeing your boys?  What is wrong with you?  You see, you are not a good mom.  A good mom would not choose rest over seeing her kids.”  The raging thoughts continue…and continue…and continue.

Then I begin to rage within my being about having a morning where I could choose to rest.  Having a morning where my kids aren’t here with me, because if I weren’t divorced then they would always be with me.  Extreme sadness begins to set in as I miss my kids terribly and the reality of my new life is in my face and I cannot escape it.

Divorce is perplexing on many levels and here I have only shared one level of the many.

The reality of my current season of life is this:  It is good (and okay) for me to choose to rest today, yet this means I will miss seeing my kids today.  If I had chosen do to the opposite then the reality would have been not resting but getting to see my kids.  The first allows me to care for myself.  The second allows for me to care for my kids (and not feel mommy guilt) but not for myself.  Either decision leaves someone desiring something different.

Divorce is perplexing.