When a Family Faces Divorce
- Wednesday, July 13, 2011
“Children are resilient.” I have heard this a thousand times. I have said this a thousand times. I no longer buy it.
My parents divorced when I was young, and I was told from early on that I was “mature for my age.” I look back and can see that was not the case. I may have learned to stuff my feelings. I may have learned how to interact with adults more easily than kids because I was around more adults than kids. I may not have acted out in rebellious ways as a teenager. But my parents’ divorce, when I was about three, shaped me.
I believe that line is said by people who don’t want to sit with the reality that their actions affect the children in their lives.
So, here’s what I can say and believe: children are covered over.
After a hard-fought battle to save my marriage and keep it from drowning after over seventeen difficult years, I have been released by my church leadership to legally separate from my husband. This has been a slow process, a carefully thought through and prayed over decision. And it’s changing my life.
But I’d be fooling myself – and frankly trying to placate myself – if I actually believed that my children will just roll with it… that they’ll just automatically be fine.
They won’t automatically be fine. This is altering the entire foundation of my 14-and-a-half year old daughter and my 13-year-old son. This will shape them for the rest of their lives. And with great trepidation and humility, I take full responsibility for this.
But here’s what I’m coming to fully believe. God knew this was going to happen, and He’s prepared me and my children for it. This is not God’s plan B for my life or for my children’s lives. They are not doomed to limp through the rest of their lives emotionally and relationally deficient. They are not destined for bad marriages. This struggle can be used for good in their lives, if they’ll let it. God has been taking care of them; God is taking care of them; and God will take care of them.
Genesis 50:21 says, “Easy now, you have nothing to fear; I'll take care of you and your children." He reassured them, speaking with them tenderly.
Easy now… I have nothing to fear. Easy now… no matter what is going on in your family… seriously, no matter what… you have nothing to fear. God is for you. God is for your children. God will hold you all.
(c) Copyright Elisabeth K. Corcoran, 2011
Elisabeth is the author of He Is Just That Into You: Stories of a Faithful God who Pursues, Engages, and Has No Fear of Commitment (WinePress), In Search of Calm: Renewal for a Mother’s Heart (Xulon), and Calm in My Chaos: Encouragement for a Mom’s Weary Soul (Kregel). Here newest book, One Girl, Third World: One Woman’s Journey into Social Justice is available on Kindle only at Amazon.com.
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