“But Her Parents Are Divorced…”

I usually have post ideas come as I am getting ready in the morning, or on a walk, at work, or going about my day. Never have I had a post simply burn in my heart, until this one. A very close friend of mine shared an experience with me a while back, and for some reason or another it has come back to my mind again and again. It isn’t the happiest story, but maybe something the world might benefit from hearing. She was kind enough to share it in writing for My Best Love. I believe there are great lessons to be found in it. I will let her take it away:

“Hey all! I can’t say I have ever been asked to write on a blog, so bear with me a bit. 🙂 For my story to make sense, let me give you a little background on my life. I come from an awesome family, with amazing siblings and parents. I have a deep faith in Christ, and I have always been loved by God and my family. When I was in high school though, my parents separated and eventually divorced. Now that was hard. But at the end of the day, my siblings and I were still loved, and we still saw both parents almost on a daily basis. My parents tried to work together on our behalf, which fact I do admire and respect. Still divorce is divorce, and we have learned to function in two world. Now let’s fast-forward a good six years later. I had spent some time at college and was smack-dab in the dating arena. You need to know, my greatest fear of all time was marrying someone who wasn’t a good match, and ending up divorced. This alone makes the dating stakes very very high. I wasn’t going to mess around with situations I had no business being in, just because of the shear fear that I would get “blinded by love,” and on a road I didn’t want to repeat. At this point I have to say that life is great, and God is good. One day I got on my knees in prayer and asked the question; “Is it really possible to love someone so much?” He gave me experiences where I got to see that yes, it’s possible, and more inportantly I had the power to make choices. I could create a remarkable family one day. Hearts do change, and miracles happen.

But I still had to date 🙂 I found myself head over heels for a friend of mine–and he was pretty crazy about me too. I hear the term is a “best love.” It was awesome. It sorta snuck up on me in the best kind of way, but we were feeling really good about everything. As we kept dating we decided we wanted this to be a forever thing. We found ourselves looking at where we wanted the wedding, looking at dates, trying to figure out when we were going to make that jump to husband and wife. It was surreal, but felt right.

I was over at his apartment one evening, and as we were sitting on the couch together, we talked about life and about our families. Most importantly, we talked about what our families thought about us getting married. You must know, I truly love his family still. With that said, there is a part of me that wishes I had never asked the question of what they thought. But I did out of pure curiosity. His response was the following, “The thing they are worried about, is that your parents are divorced.”

My heart broke.

It wasn’t a “just failed a test,” “just got dumped,” or “you just lost the state championship,” but my heart physically ached, and it felt like to them my family wasn’t good enough. They barely knew my family. Most time was spent seeing if I would fit into their family.

Though he was my boyfriend, and we had known each other a long time, he had never seen me cry. I don’t know if he saw it or not but one single tear rolled down my cheek as I mustered every ounce of courage to not burst into tears, or get in my car and drive home. I couldn’t say a word. I didn’t want to say a word. Every emotion I had already endured through the course of the divorce and the aftermath, came back. I had reached a point where I actually believed in love, but the fact my family was in two parts, made me not good enough for his family. I wish there were words to explain that moment. Though I am sure they have faced and endured their own trials, they had no idea of the hurt that very trial had brought, but also the miracles, and the strength and vision.

I know the statistics of the intergenerational transmission of divorce (whether or not you will end up divorced if your parents were) and have had to write papers, and study the topic. The statistics are sad. Divorce is brutal, no matter who you are. But isn’t it like other trials? You are changed, and can use the strength and wisdom you gain, for the good of your life today, and your future family. Defining me by that trial, and experience was like wanting to keep me at a bewildered, heartbroken, freshman in High School. That girl was brave, and I am proud of her, but she is nothing like who I was as their future daughter in law.

Something I have learned, and come to know, is God does not give us trials because of something we have done, but rather because He knows we can succeed in spite of them. The more I have learned, the more I think that overcoming those very trials may actually be pieces of our future successes. Divorce is not the end.

Our trials do NOT define us, and as we take them to the Lord, they refine us. Do I wish my parents didn’t have to endure all the heartache they did? More than anything–I would take their place if I could. But, thankfully life isn’t about looking back. I am a better person today, because I have had to learn to have faith and hope, turn to God when life is hard, and above all, I do not take lightly the covenant of marriage.

Their son and I did one day part ways, after realizing we weren’t the best match. I have wondered what his family would say if they realized the very trial they feared, was what gave me the strength, perspective, and understanding, to take that step back and be brave enough to step away from a love we had no business being in. I watched my parents divorce, and it gave me a very real sense at what all was at stake.

Whoever you are, it is important to truly know a person–that is the essence of dating. It’s hard, but so worth it. I love the idea of “Best Loves.” I know my friend, those sincerely seeking, and I will all find that person. God bless you in your journey!”

I’m grateful for her willingness to share her experience with all of us. I have serveral friends in that same situation of coming from a family that has endured divorce. I also find myself in the same spot. I don’t think dating is easy for anyone, and it takes patience on all sides. I am grateful for our struggles though, because they refine us into more Christlike people. Trials also bring many miracles. What trials have refined you and prepared you for a Best Love?




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