“Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate” (Mark 10:9); “He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds” (Psalm (147:3).
When I was twenty-one I found the girl of my dreams—the one I wanted to be married to for the rest of my life. When I was fifty-nine we were no longer in union. I have lost much and accept the loss. I hesitate to write this in a blog. Is it shame? I don’t think so. I feel stripped is what it is. Emptied. I am on the wrong side of what was supposed to be. Mine is a common, sad story, and it is true. In the blog it must go.
My wife had moved out some time ago, and now we have moved on to separate lives. Divorce is the ugly word. No illicit affairs or tabloid-like news to report, just two people who did not keep the ultimate connection between human hearts—the connection God sanctions to remain lastingly. It is not what I wanted or hoped for. And I thought you should know. The details of what happened aren’t the point of this writing. The catharsis is.
Journeying thirty-eight years together with someone you have loved through ups (four miracles of life come to mind) and downs (there were those too) has led to realizing of a sudden: “Now look at there, here I still am but now it’s just me again.” It is the strangest feeling, having loved and lost. I’ve been lost and loved but that’s my salvation story—a subject for another time. This loved and lost business is different. It’s like this…
I couldn’t remember much about my first dog after he died until my next dog died. Then, though it was ten years later, a telescopic scrunching of past years brought every fetch and wag to mind. (Our first steps in Heaven will be like that, I think; a review in a moment, in time standing still, of every moment we ever lived. Details, sordid and good, long faded from memory, will be hyper-present to us. And the storms of life will be explained and resolved (Rom 8:28; Rev 21:44)).
When I was deep in the marriage, it was rich with details, and they were good, or at least real. Right now it seems surreal, like it was someone else in my body playing “role of husband,” and a bit like a faded dream, so I can’t explain it. Other than to repeat, I am back to being alone, with God, with people, but with no other human who is in a two-become-one Holy union with me, and that hurts to Hell and back. I’m sure God will review with me what all this was about. For now, I am flooded with memories of how my life was all those early years, from toddler-dom to mid-college-dumber—my pre-union days. But, oddly, I am unable to see the marital years themselves, not clearly. One day it will telescopically scrunch. For now it’s the specter of a vague shadowy blur. My shadow.
I know I’ll have a lot more time to think on these matters, for I seem to wander about the house more (“I just rattle around; just a ghost in this house” goes the country song). I wander by necessity I should think, to get used to this new way. Is that possible? Forgive my egoism, my rattling of words; one hope of mine is that you recognize something familiar that might encourage you to persevere, assuming you’ve suffered, or will, in life or relationships, which is safe to assume. But mostly I needed to say all this for me. Thank you for listening.
God promised it could get rough (Jn 16:33). Well, it’s rough. My faith, though, is unshaken, and strong, and growing. And that’s not exaggerated cheer to prop up a soul hurting. Rather, I am convinced, it is the greatest comfort I have to offer both you and me, friend. That and His beautiful words to us where God promises through Jesus to redeem every stinking, unexplained, random-seeming hurt we ever experience. “I know that my redeemer lives, and that in the end he will stand on the earth” Job says (19:25). I believe that with all my heart, don’t you? I trust God. And I know I am the bride of Christ, now and forever. What I mean is, my mortal disunion is a great loss to me—the tears flow often—but I wish everyone could feel as hopeful as I do right now.
I hope this encourages you to turn to God above all else today.
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