my interaction with a little girl from Micah's school who was being made fun of and said she had no friends. This little girl (whom I will call "Lucy") continued to find me after school each day, smiling at me and waving each time I saw her. One day I was out walking our neighborhood, and noticed that she lived right down the street from me. Her mother and I talked and continued to converse every time we saw each other after school. We were neighbors, fellow moms of kindergartners, and becoming friends.Last year I wrote about
Today we were driving down the street and saw random strangers inside of Lucy's garage, piling up all of her family's belongings into black trashbags and loading them into a truck. A "For Rent" sign was erected in the front yard: 4 bedroom, 2 bath house - available immediately. I was trying to make sense of it all - seeing these people in their garage, throwing their stuff on the curb for the trash man, including a ton of baby and child items, told me something was wrong. This was Lucy's stuff.
I couldn't stop thinking about it. We drove by 4 times. We asked how much the house was for rent (mainly just to see if the people were burglars or not). Nope, it was the landlord in the garage. I came home and tried to scour Facebook, trying to find traces of Lucy's mom and dad. I found them. Her page was public, her wall was visible for everyone to see. Over two months of status updates having to do with sadness, depression, confusion, and transition. She announced she was taking her kids and moving out of state. She wrote that she had "lost Joe." Well, I saw Joe last Saturday, so I know he's still around. After reading for a bit, it became obvious - she is going through a divorce.
I was so saddened for her, and for Lucy and her 3 siblings. I know I will probably never see them again.
It made me think of my other friends who have gone through divorces - so many of them now. Most of them have children. Every single time, it saddens my heart, as I know it saddens theirs.
This September 18th, Martin and I will celebrate 12 years of marriage. We don't pretend to have it all together. We are two completely opposite people who daily have to lay down our wills and our desires for the other. I know most people say they are opposites, but people - WE are opposites. It is true that opposites attract, and it is true that these marriages require work. LOTS of work :)
The other day someone asked how long we have been married and then replied, "Wow! How did you do that?" The truth is, we don't have any magic answer. We love the Lord, and we do our best to put Him first in our lives. Yet many of our friends who have been divorced love the Lord too.
No one is immune to divorce, and the minute you think you are immune, that is when your marriage can begin to spiral downward- because you are no longer protecting yourself.
So what is our secret? I wish I knew. Maybe in another 12 years I'll have some more insight into that question. What I do know is that love is a daily choice. We have not had to face infidelity or addiction or betrayal in our relationship, which makes a huge difference. We have had a few marriage counselors over the years who were incredible, and I credit them for the fact that we are still together through our ups and downs. But if you are in a place of uncertainty, I wanted to pass on a few resources that might be encouraging to you. There are people who want to help you make it work, but you have to be willing to reach out for help. It is scary opening up your life to others, but it is worth it.
I hope these resources will strengthen and encourage you, wherever you are at in your marriage. Read these stories, and take hope...
True Relationships - a ministry run by my former pastor and his wife. They do conferences, counseling, and have a video series that is incredible.
Family Life - we have gone to 2 of their Weekend to Remember conferences, and they are amazing. Pastors even go free!
Leading and Loving It - this is a ministry geared for pastor's wives and female ministry leaders. They have a section of their website devoted to hurting marriages. You can read their stories of hurt, betrayal, and restoration.
Sarah Markley - you can visit her website and read about her journey into infidelity, and how God enabled her husband to forgive her. Watch the video where their story was featured on CBN.
These are just a few of the resources out there...if you have any that you would recommend, please leave a comment and let us all know. There are people all over the world who are fighting for their marriages...and winning. Don't give up.