Day 14 – When We “Mean Well” (What now!?!)

lettre_box_hires

Today is the third and final day in a series of posts.  You can find the preceding posts here:  When We Mean Well:  Part 1 and Part 2


Dear Bible Study Leader,

I have had a few days to consider what you shared with me in our phone call. I would like to share a few of my thoughts with you.

I am hurt. I thought I was angry, but really I am hurt.

I am hurt because I felt like you judged me. I felt like you suggested the kind of love that I brought to my marriage wasn’t good enough. You made me feel like I must have not tried hard enough, or prayed hard enough. If I had, my marriage would have survived. I don’t think our God works that way.

I too believe in marriage.  I am 100% in agreement with you on the kind of love and commitment that it takes to hold a relationship together. I gave my whole heart and soul and life to my spouse. I think I understand the covenant of marriage; what it is supposed to be, and what it isn’t. I also understand that it is a covenant between two people.  Two people have to honor it, fight for it, pray for it, and agree to stay in it.

The War Room sounds like a good movie, with a great message.  Marriage is hard, and it is worth fighting for.  I hope that it helps those who need to hear that encouragement.

It doesn’t sound like a good movie for me. It is a Hollywood happy ending that not everyone gets. I agree that God can redeem anything. Sometimes he doesn’t. Sometimes things happen that we do not understand. That is not a reflection of my faith or performance, or His love. Not everything is in our control. I wanted that happy ending.  I didn’t get it. I am not that happy with this, frankly, but I am learning to accept it.

**************

I am hurt because I didn’t feel seen by you.  You didn’t ask me to share my story or circumstances.  You didn’t ask me if I was ok.  You didn’t ask me if I was willing or able to open up my heart. You didn’t ask me if I wanted to put my marriage back together or not.

You saw me as something broken.

Something to fix.

Behind my smiling face, is a girl whose heart was broken. You couldn’t know what lengths I went to in order to save myself, my family, my dignity, my faith. That’s ok. It shouldn’t matter.  There is so much more to a person than just their relationship status. I am the sum of all my parts, not just the divorce part. I am worth knowing.

**************

I am hurt because I want to feel safe at church. My faith and my marriage were closely tied together. When my marriage fell apart, my faith suffered as well. Now I am struggling to see where I fit in. Someday, I want my family to be part of a church community again. I want to be invited to the table, to be loved and accepted; divorced or not.

I forgive you for hurting me. I don’t think you meant to. There needs to be more grace all around; for you, for me, for all the rest of us. Sometimes we really hurt each other, even when we mean well. I have done it, you have done it, we all have done it. We need to show up for one another. Showing up doesn’t mean fixing, guiding, or judging. Maybe it is easier than that.

Welcome.

I see you.

There is room at my table.

We have got to get better at it. We don’t want to turn people away, we want to draw them in.

Love, Dana


PS. I ordered new rat traps on Amazon.  They come in two days.

PPS. Tomorrow I will be writing about rainbows and puppies.  Rest easy. 🙂

Advertisements

Day 13 – When We “Mean Well” (part 2)

church

Today’s post is a continuation of a story I told yesterday. If you didn’t read that first, it might help:

Day 12 – When We “Mean Well” (Part 1)

*********************

A few weeks ago I signed up for a small group bible study, and survived the first day.  There were some awkward introductions, for sure. Then the second week, I forgot to go.

I wasn’t off to a great start, I will admit that.

Early this week I get a phone call from one of the leaders.  She is very nice and says that she has missed me and hopes that I return to class this week. I state that I intend to. Then she says she saw a movie last weekend and it made her think of me. She says it is a Christian movie, and it’s called “War Room.”

She says it’s about a couple who is really struggling in their marriage and ultimately save their marriage through prayer. Even though the woman is justified in leaving her husband she chooses to work through the hard stuff.

Uh oh. I have a really bad feeling about this.

Then she says the couple in the movie turn to agape love to stay together, instead of the kind of love that the world relies on. She says that she feels like it is a powerful message for couples who are struggling, or are separated.

I really wish that was my story.  I hoped and prayed, begged and bargained.  It was not to be. I clarify things for her, in case my tearful outburst on introduction day wasn’t clear. “Well, I am divorced.”

Yes, I drop the D-word.  She is undeterred.  She tells me that God can redeem anything, and I know what she is referring to.

“I’m really sorry.  I think that God can and will heal me and my children.  I am certain my marriage is (and should be) dead as a door nail.”

She doesn’t say much for a moment.

Then she emphasizes that she doesn’t know my story, but is my husband remarried?  Because if he isn’t then there is still hope. Through prayer and faithful commitment, it is possible. She tells me to remember that my (EX)husband is not the enemy.

I thank her for thinking of me and get off the phone as quickly as possible.

*********************

I stand in my kitchen stunned. Then I do what any of us would do. I cry.

Why didn’t I stand up for myself?

Does she think I didn’t try to save my marriage?

Should I have justified my circumstances?

Is this what it means to go back to church?

Do I go back?

I do think she “meant well.”