Thursday, March 31, 2011


She feels as though she is drowning, that she cannot stay another moment, let alone another day. The pain is so great she is sure she will fold in and in and in upon herself, until there is nothing left but the dullness in her eyes.

Her husband is shocked. Looking back now, he can see clues to her unhappiness, but when she told him she was leaving, it rolled over him like a bus. As he pealed himself off the pavement of this revelation, it was hard to breathe.

You could reverse the pronouns. He is drowning. She is shocked. A marriage fails. A world comes tumbling down and all that remains are the shattered pieces of shared dreams, a pile of rubble at our feet. Unceremoniously, without invitations and celebrations, without condolences and public grief. He cannot stay another moment. She finds it hard to breathe.

Words to describe a lost relationship, come easily. Words that capture the essence of a nourishing marriage, elude me.

My first marriage lasted only four years. My second husband has walked beside me for decades, yet there are still those moments when I hear the whispered words of failure. I am married to my one true love. I am divorced.

Is it because divorced is a label? A state of being? Without identifiable ending? An elusive, unfinished beginning? Our lives get lost in a maze of legalities, a splitting of assets, a sharing of custody, a rebuilding from the rubble. We find ourselves slowly piecing shattered lives back together in a gray pre-dawn fog. A cold damp sense of hopelessness sets in, the realization that life as we’d imagined it will not return.

God is with us in the hopelessness. In the fog, like a lighthouse, God is there.

“…shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God's wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down…” Philippians 4:6-7 MSG excerpt

I opened my hands, put down the rubble, let go of the pain. God healed my heart and silenced the whispered words of failure. A new life opens up before me.