|Photo by My Anjelina (Anjie Kay)|
I read a Forbes article, the other day, on our biggest regrets. I relate really well to #21, about failing to live in a health-conscious sort of way, also to #23, about failing to visit a friend before his or her death.
#12, though, about failing to save a marriage, isn't among my personal regrets.
My life would have been easier had it not included divorce. That was a painful, little chapter, although not as painful as the marriage that preceded it, okay? I in nowise mean to write ill of my ex-husband, either; it was just a poor match of immature people.
The hardest thing about divorce, for me, was experiencing the hurt and disappointment of others. Our son was very young (four) and has always seemed to handle the situation well, but I knew I was letting my parents and grandma down. One aunt seemed particularly sad, which made me sad.
My parents are still married; my grandparents were married until parted by death; even my little brother and his wife are still married: sixteen years, now, in fact. I just never pictured myself the divorced one in the family. So there's that.
At the time of my divorce, I didn't (couldn't? wouldn't?) see or accept my responsibility for it. Many years after the fact, after I'd rededicated my life to Christ and remarried, I came to see and accept just how responsible I was--more responsible, in fact, than my ex-husband--and ask God's forgiveness for specific failures on my part. It was a painful process.
My life would be easier, today, if I were not divorced. First of all, there's the sharing thing. My ex-husband and I share custody of our son, and we share beautifully. Still hard. My family doesn't feel complete without my oldest darling in the mix, and he's very often gone. When I'm missing him, I know I'm experiencing a natural consequence of my failure and sin. I've been forgiven, yes, but consequences remain.
Another painful consequence comes in the form of other people's judgment of me as a divorced person. I can't even say how much is real vs. imagined, and in the end, it doesn't matter. What matters is that I allow the enemy to mess with my head over it. For example, when I feel as though my words are being dismissed by another Christian, my go-to thought place is: oh, (s)he doesn't respect my words because I'm divorced. That hurts, and every time.
My greatest regrets revolve around my being unkind to others, including my ex-husband. But you understand, surely: I can't regret marrying or lying down with either of my husbands without regretting one or more of my children. I would do any of it, all of it--in the same sinful ways, if necessary--all over again to get my four children exactly as they are: each so much of the best of his or her dad. I have produced the first (and, so far, only) male heir for two different families: beautiful, strong boys; how can I not hold my head up high?
Don't pity me for any reason (history, situation, or mentality).
And here's another thing I want to get off my chest, a truth so precious to me: I am not jealous of you. I would not trade places with you for a second or even entertain the thought. It makes no nevermind to me who you are or what you have or how perfectly or righteously you've acquired it.
God bless you, Friend, and I mean that with sincerity. I don't think I'm better than you by any stretch of the imagination, but I'll take it: I'll take my life, my story, my testimony, my children, my consequences.
I'll take my own, personal and extravagant redemption through the blood sacrifice of Jesus Christ. Without hesitation, I will.