Divorce and the Happily Ever After

By JMathis

There was a time in my 20’s, where I spent almost every weekend going to a wedding. We would get decked out and dance the night away, being sleekly dressed accessories in the myth that every bride and groom’s “happily ever after” had finally arrived, as Bindu would say. The bride and groom were Mr. and Mrs. Prince Charming, and we guests were complicit in re-telling the story of this fairy tale for generations to come.

Now, in my 30’s, I am becoming a co-conspirator in the unraveling of fairy tales. I spend hours on the phone consoling my friends, and then analyzing the “he saids, she saids” with my husband (as he inevitably hears the guy’s side, while I am now only privy to the girl’s narrative. “Ladies and gentlemen, the lines in battle have been drawn! Boys on one side, girls on the other”). After all, this isn’t some college breakup, but a full-scale war where the casualties are often children.

The children. Innocence lost in one fell swoop. They, too, were complicit in the fairy tale. Seeing and hearing the nightly fights, but never believing that the ‘D’ word would actually sever their household.

Last night,  I heard the news again about another couple. I feel almost too sick to write this post in a week where we have kept it lighthearted on our blog.

But, yet, here we are once again, and the “once upon a times” are taking on the dark quality found in the sinister fairy tales of the the Brothers Grimm…decapitated heads, wolves in sheep’s clothing, children falling to their demise. 

I need strength, Lord. I can’t hear story after story without wondering if this is the fate of all parents, even Christian ones.

What words do I say to a couple facing this, Lord? What words do I say to myself and to other parents who are watching this horror movie where our friends are playing the lead roles?

I turn to Romans 8. I tear up to find a chockful of verses that give me hope. Hope for them, hope for their children, hope for me, hope for all of my married friends.

 26 In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. 27 And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God.

 28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who[i] have been called according to his purpose.

 31 What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?

32 He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?

33 Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. 34 Who then is the one who condemns? No one. Christ Jesus who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us.

35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? 36As it is written:

   “For your sake we face death all day long;
   we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.”[j]

 37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,[k] neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Thank You, Lord, for hope. Thank You, Lord, that we do know how the story ends, and that is with You, triumphant, saving us from darkness, despair and the harmful effects of the ‘D’ word. Thank You, Lord, for allowing us to surrender our fairy tales at your feet, in exchange for restoring the “happily ever after” in our lives. A true “happily ever after”, where we are showered with Your grace, majesty and the hope of eternal life.

Most of all, thank You, Lord, for Your LOVE, that saves, heals, covers, purifies and makes all things new–even our “once a upon a times”…

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