“Time cures all wounds.”
“It’s time to move on.”
If you’re a divorce Catholic Christian, heck, if you’re a divorced anybody, especially if you’re not the one who wanted the divorce, you’ve probably heard others say these things to you more often than you’d like to think about, and in many ways they’re true.
I’ve been single since Mother’s Day 2009, six and a half years now, and I am far from the trembling, heartbroken, confused, terrified, hurt child I was then. Thank God! I believe, between the shock of my husband’s sudden departure and his filing for divorce so quickly and having our last little boy, I literally shook for a good six months, probably more like eight or more.
No human being can live in that state forever though. At some point you either cave in and become angry and bitter, falsely believing this is a defense needed to protect yourself from future heartbreak or you turn to someone else for protection and stand taller with him or you let the Holy Spirit lift you when you know you don’t have the strength to stand on your own.
Out of crisis, God brings great faith
if you allow Him to.
My standing is no different from the countless others who have been lifted before me. It is a Miracle, no doubt in my mind, but it is a Miracle that happens often when people turn to God in divorce, when people turn to God in crisis of any kind.
And the immediate agony is lifted, albeit slowly sometimes, and there is a freeing of the soul, a beauty found in the scarred but healing heart, the heart which has gained Wisdom to remain ever-guarded but which has known Love through the storms to remain soft and giving, open, and yes, Loving.
It’s amazing, that coming out the other side, and being grateful for the pain that struck without warning. It’s freeing and inspiring and gives you the courage to move forward.
Which is a Good thing, because, as the understanding of the finality of your situation strikes, the reality of your situation and the fact that it is an ongoing reality also strikes, and false cliches like “You’ll get over it,” are replaced with what we assume are true cliches like, “There’s no rest for the weary,” and “A Mom’s job is never done,” and “I’ll rest when I’m dead.”
Because Satan is smart. He knows, even better than your ex, what buttons to push. In some of us, he pushes buttons that lead to promiscuity. In others buttons lead to drinking or gambling or drugs or working obsessively. We recognize these evils even if we fail to acknowledge them as such.
Satan knows he can’t use the same tricks on all of us though. Some of us pride ourselves in being too smart to fall for that stuff, and maybe we are, but pride may be our downfall.
We fail to realize we are not too smart to fall for the tricks Satan has laid out just for us, knowing us well, knowing our buttons well, and Satan uses his button of weariness to attack the unaware, the tired, the divorced, the single Mom, the single Dad, the lonely. He uses the very routine that was needed to make it through those first few months or years of divorce to slowly chip away at Willpower and Strength, Courage and Hope, Faith and Love.
The daily struggles, the unfairness of life, the bleak, empty, vast or too quickly ending future become wrapped in piles of unfolded laundry, dishes piled high in the sink, children who refuse to listen, and paychecks that don’t stretch far enough.
In Sunday’s Gospel, Luke 21: 25-28, 34-36, we see signs of the end times, nations of earth will be in dismay, roaring sea and waves, people dying of fright. Great signs accompany the end times. Signs of war and famine and disease and natural disasters.
But other subtle signs too will be present, and it seems Jesus speaks directly to the divorced, to the lonely, to those who have become trapped in surviving the same day, day in and day out. He seems to speak directly to the single Parent, to those who wake up early and go to bed late, who work knowing they cannot fully support their families without help, to those who see no light at the end of the tunnel and no gratitude from those in their care.
Beware that your hearts do not become drowsy from carousing and drunkenness and the anxieties of daily life, and catch you by surprise like a trap.
Jesus knew. He knew way back then that the troubles we face in the daily grind could be as dangerous to our souls as carousing and drunkenness. He knew that Satan would attempt to pull us down, to weary our souls, to turn us negative simply by giving us our daily lives.
He knew that sometimes, after the storm has passed, it is the ongoing, lengthy cleanup that follows that makes people give up and move away. He knows that it is in the day to day cleanup that we are most at risk of giving up and moving away.
He speaks to you. He warns you. He wants better for you. He Loves You. You are not alone.
If you are divorced and alone, especially as the Christmas season arrives, if you are a single Parent, tired of responsibilities that never end and saddened as the gift-giving, partying season approaches and money is tight, stand tall. Stand Strong. You are not alone.
Jesus is with you. Your Father Loves you. The Holy Spirit Strengthens you and gives you Courage and there are many others, silent behind closed doors, feeling the same way you do right now.
Be a Light to others. Guard against weariness, as dangerous as carousing and drunkenness. Be ready to face another day in Christ’s Love because there is one cliche we know for certain is True.
For this too shall pass.
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