Surviving Divorce by Elisabeth Klein

 

I was fairly confident that I would survive my divorce for a few reasons.  I had survived my parents’ divorce.  I had survived other hard things along the way. And I had survived living in a difficult marriage for over eighteen years.

What I wasn’t confident of was if my children would survive the divorce. They were young. They were naive. They hadn’t had to survive anything difficult at all really prior to that time.

I had this argument in my head for months and months, going back and forth between the often-quoted “children are resilient” and the “this will permanently damage my kids and all of their future relationships”.

In my experience the past few years, both of those statements are true and both are false.

I find that “children are resilient” is tossed around by adults who don’t want to take responsibility for how their poor choices have affected the children in their lives.

And yet, my kids have turned out to be fairly buoyant, weathering the pain and change and awkwardness, with grace and growth.

The thought that my children will be forever broken rings true in some ways. Divorce is not how it’s supposed to be; divorce is not supposed to be any child’s childhood backdrop. And yes, in ways, we are all broken.

Yet, I am already seeing evidence in my children’s lives – as teenagers – of how they are making pretty mature, pretty healthy choices in how they conduct themselves emotionally and relationally.

It’s as if part of me thought as I started walking the divorce road that my children’s destinies were based on a roll of the dice.  It’s as if part of me forgot Who is in charge, Whose children they really are, Who they belong to.

Because once I got that settled, I realized that pretty much no matter what happens, my kids will be okay.  And I don’t mean that their entire lives will be amazing with only good things from start to finish.  I mean that even if more bad things happen to them or even if they make one bad choice after another for the rest of their lives, Jesus will still be with them, Jesus will never abandon them, Jesus will walk them through it all, and Jesus will love them even more than I ever could. And that, dear ones, is how our children survive divorce.

 

Elisabeth Klein is the author of Unraveling: Hanging Onto Faith Through the End of a Christian Marriage, speaker and a member of Redbud Writers’ Guild. She led a women’s ministry in her church for ten years. She currently leads small groups, writes, and speaks to women surrounding faith, difficult marriage, domestic abuse, divorce and single parenting issues. She lives with her two teenage children in Illinois. Visit her online at http://www.elisabethklein.com.

2016-10-17T16:12:29+00:00 February 24th, 2014|Elisabeth Corcoran|4 Comments

4 Comments

  1. Kimberly Barreto February 27, 2014 at 8:00 pm - Reply

    I personally have experienced the separation of my parents and it was a very difficult situation in which, thank God, I could understand why mom and dad came to that conclusion.

  2. Laura Connell April 1, 2014 at 9:31 am - Reply

    Thank you for sharing your experience as a divorced parent. It helps to read and know we are not alone.

  3. Charmaine April 17, 2014 at 8:37 am - Reply

    Thank you for such a balanced outlook on a difficult and always heartbreaking experience. I was in an abusive marriage and it was because of my young children’s safety and security that I found the courage to leave. I realized that if I stayed, my son and daughter would undoubtedly be exposed to the toxicity of the abuse. My daughter, who was 5 at the time, was seeing her mom accepting the abuse as the norm. This insight woke me up and I made a decision that staying would cause more harm than leaving. Now 8 years later, my children have seen my commitment to the Lord and to them. I made a personal decision to remain single until they reach adulthood and I work alongside a counselor to guide them through the process of divorce. Unfortunately, I have had “Christians” who have judged my choices and told me I am living in sin by way of divorce. I see the division in the church on this, having been told I was not allowed to start a support group for single moms. Leadership explained by having such a group, I was condoning divorce and if they opened that door of acceptance, the cancer of sin would infect all the marriages of church. (And YES I LEFT THAT CHURCH). I am finding that divorce and single parenting is a huge need in our country.
    That said, thank you for your courage to share your journey!

  4. Martha July 29, 2014 at 10:04 am - Reply

    Thank you for sharing. your story encourage that we continue living as a single moms. And the most important, we are not along God is with us. During the struggle we tent to forget.

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