If you would've asked me 10 years ago if I "believed" in divorce, I would've said no. Honestly, if you would've asked me 2 years ago, I would've said no.
No one gets married and says "I'll get divorced one day!!" ... quiet the opposite- I heard the divorce statistics of this day and age and I said, "but I'm not that. This is forever. Statistics don't matter to me." But it wasn't forever... and I have to "believe" in divorce. It happened to me. And more than that, it happened to my son. He is now a "child of divorce."
I had a long time to grieve my marriage. It broke years ago and some piece of me started grieving way back then despite most of me being desperate to fix it. It took years to grieve. And in the last 8-9 months, I grieved the heaviest pieces. My heart caught up to where my head had been. It was a long process for me... but see, Liam is still grieving it. He's grieving the loss of a two parent home. He is a 4 year old that uses the word divorce and tries to fit it in its spot on the shelf of our daily life. Not exactly sure where to put it, or when to use it, or how it functions, but totally aware that it's his now. And mine. That it belongs to us and it's not something we picked out at the store with great anticipation. Instead, he asks about when we can return it.... Erase it. He asks about a time when we won't be "divorce" anymore. He asks big things. And I struggle to find answers to these big questions coming from such a little boy. Age appropriate honesty with a 4 year old who is asking "why doesn't daddy live with us?"
I stare at my ceiling from my bed at night after a bedtime of big asks from my boy and I wonder if he'll be okay. I wonder if he'll resent me for walking away from a dangerously destructive marriage and ultimately dividing his home. I wonder if he'll ever fully trust anyone, or forgive anyone... or if he will be able to navigate in a healthy way the big emotions he's experiencing right now and at every developmental milestone from here on out. I wonder how he'll process the truth of his situation at 5, at 12, at 16 years old. I wonder if he knows how deeply loved he is... I wonder... and I worry... and I fear...
I've experienced deep hurts in my life.... but seeing and feeling my son experience deep hurt.... I don't have words for that. Sitting on his bed, holding him as he sobs... as he try's to decipher the how and the why and what's next... and I'm helpless. I'm crying too. And we just hold on to each other. I climb down from my perch of "authority" as his mom and sit with him as a fellow broken-hearted person.
Liam asked to spend his birthday money today and already had the dream toy selected. He went inside Toys R Us with purpose and we enjoyed our time there. I love these moments of "average/normal" life. I think all too often I'm so aware that "regular" just isn't our current season. Afterward, we were driving back to the church for work tonight and from the back seat, I hear, "momma, you're always with me when I cry and I'll always be with you when you cry."
I was utterly speechless. I felt so much so intensely right at that moment. I guess Liam felt he needed to go on because I hadn't spoken in return yet because.... how..... and he said "I love you very muchly and you love me very muchly and God protects us from inside our hearts. God loves us so much, too."
I don't know if Liam will struggle with forgiveness or trust or boundaries... I don't know if he'll resent me or bottle up his emotions. I don't even know what next week looks like, let alone his adulthood. But I do know one thing and it's enough. Liam isn't a child of divorce. He's a child of God. Recklessly loved. Fearlessly protected. Fiercely sought-after. And so am I. I'm not saying I will never have moments of worry or fear, I'm just saying in those moments, I may need a reminder. We are children of God and THAT is enough.