Tag Archives: divorce

Children of Divorce: Blame, Forgiveness, and Scars.

truth.

Confession: I yelled at my dad tonight.  For the past few months, I’ve been the primary cook in the house.  It’s not a big deal, I enjoy cooking, but I hate that my dad expects me to cook now, and he doesn’t even try.  He’ll even purposefully come home late, or if he comes home early, he sits in his chair or waters the garden instead of getting dinner ready.  So I end up cooking.  I’ve had this discussion with him before.  We used to take turns cooking, or if anything, he cooked the main dish while I made sure we had vegetables on the table.  But not anymore.  I cook, and he (unspoken) expects me to cook.

Yesterday, he asked me if I’d be home for dinner, and I told him yes, but I’d probably be a little late.  He said he’d cook leftovers, and then changed his mind and said he’d cook this beef we’ve had in the fridge.  Instead, I come home around 7:15, wash rice, and relax a little, waiting for him to come home.  He doesn’t get home till 8, then he starts watering the plants and asks me if “we’re” going to cook the beef.  I told him I don’t know how, and so I start getting other food ready because it’s coming on 8:30 and we have no food to eat.  I don’t mind until I after I come out of the shower (after my dad took his shower while I cooked), and I find that my dad has already started eating without me.  He didn’t even think to wait for me.  That’s what bothered me.  After I cooked dinner (when he said he would), the least he could do is just wait till I get out of the shower so we can eat together.  He did the exact same thing the other day, and I pointed it out to him then as well.

It just struck me tonight, as I was yelling at him, that this is what it must have been like for my mom.  I’ve been feeling that more and more as time goes on…throughout the summer, it was necessary to really clean the house because we (me, really) were having guests over to stay.  He didn’t help clean the house at all, so I cleaned everything.  The only thing I asked him to clean is the area around his recliner, and under the toilet seat, because those messes have nothing to do with me.  He says “Why can’t you clean it?  Mommy used to clean the whole toilet.”  And that’s the problem.   She used to do all these things for my dad and he never showed any gratitude.  He took it all for granted.

When I first found out about the divorce, I blamed my mom.  Her temper was is explosive.  Therefore, I thought it was her fault.  My dad, as everyone who meets him tells me, is so nice, and such an easy going guy.  Make no mistake, he is, he’s a local boy, product of the Hawaiian Islands through and through.  How could it be his fault?  My mom is the one who flies off the handle, who has problems forgiving people, right?

Eventually though, when I learned what happened, how my dad broke her trust in a major way (no cheating, thank the Lord) in the early years of their marriage, I saw his part in it all.   But I didn’t and still don’t fully understand how he allowed –no, chose–to lie to her about something so major, so the easiest thing to do was turn a blind eye.  Given what I know about my dad, how nice and laidback he is, this just didn’t make sense.  So instead of trying to understand it (my dad gets really sensitive every time I bring it up), I told myself–why couldn’t my mom just forgive him?  Again, I chose to blame her.

That is, until I grew older.  To have been betrayed by your best friend, the one you swore to love till the day that you died, is a deep deep wound that requires the strength of God to forgive and his grace alone to work on saving the marriage.  I realized too, how much my mom had sacrificed in order for my brother and I to have the opportunities we did.  With my dad’s betrayal came a role reversal.  My mom became the primary breadwinner–had to, in some ways, if she wanted to continue towards upward mobility for my brother and me.  She certainly wasn’t a gold digger, but she had planned for an easier life for herself, with her doctor of a husband.  Instead, she now took consulting jobs that forced her to live in hotels Monday through Thursday–perhaps just for the money, but in retrospect, perhaps to get out of the house to keep their marriage from crumbling any sooner.  And so over the past few years, I’ve come to see her as the paradigm of sacrificial giving.  I even bragged about her to friends at times, whenever the topic came up.  I know it’s common, especially amongst Asian Americans, to sacrifice for your children, but I’m amazed at how much of her life she gave–no, continues to give– for us.

And so when Joe asked me about the divorce, and I told him what happened, and how I now am so grateful for my mom–he replied–“But she should have put her marriage first.”  I was a little offended by his comment.  I appreciate my mom for everything that she has given to me, it has allowed me to be who I am, to have the amazing educational opportunities that I did, to not be in debt upon college graduation, etc.  She should have put her children first, I thought to myself.  That’s what makes a good parent.

But as I yelled at my dad tonight, I found my voice cracking and tears starting to come to my eyes.  I couldn’t figure out why I was so emotional, until I realized that now I do blame my dad for the divorce.  I blame him because he shuts down during conflicts, and he doesn’t take responsibility for his part of the problem.  He has a hard time saying that he’s sorry, instead choosing to shift the blame and put it back on you.  Not only that, but I realized that this is what I do when others get upset at me.  I have a hard time owning up to my mistakes if I’ve really hurt someone.  Moreover, as the words “you always” and “you never” came flying out of my mouth, I realized that I even argue like my mom.  I even brought up that point about cleaning under the toilet, just like my mom would have done.

The tears came because I realized that I blame both my parents for giving up.  For not putting their marriage first.  For showing me these terrible conflict resolution styles that have wormed their way into my personhood.  For thinking that sacrificial love is really putting your children first, when in reality, the best thing you really can do for your children is to love your spouse.  For not fighting for their marriage.  For not learning how to apologize.  For not learning how to forgive.

In addition, the tears came because I realized how much of their sinfulness is in me.  I am like my mom, and I am like my dad.  And it scares me.

They were both Sunday School teachers, super involved in the church.  They knew what was right, and what was honoring to God.  But they chose instead to lie, to hold grudges, to withhold forgiveness, and finally to get a divorce.  I’m grateful that they waited until I was in college so they wouldn’t have to fight for custody or make me choose which parent I wanted to live with, but they should have fought harder.

I tried to apologize for yelling at my dad, but he still wouldn’t admit his role in any of it, or even say sorry.  He still pushed the blame back on to me, so I just went to bed.  (Now a few hours later, I realize that I tried to apologize but couldn’t because my dad wouldn’t admit he was wrong.  What kind of apology was I trying to make??)

Before turning out the light, I opened up a book I’ve been reading through recently–Child of Divorce, Child of God–and as I turned the page and began to read, I started to cry.  The author was abandoned by her father and knew that God was calling her to forgive him.  And as I read that, I knew that God was calling me to forgive my parents for not putting their marriage first, and for not trying harder.

I’m still working on it.  I wish I could say that I willed myself to forgive them, but I can’t just yet.

It’s been 8 years since I accidentally found the divorce papers.  I thought I was well adjusted to it–even grateful, to a certain extent, since family vacations (which we still do with both parents) are infinitely more pleasant now.  I was still blessed to have grown up in a (tumultuous) two parent household.  I’d seen the humanity in my parents and loved them still.  I’d found my identity in Christ alone, the great healer and restorer.  But it’s only now, as I’m beginning to look to marriage for myself, potentially inviting another person into my life, that I begin to realize just how many scars I have, and just how deep they run.

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Fear & the Will of God

Fear: a distressing emotion aroused by impending danger, evil, pain, etc., whether the threat is real orimagined; the feeling or condition of being afraid.
Synonyms: foreboding, apprehension,consternation, dismay, dread, terror, fright, panic, horror, trepidation, qualm.
Antonyms: courage,security, calm, intrepidity.

The third of this dictionary series.

These past six months have been absurd.  Filled with quick blushes, fluttering hearts, and alabaster jars full of tears.  As a twenty six year old who has never been in a relationship, these past six months were full of uncertainty, excitement, and revelations, as for the first time, I was “seeing someone”.

He came out of nowhere.  I was happy being single, busy with friends, school, research, and church.  I had just come back from Urbana, InterVarsity’s amazing missions conference, where the Lord reminded me that he has a perfect plan, a me-shaped dream that is part of his plan in restoring the world.  He reminded me that he made me, down to the interests and specific experiences that I’ve had in my life, and nothing, nothing goes wasted under his watch.  He is a purposeful God.

So coming off this conference high, my friends told me that they were speaking to this guy about me, and suggesting that we meet.  They’d been talking to him for months, and he was asking my best friend tons of questions about me to see whether he wanted to take a risk and meet me.  Eventually, he decided that he would jump, and he asked me out to coffee in mid January.

We met once a week, no more, no less.  And we tried to keep the boundaries platonic.  Ever since our second meeting, we always went dutch, and physically we did nothing–not even holding hands.  But over time, he found me making my way into his heart, and eventually, I found him in mine.  As cliche as it was, things happened so quickly.  He told me  in early March that he “liked [me], and really enjoyed spending time together”.  And in early April, I tried ungracefully to tell him the same–“soooyanothatsongthatsplayinginthatsceneinbeautyandthebeastwheretheyrethrowingsnowballsateachother?yeaaah,ithinkthatswhereimat.”  Hahaha 🙂  But he graciously let me express myself in the only way that I could.

We went and found new restaurants together through yelp, we fast danced (me awkwardly) at the Navy’s Anniversary Ball, and we sat beneath the shade of trees and talked for hours, often spending a quarter of a day together.  Restaurants would close, but our conversations would continue as we strolled along the Ala Wai canal, or sat in a car.

He believes in one of those Christian alternatives to dating–dating with friendship at the forefront and marriage in mind, then once he knew that I would be the one, he would propose, and then pursue until I said yes.  It’s modeled after Christ’s pursuit of our own hearts–a commitment to loving us that inspired and motivated the greatest act of love known to mankind.  Commitment first, pursuit second.  And although I struggled (and quite frankly was frustrated) with wanting a traditional relationship where pursuit and romance happens at the onset of emotions, I respected his conviction and I admired that his eyes were focused on the cross.

Being in the Navy, he would occasionally be gone, disappearing into a submarine for weeks at a time, and communication was spotty and via email at best.  But we made it through, with biblical encouragement and the cds of worship songs he’d make me.  His last underway was most difficult, I was so used to texting him every day, and that morning he’d sent me a text, facebook message, and email, so every line of communication that I had was another reminder that he would be gone for 21 days.  And I actually was counting them down one by one in the beginning, because I missed him so.

But while he was gone, I was praying with open hands, asking the Lord what he would want from us.  Specifically, “What should we do, Lord?”  And behold, I heard “Break up.”  Over the course of a few weeks, I’d press the question again twice after that, not believing what I’d heard, and honestly not wanting it to be true.  So finally, when I heard it a third time, I began asking the Lord for confirmation–through scripture, through quiet times, through anything, but specifically, I asked that my friend Jeannie, who had always been so supportive of us, would confirm what I’d heard.

The Lord provided.  Be careful what you pray for, because He is a God who answers.

Since we stopped dating, the tears just won’t stop coming.  I sobbed in the beginning, and I just had no words to say to anyone, including God.  It was all I could do to just sit there with Him in my car, watching the sun sink over the Honolulu skyline, and know that He hears and He was with me.

Through this time though, God has taught me so much.  I’ve begun to read books on Guidance, Finding God’s Will,  listening to sermons on singleness and listening in silence…and through it God has shown me much.

We all want God to tell us what to do.  We all want God to simply save us the pain and the struggle of figuring things out for ourselves, because we know that his plans are infinitely better than ours.  That his plans lead to his glory.  And who wouldn’t want to take a shortcut to get there?  Why bother with my own plans and my own desires when i know my heart is sinful, and when I know that whatever he wants is best for me?

Because he wants you to be an autonomous being that is both fully you and fully submitted to him.  Just as he didn’t force you to choose him, he will not and does not want you to just be a puppet who does whatever He wants.   In a sermon by Tim Keller, he provided this illustration:

Imagine you’re a parent.  And your five year old asks you for permission to go out and play.  “Of course,” you say.  “But be back home by five, because your mother and I are cooking dinner.”  Now imagine that it’s 15 years later, and your 20 year old calls and says “Hi Dad, my friends are playing frisbee at the park, is it ok if I go play with them?”  You’re dumbfounded.  “You’re 20 years old!  You know your workload, you know how much time you can afford to spend with your friends.  You don’t need to ask me, you can decide for yourself.”

The greatest lessons are learned through living, not told by word of mouth.  Did you come to believe that God loves you because you heard it week after week in a building with a steeple, or did you come to know that God loves you because you had an undeniable experience where his love completely overwhelmed you like the flood of rushing waters?  Did you come to know that you are a sinner because people with picket signs pointed their fingers and accused you, or did you come to find you’re a sinner because you were shown a mirror and saw the depth of depravity within your own soul that looks so shiny and good from the outside?

Likewise, God’s guidance, his wisdom comes through learning.  Learning to listen for the promptings of the Spirit, and learning to walk in ways that are just and true.

Of course, when you’re making difficult decisions that have nothing to do with morality (for those, the answer is in God’s word), things get complicated.  What job to take, what school to go to, who we should marry, we often turn to God for guidance and for direction for these.  As we should.  There are certainly better options, and there are worse options.  Prayer, wisdom, and countenance of friends are certainly necessary.

But to ask God directly for what He wants, I think we need to examine our hearts for why we ask this question.  Sometimes the way just doesn’t seem clear.  And any of the options before you seem good, so therefore you really want to inquire of the Lord and make an informed decision.  And often times, he may just tell us to choose.

Sometimes, however, we ask the Lord what he wants because we’re afraid.  We fear making the wrong choice, because we’re afraid of the consequences.  We don’t want to pick the path less traveled by and come to find it’s full of thorns and wild beasts waiting to devour us.   It may seem like the holy way to go, inquiring of the Lord.  But your heart is quaking in fear.  You’d rather He just make the decision because then there’s no responsibility on your part–God told you do this.  And if God told you to do it, it must be good!

Remember, God is a God who answers prayers.

When I asked the Lord what to do with this man, I was in the second boat.  Not only did I fear the consequences of my actions, but I honestly thought that if God made the decision and told me what to do, then I would follow, and I hoped that it would expedite his glory.  God, you, me, and the right person, we’ll make a good team one day.  So if he is the one, tell me to get a move on and climb aboard.  Silly me.  Expedite his glory.  As if such a thing exists!  The rocks cry out day and night with the sound of his praises!  As if I could delay his glory by making the wrong choice.  As if I had any power to do such a thing, as if such a thing could even happen!  The Lord will be glorified in our sin or in our worship, it’s simply our choice.

But the Lord convicted me today that I asked him what to do out of fear.  He in his grace, answered anyway.  I was afraid because I knew that he was close to a proposal.  I was afraid because if it turns out I don’t want to marry him, I didn’t want to hurt him.   I was afraid because if I don’t want to marry him, I may end up alone forever.  I was afraid because if he didn’t want to marry me, I would be heartbroken.  I was afraid because deep down inside marriage scares me.  I was afraid because my parents are divorced, I’ve never seen a healthy marriage, and I’m terrified of going through it myself.

Being a child of divorce leaves scars.  It just does.  The Lord heals the pain, but that divorce is never erased from your memory.  My identity was shaken.  I became the product of a broken home.  But as the pieces were shaking, what came to the surface was that I was first and foremost a child of God.  Should God strip away all the other labels that people place on me (daughter, sister, tree hugger, student, staffworker, etc), only that would remain.

Nevertheless, I didn’t realize until today just how scared I was of marriage because I’m afraid of divorce.  I’m afraid of the arguments that come between two people who vowed to love each other till death do you part.  I’m afraid of marrying the wrong person because I know how painful and earth shattering divorce is.  And I know the bitterness and the resentment that can come.

I was talking on the phone to my best friend, and I told her my fear of being single.  And she said–what’s meant to be will be.  But I asked her–were my parents meant to get a divorce?  Was that meant to be??  And I still am wrestling with God about the answer.  I know that sin wormed its way into their marriage and rotted it from the insdie out.  But was that part of God’s plan?

The Lord convicted me too, asking me…do you really believe that I work everything out for Good?  Do you really believe that my plans always prevail in the end?  Do you really believe that you can mess with life so badly that my plans do not come to fruition?  Do you really believe that I am Sovereign??

So choose.  Pray, consult, listen, use wisdom.  But choose.  Don’t live life in fear of making the wrong choices because no matter what you go through, I will be there.  No matter what happens, I will use it for good.  No matter what happens, I have you in my hands.  No matter what happens, I am in control.  No matter what happens, I love you and that is enough.

Do not fear impending danger.  Do not fear evil derailing my plan.  Do not fear a life of pain.  Do not fear threats that are real or imagined.  Because I am the Lord your God, and you are mine.  Trust me.

When we seek to know the Lord, we aim to please him, and we find ourselves squarely in the will of the Lord.  It’s not something to be sought, but something to be lived.

The antonyms to fear are courage,security, calm, and intrepidity.  (Does this not sound like a life lived in freedom in the Lord?)

The cure to fear, however, is faith.

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He never slumbers or sleeps.

God is always at work in our families.

Today, I failed to go to church.  I got hooked on a really bad game and have been going to bed super late as a result.  So instead, I listened to two sermons (I don’t condone not going to church!  please don’t do as I do…): one from Evanston Vineyard, and one from Willowcreek.

And even though I didn’t wake up in time for church, God’s grace still abounds.

This week has been difficult for me.  I lost my job at the animal hospital, and I got in a huge fight with my mom.  It doesn’t really matter how I lost my job, I believe I did all that I could do, and yet with live animals, there’s still some things you can’t control (no animals were harmed in the making of that post).  In any case, I was up for a raise, and instead, I lost it all.  And in the fight with my mom…it happens every so often, but this one was probably the worst it’s been since I told my mom I was moving into the city.  I’ve learned over time just to sit there, and to not say anything when she yells because it just makes things worse. I get really upset, she gets even more upset, and it’s just not good.  This time she just said a lot of things that brought up other things she’s said in the past…and it’s not easy.  So it’s been a hard week for me.

And I wonder…God, what happened to the blessings that you gave me?  What happened to the blessings that come with giving up everything and following you?  What happened to the blessings of giving up a job that I loved to wander in the wilderness?  Was I not supposed to take that job in the animal hospital?  Is this your way of telling me?  I don’t know.  I’m glad that I have more time for my grad apps, and I’ve been so tired.  With two jobs I was working 7 days a week, probably around 50-60 hours a week.  And I needed a break.  So I cans ee the silver lining…it just sucks being fired.  Especially being fired from a job you were told you were overqualified for.  (humbling in more ways than one)

And in an email I sent to my friends/prayer partners, I wrote that I never hope for full reconciliation when (not if) my mom starts yelling.  the best i can hope for–the best i can expect, is that after a day or two she acts like nothing ever happened.  i’ve just gotten so used to the pattern of brokenness that its hard to maintain hope…even for my family.  And I know I’m not the only one with difficult family issues.  I have friends whose parents refuse to acknowledge their presence at home, friends whose parents are threatening to kick each other out of the house, friends whose parents are constantly arguing about their beliefs.  And I think since Thanksgiving came around, the divorce was all the more real because this year it was just me and mom sitting at the long dining table that in years past was so full we had to scrounge around the house for extra chairs.  Dad’s away taking care of GungGung, and so with two separate celebrations, it really feels like we’re two families.

But back to the sermons…the one from Vineyard, a woman was preaching.  Talking about the genealogy of Jesus.  She goes through and explains who everyone is, from Abram all the way to Joseph.  She talked about the heroes in the story, the great kings, the rebuilders of temples, the men who walked with God…and she talked about the adulterers, the drunkards, and the men who sacrificed their children to other gods.  Oftentimes, they were one and the same person.  There were messed up people in the lineage of Christ.  There were messed up families, sinful people, deeply lost people, people who even murdered their own children.  And you wonder–why, why would God choose these people to be part of the line that brings about the savior of the world?  Because these are the people that God came to save.  God’s grace, his mercy, is not too far from these people.  And she said–look back.  No matter how messed up your own story is, no matter how far your family seems from God…you can find part of your family story in this line.  and you too–even if you think you’ve messed up far too much, even if you think that you are too far from God, that he could never take you back…your story is echoed here too.  And God is not far from you.  His grace is still more than enough to welcome you back home.  and he could have just given up on those people and said forget it, i’m going to go another route, use a different family, one more deserving, but no.  he PRESERVED the line in FAITHFULNESS to abraham and allowed his son, the savior of the world, to be born into a long line of broken, sinful people.

As for willowcreek…he spoke on the story of Ruth and Naomi, also part of the lineage of Jesus.  He spoke on how Naomi lost everything–her husband, her two sons…and she was so miserable, so tired, that she changed her name to Bitter.  Times when you lose a member of your family, and that chair is empty at the thanksgiving table…times when you or your parents lose their job and are wondering where the money to pay the next bills is going to come from…God is still at work there.  And that is paramount to our faith.  Knowing that God is who he says he is, that he can do what he says he can do is foundational.   Ruth was a woman of great reputation, a woman who chose to be faithful to her mother in law when she could have gone back to her own family, and in the bitterness of losing her husband and leaving her people behind, God was still at work.  A story of Redemption.  A small picture of the rich history that Jesus was born into.

And so the pastor reminded us that family was God’s idea.  Part of his plan.  And he asked–will you commit your family over to God?  We have the faith to believe that someday…those that we love that do not know Him may come to know Him.  Something that was permanently broken can be made new.  Relationships that you think are irreparable can be reconciled.  Will I commit to praying for my family?  Will I? Do I believe that God is still at work in the midst of the sorry state, the crap, the messiness, the yelling and the tears, that is my broken home?  Do I believe that what was permanently broken can be made new?

God is working behind the scenes in our lives and in our families.  He never slumbers or sleeps.  And he is working all things together for good as we trust and follow him. (rom 8.28)

And I’ve learned–there’s a difference between optimism and putting our hope in Christ.  Optimism is just blindly hoping things can’t get any worse, that things have to pick up.  But putting our hope in Christ is knowing, knowing that he is working for our good, and for his glory.  That though things may not get any better, we are being shaped and formed into Christ’s image, and he is where we place our trust.

Revelations 21:

1Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. 2And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. 3And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”

5And he who was seated on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.”

He is making all things new.

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Monday of Cedar: Malachi 2:1-16

Malachi 2:1-16

  • Call of the Priest
    • priests were a doorway to God
    • they were the mediator for sacrifices
    • guardians of the law–to teach and model it for others
    • judicial system and legal system
  • We are people of the faith.  we always want to be acknowledged, but it’s about glorifying God, not our pride.
  • With leadership comes great responsibility.  And they failed.
    • God says you’re so dishonoring that I’m going to take this stuff in the bowels of the animals you’re sacrificing and put it all over your face!  (that stuff was the half digested muck that had to be removed from the animal on the outskirts of town because it was THAT dirty)
  • Know scripture.
  • Is your life leaving fingerprints of God on the people that you touch?
  • “He stood in awe of me”
  • 2nd Covenent: Marriage
    • “breaking faith”
    • interracial relationships are all good. but interfaith is prohibited.
      • deuteronomy 7:3-4
      • Moses had a foreign wife
      • Ruth and Boaz were interracial, but Ruth forsook her gods
      • 1 Corinthians 14:16
      • God wants to spare us the heartache
      • whatever the defining element is in your life, you need to share it.
      • God tells men NOT to break the faith.
    • God says that he HATES divorce
      • not I hate divorced PEOPLE.
      • It takes two to have a marriage.  It takes one to have a divorce.
      • God is the one who can pick up the broken pieces.
      • grounds for divorce:
        • unfaithfulness (Matt 5:32)
        • abandonment  (1 Corinthians 7:15)
      • Divorces don’t solve the problems you’re going through.
        • they’ll still have anger problems.
        • they’ll still have problems budgeting.
    • any society is only as strong as their marriages.
    • you will be disappointed by marriage.  it’s okay.
    • Cohabitation:
      • There’s been a MAJOR cultural shift lately.  30 years ago it was totally unacceptable to live with someone who wasn’t your spouse.  But sociologists thought it would lower the divorce rate…but it actually has raised it.
    • Contract Marriage:  I will stay married to you as long as….you love me.  you support me.  you’re kind to me.
    • See marriage as a COVENANT.
      • no if clause
      • no backdoor outlet
      • no loopholes.
      • the God who drew you together will keep you together.
    • Learn TODAY what it means to be faithful, so that you’ll have it down when it’s time.
    • Marriage is a crucible for change–you soften one another’s rough edges.
    • Through Christ, I can be the one that breaks the chain.  I don’t have to follow in their footsteps.
    • Pride is what keeps people from getting the help they need.  They spend their energy on appearances.
    • Marriage is the best image of the church’s relationship to Christ.  This is what God intended marriage to be–he thinks this highly of it that this is the image he used.
    • Forgiveness.  Don’t keep scorecards.  Practice this now too.

Marriage is the commitment to learn how to love an imperfect person.  When two horribly flawed people can love and be devoted to one another, this speaks volumes to a watching world.  It gives people hope that imperfect people can truly be loved. –Mindy Meier (our speaker)

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waitin on the world to change…

so i guess i only write in here when times are hard.
and for a while, i thought my family was finally getting along. my dad and i came home on saturday morning from a vacation, and then my dad came home yesterday from another business trip (he flew out again on saturday) and they didn’t argue.
all they do is argue now. at least once or twice a week they get in this fight where my mom ends up yelling and my dad gets this firm voice where you can tell he’s upset. they can’t have a normal conversation anymore, and i’m always on the lookout for warning signs of a storm brewing. and don’t worry, they’re already divorced, so i’ve already gone through that bit of hell. but it doesn’t end just because it’s finalized on paper. they still live in the same house, not because they like each other, not because they’ve gotten used to living together (because my mom used to take business trips so she wasn’t home anyway), but i think out of some sort of financial agreement or something. so they’re divorced, and they’re living together. doesn’t make sense to me either.

but this is the way the world looks to me. and i’ve tried to figure out how to get some support from the Christian community about living with a broken family, but i don’t think they like to talk about it much because technically, there isn’t supposed to be divorce in a Christian house unless one of the partners is unfaithful. but it happens! and i can’t find a single online source or some sort of community where i can turn to. even my friends at church or at my college fellowship cant really understand because as far as i know, all of their parents are still married, with the exception of one kind of ugly-church ppl like to talk-marriage before my parents that ended. but i’m not really close to anyone in that family so it’s kinda hard to talk to them.

it’s like…i think i’ve come to terms with it all, i think i’ve found my peace, and then they go and argue again–they dont’ even try to hide it anymore, in fact, my mom likes to tell me what they’re arguing about so that i can pick her side; and that just throws it all back in my face. i can’t live like this anymore, and i hate it. for a long time now i’ve struggled with why God placed me in this family. Why God put me in a home with a mother and a father who don’t love each other, who argue and can’t stand each other, and who make life unbearable at times. who push me to excel and berate me when i fail.

i love my dad, and at times i love my mom…but i just can’t talk to her. she can’t say “I’m sorry”. and i look at shows like “Gilmore Girls” or even my friends and their mothers, mothers who are like a best friend to their daughter. who don’t push them to do something productive every summer, who encourage their daughters (i get the “i know you can do it” kinda thing, but it looks more like an assumption of success to me…) to achieve not only academically, but spiritually as well. sometimes it feels like i live in a non-Christian home. which is a terrible thing to say, but i can’t help the way i feel. i’m pretty sure that if i didn’t expect my dad to go to church, he wouldn’t. and my mom stopped going to church yeearrrs ago. but i’ll save church politics and all that lovely stuff for some other time.

if anyone knows of a resource that could help…or of people who are in my situation…please let me know.

and i know there’s worse out there, i was talking to someone that i’d just met on sunday and he was really pouring his heart out about depression and how God was his only stronghold, the only thing that was carrying him through life. and this is a kid who has beaten a brain tumor! *sigh* the world is certainly in need of a savior. if only Jesus would come back sooner.

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