I’ve expressed before that I sometimes reflect and get sad about gaps where relationships have changed, especially as I see my girls work through situations. But there’s another aspect of it I sometimes forget: God’s protection from some negative influence of an unhealthy relationship if it is the only other option besides a distant one—at least for right now.
For example, no longer being married to the person I wanted to spend the rest of my life with leaves some gaps and wounds. There are some things that are no longer possible because the relationship no longer exists. But there are also some things that are possible only because the relationship no longer exists.
In many situations, it’s a bit fuzzier. An unhealthy relationship replaced a healthy one. A person now deceives when they once lived by truthfulness. A lack of faith drives decisions instead of faithfulness being the focus. Inconsistency and unreliability characterizes a relationship where stability once reigned.
So, there is contact, but it is the underside of what once was. And it is sad.
But there is hope. In and for the relationship? Perhaps—but even despite the changes in the relationship. It might not be what was planned or preferred, but there is still goodness.
God’s protection and provision is creative. We don’t always see it exactly the way he intends, but we can still appreciate it in the context we have.