The effects of divorce aren’t restricted to the two people involved in the end of a marriage. The ripples spread far and wide. The aftershocks rattle others with surprise.
As the months passed, I was deeply hurt by two people who had welcomed me into their lives when my ex and I began our lives together. They expressed their love and support through the years. We shared life deeply. I thought I had developed a good relationship with them beyond my initial relationship with the person we had in common. But when that person left my life, so did they. In some ways, I get it. But it still hurt. Had they done so in a healthy or respectful way, perhaps I would have been able to process it differently, but their passive, uncaring exit struck me.
I struggled to deal with it. I was angry. I was hurt. And there was nothing I could do with those feelings, because they wouldn’t talk about any of it. It was if there was a massive storm in all of our lives, and they walked through the aftermath as if nothing was disturbed. That prompted me to feel as if I was easily displaced from their lives, which made me consider if I ever truly had a place of significance in their lives over the past nearly three decades.
I could tell the hurt needed attention. If I was going to heal from the wounds they created, I needed to set aside the hope they’d ever have an honest, healing conversation with me and work through it on my own—well, me and God.
And he did not disappoint!
As I prayed and yielded, I could feel pieces of the burden chipping away. I could feel wounds stitching together as I healed. And I also felt challenged. Just when I thought God was going to help me move along from the relationship, I sensed the prompt to write a letter.
I didn’t know if I’d ever send it, but I wrote it. I’ve learned when writing from an emotional place, pausing is wise. So I prayed about it and revisited it several times over a few weeks. I deleted and clarified. And with each edit, I breathed more easily.
Then I felt prompted to send it. I was surprised at the peace I had as I considered it. Yet I decided to give it more time to steep just to be sure I would be sending it from a healthy place. I wanted to honor God with my response. I wanted to be truthful as well as respectful.
So, I waited two weeks, rereading it a few times but not making any more changes. I prayed as I copied by hand what I had typed. I sealed and addressed the envelope and mailed it with peace every step of the way.
I had no expectations. I knew I was being obedient. I trusted God with the results.
I never received a reply or acknowledgement, but I’m okay with that. My obedience is my responsibility. Their response is theirs. My peace isn’t dependent on someone else’s action or inaction.
I don’t know your hurts today. I don’t know what obedience to God’s prompting looks like for you. But I am confident he will equip you each step of the way. Honor him. Seek and choose his truth even when it’s difficult. Rely on his strength even when you feel incapable. When you love him well, you’ll breathe easier and heal deeply.