The door is left unlocked in the dark of night. Candles are lit, placed carefully on window sills. Each member of the family lies still in their beds, expectant. They listen eagerly for a creak in the hinge or boots on the floorboards, alerting them to a visitor's arrival. Will their risk to shine the light leave them vulnerable this Christmas?
Last week we discussed the struggle and biblical significance of separation and divorce. I received feedback from you in response - from questions, to gratitude for “going there.”
A friend's comment stayed with me throughout the week. “Oh good,” she'd said. “I’m glad you’re talking about that because I never know what to say when somebody tells me they’re having problems.”
It’s a common struggle, and none of us enjoy foot-in-the-mouth moments. So here are seven easy, helpful (and fairly safe) things to say or do as a friend or family member confronts divorce.
For a new job. To be noticed. For the next stage of life. On the healing. For the apology. A thank you. For finances to fall in line. The pregnancy. On a new season. For the much needed break.
The dog leash is wound tightly around my wrist. Her little body begins to shake the moment the bus comes lumbering around the corner, eventually rolling to a stop. She chases her tail, excited and anticipating boy cuddles after a long school day apart. Oversized backpack slung over his shoulder and a coat hanging off one elbow, my youngest meanders down the bus steps, hollering final goodbye's to his friends. He doesn't notice that his brother isn't following behind like usual. Chattering. Gathering things that have likely dropped on the floor during the ride. I think of a million reasons for a delay by my social butterfly.
But then, he appears. Eyes welling with tears, he stumbles down the stairs and throws himself into a bear hug, burying his face in my jacket. Alarmed, I guide his eyes up to mine and give him a questioning look. "She said our house looks stupid, Mom. She thinks we're funny and she made fun of Jesus."
I tiptoe across a carpet of lush grass, sweet-smelling memories cushioning my every step. As I round the corner of the building, tears force themselves into the corners of my eyes. My vision blurs. The old oak trees sway to a breezy cadence, unchanged over all the years. My little one notices the emotion on my face. You must be so happy to see your old house, Mommy. Afraid to use my voice for fear of cracking, I nod my head silently.
Are there chapters in your life that are closing too?
M.S. in Marriage and Family Therapy. Earns Crossfit participation trophies. Disaster cook. Enthusiastic wife. #Boymom. Clutches her faith, not her pearls.