Child of Divorce - Out from under the Umbrella
When I was 15-years-old, my parents divorced after 20 years of marriage. I was very upset with my mom and blamed her; of course I was always sort of a daddy’s girl anyway. There were four of us children and I was the oldest. A lot of responsibility had landed on my shoulders when they started having problems. My mom pretty much shut down from all of her duties, so her responsibilities fell to me.
I had to care for my younger siblings, do laundry, and fix dinner when I got home from school. As a result, my grades suffered and I “had to grow up too fast” as I was often told when I got a little older. This added to the resentment I had for my mom. I couldn’t enjoy my high school years and be a normal teen like my friends.
Child of Divorce - Getting Rained On
When it came time for “the split” my mom took my two younger siblings and moved half-way across the country. Two of us kids stayed with my dad. My thoughts were, “Okay, I’ve been doing all this anyway. We can survive just fine without her.”
That was just the surface of the matter though. Feelings of rejection and bitterness began setting in. With maturity and a growing spiritual relationship with God, I see now that many of the mistakes I made as a teen and young adult are, in a way, results of their divorce. Yes, of course I made my decisions all by my immature self, but as my family was split apart, so was my protection, guidance, and covering from temptations.
I now see the entity of "family" as two parents and children under an umbrella of sorts. Parents have a role to fill, but when they part, half of their full-time provision is missing in their children's lives. With the umbrella broken, I got good and wet. I was no longer covered as I once was. Naturally, my dad worked extra hours since he was then supporting two households. With my mom in another state, she was only an occasional phone call. So in a sense, I was now void of both parents.
I became sexually promiscuous as a result of looking for some, any affection. I cared very little about school, began drinking, and just wanted to get out on my own. I married at 18-years-of-age, had a child at 21, and divorced at 24. This was certainly not the life I had wanted, nor planned. As time went on, I made more mistakes, but finally I returned to the only security that had/would never let me down, the forgiveness and love of Jesus Christ.
My parent’s divorce left some scars that can’t be erased. My mom and dad later realized the effect of their decisions on their children and have both expressed regrets. Divorce is now commonplace and words like "commitment for life" are all but obsolete.
Child of Divorce - Uniting Under the Umbrella
Don’t get me wrong; I do not blame all my bad choices on my parents. However, I do wonder how different my life would now be if we had remained a united family. I wonder if my parents had kept me under their umbrella what would have happened.
What I would like to pass on to anyone reading this is: When you have trouble in your marriage, think about the commitment you have made. Think about the life-long effects on yourself and your children. Just about any of your marital problems can be worked out if you are committed enough to try. Turn to God and let Him heal your relationship because He can and wants to. It may take work, but if you have any love for your spouse and for your children, it will be worth it.
“Since they are no longer two but one, let no one separate them, for God has joined them together” (Matthew 19:6).