The most difficult grief I have ever experienced was the loss of my family – wife and my role as a live-in father. Some might wonder why the recent loss of Nathanael hasn’t been a tougher grief; there are many possible reasons and I really have no idea what reasons they would be and the combination thereof. But I’m certain being bathed in the prayer of others has played a major part, as well as how I learned to embrace the grief initially, and knowing the gospel message is principally about following Jesus’ example for carrying our cross.
Some who read this article will have been divorced. Others will be going through such a process that tears brutally at the identity. Some will be single and may ponder one possible future – not to mention those who are ‘happily’ married.
I never ever thought I would ever be divorced. Then again, I never ever realised what loving my wife really meant; I thought good enough was good enough. But whose definition of good enough is good enough?
I, like the many who have been blindsided by divorce, was guttered by it; the worst thing that happened to me turned out for me to be the best thing, because for the first time in my life I truly surrendered my life before God. I knew I was no longer the one in control – I never was.
I wasn’t the husband in that marriage that my then-wife deserved. I wasn’t bad in all areas, but I was a long way from God.
The truth is a hard road can be the best avenue to the better life. It is no cliché that God can make something good out of a bad situation if and when we truly love him – i.e. when we surrender our will for his, in obeying him, and so to find the ancient path mapped out for our lives from before we were conceived.
When we give over our will to do what we know to be God’s – when we side with love and not hate, when we choose for peace when we are tempted to fight, and when we choose a faith in a hope for a good future notwithstanding the present – then we are equipped with every good gift to make that vision a reality.
Sometimes the worst event can become the very making of us. It is wisdom when we are guttered by divorce to enter a journey to be rebuilt by God.
© 2014 S. J. Wickham.