You know how it goes. You buy a new car you’ve barely seen, and suddenly, it’s everywhere. Everyone has one.
This happened to me a few years ago. I bought a Ford Escape in a blue color that, honestly, I hated. But it was the more practical of the two SUV options I had in front of me the day I bought it, so I went for it. I could’ve sworn that day that I’d never once spotted an Escape in that color. Focuses and F-150’s sure, maybe even a Fiesta. But never an Escape.
Once I was behind the wheel, though, oh my gosh, it was like a veil had been lifted. I saw them daily. It was crazy and almost kind of funny.
Lately, I’ve been feeling that way about divorce, just with less laughter.
Once I was in this process, and mostly lately, I feel utterly surrounded by the breakdown of marriage. Friend after friend has reached out to me with heartbreaking stories, things that make me angry and sad. Even people I don’t personally know; revered, Christian marriages, like the TerKuerst’s, is ending, also because of infidelity, and Glennon Doyle Melton just married her girlfriend, Abby Wambach. Among others.
Of course, I know I’m not the first. I had a few friends and aquaintances end their marriages in the years leading up to my decision to end mine, and I, myself, am the child of divorced parents. It’s widely reported that 51% of marriages end in divorce, but it just didn’t feel that prevalent until recently. Now, it actually feels like 51% of my friends and family have been or are going to be divorced.
What’s shocking and yet hopeful to me is that this grieves my heart so much. I came to terms quickly with the fact that my marriage was over, but I think that’s because it was my choice and I had something else to hope for. But, when it’s my friends, or even just people I know in passing, it hurts. My heart is heavy to think about their going through this process. This, no matter how certain I am in my own choice, is still not something I’d wish on anyone.
What gives me hope in that is that this is something that grieves the Lord and it still grieves me. Maybe not the way that people think it should, but it does just the same.
So maybe, just maybe, this bruised and hardened heart of mine isn’t really so hard after all. Maybe I’m not too far gone to feel, to mourn, to lament.