I received an encouraging email today from a friend who’s son went through a similar situation, as I am currently facing, ten years ago. I don’t know all of the details and this isn’t the time or place to divulge ours, but I felt a brief sense of relief that comes from hearing or being reminded of someone who has walked through similar tragedy and made it out alive. Wounded, but alive.
I live in a small community. Big enough where one could go years without seeing the same person and small enough where one could run into the same person multiple times a day. I guess it depends on the circles and area of town one finds themselves in. I remember a day last year when I continued running into couples who I know have walked through a divorce and have come out alive, healed and fulfilled on the other end of the valley. When receiving this email, the following thought welled up in my soul and I had to write it down before the busyness of the day consumed it.
It seems, no matter how dreadfully painful the process, there is comfort and healing in knowing there are others who have walked down this same lonely road.
There is no making of sense in the details. One could drive themselves crazy asking “Why?”, or trying to problem solve while asking themselves, “What if..?” Or more shaming self-talk, like, “I should’ve…”. It’s a whirlwind of emotion mixed with numbness.
Tonight I prepare to attend a mandatory class for parents who have children are in the process of divorcing. I believe it’s called, “Children in the Middle.” Talk about feelings of extreme shame and vulnerability. In my line of work, we try to help the whole person, to reconcile relationships and keep families together. And mine is falling apart. There isn’t enough reason or logic to mask how absolutely shitty it feels. It’s a small town. How can I expect to help someone out or through their difficult circumstances when I can’t seem to do anything to fix my own?
And then a soft voice reminds me that there is comfort and healing for those who are in the company of some who have walked this same dark and lonely road. Is there a good reason my marriage is failing? Absolutely not. With a lot of work, could it have been salvaged? Maybe. But there is also strength in knowing that someday, and maybe even as soon as today, I will be able to be a source of comfort and healing for someone who will walk through a similar painful process. That hope, for now, is all I have to hang onto when it comes to trying to refrain from driving myself a little crazy by attempting to make sense of any of it.
To my friend who sent me the encouraging email today. You may never know the impact your words had on me. You were a useful tool in the hands of a powerful God. For those who are walking through a current struggle of a loss of a loved one or relationship, you need to know that there is comfort and healing in knowing that there are others who have walked down this same lonely road. And you, too, will be able to shine a little light on the path when another finds themselves on a broken road.