As parents, we spend a fair amount of time agonizing over our mistakes. Certainly, we would have done many things differently. If only we hadn’t been grown children ourselves when we made our relationship choices and eventually married. Most of us had no idea our marriages would end. If we had, we wouldn’t have walked […]
Long before my divorce, I first had to face the demise of my marriage.
I have a great girlfriend who fortunately was there at the time to set me straight.
In true victim fashion, I bemoaned my loss. Why me? Why my marriage? Why my husband? Why my children? Why my family?
Why?! Why?! Why?!
Was God doing this to me?
After all, I had already been a child of divorce myself. Why would I have to experience this a second time on the other side of it? Why did my children have to experience the situation I had worked desperately to avoid?
There seemed to be no end to my ‘Why’s.’
And clearly on the other end of that was God. Why did God choose this for me a second time?
I vividly remember the day I was speaking with my friend “Lucy.” My voice laden in deepest victimization mode. I was stuck. I couldn’t rescue or fix my marriage. Even the expert rescuer and fixer that I was. AND I wasn’t ready to let go either.
SO therefore, again – ‘Why God? Why Me?
“Colleen!” I hear on the other end of the phone.
I know this voice. It rings with the distinct signature of my mother when she was making certain to get my attention, slightly horrified at my behavior or determined to remind me where I came from.
Lucy is channeling Rosemarie AND it gets my attention.
“God is NOT doing this,” says Lucy. “Your husband has free will and your husband is responsible for the choices he is making.”
And just like that – my Catholic girlfriend sets me as straight as Sister Agnese in the fourth grade.
I am sitting up straight, adjusting my plaid uniform and crossing my hands on the imaginary desk in front of me while focusing on the crucifix hanging over the chalkboard of life.
“Oh that’s right,” I think to myself.
Sister Agnese did chat about something called Free Will.
I must have been talking.
Lucy has God’s back and with Rosemarie’s authoritative tone she is going to remind me to have God’s back as well.
Lucy is loyal.
It’s one of the qualities we bond over.
God didn’t do any of this.
God didn’t end my marriage. I made the choice to marry someone. That person made choices in his life and ultimately the deciding choice that our relationship and family were not a big enough priority to humble himself over.
God couldn’t save my marriage and neither could I because only one person is responsible for their own individual free will.
I had no control over that and neither did God.
Add also that I used my free will to keep giving additional chances.
And well, it seems Lucy was right.
God was not doing this.
Every choice we make leads us towards our destinations.
And the truth be told my counselor reminded me my husband was who he was but I had made every choice along the way.
I overlooked and dismissed and forgave and made excuses and chose this person.
Every year at St. Luke’s Elementary School my mom would receive my report card. It always said the same thing.
“Colleen is a lovely girl BUT she talks too much.”
“Colleen is a beautiful girl BUT she talks too much.”
“Colleen is a sweet girl BUT she talks too much.”
“Colleen is kind girl BUT she talks too much.”
It stopped somewhere after fourth grade. I’m pretty sure it’s not because I stopped talking but because they ran out of pleasant descriptives to put in front of it.
In elementary school when I was sitting up straight, adjusting my plaid uniform, and crossing my hands while focusing on the crucifix hanging over the chalkboard…
I should have shut up long enough to learn about free will instead of talking to the girl next to me.
Hopefully, I didn’t distract her so much that she’s out there somewhere blaming God too.
If so, I’m sure God will send her a “Lucy” to set her straight.
(Photo courtesy of Pexels)
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