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Monday, July 1, 2013

The Songs on the Radio....the Impact of Divorce

Silly Love Songs

So have been on the road quite a bit of late, and pretty swamped with some things around home, as well.  Lots of good visits about faith, about my books, about old friends.  Driving home today, I was listening to some oldies CD's after having visited with some folks about possibly speaking at an upcoming event in their church.  In my visit, I was told about a man who was experiencing a tough divorce, and so there was a fair amount of discussion about the topic.  As I was driving along, a song came on that was an old love song, and it got me to thinking and remembering, especially as I was thinking about and praying for the individual I had heard about. 

Let’s talk first about music, though.  I like music.  A lot.  I am musical, maybe not a virtuoso, but enough to know my way around a few instruments.  I think you can agree that there is a huge emotional tie to music.  Songs that lift your spirits, songs that lead you to prayer, songs that bring a tear to your eye.  Or at least, they do these things for me.  Anyway, so this love song came on the CD (yes, the CD…I have some old LPs around, too…).  And as it played, it reminded me of the time during the time of my divorce when I literally couldn't listen to the radio or many of my CDs.  It was too hard.  The promise of love, the joy of finding that special someone, the longing in the eyes, all those things love songs describe primarily reminded of the love I hadn't known, the love that had been shattered, the great sense of loss I was experiencing, and the love that all now felt like a lie.  Some other music was also hard to hear…like Alvin and the Chipmunks Christmas Songs and certain other Christmas music, because it was all tangled up with memories of years gone by in a relationship now dissolved and cast aside.  Even some songs of faith just didn't feel very good, songs that promised God was working everything out, or that when we trust in God nothing evil will come our way….though I believed the essence of the message, the experience of my life in that moment did not match the assertions of faith.  In fact, the experience seemed to contradict everything those songs were saying, because it so often felt like either God had let me down or I had let God down, and it was very difficult to decide which was the case. 

Maybe these things describe your life these days, or describe a time you remember like I do, or maybe they describe the struggle someone you know is experiencing.  It is a hard place to be.  It is a lonely place to be.  It is a very tearful place to be.  

But it is not the place you stay…

or at least, I hope you don’t stay there.  As I experienced tonight, one does move on, and favorite songs come back with a different perspective…maybe a bit more jaded perspective, maybe a perspective that contains a bit more wisdom.  The come back because you come to realize that though the marriage ended, it doesn't mean that love does not still exist, or will never exist again in your life.  They come back because you find a place in your heart, a place in your life for all the memories, each in their own time slot, each with their own mix of joy and tears.  They come back because you discover that, even though you couldn't see it at the time, God was indeed still at work, and was still loving, and still working out plans for good.  They come back because music that is successful is successful because it touches a common thread within human hearts…the cry to give and receive love, the call to something greater than ourselves, something eternal.

I don’t have a huge point to this little blog.  Except I suspect there is somebody out there who knows exactly what I am talking about, because they have either experienced it themselves, or are in the midst of it right now.  I just wanted that person to know they are not alone.  And that they are not stuck.  It is one of the many phases and struggles tied in with the experience called divorce.  That brokenness affects so many areas of our lives, and sends out so many ripples, that sometimes it is easy to forget how much of our lives have been changed because of the words on a court document.  If you are the one struggling, I encourage you to hang in there, eventually these things move on and take a new shape in your life.  And that shape can be very, very good…even if it continues to bring bad mournful or difficult memories.  Realize, you are not alone…these things happen to many of us in the upheaval of life due to divorce.

TL:dr  Divorce’s impact can even affect our experience of music, and change the way it touches our hearts.

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