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Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Never Truly Alone


Let’s begin today with a confession.  I’m old.  Having said that, a couple melancholy songs I like from the “olden days” of rock and roll were sung by Don McLean and one by Abba in which they each describe the experience of being in a house that used to belong to a family or couple, but now had the feeling of emptiness as one wandered around.  There had been a breakup, a divorce, and nothing was as it had been before, with memories that were bittersweet.  

Probably one of the most profound changes after divorce is the extreme sense of empty space and loneliness.  The chair at the dinner table that once held a loved one is now empty.  The children who laughed in the hallway are now gone part of the time as they go to “visit” the other parent…(I liked my attorney’s refusal to use the term visit…she preferred shared parenting, and I agree). 

Meals for one are not as fun as family dinners, when one is in the midst of the wake of divorce.  Movies and popcorn can be fun, but the empty seat next to you literally shouts of loss.  Even the trip to the doctor can remind you that there won’t be that special someone in the waiting room should you require surgery.  The silence in a home late at night is deafening.  Loneliness can be overwhelming.

One of my favorite reminders that I received during my divorce was the one a friend who had also been divorced offered.  He simply stated that no matter how lonely I felt, I should not forget that I am never truly alone.  The God who said that he would never fail or forsake us, the Savior who promised he would be with us always, all the way to the end of this age, the Spirit of God promised to live within us and show us God’s ways do not suddenly depart or abandon us just because of a divorce.  God’s presence is much bigger than that. 

If you are feeling the pangs of loneliness because of divorce, I would encourage you to find a way to make room for God’s presence to be real in this time.  You could have a second chair and place setting at a meal that represents the presence of God.  You could place a special verse about God’s love in a prominent place you will see each morning.  Even hanging a painting of Christ can be a token to remind you he is always there.  Whatever will help you remember the lesson my friend offered me so long ago:  you may be lonely, but you never, ever, ever are truly alone.  God simply doesn’t give up on us that easily.

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