I’m slowly reading through The Children of Divorce: The Loss of Family as the Loss of Being by Andrew Root. The following is what I hope to be one of many posts interacting with the book and my own experiences.
I was an adult when my parents divorced. Needless to say it rocked my world. The family that had been responsible for the development of my understanding of “who I am” was irreparably broken. The family unit who helped to form my faith no longer existed. I was in the middle of college, still unsure of what I was going to be when I grew up, when the foundation of my identity crumbled beneath me.
It forced me to find community and identity outside of my family. Because my family wasn’t the same. It would never be the same.
As my parents moved on after the divorce, I struggled with knowing where I belonged in their new families. I liked my step-families, but didn’t feel like I fully had a place in them that I belonged. I felt like an outsider, and still do sometimes. I belonged to my mom and my dad. And that unit was broken.
I found my new place of belonging in the Church. My central community became those I worshipped Christ with. Whether it was a college aged group at churches outside of my home (mostly family) church, or intentionally connecting with other believers outside of my family in my home church, I discovered that I had a place to belong in Christ’s family.
And I’m confident that is where I’m supposed to be.
The Church is the place for the broken and identity-less to discover new identities where they can be loved and suffered with.
In the introduction to The Children of Divorce, Andrew Root writes:
The scars and regret of my parents’ divorce remain, but I no longer feel transparent or cut free. Rather, I have found a new community for my being, one created from love and shared suffering. It is my hope as a theologian that communities of faith can be such communities of love and suffering, created around the love and suffering of God in Jesus Christ. (pg.XX)
If you are broken from the pain of divorce, my hope and prayer is that you will, too, find community and a place for healing in the Church, God’s instrument for ministering through the power of the Holy Spirit.