When the Only Way is Through {Encouragement for Dealing with Divorce, Special Needs Parenting, and Other Hard Stuff}

20171209-5N4A5452One of my favorite songs as a kid was this crazy song about a bear hunt, with all sorts of wild motions. It was my favorite. I performed it on video, in all my four year old glory. I’m pretty sure if I looked I could find a clip of my bossy preschool self belting it out in that deep, nasal-ey voice, while simultaneously scolding my brother for his distracting antics. Chasing down a bear, I come across a series of obstacles, including a tall fence and a raging river. Trying to figure out what to do about these obstacles I recant the same phrase each time, “I can’t go under it. I can’t go over. I can’t go around it. Gonna have to go through it!”

Many years beyond four, I remember repeating a similar phrase to my mother through sobs. “I don’t want to do this mom. I don’t want to go through it.”  Receiving the news of my ex -husband’s infidelity hit me like a freight train, and I didn’t want any of the options I knew would inevitably follow. I didn’t want a divorce. I didn’t want a broken home for my children. I didn’t want painful years of trying to put a marriage back together. I didn’t want the momentary pain or the lasting damage for any of us. I wanted to rewind and make it never have happened. I didn’t want to go through it, not any way through it. But some times, many times, the only way is through. There is no getting around or going over, or under, there is only through. Sometimes, there is nothing anyone can say to make it stop hurting. Sometimes the only way is straight through the middle of the pain. You have to keep walking, keeping taking care of, and keep making decisions, even though you feel like you are barely alive.

I didn’t want to go through it because I didn’t believe I could. I didn’t believe I’d live to see the other side. I didn’t believe there was ever going to be an “okay” for me. I didn’t believe I could find my way to the other side with my heart still attached. I didn’t want to hurt like that, for that long. I didn’t believe that I had what it took to get to the other side. And I didn’t.

But Jesus did and He always does. All things actually are possible with God, it just doesn’t look or feel the way I want it too. The Bible doesn’t say “all things are possible, easy, comfortable, and pain free with God.” It just says they are possible. If you are standing in front of a raging river and the only way is through, I can tell you that there is another side and you will get there. I’m not going to tell you that it won’t hurt, but I can tell you that it is possible, and you can go through this, because Jesus. I have no other hope or help or encouragement to offer. When life strips you to the bone, He is the only thing that will keep you standing. Hold onto Him, and when you can’t, He will still be holding onto you. And somehow, through it all, He will do what He is the master of. He will pull beauty and life out of what is dead and dry. He will make things new. He will take the broken pieces and make something beautiful out of them. He will take the broken pieces of you, and He will make you beautiful again. Because its what He does. It is possible. You can go through. Because Jesus.

 

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