I spoke a lot in my first post about turning to Christ in times of pain in your marriage or through divorce or post-divorce. I begged all of you Christians to give your pain to Christ because my faith tells me so firmly and clearly that He will transform the pain. My faith in Christ assures me that as long as I cling to Him, I will move forward; that as long as I trust in Him, things will work out according to the Father’s best-laid plans for me. Like a good father, Our Father in Heaven knows what is best for me.
What I did not say and should have said is that faith is not magic. You do not have faith and then “poof” all your worries are gone; all your anxieties eased; all your problems solved. Not at all. Instead, my faith keeps me focused on the Man Christ who endured so much for love of us. It keeps me wondering how He did that and where that love comes from and through that wonder on Him, through that fascination with Him that is grounded in a deep love for Him, I make it through my life. Otherwise, I tell you solemnly, without exaggeration, I would be hooked on pills, promiscuous, unstable, and well… I try not to think further than that.
Heather King is an amazing writer. She has a blog, here, that is well worth the read. Check out her NPR “All Things Considered” stories too. Anyway – she talks about what faith does do for people:
“But the interesting thing about belief is that it doesn’t make you act better than other people, doesn’t make you appear more together, doesn’t advance you in the eyes of the world, doesn’t relieve your terrible fears and terrible shortcomings.
What does faith do? It helps you to bear the almost unbearable tension of being a mortal human being without cracking. It helps you to bear your fears, your neuroses, your anxieties, your rage, your lusts, your loneliness, so that you don’t lose your mind, or start swilling Night Train, or embark on a life spent watching internet porn. If you are very far along the path, it may begin to help you refrain from taking the agony of bearing the tension out on other people. It leads you or has anyway led me, to ponder the sort of Man Christ was. A man who, nailed to the Cross, could still be focused not on his own suffering, but on the suffering of the rest of the world. A man who, in the throes of death, turned to the Repentant Thief beside him with the reassurance: ‘This day you shall be with me in Paradise.’ [Luke 23: 43]”
Bringing this back to Hope in Divorce, I again reiterate that turning to your faith and immersing in it is key to sustaining yourself, your children, your spouse in times of marital crisis, and even the pain of divorce. One person’s faith can move mountains and one thing is for certain, while your anxieties may not magically go away, while the pain, loneliness, anger does not just disintegrate, there are moments of peace that can grow into bigger moments the more you release and give all of it to Christ. The more you take control of yourself…hard control…and give all the hurt to Christ to be put up on that Cross…the more you will begin to feel moments of peace that do surpass all understanding. That means fighting yourself. That means resisting wallowing in the pain, swirling it around, and looking to solve it yourself, or handling it yourself or dissecting it yourself. Give it to Him and move on in His love.