Divorce, perfection, and recovery?

It’s been a while since I got divorced. Ten years? It was certainly a life ago.

I think about what my life would have been like if I stayed married. The thought doesn’t last long because I’m certain I’d not have made it. “Unalived” is what the TikTok algorithm accepts.

I’m breastfeeding Georgia, and writing this on my phone. I see my blonde haired, blue eyed daughters twirl around me. Del rubbed my feet last night, and took care of our household when I got glutened today. I have the most boring, domesticated, uninteresting life – and I enjoy that tremendously.

Yet I was feeling this twinge of anger about the past, as the anniversary of my first marriage twirled around. Not jealousy, and I certainly don’t miss whatever that life would have been. I still felt guilty that I never pressed charges, stopped him, or spoke up sooner. If something happens next who is to blame? It feels like a bad person got away with something terrible.

I talked through my sadness with my therapist. I shared the history, the trauma, and where I’m at today.

“But if he never apologized, and if he hasn’t changed – he has to live with himself.”

I’ve lived with this thought for a few days. What is it like to live carrying the weight of many terrible things? Do you hate yourself, hate everyone else, or just live indifferent to the world? What would it be like to not care about anything?

That felt overwhelmingly empty. My greatest joys in life are the people I love, and the people I share my life with. But then I moved to the next step in my path.

“When did you know it wasn’t going to work?” my therapist asked.

“I knew the moment he proposed. But I just kept going because I was worried if I didn’t I’d let so many people down. I was just trying to be so perfect.”

I struggle with perfectionism. I believe that if I fail, am too difficult, or cause too much trouble – I am unlovable. I try to stay small, be self sufficient, and come to people only after my problems are solved. This has created a ridiculous amount of overachieving. If I am great at everything, I will get approval – right? President of this, VP of yadda, yadda, volunteer of the millennial.

How lonely is that? How long have I lived trying to hold it all together, when crumbling would be so nice for a change. Let some other over achiever deal with it, right? The world is burning from so many things. I’m exhausted from COVID, four years of terrible politics, people that deny inequality, and so much more. Wouldn’t it be better to share that grief together?

I diverge from this point. Anniversaries have passed. I’m trying to examine my own life. This recovering perfectionist is trying to start falling apart. There’s nothing to get right in this season. I’m getting away from leading the group projects, and just want to ride on someone else’s coattails. For now, I’m just want to exist for a while. I’m just going to spend some time falling apart. Want to come with me?

Can you please stop saying I’m not a Christian…

In the last several months, I’ve heard my brothers and sisters from every side call into question the faith of other Christian brothers and sisters. From every corner of the internet and in public spaces, I’ve heard people question how anyone can call themselves a Christian and…

  •          Vote Trump
  •          Vote for Hilary
  •          Oppose Trump
  •          Oppose Hilary
  •          Be pro-choice
  •          Be anti-abortion
  •          Support Syrian refugees
  •          Not help Syrian refugees
  •          Be a liberal
  •          Be conservative
  •          Support smaller government
  •          Support larger government

The list is endless. There seems to be some person stating they know the “truth” on every corner of the internet. If you want to back up your own point of view, you’re just a google search away. I’m pretty certain I could find some crazy dude with stats on why being racist is a Christian thing to do.

But that isn’t my point.

People enjoy fun ideas. They like hearing about concepts and dreams. But if you want to start a fight, try to hammer out details in a room full of people. The devil lives in the details.

There is one simple truth that spans across Christianity:

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16

Everything else is a detail.

Wine at communion? A detail.

Drums in church! A detail.

Women in leadership. A detail.

International aid versus local? A detail.

Please don’t misunderstand me, details are important. I spend my live digging through details.

But in this – in this fight – what are we really fighting against?

Are we fighting to spread the word of God across all nations? Are we fighting to show people that Jesus has died for them? Or are we just fighting?

I like debates, and I like heavy discussion. But it seems to me like most of these fights aren’t over God’s truth, they’re over whatever we believe personally – with a Wikipedia page to back it up.

The real fight is not against each other, it is against the devil and evil and darkness. And right now, the devil is kicking our asses because we’re so busy fighting over the details. And the details, is where that poop stain likes to live.

For a while, can we stop fighting over these things?

For a while, can we stop calling into question the faith of our brothers and sisters? What purpose is that serving?

Can we take a step back from the details, and look at this big picture. The big picture where Christ died for all so we could be redeemed. The big picture where we are forgiven, if we too forgive. The big picture where we are all children of God, even if we disagree about the details.