Monday, August 18, 2014

Don't Let It Happen To You

This is kind of a personal post, but don't be scared away. I'll be back with funny kid stuff next time. 

I have been sick all night because of some upsetting news. A family very close to me, people I love and respect immensely, is dealing with a divorce. These are phenomenal people. Amazing. And they aren't the first of my close friends and family members to go through this recently. It is becoming more and more common, hitting close to home frequently. I imagine pretty much everyone I know is seeing these surprising divorces, not just in the marriages that we never expected to work but in the marriages that we have tried to emulate because they seemed to have such great relationships.

When I see this happening, it hurts. I have had physical pain, feeling the heartbreak, and I am not one of the injured parties. Except I am an injured party. Divorce injures everyone. I am not saying that it is not needed sometimes, and I will never be the one to judge anyone because I can't know their hearts or what they have been through. Even those divorces which are justified and where both spouses end up happier when they are apart still cause pain and suffering for many people. 

Each time I have had someone I know well going through divorce, I have thought: 

If it could happen to them, it could happen to me

These people are amazing. More talented than I am. They have more to contribute to their families and their communities than I do. They have energy and don't live with disability. 

As I was going through these thought cycles, feeling anxious and upset and sick to my stomach, completely unable to sleep, I came back to that thought. If it could happen to them, it could happen to me. 

Then I realized that I, like so many others, was feeling exactly what Satan wants me to feel. He is subtle. He tells us that partial truth to mask the lie in that statement. He wants us to keep thinking it so that we eventually become comfortable with divorce as a viable option. He wants us to let life just happen to us. He wants us to lose our choice in life. He wants us, all of us, to be miserable like he is. 

I do see the one true part of that statement. I see that I need to watch more closely what I do, that I need to work harder at making my marriage work and honoring the covenants I have made. I am grateful for truth. I am grateful for family. And I am grateful that I have spent a horrible night and day, thinking about these things. I should feel horrible about it. I shouldn't feel complacency about something that is destroying happiness. 

With all of these thoughts going through my mind, over and over, I also pray for peace and love for those involved. I hope that they do see the improved lives that they are hoping for. I hope they can find peace within themselves and find the happiness that is meant for all of us. I hope their children thrive. I hope they find the love they long for. 

If anyone needs a reminder about the importance of families, here is part of a wonderful (and scary, if you read the last sentence) proclamation full of truth:

Husband and wife have a solemn responsibility to love and care for each other and for their children. “Children are an heritage of the Lord” (Psalm 127:3). Parents have a sacred duty to rear their children in love and righteousness, to provide for their physical and spiritual needs, and to teach them to love and serve one another, observe the commandments of God, and be law-abiding citizens wherever they live. Husbands and wives--mothers and fathers--will be held accountable before God for the discharge of these obligations.

The family is ordained of God. Marriage between man and woman is essential to His eternal plan. Children are entitled to birth within the bonds of matrimony, and to be reared by a father and a mother who honor marital vows with complete fidelity. Happiness in family life is most likely to be achieved when founded upon the teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ. Successful marriages and families are established and maintained on principles of faith, prayer, repentance, forgiveness, respect, love, compassion, work, and wholesome recreational activities. By divine design, fathers are to preside over their families in love and righteousness and are responsible to provide the necessities of life and protection for their families. Mothers are primarily responsible for the nurture of their children. In these sacred responsibilities, fathers and mothers are obligated to help one another as equal partners. Disability, death, or other circumstances may necessitate individual adaptation. Extended families should lend support when needed.

We warn that individuals who violate covenants of chastity, who abuse spouse or offspring, or who fail to fulfill family responsibilities will one day stand accountable before God. Further, we warn that the disintegration of the family will bring upon individuals, communities, and nations the calamities foretold by ancient and modern prophets.

© 1995, 2008 by Intellectual Reserve, Inc. All rights reserved. Printed in the United States of America. The Family: A Proclamation to the World. Language. 35602 xxx


  1. My first friend when we moved to Clearfield got divorced about a year after we moved there and I was completely devastated. I cried for days. Mostly I felt bad that I had no idea they were in that situation and I thought we were best friends, so I felt bad that she hadn't opened up to me (but then realized it's really too personal for that kind of friendship disclosure). But also she was the first person I knew that was my age that got a divorce. I seriously cried. We went on a girls trip to LA to celebrate the finalization of her divorce and while it was supposed to be fun it was just so awful. We both just cried. Divorce is so hard.

  2. I learned today about a couple getting a divorce. I felt so sad about it. Just this week I visited one of my young women whose mom was moving out the next day because of divorce. My heart ached for her. I went through the same thing at her age with my own parents. It is such a painful thing and sadly so common these days even among like you said, the couples who we thought were so strong.
    And yes, we need to work so hard to stay together. Thanks Melissa, for the post.