A woman on one of the message boards I frequent was unexpectedly served divorce papers by her husband. Here’s the advice she was given:
God WILL listen, comfort, and protect you. You will find peace in His word. Be careful whom you talk to, as far as family and friends go. Sometimes, even though they are well meaning, they may not be giving you the road that God is. I know that this is hard for you. I came home to all of my husbands stuff gone, with no warning. I was heart broken. But, the first thing that i did was fall on my knees and pray to God. I found so much peace and comfort throughout those months.
My heart goes out to you and your children. And another thing, pray for your husband as well. It may not feel good the first, to even second time, but he is being deceived by Satan. He needs God too. Dont give up on your marriage, God can heal anything.
As I get older, I’m trying to get more honest with myself, and one of the things I’ve been trying to process is my evangelical upbringing. Basically, I’ve come to the conclusion that people who talk like this woman? These people? They believe in a God that does not exist in the Christian Bible. That God kills entire populations, allows fathers to rape their daughters for the sake of genealogy, and basically is a very bloody, vengeful, capricious being. I know this because I’ve read and studied the Bible for years. It’s all there, in black, white, and red.
However, I knew I must be missing something. How was it that all these lovely, gracious, well-adjusted people around me could have a “relationship” with someone or something like this? Where in the Bible was the proof that this God even wanted a relationship with us? Sure, he sacrificed his son, but honestly? That always was off-putting to me. Why did I need my sins atoned for? What cosmic law did that satisfy, other than the one that God Himself put into play? If he created that law, couldn’t he just revoke it or rethink it or something?
Anyway, I came to the point in recent years where I suddenly realized that there was nothing wrong with me, spiritually wise. That these people who go on and on about their personal relationship with Jesus (and I used to be one of them) are delusional, yes, but it’s (mostly) a healthy delusional and doesn’t hurt anyone. Bottom line: the decades that I’ve spent trying to chase after this nebulous God relationship – a purely evangelical phenomenon – would have been better spent doing pretty much anything. I remember at one of the lowest points in my life, when I had done what the Christian folks in my circle did and still, nothing changed, that I got a glimpse of what life was without this burden (and yes, I believe it’s a burden) of figuring out God or Jesus’s take is on everything and how he would get me through it. Guess what? I had enough faith, I did everything right, and God has never saved me from anything or came through at the last minute, like all those stories we used to hear in Sunday School of the lady with no grocery money who got a fridge full of food on the last day of the month. No, when we had no food, we had to go dig out of dumpsters when I was little. Nobody saved us, and we didn’t expect anyone to.
Here’s another thing – God doesn’t impart peace, or comfort. This poor lady I’m referencing above would be better off using that wasted time on her knees praying to a uninterested celestial being to call a lawyer and get her proverbial shit together. The evangelical view of God is so, so off, people. It’s such a crock.
And God doesn’t necessarily protect you, either. Tell that to all the little kids who were molested by Uncle Jim Bob. Where was God then? He doesn’t HAVE to do anything, and these poor misguided souls who believe that they have some kind of cosmic right to security are in for a very eyeopening experience.
As far as “finding peace in His Word”, I’ve never found that to be true. Frankly, the Bible is freaking boring. There is very little in there that is applicable to real life, unless you’re a misogynistic middle-aged man. I tried for YEARS to study, read, memorize, etc. the Bible, and the more I read it (and I still read it) the more I realized that the popular Christian evangelical view of who and what God is is SOOOOO incredibly different that the God portrayed in the Bible. That’s why I could never quite get the hang of the whole God thing for the long haul, because the foundation of it is so screwy.
One last thing I have to point out in this post: the whole deceived by Satan thing. I’m sorry, but saying that someone is deceived by Satan is just an excuse for their bad behavior. Don’t blame a nonsensical entity for your screwups – and that goes for God too. You do have a brain, you were blessed with some common sense, have the decency to fess up to your mistakes and stop passing the buck. Oh, and as far as praying for your husband when he’s served you with divorce papers? I don’t think so.
This post is all over the place, and for that I apologize. All this decompressing is coming up after literally years and years of evangelical conditioning, and it’s going to take a while to process.