There is no victory.
There is no victory in hurt. In pain. In destruction.
There is no victory in family fighting family.
There is only victory in love, hope and restoration.
There is no victory in the heart of man.
There is only victory in the heart of Jesus.
I have, like many I love, have suffered great heart ache and loss in the past week.
In some instances you can say, our loss is Heaven’s gain. Such is the case in the loss of my husband’s grandfather. We loved him. We grieved his loss. And we rejoiced in Heaven’s gain. Because it was a great reunion in Heaven as he joined not only the God who made him, the Savior who saved him, but the wife who loved him and the friends and family preceded him in Glory. Heaven really did gain. And because of that knowledge, our loss is made more bearable, our spirits made lighter. We grieve as we rejoice.
Sadly, there are some instances of loss that are no gain for Heaven. There are battles fought and hearts broken that spread destruction and devastation on earth and seem to have no Heavenly gain. Such is the case in the other great loss suffered by myself and my loved ones this week. Many people I love came to a place where they were unable to reconcile past hurts and distrusts and a divorce of sorts became inevitable. The ensuing custody battle is likely to be as painful and hurtful as the divorce itself. When you love people, you stand the risk of being hurt by them. And of hurting them. When people you love must part ways, the wave of devastation can’t help but engulf you.
My parents divorced when I was very young. While I don’t remember their marriage nor their divorce, I remember several recurring, nasty custody battles that always left me feeling like I was going to hurt one parent regardless of my choice. Happily, after many years, my parents came to a place of peace and, if not friendship, relationship. They came to a place where they could have a pleasant time in each other’s company and show care and concern for one another. Despite all the years of hurt, I know my father was saddened when my mom passed away. Their relationship finally got to a place where he could grieve the loss of the woman who had been his wife, who had shared in the making of a family, rather than just be angry at the years of hurt and accusations.
I’ve had the unfortunate opportunity as an adult to walk with two friends through the pain of divorce. In each case it meant the inevitable separation of my friendship from their spouse as well. And while I supported the friends and their decision, and I knew which party had my sympathy, it did mean an end to some relationships I had enjoyed. The “exes” will never be my close friends again, this was a sad reality. It was a decision I was forced to make because the parties involved had reached a level of no reconciliation. And again, I wholly supported both friends, agreeing that this was the now inevitable outcome but my point is that the lack of ability to reconcile (no matter how real) left others in a position of decision making that they never wanted to have to make. For some it was an easy decision. For others it was more difficult. But for all it was hurtful and painful.
This is the reality for many in my circle this week. Our “parents” are getting divorced and some of our siblings are choosing to live with one parent while others are choosing the other parent. Some are simply choosing to “stay home” regardless of which parent stays in that house. Some of the “kids” feel strongly as to which “parent” was wrong. Others feel more confused than convicted while others still feel pretty certain that the blame is evenly spread. As usual in divorce, the kids will never know all of the facts. Which is likely best.
But in all of the choosing, we must remember that one thing doesn’t change in divorce.
We are family.
We may be hurting now. We may be hurting each other now. We may be hurting ourselves now. Blaming, name calling, throwing stones. Probably it is inevitable. One can only hope that it isn’t forever.
It is possible, once the hurt begins to heal and once the custody battles end, to create a relationship with each other that is based upon a shared past, a shared hope and faith in our Savior and a shared believe in love.
Today, as I write this, I know there is hope in the hurt. Peace after the pain. Health in the healing. I know any of us who choose hope, peace, and healing can move forward and continue to love one another. Any who choose victory, gloating, defeat, anger won’t be able to move forward toward a future relationship with our “siblings”.
We will forever perpetuate the pain if we choose to look for the victory over the healing.
And though there may not be “heavenly gain” in this current loss, God is filled with Grace and Love for us, His children. And He will still work for His Glory, and for our good. He will bring victory to all his children, not because we are good, but because He is Good.
How grateful we can be for Victory in the heart of Jesus.
May we love one another well in our grief and our hope.
May we love each other like Jesus loves us.