One of the things God has given me the opportunity to do since starting Divorce Ministry 4 Kids is to listen to first-hand accounts from children of divorce on how divorce has impacted their lives. It is, at the same time, both heart-breaking and reaffirming of the need for a ministry like Divorce Ministry 4 Kids. Early this morning, a young woman whose parents divorced when she ten filled out our Children of Divorce Online Survey. When asked about how the church handled the divorce of her parents, she responded:
Well, we were kicked out of the church I had gone to my whole life because they were getting a divorce. I was too young to notice any judgment, but I do still miss that church and the people in it, although they have probably forgotten me.
As I read that this morning, I experienced a gamut of emotion:
Sorrow: It saddens me that millions children each year have to suffer through their parents’ divorce.
Empathy: Though I do not know this young woman, I truly regret that she had to experience all of this at such a tender age.
Anger: If I am being honest, reading this ticked me off. That there are still churches out there who respond to divorce in such an un-loving and un-Christlike way tarnishes the Name of my Lord and Savior.
Dependence: We have a big vision at Divorce Ministry 4 Kids. The more I read all of these stories, the more God shows me how much we will need to rely on Him in this endeavor. That is not only a good thing, it’s a God thing.
Hope: With God all things are possible, and that gives me hope. With God, these kids can find healing and set their lives on a different path. With God, we can impact the lives of these kids. With God, we can call the church to step up and stand in the gap for these kids. But, my hope is not just general, it is also in the specific work of God which is evident in the rest of this young woman’s story. She explains,
I struggled with why these bad things were happening to me, and why no one loved me enough to stand up for me. I had a life-changing experience one day at a week-long Bible school, where God spoke to me and I realized I just needed to forgive and love. Now I realize God is always on my side, and has been working on me through it all.
Thank God for His grace, for His sovereignty and for His provision. There is hope, and it takes us, the church, to stand up and be the hands and feet of Jesus to these kids!