“Mom, my friend asked me what’s going to happen to our house when you get divorced,” my oldest asked me in a whisper as the other kids ran past us from the backyard to the playroom.
Matt and I are not getting divorced. We are never getting divorced. We do not even use that word when joking or fighting. It’s off the table.
(And marriage has, praise God, always felt pretty easy for us, though I know not everyone is so fortunate and there are circumstances that require separation and/or divorce.)
But the little friend saw our bedroom door open and the his-and-her laundry scattered around, visible signs that two parents sleep there.
Unlike at her house.
It’s natural for children to project their life experiences onto others. I assumed everybody knew how to milk a cow and that every dad drank Mountain Dew for the longest time. This little friend was simply wondering how things would look for my daughter: would we still live nearby? Who would stay, who would go?
More than just projecting, kids want to share their experiences with others. It would probably be cathartic for this young girl to have a friend to relate to.
But I told my child, “Remember, we’ve talked about this. Papa and I said divorce wasn’t an option from the beginning. We are never going to leave each other or you.”
(Again, I recognize that some extenuating circumstances arise and change the calculus for many couples.)
I watched the tension drain from her face and shoulders, replaced only by what I can describe as a sense of security–and I got to see it light up her features again later in the week.
Since buying my PowerSheets for Christmas, I’ve listened to a lot of audio from their founder, Lara Casey. I listened to one of her audiobooks and have listened to several of her podcasts.
I will admit, she repeats herself a bit. She uses the same stories and themes, whether her garden or her Grandpa’s Bible that’s now hers, and so on. But these play like a CD player on loop because they have shaped her. So when we were driving home the other day, we took a minute to go two blocks further and drive down our old street.
Murray was the best landlord. The girls mostly remember their bedroom and that Murray bought them a Frozen Jeep that they drove up and down the massive driveway, blasting “Let It Go” all along the way.
“Do you know why Murray gave you that Jeep?” I asked. They didn’t know.
And so I got to add a layer of meaning to their memory of that house and that tiny apartment over the garage, the one we called our treehouse because every window gave us a view of greenery.
“Murray found out he had liver cancer. Shortly after that, he asked if he could give you kids a big gift. He had worked for money his whole life and wanted to use it well before the end. He wanted to share what he’d been given–and he wanted to share it with people he loved, like you.”
There is security in knowing who you are and where you come from. But more than these, I will spend my years, day by day, telling my children of the God who loved His own so deeply that He sent Jesus to buy them back.
Murray was great and a happy, healthy home is greater–but nothing compares to the security that comes from the all-consuming, neverending love of Christ.