HANDLE WITH CARE



Divorce has been desensitized.


It is talked about nowadays like it is a mere solution to a problem.


On multiple occasions I have heard people say, “Well, if things don't work out, I can just get a divorce.”


The most common reports contributed to divorce are lack of commitment, infidelity, conflicts, and arguing. Studies have shown that more participants blamed their partners than themselves for the divorce.


Seems fitting considering our culture today.


In one way or another, everyone has been affected by divorce.


And personally, I think divorce deserves a new label that reads, “Handle with care.” It truly is sensitive content and every heart hurting by divorce needs to be tenderly cared for.


At seven years old, my Mother and Step Father divorced. He was the only father I had known since I was a baby. So, naturally this divorce opened another avenue of abandonment that had taken root in my heart and left me hopeless, severely broken, and stuck in a love triangle.


I don’t really remember a healthy conversation happening to help me comprehend the separation. And if it did happen, I think my traumatized heart tucked it away somewhere to forget it. The divorce not only separated my parents, but the new living arrangements separated my brother and I too. I was deeply grieved and held it all in silently.


Encouragement was always there from my Mother; she spoke it and she showed it. It helped, but, even with her assurance, it didn’t replace the guilt I was feeling on the inside.


A false sense of responsibility began to arise and I started to think that maybe there was something I did to cause my parents to split.


I wanted things to just go back to the way they were before. I missed having my family. When my brother and I were together, we would pray to God asking Him to bring our parents back together. We would even dream up ideas that might have helped outside of our prayers. (Of course, all inspired by the movie, “The Parent Trap.”) Our plans never came to fruition, but the fantasies and fears we had, we were able to share them together. It was partially healing to know I was not alone.


As children, we are resilient when it comes to bouncing back from tragedies and traumas. But I feel like it has been taken advantage of in so many ways. And I say that because it may have looked like I handled it well on the outside, but the adequate skills to understand and grieve the loss of my family were not there so I could properly deal with it. My parents were in no place to help us heal. They were hurting and angry too.


Although the divorce was not my choice, I suffered painful consequences that impacted a large portion of my identity. It affected my relationships with others including difficulties with trust, self-worth, anger, guilt, forgiveness, and even commitment. My faith in God was lost, I struggled with doubt and fear of disappointing others.


And now that I am married and have a family of my own, I am very aware that what God claimed as perfect, Satan will continually try to tear down by warping perspectives of what true marriage and family are supposed to be.


Destruction occurs to every family that willingly leaves the door open to his lies.


Healing as a child from divorce is a process. And my journey has been far from easy.


Through much prayer and intercession, I have been able to understand, let go, acknowledge, accept, and forgive. And it wasn’t until recently that I realized many of the personal struggles I had endured were because of the divorce. The foundation of my family was built on fear. And fear will divide and conquer indefinitely.


I believe that when we allow God to continually reveal and unfold all of the layers for healing, it is then that we can fully surrender who we thought we were.


I am finally discovering the “Stefanie,” the “wife,” the “mother,” the “friend” (etc) He created me to be!


I am whole because of HIM.


I know that I am a part of a larger family in the fold of God and I am not alone.


Because I have been able to see through the eyes of love, because I have been held by the arms of love, I am able to heal.


God not only repaired me, He has re-parented me in ways that have healed and restored relationships with myself, my parents, and God Himself.


When people fail us, God always handles His children with care. Now I am sure that I am the one God is using to break and destroy every generational curse and stronghold that has ever controlled or oppressed my family.


And if you are currently going through, have been through, or are a child of divorce and are living in the pain, I pray and release heaven’s blessings and promises into your life and family today. Because our loving God can change anyone and anything. Our God is always more than enough! Never stop believing God’s promises for your life!


~ Stefanie Rodriguez

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