I’m the guy who has to know where he’s going. I need to know what’s next. A year before I graduated from college I began worrying because I didn’t know where I’d be the next year. I like to have a vision for my future because that serves as a compass for my daily life: a metanarrative that defines my story. One of my visions was that I was going to be the guy who was married for 75 years. I was going to be the guy who beat the odds. I was going to be the guy everyone looked up to; proof that marriage can work when people decide to make it work. Now I’m just the guy whose marriage failed at mid-life. I’m another statistic. I’m the overweight guy with a Harley, a tattoo, and a divorce. The loss of a vision is difficult to mourn.
My heart is broken. Shattered. Destroyed maybe is a better word. People keep asking how I’m doing, but I honestly don’t know how I’m doing. I feel numb. And lonely. I wonder how I can ever love again. Maybe that was my one shot. How many chances do we really have at true love? She was the love of my life, my soul-mate, and now she’s just the mother of my children. Over the last few years I’ve had to build walls in my heart to protect myself from the pain. Now those walls are thick, entrenched, and I wonder if my heart will ever be penetrated again. I even wonder if God will be able to break in and replace what has been stolen from me.
My children are my solace. They make me smile. They give me optimism. I know they care for me and hurt with me. It’s easy to wonder, in times such as these, if I’m a complete failure as a family man. My children reassure me that I can succeed at the thing that matters most to me. I tried desperately to protect them from this but I could find no safety for them: either damage them by divorcing or damage them by not divorcing. I chose the lesser of the two evils I think… I hope.
Sometimes life just doesn’t go like we plan it. We can work, and try, and pay attention, and invest all of ourselves and in the end sometimes it’s just not enough. Whenever we’re dealing with people we are out of control because people don’t always cooperate with our plans. I used to think I could love so fully, so completely, that I could overcome whatever obstacle presented itself. But sometimes loving well just isn’t enough. Even God’s perfect love isn’t enough for some people. If God experiences broken relationship with fallen people, I should expect no less. And if God can keep loving people despite our propensity to break hearts, perhaps I can too, if he’ll teach me. I desperately need a teacher now.