A middle-aged wife sits in my office. I will call her Jane (not her real name). Her world has been turned upside down. Bill (not his real name), her husband of 20 years, came home yesterday after work. He said he no longer loved her. He had fallen in love with another woman. A co-worker at the office. Bill said he was filing for divorce. Jane never saw this coming. Jane looked forward to a comfortable retirement with Bill. Their kids were both in college. Jane had been a devoted stay-at-home parent and wife. She had sacrificed a career as an engineer to do as Bill wished. It was important to Bill that Jane be home to care for the children while he supported the family.
To Jane it was like Bill came home with a 1,000-piece puzzle box. Her marriage the day before, all the pieces fit perfectly on the box lid to form a beautiful picture. The box was opened. Bill dumped all the pieces on the table. As he walked out of the room, Bill took the lid of the box with him. Now, it was up to Jane to make all the pieces fit together again without the picture.
Jane was not prepared. She had no idea how to handle this. She was lost. She was alone. She had no picture of what life would be like going forward. In the brokenness and devastation, the pieces of her life no longer fit.
As a collaborative divorce attorney, I have lost count of the number of wives and husbands who have shared with me such stories. Because I was cursed with polio and paralysis, I have been blessed by God with wisdom gained from suffering to share with people like Jane.
The pieces of my life at age six with polio no longer fit. At age 40 when I had post-polio syndrome, I found myself spending every night for five years breathing in an Iron Lung. I was adrift again. I was lost. Searching to make sense of being twice cursed. Fearing I would die. Facing the possibility of not being able to support my family. How would I ever reassemble the broken pieces of my life to be happy again, to love others again, and to be loved in this unexpected condition. To fulfill the potential and the plans God had for me.
With God and His living angels on Earth, the pieces of my life were reassembled in a more perfect way. What I gained in loss left me more able to serve others in my calling. My greatest happiness, professional achievements, and rewards resulted from dark times. Darkness which enabled me to see more clearly the light and love of God.
Now, I share with all the husbands and wives in my collaborative divorce practice what I have learned and earned from my suffering and from God in prayer. That there is life and love after divorce. There is life and love after death. That when I was alone, I was not alone. That God had a plan and a purpose me and for those I serve as well. I was lost. God’s love and plans found me.
God invites me, you, and everyone to ask in prayer for comfort and ways to make the broken pieces of our lives to fit together again. In doing so, the answers will come. Healing will happen. In a holy and mysterious way, the picture of our lives will be different. Yet, beautiful. We can rejoice that with God that we are never alone. Never without holy and never-ending healing hope and love.
God has spoken in Scripture as to putting the pieces together.
And this is the plan: At the right time he will bring everything together under the authority of Christ — everything in heaven and on earth.
Let us pray.
Dear God, in living the life You gifted me, there are times when things suddenly change. Life ceases to be the same. I am sad. Alone. Hopeless. I do not know what to do. How to find a new and happy normal.
God, in prayer, please remind me that You love me. You love putting the pieces back together with me.