A New Kind of Vegas…

I just got back from my first night in a Divorce Care small group sponsored by my church. There was a nice group of people there tonight. The church leadership did a great job of marketing the program: “Don’t go through divorce alone.” A great thought and purpose. One facilitator of the group said that this was the Las Vegas of small groups: “What’s said here stays here.” So there were many Vegas stories tonight, told only to people going through the same heartache and pain. I appreciate when friends and family listen to the stuff we are going through, but there is a special kinship with people going through the very confusing process of the death of a marriage.  Someone makes a statement, and the heads begin to nod. It must be similar to an AA or NA meeting. “Hi, I’m Larry and I’m divorcing…”  “Hello, Larry…”  and then we begin to share how we feel, or our story.

Actually, we begin each meeting with a teaching video about some aspect of divorce. There is good information, and some insight into both the emotional and practical process. Since tonight was the first session, the video dealt with the emotions we feel during the process. Two things stuck out for me to grab hold of. They were effective pictures… I love pictures…

First: The biblical picture of  marriage shows two people becoming one… a new spiritual/emotional entity. When those two separate, there is a tearing of that one new entity, and the tear isn’t clean, like a perforated edge to two sheets of paper. Instead, the tear is jagged, with each person losing part of themselves in the process. I agreed with the picture. And I know that Greta will have part of me that I won’t get back as will I of her. That is a very strange feeling…

Second: When a person goes through a divorce, they enter into a time of identity adolescence. They have to establish who they are once more.  Furthermore, they must once again establish some semblance of self-worth, of value. Common thoughts shared in the conversation afterward, were the feelings of shame,  guilt, and failure, especially when they were around family or other married friends. This seemed to be true, no matter the circumstances surrounding the death of the marriage. We all shared the feelings of personal responsibility.

But what was most important to me, was the fact that they were there at all! It was very hard to walk into that room, sit around a table with strangers, and open yourself up to them. It took courage! I am proud of my new friends. They could have handled the stress and loneliness in many other unhealthy and non-productive ways, and honestly, many of us have… But we were there! We were reaching out to other people in the middle of the mess. We understood. We cared. We gave and received grace! Because we were imperfect, and are imperfect. But we need each other and aren’t afraid to risk discomfort to heal. We are tenaciously grasping for health. That is our choice. No matter the circumstances.

This might be Vegas, but it’s no gamble. Its a sure bet!


3 thoughts on “A New Kind of Vegas…

  1. There will be no losers in this DivorceCare group! Everyone will get back many times what they are investing. Hearts will heal. God will grant grace, forgiveness, peace and hope and lives will be changed.

    Thanks to everyone in this group who is making it possible for this group to meet together to share and heal. A special bond will be formed and friendships that know no end, will be the result.

    God’s blessings to each of you. Thank you for sharing your heart with us.

  2. Thank you, both for your comments. The zeitgeist of the times in this country seems to be division. Politically, socially, economically… Finding a place to come together in community is VERY important, especially when going through something as world shaking as divorce. Life changes… and we need help in seeing outside our tunnel vision. There are A LOT of people going through the process of divorce… lots of kids affected, too. We need places where we can be open with the pain and ignorence of the process. The people in this group are trying to find and give this safe place. Trying to trust others is certainly a challenge. But we are beginning…

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