I’ve dealt with shock and awe in my life in many ways many can’t imagine. From my time as a television journalist years ago, to the seven years I spent working in full-time ministry, to my own antics as a human being and everything in between, I’ve pretty much seen or heard it all.
But nothing took me aback recently like a shocking fact I finally uncovered around 2011. While in the midst of a recurring Church of the Highlands Small Group called Restoration for persons experiencing divorce or separation taught by Donna and Buddy Collier I was faced with a grim discovery…My Ex is My Brother!!!!!!!
I feel you. As a matter of fact, I could hear your gasp through the computer. It floored me just about as much as I’m sure this revelation floored you. I was so resistant to the thought of him being my brother, almost rebellious and embarrassed even, as I accepted how the knowledge I’d gained was going to change my life forever.
You see, it was while in the Restoration Small Group (which starts again in June at 11:30am each Sunday at Church of the Highlands Grants Mill www.churchofthehighlands.com) that I had to face a hard truth. All of the pain, disappointment, shattered dreams, unfulfilled promises, ways I wanted to get revenge, and plain old ANGER surrounding my divorce were involving not my “husband”, not simply another “human”, not even a “man”, but my BROTHER in Christ. He was my brother, and subject to the same faults, flaws and forgiveness as I. And for that fact, that gigantically, small fact, I had to forgive him, view him, respond to him, pray for him and treat him like the brother in the Lord Jesus that he was.
People often ask how I “did divorce” the way that I did. I guess they’re inquiring why I didn’t go all “Hollywood crazy” like some who haven’t put things, even their own pain, in a greater perspective and in greater Hands. Don’t think a quick flash of Angela Bassett’s stirring performance in “Waiting to Exhale” didn’t flash through my mind like some lighting in July. Don’t even think I didn’t allow the devil to have me entertain some very cautiously, creative ways to make his life miserable because mine was. But it wasn’t worth it. It just wasn’t worth it.
Was viewing him as my brother in Christ easy? N-O! Has it grown to be easy? Not easy, but much, much easier. But it is worth it to choose to see him as my brother each time something goes wrong in my life (mostly finances, if you want me to be real) and my internal answer is to look for a blame. Because of how I choose to see things I can correct myself knowing that he’s my brother and not my blame. Whatever happened God allowed and ultimately, my life, (his life) and all the great things to come in spite of the “not as great things” that have come are God’s responsibility and no one else’s. My responsibility is to love, heal, forgive, keep the peace and stay in place to receive.