When I was married to my Kid's Dad, there was a stream of books by Stormie Omartian on the market, the most widely read being, "The Power of a Praying Wife". I bought it. I pretty much memorized it. If I still had it today (I have no idea if I kept it or not) you would see that it's dog eared and underlined and highlighted and tear stained. The book didn't work for me (obviously) maybe because I was trying to use prayer to manipulate my Kid's Dad into loving me and wanting to stay. To steal a page from Bonnie Raitt, "I can't make you love me" neither can I pray you into loving me.
That was years ago, I've moved on. I've married again. Jarrett is the most wonderful man. Very different from my Kid's Dad, but we are completely compatible and I love him with all my heart. I thought that most every first marriage rip in my heart had healed, that every tear had been shed, every dream given it's due release. And then I stumbled upon something I wasn't looking for.
John McElhenney is a blogger, and probably a counselor (I haven't actually checked) and someone who seems to be super "in touch" with his emotional side. He writes for "The Good Man Project" his blog is wholeparentbook.com. I often read his posts. He's divorced, and captures the pain and hope of that journey splendidly. On July 2 his post was called, "Prayer for Single Parents, and my Ex". I was intrigued, because although I strive to bless my Kid's Dad through my words and wish him well, to read all that encapsulated in a prayer was something different altogether.
The prayer read:
“I wish you happiness in your new life, I always want to see you shine, you are the other half, the partner in this parenting journey we accepted together. Your joy is joy for our kids. Your peace is their peace, and mine. As we walk separate paths we are blameless and grateful for the gifts we’ve been given. And to you, my dear ex, I give the deepest respect and love. Thank you for where we’ve been, where we are, and where we are going, still a family, still parents, still blessed.”
Ugh. That was hard. The first time I read it I didn't get to the end of the first line before strong emotions welled up inside me. I can't pray these words. I can't bless him like this. And then I start to doubt my healing journey. Too soon? It shouldn't be, I tell myself. I thought I'd made such peace with every part that needed peace. I shouldn't be feeling anger, hurt, betrayal. And I begin to feel less of myself and my walk.
I'm not there yet. Maybe I won't get there in this life. Maybe I will. And it's ok. Maybe I was never meant to pray those words.
As I sit at my computer and bare my soul to you, my friends, God whispers to my heart, "Those were John's words. Your words to bless your Kid's Dad will be different. They'll be words just for you."
Freedom. Good thing.