“I have known many happy marriages, but never a compatible one. The whole aim of marriage is to fight through and survive the instant when incompatibility becomes unquestionable. For a man and a woman, as such, are incompatible.”
– G.K. Chesterton “What is Wrong with the World”
This quote rings as true with me on so many levels. Here I am. I’m a twice annulled Catholic sitting at 40 on the number line. There are no compatible marriages. It is about sticking it out and survival.
I regret my first divorce so much. I was young and dumb. I was brought up in dysfunction and brought that dysfunction into our marriage. I hurt on the daily because I’ve made my first family hurt on so many levels. I grieve the loss of that relationship frequently. It was his third marriage. My first. He was my first experience as being a grown up. I became a parent, a wife, a homeowner. All of that. At 24 years old. I didn’t know what I was doing. Apparently, he didn’t either. I pray for him. I hope he finds his peace.
My second marriage was just because I was trying to move forward through the pain of my first divorce. I married some guy I met online. I found out (after we were married) that he was a raging atheistic alcoholic. He left my house in handcuffs. There is a restraining order written into the divorce. And I carry on the daily.
Between the demise of the two marriages, I ended up with PTSD. I would have nightmares every single night for years. I struggled for years to put one foot in front of the other. But here I am, trying to repair my broken heart and heal it for good. Only Jesus can do that.
I’ve learned through all my experiences that I cannot depend on people to fix me. Whether that is a therapist, a doctor, or a friend. Only Jesus heals. And through my daily fiat, I am letting him do just that.
Grace is not in a pretty package. All neat and orderly. Grace is thrown on us in our dirtiness. It is given to us in our messes. Grace is given as we make small yeses to God.
You will never be clean enough to earn grace. You will never be dirty enough to have grace reject you. Love finds us in the mire. Pulls us out. And gives us the strength to move forward as we are. Embrace grace.