Melissa Moore Fitzpatrick made this announcement on Twitter Monday:
There are words one never wants to utter, least of all on Twitter but I’m going to anyway: life's been painful this year & I’m divorced.
When I read it, my heart skipped a beat and tears immediately welled in my eyes. I don’t know Melissa, I’m not even sure why I follow her on twitter, much less why her last name going back to just Moore would make me cry.
It’s probably because of her mother.
Her mother is Beth Moore and has taught me more about living this “with God life” in a handful of Bible studies than any other pastor, Christian school lesson, or book I’ve ever read.
For those of you not neck-deep in the church world, Beth is like the Billy Graham of today’s Bible studies. She’s arguably the single most influential teacher out there today...and that’s in a pool of both men and women.
She was molested at an early age and speaks openly about the damage that plagued her family and then later, her marriage. But she also speaks of her life now...of restoration and redemption. She has a good marriage, two Godly daughters and two grandchildren. The family I wanted, but never got.
And then Melissa announces she’s divorced…and that image shatters. I don’t judge her. Honestly, it’s not that I think divorce is some great sin, or the ultimate failure, or even a failure at all.
It’s just that when I looked at Beth Moore’s personal life, I felt hope that one day God would make something not tainted by abuse in my family too.
I need to believe wholeness is possible. I need to believe cycles not only break, but that their pieces can’t sneak their darkness into my marriage, or the lives of my sisters and future children.
I strive so hard not only to stay married, but to also have a great marriage. That one day, my children will be more than just not abused, but also feel secure and loved by both parents. I earnestly pray for my sisters to marry Godly men who encourage them forward to their own callings.
And I get crazy about making sure this happens. I mean bat-shit, don’t miss out on anything, don’t accept less than outstanding, make everything fit - crazy.
About a year ago, Beth spoke at an event in Long Beach I attended. She talked about a warrior in the Old Testament. He was great man and highly regarded, but he had leprosy. Beth asked us to write what our ‘BUT’ is...What is the great thing people will say about you - and then add the part that’s off.
I searched my heart, waited for a still small voice, and wrote:
She was courageous, but prideful.
I know God heals, restores, and hands you the dream you never thought possible. So I want it, I expect it, I go for it….
And I demand it to be perfect. There’s no room for flaws. There’s even less room for error.
Now Melissa’s announcement adds even greater conviction.
It’s not that her situation makes me fear divorce can happen to any of us, but awakens me to the fact that perfection is for none of us.
No matter who your parents are. No matter who your spouse is. No matter how much you strive. No matter how much you pray. No matter how much you love.
No matter who your God is.
This life can’t be perfect. All the brokenness can’t be prevented.
But my God asks for mercy, not sacrifice. Maybe that means, He sees imperfections not as great mistakes, as I see them...but as great hurts.
Hurts that need grace. Not a detailed plan of how to keep them from happening to me.