Just an average guy who loves Jesus Christ, my wife, and my kids. I'm working out my life's journey, and hoping to help as many dads as possible along the way.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Singular Vision for the Divorced Parent

  Ever wonder what would happen if you suddenly, tragically lost the sight in one of your eyes?  It would be horrible, right?  You would look at the whole world differently, literally.  There would be much adjustment necessary, but you would make those adjustments.  You might think that you wouldn't be able to see as well.  However, I want to challenge you that through your remaining eye, you would see more clearly than ever.  Your vision would be much more focused and intentional. You would be very aware at all times of exactly what you're seeing, and where you're going.  Much better way of dealing with the loss of that one eye, rather than spend the rest of your life lamenting your loss, and how much worse your life will be without it, right?  Besides, eye patches are kinda cool, in a pirate sorta way!
     I would venture to say that we have the same choice when we find ourselves divorced, and dealing with the loss of a spouse.  Yes, we have lost something vital and precious, but our family, our children still desperately need us to lead them with passion.  We still have to have vision for our lives, and for our family.  Proverbs 29:18 says, "Without vision, the people perish..."  Replace "the people" with your family. Without vision, your family will perish.  Yes, it's THAT important to maintain a clear sense of the direction that God is leading you in. 
     Is your family vision going to change now that you're divorced?  Maybe, maybe not.  It is different for each family.  What's important is that you desperately seek the Lord, asking Him for direction for this chapter of your life.  He may give you a completely different direction in life, or he may tell you to hold the course.  In some ways, it will have to change, because there are things you can't pursue as a single person that would require a spouse to fulfill the vision.  For me, our family mission statement did not change when my wife and I separated 2 years ago, eventually divorcing, but my vision for what God is calling me to did change. 
     Let me explain, and hopefully the example of my life and my family will give you a bit of insight as to where I'm coming from, and where I'm going with this.  Our family mission statement was: "Love God, Love others, the rest is just details!"  That is still the mission statement that myself, my daughters, and my son live by.  It is based on the 1st and 2nd greatest commandments according to Christ - "Love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your strength, and love your neighbor as yourself."  And in my family, we go by the story of the Good Samaritan when considering who our neighbor is.  That has not changed.  However, my vision for what God is calling me to has changed drastically.  Over the past 6 months, I have felt God strongly leading me down a path of discipling, and ministering to single fathers.  With a cumulative total of 9 years of being a single father to 3 children, and making many mistakes, and learning much along the way, I feel absolutely certain that He wants to use my life to minister to others who find themselves in the same boat and need encouragement, support, and solidarity.  That is entirely different than the vision I had when I was married, but in many ways, I feel as though this chapter of my life will be much more powerful than before.  I'm not "kind of" sure about what He wants me to do.  I'm crystal clear that this is my calling, my "Chazown" (the Hebrew word for vision).
     What about you?  I would strongly encourage you not to give up hope!  Just because you are missing something you thought would always be there, does not mean that all is lost.  Don't make the mistake I did at first, wandering aimlessly for years, wondering just what exactly life was all about anymore, simply reacting to life as it happened around me.  Press in close to your heavenly Father, seek him desperately, as though your next breath depended on it.  He will comfort you, He will guide you, He will give you direction, and He will give you peace that passes all understanding.  But most importantly, He will give you a vision for your life, and for your family, a vision that will give you hope again, and something to live for, to live by, and to look forward to with excitement every day!  Your children are looking to you today for passionate leadership. Now is the time!  What is your "Chazown?"