A Southern Pastor: This Is What Divorce Feels Like

Psalm 30:5

For his anger is but for a moment;
    his favor is for a lifetime.
Weeping may linger for the night,
    but joy comes with the morning.

I saw my ex husband tonight. We had a pleasant dinner and it was the first time my ex had met my son’s girlfriend, even though they’ve been dating for two years. The kids requested the meeting; it was important to them. I’m so glad it went well. And then we parted ways and the kids and I drove home. We dropped my son’s girlfriend off and visited with her parents a bit, and then Lucas drove the rest of the way home so I could read an article for a seminary assignment which was due tonight. Just like regular people. Like the world isn’t upside down. Like I’m not bleeding inside.

I have been told that five years is long enough and I should have moved on by now, that I should be “over it.” I’m not sure how to do that. How do you put a time limit on pain, on loss? How do you decide when it has been long enough since your family broke, since you were torn in half, since you lost what you completely believed? Is there a time frame for that?

So tonight, I am so grateful for my son, and for the beautiful girl who loves him. I am filled with love for my family and the fact that we are close and they are a foundation in my life. I have friends in abundance, and serving my congregation is so humbling and gives my life purpose. I’m so happy in so many ways.

Except this wound in the core of my being which is throbbing tonight. Acknowledging it’s there doesn’t take away from the gratitude I feel for the blessings in my life. It doesn’t mean that I don’t appreciate all that I have. It just means I mourn for the one I can’t share it with.

Weeping can linger tonight. It’s healthy to grieve for something so painful. But joy comes with the morning.

Melanie Tubbs is a professor, pastor, mother, Mimi, and true Arkansas woman. She lives with nine cats and one dog on a quiet hill in a rural county where she pastors a church and teaches history at the local university. Her slightly addictive personality comes out in shameful Netflix binges and a massive collection of books. Vegetarian cooking, reading mountains of books for her seminary classes, and crocheting for the churches prayer shawl ministry take up most of her free time, and sharing the love of Christ forms the direction of her life. May the Peace of Christ be with You.