I was a child affected by divorce. My parents separated when I was 4 years old and my sister was a baby. My biological father and I are very close now, but that wasn’t always the case. I was 19 years old before we had any type of connection, and when we did finally connect, I understood why Satan tried so hard to destroy our relationship. I am so much like him and I see so much of myself in him. My mom remarried when I was around 8 years old and my “step”father is my hero in so many ways. I hate the word step, because he has never been nor will he ever be that to me.  He is my dad and I am so thankful to God for him. For the purpose of understanding I will always refer to my biological Father as father and my Step Father as dad. I remember being almost 16 years old and breaking up with my first boyfriend. I was devastated and the only person in the world that I wanted to give me a hug was my dad. He has this incredible way of making you feel safe and valued while encouraging your spirit and making you laugh. He still to this day does that for me and in an even more beautiful way does that for my daughters. 
      I have felt this topic stirring in me for some time. I have several friends who have recently navigated the world of divorce. Recently in our home our children have started talking about how different our family is than other families. We are in the process of adopting two daughters and both of their biological families are now apart of ours. They have also realized that mommy has a mom and a dad and then another dad. My oldest daughter was even upset at the fact that Jesus gave me two dads and only thought to give her one. That statement in itself made me laugh and want to cry. She doesn’t and I pray she never experiences the deep things that happen when families separate. It isn’t pleasant nor is it exciting, there isn’t much that can be seen as beautiful in the midst of that type of pain. Even as a child I remember feeling so wounded as I navigated the feelings of abandonment. We are very honest with our children about every situation we face. That is one thing foster care opened us up to quickly was how to have factual conversations done under the covering of love. Trying to help our 4 year old understand why one baby’s mom is making bad choices but she doesn’t have to worry about the same thing is very difficult. At 5 years old our daughter was able to explain to us how scared she would feel when she thought about her foster sister leaving. As a mom in that moment I connected with her fear, I understood what it felt like to loose someone you loved. I pulled her in closer and I loved her harder. I watched as she kicked that fear in its butt and walks todaywithout any of that residue on her. She overcame her fear. 
       As I type this I am not sure my actual point. I feel as though I could go in so many directions. This thought just keeps burning in me. As a child divorce affected my life, but God did something so beautiful for me through it. He didn’t cause it. He didn’t do it to teach me some big character lesson, but he did use it. He taught me what it looks like to be loved by someone who chose me. See my dad didn’t have to do anything, but he chose to. I believe that God put adoption in my heart as a child, but my dad watered that seed and nurtured it to life. I believe this is specifically for the women or men who have walked through a divorce. Do not let it disqualify you or your children. You aren’t unworthy or beyond being used. Your children are not marked as unusable. They have a ministry and a story to tell. My daughter saw having two dads as a blessing, she sees a family operate at a healthy level in which everyone gets to be a part. I do understand that our situation is unique, but so is yours. In my opinion one of the most powerful things we can do as a parent is to not pull our children out of every uncomfortable situation. I have learned to see that discomfort as an opportunity for them and me to be expanded. I cannot possibly shelter my children from every pain on this earth, but I can teach them how to navigate their own hearts in the midst of the hurt. Thank God for the Great Comforter that is the Holy Spirit. 
       I love that God promises to bring beauty from the ashes of our lives. I have been sitting at my dining room table surrounded by windows and it has rained all day. I have personally realized that seasons of the deepest mourning, the deepest rain, have unlocked the most beautiful gardens in my heart. What has felt like a season of labored pain is a prophetic opportunity to see the biggest fruit you have ever experienced. Don’t give up!