Divorce is awful to the people who divorce, but even worse for the children.
We are the invisible children who often suffer in darkness.
But Asian culture makes it about invalidating the pain…”you should be grateful you know, that you weren’t abandoned, that a parent even took care of you” (like we are burdens instead of gifts in this world). These are the words you hear when you grow up in an Asian household. You are also taught to pretend like nothing is wrong. You are taught to hold your breathe and put on a mask.
Because it is shameful, divorce.
So there are seasons of my life where I feel pangs in my heart that I can’t explain, that I can’t pray away. It’s God healing the layers of pain that can’t be explained with words….it’s suffering in injustice and peeling off the hidden layers of protection, it’s trying not to drown and holding onto the cross, it’s looking up from under the ocean, every time God heals me…slowly swimming closer to the surface where I can finally breathe and laugh again.
It’s God unlocking chains that have held me down too deep, too many contracts and agreements that I didn’t agree to, that I was born into.
I didn’t agree to this. I break it off, I break off every lie that I was born into.
I break off every pain that tore through my heart, I break off the shame and the guilt that wasn’t mine.
It’s not your fault you know, if you were a child of divorce. You were a child who needed protection, not the other way around. You couldn’t possibly shield your parents from pain, you couldn’t have stopped the move, you couldn’t have because you were a child who needed protection.
So don’t feel guilty for not having done more. Even now it’s not your fault. You were a helpless child.
Children of divorce often grow up with too much on their plates and they often continue to take on more than they can handle, sacrificing their own happiness to make others happy. Because I’ve caused enough hardships. I was a burden on her or him. My very life is a mistake.
You are not a mistake, you are a gift from God. You were born into a tragic story but you were born as a brilliant idea of God, you are a gift and you are gifted.
No wonder some people live in rejection even until they are gray and old.
“No one will ever love me”- says he or she…”I’m not worthy of love”.
I wish I could tell you that this world is perfect, but it’s not. We are born into an imperfect world that needs redemption.
God is redeeming me everyday. Some seasons are heavier where I am faced with the wounds in my heart caused by thousands of stabbing.
There are layers and layers of protection and false bandages that children of divorce use. There are guilt trips and false shame.
Some of us live normal lives not recognizing or accepting that we have been wounded. These unrecognized wounds become unhealthy and destructive patterns in our lives. Sometimes we drown it with addictions like alcohol, sometimes we drown it by working hard and making money (and we are applauded for that, society looks up to that), sometimes we drown it with relationships and codependent friendships, sometimes we drown it by constantly being alone or constantly being with people.
It’s not about you, parents. This post is not about you. This post is about us children. We get to have a space to be ourselves, we are not guilt tripping you.
We get to have feelings, we get to have emotions. We are human, we are not an accessory to your lives. We were not born to be cute or helpful. We were born for God and FROM GOD. We were not born to satisfy or a fulfill a life you didn’t live, we were not born to be your source of love. We were born for God and from God.
The responsibility to take care of wounded parents seem to last a life time, but it’s not supposed to. Children of divorce are not supposed to feel responsible for their parents’ divorce.
We are supposed to move on into healthy relationships and have healthy opinions of ourselves.
But many of us still live under shame and guilt. We feel guilty for being born, we feel guilty for creating a mess, even though it’s not our mess. We feel guilty for being a burden.
So God set us free.
Set us free from the lie that we are not enough.
Set us free from the lie that we are a burden and not a gift.
Set us free from shame. Set us free from feelings of unworthiness.
Set us free from the lie that we will never be happy and that we don’t deserve to be happy.
I have carried burdens that aren’t mine for too long and I need healing too. This is a space I get to be honest and myself. This is a space I get to be loved. Some people tell me “it seems like you are blaming your parents” or I hear “you shouldn’t write about it” ….but is silence better? Is it better to live in a world where everyone just pretends to be fine and dandy?
Why don’t we get to have feelings?
If I don’t write about it, who will. Who will break the silence?
Who will shine light on the invisible children? Who will remember the forgotten ones? The children who grow up into adults but still live as rejects.
Most people will not see it, but God sees and He cares. He cares for every wound in your heart, He cares about every tear that you cry. He wants to set you free.
A prayer of release (read this out loud)- Dear God, from today on I break off any lies and contracts that were made on my soul and spirit the day I was born. I was born into imperfection and sin, but Jesus died on the cross for me to be righteous in your eyes. I am enough. I am loved by you. I am not a reject. I break off any responsibilities that are NOT mine.
From today on, I am a free person, I get to live my own life. I am not tied to my parents’ divorce, I am not a child of divorce any longer. I am a child of God. Now you are my parent, you take care of me, you protect me, you guide me. You have always been there for me, even when I felt like an orphan. I now remember that I am royalty, I was born to reign and not to suffer in silence.
I forgive my parents and I forgive myself for carrying burdens that aren’t mine.
I am a free person! There is now no condemnation for those that are in Christ Jesus.
Thank you Jesus, in Jesus name Amen.