On Failure

Last night, after over a year of separation and silence, I had a phone conversation with my wife.

The discussion was more formal than friendly, but secretly in my heart I was delighted to hear her voice live and real-time.

I said something funny, and she replied (in so may words) “you haven’t changed…you’re the same guy…”

…I believe she meant it in a positive way, and that’s the way I took it.

She needed an address to send the divorce papers to; I gave her my work address. Divorce, even under the simplest of terms and with the highest cooperation between parties, is inexplicably expensive (hiring an attorney, serving papers, court filing costs, etc.), and my wife and I are determined to avoid any unnecessary costs.

This will be my second divorce, after 14 years of marriage; my first marriage lasted 17 years.

As a chess player I realize that, for many of us, true understanding only comes through failure. If we’re willing to examine the failures of the game (there’s always more than one), study them, learn at what points we erred (the opponent’s errors are secondary…at least at first), “replay” the scenarios of the encounter to determine what would’ve happened had we made the right moves and decisions and train our minds to recognize when those positions repeat themselves in future games…we will discover more favorable results in future encounters.

Such a thorough review of even a short chess game can take many hours of tedious work. Those who put in the work become great chess players. Those that believe that any positive results they may have gained by such labor isn’t worth the trouble…

…well, they keep getting their asses kicked and eventually stop playing.

The majority of marriages in the United States end in divorce. Even more tragic: the statistical probabilities of second, third and fourth marriages succeeding are quite gloomy (while this is my second marriage, this is my wife’s fourth marriage).

Why are we so reluctant to study our failures?

The problem is that too many of us make a fictitious connection between our failures and our personal value as people. We tell ourselves terrible things like:

“The fact that I failed makes me a failure.”

“Loss of any kind makes me a looser.”

“I don’t deserve a good companion.”

“I expect my relationship(s) to fail.”

These hideous lies have been woven into the very fabric of our society…even into the warp and woof of our families, where Grace and Unconditional Love once held their mightiest bastion.

It is therefore with great joy and celebration that I put you remembrance, dear Reader, of a Family where Grace, Unconditional Love, Hope and Faith are forever honored and protected: The ETERNAL GODHEAD!!!

Like yours and mine, this Family (Father, Son and Holy Spirit) went through unfathomable loss and tragedy: The Garden of Gethsemane, the Betrayal of the Sanhedrin, The Scourging of the Romans and The Cross of Golgotha. Since that Passion, however, the Lord Jesus Christ has resurrected Himself from among the dead, ascended to Heaven and has received on our behalf the Eternal Kingdom of God, which He shall bring with Him when He returns to Earth in Unmade Light and Glorious Splendor!!!

Now the Eternal Family has been reunited and is stronger than ever! Furthermore, since Christ’s Ascension, the Eternal Family has enjoyed enormous expansion: millions of humans have been adopted through the Faith of Jesus Christ into this Family and are destined to enjoy the Grace, Unconditional Love, Hope and Faith that has bound the ETERNAL GODHEAD together from all and to all Eternity!

Hallelujah!!!

If you are a member of this Family through the Faith of Christ, then you KNOW what it means to be UNCONDITIONALLY LOVED by God! You know that your failures and losses make you neither a looser nor a failure! You can face your sins, your regret and your grief and shed your tears knowing that Christ is right beside you: His Divine, nail-scarred Hand on your shoulder, His Heart breaking with yours and His Tears falling with yours.

It is my prayer that many more Christian divorcées would, through the Grace of Christ, gather the courage to study and discuss their failed relationships with each other so that Healing from Heaven might be obtained in abundance.

Amen.

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