Most of us who have been through a divorce have experienced loss. My upcoming memoir, God, the Devil, and Divorce, includes a chapter about saying goodbye to the beautiful home my husband and I built. From almost every window of that house could be seen a dozen snow-cap mountains. But even more heartbreaking to leave than the view was the little play room under the stairs we called the Elfery. It's where the elves came to play and make magic. I'd spent many an hour making it special. Friends, young and old, came to love it as I did. I would be leaving those friends too.
We moved because of my husband's work, but I suspected the end of my marriage would soon follow.
The couple who bought the house said they'd use the Elfery for their two big dogs. I tried not to think of the results. In fact I tried not to look back at all.
In leaving, I had to part with many things, but I took the Elfery furnishings with me, including the fake logs in the realistic looking little fireplace, hoping someday I might have another Elfery.
As much as I hated to leave my house, and eventually my husband, I knew I had to let go. Only then would I have room for good things to follow. I now have a loving husband, a house I love (it's perfect for us), and a little "Elfery niche" for our young grand-daughter (and me, of course). But there's no fireplace for those logs.
Although I'd left the house behind and moved on, I hadn't realized I still had a bit of unfinished business concerning it. I happened to be visiting the area while on vacation recently. "Might as well see how my house is doing," I said to myself. That's when a sort of miracle occurred.
As luck or destiny would have it, the owner of the house caught me looking at her house and invited me in. She took me through the downstairs, showing me the beautiful changes made by her and previous owners. She was very interested in learning some of the history of the place, and I happily filled her in. With my heart beating, I finally asked, "Does there happen to be a little play space under the stairs?
"Oh, yes!" she replied. "Do you want to see it?" Of course I did! To my relief, there was no evidence of big dogs having ruined the space. The wallpaper, shelving, and fireplace were all in good shape, and the little room was filed with a play kitchen and other toys.
Just as I was exiting, a little boy ran down the hall, hugged his grandma, and dove into the Elfery. A little older girl followed. "They love this place!" my host told me. "Now we have a face to go with the creative force behind it."
When I returned home from vacation, I boxed up the logs and sent them back to the Elfery, thanking the woman for the tour. Today, I received this email message:
Thank you so much for the fireplace logs for the Elfery! They are in place and add such a wonderful glow to the space. We were calling it The Hobbit Room and are happy to know it’s real name. It will be the Elfery from now on. We all love it and are grateful for it’s creation.
To know my home and the Elfery are loved and well-taken care of warms my heart more than I can explain. Often times, letting go of things we've loved, blesses others, and those blessings come back to us two-fold as they have for me.
Linda M. Kurth is a writer and a divorced and remarried Christian. In going through the divorce, she experienced a dichotomy of responses from the Christian community. After sharing some of those experiences in her upcoming memoir, God, the Devil, and Divorce, she's heard many stories of divorced Christians who have struggled with the same issues. This blog invites divorced Christians to tell their stories with the goal of encouraging churches to resist condemnation and become a source of healing and grace.
Do you have a divorce experience to share? Have you been shamed by a church because of your divorce? Or encouraged? There are hurting people who would like to hear your story, who need to know they are not alone, and who need to be encouraged. If you are interested in sharing your story, email Linda for guidelines: Linda@LindaMKurth.com
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