Miles Walked: 350
Miles Remaining: 650
Days Remaining: 228
So, I have this friend who is divorced but has remained, for the most part, good friends with her ex-husband. They have a daughter and even though it’s odd to have an amicable divorce and even a little complicated at times, they have tried to remain friends for the sake of their daughter.
This friend of mine was married to her (now ex) husband for almost 13 years when they divorced. They were high school sweethearts, and have known each other since the 8th grade, so that’s about 27 years. They divorced because of a nasty little demon named “alcohol”. Her husband used to be amazing… when he was sober. They almost never argued, they enjoyed spending time together, and even appreciated each other but the demon living with them eventually tore them apart. They have now been divorced for almost 8 years. Their daughter lives with her mom and the dad lives less than 5 miles away so you would think that she would have easy access to him.. Not exactly.
Recently, this friend has been having several bumps in that friendship and they have now called it quits. You’re probably wondering if it was the work of the above-mentioned demon, right? Nope, the ex-husband has been sober for over 18 months now. It seems that the unforgivable wedge this time is a different demon. Let me tell you the story.
The mom and daughter have been going to a wonderful church near where they live for over a year now and they have invited the dad (and his fiancé and her daughter) several times. He grew up in church, they have very similar beliefs, and he has even mentioned wanting to get back into a good church.. so, what’s the problem here? I mean, the church is amazing, it’s the best message I’ve ever heard, the daughter absolutely drinks it in and shares it with her friends, but amazingly enough, “Church” is the problem.
Wait.. did I just say it has the best message that I’ve ever heard? UGH, ok.. you probably guessed already anyway. The friend is really me.. It’s me, my daughter, and my ex-husband. It was getting confusing anyway so let’s get on with the story.
The problem? Church. We go to LifeChurch. It’s not a soft-spoken, all dressed up in your Sunday best, conservative little baptist church like I grew up in. It’s a head over heals, on fire for God, go to the extremes kind of church that makes you want to live your life for God, doing what He has planned for you to do!
- “the music is too loud”. Really? This from the guy who has always had an amp and an extra speaker box in his car to feel his music.. Sorry, I’m not buying it.
- “it’s too rock & roll for me”. Hello… we grew up in the 80’s, 90’s, etc.. and I know that you have a very wide variety of music preferences.
- The fiancé would probably feel awkward in church with his ex-wife… There are 6 times to choose from every Sunday and I don’t go to all of them!
- “It’s just not my kind of church”… It’s church. Church. Our daughter has practically been begging you to come with her.. It’s just church. Can you put your ego aside for an hour and join your daughter at CHURCH? How many teenagers actually want to go to church and want their dad to go with them?
- There really are more but they’re just as silly as these so I forget all the other excuses ….
But the people’s minds were hardened, and to this day whenever the old covenant is being read, the same veil covers their minds so they cannot understand the truth. And this veil can be removed only by believing in Christ. Yes, even today when they read Moses’ writings, their hearts are covered with that veil, and they do not understand. But whenever someone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away.17 For the Lord is the Spirit, and wherever the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. ~ 2 Corinthians 3:14
Let me give a little more detail on the status of the father/daughter relationship. The “demon” that caused our divorce, also caused a dad gone missing for over 5 years of our daughter’s life. He missed birthdays, he missed holidays, school activities, graduation from elementary school.. he missed a Lot. The demon also helped him damage their relationship by saying horrible things to our daughter. Yet, she still wants him to come to church with her.
Church is what has led to the death of a friendship. In my efforts to convince him to go to church with her, I told him how hard it is for me to keep giving him tips on how to be a good dad when he won’t make the effort to be one. He decided that he’s done being a dad. Shocking… and heartbreaking. There is definitely a demon at work here and he is succeeding in breaking a relationship that was already bruised and bandaged.
Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour. ~ 1 Peter 5:8
Most likely, we won’t invite him to church anymore. There comes a time as a parent that I need to protect my daughter from some unnecessary hurt and I believe this is one of those times. How many times do I let him crush her little heart? Already one too many.
If you’re thinking that I give up too easy and that I’m letting this church rejecting demon win this fight, then you don’t know me very well! I will continue to pray for my ex-friend, my ex-husband, my daughter’s father. I will pray that whatever hold Satan has on his heart be removed. I will pray that he realizes that he’s missing the best thing that’s happened to his life… his daughter. I will pray for his fiancé to realize that he is a dad and she should encourage him to build that relationship up again. My prayers for him occupy a large amount of my morning walks with Jesus. I walk every day and talk with my Jesus, praying for this man to find his heart and give it back to God.
When my prayers are answered, I will most likely find my old friend again. I would never give up.. my daughter deserves more than that. I’m working on walking my first 1000 miles, so I’ve got plenty of miles left to keep praying these prayers and that demon might as well pack his bags and move on!
The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet. May the grace of our Lord Jesus be with you. ~ Romans 16:20