I’ve chosen this title because the Exodus experience is a parallel of divorce and separation. The Israelites left all they knew and went out into the unknown.
Divorce is not just an emotional tragedy but also a financial disaster but we must know that the Lord will hear me and deliver me. “Out of the depth I cry to you oh Lord” We must realize that the divorce experience takes a good four or five years for healing. That is why you need to be in support groups for understanding.
Fr. Padovani defines five stages in the process from divorce to healing.
1st stage is turmoil = We suffered, were abused and violated for years, all unfair. We are terrified to leave what we know and move to an unknown factor.
2nd stage is sadness = Realization that it is over, cannot deny or rationalize it. “It is over”. A great problem is that we as a society do not know how to feel. It is painful. We were brought up not to feel - told that was wrong - sinful. But we must pass through the feelings.
3 rd stage = Why am I in this desert, bad - sad - mad (anger). Anger is the most important but painful. I’m angry at “all”. Most people push it down and don’t deal with the anger but are never healed. We have to work our way through it. We must deal with our anger or we will never get out of the desert. “Feel - deal - heal.”
4th stage = You start to look ahead and have sight of the Promised Land. Resolution is in sight - “starting to let go - a glimpse of resolution. I’m going to make it”. We start to feel - claim the feeling, frame the feeling, tame the feeling. We can now feel and make decisions on sound reason. Accept that “God” forgives you and then be able to forgive others.
5th stage - I’m into recovery and entering the Promised Land. I’m accepting myself. We have to be able to ask ourselves - “How did the marriage fail? How did I fail? How am I healing?” I can choose to remarry or remain single and be happy either way. I can choose to be me.
God was always present during the Exodus experience as he was always present with you through suffering to healing. “You are my chosen people”.
1 CD, 66 minutes
Rev. Martin Padovani, SVD, M.S.
Also available on cassette:
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