"We were just kids just living in Wide-eyed, innocence minivan floor like a tenement We were just kids who believed in More than just dreams in More than just justified Ends to a meansWith the sky wide-open Like a child, eyes-open like a child, unbroken by the wheels gone by We knowWho we are (in the fever of our youth) Who we are (We've got nothing left to lose) Who we are (There's still time enough to choose) Who we are Who we are Who we are"
The above lyrics are from the latest Switchfoot album. It is a song called "Who We Are." The first part of the song reminds me of when Kris and I were first married. We were 19. Young and in love, completely naive. We thought we were invincible back then. When you are young, everything seems possible. You are less jaded, because the world hasn't had enough time to show you reality.
They Never Should Have Made It
It didn't take long for our innocence to be shattered. Newly married, at just 20 years old, Kris and I started down a path that led to destruction. He had his vices. I had mine. The months and years following weren't all bad. We had good times. But we had enough bad to destroy any faith we had left in one another. We were as far gone as every other couple that divorces. We had so much pain between us, had hurt each other so badly, that we shouldn't have made it.
From the world's perspective, Kris and I should have divorced two years ago. When the truth of my affair came to light, Kris should have left me, or kicked me out. He should have tossed me aside and moved on, finding himself a woman who could be worthy of his love. That's what we do, isn't it? When we get tired of the person we're with, or in mine and Kris' case, the pain is just too great to bear, we set it aside. We turn aside and start over. With someone new.
I Could Never Do That
Do you remember how odd it was to hear of divorce? When I was growing up, very few of my friends were children of divorce. I lived in a small town, and it just wasn't common. Nowadays, the opposite is true. Couples who stay married after they've been through hell and back are rare. That isn't common, and perhaps that is why people ask me things like "How did you stay together?" Or they'll say, "You're so strong. I don't think I could have done that."
Because our society tells us that if things get too tough, you don't have to stick it out. You deserve to be happy. You don't deserve to be treated the way you were treated. Society says that you just can't make it. That the pain is too great, and the trials too insurmountable.
Switchfoot uses their music to oppose that worldview. In the same song I referenced above, Jon Foreman writes:
"They said it's complicated They said we'd never make it this far But we are
They said the fight would break us But the struggle helped to make Who we are"
Yes, it was complicated.
Yes, the world said we'd never make it this far.
But, we are.
The fight should have broken us, and really, it did.
But the struggle helped to make us who we are.
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