I have to admit I was (am) a fan of Jon and Kate. I didn’t start watching it until last year, but I love the idea of big families, I was interested in how you “do life” with eight kids … and (the #1 reason) those kids are just so darn cute.
I also have to admit that I’ve read numerous interviews with Jon and Kate and my heart is broken. I’m praying that they get back together and that their reconciliation will be a testimony to God. I think it’s something we should all pray for.
On top of that, I have to say I’m not surprised. When I watched that family interacting on TV I did two things. 1. Cringe and 2. See Gen X. They are Gen Xers and nearly everything they do displays that. Their life, and their divorce in progress, displays that.
Gen Xers want to do it all and be the best at it. Viewers were often awed by how Kate held her world together. (I was.) Gen Xers need this gold star. They bask in the kudos. We were the little kids that tried to show our busy parents how smart, and talented, and wonderful we were. We often didn’t get enough applause. The attention Jon and Kate got was a testimony to their Gen X-ness. Too bad they couldn’t be perfect in the spotlight and under the pressure. I don’t think anyone would be perfect under those circumstances. Watching the fall is hard. My heart hurts.
I was thinking all of these things over the last couple of weeks, and then this week’s cover story on People Magazine proved my notion was true. (See – I need my gold stars too!) What does it say? “Kate Tells People: It Feels Like I Failed.” Kate’s heart is aching because her family is broken, but more than that she didn’t get a gold star. Instead, she got a big, red check mark. Wrong. F. You flunked. FAILURE.
I talk about my own battles with my imperfections and my feelings of failure, in Blue Like Play Dough. For many years I tried to lead the perfect life. I cared for my husband and my kids. I homeschooled. I wrote parenting articles for goodness sake. My house was spotless. My smile was bright … and I did it not for the joy those things brought me, but in fear that my imperfections would be found out … that I’d miss the gold star. That someone would think I flunked out of the things that were the most important.
I wish I could go to coffee with Kate. The first thing I’d talk about is her need to respect Jon. (It’s something I learned too and wrote about … I’m not always right, but I often acted like I was. And when I forced my way without listening, I was showing disrespect–something he doesn’t deserve.) The second thing I’d talk about is this deeper issue. It’s the one involving Kate’s heart.
Kate you are beautiful because God made you beautiful.
You won’t reach perfection until heaven, no matter how hard you try.
Don’t see yourself as a failure. See yourself as someone in need of God’s shaping. We all need His shaping.
Place yourself in God’s hands, He has something beautiful in mind.
99.9% of other women face the same struggles, worries, pain you do. You’re not alone.
Love covers a multitude of sin.
Faith is believing in what’s unseen. Even if you see no way for this marriage to be saved God does. Turn to Him.
And finally, from one Gen Xer to another … I understand. I’m praying.