I Am Who I AM

Certain studies have shown that daughters of divorced parents have a 60 percent higher divorce rate in marriages than children of non-divorced parents.

Following divorce, children are fifty percent more likely to develop health problems than two parent families.

My name is Claire Idelle Zaleski, writer of In Fine Fettle and these are MY statistics.

I AM a child of divorced parents, I now come from a SPLIT family.

I AM a child of a father diagnosed with a mental illness called psycho-schizophrenia when she was 5.

But I AM also a child who believes in a Heavenly Father that looks down at her with blameless eyes. Who sees the world in her. Who loves and cares for her no matter what the statistics or even what people say.

Anyone else sick of the label someone has placed on you? Especially one that was out of your control?

Maybe you’re like me… just a kid from a broken family. Maybe you are another white privileged kid, a foreigner, a teenage-mother, divorced, single, college drop out… the point I am trying to make is that I think we have all been labeled something we didn’t like.

So… what’d you do about it?

I will be completely honest and tell you that for a while I tried to fight it by hiding it. I wasn’t stupid. I knew the way people look at you once they know your parents are split… its like this automatic reaction where they suddenly think or maybe just expect less from you.

I spent a long time asking… why?

The best explanation I could come up with was that its because of the statistics. Children of divorce are more likely to drop out of high school, need psychological help, get lower grades, develop health issues, depression, suicide, engage in a divorce themselves.

But as much as I try to fight it these won’t stop being MY statistics… which has been a pretty difficult lesson to learn.

I don’t say any of these things in self pity because someone feeling sorry for me is the last thing I ever want.

I wanted to share this post for hope to any of you who come from a broken family or inherited a label you didn’t like AND as encouragement for those of you whom haven’t walked in someone else’s shoes to put the stone down.

First off, you are MORE than the label people place on you. You have been fought for, died for, adopted in and loved beyond belief. No matter your mistakes or the mistakes you have inherited God loves you the SAME.

He took the weight of the sin so that you didn't and don't have to.

Trust me, I know its hard when people use the labels you don’t like to define a part of you… people do it to me a lot. But instead of running from it, I am making a point today to OWN IT and I hope you do the same!

Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of you evil behavior. But now he has RECONCILED you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you HOLY in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation.

Colossians 1:21-22

God allows everything to happen for a reason. Romans 8:28 “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him…” No matter what your circumstances are God works for the GOOD of you and for the good of me.

You are holy, without blemish, and free from accusation! So I ask you, are you living like that today?

I use to want to hide the hands I have been dealt because these were the things I was ashamed of. I love my family but I never wanted to be the daughter with a mentally ill dad, the daughter of a broken family but I AM.

And it has caused a lot of pain and a lot of hardship but to God be the glory because it has made me into the woman I am today!

I want to know Christ-yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings… I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.

Philippians 3:10-14

Now, put the stone down

When I start to feel down about myself, not worthy and undeserving or when people’s judgement about who I am, where I come from start weighing on me, one of the most encouraging stories I found lies in John chapter 8.

Quick… John 8:1-11 go read it!

Now because I know the majority of you didn’t take my advice and read it I will sum it up and tell you that this is the story when Jesus forgives an adulterous woman. (Really though… take my advice and read it, it will literally take you 1 minute lol.)

This lady was caught IN THE ACT of adultery then arrested and hauled in front of a big group of people to be judged for her actions (ugh, how awfully embarrassing amirite).

Now at this time it was the law to stone such a women but lucky for her Jesus just so happened to be apart of the crowd too and He was looked to for guidance on how to handle the situation properly.

Which, leads us to my favorite part…

The teachers of the law and the Pharisees continue questioning Jesus and trying to trap Him into a sin by forcing him to violate Moses’ law (if He were to tell them not to stone her) or report him to the Romans, who did not permit the Jews to carry out their own executions (if He were to tell them to execute her).

When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, “Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.”

John 8:7

If this were Jesus speaking in today’s day and age I think it would be appropriate to say that immediately following this statement there would be a mic drop, or at least there should be.

However, since we serve a humble God and this was over a thousand years ago instead after some time passes and Jesus, the ONLY person who is without sin, is left with the woman he asks her,

“Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?”

“No one, sir,” she said

“Then neither do I condemn you… Go now and leave your life of sin.”

John 8:11

Such a mind boggling story but one that is still so true today!

Whether today you are the adulterous woman guilty of sin and ashamed, I pray you believe in your heart you are NOT condemn and you still have a Father who looks at you with blameless eyes, who loves you the same today as he did yesterday and will tomorrow.

If today you’re not the adulterous woman but instead one of those people gathered around her. No, instead of asking I am telling you that YOU ARE one of those people gathered around, you hold a stone to every single person you come in contact with. We are all quick to pass judgement upon one another, to act like we have never sinned or fallen short but I encourage you walk through today remembering that it’s not our role to be the judge!

Today, let God’s role be the judge and your role to show forgiveness and compassion!

I challenge you today to go out IGNORING the statistics, the stereotypes and just give people a chance to show themselves who they are without an expectation of who they might be.

I realize this was a long and probably a bit of a sappy post but I appreciate you who has made it thus far and read it all the way through!

Whoever you are, wherever you are, my brother or my sister you are LOVED and you are cherished. I pray a blessing upon you today and that you truly believe these things hold true for your own life.


Claire Idelle


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