My lawyer, Lord love him, is working diligently to keep me focused and in good spirits as we push through what we hope are our final days in court. Undeniably, working out a final agreement is heartbreaking hard work. My deep-thinking brain cells are in need of rest. While I don’t see myself as an advice maven, I can share the three things I’m trying to remember as I plod on. God bless you!
1. Pray for His mercy. I wish I didn’t have to say what I’m about to say but I’m afraid there’s no way around it. Divorce is not God’s will. Let me tell you, I wanted it to be. I wanted to somehow look justified in God’s eyes for my part in splitting up our family. I searched and searched for loopholes, anything to let me off the hook. I found nothing but the truth He spoke Himself in three of the four gospels: marriage is “til death”. That’s a big bitter horse pill to swallow, especially if your marriage has brought you more pain than peace. No, you shouldn’t live with abuse; that’s not God’s will either. This puts Christians right between a rock and a hard place, I know, and we do we what we do to make life work. But if I’m aware that what I’m doing is not God’s will, I have to pray for mercy – and be thankful for such a merciful God.
2. Stay faithful to the call of the moment. Now that word is out about the change in my relationship status, I’ve had a couple of offers to date. As they were happening, I felt my stomach fluttering excitedly. After all, why wouldn’t a woman coming out of an arduous twenty year-long marriage jump at the chance to dust off her high heels for cocktails with a brand new man on his (presumably) best behavior? One of the offers came (after my husband moved out but before we had begun divorce proceedings) from a sweet guy quite younger than I am. Aside from being absolutely flattered, I knew I would enjoy his company and my “yes” would delight him. From head to toe, I felt a tingling Why not? but you can’t always trust tingling feelings. You can trust that bit of Holy Spirit that rises up inside when we seek to do what is right, but it probably won’t hit you like pure excitement does, at least not at first. You have to dig a little to find it. You have to ask Him What would you like from me right now? and listen for the answer. Indeed, it is a question to consider at least every day and in any situation.
There was a tug-of-war inside me as that small quiet voice from down deep competed with the tingling delight at the surface, I will not deny it. For a few seconds I honestly didn’t know which would win. I didn’t particularly relish the feeling of dissipating excitement as I politely declined the young man’s invitation, nor did any bells ring as I admitted to myself this is truly not the time to date, nor was this really the right man. Still, I knew it was a movement closer to the woman I was made to be. I was peaceful. When you respond to the call of the moment faithfully, the victory is celebrated quietly and deep down inside. It’s true and lasting and right.
3. Notice in awe how God takes the messes we make out of life and turns them into something beautiful. Divorce is a mess. Even if you’re leaving behind a house of constant fighting and dysfunction, you still have to separate a family and divide your assets, debts and your children’s time. The flow of life, even if it was ugly, is interrupted. For many of us, the process is expensive, disheartening and exhausting. Still, the God Who makes all things new is always at work, ready to receive us where we are and bring us beyond our wildest dreams.
I am amazed that I am writing this right now. Seriously, I am a mother going through a divorce with a full time job and a blog. I’m not supposed to have time for such frivolity. The only thing is, I don’t think of this as frivolous at all. This little blog is the dream I’ve put aside and pushed down for years. Somehow, though, as I’ve given more respect to the small, powerful voice deep inside nudging me toward writing, quiet time to write has presented itself. Words come to me, and although often it feels like I have to bear down hard to birth them, nothing about this effort seems forced. It’s become a natural and normal part of my life, just like kissing my girls’ sleepy foreheads before I turn in for the night and no meat on Fridays. I am tapping away at the keyboard, but I know Whose fingerprints are all over this. When God is near, life is beautiful.