February 18, 2014

Facing Difficult News and the Decisions that follow



Psalm 21
For the director of music. A psalm of David.

1 The king rejoices in your strength, Lord.
    How great is his joy in the victories you give!
2 You have granted him his heart’s desire
    and have not withheld the request of his lips.
3 You came to greet him with rich blessings
    and placed a crown of pure gold on his head.
4 He asked you for life, and you gave it to him—
    length of days, for ever and ever.
5 Through the victories you gave, his glory is great;
    you have bestowed on him splendor and majesty.
6 Surely you have granted him unending blessings
    and made him glad with the joy of your presence.
7 For the king trusts in the Lord;
    through the unfailing love of the Most High
    he will not be shaken.
8 Your hand will lay hold on all your enemies;
    your right hand will seize your foes.
9 When you appear for battle,
    you will burn them up as in a blazing furnace.
The Lord will swallow them up in his wrath,
    and his fire will consume them.
10 You will destroy their descendants from the earth,
    their posterity from mankind.
11 Though they plot evil against you
    and devise wicked schemes, they cannot succeed.
12 You will make them turn their backs
    when you aim at them with drawn bow.
13 Be exalted in your strength, Lord;
    we will sing and praise your might.

It is weird how things happen, and that sometimes you receive news from unlikely sources -- news that opens your eyes in someways, and saddens your heart in others.

Yesterday, I received such news. It was not a total surprise really, it was more of a confirmation on what I already suspected (knew) but didn't really want to accept.

I was over meeting with a client and the conversation came up about my relationship with my husband. Most of my husband's clients and friends assume that he is divorced. He is not. We are still married, and will be married 30 years come this September 2014. We are living apart due to sin, and have been so since 2011. The story from his side is that I left him because I was dissatisfied in the marriage. The story from my side is that I left him because of his considerable infidelity and his unwillingness to repent and recommit to our marriage.

It has been difficult to know that people think his side is true. It is especially difficult to know that he has told women that he is single and that he has engaged in relationships with them while he was still married. It is harder still to believe that he sits next to me in church every Sunday, acting as if he has done nothing wrong. Yes, our church is not the type that calls people out about their sin. They pray that the Holy Spirit will work on the person and challenge them so that they repent and recommit their life to following Jesus and obeying the Word.

I have lived in this weird limbo land since 2011. I moved out of our shared home because we had been foreclosed on and the auction was scheduled for January 2012. I didn't want to wait until the end to move, so I found a place and moved out. My husband waited until the last moment to move since he had little money and no income to show a potential landlord that he could pay rent. He did move out, and has been living on his own in an apartment not too far from where we live.

So the weird and sad and depressing news -- the client I met with was a client of my husband's (that is how I heard about her). She told me that she was no longer working with him (for a myriad of reasons). She wondered if I knew that he had a girlfriend. She assumed we were divorced, and that it was OK to tell me. I told her that we were married, but living apart. I didn't know he had a girlfriend, but I wasn't shocked by the details. I mean, he has been advertising for a new mate since 2009 -- all the while we were married, living together, and I was believing that our marriage was in tact. Oh well...

I took the news as best I could. Truthfully, it was a relief to me. You see, I have struggled with whether to file for divorce or remain married but separated. I think the hesitancy on my part was that I didn't want to be divorced. I am a firm believer in marriage, and I made my vow before God and man, and I didn't want to admit that I had made such a horrible mistake all those years ago, and that I had married an unworthy man (in the biblical sense). Furthermore, I didn't want to have to tell the world that my husband was an adulterer and I didn't want that fact to hurt our son.

So there I sat, trying to figure out what to say, and what not to say, and thinking all the while that I once again was the naive girl who was living in hopeful optimism about my husband. Granted, I had made the decision that I would never take him back, I would never ever be put back in that position again. You see, once I knew that he wasn't going to change his ways, and that he didn't want me back (he never asked, never repented, never turned back to me or his son), I took the separation as a gift from God, a chance for a new life.

I devoted my life to doing God's work and His will. I never looked back. I didn't want my marriage to end, due to pride, but I didn't want to be reconciled to a man who clearly wasn't interested in me as a wife. No, I walked away -- just as my husband tells other people -- I turned from the sin and his choices, and I walked back toward the arms of my loving Savior.

Today, I struggled with what to do. I went to his Facebook page and clearly there is a woman that he seems affectionate towards. I know her name because the client told me her first name. I know through my son that she has been with him at events or activities, etc. She was called his friend. Yes, I can see it. I can see it clearly now. She is an attractive woman, probably his age, and fit. She seemed happier than he in the photos, but then that is always how he looks (old and sad).

After I saw her photo, I went to the Maricopa county website where you can access various legal forms. I filled out the online divorce papers. I have the PDF and instructions. It will cost me $338 to file for divorce. Since we hold no property, pensions, and our child is over age 19, the divorce is a no-fault, no contest. There are still fees of course and procedures. It was a weird experience to fill out the paperwork to file for divorce.

I finished the forms, and got into the shower. As I was bathing, I was thinking about what this would do to my son, how would he take it. Then I thought about the Lord and what was His will was for my life. Did He want me to be divorced?

I have biblical standing for divorce. My husband abandoned us and he engaged in marital infidelity. I have legal standing in that in AZ, you can divorce for any reason so long as you feel the relationship is irretrievably broken.

But what does God want me to do? Does he want me to stick out a marriage where one party is living in sin, engaged in relationships with other women, and clearly not interested in reconciliation? Seems obvious that He would protect me, and He would keep me safe from such behavior. However, would He tell me to divorce David?

I have asked Him before and the answer always comes back as no. Why? Why not? I believe that the reason in the past has been to give David time to repent, to turn around, to make a choice and move back towards God. This has not happened, this hasn't taken place, at the least not in a public way, and certainly not in any movement towards me. Therefore, there must be another reason.

What do I do now? How do I handle this news, and what decision do I make?

After considerable thinking time, I have decided to wait. Again, I will wait. Why? I don't want to wait, but the Lord seems agreeable to having me wait and be patient. He knows I do not want to go back into marriage with David. He knows that my heart, while healed now, is irretrievably broken and will not allow intimacy again. I am content to remain single for the rest of my days. I am content to find my joy in the Lord, and my strength in His Name. I do not need to be married to be happy, and I am at peace in my life. This is a loose thread that needs to be tied off or removed, that is all. I am ready to be free from the past, all parts of the past. I am ready to move forward into the life God is calling me to live.

Dear Heavenly Father -

You know how difficult it has been for me to see David engage in extramarital affairs. His infidelity was a hidden part of our marriage for so long, and now he is actively involved with another woman. While this no longer hurts me, it still pricks at the healed wound (the scar). I don't want to be a part of his life in any way now. I will always remember him because he is my son's father. But I don't want to have a relationship with him in any other way than simply as recognizing his role as DJ's Dad. I am ready to be released, fully and completely, released from this marriage. I know you do not want me to divorce him. David is not going to divorce me, so whatever you intend to do, I pray that you do it now. I ask for your grace to handle whatever comes my way, and for peace to know that your will is done. I trust you, and I rely on you for your hope, your strength, and your joy. You are my everything, and I lift your Name up, and I give you Praise now. I ask all this in Jesus' Name, Amen (so be it). Thy will be done. Selah (Pause, and calmly think about it).


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