I just checked my email and praise be to God, I received my paperwork for ACU. I am thanking God for His provision for another adjunct position starting this fall. As I reviewed the paperwork, my heart sank a little bit regarding some of the forms I am required to sign. It's not that I didn't expect to have to sign them because when I interviewed with the Dean back in March, I decided to be truthful about my marital situation. I couldn't work for a school without being up front about my current lifestyle.
ACU is a conservative Christian school, and I wholeheartedly support their Biblical model and their emphasis on marriage and divorce. They are gracious of course and understand there are always extenuating situations (adultery, for example), but still the whole "divorce should not be considered" mindset is the very legalism I came out of after 25 plus years of marriage. My heart is so sad because it just reminds me of what my life used to be like, and that while I believe God designed marriage to be between one man and one woman, I guess I have a far more liberal understanding now. I believe in grace, and I thank God that He saved me from that legalism, and that He loves me just as I am. He understands my heart, and He knows me well. Still, my heart smacks with the sting because of this kind of limited Biblical view...UGH!
So back to my convo with the Dean -- I had friends who said "just go along with it, Carol. You need this job." I couldn't do that because I am not good at lying. In fact, I am so horrible at it that I LITERALLY CANNOT LIE. Now, I am not perfect -- I lie -- I am human. I just mean that you only have to look at me and I will start crying. I cannot do it and I have learned that it is best to be honest -- less explaining later on! Besides, and more importantly, what would the Lord want me to do? I decided it was best to be honest. The Dean was very kind to me and he explained that I would have to sign a paper saying I agree with their view.
Just an aside: Does anyone really understand what it feels like to be in my position? I mean, to really consider what I feel about this situation? I am so tired of people assuming that I wanted to be divorced, that I didn't try hard enough to keep my marriage together, and that I am somehow at fault. In truth, the only people who do get it are those who are divorced. Christians who are happily married, and I know a boat load, simply do not understand the brokenness and heartbreak that comes when a marriage is torn apart. They just do not understand the grief that comes with this type of fractured relationship.
Anyways, I have nothing to hide, mind you, it was just that I didn't want to have to explain after-the-fact that I am married, but living singly. I thought it was best to get it out on the table, and to be clear about my life. I mean, really, it is awkward enough to have to explain to anyone how it is that I am single, but not divorced yet. Everyone I know either assumes I am married or that I am divorced. When the question comes up, I tend to shift into that awkward stance and as hard it is to believe, I end up with a lack of words (LOL!) AGH! It is so hard to be in this weird place. I hate it, and I want it to be over.
My heart just struggles so with CHRISTIANITY some days! I read an article published in Today's Christian Woman magazine that was entitled, "What You Don't Know About Divorce." The author was trying to encourage women not to divorce AT ALL. I read the article and while I agreed with some of what she said, I ended the article with a heart ache. It was like "you will not be happier after you divorce" and I was like "but I am." She said "you will be lonely and regret leaving your husband" and I am saying to myself "Yes, I am lonely, but I don't regret the decision."
I couldn't wrap my head around her POV. I guess she was coming from the view that many people, men and women, divorce for "we are no longer getting along, we are no longer in love, we are no longer [insert word choice]." The problem, in my opinion, is that this kind of writing simply promulgates the belief that divorce should never be considered in Christian marriage regardless of the circumstances. I read the comments from some of the women who read this article. At least three of them came out of abusive relationships. I just thought to myself "why do we do this to people?" Why don't we love them in-spite of what has happened?
They kept demanding an answer, so he stood up again and said, "All
right, but let the one who has never sinned throw the first stone!"John 8:7 NLT
Let's be real folks. If I could see inside your head, inside your heart, and hear your thoughts, would I think you were righteous enough to cast that first stone? I can tell you that in my head, in my heart and in my thoughts, there has been so much sin. I cannot stand before Him, and I possess no righteousness of my own. I am wholly dependent upon Him for His blood and His cleansing flood. I stand free in liberty because of the price He paid for my sin.
OK, enough sad song. I am over it.
I am giving the Lord all the praise today because He is faithful to keep His promises. I am resting in Him completely believing that He is good, and that He is in control of these details. My glass is half-full, and I am praising Him for His provision of a second teaching job for me. I am not looking at ACU as a permanent position anyway. I am thankful for the opportunity to teach there, for that open door, but I am believing that God will move me to the position of His choosing. I am not really ready for a full-time job right now. I think it is best that I work part-time for a while. I have some difficult doctoral courses coming up, and it is nice to have the flexible schedule and freedom to take a reduced load if I need it. God is good. He is so very good!