May 10, 2014
The Next Steps in the Process
Someday, some years from now, will I wince to think I posted the steps in my divorce (so publicly) on my blog?
I thought this yesterday as well when I posted that I had emailed my husband to let him know I was going to go ahead and file the court documents. I thought then:
"Will people think I am callous or casual about ending my marriage?"
The truth is this -- I have been living apart from my husband since 2011. He has moved on (girlfriend's and such) and I have been focused on rebuilding my life (getting a job, paying bills, going back to school, etc.) I have not believed that we would be reconciled or reunited in marriage. I was not the one who initially sought to divorce. He was the one who wanted a different life, and even before I was aware of his feelings on the matter, he had been seeking out women, etc. I didn't file for divorce right away because of my pride. I admit that now -- it was all about my not wanting to say that my marriage was "irretrievable broken." Yep, it is true. I knew it was broken, and I knew that I didn't want to be reunited. The difficult part for me was confessing that the marriage itself was so badly broken that there was no hope for restoration.
I do believe that God restores broken relationships. I believe whole-heartedly that He desires brokenness to be healed, and that He does hate divorce. His will is never to have His children divorce -- I believe this is stated clearly in the Bible. However, God understands our nature, and He has permitted divorce in specific cases. He has said that He allows it for certain reasons. I have known people who suffered through adultery and remained married. God did an amazing thing in these people's lives and brought healing and union back into the relationship.
The basis for this type of reunion has to be a commitment by both parties to unite. It doesn't work if one party wants it when the other does not. In my case, my husband didn't want to remain married to me. I didn't want to remain married to him, and I didn't want to be divorced. I have been the obstacle not willing to move in this matter. I have been the one holding the marriage certificate saying "I will not break my legal vow."
Over the past three years, many things have changed, and God has worked on my heart during this time to bring me into full acknowledgement of my part in the dissolution of my marriage. I am at the point in my life whereby God has moved so miraculously that I see my stubborn refusal to accept, what amounts to a gift, of freedom for me. Yes, it is a gift. I believe it is a gift allowing me to sever my legal tie to a man who doesn't want to be married to me and who has already begun another relationship.
I am content in this matter. I am willing to be divorced so that I can be free to pursue all that God has in mind for me. I am moving forward in His will for my life, and while I cannot say that being divorce is God's will (may it never be!), I can say that His will for my life includes my singleness. The actions that brought me to this point are a matter of circumstance in human nature (sin), and I believe that God has me covered, then and now.
So with that said, I got my husband's response back to my email. The short of it -- he was eager to complete the process. I figured as much and he is willing to pay the fee and file a consent decree. This means that the entire process could take somewhere between 2 to 3 months.
I am relieved. I am relieved to think that this decision has been made, and that the actual process will not be long and drawn out. He wants to get on with his life, to remarry, and I want to be free to pursue God's calling and seek His total direction for my life.
The plan for next week is to do my part, my next steps. Since I am the petitioner in the case, I have to take the papers to court and file them with the clerk. I will do this on Monday or Tuesday. Once that is completed, I have to serve the papers on my husband. AZ allows you to personally serve the papers so long as the respondent accepts them and has the acceptance paper notarized. Once that is done, then he will have to file his response, pay his fee, and then we will jointly file the consent application.
I am praying for this to be over as quickly as possible. I really would like to go into the fall with this behind me. I want to no longer think about my past status, and instead, I want to focus on my future.
I know you hate divorce, and up to now, you have been clear that I was to wait this out. I have patiently waited for you to move in this matter. It seems that once I made up my mind to accept divorce, the ball, so to speak, has been set in motion. Everything is moving very fast, and I cannot help but believe that you are overseeing this process for me. I ask now that you cover me as I file these papers and seek dissolution of my marriage to David. I ask for your favor with the entire process, and that there would be no issues that arise from any of the steps or the process. I thank you for your word to me, and the comfort you give me, knowing that divorce is not your decree. You have granted me permission to be divorced, and you have sheltered me from the painful aspects of this decision. I thank you for your constant presence in my life, and I ask now that you go before me in these next days, weeks and months, and that everything I do, I speak, and I think, will align with your will. I pray this all now in Jesus' Name. Amen, so be it, thy will be done. Selah!