May 14, 2014

The Lord is Good

It is an awesome day in Phoenix! God is so very good to me, so very good, and I am giving Him all the praise today!

Just some minor business to address:

First off, my former husband accepted the divorce papers served to him yesterday. He took the acceptance paper over to the county clerk's office right afterward we met, and he filed it. This means, technically, we are into the 2nd step of the divorce process. He also decided to default and not file a response to the summons. This is his choice, of course, but after I told him what I learned from the clerk, and he heard something similar from the clerk who helped him, it seemed the best choice for both of us. He has offered to give me half the cost of my filing, and I accepted his offer. I have twenty-one days (twenty from today) to wait, and then I can file the default application for divorce decree. Once I do this, then it will be approximately 60-80 days until the divorce is final.

I was surprised at how easy it was to file for divorce. I am sorry now that I prolonged this process, and that I held out for so long. I know I was overwhelmed by everything going on in my life, and this was really why I was so hung up on the process. However, knowing what I know now, and just moving as I am through these steps, has been a huge relief to me. My former husband thanked me yesterday. He said he appreciated my willingness to take this step, and to file the paperwork with the court. Weird as that may sound, it was intensely relieving to me. I wasn't super emotional about it, like I wrote on Monday, but there was still some ache involved. Yesterday, after we met and I served the papers to him, I realized that he was like a caged animal begging to be released into the wild. I drove away thinking that this is what he has wanted for the past five years, and I have held the cage door shut. Yes, he has already gotten involved with other women, and yes, he has been "out there" for a long while. Still, I was holding onto him through the legal paper of our marriage. Once these steps were taken, the action initiated, it was like God's grace flowed down and I let go. I dropped the paper, I cut the cord, and I let him go.

I woke up today thinking about what it means to release someone from your life. I know that for many who may be in the midst of this turmoil, they may not want to let the other person go. They may want to hold on to them, hoping that reconciliation can occur. However, for some people like me, there can be no reconciliation, so holding out simply is just holding out. I read something posted by Paula White the other day, and while I cannot remember the exact words, the sentiment went something like this:

If someone is not adding anything to your life, let them go.

The idea of course is that there are times when we keep people in our lives because we need them to be there, regardless of whether or not they actually bring anything at all into the relationship. Relationships are two-sided. There are always two people in every single relationship. There should be a mutual amount of give/take to keep the balance in the relationship. When the relationship becomes one-sided with only one partner giving or taking, then the balance is skewed. If this is left unchecked, it can cause the relationship to head into total dysfunctionality, and with that, there comes a whole host of issues and concerns.

I started to think about my relationship with my former husband. I started to think back on how long it had been since we had shared intimacy with one another. No, I am not talking sex here, just marital intimacy, you know, the husband/wife sharing of life together (balanced, equal, and mutual). I honestly can say that I don't think we had any intimacy like this -- life sharing -- for a good ten years. So out of a 30 year relationship, the last time we shared anything at all, as a couple, was ten years ago (2004). This was when we had to decide to home school our son. This was my choice over his, but he agreed, and he supported me in home schooling.

Then, if I am totally honest with myself, I would also say that the last time we worked together as a team, mutually sharing/giving and taking, toward the same goal was in 1984 or the year we were married. In 1984-86, we pulled together, we moved toward the same goal. In 1987 and onward, we pulled separately, with me following him toward his goal, but on my own track. We didn't work as a team, and we didn't have a committed goal or a focused ideal to follow. We simply pulled our own sleds in the same direction for a very long time. The sad part about this is that after a while, those sleds become really heavy to pull. And, if you are not committed to the way or the path, then you feel you are pulling a very heavy load for no good reason.

This is how I felt for a long time. I felt like I was following my former husband down the path of his choosing -- NOT God's choosing -- and I didn't like the direction we were going or the emphasis/result we were focusing on. I complained often, I begged to change directions, but as a dutiful wife, I followed him to be point of bankruptcy/foreclosure, and always near poverty. I never gave up, and I never gave in. I just kept going in the wrong direction because I didn't know what else to do.

So back to yesterday and my feelings of relief. After I got home, I sat at the computer a short while and then I laid down because I was exhausted from the stress of the ordeal. I reflected for a moment, and that was when I realized what I had done, how I had given grace to my former husband, and I released him from the prison of our marriage. It was just the same as when the Lord gave me grace to be released from the self-imposed prison I found myself in a couple years ago. It was sweet, and wonderful, and completely healing -- I let go -- and in doing so, I gave another person the freedom to live their life according to their own dreams, desires, and directions. I stepped aside and said "It is OK, you can go now. You are free to live your own life now."

As I sit here now and think about it, I still marvel in the experience God gave to me. I marvel at His Grace, and His Mercy, and I stand in awe of Him. He loves me so much, and He cares for me -- beyond all my needs and desires. He loves me, and I know for certain that He will never let go of me. Never. He will never leave me nor will he forsake me. He is mine and I am His, and together, we will do His work, in His way, and for the accomplishment and fulfillment of His will.

God is good. He is good all the time. He love and His mercy endure forever. Selah!

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