Although it’s not how I planned my life, God has been there, and he’s been watching out for me, often in ways I haven’t recognized until later. This time last year when I was on my knees crying, begging God to give me a way out of my situation, and working towards that goal, God answered that prayer, but the answer was so terrible and horrific that I didn’t recognize that it was his answer until months later. I lost everything valuable to me in one horrible weekend and had to work to get it back. I’ve learned a lot about what is important in life. I’ve walked alongside others as they’ve suffered some of the same things as I have, and I hope that God can use me in the future as a tool to channel his compassion to others.
This coming Monday, my divorce will be final. That’s not how this was supposed to work out. I spent seven years with him; it was supposed to be for life. When I got married, I “just knew” that my marriage would never end in divorce, because I was a Christian and the d-word, as the pastor called it, wasn’t a word that should ever be mentioned. In a lot of fundamentalist churches, divorced people are second-rate citizens, and often are not allowed to serve in the church in any way. Pastors will refuse to officiate a wedding for a couple in which one of the spouses is on their second marriage, unless the first marriage ended in death.
They do this because they claim that divorce is a sin, and actually I don’t have a problem with it being labelled as sin. But really the divorce is just the result of a lot of other sins; it’s the symptom of a marriage covenant that is already irreconcilably broken. In the end, I am the spouse that filed for divorce, which in the eyes of many makes it even worse. And really I’m not here to defend my divorce, my marriage is broken and a lot of it is my fault.
I did try, though. I tried so hard to fix what was broken, tried so hard to change and become a different person. In the end it didn’t work out. When I got married I said many stupid things about marriage being forever no matter what and that mine would never end in divorce because that was ungodly. Yes, those foolish words came back to bite me, as many warned me that they might. I’m now receiving the same judgment that I meted out on others, although I did expect it because that’s how the Bible says that these things work. I realize now that many of the things I said and did to others in similar situations were not helpful and sometimes even very harmful. In the future, I’ll have more compassion for those having a rough time in their marriage.