Something happened last week. January 21, 2015 was not what I expected it to be. Something happened in my heart that Wednesday afternoon that I can only comprehend as a miracle.

I woke up that morning feeling like I was about to face the end of my life as I knew it. My mother told me the day before that it was going to be the beginning of my life, but this morning, that’s not what it felt like. I was going to walk into a court room and cut ties with the only man I’ve ever known so deeply. And I didn’t know how to handle that.

There weren’t any tears yet. I just felt very somber.
I got the kids ready that morning and dropped them off at school and daycare. I gave my sweet mother in law a huge hug (she watches our 3 year old), and headed to the court house.

I lost my breath when I saw him pulling into the neighborhood. He was dropping his sister off at his mom’s. She was in town from out of state. She could not have chosen a better week <insert sarcastic emoji here>. She “came out of the closet” only a few years earlier to which I responded in love. I told her we were here for her. I was ok with watching her walk it out, no matter how much I disagreed and felt sadness for her. But she wasn’t abandoning a family she already started. Her story was different and no matter how distant we were, as her sister in law, I would show her love. Fast forward years later…I didn’t realize my husband would have his own little cheerleader this week. She never wanted me for him. I guess I was never cool enough? And here she is, in town to watch him get rid of me for good. But I knew I had an army of people praying for me that morning, so I was going to stay strong.

I pulled up to my lawyer’s office to find my sweet friend waiting in her car, with her toddler cuddled up, deep in sleep in the car seat. She got into my car and prayed with me; cried with me. I pulled myself together to see my lawyer pulling up in his James Bond-like Mercedes. He told me to get in the back seat. We would be chauffeured by his assistant to the courthouse a block away. I guess I was getting my money’s worth? Ha Ha. Somehow, that celebrity treatment gave me a giggle I needed that morning.

We walked into the courthouse to find my husband sitting in the waiting area right outside the judge’s office. There he was with his little file folder. Everything organized like he always did. You could hear a pin drop as the only person separating us was my James Bond lawyer. I started to heat up inside. I was doing everything to hold back the tears. Here we are in the same courthouse where we signed our marriage license and this is where your impulsive selfishness has brought us. This is where you brought me. Where dysfunctional families come to make sense of their messes. This is what we’ve come to.

As other people filled the waiting area, waiting their turn to see the same judge, the lawyers who knew each other started chatting. I was so uncomfortable. I didn’t want to talk. I didn’t want to chat or small talk. My life was about to be over in the next 15 minutes and all I heard was mindless chatter around me. I felt like a woman in labor who wants to shoot everyone in the room who is mindlessly chatting and laughing in the midst of her excruciating pain. Oh God, make this be over already!

Suddenly, the door opens. It’s our turn. I sit on one side of the table with my lawyer. My husband sits across the table from me – this stranger who I once knew so intimately. I saw the tissue box in the middle of the table. I imagined the millions of tears that have been shed in this room – lives dismantled, families broken, dreams chattered. And now, it would be us. The judge asked me to state my name and address. I barely made it through my name before I broke down in tears. It hit me. This was it. He didn’t bother to force my address out of me. We proceeded with the motions until he asked the question. That question. “Do you believe this marriage is irrevocably broken? Do you wish to terminate your marriage?” I went blank. Just seconds before, he had sworn me into honesty. I realized, my honest answer is not what he’s going to expect. “No, your honor, I don’t believe my marriage is broken. But I will no longer push my husband to feel the same.” He sat back in his chair and said, “Well you know I have the power to interrupt this divorce and make sure you get the help you need to save this marriage. Is that your final answer? Can you clarify if you want to terminate this marriage?” I took a deep breath and responded, “Yes your honor. While I don’t believe my marriage is broken, yes, terminate our marriage.”

He asked my husband the same question and without hesitation he replies, “Yes, my marriage is broken and I wish to terminate it.”

And in that moment, I was done.

I was done crying over a man who was no longer phased by my tears. I was done mourning over a man who just seconds ago heard me tell the judge that I would never be ‘done’ with my husband, and without hesitation asked to terminate his marriage to me. My husband was long gone and I was now done waiting for him.

That moment was like a drug addict who’s been instantly freed. This helpless pain I felt for a year and a half was gone. I was done with the tears. I was done mourning him, missing him, waiting for him.

We finished the meeting. I walked out with my lawyer and my ex-husband walked the opposite direction. My marriage was over. I was numb. I didn’t know what to feel. But somehow I felt safe. My lawyer walked confidently beside me. It was almost as if I was covered. I didn’t walk out alone. And God was using those manly, fatherly, secure, defender footsteps to remind me of it. We returned to his office where I found my sweet friend in the parking lot ready and waiting in her car to whisk me away and hear every debriefing thought. Still no tears. It was like a holy anger rose in me and I just spewed out everything that was said in the meeting. And as I replayed the meeting in my head, my anger grew louder than my sadness. I was angry at him for going through with it; angry at him for falling into this American trap of being ok with divorce and a broken family. My friend turns to me and says, “You’re angry. I’ve never really seen you angry at him. Just sad. But today, you’re angry. You must be healing.”

And that I was. Something in my heart changed that hour. And I think it was the beginning of my healing. We grabbed brunch and drove two hours out of town to sit at the beach. The ocean always reminds me of how big God is. And that day, I needed to be reminded of how big He is in my life. So, that’s where she took me. I don’t know how I’ll ever repay her for that drive, but the ocean was all I needed that day. The rest of the afternoon was filled with peace. My phone died at the beach. I was ok with it. I didn’t want to connect with the world. I just wanted to talk. We talked for two hours about how God has intervened in our lives in so many ways and that through our divorces, He continues to intervene for his daughters.

I felt the prayers of my army of friends and family that day.
But my heart skipped a beat when we were pulling back into town. I was scared that all the tears that hadn’t come out that afternoon would flow that night when I was home. I was so tired of crying. I had already cried for a year and a half waiting for my husband’s return. And I was so done with crying. I didn’t want it.

But the tears never came. There was just peace. I knew God had this all in His hands. I knew He had me in His hands. And I remembered that moment in counseling just about a year ago when my counselor heard clearly from the Lord, “ENOUGH.” My God, my Abba Father spoke, “Enough. He has dragged your heart on the pavement for 15 years. Enough.”

I did have a few unexpected tears the next morning. But they were no longer tears over him. They were tears because I felt how close God is to me in this dark moment. He has closed that chapter and if there is any healing that is supposed to take place in me, in him, in our marriage (whether it is done forever or on the verge of a re-birth), this tragedy had to happen first. I had to take this step. This chapter has closed, no matter how painful it was to shut the door.

I am undone at how He has carried me. And now, more than ever, I feel how deeply He wants to continue carrying me. Just me. No husband. No picket fence. Just me and who He wants me to become.

It’s a good feeling to be DONE. To feel done. I didn’t expect it to bring me this kind of peace. But all I can say is, it its well with my soul.

Oh God, this song. It was my heart’s song that day.

It Is Well (Bethel Music)

Grander earth has quaked before
Moved by the sound of His voice
Seas that are shaken and stirred
Can be calmed and broken for my regard

Through it all, through it all
My eyes are on You
Through it all, through it all
It is well

Through it all, through it all
My eyes are on You
It is well with me

Far be it from me to not believe
Even when my eyes can’t see

And this mountain that’s in front of me
Will be thrown into the midst of the sea

So let go my soul and trust in Him
The waves and wind still know His name

It is well with my soul
It is well with my soul
It is well with my soul
It is well, It is well with my soul


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