My weary soul was completely detached from what my mind and body were doing. The deed was done. I couldn’t un-do it.
Mind and car in gear, I continued to the only place I knew to find a measure of rest and peace, the water’s edge.
I have a thing for water. I love lakes, ponds, beaches, streams….any moving water that I can possibly find a picnic table or park a chair beside to sit and stare and unwind.
So I stopped at the closest source I knew of and unloaded my weary self from my car. The brutal July sun beat down on my shoulders as I stepped up on the concrete bench and sat on the table top to stare at the gentle waves of the lake. Thankfully no one was in sight. The entire county must have known I needed this spot, this table, this view.
I gazed unfeelingly at the water’s surface, waiting for the heaviness and confusion to ease up on my soul. It didn’t.
Minute by minute, little wave by little wave, breath by breath, I felt the sorrow and guilt of my actions.
It was best for me. For my heart. For my family.
It was my choice. Honestly, the only choice I could see right then.
I signed the papers initiating a divorce from my husband of over ten years.
Even as I had entered the attorney’s office an hour ago, I knew it wasn’t the right choice, only that it was that moment’s decision that guaranteed relief, though it was only temporary.
A decision I had made in less than twelve hours. Half a day.
A decision made out of my deepest wounds.
A decision I made outside of God’s Word and will.
And a decision I carried out without God’s blessing.
There was no “biblical reason” for filing for divorce. My emotional reasoning sure took precedence, though. Ruled by the five-year storm of unforgiveness, hurt, unresolved issues, family pain and trauma, and so much more that can pile up in just a few years of marriage, I walked into that office knowing I would walk out trying to relieve my own pain, about to cause untold amounts of yet-to-come pain for myself, my husband and others.
And there I sat. Trying to decide what to do next. Where to go. Who to tell.
My mind began the onslaught of questions.
Ok, God. Now, what?
What is next?
What do you want me to do?
I waited and heard nothing. Absolutely nothing. I kept listening and watching the waves, waiting. Waiting on God’s voice. His approval. His nod of understanding.
The longer I sat on that hot, concrete table, the darker I began to feel inside. Waiting for my pain to lessen, it only grew and darkened.
In the midst of the hot, heavy, summer’s bright sun, I only grew darker.
I hurt more, and could breathe less.
I began to cry and yell and pace on the rocky littered shore of the lake.
God, where are You? Why aren’t You speaking to me? What do You want me to do?
I sat again on the table and cried even harder and louder and longer. Until my tears were gone.
Then one word floated across my heart.
Yes! That’s what I needed! God’s grace. He was speaking.
Then darkness like none I had ever felt or seen slowly, like a fog, crept over me. Fear and terror like none I had ever experience washed in with each wave of the lake. I became paralyzed with dread, unable to move from my spot, though every cell of my body wanted to run as quickly as I could.
Grace? God, where is Your grace? This isn’t grace!!
And in the midst of my darkest moment, I heard Him speak.
You just removed yourself out from under My grace. This is what the rest of your life will be like. Dark, lonely, without My Presence. You will always have My love, but your actions have removed you from My grace.
He let me sit and feel that moment for I have no idea how long. Minutes? Hours?
Then it lifted. The memory and emotion and feelings didn’t, but the darkness did. The fear stayed, but the light returned.
Could I live this way? What had I done?
I stepped out from under His protective, sheltering umbrella of grace that had once covered my life and took myself into my own two hands to protect and shelter. Scary thought.
For three days I walked around without God’s grace, feeling second by second what He allowed me to feel at the lakeside. For three days I was paralyzed with fear and terror and dread. I knew what I had done and what the consequences would be in my life.
Day three, I couldn’t take it any longer.
I woke up to these words: “My grace is sufficient for you. My strength is made perfect in weakness.”
God’s reminder of words I had forgotten: I was weak. He is strong. He is my sufficiency, my ability, my help in all my weakness.
And He knew my weaknesses.
My first appointment for the day was to call the attorney and stop the divorce proceedings.
To trust in God’s words. To repent and receive His forgiveness.
To get back under His protective, necessary, umbrella of grace where I would live out the rest of my days and my marriage in His great care and with His great help.
I have GREAT NEWS…..
Obedience and surrender to God and getting back under God’s grace brought healing, redemption, and another 18 years of married life to my husband of thirty years. (We just celebrated this month thirty years of God’s great love!)
And today, THIS is where I choose to live…..I hope you join me, covered, under His sheltering grace!