Well, it’s 1:38 AM here and sleep doesn’t even feel as if it’s on the horizon. I guess that sleeplessness must just be a predicted part of brokenness. No papers today when I checked the mailbox and yet I know they are coming. Hurts so bad. You would think it should be easier after nine months of living in hell but it isn’t. Just the thought of it makes me feel bad enough to wonder if this will ever end and yet I know it will.
It was a very long day and my head hasn’t stopped thinking yet about what the right thing to do is… to sign or not to sign voluntarily? Oh, it hurts to come to the realization that in order to sign an uncontested divorce, I have to agree to mutually dissolve our marriage. I’m rather sure that I have now experienced every emotion known to mankind.
I wonder if I sign will I be able to sleep again one day? If I sign, I can rest in knowing that Austin and I will have a place to stay that is safe and secure… one that won’t be taken away. I’ll be able to know exactly what belongs to me and work my life around that finally. I won’t have to live in fear of losing even more.
This will be wrapped up and the world will keep on spinning. I might even be able to crawl my way back to the mission field in hiding, not identifying myself as a missionary any longer but maybe as some kind of imperfect piece of humanity that just wants to talk to people about a loving Savior. Oh… it feels so good to think about the pain and sorrow easing up if I just sign the small stack of papers releasing me from my earthly commitment as a wife, lover, and best friend.
But there’s one small problem standing in the way of the signature. Sadly, it seems to be firmly rooted in my heart and won’t let go to the point where I’m wondering if it isn’t the Spirit that lives in me telling me… “Not so fast my child?”
Genesis 2:24 seems to say, “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh. So they are no longer two, but one. Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate” (4-6).
You see, the problem with no fault divorce is that it has to be consensual and I will have to lie if I sign it, because this isn’t consensual at all. My integrity that is deeply seated in my Christian beliefs has burdened me with the unceasing realization that if I agree to grant my husband’s wishes by signing in the name of, “I’m going to be divorced anyway, regardless of whether or not I want to be”… it may not be pleasing to God at all?
I’m thinking that signing may feel akin to having received emergency surgery on my dying heart but what will it mean to God when I stand before him one day? That’s what I want to know… just what will God think?
One path calls to me with the promise that much will go well for me, and that God exists to see to it that things go well enough for me so that I can one day feel human again.
But then, there’s another path, which seems so narrow and uncertain that I don’t even want to choose. It seems to be quietly inviting me to 18-24 months of more anticipated pain and grief. It assures me that I should expect to live through more disappointment, where any dream of removing Satan’s presence from my life may shatter for a continued time. Where I will continue to feel empty and alone, sometimes so empty and alone that it will seem like I am back to being a walking corpse.
The thing I always hated about religion and Christianity is how so many people pick and choose their way through the Bible… and I’ve done it too in so many ways, at so many times in my life.
You see, there’s this pressing certainty that lives within the pages of my Bible that bids me to continue to follow the path of righteousness and truth for His name in order to once again experience the joy of true intimacy with the Father. Deep inside, at my core, is this promise that I will eventually feel alive again, hopeful, stronger, able to live victoriously knowing that I chose God and he chose me.
For I am reminded that I have been deceived unknowingly by my husband to think that he well knows that I don’t want to divorce him, that I love him despite all of this, and that signing the voluntary dissolution of marriage is nothing more than a simple procedure required by law.
I sit here now wondering why I had to read these words today in Shattered Dreams…
It’s hard to hear, but it is important to know that God is not committed to supporting our ministries, to preventing our divorces, to preserving our health, to straightening out our kids, to providing a livable income, to ending famine, to protecting us from agonizing problems that generate in our souls an experience that feels like death.
We cannot count on God to arrange what happens in our lives in ways that will make us feel good.
We can count on God to patiently remove all the obstacles to our enjoyment of Him. He is committed to our joy, and we can depend on Him to give us enough of a taste of that joy and enough hope that the best is still ahead to keep us going in spite of how much pain continues to plague our hearts.
In closing, I have to tell you that one of the huge obstacles in me deciding to not sign is knowing how much I’ve already put so many of you through. You may not believe it but I’m burdened when I think of how many people are suffering with me through this experience. They pray without ceasing. They text in the middle of the night. They help me beg for mercy. In deciding to not sign, it means that I will continue to reside at the forefront of their talks with God begging for a miracle that only he can deliver.
The dog now sleeps quietly at my side. His nose is warm and moist and his fur is soft and inviting. On my bedside lives a picture of one of the most remote regions of Nepal. It was taken from a window that opens to a world of people who have yet to hear of the loving Creator I believe in.
Father God, I pray for my husband tonight. That you would come and bring the Balm of Gilead to heal his heart and restore him. Oh, draw him near to your side. Hold him tenderly in your arms. Help his eyes to fall upon you so that he can see truth from not. Please Father, he needs you now more than ever.
~Gina for Arise Medical Missions