The day I re-found divorce papers & other things I forgot

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

I was cleaning a few weeks ago when I found this old packet of papers.
Yeah, how's that for a good-day crusher?

Before I knew it, I'd been sucked into a vortex.
Like Dumbledore's weird silver memory bowl thing (did I just totally nerd myself out?)
Weird things started popping into my head.
Things I'd shoved into far corners and draped blankets over.
Things like the morning this sweet little bundle of papers arrived in the mail.
The package sat there staring at me. I hated that package. And it hated me. Like it knew what it was about to unfold and relished it like a giant B.
I remember seeing D's handwriting scribbled on the front. Handwriting I knew and missed.
I remembered wondering what he thought about when he penned my name. Did it cut him the way it cut me? I was pretty sure it didn't and remember how ferociously the tears came.
The moments of crazy-snotty-blood-shot-eyed crying followed by still blankness.
One minute drowning in emotion, the next having none.

I remember specifically debating how and when to open the envelope. Did I really have to touch it?
I thought touching the paper itself would hurt, like a burn or something.
I remember wondering if my hands would work. They felt like lead.
Puking (I HATE puking) seemed like a more pleasant alternative than actually opening the stupid thing... I did both though and found it was really a toss up.
{swirling sounds. <end vortex>}

The aftermath of that whole almost-divorce/memory wormhole thing was kinda trippy.
I hadn't felt or thought about some of that in a while. It's still strange to think about.

As weird as it was - finding, remembering, feeling this stuff again - I realized I'd forgotten a lot.
And not in a good way. 
I'd made a deliberate choice not to remember that stuff.
I wanted to erase that whole season of my life as if it never happened.
It certainly isn't a part of my life that I'm excited, happy, proud or pleased of.
It's like a dark forest of pain and heartache. Ew.
I'd much prefer to ignore that whole ugly thing.
Let's just talk about happy stuff, mkay?

But finding those papers hit me like a ton of bricks.
it did happen.
it happened, Faith.
it did.

and it's shaped me big time.
which is a good thing.
really good.

To be honest, I still don't like the messy, awful, puke and tear-filled spaces between those black and white letters.
I wish they weren't there.
But I guess I need them to be there.
It's my story.
And for all it's pain and craptasticness (yep, totally a word), it's also pretty awesome.
I'd just forgotten.

I was so unbelievably loved during that time (cue sappy music).
My family and closest friends were steadfast.
I dunno who uses words like that anymore but it's totally fitting here because they were like rocks or giant places where giant boulders live and don't move (geology obviously isn't my strong suit).

I couldn't get them to leave me alone...and there were times I was full-on trying. Like a bratty kid.
They were patient and long-suffering. They encouraged me. Loved on me. Didn't try to fix me or the situation. Because they couldn't...hello.
They were available.
They weren't easily offended.
They persisted.
They gave me space.
They didn't feed me stupid cliches. (FYI - Please stop telling people it'll get better...sometimes it doesn't. And if it does, it's gonna take time. They can't deal with that now.)
They just were there.
Not with advice or words of wisdom.
No silly, trite "you'll get through this," "God is in control," "somehow this will make sense one day".
(Side note: while some of that may be really don't care when your heart has been ripped out. If you can't get through a day without being reminded to eat, everything else kinda drops down on the I-give-a-crap scale.)
They didn't blame me.
They didn't blame him.
They didn't point out flaws.
But they did answer honestly when invited or asked.
And some of that was used to lovingly chisel at my walls.
I needed it.

If you're not mildly uncomfortable yet I'm probably about to take it there.
Because serioulsy...can we just stop pretending for a sec that suffering isn't real?
Ain't nobody floating down rivers of chocolate on gumdrop innertubes, mkay?
Let's just stop the charade.

So yea, I'm pretty sure we all know pain. Despite what your Instagram feed may suggest.
You probably even cry and/or curse when you stub your toe (totally legit btw. that freakin hurts!!) so I'm guessing if anything with a more significant emotional impact occurs you're probably not gonna be keeping it together as awesomely as you like to think.
But if life hasn't induced fetal-position sobbing yet...just will.
It will.
And I'm pretty sure we all know that so why we persist in keeping the illusion of "I'm good. everything is good. we're happy. I don't have problems." blah just, well, silly.

So, if your like me and your marriage falls apart one day um, guess what, you do too
It ain't pretty..
It's excruciating. Mind consuming. Heart-wrenching.
Not a picnic in the meadow of  "character building" or "being a better person" - er, well, if it is it won't feel that way for a long, long time so let's please stop telling each other that when we're suffering. Because it's stupid and doesn't help.  

But I wanted to forget all of that.
So I did.
Because pain sucks. Even when it's better.
It still sucks.

But finding that old stack of divorce papers ended up being kinda okay.
I said kinda.
I mean, as horrible as all of the loss of that time was (and it was horrible)...I was reminded how well I was loved when I had nothing to give in return.

In trying to forget the pain, I also forgot how awesome that was.
And as gag-worthy as all that sappy stuff is...I don't ever, EVER want to forget it.

Wanna know what else is crazy-awesome?
D and I are STILL married!!
And not in the "I'm with stupid" kinda way.

Y'all, I like this guy.
I want to be around him.
He's pretty awesome.
Sure there are times I still want to pop him with nearest available object but that's usually on me.
We've both worked hard. very, very hard at this whole marriage thing.
It's tough.
It's been a long road filled with more potholes than a bad country road, but we've done it...together.
Not perfectly and definitely not prettily.
But we're still here.

We forgive and talk.
I tell him when he's an A and he tells me when I'm a B.
Sometimes it's polite, sometimes not so much.
We laugh and look out for one another.
We're friends.
We made the choice to stay, despite how much yuckiness we know about one another.
We're sincerely grateful for every day. Because we both know we almost lost it all.
We came so close.

You know what the best part is though?
Neither of us can take credit for our staying together.
It's not like he was this awesome prize that I snatched back.
Or vice versa.
He was the biggest a-hole in the world, y'all.
And I was a self-righteous shrew.
When one of us would soften the other would harden.
We were selfish souls.
I'd forgotten some of that too.

"But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God..." Ephesians 2:4-8

Now I get that not everyone who reads this will believe what I do, and that's ok. 
I'm not trying to get all preachy here. 
I'm just laying out how God shook up our crazy mess with the beauty of the gospel.
Cuz that's what happened.  
We didn't, we couldn't; HE did. And that's pretty much the end of it. 

Jesus took something pretty friggin nasty and made it good. He changed our gross attitudes. He moved our hearts. He gave (and still gives) us love. He forgave. He showed. He made.  
He did this. Not us. 
He is good. Not us. 

So as I sit here in my favorite chair, typing on a computer that shouldn't still work considering I just dropped it off my baby-filled belly (a baby conceived after this crazy tale of hurt, pain, and darkness, btw) I'm kinda crazy grateful for the random stack of papers that reminded me not to forget

But I think I can throw those darn papers away now...


  1. I see that picture of you two together and think of the baby on the way and tears come to my eyes...good tears! I am so happy for you. :)

  2. Beautiful post. You guys are such a testimony to God's power, and you both are amazing for working through what you have. Thanks for sharing!

  3. This is beautiful. Your story screams God's story...and it is messy and beautiful and I LOVE IT. Thanks for posting!!!!!!!!!!!!

  4. I love this! It made me cry (at work, no less), and just filled my heart with thankfulness in God's mercy, in his pursuit of our hearts, and in his restoration!

    I love you guys so much and am always thankful for you---especially your honesty about your struggles! That's such a huge thing and very rare.

  5. Dang it, you made me cry. In some ways it's refreshing and good to think about suffering, the way that sometimes you just need a good cry to move past things. It's like moving out of the cloud of numb unfeeling and feeling what life means. Sometimes life means suffering. And sometimes you get to move past this and create an incredible story, a phoenix from the ashes. I'm so happy yours is going this way now! Thank you for such an honest, beautiful post!

  6. Not even sure how I found your blog! But my husband and I have a similar story. Love hearing other stories of redemption! Beautiful!


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