It was also my first day as a divorced man.
I have spent the past two years going through the range of emotions that accompany the end of a marriage. I worked very hard for much of that time in the hope of avoiding today. I tried to identify my shortcomings as a husband…to be attentive and make the necessary repairs. It eventually became very clear that one person can’t change another person’s heart.
I spent hours praying for the woman I married, asking God to work a miracle. It turned out that the miracle He chose to work was in opening my eyes to how blessed and loved I am by Him, by my friends, and by my family. How sufficient His grace and love truly are.
Heartache can create bitterness, but it can also prepare the fields of the soul for a merciful harvest of joy.
Today was intense. Hope and I met for coffee this morning to go over the paperwork and discuss a few important details. It was relaxed and relatively upbeat. We met again this afternoon at the courthouse. After signing in all of the necessary spaces, I wrote a check and handed the stack of documents to the cashier. We were given a case number, a receipt, and “best of luck to you”…and we walked out as two single people.
It hit me, emotionally, as I handed the paperwork through the window. I wasn’t sad, necessarily, but definitely a bit overwhelmed. It was the end of a huge part of my life…a profound closing of a chapter.
I don’t regret for a moment marrying Hope nearly 21 years ago. We had many, many wonderful experiences. We truly loved each other. And, most of all, we have four beautiful children. For every bit of sadness or disappointment, there is an immeasurable wealth of gladness in what our marriage produced.
There is no doubt in my mind that good things are in my future. I have been so blessed and, despite my unworthiness, joy and mercy are readily visible in my life. I have some very specific things to look forward to…the continued growth and success of my children, the ways that God will choose to guide and direct me, and the beautiful expectancy of love.
Today was an end as well as a beginning. It was a monumental transition.
August 1, 1992-June 21, 2013
Thank you, God, for being sovereign over every second of that time…and every moment still to come.