“So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore, what God had joined together, let no one separate.” Matthew 19:6
I can still hear my shoes hitting the sidewalk as I made my way from the parking lot to the courthouse. I remember it like it was yesterday. One of the hardest days of my life was the day I had to show up for the pronouncement of my divorce. As I stood in that cold courtroom with my attorney, the judge came in to separate the one thing I cherished. My marriage was coming to an end. As the judge decreed the future of my marriage, the words he used to destroy the one thing I believed in echoed and ricocheted against the marble walls. Some of the words I heard while others faded within the marbleized walls. As I tried to make sense and to pay attention to what was before me, I was trying to internalize all that was happening. The progression of the divorce was moving forward, and my marriage was in the hands of a man. There was no way to stop the process. The one thing I do remember hearing was the banging of the gavel as the judge decreed that my marriage was dissolved and no longer in existence. I was declared divorced by end of the last bang coming from the gavel. My attorney walked me out of the courtroom and down the hall to the exiting doors.
As I made my way to my car, tears rolled down my face. Both cold and warm tears flowed from my eyes to the nape of my neck. I was trying so hard to make sense of what I had just experienced but none of it was making sense. As I got closer to my car, the more my tears would flow. My heart ached so much; the pain was excruciating. At this point in my life, I had never experienced this kind of pain. It was deep within the depths of my heart and at that present moment there was no consoling this broken heart. Question after question filled my mind. How does someone recover from such a wound? What about my commitment to the marriage? What about my dream of becoming a wife? What about my children? What do I do now? Where do I stand with God? How can man separate what God has joined? How is that possible? Why Lord? Why me?
I sat in my car for over an hour with my tears pouring out of my eyes. I would cry loudly at times in disbelief that I was no longer married. I was now a single mother with two daughters that were clueless as to how their family dynamics had changed. At times, I would lay my head on the steering wheel crying while the sound of people walking on the sidewalk made their way to and from the courthouse. Not one of them knew the agonizing pain I was going through during this dark time. As I sat there, I was afraid to turn on my car and to leave the parking lot. I felt that if I did leave my life would crumble into more pieces. At that time, nothing made sense. My mind was working on overload and I could not stop the many thoughts that crowded it. It was one thought after another. They kept coming from every direction. Confusion started setting in and I was lost in all that confusion. A thick fog was crowding both hemispheres; my brain was short circuiting and it was affecting every function of my body.
At one point, I looked at my hand and I was still wearing my most treasured possession. My wedding ring was still on my ring finger. I had hope until the very last second. I was no longer married according to the judge so the symbol of marriage I wore was no longer a part of my identity. I was no longer a wife; hence, I could no longer wear it. How can this be? I made a commitment before the eyes of God to remain married until death would do us part but a judge, a man, had declared me as divorced. A document had been signed, stamped and delivered. Coming to terms with this type of declaration was hard to accept and to process in my mind but especially in my heart.
At this point in my life, I was a new Christian. I became a Christian in 1998; I was divorced by 2003. I was prompted by the Lord to accept him as my personal savior, but I really did not develop much of a relationship with him. I knew about him and I understood certain things about him but that was it. As I twirled the ring between my fingers, the one thing that kept crossing my mind was if God joined us how was it possible that this judge could separate us. What do I do now? I am so confused. The longer I sat in my car the more confused I became.
While I may have been confused, God was not surprised or confused with what transpired in my marriage. On the contrary, He would go on to teach me that my identity was not in being a wife but in building a relationship with my one true love, Jesus Christ. My pain was necessary for me to return to him and to his ultimate plan for my life.