Throughout this whole process I have questioned myself. I have questioned my actions, my response, the things I should say, the perspective I should take. I have wondered if I should write about it, and if so, with how much detail. I have questioned because I wanted to figure out the “right” thing to do.
But I had no guide, no map, no precedent to follow. After all, I am a Christian and we do not talk about these things, let alone let them happen to us.
So a few days ago when I listened to a relatively transformative podcast by Rob Bell, I finally was able to take a breath and realize. . . I don’t actually need a map. I am the committee.
I can question what is “supposed” to happen or what everyone else thinks I should do, but really, I don’t need a committee to make my decisions for me. I am the committee and I can make those decisions for myself.
So, a few days ago was the anti-climatic “D-day,” the day my not-husband went to court to get the judge to sign our divorce decree (therefore divorce-day=d-day). We did a DIY divorce (as I like to call it) so I had no lawyer and honestly, I got all of my legal advice off of the internet, so I ended up not appearing in court (for a multitude of reasons I can explain later). It was the official end of my marriage, though it has been over for almost seven months already, and it signaled the start of the next season of my life.
If you know me, you know that I am not the kind of person that goes around talking about my "situation" all of the time. I never wanted to be the friend that people hoped they don’t have to hang out with because I can’t talk about anything other than my asshole husband or something. Even in the throws of it I tried not to dominate conversation with the topic. In part, this was also because my story was my shame. I never believed in divorce as an option. I married with a full commitment for life. But I wasn't given a choice in the matter. He left and I couldn't stop him, no matter how hard I tried. And I felt that from this day forward I would be judged negatively by what had happened to me.
Then I listened to that podcast and I changed my mind. I decided, as the committee, that I don't have to be defined negatively by what has happened.
My story can be my empowerment.
My prayers weren’t answered as I wanted them to be, but I still believe that this is a story of hope. Even though I didn’t want this, it is a story that understands pain from a place of perspective.
Sharing my story, even here on virtual paper, puts me in a place of scary vulnerability. As Christians or as people in general, we don’t talk about things. We aren’t transparent because it isn’t the image we are supposed to have.
I am going to be transparent.
I am a woman that is made up of pieces. Every moment of this experience is still a part of me, a detail in my composition.
Seven months ago I was a pile of broken and fragile shards and I have been put back together to create something more complex, more beautiful with its scars and patched up edges.
I am all of what has happened, what is, and what I am striving toward.
I am the committee, making the decisions about what I do with it all, no longer bound by what he, or people I know, or strangers think I should do and be.
I am a Christian, a missionary, a person who loves love, a hiker, and a believer in the good things coming.
And I will share my story.