Saturday, May 25, 2013

Marriage as a Christian

My marriage was taken away from me.  It was not my decision to end my marriage.  It's interesting that I can feel like I have moved past John George but not the marriage.  Its the lose of the marriage that continues to break my heart.

Marriage as a Christian should be different than any other marriage.  Marriage is not about liking that person everyday or maybe even loving them everyday.  I once heard a very wise friend say that while love might not always be a part of her marriage the will to love is.  Husbands and wives go through up and down cycles just as most things in life do.  And as a Christian we are called to honor the promise we made in our marriage to God and to our spouse no matter what feelings may come.  God sanctified marriage.

I may have despised the man that I saw JG become during the divorce but I never lost the desire to continue to love him and stay committed to him.  I never lost that desire not because of the way I felt about JG but because of the way I feel about Jesus Christ.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

On a Night Like This...

They (the infamous "they") say you should take one month for every year of marriage to recover.  So that would mean I should have recovered sometime around May 1.  In a lot of ways I do believe that I have moved forward.  But my heart is still broken from the pain of divorce.

How can it possibly still hurt so much?  Tonight I noticed that John George has blocked me from his Facebook.  From my account it looks like he no longer exists on FB.  It bothers me.  How can someone that I trusted my whole life with block me out completely?  And not just on FB but in everything.  It just blows my mind that the person who I was once most important to can treat me this way.  I just don't understand.  I don't think I will ever understand.  It just isn't how my mind works.  I live in a state of perpetual innocence only believing the good in people.

The pain really isn't about him anymore.  It's about what he represents.  He is the promise I made to God that I broke.  He is all of my trust and hope destroyed.  He is my innocence gone.  And while I know time will make my memories of him fade to almost nothing, he is a part of my life that I can never  totally erase.  Nor do I want to totally erase him.

And so on a night like this, when it is easy to get sad I just remind myself of the unfathomablely awesome plans that I know God has for my life and also JG's life.  We are linked together forever and I'm ok with that.  Not because I still long to be with him but because of the things I gained from him.  From the first day JG said he wanted a divorce, I have prayed that I would not have bitterness toward him or his family.  And I will say that God has been very faithful in answering that prayer.

Jeremiah 29:11

Some people may think I am naive or unrealistic but I still know there is good in him despite what has happened.  There is goodness and hope in everything I do these days.  I thank God for that. It is going to be a glorious future.

"Chin up." -Charlotte's Web

Monday, May 20, 2013

Day 185

When my husband first told me he wanted a divorce I subscribed to a daily devotional email called Divorce Care. Today is day 185 of those emails. Thats more than half a year.  Holy moly, where did the time go? Six months later and I am still making it. There were so many times in the past six months that I thought I would just implode from stress and tears. And yet there also were tons of laughter, smiles and joyous moments along the way.  While I still have a long way to go, I feel completely content right now resting in God's peace.

"I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances." Philippians 4:11 (NIV)

Sunday, May 19, 2013


At the time I signed the divorce papers I really did not think I had another choice.  He had been gone nearly five months and had not spoken to me in almost two.  I was tired.  More tired than I have ever felt.  I had prayed and prayed and prayed. I had asked everyone I knew to pray and pray and pray.  I made the decision on January 29 to go forward with the divorce.  I felt a peace about it, although I knew I would still have times of regret.  

There is this line in the divorce papers that really hurts.  I never even paid attention to it until the judge had signed them.  "The bonds of matrimony existing between the parties are herby dissolved and forever held for naught".  I remember picking up the signed papers from my lawyer.  I studied the divorce decree as if I had never seen it before, when in reality I had been reading it since November.  Looking at the blue stamped seal of the Hinds County Chancery Court and the judge's signature made that one line to me seem like the saddest and most tragic thing I had ever read.  It still might be. 

Enter, immense regret for signing those papers. The finalization of my divorce hurt more than anything else I had experienced. It was so final. I don't regret the divorce everyday but I still get these pangs of sadness and regret for all that JG and I lost by finalizing the divorce. It's such a strange feeling to describe. I wonder if these feelings will ever totally go away. And sometimes I fear that they will disappear entirely and I will be numb to what happened. 

I thank God for the ability to feel real emotion, to know true pain and true joy at the same time. 

"Consider is pure joy my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds" James 1:2

"And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose." Romans 8:28

Set Apart

As a Christian I want to live a life set apart.  A life that makes non-believers notice that something is different.  I thought that saving my marriage would do that.  I could not fathom how a divorce would set me apart for God.  I wanted to show everyone just how amazing God is that He could save my broken marriage.  But as we know now He did not save it. He had other plans for me.  In His faithfulness He used this ugly divorce to bring glory to His kingdom.

Not talking bad about JG is one thing that has been important to me throughout this process.  Sure, I have said mean things about him and been careless with my words but overall I have tried to restrain from talking bad about him.  After all, I still married him so the least I can do is be respectful of how I talk about him.  I do still remember his good qualities.  And in some small way it makes me feel like I can still keep some of the vows I made in marriage.

I was brought to my knees a couple months ago when a non-Christian friend told me that she respected me so much for the way I had handled the divorce.  And that she was most impressed by the way I spoke about JG.  She told me she knew so many women who bashed their husbands.  She wanted to know how I, who actually did have reason to slander my husband, could refrain from talking bad about him and even sometimes compliment him. I got to tell my friend about how it was not me but Jesus who gave me the strength to act this way.  "The straight and narrow path" is not supposed to be easy but it is worth the challenge. While I still hate divorce and would never ever fathom that God could possibly approve of any divorce, He still used my divorce for the glory of The Kingdom.  How awesome is that?

"Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as prophet to the nations" Jeremiah 1:5

"But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it." Matthew 7:14

Thursday, May 16, 2013


Thus far I've really only talked about the painfully uncomfortable trials I've been facing. But for those of you who know me best, you know that there is another kind of uncomfortableness that I often experience. Awkwardness. Or maybe I should say that the people around me often experience. I have a tendency to make situations seriously awkward. Somewhere out there on Facebook is a group called "I have experienced the awkwardness that is Mary Kendall".

"When I first moved to Jackson four years ago, Lindsey (bff/legal counselor) and I had the brilliant idea to write a book about our lives.  Or more so we came up with the best title ever for a book and spent months talking it up to everyone and planning it. Our book is called "The Evil Bitch Plan: Two single girls in the not so big city".  Doesn't that sound like a best seller? It basically chronicles our horror dating stories the year we lived in the Vieux Carre apartments. The bulk of the book has to do with the time God told us to join eharmony while we were in the restroom at church. Btw it turned out not to be God's voice talking to us that day. Can you say disaster situation? Now one advantage to being single again is that I can collect material for EBP 2.  And I think I've already got some pretty great new material.

"Lindsey and I have recently discovered a great happy hour at a restaurant that shall remain unnamed. While paying my tab a few weeks ago the bartender commented about how awesome my last name is because its his favorite show, Archer. (I haven't gotten around to changing my name on my bank account yet.) And some how I end up betting him a margarita that I would not like the show.  In the spur of the moment I wrote my phone number on the check. This is not something I ever do. And for good reason too. So I pretty much forget about this until a few days later when I get a text from said bartender asking when he can take me to get a margarita. I don't know why but I said yes and we agreed to meet for happy hour the next day. Then he texts me a little bit and mentions that he is graduating from college this semester. And that's when I realize that not only did I pick up a bartender, I also just became a cougar.

It was way too late to cancel the date by the time I realized this. So I sucked it up and went. And seriously, this sweet boy could not have been more than 22 or 23. He is sitting there telling me about his roommates and how glad he is to get out of the dorm and I'm now sucking up my margarita quite quickly. I'm thinking in my head that I'll tell him I'm 25 if he asks. I'm also trying to do the math in my head to figure out what year I should have been born.  I felt awful when he wouldn't let me pay for my drinks. I felt like I was taking money from a kid. Are you getting awkwardly uncomfortable yet because I am. But atleast I can check a few more things off my list of "done that, not going there again". Pick up a random guy at a bar, check. Become a cougar, check check. He said to text him soon so we could go out again. I giggled the way I always do when I have no idea what to say and then I jumped in my car and locked the doors quickly as if someone was going to get me.  I think I was trying to escape the creeper that I had felt like for the past hour. I sped off and never looked back. So there you have it, I've still got that "charm". 

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

We to I

Today I went to nursing school orientation.  It was a bittersweet day for me.  I didn't want it to be this way but my mind tends to wander easily to the past.  Nursing school is a journey "we" began last May.   The decision was fairly easy to go back to school.  I knew I didn't want to stay at my current job so it was either school or job hunting.  JG and I discussed it and we made a plan for me to quit my job in July to start taking prerequisite classes.  We had great plans for us to eventually move back to the delta and nursing would be a guaranteed job.  Plus it can be very flexible once we started a family. I would finish nursing school by our third wedding anniversary and then we could start a family.  It was fun making this major decision together and planning out the next five to ten years of our life.   But as we all know the best laid plans often go awry.

"Mortals make elaborate plans, but God has he last word" Proverbs 16:1 (MSG)

So today I registered for classes and met the people I'll be spending most of my time with this next year.  And while this journey began as a "we", it continues as an "I".  It may be just me making major decisions now but I know I am not alone.  A year ago I would have called John George immediately upon leaving orientation to give him the run down on my day.  But today I can't think of anyone to call.    Sure I have people that would be happy to listen but its just not the same.  As I pulled away from school this afternoon tears starting streaming down my face.  Lots of tears. I called out "Jesus" and knew He would be there as He always is.  This is not how I would have imagined this day to be but I'm content with where I am.  I like my independence.  So as I say goodbye to the past year of preparation, I begin my nursing school journey.  I like that I am doing this myself.  And I thank God that He prepared the way for me to get a new beginning today.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Getting Uncomfortable

I've been wanting to start a new blog for a while now but haven't really known how to start. Plus, I couldn't think of an appropriate name for my blog.  I mean, how can I put my life into one short blog title?

I've been listening to "Kisses From Katie" on cd lately.  Its the story of a homecoming queen from Nashville who forgoes college to live in Uganda and raise her 13 adopted children.  What really struck me is when Katie talks about leaving her comfortable life to serve the Lord.  It got me thinking about my own life and how relatively comfortable I have always been.  And also how uncomfortable life has gotten over the past year.  God has taken me places I never in a million years would have thought I'd end up.  Its been painfully uncomfortable but through it all I am in a much better place than I ever was in my former comfortable life.  My prayer recently has been for God to continue to push me to places and people that make me uncomfortable.

So here I am, sitting in my childhood bed in my parents house where I have been living for the past two months.  This time last year I was happily married and living in my dream house.  I had everything I had ever dreamed about but was completely out of touch with God.  And then things started to get uncomfortable...