Did God Intend to Change Me? (Part 3)

 

psalm-73-26-boots-walking-away

Part 3: The Brokenhearted

At a couple of weeks shy of 11 months of marriage I separated myself from the constant barrage of pain so I could figure out what God was doing in the situation, in me, and try to heal enough, emotionally, to see clearly again, despite being brokenhearted. It’s time to be completely transparent; I am going to use a word here that I have refrained to use in regard to what I just walked out of, because I was protecting the man I married:

Abuse.

(Emotional. Verbal. Spiritual. Physical. Financial. Control. Neglect. Manipulation. Deceit. False accusation – paranoia. Addiction…etc.)

Why am I disclosing this now? Mainly, I have been led by the Holy Spirit to do so. God walked with me through every single day of this marriage, and safely brought me out of it – so I need to be obedient to his pull. Also, this man made a terrible mistake putting his hands on me in anger – for the last time!  This came months after I had moved out, after he had agreed to, no…insisted, he wanted the marriage to end. This, after my putting up with anger and verbal abuse both in person and via text messages since leaving. The loss of control over me – or whatever it was – made him completely snap a month ago and he once again put hands on me in a violent manner. After this occurred God instantly directed me to file charges because it’s time he realizes he isn’t above the law.  He spent weeks in jail. I had no say in this, it was all up to the state prosecutor and judge.

The day of the short trial, with having to face the man I’m married to after this episode, I was nervous. As I drove to the court-house the Holy Spirit was relaying it wasn’t going to be an easy day. After arriving, I could barely contain my tears. They were flowing out, without my consent, and I honestly didn’t understand it at all. I was not afraid, per se, but admittedly was a bit concerned as to his state of mind at that point. I honestly just wanted the entire ordeal over with. In the very few, short moments I had to myself that morning, between family, victim advocates and attorneys questioning and walking me through everything – I prayed: I prayed for my husband, prayed for God to be with all involved, and for the Lord to fill me with love and peace.

During the trial, the man showed absolutely no remorse. He was only concerned for himself, not what he’d done. Not for me. In fact, he intended to plea not guilty until he realized it would go to trial, therefore being drawn out further and possibly losing and facing either more jail time or probation. So, in one last act of love and kindness for this man, I showed what only Christ in me could: grace and mercy.

I Bargained

The prosecuting attorney was really interested in keeping him in jail due to the actual act against me. But, I knew that he had plans. I had absolutely no desire to ruin his life despite his behavior. So, I let go and let God. With the plea offer he begrudgingly plead guilty to a lesser charge, getting off with a mark on his record, time served and some additional legalities. At the end, the judge asked what I would like to get out of this trial. I was caught very off guard by the question and already being upset, knew nothing I said would matter. The only thing I could mutter was, “I just want him out of my life.” The sad reality – that isn’t the response I desired to give. Instead, my heart was screaming inside my chest about how much I wanted the man I married, to care, wanted him to get some help. Mostly, I wanted him to stop hurting himself and others. But all of that had been spoken before that day, to deaf ears.

The wise judge seemed to hear my heart through the tears and sobs. I could tell this man had seen too many cases such as this. The judge told my husband to let go, to stop trying to hold onto me. To stay far away from me. (He snickered at this reprimand.) The judge then turned his gaze upon me, once again, with nothing but compassion, stating how proud he was of me for standing up for myself and that I should be proud I did so. He offered apologies for how I’d been treated and said to keep my chin up.

During the plea negotiations my husband agreed to also sign the dissolution papers if I left them at the appropriate office, once he was released from custody. Unfortunately, I know him therefore didn’t trust he’d this would actually happen. After leaving the court room and walking the few blocks to the domestic affairs building, marriage dissolution papers in hand, I ended up filing for an annulment instead. Doing this required nothing more on his part, other than showing up to the hearing.

I wondered still…why all the tears?

“Jesus wept.” (John 11:35)

…because His heart was broken over the death of his friend, Lazarus, whom He loved. It took nearly a week to finally receive the answer to the question regarding my own tears.

The deepest places of my heart were flooded with sorrow. My emotions had finally thawed enough, in the days since this incident, to feel what God was feeling about my husband, me, and our now severed marriage: God’s heart, alongside my own, were completely broken after the violent acts against me…broken over the fact my husband was not willing to put an effort into healing our marriage or himself, despite my asking him to. Despite his family asking him to seek counseling. His inability to forgive me or understand the reactions had and determinations made regarding the sins he carried into our marriage (rightfully, but still). That his issues/neglect caused me to feel as though I am not worthwhile or worth fighting for. All of this despite my constant prayers and fasting for him, for us.

I forgave him for so many things that shall remain unmentioned. I had forgiven and tried, forgiven and tried, until one day he took things too far. I recognized that moment as God’s open door – nearly two months later, I exited for my wellbeing, but not without giving him ample time and opportunity to consider things…

Is It Finished?

I sat there signing all those documents, with tears streaming down my face. With a broken heart and contrite spirit for the sin I committed against my Father in heaven through this marriage. This was the hardest decision I’ve ever made and I couldn’t believe this was my life! I signed my legal (married) last name, for I hope one of the very last times to a legal document. Once again, it’s just me and Jesus, so I humbly request he signs his name across my heart and protects me from ever receiving this kind of hurt again. For this particular hurt is going to take some time to heal…thankfully, I have faith that with God’s help it will subside.

I am so grateful God gave me not only the strength and provision to leave, but also the understanding I was forgiven by Him if I chose to.

“The Lord is near to those who have a broken heart, and saves such as have a contrite spirit.” (Psalm 34:18)

About this photo: I took this in a moment after my husband had once again stormed out of the house, slamming the door behind him as often occurred. The red petals were gifted and used on our wedding day. They, along with our wedding memorabilia sat on a shelf in the dining nook in the kitchen, near where the door was located. Those boots are mine. I found such irony in the scene and felt compelled to capture it.  I knew it was only a matter of weeks before those boots would literally be walking out of the house, and most likely, permanently out of the marriage. 

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